Energy Tomorrow Blog
John D. Siciliano
Posted May 20, 2020
Capt. Russell Holmes is the Center for Offshore Safety’s (COS) new director after serving for nearly three decades with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Holmes, who retired from the Coast Guard in 2020, takes over for Charlie Williams, who had led the center since 2012 after a long industry career. Holmes will be taking the center’s mission of offshore safety and environmental protection into its second decade of existence.
The center was created soon after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico. Since then, the COS has enhanced the safety culture in offshore operations, while supporting federal regulations that mandate Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) at all operations on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Just prior to joining the center, Holmes served as the Coast Guard’s senior point of contact for offshore safety in the Gulf, overseeing marine inspection and investigation programs that ultimately support SEMS. As he explains in the Q&A below, Holmes says the industry’s professionalism and safety commitment matched his while he was serving as one of industry’s lead regulators.
Posted April 23, 2020
While the current decline in crude oil demand and market uncertainty present significant challenges, America’s natural gas and oil producers – especially those using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling – are resilient and remain financially viable, supported by the world’s need for energy.
Contrary to some narratives, our industry is poised to fuel renewed growth once the U.S. and other nations get past the COVID-19 crisis. Natural gas and oil have and will again power modern economic expansion.
Posted April 21, 2020
Experienced industry hands say they’ve never seen anything like Monday’s trading on May futures contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude oil (WTI), which closed in negative territory.
While the natural gas and oil industry certainly isn’t alone in weathering the COVID-19 crisis, our impacts probably are more visible than most other sectors, underscored by Monday’s negative trading on oil futures. Three things to know ...
Posted April 16, 2020
Amid talk in Texas of production quotas (“proration”) and other extreme policies that have been suggested to address the oil demand downturn, API’s Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) shows that supply is responding in real time and that U.S. crude and refined storage capacities have some flexibility to adjust to the COVID-19 driven demand decrease – helping to alleviate the need for blanket policies or government interventions.
Notably, recent federal actions may help provide additional flexibility to the entire energy value chain. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy’s opening of crude oil storage capacity within the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to individual companies provides much-needed flexibility. Separately, Federal Reserve measures to either purchase corporate bonds or provide loans may perform additional triage for the energy industry and across the broader economy.
Posted April 13, 2020
We understand the oil demand-side circumstances that have led to calls for artificial market interventions such as tariffs and quotas – including a proposal before natural gas and oil regulators in Texas to mandate oil production cuts in the United States’ No. 1 oil-producing state.
Tough market conditions are no reason to implement bad remedies, such as the Texas proposal, which is problematic at best.
That’s not just an API view. Economics and history argue strongly against veering from the principle of markets dictating production levels, which is a core principle of our industry.
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 March 19, 2020
As much as any other sector, global energy has felt the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) combined with lowering world demand and Russia and Saudi Arabia raising oil supply. We’ve seen crude oil prices cut in half within three months, which if sustained could rank among the most severe oil price downturns on record. Let’s discuss the most significant points for U.S. consumers, industry and the broader economy.
Details may be found in API’s latest Monthly Statistical Report, based on February U.S. petroleum data. Using weekly surveys of 90% of the natural gas and oil industry, we publish monthly data and analysis two months ahead of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Posted March 6, 2020
It’s been a big week for announcements coming out of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the nation’s natural gas and oil industry.
On Monday, EIA said that annual U.S. oil production broke another big record in 2019, and swiftly followed that with news on Tuesday that U.S. natural gas use has reached new record highs. Both are great news for American energy and national security, the economy and the environment.