Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted December 27, 2013
The long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline and whether President Obama will agree with a strong majority of Americans who believe that the full project is in the U.S. national interest landed on a couple of year-ending lists of top energy issues, here andhere, no doubt reflecting the politics surrounding the pipeline’s five-year federal review.
Much of politicizing has been fueled by opponents who say stopping Keystone XL will stop oil sands development. The U.S. State Department disagreed in its most recent review, citing key economic factors that argue oil sands will get to market with or without the Keystone XL. The dynamic already is at work.
Last week, Canada’s National Energy Board recommended approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline to bring as much as 525,000 barrels a day of oil sands from Alberta to British Columbia. At the same time others are making plans to build loading terminals to service oil sands-bearing railroad cars. Demand for supply is driving the infrastructure needed to deliver that supply.
The question for the U.S. concerns the impact of Washington’s never-ending deliberation over the Keystone XL, even as other infrastructure for delivering oil sands moves toward reality.
Posted December 26, 2013
U.S. crude oil production on track to surpass imports for first time since 1995
EIA Today in Energy: Monthly crude oil production in the United States is expected to exceed the amount of U.S. crude oil imports later this year for the first time since February 1995. The gap between monthly U.S. crude oil production and imports is projected to be almost 2 million barrels per day (bbl/d) by the end of next year—according to EIA's March 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook.
According to EIA's projections:
- Monthly crude oil production could surpass net crude oil imports later this year.
- Monthly crude oil production is forecast to top 8 million bbl/d in the fourth quarter of 2014, which would be the highest level since 1988.
- Net crude oil imports are expected to fall below 7 million bbl/d in the fourth quarter of 2014 for the first time since 1995.
Posted December 16, 2013
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) offered a preview of its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook that will come out next spring, and the second slide in Administrator Adam Sieminski’s presentation is an attention grabber, charting how expanding domestic oil production will reach historic levels in 2016 – 9.6 million barrels per day, a mark set in 1970.
Posted December 3, 2013
International Energy Agency (IEA) Chief Economist Fatih Birol was at CSIS this week, highlighting the organization’s findings in its 2013 World Energy Outlook. The report focuses on global energy demand growth, the future energy mix and the sources of energy. Key takeaways from Birol’s presentation:
- The United States could become the world’s leading oil producer as early as 2015, two years earlier than IEA projected a year ago, Birol said.
- About two-thirds of the growth in global energy demand between now and 2035 will come from Asia.
- U.S. energy production, especially surging natural gas output from shale via hydraulic fracturing, is creating energy cost differentials that make American products more competitive in the global market.
Posted November 22, 2013
Today we offer three charts – all associated with the latest congressional bid to raise revenue for the federal government by hiking taxes on oil and natural gas companies.
U.S. Sen. Max Baucus has proposed delaying industry’s ability to write off intangible drilling costs (IDCs) and doing away with the “last-in, last-out” accounting method (LIFO) used by a number of energy companies. More on LIFO below. Here are three charts from Wood Mackenzie’s recent study on the impacts of delaying IDC deductions.
Posted November 15, 2013
Huffington Post (Andrew Browning): In the past few years, the use of the technology of hydraulic fracturing to produce oil and natural gas has dominated national energy policy discussions. Much of the discourse has been fraught with fear, misunderstanding and, in some cases, misinformation. However, in some cases, dispute is slowly being replaced by reasoned debate, acceptance and increasingly responsible regulation and use of this technology.
The reason for the change of tone is rather simple, the increased use of this technology has allowed our nation to produce tremendous amounts of natural gas that is cleaning our environment and reinvigorating our communities and our national economy. At the same time, as more individuals gain experience with the process they are seeing that the worst case scenario's outlined by the most polarizing voices in this discussion have largely failed to materialize.
Of course as with any political discussion, some groups will continue to advance discussion points that fit their view or brings more donations to their particular cause. However as more credible voices and scientific data are unveiled, it's becoming easier to understand that the benefits of this technology far are significant and that the choice that is currently being offered to the public - economic development vs. maintaining a healthy environment - is a false one.
Posted November 13, 2013
Bloomberg: U.S. crude oil production exceeded imports in October for the first month since February 1995, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
Output averaged 7.74 million barrels a day, the Energy Department’s statistical unit said in its monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook. Crude oil net imports were 7.57 million, down from 7.92 million the previous month.
Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have unlocked supplies in shale formations in North Dakota, Texas and other states. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, has dropped to below $95 from above $110 in September as domestic output reached a 24-year high.
Posted October 29, 2013
Here’s what Americans are thinking about tax reform discussions that potentially could include hiking taxes on U.S. oil and natural gas companies, according to a new Harris Interactive poll
Posted October 28, 2013
This summer we posted on Anadarko’s Lucius spar, the 605-foot-long steel tube that would support the company’s newest Gulf of Mexico production platform. Now Anadarko has released three videos of operations to tow the 23,000-ton spar 340 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, where it was erected in more than 7,000 feet of water and will be fitted with its topsides – the platform the company expects will begin producing oil the second half of next year. This is must-see video.
Posted August 29, 2013
With the proviso that we’re still evaluating proposed new federal standards for offshore oil and natural gas production systems announced last week, the incorporation of a number of industry standards in the proposal is encouraging.
The 149-page proposal from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) would update standards that haven’t been changed much since they were first published in 1988.