Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted March 5, 2019
The International Energy Agency’s Fatih Birol regularly heralds the positive impacts of the American shale energy revolution (see here, here and here). All good, but U.S. shale’s global impact is just now starting to be felt, IEA’s executive director said last week.
During a global markets update at the U.S. Energy Department with Secretary Rick Perry, Birol said the United States will be responsible for about two-thirds of the growth in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market. Of course, this reflects the abundance of domestic natural gas, largely produced from shale formations. Big-time global impact lies ahead, Birol said. Add to that environmental and climate progress, which we’ll get to in a bit.
Certainly, there’s every reason to believe U.S. natural gas and oil can meet or exceed global expectations. Soaring U.S. crude oil production has increased global supply, supporting the stability of global markets – while reducing weekly U.S. crude imports to their lowest level in 23 years (as of Feb. 22), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Posted February 26, 2019
When the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was announced last fall, we pointed out that it would be good for North American energy security and continue flourishing energy trade between the United States and its neighbors by providing market access and zero tariffs for U.S. natural gas and oil and related products.
The agreement would sustain and expand the gains made under its predecessor, NAFTA, which created a North American energy market, helped make the U.S. more energy secure and benefited U.S. consumers.
Congress should approve USMCA as soon as possible to lock in the critically important energy relationship between the U.S., Mexico and Canada – as well as the general flows of goods and services so vital to good economic health in this country.
Posted February 22, 2019
A big win this week for U.S. liquid natural gas exports: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the Calcasieu Pass liquid natural gas (LNG) export facility in Louisiana – marking an end to a two-year logjam on LNG export approvals while boosting American global energy leadership and signaling opportunity to European allies who’ve been beholden to Russia for natural gas.
The $4.5 billion Calcasieu Pass project near Cameron Parish will be able to export 10 million metric tons per annum of LNG per year. Venture Global first applied for FERC approval for the facility in 2015. About a dozen other proposed facilities await FERC approval. Now, perhaps, the end’s in sight.
Posted February 20, 2019
Earlier this month we talked about the unforced error of the administration’s tariff and quota policies that hamstring the economy, detailing the findings of recent report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Now, new modeling has reviewed those suspicions in the context of the energy trade, and the indications are clear: The escalating trade wars could significantly limit the U.S. energy revolution and the benefits to Americans that it would otherwise bring.
The recent report, part of BP’s annual “Outlook,” a macro-look at the global energy system over the next 30 years, models a number of different scenarios including one in which global trade disputes persist and worsen. The results of this “less globalization” scenario indicate that the continuation of these policies would slow global GDP growth by 6 percent and energy demand growth by 4 percent in 2040. To make matters worse, the effect could be intensified in countries and regions most exposed to foreign trade – like the U.S.
Posted February 19, 2019
A profound shift has taken place in North American oil markets over the past few months that’s now affecting trade between the United States and its biggest crude oil supplier, Canada.
It involves supplies of heavier crude oil – important for the manufacture of a multitude of everyday products consumers use, from local road surfaces to the roofing for their houses. While the U.S. is producing domestic crude at record levels, there’s still a need for heavier crudes.
With heavy oil from Venezuela declining for years, the importance of close ties with Canada and especially the oil-producing province Alberta has increased. Unfortunately, Alberta’s decision to limit oil production appears to be advancing uneconomic outcomes, where some U.S. refiners signaled they’ll shift away from Canadian heavy crude oil and seek supply elsewhere.
Posted February 8, 2019
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s new report, “The Budget and Economic Outlook: 2019 to 2029,” says what we’ve been saying for some time now – the administration’s tariff policies are a drag on the broader economy.
CBO projects that “the recent changes in trade policy in the United States and its trading-partner countries will reduce the level of U.S. real GDP by about 0.1 percent by 2022
Now, 0.1 percent might not sound like a lot over that time period, but potentially we’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars subtracted from the economy. Dean Foreman, API chief economist, says it’s particularly concerning in the context of an economy that’s decelerating.
Posted January 24, 2019
On a day when the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) published its new Annual Energy Outlook – forecasting that the U.S. will become a net energy exporter next year through 2050, growing natural gas share in fueling electricity and rising liquid natural gas exports – API President and CEO Mike Sommers talked about sustaining and growing the engine of all these trends and more: the U.S. energy revolution.
The reason is simple: Where U.S. energy is and where it could go hinge on extending that revolution – to support economic growth, increase U.S. security in the world and help advance environmental and climate goals.
Sommers’ remarks at the U.S. Energy Association’s State of the Energy Industry Forum outlined the key goals for the American energy sector.
Posted January 14, 2019
The U.S. set new natural gas and oil production and export records in the fourth quarter of 2018, even as the administration's trade war with China continued to escalate. As 2018 trade figures have become clear, an emerging consequence was decreased U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes to China, which fell by around 20 percent from 2017, as these shipments became subject to a 10 percent Chinese import tariff effective Sept. 24.
Americans should care about the health of these U.S. natural gas exports because growing markets for domestic natural gas can generate economic growth at home by helping stimulate additional natural gas development, more than is needed to supply domestic demand; attract multi-billion-dollar U.S. investments in infrastructure – including pipelines, natural gas processing, LNG liquefaction, export facilities and shipping – and the high-quality jobs and wages that accompany these; and more.
Posted January 3, 2019
A new chapter in U.S. natural gas exports is unfolding before our very eyes – and with it, strengthened American energy influence abroad, increased trade and support for domestic natural gas production and jobs.The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that 2019 will see U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity will reach nearly 9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) by year’s end, up from EIA’s 2018 estimate of 4.9 Bcf/d. The U.S. would rank third in the world behind Australia and Qatar.
Posted January 2, 2019
Trade talks at the recent G-20 might have produced a ceasefire for one front in the trade war, but collateral damage continues to mount.
Before the holidays, retailers warned that the Trump administration’s tariff policies could raise prices on everything “from cribs to Christmas lights.” They were right. The Tariffs Hurt the Heartland coalition recently announced that Americans would pay more to light the tree this year. The vast majority of our holiday lights come from China, which means they were subject to a new 10 percent tariff this year – another casualty in the ongoing, multi-front trade war. …
Likewise, tariff and quota policies are hitting America’s natural gas and oil industry from multiple directions. We can’t operate without steel to drill wells that produce energy; operate refineries that turn it into gasoline and a variety of other essentials; and build pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals and petrochemicals plants.