Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 7, 2018
Cybersecurity continues to be a major focus of the natural gas and oil industry, which recognizes that the need to protect the country’s energy infrastructure is vital for our economy and security. According to federal officials, cyberattacks are increasing across many industries, which has the attention of corporate executives in our industry and reinforces their ongoing efforts to keep our nation’s pipelines and other natural gas and oil facilities safe.Even so, because natural gas is the leading fuel for generating electricity, there have been calls for congressional hearings to discuss threats to the U.S. natural gas pipeline network. It’s a conversation our industry welcomes.
Posted September 4, 2018
About this time a year ago, Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast were reeling from Hurricane Harvey, a monster storm that came ashore twice in less than a week, causing death and an estimated $125 billion in damage while inundating some parts of Texas with more than 60 inches of rain – a record for a U.S. weather event.
The natural gas and oil industry prepared for the storm to help minimize risk to critical energy infrastructure, including refineries and pipelines, and then was able to respond to the hurricane’s impacts, which helped limit supply disruptions and aided the recovery.
Our industry’s experiences last year help guide readiness this year. With Tropical Storm Gordon landing on the Gulf Coast and hurricane/storm activity in general picking up, safety tops the list of readiness goals.
Posted August 30, 2018
A map shows just how much damage could be done to the United States’ fifth-leading natural gas and seventh-largest oil producing state by Colorado’s Initiative 97 – the anti-energy, anti-progress measure that state officials said will be on the November election ballot. Coloradoans and all Americans should be very concerned.
Zeroing in on the state’s top five producing counties (outlined in blue) – Weld in the north on the border with Wyoming, Rio Blanco and Garfield on the western border with Utah, and La Plata and Las Animas on the southern border with New Mexico – the map shows that opportunity for new natural gas and oil development on non-federal land would be all but prohibited.This is an alarming prospect for all Americans, because we’re talking about putting the brakes on one of the country’s leading and fastest-growing energy producers.
Posted August 29, 2018
Responsibly managing water resources is fundamental to modern natural gas and oil development. The U.S. energy renaissance is being driven by high-tech hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, and those processes use water to produce the natural gas and oil that run our economy and the daily lives of individual Americans.
Though the amount of water used for energy is a fraction of overall water use by society – a Texas report pegged it at less than 1 percent of the state's total water use, industry knows that water is critically important to the welfare of the communities that host natural gas and oil development. Which is why individual companies are focused on cutting-edge technologies, systems and facilities to reuse water in their operations.
Bottom line: Using less freshwater to develop energy is important to communities and the environment – and it’s smart business as well. Examples of these technologies abound.
Posted August 28, 2018
API’s Kyle Isakower is featured in a CNBC report that estimates new steel tariffs are adding $40 million to Permian Basin pipeline costs. At issue is Plains All-American’s $1.1 billion pipeline project that would bring crude oil from the Permian to the Gulf Coast. As detailed in this post, Plains requested an exclusion from the tariff for its project, but it was denied by the Commerce Department. …
Far from being part of an “energy dominance” strategy, the administration’s tariffs on steel – including an onerous, opaque exclusions process – and other recent trade-related policies could hinder domestic natural gas and oil development, as well as infrastructure such as pipelines that is needed to fully benefit U.S. consumers.
Posted August 21, 2018
With EPA unveiling its proposed new rule to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, there’s already lots of discussion of whether the proposal is an improvement over the rule it would replace – whether a regime may focus on the utility sector as a system or needs to focus on individual sources.
Be that as it may, we’ll go back to the main point we made amid discussion of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), which EPA’s new proposal would replace:
Thanks to clean natural gas and its selection by the market as the leading fuel for electricity generation, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector have plunged – without the CPP’s implementation. According to EPA's fact sheet, CO2 emissions from the power sector decreased 28 percent from 2005 through 2017.
Posted August 21, 2018
EPA’s recent decision not to revisit 2015 ozone standards suggests a couple of points as the agency looks ahead to its scheduled 2020 review of the ozone air quality standards.
First, it’s imperative that EPA build its 2020 review around quality science – for one, to properly consider background levels of ozone and how they affect where the federal government sets the standards. For some parts of the country the 2015 standards were near levels of background ozone – setting up compliance problems for places such as Yellowstone National Park.
Second, on the road to the 2020 review, there should be discussion of implementation relief – from EPA or directly by Congress legislatively.
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 August 13, 2018
API is proud to partner with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for “Safe +Sound Week” (through Sunday), a nationwide event to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of safety and health programs. This includes management leadership, worker participation and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards in workplaces.To mark “Safe + Sound Week,” API is making 22 of its most important safety standards available for free, accessible here.
Posted August 8, 2018
A couple of observations on China’s announcement late last week that it may impose a 25 percent tariff on U.S. shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to that country – which would be in retaliation for announced U.S. tariffs on certain Chinese goods coming into this country.
First, China was the third-largest importer of U.S. LNG in 2017, accounting for nearly 15 percent of our LNG exports, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). As those numbers indicate, this exchange of tariffs could leave a mark as far as U.S. energy exports are concerned. ...
If U.S. energy exports are restricted – at the same time trade policies have been adopted that increase the cost of the steel our industry uses – there’s a risk of significantly affecting a sector that has been a driving force for economic growth. It’s a big price to pay.