Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 15, 2021
As we await the Biden administration’s report on the federal natural gas and oil leasing program, let’s note the welcome news that oil and gas permitting approvals this year are on track to reach their highest levels since George W. Bush was president.
Permitting at that pace is good for near-term U.S. production, no question. In January, when the administration suspended new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters, it said permitting would continue, and it has. The country benefits from safe, responsible and robust domestic natural gas and oil production.
Americans shouldn’t conflate permitting and leasing. Drilling permits are issued when companies are ready to develop from acreages, onshore and offshore, previously leased from the federal government. Put another way, leases typically are secured years before development occurs. We’re seeing permits go through at a significant rate because investment and planning have been completed and acreages are ready to go into production. Permitting is about production that’s imminent; leases represent energy in the future.
Posted July 8, 2021
The Biden administration says it is keeping a close eye on the OPEC+ talks on crude oil production because, as White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, it wants “Americans to have access to affordable and reliable energy at the pump.”
Unfortunately, the U.S. is mostly a spectator as OPEC+ debates crude oil supply, which continues to be outpaced by demand, putting upward pressure on crude costs. Because the cost of crude is the biggest factor in gasoline prices, U.S. pump prices have reflected this mismatch between demand and supply.
Posted July 1, 2021
In recent weeks API Chief Economist Dean Foreman has noted the return of petroleum demand, as economies strengthen in the U.S. and globally, to a level that’s outpacing supply (see here). In the Q&A that follows, Dr. Foreman discusses the impacts of the supply-demand mismatch on American consumers and markets, as well as the consequences of the Biden administration’s energy policy signals.
Posted June 29, 2021
During a speech to the Houston Economics Club last week, API President and CEO Mike Sommers talked about the United States reaching an “inflection point” in terms of its energy and economic future. Choices made today could have impact far into the future.
As the world’s leading producer of the world’s leading energy – natural gas and oil – the U.S. can choose the market-based approach that over the past decade led to abundant domestic energy, supporting economic growth, reducing reliance on foreign oil and building greater security.
The other choice is the apparent approach of the Biden administration to curtail domestic production of natural gas and oil, swapping their reliability and affordability for aspirational fuels that could take the U.S. back to a period of energy uncertainty.
Posted June 16, 2021
Here are three things to consider as President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have their first in-person meeting today in Geneva, Switzerland: Energy is at the heart of Russia's influence and power; new U.S. policies put American energy leadership at risk; and U.S. oil and natural gas should be strengthened, not weakened. ...
There is no question the U.S. relationship with Russia is complicated and will be difficult for years to come. The last thing the U.S. needs is to try to deal with Russia while it is at the same time actively weakening its own energy position. It is an unforced error, an opening that cannot be handed over to formidable adversaries such as Mr. Putin.
Posted June 10, 2021
Throughout the 2021 economic recovery, API’s data have demonstrated the intertwined relationship between the nation’s recovering economy and affordable, reliable energy. Leading economic indicators have continued to rise, and along with them so has oil demand – even as domestic oil drilling and supply have fallen.
According to the current Bloomberg consensus of economic forecasters, U.S. real GDP growth could average 6.6% in 2021 compared with 2020 -- its strongest expansion since 1984, when the real price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was just over $70 per barrel. Coincidentally, recent oil prices have been at similar levels, and the key question now is whether we have the energy supply to support such a torrid pace of growth.
In that context, actions by the Biden administration that negatively impact or could impact domestic oil and natural gas production appear detached from the nation’s critical need for secure, accessible energy.
Posted May 27, 2021
Posted May 12, 2021
During a period of transition and change in our country, the natural gas and oil industry remains a foundation for progress, supplying the energy to run a modern economy – and doing so in ways that protect the environment and reduce emissions.
API President and CEO Mike Sommers emphasized those and related points in a speech to some of the nation’s leading energy producers at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Sommers described the natural gas and oil industry as one that is focused on producing for the American people as well as one that’s developing technologies and innovating to address the risks of climate change. Sommers said the most important environmental movement in the world is the U.S. natural gas and oil industry.
John D. Siciliano
Posted April 5, 2021
API took an important step to extending its safety and environmental protection programs to the continent of Africa, signing a new collaborative agreement with the business group African Energy Chamber (AEC), to expand use of API world-class standards, certifications and training programs.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the AEC – API’s first agreement with an African partner – is the latest in a series of similar agreements in the past year between API and organizations in nearly every region of the world. Such agreements arise from the global recognition API standards have earned for enhancing safety, efficiency and environmental protection across the natural gas and oil industry.
Posted March 17, 2021
One of the great benefits of increased U.S. oil production over the past decade and a half is strengthened U.S. energy security – decreased reliance on foreign oil suppliers and insulation for American consumers against sudden price increases due to geopolitical events, such as the recent attacks on Persian Gulf oil facilities.
Years ago, an episode like that could’ve caused serious alarm in the United States and globally. Yet, the apparent lack of significant or enduring oil price movement following last weekend’s attack shows the tremendous influence U.S. oil production has had on global markets. The same was true after missile attacks on Saudi facilities in 2019 (see here), which substantially reduced Saudi Arabia’s oil exports for a short period. Both events and their aftermath indicate that U.S. domestic production has largely mitigated the price volatility historically associated with serious geopolitical events.
Still, some cautions are in order. First, U.S. energy security can’t be assumed. It takes long-range planning and investments, safe access to domestic resources, the ability to expand pipeline and export facility infrastructure, and a policy-level approach that anticipates unforeseen events that could affect global energy supply and have dire impacts on U.S. security, economic growth, and consumers.