Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted March 27, 2019
We’ve focused on the numerous domestic benefits from liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, which follow the United States’ emergence as a major LNG supplier to the world market. Now let’s explore the ways U.S. LNG can help other countries meet their most pressing energy and environmental challenges.
First, let’s note that U.S. LNG exports have grown rapidly in just a few years, with cargoes reaching 34 countries across five continents.
At the same time, global LNG demand has skyrocketed. As recently as 2009, demand totaled only 182 million metric tons per annum (MMTPA). In 2018, it hit a record 319 MMTPA, a 75 percent increase.
Posted March 25, 2019
For U.S. natural gas, the fourth quarter of 2018 ended with consumers benefiting from the lowest prices in nearly a year – despite the weakest inventories and coldest winter since 2014.
Indeed, recently we’ve seen natural gas prices as low as $2.56 per million Btu (Feb. 5, Bloomberg) corresponding with record high demand of 96.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of marketed production for February 2019 and low inventories – 415 billion cubic feet below the five-year average range as of Feb. 1.
It’s remarkable, because this combination of factors ordinarily would raise natural gas prices. The fact that prices fell illustrates the vigor of domestic production, which has soared during the U.S. energy revolution.
Domestic abundance and affordability have been at the heart a truly amazing U.S. natural gas story – one that has seen U.S. producers meet domestic needs and also increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to friends and allies around the world.
Posted March 13, 2019
The administration is considering doubling down on its trade war despite repeated warnings and thorough evidence that tariffs and quotas are negatively impacting American consumers, even while failing to lower the U.S. trade deficit. We can now add one more report to that long list of evidence with the release of a new analysis from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) with all-too-familiar findings: the economic impact of trade restrictions is falling solely on consumers – not the countries that they target – despite the Administration’s claims. This serves as an unfortunate reminder that tariffs are a tax on imported goods that is paid for not only by American businesses but potentially consumers.
Posted March 5, 2019
The International Energy Agency’s Fatih Birol regularly heralds the positive impacts of the American shale energy revolution (see here, here and here). All good, but U.S. shale’s global impact is just now starting to be felt, IEA’s executive director said last week.
During a global markets update at the U.S. Energy Department with Secretary Rick Perry, Birol said the United States will be responsible for about two-thirds of the growth in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market. Of course, this reflects the abundance of domestic natural gas, largely produced from shale formations. Big-time global impact lies ahead, Birol said. Add to that environmental and climate progress, which we’ll get to in a bit.
Certainly, there’s every reason to believe U.S. natural gas and oil can meet or exceed global expectations. Soaring U.S. crude oil production has increased global supply, supporting the stability of global markets – while reducing weekly U.S. crude imports to their lowest level in 23 years (as of Feb. 22), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Posted February 26, 2019
When the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was announced last fall, we pointed out that it would be good for North American energy security and continue flourishing energy trade between the United States and its neighbors by providing market access and zero tariffs for U.S. natural gas and oil and related products.
The agreement would sustain and expand the gains made under its predecessor, NAFTA, which created a North American energy market, helped make the U.S. more energy secure and benefited U.S. consumers.
Congress should approve USMCA as soon as possible to lock in the critically important energy relationship between the U.S., Mexico and Canada – as well as the general flows of goods and services so vital to good economic health in this country.
Posted February 22, 2019
A big win this week for U.S. liquid natural gas exports: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the Calcasieu Pass liquid natural gas (LNG) export facility in Louisiana – marking an end to a two-year logjam on LNG export approvals while boosting American global energy leadership and signaling opportunity to European allies who’ve been beholden to Russia for natural gas.
The $4.5 billion Calcasieu Pass project near Cameron Parish will be able to export 10 million metric tons per annum of LNG per year. Venture Global first applied for FERC approval for the facility in 2015. About a dozen other proposed facilities await FERC approval. Now, perhaps, the end’s in sight.
Posted February 20, 2019
Earlier this month we talked about the unforced error of the administration’s tariff and quota policies that hamstring the economy, detailing the findings of recent report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Now, new modeling has reviewed those suspicions in the context of the energy trade, and the indications are clear: The escalating trade wars could significantly limit the U.S. energy revolution and the benefits to Americans that it would otherwise bring.
The recent report, part of BP’s annual “Outlook,” a macro-look at the global energy system over the next 30 years, models a number of different scenarios including one in which global trade disputes persist and worsen. The results of this “less globalization” scenario indicate that the continuation of these policies would slow global GDP growth by 6 percent and energy demand growth by 4 percent in 2040. To make matters worse, the effect could be intensified in countries and regions most exposed to foreign trade – like the U.S.
Posted February 19, 2019
A profound shift has taken place in North American oil markets over the past few months that’s now affecting trade between the United States and its biggest crude oil supplier, Canada.
It involves supplies of heavier crude oil – important for the manufacture of a multitude of everyday products consumers use, from local road surfaces to the roofing for their houses. While the U.S. is producing domestic crude at record levels, there’s still a need for heavier crudes.
With heavy oil from Venezuela declining for years, the importance of close ties with Canada and especially the oil-producing province Alberta has increased. Unfortunately, Alberta’s decision to limit oil production appears to be advancing uneconomic outcomes, where some U.S. refiners signaled they’ll shift away from Canadian heavy crude oil and seek supply elsewhere.
Posted February 8, 2019
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s new report, “The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2019 to 2029,” says what we’ve been saying for some time now – the administration’s tariff policies are a drag on the broader economy.
CBO projects that “the recent changes in trade policy in the United States and its trading-partner countries will reduce the level of U.S. real GDP by about 0.1 percent by 2022
Now, 0.1 percent might not sound like a lot over that time period, but potentially we’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars subtracted from the economy. Dean Foreman, API chief economist, says it’s particularly concerning in the context of an economy that’s decelerating.
Posted January 24, 2019
On a day when the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) published its new Annual Energy Outlook – forecasting that the U.S. will become a net energy exporter next year through 2050, growing natural gas share in fueling electricity and rising liquid natural gas exports – API President and CEO Mike Sommers talked about sustaining and growing the engine of all these trends and more: the U.S. energy revolution.
The reason is simple: Where U.S. energy is and where it could go hinge on extending that revolution – to support economic growth, increase U.S. security in the world and help advance environmental and climate goals.
Sommers’ remarks at the U.S. Energy Association’s State of the Energy Industry Forum outlined the key goals for the American energy sector.