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Energy Tomorrow Blog

EPA. RFS. Reality.

environmental protection agency  renewable fuel standard  ethanol  e85  e15  blend wall  refinieries  gasoline supply  biofuels 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 20, 2014

Update: EPA waves white flag on 2014 RFS requirements

Interesting Reuters piece last week on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and very tardy 2014 ethanol-use requirements, now more than 10 months overdue from EPA. Reuters reports:

The Obama administration is trying to balance its support for renewable fuels with awareness of infrastructure constraints at gas stations as it finalizes targets for 2014 biofuel use, agency officials said on Tuesday. But with only 11 weeks left in the year, the administration also needs to weigh oil refiners' ability to comply with the long-delayed requirements, one official told the Reuters Global Climate Change Summit.

The article goes on to quote Janet McCabe, who leads EPA’s division overseeing the biofuels program:

(McCabe) acknowledged that delays in setting the targets, formally called the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), should be taken into account. "We need to be mindful of where we are in the year," McCabe said …

Reuters reports that EPA had proposed lowering ethanol mandates for 2014 because the U.S. was on a collision course with the 10 percent blend wall – the point where RFS mandates will require ethanol to be blended into gasoline at levels higher than the 10 percent fuel (E10) for which most of today’s vehicles were designed.

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U.S. Crude Production to the Rescue

us crude oil production  supply  global markets  pump prices  shale energy  fracking  hydraulic fracturing 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 25, 2014

Supply matters. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) chief Adam Sieminski, crude oil could cost at least $150 a barrel today because of supply disruptions in the Middle East and North Africa – if not for rising U.S. crude production.

Sieminski told the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s annual meeting that crude from the Bakken, Permian and Eagle Ford shale plays and others around the country has spiked in the past decade to more than 4 million barrels per day – enough to make up for outages in crude production elsewhere. Sieminski:

“If we did not have the growth in North Dakota, in the Eagle Ford and the Permian, oil could be $150 (per barrel). There is a long list of countries with petroleum outages that add up to about 3 million barrels per day.”

So, let’s rephrase things a bit: Clearly, U.S. production, adding to global supply, matters. A lot.

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Shale Energy Fuels Local Economies, Creates Opportunity

Economy  jobs  fracking  business  supply  american energy 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted September 10, 2014

Reuters: The U.S. government on Tuesday jacked up its forecast for oil production next year by 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) as the boom in shale oil drilling continues to confound expectations of slower growth.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration now expects domestic output to rise to 9.53 million bpd, growing by around 1 million bpd for a third consecutive year, according to its latest monthly short-term energy outlook. A month ago the EIA had predicted output growth would slow in 2015 to 800,000 bpd.

The U.S. shale boom has allowed producers to unlock thousands of barrels of reserves, putting the United States on course to become the largest producer of oil globally, which would dramatically reduce its dependence on imports.

"Rising monthly crude oil production, which will approach 10 million barrels a day in late 2015, will help cut U.S. fuel imports next year to just 21 percent of domestic demand, the lowest level since 1968," EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski said.

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American Energy Boosts World Supplies, Drives Economic Growth

supply  oil and natural gas  manufacturing  keystone xl pipeline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted March 14, 2014

Surge in Oil from U.S., Canada Helps Meet Global Demand

Wall Street Journal: LONDON—The dramatic increase in oil supply from the U.S. and Canada—coupled with a surprise surge in Iraqi output—helped stave off global demand pressures brought on by a cold U.S. winter and geopolitical concerns over rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The International Energy Agency, a watchdog for the world's biggest energy consumers, said North American output helped mitigate a bigger-than-expected draw from global crude inventories, caused by a colder than usual winter in the U.S. Surging Iraqi crude output, which rose to its highest level since 1979, also helped keep global markets supplied, and prices in check.

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EIA's Outlook: Flush With U.S. Energy

american energy  oil production  natural gas supply  access  imports  fracking  shale energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 16, 2013

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) offered a preview of its 2014 Annual Energy Outlook that will come out next spring, and the second slide in Administrator Adam Sieminski’s presentation is an attention grabber, charting how expanding domestic oil production will reach historic levels in 2016 – 9.6 million barrels per day, a mark set in 1970.

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Energy in 2014 and Beyond

energy supply and demand  access  trade  electricity  oil and natural gas development 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 13, 2013

There’s much to mine from ExxonMobil’s 2014 energy outlook, but here’s a quick analysis: In a world of increasing energy demand, the future looks brightest for countries that have significant energy reserves, modern industries that can find and produce from those reserves and policies that allow them to be major players in the global marketplace. For the United States that would be check, check and … check back later.

ExxonMobil’s William Colton and Kenneth Cohen highlighted the annual report that looks to global energy demand and supply out to the year 2040. Key projections and charts:

Demand – The world’s energy demand is expected to increase 35 percent over 2010 levels by 2040. Most of the demand growth will come from the developing world. ExxonMobil projects flat demand growth in developed nations despite expanding economies due to technology and energy-use efficiencies.

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U.S. Oil Growth, Energy Security and Global Impact

energy  security  supply 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 13, 2013

The bottom-line numbers in BP’s 2012 Statistical Review depict surging U.S. domestic oil and natural gas production, mainly because of the development of U.S. shale reserves through hydraulic fracturing:

  • 8.9 million barrels of oil per day (Mb/d) – U.S. production in 2012, the highest level since 1991.
  • 1 Mb/d – U.S. oil output growth last year over 2011, the largest increase in the world (14 percent) and the largest in U.S. history.
  • 84 percent – U.S. energy demand supplied by domestic sources, up from an all-time low of 69 percent just eight years ago.

BP’s chart on U.S. oil production, spanning the past quarter century:

BP Oil Outgrowth 

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Rising U.S. Oil Supply and the Impact on Global Markets

access  crude oil  energy information administration  oil supply  Energy 101  Economy  global markets 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 17, 2013

Increasing U.S. domestic production of oil matters. Energy Information Administration (EIA) chief Adam Sieminski had this analysis at an energy conference earlier this week (h/t Breaking Energy):

“There’s a fairly significant, long-standing relationship between spare production capacity in OPEC and what the pricing environment is for oil. So the 2 million barrel per day  increase in U.S. oil production that surprisingly took place over the last five years has resulted in higher OPEC spare capacity, and undoubtedly, has been a factor in why Brent oil prices are $103-$104/bbl rather than $125-$130/bbl.”

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Better Data for Better Decisions on LNG

department of energy  development  employment  lng exports  natural gas supply 

Erik Milito

Erik Milito
Posted March 15, 2013

Opponents of a free market for natural gas have been trumpetinga new study which purports to show that LNG exports would be an economic negative for the United States. This flies in the face of analysis done by the Department of EnergyThe Brookings InstituteICF International and others which showed that to boost economic activity open markets are the way to go. So we took a look at the study to figure out why their conclusions are not consistent with other industry or government projections. We found some serious biases and inconsistent assumptions added up to a fatally flawed report. Here are a few specifics.

The employment impact analysis is flawed because it assumes no incremental natural gas production.

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Crude Oil Demand, Gasoline Prices and Greater Energy Self-Sufficiency

supply  prices  gasoline  energy  demand  crude oil  access 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 22, 2013

Gasoline prices have been climbing. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports:

The average U.S. retail price for regular motor gasoline has risen 45 cents per gallon since the start of the year, reaching $3.75 per gallon on February 18. Between January 1 and February 19, the price of Brent crude, the waterborne light sweet crude grade that drives the wholesale price of gasoline sold in most U.S. regions, rose about $6 per barrel, or about 15 cents per gallon.

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