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API’S Mike Sommers Delivers Keynote Speech At AOGA Conference

View Video Of Key Excerpts - View Video of Full Speech

API President and CEO Mike Sommers today delivered the keynote speech at the Alaska Oil and Gas Association Conference in Anchorage, Alaska and highlighted how throughout history the U.S. natural gas and oil industry has done “more to help the human condition than any other industry in the history of time.”

Please see below for key excerpts of his speech and above for a video of the full speech.

API President Mike Sommers: Oil and natural gas “has done more to help the human condition than any other industry in the history of time.”  [5:40-6:07]
“So one of the things that I want to talk about briefly is—you know I think our opponents often take the opportunity to criticize this industry and I don’t think that this industry should shy from making the moral arguments about what this industry has done over the course of the last hundred years. This industry has done more to help the human condition than any industry in the history of time. Everyday you work to provide safe, affordable, reliable, and increasingly sustainable fuel for the American people and we should be standing from the high hill tops to help tell that story. We shouldn’t be on defense. Every day we should be on offense talking about what this industry does for the American people.”

Sommers: Alaska’s oil and gas industry helped pave the way for America’s energy renaissance. [8:02-10:36]
“Alaska is truly at the leading edge of the American energy revolution and it almost didn’t happen. In the late ‘60s, operators had almost given up the North Slope. But you know what happened next: they drilled one more well, and one more well led to the largest oil field discovery in history at that time. And when you think about it, the history of TAPS mirrors the history of the oil and gas industry in the United States. We’ve both had our share of setbacks, comebacks, and full circle moments. And in both cases, the strength of this industry has made America stronger. TAPS started operating in 1977 right between two major energy crises. In 1973 of course with the OPEC oil embargo and then again in 1979 with the oil shock. Whether you remember those days personally, or whether you’ve just seen the pictures of long gas lines or the shortages, I think everybody understands what a critical time this was for the American people. At the White House in fact, there were no lights on the White House Christmas tree and in New York City they actually canceled the Christmas displays in department stores. The New York Times headline read ‘Fuel Crisis Dims Holiday Lights.’ That’s what energy scarcity looks like in this country. And it launched decades of presidential pledges to ensure that this country became energy independent. To get TAPS off the ground, planners had to overcome one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet: Washington, DC. But Alaska leaders succeeded in muscling pipeline approval through Congress. Then came the achievements that make TAPS an engineering marvel – spanning 800 miles, crossing 3 mountain ranges, 1 major fault line, and hundreds of rivers and streams. When the U.S. energy outlook seemed pretty grim -- with production declining in the lower 48 -- TAPS was a lifeline for this country. And it’s remained a pillar of U.S. energy strength – transporting over 17 billion barrels over the decades. All because – as the motto goes – ‘They didn’t know it couldn’t be done.’  U.S. energy leadership, overall, has travelled roughly the same trajectory, and for the same reasons.”

Sommers: Innovative industry solutions that we weren’t even aware until recently are now fueling America’s rise to record high oil productions and exports. [10:36-12:02]
“This industry’s hard work and its knack for technological innovation. These are game-changing success, particularly as we look not just at conventional but also unconventional and the revolution that has occurred because of hydraulic fracturing and other technologies. We’re unlocking resources that we never knew where even there. We’ve gone from fuel shortages and warnings of ‘peak oil’ in the ‘70s, to leading the world in natural gas and oil production. Forty years ago, we were target of an oil embargo imposed by Iran and other OPEC nations. Now, we’re in the driver’s seat –imposing sanctions on Iran, cutting off its energy exports. Projects that launched as natural gas import facilities are now today being converted to natural gas export facilities. That’s just happened in the last ten years. We’re not just leading the world. We’re doing it in record-breaking fashion. In 2018, this industry achieved record high natural gas production in the United States, record high oil production in the United States, and record high crude exports. API’s monthly report also echoed these comments. Crude oil production in April sustained a record-tying 12.1 million barrels a day. Truly, truly amazing.”

Sommers: Global energy demand is at record highs, and oil and natural gas will meet at least 50% of that demand for decades to come. [12:02-12:51]
“You know what else is hitting records? Energy demand. Global consumption has reached 100 million barrels a day. That’s more than double what it was 50 years ago – when TAPS was just blueprints on a piece of paper. And demand is expected to keep growing, as opportunities expand for millions living in poverty around the globe. U.S. and international projections all agree on that. Projections agree on another critical point: three-fourths of that demand will be supplied by fossil fuels – with more than half coming from natural gas and oil – for decades and decades to come. Even under optimistic scenarios for renewable energy, natural gas and oil are essential.”