Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted September 17, 2019
Enbridge’s critically important Line 3 replacement project (L3RP) has gained significant support from Canadian First Nations leaders who urged Minnesotans to work with the pipeline company on the project in a recent op-ed in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
“Enbridge addressed our concerns and supported our aspirations by investing in our people and working with us to improve our infrastructure and enhance social programs for our peoples. Over 300 million U.S. dollars were spent with First Nation and First Nation citizen-owned businesses. This economic stimulus benefited more than just the workers, it benefited the families and the Nations we represent.”
Posted September 16, 2019
An attack on a Saudi Arabian oil processing facility over the weekend has knocked out a significant part of Saudi production, at least temporarily, shaking oil markets. The precise amount and duration of the outage remains uncertain, and there are still unknowns about the attack that caused it, which in turn has inflated the risk premium on oil prices due to market fears about what may happen next within the region.
The market’s initial direction is clear, with Brent crude oil up more than $8 per barrel as of 3 p.m. Monday, per Bloomberg. Let’s break down what’s happened in context, recognizing that the U.S. energy revolution has fundamentally added to U.S. and global near-term deliverability of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids, generally helping stabilize the global market against supply disruptions.
Posted September 10, 2019
With global demand for energy on the rise – expected to increase more than 25% by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) – the U.S. natural gas and oil industry is focused on delivering affordable and reliable energy to consumers, while simultaneously shrinking our environmental footprint.
Cleaner-burning natural gas is at the leading edge of climate progress, as the fuel has been largely responsible for reducing U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest levels in a generation. Natural gas emits one-half the carbon compared to coal and, as a result, switching from coal to natural gas in electricity generation has saved about 500 million tons of carbon dioxide since 2010, per IEA.
Posted September 10, 2019
Natural gas and oil, the bellwether of the U.S. economy, continue to be the collateral damage in the administration’s trade war with China – frustratingly ironic given the White House’s stated goal of bolstering American energy.
Important parts for offshore natural gas and oil drilling and production, as well as critical parts and accessories for energy projects are among products imported from China that will be subject to a 30% tariff as of Oct. 1 – an increase from the current 25% tariff.
Higher costs for these needed components could increase the cost of production and, ultimately, energy costs to U.S. consumers.
Posted September 9, 2019
One of the things I do often on behalf of API is to speak publicly across the United States, emphasizing how the energy revolution has continued to benefit consumers. On the topic of natural gas and electricity generation, a common thread has emerged: Natural gas has generally led to lower energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and lower electricity prices across the nation.
To those who follow the industry, this may be no surprise given that clean natural gas has supplanted coal as the leading energy source for generating electricity in the U.S. Part of this is natural gas’ competitiveness in the marketplace. Thanks in part to the shale revolution, real natural gas prices at Henry Hub decreased 37% between 2010 and 2018 – and as of August 2019 were down by another 15.6% y/y.
Posted September 5, 2019
The U.S. natural gas and oil industry is laser-focused on tackling the dual challenge of delivering energy for all and protecting our planet, keeping pace with record demand for affordable fuels while reducing emissions every step of the way.
By investing in innovative technologies, developing state-of-the-art standards and supporting smart regulations that reduce methane and other emissions, our industry is improving sustainability, particularly for the production of cleaner-burning natural gas.
Posted September 4, 2019
The natural gas and oil industry cares about the health and safety of the communities where it operates. These are our homes and communities, too – places where we’re raising our families. Getting health and safety right is more than just business. It’s a major focus of our industry’s engagement with communities, as we earn and sustain the permission to safely develop natural gas and oil.
As part of this engagement, industry is mindful of the safety, health and welfare of surrounding communities, to ensure careful decision-making related to our health and safety responsibilities. We’re guided by high-quality science. We employ and work with scientists, including toxicologists and epidemiologists, so that our analyses are well-founded.
As a scientist myself, let me be clear: We must rely on real science as a basis for sound decision-making so that as we operate the public and the environment are protected. Unscientific material – such as opinion pieces, unfinished studies and misinformation campaigns – isn’t helpful to this process, creates false narratives and can skew public perceptions.
Posted September 3, 2019
The story of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is long and unfortunate – a program that is now largely obsolete thanks to surging domestic energy, whose mandates continue to loom over American consumers without many of the benefits it was supposed to provide. It lives on, protected by ethanol producers and corn state/presidential politics.
That’s the context for RFS policy tweaks expected soon from the White House – more fiddling with a flawed program that will attempt to force higher content of ethanol-blended fuel into the U.S. supply, potentially impacting consumers, while creating an uneven playing field in the refining sector.
Posted August 29, 2019
With EPA’s reconsideration of its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) that address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with natural gas and oil production, some insist the changes will trash environmental protections.
This “rollback” narrative is false and largely designed to play to the extreme environmentalist crowd. Contrary to that view, modifying the NSPS could reduce duplication with state programs, provide greater clarity for industry in its regulatory compliance and, ultimately, further lower methane and other emissions and protect the environment by making it easier for operators to gain approvals for use of new, innovative technologies to detect fugitive emissions for repair. In fact, this procedural correction is best described as a realignment with the agency’s obligations under the Clean Air Act.
The well-worn “rollback” tale also dismisses the effective role of technology, innovation and industry initiative in reducing emissions – such as The Environmental Partnership. It discounts industry’s strong motivation to reduce emissions, which it has done in growing measure amid increased natural gas and oil production.
Posted August 28, 2019
U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – growing to a record 4.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) in the third quarter of 2019 – have been a catalyst for new natural gas resource development, U.S. pipeline and natural gas processing investments and the U.S. economy. ...
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects U.S. LNG exports to more than double again by 2025, which holds the potential for even greater domestic economic benefits, plus a central, emerging role for U.S. energy leadership in global markets.Realizing these benefits is critically dependent on the United States’ ability to build and deliver an unprecedented number of multi-billion-dollar U.S. mega-projects over the next several years. When ”demographics are destiny” and the average age of a welder in the U.S. already is over 57 years, we should remain optimistic about the potential to build these projects but also pragmatic about the policies and business environment needed to achieve the goals.