Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted January 2, 2014
Shale-Oil Boom Puts Spotlight on Crude Export Ban
Wall Street Journal: The U.S. government virtually banned the export of crude oil in the wake of the mid-1970s energy crisis. But as America pumps more crude, 2014 could be the year those constraints are lifted.
For decades, even discussing the possibility of exporting domestic oil was a political nonstarter in Washington. Now, surging U.S. production has led to the beginning of a glut along the Gulf Coast, home to the largest refinery complex in the world. Too much crude is driving down prices there, making producers eager to export some of their oil to places like Europe where prices are higher.
Read more (subscription publication): http://on.wsj.com/1d2nGfN
Posted December 30, 2013
Vaclav Smil’s Graph of the Year: The Natural Gas Boom
Washington Post: "[There are] too many choices possible, but here is one epoch-making trend: as the post-2008 rise of hydraulic fracturing drove U.S. natural gas prices down and increased the supply (in 2013 the U.S. will be again the world’s largest natural gas producer) oil and gas prices, traditionally moving in tandem, have diverged significantly. History is being made."
Posted December 26, 2013
Though there are compelling, Economics 101-type reasons the U.S. should lift its dated ban on crude oil exports and help clear the way for the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG), opponents of both continue to misunderstand the way global energy markets work – as well as the significant benefits accruing to the United States from free trade.
You’ve probably heard the rhetoric: Keep American oil and natural gas locked up here at home for U.S. consumers.
This misses the essential fact that crude oil is traded (and priced) globally, and that limiting LNG exports will only limit U.S. participation in an important, developing market – while effectively denying our country the infusion of overseas wealth in exchange for valuable American commodities.
Posted December 20, 2013
Momentum is building for revisiting decades-old restrictions on U.S. exports of oil and natural gas. For months we’ve talked about the benefits of exporting liquefied natural gas. Now the U.S. ban on crude oil exports also is being discussed. Earlier this month Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said much has changed since the crude oil export ban was created:
“Those restrictions on exports were born, as was the Department of Energy and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, on oil disruptions. There are lots of issues in the energy space that deserve some new analysis and examination in the context of what is now an energy world that is no longer like the 1970s.”
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) and the Washington Post have called for an end to the crude oil export ban. With the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s newest outlook projecting continued growth in U.S. production of oil – nearing the 1970 record of 9.6 million barrels per day – and natural gas, discussion of exporting American energy makes economic sense.
Posted December 20, 2013
Merry Christmas, Texas, From Your Oil and Gas Industry
Forbes: “Texas has recovered 100 percent of the jobs lost during the recession and added 597,000 beyond the previous peak in August 2008.” – Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs
On Thursday, December 12, the Texas Comptroller’s Office released a report detailing the current state of the state’s budget. The report was titled “Tracking the Texas Economy – Key Texas Economic Indicators”. But given the content of the report, a better title might have been:
“Merry Christmas, Texas, From Your Oil and Natural Gas Industry”
According to the Comptroller, the state ended its 2012-2013 biennium with a surplus of more than $2.6 billion, almost three times the previously projected amount of $964 million. The reason why? Because the Texas oil and natural gas industry’s tax payments were more than $2 billion more than anticipated.
Read more: http://onforb.es/1i8lWU5
Posted December 17, 2013
U.S. Energy Outlook: More Oil, More Natural Gas, Less Carbon. Yay America!
Forbes: The federal government’s Energy Information Administration is out today with an early version of its Annual Energy Outlook for 2014. Their headline finding: that the United States will continue to grow less dependent on foreign oil as the miracle of our tight oil boom adds to supply and more efficient vehicles reduce demand. Yay America!
By their reckoning, domestic crude oil production will continue its surge, adding another 800,000 barrels per day in 2014 and about the same in 2015. By 2016 we should reach 9.5 million barrels per day, approaching the historical high of 9.6 million bpd back in 1970.
The boom won’t last forever, and will level off around 2020. But when domestic oil supplies do start slipping, we won’t feel it too much at first, because our vehicles will be using a lot less fuel.
Read more: http://onforb.es/1gEiWP8
Posted December 13, 2013
Bloomberg Poll: 56 Percent Say Keystone XL Would Help U.S. Energy Security
Bloomberg Businessweek: More Americans view the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a benefit to U.S. energy security than as an environmental risk, even as they say Canada should do more to reduce greenhouse gases in exchange for approval of the project.
A Bloomberg National Poll shows support for the $5.4 billion link between Alberta’s oil sands and U.S. Gulf Coast refineries remains strong, with 56 percent of respondents viewing it as a chance to reduce dependence on oil imports from less reliable trading partners. That compares with the 35 percent who say they see it more as a potential source of damaging oil spills and harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more: http://buswk.co/1gwdBJq
Posted December 4, 2013
A Pivotal Moment in U.S. Energy History
Global Energy Initiative (Jason Bordoff): We are at a transformational moment in energy history. Just a few years ago, all energy projections forecast increased imports, increased scarcity, and increased natural gas prices. Today, we’ve shifted from scarcity to abundance. U.S. oil production has increased by 2.5 million barrels per day (B/D) since 2010. This year, the United States overtook Saudi Arabia as the largest producer of liquid fuels (including crude oil, natural gas, and biofuels) in the world. U.S. oil imports are at their lowest level in 25 years and are projected to continue declining. The natural gas outlook is even more striking. New geological surveys and production data continue to surprise to the upside. And multi-billion-dollar terminals proposed not long ago to import natural gas are being flipped to export instead.
This transformation is not only a U.S. story. New technologies mean that what were once challenging sources of oil and gas can now be tapped economically from the oil sands in Canada (and potentially Venezuela), the ultra-deepwater “presalt” off the coast of Brazil, and many other parts of the world. Iraq, parts of Africa, and elsewhere are poised for sharp increases in production.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1gk7ms9
Posted November 21, 2013
The Strange Debate over LNG Exports
UPI Analysis: WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 -- The debate over exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas is exceedingly strange. In Washington one sometimes hears calls to limit imports of given goods or services but limits on exports?
When U.S. President Barack Obama talked of doubling U.S. exports in five years in his 2010 State of the Union Address, some said this was an unrealistic objective but nobody said it wasn't a worthy goal, particularly to support the United States' economic recovery.
Since Adam Smith, of course, economists have understood that restrictions on imports or exports reduce overall national welfare. But the politics of imports and exports are different.
The costs of allowing imports are generally borne by identifiable firms and their workers but the benefits of imports are typically widely dispersed and thus effectively invisible.
Exports have an opposite dynamic. Increased export sales directly benefit identifiable firms and their workers. Any costs are typically spread thinly and invisibly over the whole economy.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1h5umeF
Posted November 20, 2013
Future of U.S. Energy Production is Bright
KAAL ABC Rochester 6: The U.S. is entering a new era of energy production said former national security advisor General James Jones who made a stop in Rochester Tuesday. He says the future of U.S. energy is bright.
Most people have noticed a change when they go to fill up.
"Gas being $3.20 instead of $3.80," said Scott Heck.
Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce member Scott Heck knows a lot more is happening with the U.S. energy industry than what we can see at the gas pump.
"Certainly being from North Dakota I know people that have been dramatically affected by the abundance of energy up there," said Heck.
North Dakota is just one of the areas that has seen the effects of the U.S. oil boom.
"The U.S. is now the largest producer of oil and gas," said General Jones.
General Jones is a former national security advisor to President Obama. He say with recent innovations and technologies the United States is now in a position where it may soon no longer have to rely on foreign oil.
"This is a whole different ball game, we need to develop our resources widely, this energy leverage gives us a role of influence in the world that we haven't enjoyed for a long time," said General Jones.
Read more: http://bit.ly/18QwkqR