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Energy Tomorrow Blog

America’s Amazing Energy Surge, Thanks to Technology and Innovation

american energy  Energy Security  Economy  jobs  fracking  exports  gulf of mexico 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted July 15, 2014

Reuters: By now everyone knows the shale revolution was made possible by the combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

But although fracking has captured the popular imagination, and is often used as a synonym for the whole phenomenon, horizontal drilling was actually the more recent and important breakthrough.

Mastery of horizontal drilling around 1990, originally for oil rather than gas exploration, was the decisive innovation that lit the long fuse for the shale revolution that erupted 15 years later.

"Horizontal drilling is the real marvel of engineering and scientific innovation," David Blackmon wrote in Forbes magazine last year ("Horizontal drilling: a technological marvel ignored", January 2013).

"While impressive in its own right, the main innovations in fracking have been beefing up the generating horsepower to accommodate horizontal wells rather than vertical ones, and refining of the fluids used to conserve water and create better, longer lasting fractures in the target formation."

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America’s Economy is Riding an Energy Wave

american energy  Economy  Energy Security  jobs  fracking  refining capacity 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted July 14, 2014

CNBC: The United States is swimming in oil and gas. But processing the new-found bounty is posing a challenge to U.S. refiners, which can't come to grips with the abundance in domestic supply.

A production renaissance has catapulted the United States into the upper strata of global energy producers. Yet with fewer than 150 refineries, the U.S. has a surprisingly limited capacity to process the bounty.

"Some refineries are better suited for light sweet crude," while others—primarily on the Gulf Coast—are better optimized for the heavier, international variety of oil, said Bob Greco, director of upstream operations for the American Petroleum Institute.

The huge increase in shale production in places like North Dakota is helping to revitalize East Coast refineries, Greco said in an interview.

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Six Years of Delay Later, Its Time to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline

keystone xl pipeline  Energy Security  jobs  american energy  Economy  oil sands 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted July 8, 2014

The Keystone XL Pipeline has been studied, and studied, and studied, in fact if the permit application were a person, it would have just graduated kindergarten. However, after nearly six years of studies which show positive benefits to our economy and energy security with no significant environmental impacts  – politics are still trumping good policy.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement released by the State Department earlier this year found the project would deliver 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada and the U.S. Bakken region to U.S. refineries, create 42,100 jobs during its construction phase and provide $3.4 billion in additional revenue to U.S. GDP.

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America: Number 1 in Oil

alternative energy  Economy  Energy Security  jobs  fracking  policy 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted July 7, 2014

Promising news last week – the U.S. will remain the world’s largest oil producer this year, maintaining the top spot now and well into the future thanks to shale development, Bank of America says.

U.S. production of crude oil, along with liquids separated from natural gas, surpassed all other countries this year with daily output exceeding 11 million barrels in the first quarter, the bank said in its report.

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More American Energy, More Americans Benefit

american energy  keystone xl pipeline  fracking  hydraullic fracturing  Economy  jobs  global energy  lng exports 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted June 26, 2014

Washington Post: Even Democrats who prefer to develop alternate energy sources before expanding the use of fossil fuels say they want the Keystone XL pipeline built.

 

The new Pew "Political Typology" report shows huge majorities of all four Democratic-leaning groups support the development of wind, solar and hydrogen alternatives to oil, coal and natural gas. But of those same four groups, the Keystone XL pipeline is still overwhelmingly popular in three of them.

 

Among "hard-pressed skeptics," "next generation left" and "faith and family left," support for Keystone is two-to-one. So even as a group like the "next generation left" group supports alternate energy over fossil fuels 83-11, it still backs Keystone 62-28.

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Keystone XL – Still a Good Idea

keystone xl pipeline  Environment  Economy  Energy Security  jobs  policy  pipeline safety 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 25, 2014

A year ago President Obama clarified his position on the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that for him to approve the project it would need to meet two tests – that KXL would be in the national interest and would not “significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

The second point first. The environmental test has been passed – five times, in fact. The U.S. State Department’s fifth environmental assessment – which examined the Keystone XL’s construction, operation and the impact of increased oil sands development as a result of the pipeline – concluded that the project would have no effect on oil sands production and no significant effect on the environment.

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Innovation and Technology Boost U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Development

american energy  jobs  Economy  Energy Security  hydraulic fracturing  fracking  innovation  technology 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted June 23, 2014

CNBC (U.S. Rep. Fred Upton): Millions of vacationing families will be hitting the highways this summer where, for the fourth year in a row, they'll face gas prices above $3.50 a gallon. Prices are already closing in on $4 a gallon, and the political upheaval in Iraq threatens to push them even higher. Costly fill-ups may seem like the new normal, but they do not have to be. The right energy policies can help ease future pain at the pump, as well as on the monthly electric bill, and for goods on store shelves. Even better, these policies can create new jobs in the process. Indeed, we can unleash the benefits of the American energy superpower — but only if the Obama administration embraces our potential.

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Affordable, Abundant Natural Gas is Transforming the U.S. Energy Landscape

american energy  hydraulic fracturing  fracking  global energy  jobs 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted June 13, 2014

Business Insider: Brent oil futures briefly began approaching $115 this morning, the highest level in nine months, as fears that Iraq is disintegrating spooked markets.

Crude is now up about 4% on the week. When prices stay at this level for this long, U.S. gas prices start creeping up. 

But what about all the oil the U.S. has been producing the last few years? Shouldn't we be insulated from whatever oil is doing?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Gasoline prices are set on the global market, and refiners everywhere ship product to wherever they can get the best quote. So for better or worse, raw gasoline prices mostly move in lockstep around the world. The primary contract for gasoline is called RBOB. 

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Domestic Energy Production is Fueling Growth

american energy  Economy  jobs  Energy Security  imports  growth 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted June 12, 2014

Bloomberg News: U.S. fuel imports fell to a 15-year seasonal low as refineries processed increasing domestic crude output, moving the nation closer to energy independence.

Deliveries slid 653,000 barrels a day to 1.68 million in the week ended June 6, the fewest for the period since 1999, the Energy Information Administration data showed today. The 28 percent drop was the biggest decline since the week ended June 18, 2013. Fuel imports peaked at 4.97 million barrels a day in October 2005.

“There’s a change in the dynamic,” said Phil Flynn, a senior market analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “We’re not going to stop importing products but the overall number should move lower. We’re turning into a hub where products are both imported and exported based on price.”

Shipments to the U.S. from abroad have dropped as the shale boom provided refiners with an ample supply of cheaper domestic crude to make fuel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark crude, has traded at an average discount of $12 to Brent oil from the North Sea over the past four years. WTI traded at an average premium of more than $1 to the European grade from 1988 to 2008.

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New Industry Jobs Portal: ‘Find Your Calling’

oil and natural gas jobs  workforce  education 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 12, 2014

API has a new website – Oilgasworkforce.com – launched to help meet the twin challenges of attracting the workers needed to sustain and grow America’s energy revolution, as well as provide the next generation of employees to replace those who will be retiring in the next few years.

The new website is an easy-to-use portal for those interested in industry-related jobs, training and more – offered in both English and Spanish versions. John Modine, vice president of Global Industry Services, discussed the site during a conference call with reporters:

“Not only are there tremendous opportunities brought about by shale development, the oil and gas industry is at the beginning of what insiders are calling the ‘great crew change,’ where a new generation of employees is needed to replace a huge retiring workforce. … The bottom line is that in order to maintain America’s status as a global energy leader, we will need an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to recruitment and retention of the next generation of oil and natural gas workers, which is the fundamental goal of www.oilgasworkforce.com.”

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