Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted April 3, 2015
A couple of data points and some observations on energy security.
First data point: The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that last year the United States enjoyed the largest volume increase in crude oil production since record keeping began in 1900. That’s right, the largest increase in 115 years!
Production of crude (including lease condensate) increased during 2014 by 1.2 million barrels per day to 8.7 million barrels/day. EIA says that on a percentage basis 2014’s output increased 16.2 percent, the highest growth rate since 1940.
You can thank shale and fracking.
Posted December 5, 2014
Speaking to business executives earlier this week, President Obama lamented how long it takes to make infrastructure improvements in the U.S.:
“The challenge for infrastructure has been that … it’s hard to pay for things if you don’t have some sort of revenue stream. And I’ve been exploring … to see how we can do more in attracting private investment into infrastructure construction – which is done fairly effectively in a lot of other countries …”
Later, he praised the Chinese for how quickly they tackle infrastructure needs:
“… the one thing I will say is that if they need to build some stuff, they can build it. And over time, that wears away our advantage competitively. It’s embarrassing – you drive down the roads, and you look at what they’re able to do.”
For more than six years one of the largest infrastructure projects to come along in some time has been staring back at President Obama, waiting for him to say “go”: the Keystone XL pipeline.
By now many Americans – who favor Keystone XL’s construction by more than a 3-to-1 margin – probably can tick off the points arguing for the project’s approval.
Posted December 2, 2014
U.S. News (Lamont Colucci): OPEC met on Nov. 27, and openly recognized that the United States' oil technological revolution – driven by enhanced oil recovery methods including hydraulic fracturing (known as fracking) and horizontal drilling – has undermined the cartel's economic and political power. This constitutes one of the major geopolitical and economic shifts of the 21st century in America’s favor. This meeting has been characterized as OPEC abandoning its role as a “swing producer” or simply the arbiter of oil supply and demand. Some are now suggesting that the new swing producer will be the United States.
Enhanced oil recovery technology was consistently denigrated as unworkable and unprofitable, and there will be many more articles restating this as the old wine in a new bottle. These technologies have made the U.S. the world's number one oil producer, surpassing Saudi Arabia and Russia. OPEC’s strategy of allowing the market to decide oil prices is designed to hurt American enhanced oil recovery activities, with the assumption that American producers need a higher profit margin per barrel than it does. This may be a horrible miscalculation on OPEC's part due to continual advances in technology and innovation.
According to a 2013 report, hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling have the potential to increase the global reserve of oil from 1.6 billion barrels to 10.2 billion barrels. Domestically, we are already witnessing the 21st century oil boom generate prosperity for states like Colorado, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming. Current estimates indicate that by 2020 the United States will be the dominant worldwide producer of both natural gas and oil and achieve energy independence.
However, this energy issue has been dominated by the wrong people: economists, businessmen, engineers and environmentalists. They all have their required expertise, but all of this is really an issue of foreign policy and national security. There are four ways that this new situation can be welcomed by conservatives, liberals, realists and environmentalists.
Posted June 20, 2014
Let’s make a couple of points with the juxtaposition of the newest U.S. report on energy production on federal lands and a pair of new analyses people are talking about this week.
First, there’s this piece by the Manhattan Institute’s Jared Meyer on the Real Clear Energy website, asserting that surging U.S. crude oil production is playing a big role in keeping global crude prices stable despite turmoil around the world:
The most important contribution to oil's price stability has been the substantial increase in U.S. production. U.S. crude oil production has risen 50 percent since 2008, to 7,443 thousand barrels a day. This increase has been driven by advances in drilling technology. Hydraulic fracturing has opened up previously-known reserves that were either inaccessible or too cost-prohibitive for drilling.
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 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 January 28, 2013
In the video interview below from this month’s State of American Energy event, the Center for Industrial Progress’ Alex Epstein talks about America’s historic energy opportunity and the way producing more energy, including oil and natural gas, is key to a better environment:
Posted December 28, 2012
Posted December 13, 2012
Posted November 29, 2012