Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted February 7, 2015
The oil and natural gas industry expects to have 1.3 million jobs that will need to be filled through 2030 – the product of baseline growth, pro-development policies, capital investments and the need to replace retiring workers. That means opportunity. A 2014 IHS study for industry projected that women could account for 185,000 of these jobs.
The key is finding them. New research by American Viewpoint and Lake Research Partners, illuminating the attitudes and perceptions of women seeking employment in the oil and natural gas industry, could help. The firms conducted a series of focus groups with women between the ages of 18 and 44 – in addition to a national survey of 1,200 women in the same age group.
Posted December 9, 2014
New research by the University of Texas shows what other studies have shown: methane emissions from natural gas production are lower than previously estimated. The UT study found that emissions represent just 0.38 percent of production – about 10 percent lower than a 2013 study by the same research team.
The UT study checked two sources of methane emissions in natural gas production: processes to clear wells of accumulated liquids to increase production, called liquid unloadings; and pneumatic controller devices that open and close valves.
The study found that just 19 percent of pneumatic devices accounted for 95 percent of emissions from that equipment, and that just 20 percent of wells with unloading emissions that vent to the atmosphere accounted for 65 percent to 85 percent of those emissions. David Allen, the study’s principal investigator:
“To put this in perspective, over the past several decades, 10 percent of the cars on the road have been responsible for the majority of automotive exhaust pollution. Similarly, a small group of sources within these two categories are responsible for the vast majority of pneumatic and unloading emissions at natural gas production sites.”
The results suggest that technologies and practices already in use by industry – voluntary efforts and those to comply with federal green completions rules that become standard in January – are working to reduce methane leaks.
Posted November 26, 2014
The New York Times has an editorial urging Washington to regulate emissions of methane – no surprise as “The Gray Lady” has to uphold her “green” bonafides. But methane as an “overlooked” greenhouse gas, as the editorial’s headline states? Hardly.
While the Times may have just discovered methane, industry has been working to reduce emissions – and is succeeding, at a rate that casts doubt on the need for a new federal regulatory layer.
Posted October 27, 2014
Ever heard of the broken window fallacy? In economic circles, it’s a common parable used to dismiss arguments that damage – like the breaking of a window – has a silver lining: spending to fix the window boosts the window repairman, which boosts the folks who make panes of glass and so forth.
Yet, that argument (and the one depicted in the broken window parable) misses a big unseen – there’s no free lunch in spending to repair or rebuild property. The money comes from somewhere. The person who must buy a new window spends money he or she might have invested or spent elsewhere in the economy, with greater economic impact. Likewise with government spending. Those dollars came from taxpayers who might have invested or spent elsewhere in the economy, with greater economic impact.
We say all of this because another common argument being heard is that tossing bricks of energy regulation will invigorate the energy sector.
Posted October 21, 2014
Sonecon’s updated look at ownership of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry shows that the benefits of a successful, rigorous industry sector continue to accrue to a broad range of Americans – who are the industry’s true owners. Here’s what we mean by broad:
- Public and private pension and retirements plans, including 401(k)s and IRAs, hold 46.8 percent of all shares of U.S. oil and natural gas companies in 2014.
- Asset management companies, including mutual funds, hold 24.7 percent of oil and natural gas shares.
- Individual investors hold 18.7 percent of all oil and natural gas company shares.
Combined, that’s 97 percent of all oil and natural gas company stock – held by millions of Americans across the country.
Posted October 8, 2014
New York Times: HOUSTON — The Singapore-flagged tanker BW Zambesi set sail with little fanfare from the port of Galveston, Tex., on July 30, loaded with crude oil destined for South Korea. But though it left inauspiciously, the ship’s launch was another critical turning point in what has been a half-decade of tectonic change for the American oil industry.
The 400,000 barrels the tanker carried represented the first unrestricted export of American oil to a country outside of North America in nearly four decades. The Obama administration insisted there was no change in energy trade policy, perhaps concerned about the reaction from environmentalists and liberal members of Congress with midterm elections coming. But many energy experts viewed the launch as the curtain raiser for the United States’ inevitable emergence as a major world oil exporter, an improbable return to a status that helped make the country a great power in the first half of the 20th century.
“The export shipment symbolizes a new era in U.S. energy and U.S. energy relations with the rest of the world,” said Daniel Yergin, the energy historian. “Economically, it means that money that was flowing out of the United States into sovereign wealth funds and treasuries around the world will now stay in the U.S. and be invested in the U.S., creating jobs. It doesn’t change everything, but it certainly provides a new dimension to U.S. influence in the world.”
Posted September 26, 2014
Let’s talk energy infrastructure, focusing on the pipelines and the fuel storage and dispensing facilities in this country that keep commercial jetliners in the air and our vehicles moving on the roads and highways.
Part of that system is visible in suburban Washington, D.C., at the terminus for Kinder Morgan’s 3,100-mile Plantation Pipeline network (left) and the neighboring Newington Terminal, which API staff members toured recently.
Posted September 18, 2014
America’s oil and natural gas industry supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. Industry’s extensive network of 30,000 vendors, suppliers, and contractors create and support jobs and grow the economy in every state in the union and almost every congressional district.
What this speaks to is the unprecedented opportunity created by America’s 21st century energy renaissance, which is a direct result of technical advances in the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. If we seize this moment in our history and work together on energy policies that promote the safe and responsible development of our nation’s enormous energy resources, our industry will not only create and support millions of well-paying jobs far into the future, but also make America a global energy superpower for generations.
Posted July 9, 2014
Hydraulic fracturing is a proven, safe technique that has been used since 1949 in over one million wells right here in the U.S. As a result, America is now the number one producer of natural gas in the world, and by 2015, it is expected that we will take the top spot in crude oil production. Of course, with this success, come both benefits and challenges.
Posted May 5, 2014