Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted April 7, 2014
Take a good look at the chart below – brand-new from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The green line disappearing into the horizontal axis between the years 2030 and 2040 is what U.S. energy self-sufficiency looks like.
This is a big, big deal – a goal of every U.S. president since Richard Nixon more than 40 years ago: the point where domestic production exceeds imports, which EIA never included in any of its projections. Until now.
Because of surging tight-oil production – oil from shale and other tight-rock formations, developed with advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – the agency is including in its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook a high-production scenario under which net imports would reach near-zero between 2030 and 2040.
Posted April 7, 2014
U.S. Energy Boom Lifts Low-Income Workers Too
Wall Street Journal op-ed (subscription required): Mayors, governors and economic-development officials love natural-resource jobs—and today's North American energy revolution has been providing a lot of them. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of new jobs in the oil and gas industry (technically a part of mining) increased by roughly 270,000 between 2003 and 2012. This is an increase of about 92% compared with a 3% increase in all jobs during the same period.
The people of New York and other states that have so far declined to take part in the boom might like to know what they are missing because these jobs pay well. The BLS reports that the U.S. average annual wage (which excludes employer-paid benefits) in the oil and gas industry was about $107,200 during 2012, the latest full year available. That's more than double the average of $49,300 for all workers.
At the other end of the wage spectrum are waiters and waitresses in food services nationwide earning about $16,200 a year, workers in the accommodations industry with average pay of $27,300, and those in the retail trade with average wages of $27,700. But the evidence from the oil boom regions is that energy development lifts wages for low-income workers too.
Posted April 2, 2014
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that total net U.S. energy imports declined last year to their lowest level in more than 20 years – reflecting two energy positives for America: growth in domestic oil and natural gas production and increased exports of finished petroleum products. EIA:
Total U.S. net imports of energy, measured in terms of energy content, declined in 2013 to their lowest level in more than two decades. Growth in the production of oil and natural gas displaced imports and supported increased petroleum product exports, driving most of the decline. A large drop in energy imports together with a smaller increase in energy exports led to a 19% decrease in net energy imports from 2012 to 2013.Total energy imports declined faster—down 9% from 2012 to 2013—than in the previous year, while export growth slowed. Crude oil production grew 15%, about the same pace as in 2012, which led imports of crude oil to decrease by 12%, accounting for much of the overall decline in imports.
Posted March 14, 2014
More on the growing discussion of how North America’s energy renaissance – led by surging oil and natural gas production – affects U.S. energy and national security and gives our country the chance to positively impact global stability. A part of that conversation is the significant role the Keystone XL pipeline could play in securing our energy future, allowing our country to have greater influence abroad.
Posted February 6, 2014
The folks at the Energy Collective hosted an interesting webchat discussion of the Keystone XL pipeline the other day, a good part of which focused on greenhouse gas emissions from the project and oil sands development – identified by President Obama as a key basis for his pipeline decision.
The big takeaway here: Even at the high end of estimates in the State Department’s latest Keystone XL environmental review, emissions would be a tiny fraction of global totals – hardly proving that the project would significantly exacerbate climate change.
Posted January 2, 2014
Basically, population is growing faster in the South and West than anywhere else in the country – and North Dakota’s 3.1 percent growth rate leads the nation. The second largest percentage increase was Utah’s 1.6 percent. The Post:
The annual estimates of state population on July 1 shows the South added more than 1.1 million residents between 2012 and 2013, while Western states added almost 728,000 residents over the past year. Northeastern states added 171,000 residents, while the Midwest added another 226,000 people. Many of those new Midwestern residents landed in North Dakota, which added 22,000 residents over the past year. That was a 3.1 percent population increase, the highest of any state in the country, fueled by an energy boom in the Bakken oil fields that has pushed the state’s unemployment rate down to 2.6 percent.
Posted December 27, 2013
The long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline and whether President Obama will agree with a strong majority of Americans who believe that the full project is in the U.S. national interest landed on a couple of year-ending lists of top energy issues, here andhere, no doubt reflecting the politics surrounding the pipeline’s five-year federal review.
Much of politicizing has been fueled by opponents who say stopping Keystone XL will stop oil sands development. The U.S. State Department disagreed in its most recent review, citing key economic factors that argue oil sands will get to market with or without the Keystone XL. The dynamic already is at work.
Last week, Canada’s National Energy Board recommended approval of the Northern Gateway pipeline to bring as much as 525,000 barrels a day of oil sands from Alberta to British Columbia. At the same time others are making plans to build loading terminals to service oil sands-bearing railroad cars. Demand for supply is driving the infrastructure needed to deliver that supply.
The question for the U.S. concerns the impact of Washington’s never-ending deliberation over the Keystone XL, even as other infrastructure for delivering oil sands moves toward reality.
Posted December 26, 2013
U.S. crude oil production on track to surpass imports for first time since 1995
EIA Today in Energy: Monthly crude oil production in the United States is expected to exceed the amount of U.S. crude oil imports later this year for the first time since February 1995. The gap between monthly U.S. crude oil production and imports is projected to be almost 2 million barrels per day (bbl/d) by the end of next year—according to EIA's March 2013 Short-Term Energy Outlook.
According to EIA's projections:
- Monthly crude oil production could surpass net crude oil imports later this year.
- Monthly crude oil production is forecast to top 8 million bbl/d in the fourth quarter of 2014, which would be the highest level since 1988.
- Net crude oil imports are expected to fall below 7 million bbl/d in the fourth quarter of 2014 for the first time since 1995.
Posted December 16, 2013
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) offered a preview of its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook that will come out next spring, and the second slide in Administrator Adam Sieminski’s presentation is an attention grabber, charting how expanding domestic oil production will reach historic levels in 2016 – 9.6 million barrels per day, a mark set in 1970.
Posted December 3, 2013
International Energy Agency (IEA) Chief Economist Fatih Birol was at CSIS this week, highlighting the organization’s findings in its 2013 World Energy Outlook. The report focuses on global energy demand growth, the future energy mix and the sources of energy. Key takeaways from Birol’s presentation:
- The United States could become the world’s leading oil producer as early as 2015, two years earlier than IEA projected a year ago, Birol said.
- About two-thirds of the growth in global energy demand between now and 2035 will come from Asia.
- U.S. energy production, especially surging natural gas output from shale via hydraulic fracturing, is creating energy cost differentials that make American products more competitive in the global market.