Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted May 14, 2020
API’s latest Monthly Statistical Report (MSR) has positive news; it just takes a close look to find it.
One example: Weekly petroleum demand data (MSR and U.S. Energy Information Administration), as measured by total domestic petroleum deliveries, indicates that the worst impacts on our industry from COVID-19 and measures to contain it may be behind us, occurring in mid-April.
We won’t know for sure until we see data for May in next month’s MSR. But EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report (WPSR), shows that demand rebounded by 3.0 million barrels per day (mb/d) as of May 8, from the low point in the week of April 10 (lowest demand for April since 1970). With more than 30 states in various stages of re-opening, demand could be expected to increase along with rising economic activity.
Posted May 12, 2020
Americans everywhere should be concerned about a federal judge’s decision in Montana that could significantly delay the safe and timely construction of new natural gas and oil pipelines across the country.
In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris excluded only the “construction of new oil and gas pipelines” from the Nationwide Permit 12 program (NWP 12). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses NWP 12 to authorize a number of utility/infrastructure construction and maintenance projects crossing certain streams and wetlands where there is minimal effect on the environment. …
Nationwide Permits are used for projects deemed necessary for the public interest and that have minimal adverse environmental impacts. To prohibit new natural gas and oil projects from utilizing NWP 12 is arbitrary and actually could make it harder to protect the environment.
Posted May 12, 2020
We’ve highlighted the way many Americans and different business sectors, including ours, have helped with relief efforts during the COVID-19 crisis (see here). We’ve also said that natural gas and oil will be leading players as our economy and communities recover.
We’re especially grateful for people on the front lines of the pandemic – doctors, nurses, hospital staffs, first responders, grocery store workers and others who are out there in public spaces every day. API’s new video, “Good Energy,” is our way of saying thanks for what they’re doing to help the rest of us through the crisis and a sign of our industry's commitment to keep supporting them.
Posted May 11, 2020
With the global economy reeling, affordable natural gas is more important than ever.
U.S. emergence as a major energy producer means the natural gas market has never been more flexible, more reliable or more adaptable to changing conditions – including a global pandemic. Millions benefit daily from the use of natural gas in power generation and home heating, and when the world begins to safely return to normal, U.S. natural gas is positioned to balance our economic recovery with environmental progress.
Posted May 8, 2020
Some anti-industry voices – apparently not regular readers of this blog – probably missed Monday’s post discussing the strong link between the economy and energy from natural gas and oil.
Not surprisingly, these are the folks arguing that the current coronavirus-associated market downturn surely means the end is near for U.S. oil. Some have cheered the challenges industry faces, with one tweeting that natural gas and oil jobs (good-paying ones, I’ll add) belong in history’s rubbish bin, comparing them to two of the most odious occupations of the past. Well, no one’s going to confuse social media with a friendly game of bean bag, right?
The trouble with these arguments is they’re grounded purely in ideology and neglect that economic, energy, human progress and development go hand-in-hand. As noted in the earlier post, data and history indicate that while the U.S. natural gas and oil industry is working through significant COVID-19 challenges right now – along with a number of other business and industrial sectors – it is poised to power economic recovery as personal driving and commercial traffic increase (fuels), as businesses reopen (electricity) and as manufacturers ramp up operations (power/feedstocks).
Posted May 5, 2020
News reports of a “flotilla” of oil tankers from Saudi Arabia, sailing to the U.S. with more than 40 million barrels of crude oil in their holds for delivery this month, has many Americans questioning why the U.S. – the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer – imports any oil when oversupply associated with the government response to COVID-19 has a number of U.S. operators hurting financially.
Some think President Trump should send the oil fleet home or impose import tariffs. It’s a new chapter in an old debate over why the U.S. imports oil when our domestic production is among the globe’s leaders. In the case of this imported Saudi oil, the answer has much to do with the supply needs of the U.S. refining system.
Posted May 4, 2020
As some U.S. states and communities begin reopening, the COVID-19 threat to public health continues. Our industry stands ready to support safe and thoughtful plans to restart the economy and begin the national recovery from this historic pandemic.
When that recovery kicks in, it will be powered largely by natural gas and oil, here at home and around the globe – in the sense that recovery will mean increased personal driving, commercial transportation and air travel will require more fuels; reopening businesses will need more electricity; and manufacturers will require additional power and supplies of feedstocks.
Posted May 4, 2020
As everyone in government and the private sector works to contain the coronavirus, there’s no shortage of inspiring stories from the front lines of generosity and selflessness as Americans band together to meet the needs of their communities.
We’ve all heard about courageous medical professionals, first responders and essential workers – including grocery store employees, food service workers and delivery drivers – who are leading efforts to safeguard public health and meet priority needs. In this historic pandemic, they’re true American heroes.
John D. Siciliano
Posted April 30, 2020
Meeting short-term crude oil storage challenges has our industry looking at a number of measures to safely route and handle the surplus resulting from the demand decline tied to global efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
API President and CEO Mike Sommers told CNBC that the industry is thinking outside the box to find “creative solutions” to ship and store an historic amount of oil beyond its usual means.
To be sure, there also are separate infrastructure challenges in getting crude oil to where there is storage. Many pipelines in the nation’s transportation network are full up or contracted – partly reflecting the country’s infrastructure needs that pre-date COVID-19. That’s a subject for a separate post. The fact remains industry is focused on finding storage as markets rebalance between supply and demand.
John D. Siciliano
Posted April 27, 2020
Enhancing engine protection and performance with the co-benefit of improving fuel economy in cars, trucks, and SUVs is what the public can expect when API’s new engine oil standards go into effect on May 1.
The 18th edition of the API 1509 engine oil standard – Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System (EOLCS) – is a product of industry’s continuous process of updating motor oil specifications to meet the demands of the marketplace and consumers.
For example, the new standard includes a conservation specification to improve fuel economy – in addition to keeping a vehicle’s emissions control systems in check – while also being able to account for the introduction of more renewable fuels into the gasoline supply. This means that oil bearing the API licensing mark can both boost the number of miles driven on a gallon of gasoline, while improving the overall performance of the engine, which is good for consumers and the environment alike.