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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Crude Imports Falling, Thanks to Domestic Output

imports  crude oil  ethanol  Energy Security  renewable fuel standard  american energy  Economy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 18, 2015

Falling crude oil imports is a good-news story for the United States – indicative of greater U.S. energy self-sufficiency, resulting in less dependency on others and increased American energy security in the world. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), net imports of crude fell by more than 2.7 million barrels per day (bbl/d) from 2008 to 2014:

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Shale Energy, Imports and Global Markets

oil imports  refineries  eia  energy exports  hydraulic fracturing  fracking  infrastructure  pipeline construction 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted February 10, 2015

EIA Today in Energy: The increase in U.S. shale and tight crude oil production has resulted in a decrease of crude oil imports to the U.S. Gulf Coast area, particularly for light-sweet and light-sour crude oils. These trends are visualized in EIA's crude import tracking tool, which allows for time-series analysis of crude oil imported to the United States.

Historically, Gulf Coast refineries have imported as much as 1.3 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of light-sweet crude oil, more than any other region of the country. Beginning in 2010, improvements to the crude distribution system and sustained increases in production in the region (in the Permian and Eagle Ford basins) have significantly reduced light crude imports. Since September 2012, imports of light-sweet crude oil to the Gulf Coast have regularly been less than 200,000 bbl/d. Similarly, Gulf Coast imports of light crude with higher sulfur content (described as light-sour) have declined and have been less than 200,000 bbl/d since July 2013.

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Politics vs. Jobs – EPA and Keystone XL Edition

keystone xl pipeline  environmental protection agency  epa  state department  transcanada  canadian oil sands  oil imports  trade 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 6, 2015

EPA’s 13th-hour ambush of the Keystone XL pipeline and the project’s environmental reviews by the U.S. State Department looks like more of the political gamesmanship the Obama administration has used to keep the pipeline on hold for more than six years. But perhaps EPA overplayed its hand.

As we pointed out, EPA’s letter urging officials to “revisit” the State Department’s Keystone XL conclusions is awkwardly and perhaps suspiciously late. State has done five separate environmental reviews, with the last one completed more than a year ago. This week, while other involved federal agencies weighed in on the pipeline’s merits from a national-interest standpoint, EPA lobbied to revisit established science

Second, the agency’s assertion that the current global price of oil affects the State Department’s environmental conclusion – that Keystone XL would have no significant impact – is oddly at odds with the agency’s position that the current global price of oil has no effect on EPA’s own policymaking decisions.   

Third, EPA did some manipulating of what State said about Keystone XL’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions – its letter citing only the largest numbers in State’s range of possible effects. A reasonable conclusion is that there’s a whiff of politics, for strategic effect, in EPA’s doings.

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Keystone XL and Trade

keystone xl pipeline  economic growth  canadian oil sands  trade  exports  imports  infrastructure  president obama  state department 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 22, 2015

During his State of the Union speech President Obama talked about expanding trade and building up the middle class. Both good objectives. And, while a president’s annual message to Congress usually is full of goals that are mostly aspirational, both of these are attainable – through energy.

First, the president could work to end the ban on the export of domestic crude oil, a relic of the 1970s and an era of U.S. energy scarcity. A supply of light sweet crude, mismatched for a refinery sector largely configured to handle heavier crudes, would be able to reach overseas markets. This would help support domestic production and jobs – many of them well-paying middle-class jobs – while benefitting our trade balance.

Likewise, the administration could stop slow-walking approvals for planned U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities to export LNG to non-free trade agreement nations – again, spurring domestic production and jobs and improving America’s trade bottom line.

Both would increase the U.S. presence in global energy markets – expanding world supply, helping allies and strengthening American foreign policy – all consistent with our country’s status as an energy superpower.

Second and more specifically, the president could approve the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s needed energy infrastructure that would bring more than 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada and the U.S. Midwest, support tens of thousands of U.S. jobs – good middle-class jobs – and help strengthen the U.S. energy/trading relationship with Canada, our No. 1 source of imported oil.

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New Year Brings Energy Policies into Focus

energy policy  Energy 101  trade  Economy  imports  lng exports  keystone xl pipeline  soae 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted January 7, 2015

Wall Street Journal: The U.S. trade gap narrowed in November to its lowest level in nearly a year, reflecting gyrations in the oil market that mask strong underlying domestic demand for foreign goods. The trade deficit fell 7.7% to a seasonally adjusted $39 billion in November from the prior month’s deficit of $42.25 billion, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The reading marks the smallest deficit since December 2013. October’s deficit was revised from an initially reported $43.43 billion. The narrower trade gap could support fourth-quarter economic growth. Barclays lifted it forecast fourth-quarter gross domestic product forecast to a 3.5% gain from a 2.7% advance following the trade report. Credit Suisse moved its estimate to a 3.2% advance from 2.9%.

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Energy is Making America Stronger

gasoline prices  hydraulic fracturing  fracking  horizontal drilling  imports  oil and natural gas production  new york 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 29, 2014

The Week: One of the biggest stories of 2014 has been the astonishing drop in global oil prices. The price of the benchmark Brent crude went from over $100 per barrel at the beginning of the year to the $60 range as of this writing.

It's worth noting how massive and completely unexpected this price drop has been.

And it's worth noting how good it is for the U.S. economy. The price of oil is one of the biggest drags on consumer demand, the largest driver of the economy.

And to what do we owe this miraculous event?

In a word: fracking.

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The Gift

american energy  oil and natural gas production  gasoline prices  domestic production  imports  fossil fuels  economic benefits  hydraulic fracturing  horizontal drilling  shale energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 24, 2014

The gift that is American energy is seen in some key numbers: domestic crude oil production reaching more than 9 million barrels per day last month, the highest level in more than two decades, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA); total U.S. net imports of energy as a share of energy consumption falling to their lowest level in nearly 30 years during the first six months of this year; gasoline prices dropping to an average of $2.47 per gallon last week, their lowest point since May 2009, according to the Lundberg Survey Inc.

The first two numbers might not fully register with a lot of Americans. We’ll come back to them. The last one, gasoline prices, does so loudly.

Retail gasoline prices fell after crude oil prices dropped for the fourth straight week – a product of weaker-than-expected global demand and increasing production, which EIA says will save American households $550 next year, Bloomberg News reports. Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey to Bloomberg:

“It is a dramatic boon to fuel consumers. (Gasoline) is a modest portion of our giant gross domestic product and yet it does have a pervasive and festive benefit to motorists.”

During this season of gift-giving and receiving, Americans should give thanks for the gifts of plentiful domestic oil and natural gas, modern technologies to harness them and an industry robust and innovative enough to bring the two together, resulting in surging, home-grown production. Indeed, the dramatic increase in U.S. oil production is the key addition to global supply that’s putting downward pressure on the cost of crude, the No. 1 factor in pump prices.

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America’s Energy Abundance

american energy  Economy  exports  crude oil  imports  fracking 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted December 23, 2014

Dallas Business Journal: So far this year, the U.S. has imported 369.8 million barrels of crude oil, according to the Energy Information Administration. Sure, that sounds like a lot, especially in light of the shale boom renaissance that has swept the country. Until you look at the past few years. For the same period in 2010, the U.S. imported 456.1 million barrels of crude, according to the EIA. So, in four years, oil imports have declined 19 percent and will likely continue to decrease in future years.

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Shale Energy, Economic Growth, Declining Imports

domestic energy  oil and natural gas development  economic benefits  government revenues  eia  oil imports  access  regulation  fracking 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 10, 2014

Two U.S. energy production updates and a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report showing the economic impacts of America’s shale energy revolution – which is driving overall U.S. production.

A chart from energy/economics blogger Mark J. Perry shows the impact of U.S. energy production on energy imports – measuring net petroleum imports as a share of products supplied. The chart shows steady increases in imports from the mid-1980s to an apex of more than 60 percent in 2005. Today, we’re looking at a percentage share that’s as low as it has been in four decades.

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Keystone XL and American Energy Security

keystone xl pipeline  oil imports  exports  natural gas pipelines  utica shale  hydraulic fracturing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 6, 2014

National Journal: Republicans' midterm victory means a Keystone XL pipeline is coming front-and-center to Congress's energy agenda, but that doesn't mean President Obama wants to talk about it.

Obama got a question during his Wednesday presser about a bill that ascendant Republicans plan to send him on approving the Keystone XL oil-sands pipeline. Obama didn't say point blank whether he'd reject the bill, instead saying he would let the "process play out" with the ongoing State Department review. He added that his parameters for evaluating the project are whether it would be good for U.S. pocketbooks, would really create jobs, and would not worsen climate change.

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