Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted April 21, 2014
I sat in on a luncheon briefing for reporters last week that featured Charlie Williams, executive director of the Center for Offshore Safety (COS), which focuses exclusively on enhancing the safety of offshore oil and natural gas.
Williams, a long-time engineer with Shell before agreeing to lead the COS, talked about the center’s activities in interesting detail – all designed to ensure a continuing culture of safety in offshore energy operations. It starts with recognizing where threats to safety come from and erecting barriers to those threats, he said.
Posted April 8, 2014
On Monday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a remarkable new projection showing that given certain conditions and with the right policies in place the United States could reach energy self-sufficiency within two decades. It’s the first time EIA has projected that net imports’ share of liquid fuels consumption could reach zero – basically, that domestic production would exceed imports. Key to EIA’s scenario: access to domestic reserves.
On Tuesday, new Bureau of Land Management data showed that if EIA’s projection is to be realized, a new approach to energy development on federal lands will be needed. BLM statistics show that leasing and permitting on federal lands in fiscal year 2013 both were down, hitting their lowest numbers in years. Also down: new wells drilled.
Posted March 18, 2014
A few of the new good-news stories resulting from America’s oil and natural gas revolution:
Investing in Ohio Production …
The state’s geologist says Utica shale development has triggered $20 billion to $24 billion in spending investments and more will come, reports the Akron Beacon Journal’s online edition. The newspaper cites an unreleased report by Ohio state geologist Mike McCormac that says drilling companies have spent about $6 billion on drilling plus approximately $2 billion on leases. Investments in processing plants and pipelines are estimated at $12 billion to $16 billion.
Posted February 25, 2014
The energy industry is working for America. A new Manhattan Institute report finds that in the slowly recovering U.S. economy the oil and natural gas industry is creating jobs and generating broad economic stimulus. Top findings:
- While overall U.S. employment has yet to return levels predating the 2008 recession, the number of oil and natural gas jobs has grown 40 percent since then.
- The U.S. energy revolution is almost entirely the result of development by more than 20,000 small and midsize businesses. The typical oil and natural gas firm has fewer than 15 employees.
- Industry jobs are geographically dispersed. Sixteen states have more than 150,000 jobs in the oil and natural gas sector.
Posted January 29, 2014
Contrary to what some in politics, the media and most recently, the president during the State of the Union, have said, the oil and natural gas industry currently receives not one taxpayer “subsidy,” “loophole” or deduction. Since its inception, the U.S. tax code has allowed corporate taxpayers the ability to recover costs. These cost-recovery mechanisms, also known in policy circles as “tax expenditures,” should in no way be confused with “subsidies” – direct government spending or “tax loopholes.”
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 23, 2013
Every now and then we see items questioning the economic impact of domestic oil and natural gas development from a jobs standpoint. As we’ve pointed out, industry’s benefit to the country isn’t measured just in direct oil and natural gas employment. Its positive impact must be seen in jobs and economic activity that otherwise wouldn’t exist, as well as benefits to consumers. More supporting evidence:
Investment – A new API survey on drilling costs found that about $153.7 billion was invested in drilling in 2012, a 23.1 percent increase over 2011.
Posted December 17, 2013
Last month we made some points on a Senate proposal that would impact America’s oil and natural gas industry with higher taxes and costs. Research has shown that delaying industry’s ability to write off intangible drilling costs likely would mean fewer wells drilled, lost jobs and lower energy production. Doing away with the “last-in, last-out” (LIFO) accounting method used by a number of energy companies would require them to redirect cash or sell assets to cover tax payments.
Now API has been joined by more than a dozen other organizations – representing energy producers, refiners, supporting servicers, equipment manufacturers, marketers and retailers – in challenging proposals that could hinder an industry that already sends $85 million a day to the U.S. Treasury.
In a letter to members of Congress the groups say that while efforts to make the tax code less complicated and more competitive are good, raising energy taxes and increasing costs will work against greater industry investment and activity that would provide broad benefit to the U.S. economy.
Posted December 13, 2013
Last week we posted on a new study showing tremendous economic and energy benefits to opening the U.S. Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to offshore oil and natural gas development. The folks at the National Ocean Industries Association have a video out that captures the study’s highlights in a little over a minute.
Posted December 12, 2013
In the spirit of the holiday season, we take stock of more of the gifts our country’s oil and natural gas bounty is able to present to every American – certainly, gifts that keep on giving!
First, let’s acknowledge that oil and natural gas are the energies of our lives. No hyperbole there. Oil and natural gas are the source of energy-intense fuels for transportation as well as warmth in the winter and cooling in the summer. They’re also the building blocks for a number of products we use every day, making our lives more modern, more comfortable and safer. Every day 143 U.S. refineries convert an average of 15 million barrels of crude oil for these uses and more.
For 9.8 million Americans, the oil and natural gas industry supports their employment – directly, indirectly in supporting industries and across our economy in jobs that wouldn’t exist without oil and natural gas development. Now, let’s get to those presents.