Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted August 12, 2014
Wall Street Journal (subscription required): When House Republicans took up a measure to speed the government's reviews of applications to export natural gas, a move long sought by energy companies, the unexpected happened: The bill won "yes" votes from 47 Democrats.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.), anticipated some Democratic backing, but not that much. Rep. Steve Israel of New York, who leads the Democrats' House campaign arm, was a yes, as was House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. Both voted in 2012 to restrict oil and gas exports.
The energy boom is shaping a new kind of Democrat in national politics, lawmakers who are giving greater support to the oil and gas industry even at the risk of alienating environmental groups, a core of the party's base. The trend comes as oil-and-gas production moves beyond America's traditionally energy-rich states, a development that also is increasing U.S. geopolitical influence abroad.
Posted August 5, 2014
A couple of snapshots of America’s shale energy boom, with a h/t to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
First, Marcellus Shale natural gas production topped 15 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) through July, a first. EIA reports that the Marcellus accounts for 40 percent of U.S. shale gas production. Output has grown to its current level from 2 bcf/d in 2010.
Posted July 3, 2014
Happy Fourth of July, America!
Celebrating Independence Day takes many forms – cookouts, fireworks, community parades, family gatherings and more. It’s also celebrating the uniqueness of America, founded on the notion that all are deserving of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …”
This being an energy blog, let’s connect energy and the elements enshrined in the Declaration. Many things combine to produce and protect our liberty, our freedom. Secure energy is one of them, and America’s energy revolution, built on surging production of domestic oil and natural gas, is making energy security a reality.
Posted July 1, 2014
The Christian Science Monitor: Although North Dakota, Texas, and the Gulf of Mexico are known for producing much of the US's oil, other states are becoming bigger producers. Alaska and California are two states that are gaining footing in the oil industry.
The US has succeeded in lifting its oil production to over 8 million barrels per day, the highest levels in decades. But where exactly is all that oil coming from?
The answer for the last several years has been the Bakken field in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas. Those two regions are principally responsible for the surge in oil production.
But in April 2014, North Dakota surpassed the 1 million barrel per day mark – a milestone for a state that was producing fewer than 200,000 barrels per day just five years ago.
Posted June 30, 2014
Washington Post Editorial: Quietly but wisely, the Commerce Department has decided to allow the first exports of U.S. crude oil since Congress imposed a ban on such sales (except to Canada) in the 1970s. To be sure, the agency’s ruling amounts to redefining crude in a way that applies only to a form of ultralight oil that U.S. refineries are ill-equipped to process. The executive branch couldn’t do much more than that to expand crude exports without congressional permission. Still, Commerce’s move is a step in the right direction because resuming oil sales abroad could help the U.S. economy reap the full fruits of the shale revolution that has propelled this country back into the top ranks of global oil and gas production.
The origins of the ban lie in the long-gone political and economic issues of the Nixon era. Specifically, the United States banned oil exports in response to the declining domestic production and Middle East supply shocks of that time, which, together with the then-existing system of U.S. price controls, made it seem rational to keep U.S.-produced oil at home rather than let it flow to the highest bidder on the world market. The world has changed dramatically since then; with U.S. production booming, this country is in a position to move the world market. Yet some still defend the export ban on the grounds that it holds down the price of crude to U.S. refineries and, by extension, the price of gasoline at U.S. pumps.
A new report by IHS Global explains why that thinking is outmoded.
Posted June 24, 2014
Thanks to the Utica Shale, Ohio is emerging as a key energy state. This post features a photo essay on the Energy From Shale website, showing some of the scenes from the heart of the Utica – where jobs are being created and whole communities are being reinvigorated.
In Ohio as in other shale energy states, advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling is unlocking vast reserves of oil and natural gas. It’s a revolution that’s the main reason the U.S. is now the world’s leading natural gas producer and could become the world’s leading oil producer by next year.
Posted June 19, 2014
Check out a new photo essay from Weld County, Colo., that just went up on the Energy From Shale website, showing some of the scenes and workers involved in oil and natural gas development in that state. Click on the link and scroll down until you find the photo gallery.
The collection illustrates some of the significant energy development going on in Colorado, a state with a long history of oil and natural gas production. The first well in the Denver-Julesburg basin was drilled in 1881.
Weld County is where a good deal of today’s production is going on – and along with it job creation, economic growth and opportunity for people who live there and beyond.
Posted June 17, 2014
Bloomberg: North America’s dominance of global exports of refined fuels will expand to unprecedented levels by 2019 as the shale revolution makes U.S. refineries more competitive, the International Energy Agency said.
The continent will become a “titan of unprecedented proportions” and its oil refineries will export about 3.5 million barrels a day by the end of the decade, the Paris-based adviser to 29 oil-consuming nations said in a report today. North America’s imports of crude will be 2.6 million.
“Less than ten years ago, the United States was the world’s largest importer of refined products,” the IEA said in its Medium-Term Oil Market Report, which forecasts energy-market trends. “Today it has become the world’s largest liquids producer, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia, as well as its largest product exporter.”
Posted June 11, 2014
Fuel Fix.com: U.S. natural gas output will reach 73 billion cubic feet a day for the first time this year as new pipelines tap into shale supplies stranded in the Marcellus formation in the Northeast, a government report showed.
Marketed gas output in the lower 48 states will increase 4 percent from 2013, setting a record for the fourth straight year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook, released Tuesday in Washington. The production estimate was raised from 72.26 billion in last month’s report as “several new projects to support Marcellus production have either recently come on line or will begin operations later this year,” the government said.
Posted June 6, 2014
America has a clear choice on energy. An historic American energy revolution is in progress -- thanks to vast shale reserves safely developed with advanced drilling technologies, industry innovation and leadership. This revolution is creating jobs, strengthening our economy and making our country more secure and muscular in the world. With the right energy choices the revolution can continue and grow.
Yet, somehow, Washington is conflicted. While the Obama administration embraces the shale revolution as integral to its all-of-the-above energy strategy, it advances policies fraught with the potential to needlessly hinder it. Instead of taking actions to enhance America’s energy renaissance, the administration is engaged in a regulatory march that quite likely could diminish it. Sustaining this energy revolution should be a no-brainer – not the brain-bender the administration is fostering with muddled vision and contradictory statements.
During a conference call with reporters this week, API President and CEO Jack Gerard discussed inconsistencies between what top administration officials say about U.S. energy development and what the agencies under them are doing to U.S. energy development.