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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Energy Exports and Global Leadership

news  energy exports  crude oil  shale energy  utica shale  alberta oil sands  infrastructure  technology innovation  water management  keystone xl pipeline 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 6, 2015

BloombergBusiness: The U.S. will become one of the world’s largest oil exporters if domestic production continues to surge and policy makers lift a four-decade ban that keeps most crude from leaving the country, a government-sponsored study shows.

America would be capable of sending as much as 2.4 million barrels a day overseas in 2025 if federal policy makers were to eliminate restrictions on most crude exports, an analysis by Turner, Mason & Co. for the Energy Information Administration shows. That would make the U.S. the fourth-largest oil exporter, behind Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, based on 2013 EIA data. The report assumes domestic output rises by 7.2 million barrels a day from 2013.

The analysis is part of a series of studies the U.S. government is performing following a 71 percent surge in domestic oil production over the last four years. Drillers including Harold Hamm of Continental Resources Inc. and John Hess of Hess Corp. have been calling on the government to lift the ban on crude exports as they pump more light oil out of shale formations from North Dakota to Texas.

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Made for Each Other: Energy and Free Trade

news  energy exports  crude oil  liquefied natural gas  pipelines  hydraulic fracturing  fracking  ozone standards  canadian oil sands 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 27, 2015

Wall Street Journal op-ed (John Hess): While one can debate the reasons for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision in November to continue flooding the oil markets, the fact is that this is squeezing many U.S. shale oil producers out of business. Oil prices have dropped by 50% in the past six months, and crude oil inventories in the U.S. have grown from 350 million barrels last year to more than 480 million barrels today.

Part of the reason inventory has ballooned is that crude produced in the U.S. is literally trapped here, because American firms are not allowed to sell it overseas. An antiquated rule bans crude oil exports from the lower 48 American states, even though producers could earn $5-$14 more per barrel by selling on the world market. At this moment the U.S. government is considering lifting sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports. Why not lift the self-imposed “sanctions” on U.S. crude exports that have been in place for the past four decades?

The export ban is a relic of a previous era, put in place around the time of the 1973 Arab oil embargo against the U.S., when Washington thought very differently about ensuring America’s energy needs. Other measures related to the 1973 embargo, such as price controls and rationing, were eliminated decades ago, as policy makers realized that they impeded, rather than aided, American energy security. But the ban on crude oil exports persists.

There is no defensible justification for the continued ban on the export of U.S. crude oil.

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U.S. Energy’s ‘Turning Point’

cera  exports  exxonmobil  horizontal drilling  hydraulic fracturing  oil and natural gas industry  refineries  access  oil sands 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 21, 2015

The theme of this year’s CERAWeek mega-conference in Houston is “Turning Point: Energy’s New World.” It is a new world, with the United States producing more energy from oil and natural gas – the lead fuels of the U.S. and the world’s economies – than any other country. Just a decade ago few could have imagined the possibilities. 

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Access and Energizing the Energy Revolution

oil and natural gas development  oil production  shale energy  hydraulic fracturing  arctic  oil sands  pipeline construction  offshore oil production  safe operations 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 6, 2015

MarketWatch:  U.S. oil production is on track to reach an annual all-time high by September of this year, according to Rystad Energy.

If production does indeed top out, then supply levels may soon hit a peak as well. That, in turn, could lead to shrinking supplies.

The oil-and-gas consulting-services firm estimates an average 2015 output of 9.65 million barrels a day will be reached in five months — topping the previous peak annual reading of 9.64 million barrels a day in 1970.

Coincidentally, the nation’s crude inventories stand at a record 471.4 million barrels, based on data from U.S. Energy Information Administration, also going back to the 1970s.

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Keystone XL, Venezuela and The National Interest

keystone xl pipeline  crude oil  canadian oil sands  state department  president obama  refineries 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 10, 2015

A postscript to our post explaining that the crude oil the Keystone XL pipeline would deliver is comparable to other heavy crudes already being refined in the U.S.: Oil sands crude would replace other heavy oils – most significantly, crude currently imported from Venezuela.

The point is made in the U.S. State Department’s most recent (of five) environmental reviews of Keystone XL:

Gulf Coast refiners’ traditional sources of heavy crudes, particularly Mexico and Venezuela, are declining and are expected to continue to decline. This results in an outlook where the refiners have significant incentive to obtain heavy crude from the oil sands. Both the EIA’s 2013 AEO (Annual Energy Outlook) and the Hart Heavy Oil Outlook (Hart 2012b) indicate that this demand for heavy crude in the Gulf Coast refineries is likely to persist throughout their outlook periods (2040 and 2035 respectively).

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Coming Clean: The President and ‘Dirty’ Keystone XL Oil

keystone xl pipeline  canadian oil sands  crude oil  greenhouse gas emissions  president obama 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 9, 2015

Apparently not content with the four Pinocchios he recently earned from the Washington Post for statements on the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama last week put in a bid for five with remarks aimed at the project’s environmental impact.

At an appearance in South Carolina, the president termed “extraordinarily dirty” the methods used to develop Canadian oil sands:

“The reason that a lot of environmentalists are concerned about it is the way that you get the oil out in Canada is an extraordinarily dirty way of extracting oil, and obviously there are always risks in piping a lot of oil through Nebraska farmland and other parts of the country.”

First, after more than six years of review by his administration, the president really should take the time to read the U.S. State Department’s environmental review of Keystone XL  – the latest of five that all have cleared the pipeline on environmental grounds. As well, energy consulting firm IHS found that Keystone XL and the oil sands it would deliver would have “no material impact” on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

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American Oil, American Jobs

keystone xl pipeline  american energy  Economy  jobs  Energy Security  canadian oil sands  emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 27, 2015

President Obama, in an interview with a North Dakota television station, explaining why he continues to delay the Keystone XL pipeline:

“Part of the reason North Dakota has done so well is because we've very much been promoting domestic U.S. energy use. I've already said I'm happy to look at increasing pipeline production for U.S. oil. But Keystone is for Canadian oil. Sending it down to the Gulf. It bypasses the U.S., it estimated to create 250, maybe, 300 permanent jobs. We should be focusing on American infrastructure for American jobs for American producers, and that's something we very much support.”

In the span of just six sentences, the president contradicts expert analysis of Keystone XL’s jobs and market impacts at least four times – about once for each breath.

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The People Say Build Keystone XL

keystone xl pipeline  congress  president obama  economic benefits  canadian oil sands  infrastructure  investment 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 12, 2015

In a democratic republic like ours, the legislative branch is the voice of the people. Throughout the long – too long – debate over the Keystone XL pipeline, the White House has used politics to stymie a conclusion on the matter. But no more.

House approval of a Senate bill advancing the pipeline will require President Obama to finally decide. Bipartisan majorities in both houses of the Congress of the United States have spoken. The American people, through their elected representatives, have spoken. The president should listen.

Unfortunately, the White House has signaled that he won’t, that he will veto the Keystone XL bill. It would make a mockery of post-Election 2014 assurances from the president that he would work with Congress to accomplish substantive things for the American people. Substantive things like: 42,100 jobs that the U.S. State Department says would be supported by the pipeline’s construction, $2 billion in workers’ pockets and $3.4 billion added to U.S. GDP, according to State’s report, and 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region – North American oil that would strengthen U.S. energy security

All of the above and more clearly make the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in the national interest.

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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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EPA and Prolonging Keystone XL’s Review

keystone xl pipeline  environmental protection agency  epa  economic benefits  canadian oil sands  greenhouse gas emissions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 3, 2015

After more than six years of delaying, blocking, sidetracking and goalpost-shifting on the Keystone XL pipeline, the White House clearly knows something about political football – specifically, using all of the above to keep Keystone XL on the drawing board and out of the ground.

It’s not a game to the American workers who’ve seen coveted jobs delayed, nor is it fun for the entire country, in terms of blocked economic stimulus and sidetracked energy security.

Now EPA is tagging in with an out-of-left-field assessment of the State Department’s final environmental review. We say that because State’s environmental report was completed a year ago – making five reviews that all basically said Keystone XL would not significantly impact the environment, climate or otherwise.  

While other involved federal agencies recently weighed in on the pipeline’s importance to U.S. national interests, EPA – at the 13th hour – says current crude oil prices make it important to “revisit” State’s environmental conclusions.

Nonsense.

Unfortunately, for an administration that has practically made a badge of honor out of stiff-arming Keystone XL – in the face of bipartisan congressional support and the broad favor of the American people – EPA is simply providing another excuse for the White House to continue doing nothing.

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