Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 17, 2019
Legislation in Congress that could cripple future U.S. offshore energy development needs to be seen for the longer-term damage it could do to America’s strategic energy and national security.
One House bill would permanently extend a moratorium on development in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico; another would permanently bar leasing in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Given projected growth in America’s energy needs, such shortsighted legislation fails the test of leadership in setting energy policy that will enhance and protect our nation’s strategic interests.
Posted May 10, 2019
Headlines announcing big oil discoveries in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) – such as the Blacktip deepwater find last month – are something we’ve come to expect. Gulf production long has been strategically important to the United States, accounting for 17 percent of total U.S. crude oil production, and it’s easy to take for granted that the basin will just keep producing and producing.
Yet, two recent analyses, IHS Markit’s report for the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and a Crystol Energy report, caution that the Central and Western Gulf, currently open to oil and natural gas development, are maturing, having been developed for several decades, and production could begin to decline before long. GOM development must compete globally with other offshore and onshore prospects or face declining interest in exploration, falling investment and decommissioning of critical infrastructure.
Posted July 10, 2018
Offshore energy development works for the states – all of them.
The U.S. Interior Department recently announced that $61.6 million in revenues from offshore oil and natural gas will be distributed to all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia – via grants that support state conservation and outdoor recreation projects.Ponder that: You don’t have to be a coastal state; you don’t have to be a producing state. Under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), everyone benefits from offshore natural gas and oil revenues that are earmarked for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grants.
Posted May 16, 2018
For some time we’ve stressed that offshore oil and natural gas production is compatible with a variety of other ocean uses such as fishing and tourism – and most significantly, with the U.S. military’s need for open-water areas to conduct training exercises, advanced weapons testing and the like. Industry has a long track record of developing offshore energy in a manner that successfully coexists with the military’s needs in the Gulf of Mexico and other areas.
The same would be true in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico if a moratorium on offshore development there, in place since 2006, is allowed to expire in 2022 – creating access to key new areas for safe exploration and development of strategically important oil and natural gas. A new analysis by the Defense Department agrees.
Posted May 2, 2018
The most recent federal Gulf of Mexico oil and natural gas lease sale was described in some media reports as “disappointing,” “modest” and “tepid.” But there’s another, more positive way to look at it.
First, every offshore lease sale the federal government holds is welcome by industry, because each represents new opportunity for the market to work as it should – with companies making investment decisions based on the potential for significant natural gas and oil production.
A more important point underscored with the Gulf sale is one we’ve been making for some time – that the federal government needs to make available new offshore areas for study, research, exploration and development.
Posted August 18, 2017
Here’s the case for expanded opportunity within a new offshore oil and natural gas leasing program that federal officials are assembling: Safely developing American oil and natural gas on the outer continental shelf (OCS) is vital to the United States’ long-term energy and national security; we need new access to offshore areas, such as the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Including them in the federal five-year plan will allow surveying to determine the location and size of oil and gas reserves; safe oil and natural gas production on the OCS could significantly boost local, regional and state economies; and advanced technologies, strong industry standards and a robust regulatory system work effectively together to protect workers, communities and the environment.
Posted April 28, 2017
Posted October 19, 2016
Posted May 25, 2016
Heidelberg and other offshore production facilities are integral to U.S. energy security. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates Gulf production will average 1.63 million barrels of oil per day (mb/d) this year and reach 1.91 mb/d by December next year, accounting for 18 percent and 21 percent of total U.S. crude oil production in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
Output from Heidelberg and other platforms reflects decisions made years ago – to buy leases and to invest in exploration and development. That’s why it’s critically important for robust planning now, starting with the government’s 2017-2022 offshore oil and natural gas leasing program that’s currently being put together by federal officials.
Posted May 11, 2016
Some points for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to consider when it meets next week to review the Obama administration’s proposed 2017-2022 program for offshore oil and natural gas leasing.
First, offshore oil and natural gas production historically has played a major role in overall U.S. energy output. In 2010 more than 30 percent of U.S. oil and 11 percent of U.S. natural gas was produced in the Gulf of Mexico. So, while it’s great that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that Gulf production will increase to record high levels in 2017, every American must recognize that reaching record Gulf output next year would result because of leasing decisions made a decade or more ago.
In that context, let’s be clear: The federal offshore leasing program must reflect energy leadership and vision, and it must be focused on fostering opportunity. It must not reduce America’s offshore energy potential by keeping key offshore areas off the table for development.