Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted April 8, 2020
Some thoughts on the preliminary data from the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) methane mapping project in the Permian Basin.
First, our industry welcomes new information that helps identify ways operators can further decrease methane emissions from production. The data must be verified (more on this below), and potentially could add to the knowledge base around the objective of reducing emissions.
Toward that objective, U.S. natural gas and oil companies launched The Environmental Partnership in 2017 with a focus on finding technologies, best practices and innovations that would capture as much methane as possible – since methane is the chief component in the natural gas our industry delivers to consumers. The Partnership, whose 75 members include 33 of the top 40 U.S. natural gas producers, is one of a number of industry-led initiatives that seek to further reduce methane emissions.
Posted April 6, 2020
OPEC+ members continue to discuss a meeting, reportedly Thursday, to address the price war between leading members Russia and Saudi Arabia, whose production increases amid a significant decrease in demand are deepening the crisis for the global oil industry.
There’s speculation the United States will be asked to participate in a deal with additional production cuts beyond what U.S. producers have already implemented in response to the marketplace, which we addressed in this post. In a new interview with CNN, API President and CEO Mike Sommers reiterated that markets should dictate production decisions, not government interventions, and that Russia and Saudi Arabia should change their production policies.
Posted April 5, 2020
Although OPEC+ has delayed a planned meeting Monday to address differences between leading members Russia and Saudi Arabia, there were encouraging signals from the White House after the president’s meeting with a number of natural gas and oil industry leaders, including API President and CEO Mike Sommers.
The continuing oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which has the two nations increasing production amid a slump in world oil demand, is broadly concerning. The administration is correct to focus strong diplomacy on finding a resolution, the urgency of which is underscored by the postponement of Monday’s OPEC+ meeting.
The best message from the White House is what’s not on the table: additional U.S. production cuts. As the president said, the global oversupply problem has been worsened by the Russian and Saudi production increases, and those countries bear the responsibility of changing their policies.
Posted April 3, 2020
The natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to accelerate the reduction of methane emissions is being advanced on a number of fronts. The Environmental Partnership, whose 75 members include 33 of the top 40 U.S. producers of natural gas, is in its third year of sharing of knowledge and technologies to further reduce emissions. This week, the Texas Methane & Flaring Coalition, whose members represent nearly 80% of oil production in the state, was launched to work on flaring.
The coalition’s key initiatives include: developing best practices and opportunities to minimize methane emissions and flaring, improving accuracy and consistency in the reporting of vented and flared volumes and increasing public understanding of the safety and environmental reasons for flaring.
Posted April 2, 2020
TC Energy’s announcement that it will proceed with building the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is a big deal in terms of vital energy for America, jobs, economic growth and North American security. The 1,210-mile pipeline – able to safely deliver 830,000 barrels per day from Canada’s oil sands region in Alberta to the U.S. heartland – figures to be a significant, long-awaited progress toward helping secure this country’s future energy needs.
I say “long-awaited” because my first API writing assignment was about the KXL – nearly nine years ago!
Over that time the pipeline became a political football – a debate in which the basic facts were mostly incontestable: thousands of good jobs during KXL’s construction, tens of millions of dollars in property and income tax revenues to different levels of government and no significant effect on the climate or environment, according to the U.S. State Department, which conducted six comprehensive scientific reviews.
Posted March 27, 2020
America’s natural gas and oil industry is asking a number of federal agencies to allow a temporary pause in certain non-essential federal compliance requirements, because it’s likely there will be limited numbers of industry workers to manage them amid federal and state-directed efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The health and safety of our workers and their communities is this industry’s No. 1 priority. These non-essential requirements reflect that and primarily include recordkeeping, training, flexibility in the timing of routine inspections where there might be manpower issues due to the pandemic and other non-safety provisions.
Industry is not soliciting a regulatory rollback or trying to excuse itself from compliance obligations.
Rather, it asks federal officials to consider that industry, along with every other segment of our society, is focused on slowing the virus’ spread.
Posted March 17, 2020
Much of the news surrounding the U.S. natural gas and oil industry is fairly challenging right now: some of the lowest global crude oil prices in years; world energy demand, which already was slowing, has been further affected by the coronavirus; Russia and Saudi Arabia, the world’s No. 2 and No. 3 oil producers, plan to increase output, launching a price war that also might be aimed at clawing back market share lost to U.S. shale producers in recent years.
Even so, don’t bet against the U.S. natural gas and oil industry. Ours is an industry of innovation and technological expertise that historically has risen to overcome serious circumstances, playing a key role in building U.S. economic strength and increasing the nation’s global security.
Posted March 5, 2020
Politics continues to dictate energy policy in New York – with the state’s consumers paying the price.
Look at the recently announced shelving of the Constitution natural gas pipeline by the Williams Company and its partners. The 124-mile line would have piped natural gas from the nearby Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania into New York. The builders gave up after nearly eight years of trying to get through regulatory red tape and general opposition to new natural gas infrastructure by Albany.
It’s a missed opportunity for New Yorkers.
Posted February 27, 2020
We’ve been making the point that political chatter about banning safe hydraulic fracturing and ending federal natural gas and oil leasing simply doesn’t make sense when you think about how far the U.S. has come in recent years – economic growth, increased energy security and consumer benefits – because of modern fracking, which is used for 95% of new wells in the U.S. today.
Thanks to a new study, we now know what that America would look like, and the picture isn’t good.
A new economic analysis conducted by OnLocation shows that if some politicians get their way and ban fracking and federal natural gas and oil leasing, the consequences could be crippling.
Posted February 25, 2020
Listen to API President and CEO Mike Sommers make the case for safe hydraulic fracturing – the chief reason the U.S. is the world’s leading natural gas and oil producer – during an interview with CNBC.
Sommers makes the affirmative argument for fracking because some presidential candidates are talking about banning it – as well as federal natural gas and oil leasing. Sommers said millions of good-paying American jobs, U.S. security and significant environmental progress could be at risk if those advocating a ban on fracking get their way.
The CNBC appearance was among interviews Sommers gave while in New York City last week. In each of them Sommers underscored the vast benefits to the U.S. from modern fracking technology.