Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted December 19, 2019
In this year-end edition of API’s Industry Outlook and Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) for December 2019, we make a toast to the natural gas and oil industry’s year of achievement and look forward to what appears to matter the most to U.S. energy consumers, producers and markets.
Record U.S. natural gas and oil production, demand and exports – coupled with low prices – and regional economic growth have been supported by new resource and infrastructure developments. Real domestic West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil prices in 2019 have remained at about half of what they were 2011-2014, but with more than double the amount of home-grown oil production in 2019 compared with 2011. This has been an unabashed win for consumers, and it also has rejuvenated investments in resource development, processing, transportation, manufacturing and petrochemicals, as we discussed here.
Posted December 19, 2019
Last week, House Democrats and the Trump administration announced a bipartisan deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), concluding the year-long debate and setting the stage for congressional approval. Today, it heads to the House floor, bringing the agreement one step closer to reality.
From an energy perspective, the case for finalizing USMCA is strong, and as we’ve said, its approval is essential to economic progress and energy security. Because North America’s energy markets are interdependent and multi-directional, integration will result in more affordable energy for consumers in all three countries.
Posted December 12, 2019
In case you missed it, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently confirmed (see here and here) what API indicated in its Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) for September: For the first time since the 1950s, the United States is now a net exporter of energy in total.
Achieving this milestone is important for America. It embodies a slew of economic benefits, including lower energy prices – also those due to supply growth – rejuvenated investment in resource development, processing and transportation. It also has helped U.S. refining, petrochemicals and manufacturing, which have weathered the storm of U.S. trade restrictions and a strong U.S. dollar that made exporting U.S. goods more challenging.
Posted November 1, 2019
The U.S. as a global leader in natural gas exports is underlined by a new government report showing that through the first six months of this year, U.S. net natural gas exports averaged 4.1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) – more than doubling 2018’s average net exports. This follows analysis that the U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas on an annual basis for the first time in 60 years in 2017.
These figures are significant for a number of reasons:
First, they attest to the strength of domestic natural gas production, which continues to set records – largely thanks to shale production enabled by safe hydraulic fracturing. … Second, expanding markets for U.S. natural gas helps support more domestic production – which means jobs, investments and other economic growth.Third, growing exports of clean natural gas means other nations may realize the environmental benefits from increased use of natural gas.
Posted October 17, 2019
A major milestone for U.S. energy trade appears imminent. For the first time in more than 60 years, the U.S. may be a net exporter of total energy – based on API’s estimates in our latest Monthly Statistical Report (MSR).
The MSR shows that the U.S. petroleum trade balance decreased to net imports of just 818,000 barrels per day in September – and that at a time when domestic demand was at its highest level ever. With the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimating that U.S. net exports of natural gas last month were 5.5 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) – more than 900,000 barrels per day in oil-equivalent energy – that would exceed U.S net imports of crude oil and refined products.
Posted October 4, 2019
The latest figures on U.S. crude oil exports show growing U.S. energy leadership, while the continued decline in net oil imports signals strengthened American energy security – with both stemming from the revolution in U.S. production. Charts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) help illustrate.
First, EIA reports that U.S. crude oil exports rose to average 2.9 million barrels per day (b/d) in the first half of this year – an increase of 966,000 b/d over the same period in 2018. U.S. crude oil exports set a record in June of 3.2 million b/d, and EIA's graph vividly reflects the sea change in the United States’ oil exporting posture.
Posted September 27, 2019
A pair of new, positive developments on the emissions/climate front. First, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will decline 2.5% this year. Second, a new Energy Department report on the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports confirms the environmental benefits of natural gas vs. coal – significant given expanding markets in Asia and Europe for U.S. LNG.
Both are very important. EIA’s CO2 projection, along with the projected 4.9% increase in natural gas consumed for power generation relative to 2018, underscores the point that increased use of natural gas in fueling power generation lowers CO2 emissions, and that the recent trend of the U.S. recording the lowest CO2 levels in a generation will continue.
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 August 28, 2019
U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – growing to a record 4.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) in the third quarter of 2019 – have been a catalyst for new natural gas resource development, U.S. pipeline and natural gas processing investments and the U.S. economy. ...
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects U.S. LNG exports to more than double again by 2025, which holds the potential for even greater domestic economic benefits, plus a central, emerging role for U.S. energy leadership in global markets.Realizing these benefits is critically dependent on the United States’ ability to build and deliver an unprecedented number of multi-billion-dollar U.S. mega-projects over the next several years. When ”demographics are destiny” and the average age of a welder in the U.S. already is over 57 years, we should remain optimistic about the potential to build these projects but also pragmatic about the policies and business environment needed to achieve the goals.
Posted August 26, 2019
News item: China announces retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, including a first-ever tariffs on U.S. crude oil imports. In response, President Trump says previously announced tariffs on Chinese goods will go up. The U.S.-China trade war churns on and with it, there’s significant collateral damage.
We discussed the impacts before – the way trade restrictions threaten U.S. competitiveness and global energy leadership, the drag on the U.S. economy and how the administration’s tariffs hurt U.S. consumers, not China. The latest trade tit-for-tat is similarly damaging.