Energy Tomorrow Blog
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 March 26, 2020
Supply networks for refined products – including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel – appear to be responding properly and flexibly to sudden and sharp declines for transportation fuel stemming from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and global efforts to slow its spread.
Market conditions can shift, yet API’s view at this point is that most refined products markets have continued to function well in keeping about a month’s worth of storage.
We gauge this in part by comparing recent inventory levels for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel with their ranges over the past five years. Although some products appear to have more available storage capacity than others, if needed, it also is apparent that the pace at which refiners produce fuels can provide additional adjustments which will affect demand for storage.
Posted March 12, 2020
Global oil markets have shifted dramatically in recent days and weeks, and the stakes are high for the United States energy revolution, retirement savings and the broader economy.
Let’s start with crude oil prices. Per Bloomberg, the per-barrel price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) on March 9 was about half of what it was on Dec. 31, falling to $31.13 from $61.06.
Posted March 11, 2020
Several states are taking the lead to promote electric vehicles (EVs), and they’re not the states that produce them. From California and Oregon to New Jersey and Maryland, their promotions are mainly efforts intended to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
But even with large state incentives, are consumers onboard?
Posted January 27, 2020
In his Jan. 10 column, the Houston Chronicle’s Chris Tomlinson took some shots at API’s new Energy for Progress campaign, which I addressed in a letter to the Chronicle’s editor. There’s only so much you can say in the 250 words you’re allotted for an LTE, so I thought I’d tackle Tomlison’s criticisms in greater detail here – actually, the kind of back-and-forth we’re trying to spark in our campaign.
For starters, Chris – like some politicians – fell prey to a tired and inaccurate caricature of the industry and dedicated his column to questioning our industry’s intentions instead of dedicating ink to the actual objectives before modern society – addressing the growing challenge of climate change while also making sure Americans have the energy they need.
Posted September 25, 2019
Energy is essential to a modern standard of living, and as the leading energy sources, natural gas and oil are foundational to almost everything we do – lighting our homes, heating our hospitals and powering our workplaces.
The U.S. is the world’s leading natural gas and oil producer, which is critically important given new projections that global energy consumption will increase nearly 50% by 2050. Though reliable access to energy often is taken for granted in this country, people in other parts of the world struggle to obtain the energy needed for sustainable development and to empower basic human progress.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), nearly one in eight people around the world lives without electricity, and 2.7 billion people currently are without access to clean cooking facilities. Without power for heating, lighting and advanced technologies, human potential is severely limited. And in the absence of cleaner fuels, people must use coal, kerosene, biomass and other energy sources to prepare food, which contributes to harmful and unnecessary indoor air pollution.
Posted June 19, 2019
Another big indication of the global impact of the U.S. energy revolution comes in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) oil market report and its outlook for 2020, which says the United States will be responsible for virtually all of this year’s increase in oil supply. …
The fact that the U.S. is projected to fill this role is significant in terms of global market stability and the world’s security – that is, the United States as this growth supplier, versus less stable and/or less friendly regimes.
Posted March 26, 2019
Natural gas is playing a lead role in meeting rapidly increasing global energy demand, and its growing use in electricity generation has resulted in significant savings in carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. These points were echoed by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its Global Energy and CO2 Status Report released this week.
Posted January 15, 2019
The U.S. natural gas and oil pipeline network spans 2.7 million miles. And while that may sound like a lot, a recent Wall Street Journal article reminds us that U.S. energy infrastructure is still failing to keep up with production and demand. Americans in some parts of the country remain under-served while companies in high-production areas are forced to offload excess natural gas resources – all because of a lack of adequate infrastructure, and regulatory barriers to new development.