Energy Tomorrow Blog
John D. Siciliano
Posted May 20, 2020
Capt. Russell Holmes is the Center for Offshore Safety’s (COS) new director after serving for nearly three decades with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Holmes, who retired from the Coast Guard in 2020, takes over for Charlie Williams, who had led the center since 2012 after a long industry career. Holmes will be taking the center’s mission of offshore safety and environmental protection into its second decade of existence.
The center was created soon after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, the COS has enhanced the safety culture in offshore operations, while supporting federal regulations that mandate Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) at all operations on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Just prior to joining the center, Holmes served as the Coast Guard’s senior point of contact for offshore safety in the Gulf, overseeing marine inspection and investigation programs that ultimately support SEMS. As he explains in the Q&A below, Holmes says the industry’s professionalism and safety commitment matched his while he was serving as one of industry’s lead regulators.
Posted April 16, 2020
Amid talk in Texas of production quotas (“proration”) and other extreme policies that have been suggested to address the oil demand downturn, API’s Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) shows that supply is responding in real time and that U.S. crude and refined storage capacities have some flexibility to adjust to the COVID-19 driven demand decrease – helping to alleviate the need for blanket policies or government interventions.
Notably, recent federal actions may help provide additional flexibility to the entire energy value chain. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy’s opening of crude oil storage capacity within the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to individual companies provides much-needed flexibility. Separately, Federal Reserve measures to either purchase corporate bonds or provide loans may perform additional triage for the energy industry and across the broader economy.
Posted April 13, 2020
We understand the oil demand-side circumstances that have led to calls for artificial market interventions such as tariffs and quotas – including a proposal before natural gas and oil regulators in Texas to mandate oil production cuts in the United States’ No. 1 oil-producing state.
Tough market conditions are no reason to implement bad remedies, such as the Texas proposal, which is problematic at best.
That’s not just an API view. Economics and history argue strongly against veering from the principle of markets dictating production levels, which is a core principle of our industry.
Posted February 26, 2019
In case you missed it, let’s echo a recent official U.S. Energy Department projection that the United States should “not only maintain its lead spot as top oil producer, but will greatly exceed what it produced last year in both 2019 and 2020.”
The trajectory of U.S. oil production is significant for U.S. economic growth, energy security and global leadership, and – as we recently discussed oil exports in this post – potentially raises the stakes in the market share battle between the United States and OPEC plus Russia (OPEC+).
Posted January 18, 2019
The new Short-Term Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) details the vigor of American crude oil production and strengthening U.S. energy security. This is good news for the economy, consumers and America's place in the world.
Consider that EIA estimates U.S. crude oil production averaged 10.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2018, an increase of 1.6 million b/d over 2017. EIA says production reached its highest level and had its largest volume growth on record.
EIA estimates crude oil and petroleum products net imports fell to an average of 2.4 million b/d in 2018, from 3.8 million b/d in 2017 – and 12.5 million b/d in 2005. And EIA forecasts that net imports will keep declining this year, to an average of 1.1 million b/d and to less than 0.1 million b/d in 2020. EIA forecasts that in the fourth quarter of 2020, the United States will be a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products by about 0.9 million b/d.
Posted October 23, 2018
Two stat lines capture the essence of modern natural gas and oil development:
First, the United States produced a record 11 million barrels of oil per day (mbd) in September, 2.2 mbd more than September 2017, according to API’s latest Monthly Statistical Report (MSR). It’s a remarkable output number, given where domestic production was less than two decades ago.
Second point: Just as remarkable is the fact the United States’ world leadership in natural gas and oil production is accompanied by world leadership in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Posted August 16, 2018
Lots of positive energy data points in API’s newest Monthly Statistical Report – and one that’s potentially concerning.
The good is that the U.S. tied its record for crude oil production in July at 10.7 million barrels per day (b/d) and set a new one for natural gas liquids, 4.4 million b/d. With total liquids production up by more than 2 million b/d compared to July 2017, the U.S. has accounted for almost all of the growth in world oil production so far in 2018 – more than compensating for production losses elsewhere around the world.
Now the potential point of concern. The U.S. petroleum trade balance retreated in July, perhaps the result – at least in part – of trade tensions prompted by new U.S. tariffs. Crude export were down 240,000 b/d last month, and refined products exports decreased 220,000 b/d.
Posted July 20, 2018
Big news in the latest API Monthly Statistical Report: U.S. crude oil production rose to an all-time record of 10.7 million barrels per day (mbd) in June – the largest monthly output, ever. According to the MSR, June domestic crude production increased more than 100,000 barrels per day over May, and the total was 1.6 million barrels per day more than June a year ago. But let’s go back to that top-line number – 10.7 million barrels per day – and comprehend what it means:
Economic growth and jobs – but also our country’s energy security, supporting the promise of present and future prosperity and opportunity. That’s the gift of the American energy renaissance that, well, keeps on giving.
All of the above support an argument that – to ensure an adequate global supply of crude oil upon which the U.S. and global economies rely – we should look to sustain and grow domestic natural gas and oil production.
Posted May 10, 2018
The facts that crude oil prices are up 9 percent since the end of March and that crude oil currently accounts for 57 percent of the consumer’s price for gasolinemean that consumers have felt the impact at the pump of relatively large and sudden changes. As domestic crude oil prices recently increased above $70 per barrel for the first time since November 2014, let’s revisit current oil market fundamentals and other factors that have elevated prices.
By understanding the drivers of prices, American consumers may be more aware of how U.S. policy outcomes – such as more domestic natural gas and oil production, a strong U.S. dollar, low price inflation, avoidance of tariffs, quotas and other protectionist measures that undermine free trade, and peaceful international relations – could help put downward pressure on crude prices that ultimately benefits consumers.
Posted April 19, 2018
American consumers take a keen interest in energy prices, for the health of their pocketbooks as well as their livelihoods and security. More than 10.3 million people directly or indirectly support the industry, and tens of millions more people own or work for businesses that depend on having abundant and affordable energy.
What happens in energy markets also is important to our business literacy and understanding of how the United States’ role in global commerce has evolved thanks to the energy renaissance. Not so long ago, many energy-intensive U.S. industries were hollowed out as jobs moved offshore. Thanks to American innovation, today the high availability and low prices of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and oil have stimulated demand and investment while also helping to improve efficiency and return energy-related CO2 emissions to near their 25-year lows.