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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Leaner and More Efficient, U.S. Energy Output Keeps Rising

news  efficiency  innovation  technology  shale energy  pipelines  ethanol  energy exports 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 8, 2015

Platts (The Barrel Blog)When OPEC left production unchanged in November last year many understood it to be US or Canadian tight oil producers who would suffer, but thanks to technological advances — to paraphrase Mark Twain — the reports of the death of the tight boom have been greatly exaggerated.

After OPEC’s announcement of stable production, crude prices fell under $50/b, and the obituaries began to be written.

But lower prices forced companies to become hyper-vigilant on costs, and the result was the opposite of what may have been intended. US and Canadian production continued to grow, and E&P companies became leaner and more efficient — leading to a more competitive industry.

The savings from technological advances and more efficient internal processes, unlike the drop in rig dayrates that could rise again when the market turns, will be a more permanent feature of the North American oil market.

The numbers tell the story. The North American oil rig count dropped from its peak in early October at 1,609 to 646 for the week-ending May 29, yet productions is headed in the opposite direction — US oil output hit 9.586 million b/d, its highest daily rate since the EIA began weekly production reports in 1983. The EIA recently forecast another million b/d of oil production growth until it peaks in 2020 at 10.603 million b/d.

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Security and Access to Energy

news  energy exports  crude oil  shale energy  hydraulic fracturing  fracking  arctic  innovation  manufacturing  offshore drilling 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 20, 2015

The Wall Street Journal (Leon Panetta and Stephen Hadley): The United States faces a startling array of global security threats, demanding national resolve and the resolve of our closest allies in Europe and Asia. Iran’s moves to become a regional hegemon, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, and conflicts driven by Islamic terrorism throughout the Middle East and North Africa are a few of the challenges calling for steadfast commitment to American democratic principles and military readiness. The pathway to achieving U.S. goals also can be economic—as simple as ensuring that allies and friends have access to secure supplies of energy.

Blocking access to these supplies is the ban on exporting U.S. crude oil that was enacted, along with domestic price controls, after the 1973 Arab oil embargo. The price controls ended in 1981 but the export ban lives on, though America is awash in oil.

The U.S. has broken free of its dependence on energy from unstable sources. Only 27% of the petroleum consumed here last year was imported, the lowest level in 30 years. Nearly half of those imports came from Canada and Mexico. But our friends and allies, particularly in Europe, do not enjoy the same degree of independence. The moment has come for the U.S. to deploy its oil and gas in support of its security interests around the world.

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Strengthening America’s Energy Potential

news  energy exports  crude oil production  offshore energy development  ozone proposal  hydraulic fracturing  innovation  technology  alaska  arctic 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 15, 2015

Bloomberg BNA: The chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said May 14 that she is inclined to include standalone legislation that would end the 40-year ban on the export of domestic crude oil as part of a broader energy package the committee is drafting.

“I’d like to have it in there,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told reporters. “It just makes sense in there, as part of the bigger, broader energy updating our architecture.”

The bill, the Energy Supply and Distribution Act of 2015 (S. 1312), released May 13, is scheduled to be the subject of a June 4 hearing on “energy accountability and reform,” along with other bills that could end up in the broader energy package, which is expected to be unveiled later this summer.

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Encana’s Suttles: Keeping Sight of Energy’s Benefits

encana  analysis  shale energy  oil and natural gas development  unconventional oil  unconventional gas  canada  hydraulic fracturing  horizontal drilling  economic growth  investments  technology innovation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 12, 2015

Encana President and CEO Doug Suttles participated in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s CEO Leadership Series last week with a luncheon address and a Q&A session with Linda Harbert of the Institute for 21st Century Energy. Highlights of the conversation below. Suttles joined Alberta-based Encana as president and CEO in June 2013. He has 30 years of oil and natural gas industry experience in various engineering and leadership roles. Before joining Encana, Suttles held a number of leadership posts with BP, including chief operating officer of BP Exploration & Production and BP Alaska president.  

Q: You opened your talk by saying I’m a North American energy company. … Can you shed a little light on the differences and similarities between operating in Canada and the U.S.?

Suttles: They’re not as big as many people would think. First of all, in the places we operate – Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, and then Alberta and British Columbia – these are all natural resource states, and they understand that and I think the people and political leaders understand the importance, too. Both countries have high environmental expectations.

Probably the biggest difference you’d really see between them is the remoteness of operations, which creates a unique challenge in Canada. Many of our operations are away from large towns and cities … But you have an environment where I think people understand the benefits of our industry. They promote the industry, they support it.

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Unleashing America’s Robust Energy Sector

news  energy exports  crude oil  conocophillips  efficiency  oil and natural gas industry  innovation  pipelines  shale energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 11, 2015

Breaking Energy Opinion (Thorning): The Department of Energy recently approved an application from Alaska LNG to export natural gas. But there’s a catch: these exports can only go to nations where the United States has a free-trade agreement in place.

Never mind the fact that the top markets for LNG are India, China, and Japan, where we don’t have free-trade agreements set up.So essentially, the company is stuck alongside the 20-plus U.S. natural gas companies that are awaiting approval to sell abroad.  Some have been waiting for nearly three years.

Despite the rapid expansion of the American energy sector, the American regulatory apparatus hasn’t kept pace with the industry’s growth. New exploration techniques like fracking have opened up giant swaths of underground energy reserves in places like North Dakota and Pennsylvania. And the operations established to dig up the embedded oil and natural gas have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs and driven billions in new economic activity.

But now, unnecessary regulations are stifling firms with outdated rules. Most notably, the federal approval process energy producers have to navigate in order to sell in foreign markets is extremely restrictive. It’s needlessly difficult for firms to ship surplus oil and gas to eager customers abroad.

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Energy Exports and Global Leadership

news  energy exports  crude oil  shale energy  utica shale  alberta oil sands  infrastructure  technology innovation  water management  keystone xl pipeline 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 6, 2015

BloombergBusiness: The U.S. will become one of the world’s largest oil exporters if domestic production continues to surge and policy makers lift a four-decade ban that keeps most crude from leaving the country, a government-sponsored study shows.

America would be capable of sending as much as 2.4 million barrels a day overseas in 2025 if federal policy makers were to eliminate restrictions on most crude exports, an analysis by Turner, Mason & Co. for the Energy Information Administration shows. That would make the U.S. the fourth-largest oil exporter, behind Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, based on 2013 EIA data. The report assumes domestic output rises by 7.2 million barrels a day from 2013.

The analysis is part of a series of studies the U.S. government is performing following a 71 percent surge in domestic oil production over the last four years. Drillers including Harold Hamm of Continental Resources Inc. and John Hess of Hess Corp. have been calling on the government to lift the ban on crude exports as they pump more light oil out of shale formations from North Dakota to Texas.

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U.S. Energy Stimulus, Policy and Opportunity

news  economic benefits  gasoline prices  energy exports  crude oil  keystone xl pipeline  fracking  infrastructure  innovation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 4, 2015

USA Today: The U.S. economy may not be benefiting as much as anticipated from the collapse in oil prices over the past 10 months. In fact, for oil-producing states, the decline of some 50% is taking a toll.

But one thing seems clear: The nation as a whole is nowhere near as susceptible to sharp swings in oil prices — one way or the other — as it was for decades.

That was the message from Jason Furman, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and President Obama's chief economist, at a New York forum held by the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy.

Furman spoke one day before the U.S. government reported an annual growth rate of just 0.2% for the nation's gross domestic production from January through March, down substantially from a 2.2% pace in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Among the factors was consumer spending, which rose by only 1.9% in the first quarter compared with a 4.4% increase in the previous quarter.

Consumers proved slow to spend their savings from lower gasoline prices, savings that economists estimate at $700 per household, as Furman pointed out. But that reluctance may change soon, to the benefit of the nation's economy, he added.

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Energy, Exports and Production

energy exports  oil and natural gas development  economic growth  ozone  regulation  pipelines  innovation  technology 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 14, 2015

The National Interest (James Jay Carafano): Increasing American production and export of energy is a win-win-win proposition. It would enhance our national security, make international energy markets more free, and address environmental issues realistically. The next president should lead the campaign for an American energy export agenda. In the meantime, the present Congress can do much to prepare for the march.

The acme of presidential leadership is crafting policies that make the nation safe, free, and prosperous. Satisfying all three priorities is often the Oval Office's greatest challenge. It is like single-handedly trying to get squabbling triplets into their car seats. Yet, the confluence of geopolitics, America's energy abundance, and economic and environmental realities offers an almost unprecedented opportunity to do this successfully.

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Shale Energy Benefits U.S., the World

american energy  fracking  Economy  Energy Security  innovation  efficiency  pipelines 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted April 1, 2015

Wall Street Journal (Holman W. Jenkins Jr.): If not for fracking, oil would probably be $200 a barrel and gasoline $6.50 in the U.S. Western economies would likely be in free fall. The grudging U.S. recovery would be in retreat. The modest and possibly illusory green shoots seen in Europe, largely a function of cheap oil and a strong dollar, would wither. Japan would be even more of a write-off than it already is.

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Technology is Driving Industry Innovation

innovation  technology  jobs  fracking  new york  maryland  pipelines  gulf 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 31, 2015

TribLive (Blog): I was taken with the mud the moment they told me it could talk. I had some built-up interest, sure. But its communicative abilities really were the clincher for me. This is the story of how I explored a drilling rig, discovered drilling mud, and got pretty into it.

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