Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted July 22, 2014
Interesting question: Might climate change laws and regulations negatively impact the value of oil reserves held by energy companies, to the point of “stranding” them, ultimately affecting shareholders? Two companies, ExxonMobil and Shell, essentially have told their shareholders, no – because projected increases in global energy demand will continue to require all viable energy sources, including oil and natural gas, into the foreseeable future. From ExxonMobil’s report to shareholders:
For several years, our Outlook for Energy has explicitly accounted for the prospect of policies regulating greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). This factor, among many others, has informed investments decisions that have led ExxonMobil to become the leading producer of cleaner-burning natural gas in the United States, for example. Based on this analysis, we are confident that none of our hydrocarbon reserves are now or will become “stranded.” We believe producing these assets is essential to meeting growing energy demand worldwide, and in preventing consumers – especially those in the least developed and most vulnerable economies – from themselves becoming stranded in the global pursuit of higher living standards and greater economic opportunity.
Posted June 4, 2014
If you run a business that sells things produced from raw materials – manufacturers, retailers, wholesale distributors and car and equipment dealers and other industries – chances are good you’re familiar with “LIFO” accounting. The IRS first approved the “last-in, first-out” method for use by taxpayers with inventories in the 1930s. Repealing LIFO, as some in Congress are proposing, could impact the more than 30 percent of U.S. companies, large and small, that use it, as well as the larger economy.
That’s the message a bipartisan group of 113 U.S. House members conveyed in a recent letter to Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, who has proposed LIFO repeal as part of his larger tax reform package.
Posted May 2, 2014
The number of direct jobs in oil and natural gas extraction has grown 7.2 percent since April last year, more than four times the growth rate in all U.S. jobs, according to BLS. The word for that kind of growth – in the midst of an economy still trying to heat up – is wow!
Now, keep in mind that the BLS data line for “oil and gas extraction” covers only part of industry’s upstream (pre-refining) segment. Scroll down a few lines in this BLS table to find direct jobs supporting oil and natural gas operations – such as building and dismantling field rigs, core drilling services, hydraulic fracturing services and much more – and you see dynamic growth there as well, 6.3 percent from April last year through March, the most recent data month available. Wow again.
Posted March 18, 2014
A few of the new good-news stories resulting from America’s oil and natural gas revolution:
Investing in Ohio Production …
The state’s geologist says Utica shale development has triggered $20 billion to $24 billion in spending investments and more will come, reports the Akron Beacon Journal’s online edition. The newspaper cites an unreleased report by Ohio state geologist Mike McCormac that says drilling companies have spent about $6 billion on drilling plus approximately $2 billion on leases. Investments in processing plants and pipelines are estimated at $12 billion to $16 billion.
Posted March 12, 2014
In a post last week we discussed the way the Ukrainian crisis is focusing a number of U.S. leaders on the potential foreign policy impacts of surging U.S. energy production. With its vast natural gas reserves, the U.S. could be a leader in the global market for liquefied natural gas (LNG), if we took the steps to make that happen – starting with government approval of permits to build LNG export terminals.
Unfortunately, that process is slow. Although the Energy Department has approved six applications since 2011, more than 20 still are pending. And the U.S. isn’t the only country eyeing the global LNG market. More than 60 non-U.S. LNG export projects are planned or under construction. In a number of ways, it’s a race to the rewards stemming from natural gas abundance.
Posted November 26, 2013
Here’s wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving while offering a few of the reasons we can all feel blessed because of America’s energy present and future – which the men and women of the oil and natural gas industry help deliver.
Let’s start with the fact America is enjoying a renaissance in home-grown energy production, thanks to advances in technologies and techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Last month these played a big role in helping domestic oil output to exceed imports for the first time since 1995. Because of fracking and other technologies, more of America’s vast oiland natural gas reserves can be developed to generate fuels that provide about 62 percent of the energy Americans currently use. That’s energy that makes our lives possible – that will power our lifestyles and economy in the future, according to government projections.
Posted September 18, 2013
Check out the video below of a Fox Business Network interview with API President and CEO Jack Gerard on the tax reform climate in Washington that has some talking about raising taxes on energy companies. The ability to recover the costs associated with finding oil and natural gas in a timely way through the Intangible Drilling Costs provision is especially critical to continuing investments in energy development, Gerard says.
Posted June 5, 2013
Ernst & Young has a new study detailing $185.6 billion in total capital spending by oil and natural gas companies last year – the largest in the history of the firm’s oil and natural gas reserves study. Marcela Donadio of Ernst & Young:
The study of U.S. upstream (pre-refinery stage) capital spending by the 50 largest companies (based on 2012 end-of-year oil and natural gas reserve estimates) found a 20 percent increase compared to 2011. Ernst & Young said the increase was largely due to increased tight oil and liquids activity. That refers to development in tight-rock formations, made possible by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.
“The increased exploration and development spend we’re seeing in this year’s study speaks to the incredible opportunity unfolding in tight oil from shale formations and the high cost of developing these unconventional resources.”
Posted February 21, 2013
While the White House talks again about raising taxes on oil and natural gas companies, let’s look at a chart that captures the starkly different outcomes – in terms of revenue for government – from two policy paths: higher energy taxes vs. increased energy development:
Posted February 11, 2013
Let’s talk oil and natural gas company earnings. Today, three charts that illustrate some of the things we’ve been saying for some time:
- Earnings equal return on investment, which is great news for millions of Americans – the true owners of these companies. (More here from Ken P. Cohen’s Perspectives blog.)
- Oil and natural gas companies are investing in America in a way unsurpassed by other industries.
- America’s oil and natural gas companies pay their fair share – and more – in taxes.