Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted March 9, 2016
Offshore oil production in the Gulf of Mexico is set to reach a record high next year, according to new projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). By the end of 2017, production is projected to reach 1.9 million barrels per day, accounting for 21 percent of total U.S. crude oil production.
That represents a crucial contribution to America’s energy security, economy and global energy leadership. Imagine if we doubled it. Opening areas in the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico could lead to production of more than 3.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day – almost twice the amount EIA projects we’ll hit next year in the western Gulf alone.
Posted March 7, 2016
You know, because of the broad benefits of the U.S. energy revolution – including higher domestic production, more energy security, lower costs for consumers and manufacturers – energy as an issue hasn’t been the kind of election-year focal point it might be if the country instead was staring at energy scarcity, higher costs and growing insecurity in the world – basically, America’s energy reality before the shale energy revolution launched by safe hydraulic fracturing and modern horizontal drilling.
That’s fine. We gladly welcome the new energy reality: America as the world’s No. 1 oil and natural gas producer, consumers with more disposable income thanks to lower gasoline and energy costs and businesses looking to locate and expand in the United States because abundant, more affordable energy.
Posted March 4, 2016
Just recently saw this article on National Geographic.com, suggesting the United States made a significant shift in its energy economy in 2015:
Consider what happened last year alone. The amount of electricity from coal-fired power plants hit a record low while that from natural gas generators hit a record high. Also, renewable energy added the most new power to the electric grid, and annual carbon emissions reached a 20-year low.
First, a reminder that new power capacity added to the grid doesn’t translate directly to new power. Below, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data shows that in terms of electricity generation change (from 2014 to 2015) at utility-scale facilities and including distributed solar, natural gas led in net generation:
That’s not knocking renewables, just an illustration of today’s energy reality and a reminder of the oft-overlooked energy, economic and climate benefits accruing to the United States from increasing natural gas use.
Posted March 2, 2016
Last year, when federal officials released the proposal for the next five-year offshore drilling plan, we said the draft had some positive aspects but fell short of the kind of strategic offshore planning that would adequately serve America’s role as an energy superpower. We also noted strong support for offshore development by mid-Atlantic states, where operations could occur under the draft plan.
Fast-forward to this month, with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) expected to reassess a plan that would be the blueprint for offshore energy development from 2017 through 2022. The need for a robust offshore leasing plan remains critically important – and the plan should retain the single Atlantic lease sale that was included in BOEM’s draft.
Posted February 24, 2016
Two separate but related news items last week demonstrate the economic promise and geopolitical significance of America’s natural gas export opportunity.
The first headline, “U.S. LNG Set to Hit Global Market,” signifies a landmark moment in America’s trajectory from energy scarcity to abundance. The export facility covered in the article – Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass in Cameron Parish, La. – actually opened as a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in 2008. Just two years later in September 2010, it became the first U.S. facility to apply for a Department of Energy permit to export LNG. After a decade that saw U.S. natural gas production jump 45 percent – and following an extensive review process – Sabine Pass is set to ship its first cargo to Europe.
Posted February 17, 2016
It’s all possible due to hydraulic fracturing and advances in horizontal drilling. According to the Energy Department, at least 2 million oil and natural gas wells have been hydraulically fractured in this country, including up to 95 percent of new wells that account for more than 43 percent of U.S. oil production and 67 percent of its natural gas production.
Posted February 12, 2016
What if we had a market-based approach for reducing carbon dioxide emissions – gifted to the United States because of its unique combination of abundant energy resources, technological advances and know-how – that not only would yield CO2 reductions at world-leading levels but also would strengthen our economy and security? And all at potentially less cost than the mandates under the CPP?
OK, it wasn’t an altogether serious question, because that approach and the progress it has generated actually exist. Progress on emissions and energy has come from America’s ongoing energy revolution, a renaissance fueled by vast shale reserves and driven by safe hydraulic fracturing and advanced horizontal drilling.
Posted February 10, 2016
Yesterday, we took a look at the effects of the U.S. energy revolution on domestic oil production and the impact of that production on U.S. oil imports – and the resulting progress for America in terms of increased economic and consumer benefits and energy security. We argued that Obama administration policies risk retreating from progress that’s the result of the historic, game-changing shift in the U.S. energy outlook, thanks to America’s energy revolution.
Today, a look at natural gas, where the impacts of the energy revolution are no less significant.
Posted February 8, 2016
It has been clear for months that the Obama administration has lost interest in a true “all-of-the-above” approach to the nation’s energy – one that is being led by surging oil and natural gas production right here at home. Consider:Despite multiple State Department reviews filled with science showing that rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline would result in higher emissions, the president killed the project and the 42,000 jobs it would support during its construction phase. Despite the fact U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are near 20-year lows, the administration is pushing ahead with its Clean Power Plan that favors only certain kinds of renewable energy instead of letting states to freely choose lower-emissions sources while ensuring affordable and reliable energy for consumers. Although methane emissions from natural gas production are dropping, EPA and the Bureau of Land Management are moving forward with additional layers of regulation that could raise the cost of natural gas production and chill investments needed to bring cleaner-burning gas to market. Despite bipartisan agreement that the Renewable Fuel Standard is a failure – that mandates for increasing ethanol use actually increases greenhouse gas emissions – EPA continues to push for more ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply.
The administration’s latest anti-energy revolution proposal is an ill-conceived plan to slap a $10-per-barrel fee or tax on crude oil that could increase the cost of a barrel of crude by 30 percent and add 25 cents to the price of a gallon of gasoline.
Posted February 5, 2016
Our industry’s continuing commitment to safety is underscored in a new federal advisory bulletin on underground natural gas storage facilities that urges field operators to implement industry best practices developed by API and other organizations. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA):
Operators must adhere to applicable State regulations for the permitting, drilling, completion, and operation of storage wells. In developing, implementing, and updating their safety and integrity programs, we encourage underground gas storage facility operators to … voluntarily implement American Petroleum Institute (API) Recommended Practices (RP) … and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) standards entitled “Natural Gas Storage in Salt Caverns – A Guide for State Regulators” (IOGCC Guide), as applicable. … API has an accredited process to develop recommended practices and standards that involves industry, manufacturers, engineering firms, construction contractors, the public, academia, and government.
API worked with other trade associations and PHMSA to develop two recommended practices (RPs) last year – one focused on safe practices for designing, storing and operating natural gas in depleted oil and gas reservoirs, and another detailing how to safely design, store and operate natural gas in salt caverns. Both RPs discuss proper construction methods, materials and maintenance practices to ensure safe operations.