Energy Tomorrow Blog
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 February 8, 2018
As a nation, we have a tremendous opportunity to safely and efficiently harness our offshore natural gas and oil reserves. Here are three important points that should be prominent during the public hearing phase of the process to develop the next federal offshore leasing plan.
Posted December 11, 2017
Soon, the Interior Department is expected to release its draft offshore leasing program that will shape natural gas and oil development on the federal outer continental shelf (OCS) for the next five years, 2019-2024. Recognizing that the leasing program only outlines where lease auctions could be conducted, let’s take a look at some offshore basics to provide full context to a process that’s critically important to our country’s future energy security.
Posted October 12, 2017
What we see here are the outlines of a serious disconnect between current U.S. offshore policy and reality – that with the U.S. and the world projected to see significant growth in energy demand, the United States has more than 90 percent of its offshore reserves locked away, unavailable even for the studies and tests needed to determine the potential size and location of those reserves.Given the long lead times needed to develop the offshore, the United States’ current policy posture needs a course correction.
Posted June 29, 2017
Posted March 14, 2016
When BOEM releases its final program, perhaps this week, watch the Atlantic. A decision to keep the Atlantic lease sale in the five-year plan will say volumes about the administration’s view of offshore energy development. Erik Milito, API director of upstream and industry operations, joined representatives of two other organizations on a conference call with reporters to discuss the next leasing program:
“The possible benefits for developing oil and natural gas off of the Atlantic coast are numerous. The most promising areas for development run all the way from the coasts of Maine to Florida. Official government figures project the possibility of nearly 5 billion barrels of oil and over 37 trillion cubic feet of gas contained by this section of the Atlantic Shelf. This is American energy security, American jobs, U.S. government revenue and American GDP tied up by political red tape. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, stuck, off limits to future generations as it waits for forward-looking energy policy.”
Posted March 2, 2016
Last year, when federal officials released the proposal for the next five-year offshore drilling plan, we said the draft had some positive aspects but fell short of the kind of strategic offshore planning that would adequately serve America’s role as an energy superpower. We also noted strong support for offshore development by mid-Atlantic states, where operations could occur under the draft plan.
Fast-forward to this month, with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) expected to reassess a plan that would be the blueprint for offshore energy development from 2017 through 2022. The need for a robust offshore leasing plan remains critically important – and the plan should retain the single Atlantic lease sale that was included in BOEM’s draft.
Posted April 30, 2015
It’s noteworthy that there’s bipartisanship in Congress on offshore energy development. Last week a group of Republican U.S. House and Senate members signed onto a letter urging the Interior Department to increase access to energy reserves on the nation’s outer continental shelf. It follows a March 26 letter from Virginia’s two Democratic senators and a March 27 letter from a dozen House Democrats supporting offshore energy development.
Bipartisanship in Washington is quite a rare bird, so it’s significant to see it form around the need to develop domestic offshore energy.
Equally important: Strongly worded concern from the most recent letter’s signers that the draft 2017-2022 plan for oil and natural gas leasing offered by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management not be weakened by removing any of the leasing areas in the proposal.
Posted April 17, 2015
BloombergBusiness: The U.S. pumped crude last month at the fastest pace since February 1973, sending March inventories to the highest level in 85 years.
Crude output climbed 13 percent from a year earlier to 9.32 million barrels a day in March, the American Petroleum Institute said in a monthly report Thursday. Production of natural gas liquids, a byproduct of gas drilling, climbed 9.1 percent to 3.05 million, a record for March. The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies from shale formations in the central U.S.
“Production of both crude oil and natural gas liquids last month remained at the highest levels in decades even as rig counts reached a five-year low,” John Felmy, chief economist at the API in Washington, said in an e-mailed statement.
Posted March 31, 2015
There are a number of main points in official comments submitted by API and seven other energy industry groups to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on its draft offshore oil and natural gas leasing program for the 2017-2022 time period.
Given how much offshore acreage was excluded from the proposed draft, BOEM should not remove any areas proposed in the draft from the final lease plan, the associations write. The government is missing key opportunities to harness U.S. offshore energy in the Atlantic, eastern Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska, as other countries are implementing robust offshore development programs. Energy development on the outer continental shelf (OCS) would generate significant job and economic benefits to the U.S., and industry continues to press ahead with technological, safety and environmental protection improvements – all designed to foster increased safety in offshore operations.
The comments are among those being collected by BOEM before it finalizes the five-year leasing program later this year. The leasing plan is a blueprint for offshore development; areas not listed in it won’t be offered for lease 2017 to 2022. Given the 10 to 15 years needed to develop offshore oil and natural gas – from the time the lease is sold to production – the federal plan is critically important.