Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 28, 2017
It’s a positive step – for U.S. energy, economic growth, consumer benefits and climate progress – for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to begin rescinding its 2015 hydraulic fracturing rule – one that we argue duplicates existing and effective state regulation and risks delaying energy development, potentially impacting consumers. The agency should follow this up by moving swiftly to improve the permitting process for natural gas and oil development on federal lands, as Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ordered earlier this month.
Posted March 20, 2015
Some important context to the new federal hydraulic fracturing rule announced by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is found in looking at the recent trend in federal onshore energy development.
It’s not an inspiring picture. Since BLM deals with onshore energy, let’s look at oil and natural gas output together, measured in barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Federal onshore production has declined from 1.8 million boe in fiscal year 2009 to 1.6 million boe in FY2014, a decline of 11.3 percent, according to federal data.
Breaking out the natural gas production figures, the decline is more dramatic. Onshore production of natural gas in federal areas fell from 8.7 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in FY2009 to 6.8 Bcf/d in FY2014, a drop of21.6 percent.
The reason is federal policy. Whether you’re talking about access to reserves or permitting red tape, the bottom-line result is declining production.
Posted February 2, 2015
Taking a look at the president’s new budget request for the Interior Department, we see the administration asking for $13.2 billion, an increase of nearly $1 billion over the enacted funding level for the current fiscal year.
Now take a look at data from Interior’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue, which tabulates federal revenues from energy developed in federal areas onshore and offshore.
It’s a lot of information, but check the bottom line: For fiscal year 2013, revenues from oil and natural gas developed in federal areas totaled about $12.9 billion. For FY2014 the total was about $11.7 billion. Federal revenues from oil and natural gas development in FY2014 were about $1.2 billion less than in FY2013.
Interestingly, the amount of lost revenue is just about equal to Interior’s requested budget increase for FY2016. In other words, Interior lost $1.2 billion in revenue from 2013 to 2014 and basically is looking to taxpayers to fill in the gap in the next budget.
Posted January 15, 2015
Charting some of the latest Bureau of Land Management (BLM) data on federal oil and natural gas activity – which mostly shows continuing decline.
First, BLM issued fewer new oil and natural gas leases in fiscal year 2014 than in any year since FY1988. That year 9,234 new leases were issued, a number that fell to 1,157 in FY2014. Last year’s number was a retreat from FY2013, when 1,468 new leases were issued.
Other indicators also show declining oil and natural gas opportunity in areas controlled by the federal government.
Posted December 4, 2014
One key to sustaining and growing the ongoing U.S. energy revolution is to increase access to America’s oil and natural gas reserves – specifically, gaining more access to reserves under federal control, onshore and offshore.
And a revolution is what we’re seeing. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), domestic crude output topped 9 million barrels per day for the fourth week in a row, a production level not seen since the mid-1980s.
As great as that news is, it could be better because America’s energy production growth – generating new jobs, growing the economy and increasing our energy security – is occurring on state and private lands. More access to reserves in federal areas would help expand the revolution, generating even more benefits.
Posted November 21, 2014
Credit the U.S. Forest Service for adopting a revised plan for the George Washington National Forest that will allow safe and responsible energy development using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
As others said of the plan, science won out in the sense that hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling can be conducted safely while protecting the forest itself as well as the watershed within it.
Posted July 2, 2014
An inspector general’s report issued this week really underlines what industry has been telling Washington over the past couple of years: Permitting for oil and natural gas drilling on federal lands takes too long, generates too much uncertainty and is a hindrance to developing reserves that are critical to the country’s energy security today and tomorrow.
The Interior Department inspector general’s assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) onshore drilling permit process basically shows that the process is neither very effective nor efficient.
Posted June 20, 2014
Let’s make a couple of points with the juxtaposition of the newest U.S. report on energy production on federal lands and a pair of new analyses people are talking about this week.
First, there’s this piece by the Manhattan Institute’s Jared Meyer on the Real Clear Energy website, asserting that surging U.S. crude oil production is playing a big role in keeping global crude prices stable despite turmoil around the world:
The most important contribution to oil's price stability has been the substantial increase in U.S. production. U.S. crude oil production has risen 50 percent since 2008, to 7,443 thousand barrels a day. This increase has been driven by advances in drilling technology. Hydraulic fracturing has opened up previously-known reserves that were either inaccessible or too cost-prohibitive for drilling.
Posted August 12, 2013
EIA Today in Energy – Production of Fossil Fuels from Federal, Indian Lands Fell in 2012
Sales of fossil fuels from production on federal and Indian lands in 2012 dropped 4 percent from 2011, according to Department of the Interior data. This decline is largely due to declines in offshore oil and natural gas production.
National Journal – My Week in Oil Boom Country
NJ’s Amy Harder got a first-hand look at the surging shale development in North Dakota’s Bakken shale play. Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, both representing N.D., and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell also toured facilities around Williston.
Posted June 18, 2013
Chicago Tribune – Illinois Governor Signs Bill to Regulate Fracking
Illinois is one step closer to hydraulic fracturing after bipartisan legislation regulating the process was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn. Lawmakers say they hope the new regulations will encourage the oil and natural gas industry to invest in Illinois, helping to create jobs.
Fuel Fix Blog – Colleges Plan Training for Gas Drilling Jobs
Two colleges in southern Illinois are getting a jumpstart on possible oil and natural gas development in the state. Southeastern Illinois College and Rend Lake College are planning to provide training programs focused on safety and other areas related to energy development.