Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted November 22, 2013
Fracktacular: Oil and Natural Gas Offer a Glimpse of America’s Powers of Regeneration
The Economist: THE FIRST GUSHERS sprayed oil into the skies of Texas, Ohio and California more than a century ago. America has relentlessly drained its reservoirs of oil and gas ever since. In 1986, seeing the flow begin to slow, Robin West founded PFC Energy to advise oil people how to take capital out of the American industry and invest it in newer prospects abroad. As he leaves the company 27 years later, he is amazed to see the money flowing back in record amounts.
In 2006 America’s production of oil and natural gas fell to the equivalent of about 15m barrels of oil a day (b/d). An analysis by the Wall Street Journal recently estimated output today at over 22m b/d—close to surpassing the world’s largest producer, Russia, if it has not already done so. The extra oil comes from shale and sandstone. Estimates of the amount of oil they contain vary hugely, but Navigant, a consultancy, reckons that North America could produce anything from 26.9-53.5 trillion cubic metres of shale gas alone, enough to satisfy the world’s total current demand for gas for up to 15 years, though at today’s prices not all of it would yet be worth extracting.
It is a very American success. Geologists have long known that these reserves existed, but they could not get at them. A combination of innovation (hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”), finance and enterprise have now opened them up, often to small oil and gas firms with low costs.
Read more: http://econ.st/1aMP4uL
Posted November 21, 2013
The Strange Debate over LNG Exports
UPI Analysis: WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 -- The debate over exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas is exceedingly strange. In Washington one sometimes hears calls to limit imports of given goods or services but limits on exports?
When U.S. President Barack Obama talked of doubling U.S. exports in five years in his 2010 State of the Union Address, some said this was an unrealistic objective but nobody said it wasn't a worthy goal, particularly to support the United States' economic recovery.
Since Adam Smith, of course, economists have understood that restrictions on imports or exports reduce overall national welfare. But the politics of imports and exports are different.
The costs of allowing imports are generally borne by identifiable firms and their workers but the benefits of imports are typically widely dispersed and thus effectively invisible.
Exports have an opposite dynamic. Increased export sales directly benefit identifiable firms and their workers. Any costs are typically spread thinly and invisibly over the whole economy.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1h5umeF
Posted November 20, 2013
Future of U.S. Energy Production is Bright
KAAL ABC Rochester 6: The U.S. is entering a new era of energy production said former national security advisor General James Jones who made a stop in Rochester Tuesday. He says the future of U.S. energy is bright.
Most people have noticed a change when they go to fill up.
"Gas being $3.20 instead of $3.80," said Scott Heck.
Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce member Scott Heck knows a lot more is happening with the U.S. energy industry than what we can see at the gas pump.
"Certainly being from North Dakota I know people that have been dramatically affected by the abundance of energy up there," said Heck.
North Dakota is just one of the areas that has seen the effects of the U.S. oil boom.
"The U.S. is now the largest producer of oil and gas," said General Jones.
General Jones is a former national security advisor to President Obama. He say with recent innovations and technologies the United States is now in a position where it may soon no longer have to rely on foreign oil.
"This is a whole different ball game, we need to develop our resources widely, this energy leverage gives us a role of influence in the world that we haven't enjoyed for a long time," said General Jones.
Read more: http://bit.ly/18QwkqR
Posted November 19, 2013
America Needs its Shale Energy and Hydraulic Fracturing Provides It
The Hill: In just a few short years, the United States has become the world’s number one oil and natural gas producer, and is well on its way to no longer relying on energy from countries that are historically hostile to U.S. interests.
For the average family last year, this energy transformation meant $1,200 in the form of lower energy bills, at a time when hard working American families desperately need a break. The benefits of the shale energy revolution have already been tremendous. On top of lowering costs for fueling our cars, heating our homes and running our factories, it may have saved America from slipping into a depression. After all, natural gas producing shale is the single most dramatically expanding part of the U.S. economy supporting the highest number of new jobs.
Energy is not an end unto itself; it is a key economic input to a more prosperous future for all Americans. If not for the shale revolution, we would not be reaping the benefits of the rebirth of the manufacturing sector that both of our parties see as key to rebuilding our economy. One recent study concluded that U.S. has added over 500,000 manufacturing jobs since the shale revolution began.
This shale revolution is completely dependent on two consistently improving American technologies: hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Without these two key technologies, all of the benefits we all experience every day would stop, our domestic energy resources would remain off limits from U.S. citizens, and the manufacturing jobs rebirth will end.
Read more: http://bit.ly/If4fCM
Posted November 11, 2013
There Would Be No Iranian Nuclear Talks if not for Fracking
Bloomberg Businessweek: Lost in some of the forecasting over what an agreement may eventually entail is the simple fact that none of this would be possible without the U.S. oil boom. Over the last two years, the U.S. has increased its crude production by about 2 million barrels a day. That’s like swallowing Norway, the fourteenth largest oil producer in the world. This new U.S. crude supply has allowed the West to put the squeeze on Iran without disrupting the global market or jacking up the price.
According to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service (pdf), Iran’s oil exports have been cut in half since 2011, from 2.5 million barrels per day to a bit more than 1 million today. As a result, Iran has had to halt an equal amount of production.
The fact that this has all happened without the slightest disruption felt in the oil market is extraordinary.
“I think it’s pretty clear that without the U.S. shale revolution, it never would have been possible to put this kind of embargo on Iran,” says Julius Walker, a global energy market strategist with UBS Securities (UBS). “Without U.S. production gains, I think we’d be looking at $150 a barrel,” says Walker. Instead, international prices have hovered around $110, and are less than $100 in the U.S.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1hAoafL
Posted November 8, 2013
Fred Siegel: Fracking, Poverty and the New Liberal Gentry
Wall Street Journal: The transformation of American liberalism over the past half-century is nowhere more apparent than in the disputes now roiling a relatively obscure section of upstate New York. In 1965, as part of his "war on poverty," President Lyndon Johnson created the Appalachian Regional Commission. Among the areas to be served by the commission were the Southern Tier counties of New York state, including Broome, Tioga and Chemung. The commission's central aim was to "Increase job opportunities and per capita income in Appalachia to reach parity with the nation."
Like so many Great Society antipoverty programs, the effort largely failed. The Southern Tier counties remain much as they appeared in the 1960s, pocked by deserted farms and abandoned businesses, largely untouched by the prosperity that blessed much of America over the past five decades.
Beginning about a dozen years ago, remarkable improvements in natural-gas drilling by means of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, seemed to promise a way out of poverty. The massive Marcellus Shale Formation under New York and Pennsylvania has proved to be "the most lucrative natural gas play in the U.S.," Business Week recently noted, because the shale produces high-quality gas and is easily shipped to New York and Philadelphia.
In Pennsylvania, a state long familiar with carbon production through oil drilling and coal mining, Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell backed fracking during his tenure from 2003-11, and the state has experienced a boom in jobs and income. Between 2007 and 2011, in Pennsylvania counties with more than 200 fracking wells, per capita income rose 19%, compared with an 8% increase in counties with no wells, as petroleum analyst Gregg Laskoski wrote for U.S. News & World Report in August.
Read more: http://on.wsj.com/1hrdrUJ
Posted November 7, 2013
Read more: http://on.wkyc.com/1b6PXyW
Posted November 6, 2013
Posted November 5, 2013
America’s Resurgence in Manufacturing Starts in the Shale Fields
Forbes: Our economy is straining at the bit to grow out of the Great Recession. You wouldn’t know that from the dreary news on both the jobs and GDP growth front. The good news is found in the incredible potential for high-paying jobs, growth and wealth creation bubbling up in America’s manufacturing sector.
Manufacturing is hot, even though we’re supposed to be in a post-industrial economy. The transformation in American manufacturing today is redolent of a century ago when innovation and growth in the industrial landscape was blossoming in both big companies and start-ups…
The dramatic growth in U.S. oil and gas production has not arisen from new discoveries or the opening of off-limits federal lands, but from new technologies and techniques that literally manufacture liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons from solid shale rock. Widely reported as “fracking” – hydraulic fracturing – the story is in fact one of deep industrial innovation, digital technologies and software. In other words, it is a secular shift in the industrial landscape.
Read more: http://onforb.es/1hgVN6i
Posted November 4, 2013
The Outsiders Who Saw Our Economic Future
Wall Street Journal: The experts keep getting it wrong. And the oddballs keep getting it right.
Over the past five years of business history, two events have shocked and transformed the nation. In 2007 and 2008, the housing market crumbled and the financial system collapsed, causing trillions of dollars of losses. Around the same time, a few little-known wildcatters began pumping meaningful amounts of oil and gas from U.S. shale formations. A country that once was running out of energy now is on track to become the world's leading producer.
What's most surprising about both events is how few experts saw them coming—and that a group of unlikely outsiders somehow did. Federal Reserve chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke failed to foresee the financial meltdown. Top banking executives were stunned, and leading investors such as Bill Gross, Jim Chanos and George Soros didn't fully anticipate the downturn.
Read more: http://on.wsj.com/172n4PZ