Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted June 4, 2019
Some important points as the U.S. House Select Committee on Intelligence meets this week to talk about the impacts of climate change on U.S. security interests, global humanitarian conditions and other issues.
First, U.S. security is the responsibility of the U.S. military, which is the largest government user of energy, ranking ahead of many countries in overall energy use. More than any other energy sources and by a wide margin, natural gas and oil power America’s military.
Second, U.S. national security is directly tied to having access to safe, reliable, abundant energy and also decreasing dependence on energy supplied by other nations. Thanks to the U.S. energy revolution, resulting in record oil production, America’s dependence on others has fallen significantly since 2006.
Third, on the humanitarian issue, U.S. natural gas and oil offer a golden opportunity to lift regions and even entire countries out of energy poverty – with power for electricity that’s unavailable to nearly 1 billion people on earth and clean fuel for home heating and cooking, which about 2.7 billion people currently live without.
Posted May 31, 2019
The stage and podium banners at the Alaska Oil and Gas Association Conference in Anchorage this week had a simple, direct message – “Alaska: Back On The Map.” Certainly, the U.S. will be stronger, more secure and prosperous if the energy in Alaska and the Arctic offshore are developed to their potential.
This was the main point of keynote remarks by API President and CEO Mike Sommers (speech video here) – that an energy-strong Alaska makes America energy strong. The critical factor, Sommers said, is securing access to reserves – in the Alaskan offshore, the designated development zone of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s (ANWR) coastal plain and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A).
Posted May 10, 2019
Headlines announcing big oil discoveries in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) – such as the Blacktip deepwater find last month – are something we’ve come to expect. Gulf production long has been strategically important to the United States, accounting for 17 percent of total U.S. crude oil production, and it’s easy to take for granted that the basin will just keep producing and producing.
Yet, two recent analyses, IHS Markit’s report for the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and a Crystol Energy report, caution that the Central and Western Gulf, currently open to oil and natural gas development, are maturing, having been developed for several decades, and production could begin to decline before long. GOM development must compete globally with other offshore and onshore prospects or face declining interest in exploration, falling investment and decommissioning of critical infrastructure.
Posted April 11, 2019
Cutting bureaucratic red tape and making federal decisions on energy infrastructure more efficient and timely are important steps toward ensuring that Americans in all parts of the country may be connected to the benefits of the U.S. energy revolution.
That’s what we see in the president’s two new executive orders affecting energy infrastructure – greater efficiency and timeliness in federal reviews, without compromising thorough environmental scrutiny.
The United States leads the world in natural gas and oil production, yet not every American, not every manufacturer and not every region of the country is adequately connected to America’s energy abundance – and won’t be without new and/or expanded pipelines and other infrastructure to deliver energy to markets and consumers.
Posted March 29, 2019
The U.S. energy revolution remains a feat to behold. Benefits to the economy, consumers and manufacturing and a boost to America’s stature in the world and our national security. API President and CEO Mike Sommers touched on a number of these points during a conversation at the National Review Institute’s 2019 Ideas Summit. …
Abundant natural gas and oil reserves, technology and innovation created this revolution and, with the right policies, the U.S. can sustain and grow its energy leadership. “For our future energy needs,” Sommers said, “that’s how we’re going to supply the world.”
Posted March 25, 2019
For U.S. natural gas, the fourth quarter of 2018 ended with consumers benefiting from the lowest prices in nearly a year – despite the weakest inventories and coldest winter since 2014.
Indeed, recently we’ve seen natural gas prices as low as $2.56 per million Btu (Feb. 5, Bloomberg) corresponding with record high demand of 96.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of marketed production for February 2019 and low inventories – 415 billion cubic feet below the five-year average range as of Feb. 1.
It’s remarkable, because this combination of factors ordinarily would raise natural gas prices. The fact that prices fell illustrates the vigor of domestic production, which has soared during the U.S. energy revolution.
Domestic abundance and affordability have been at the heart a truly amazing U.S. natural gas story – one that has seen U.S. producers meet domestic needs and also increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to friends and allies around the world.
Posted March 21, 2019
Earlier this year we noted federal projections that U.S. liquefied natural gas export capacity would reach almost 9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2019, with exports averaging 5.1 Bcf/d. Add to that crude oil and other liquids, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that the U.S. will export more energy than it imports by 2020 – for the first time since the 1950s.
The numbers take on even more significance as the context for U.S. energy leadership around the world. At the CERAWeek conference earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talked about the unique opportunity for U.S. energy to transform geopolitical realities and in the process make Americans safer.
Posted March 5, 2019
The International Energy Agency’s Fatih Birol regularly heralds the positive impacts of the American shale energy revolution (see here, here and here). All good, but U.S. shale’s global impact is just now starting to be felt, IEA’s executive director said last week.
During a global markets update at the U.S. Energy Department with Secretary Rick Perry, Birol said the United States will be responsible for about two-thirds of the growth in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) export market. Of course, this reflects the abundance of domestic natural gas, largely produced from shale formations. Big-time global impact lies ahead, Birol said. Add to that environmental and climate progress, which we’ll get to in a bit.
Certainly, there’s every reason to believe U.S. natural gas and oil can meet or exceed global expectations. Soaring U.S. crude oil production has increased global supply, supporting the stability of global markets – while reducing weekly U.S. crude imports to their lowest level in 23 years (as of Feb. 22), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Posted February 26, 2019
When the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was announced last fall, we pointed out that it would be good for North American energy security and continue flourishing energy trade between the United States and its neighbors by providing market access and zero tariffs for U.S. natural gas and oil and related products.
The agreement would sustain and expand the gains made under its predecessor, NAFTA, which created a North American energy market, helped make the U.S. more energy secure and benefited U.S. consumers.
Congress should approve USMCA as soon as possible to lock in the critically important energy relationship between the U.S., Mexico and Canada – as well as the general flows of goods and services so vital to good economic health in this country.
Posted February 26, 2019
In case you missed it, let’s echo a recent official U.S. Energy Department projection that the United States should “not only maintain its lead spot as top oil producer, but will greatly exceed what it produced last year in both 2019 and 2020.”
The trajectory of U.S. oil production is significant for U.S. economic growth, energy security and global leadership, and – as we recently discussed oil exports in this post – potentially raises the stakes in the market share battle between the United States and OPEC plus Russia (OPEC+).