READ AND WEEP. The insurance protecting shale drillers against plummeting prices has become so crucial that for one company, SandRidge Energy Inc., payments from the hedges accounted for a stunning 64 percent of first-quarter revenue.
Now the safety net is going away.
The insurance that producers bought before the collapse in oil -- much of which guaranteed minimum prices of $90 a barrel or more -- is expiring. As they do, investors are left to wonder how these companies will make up the $3.7 billion the hedges earned them in the first quarter after crude sunk below $60 from a peak of $107 in mid-2014.
“A year ago, you could hedge at $85 to $90, and now it’s in the low $60s,” said Chris Lang, a senior vice president with Asset Risk Management, a hedging adviser for more than 100 exploration and production companies. “Next year it’s really going to come to a head.”
Messages from the Independence Day week-end:
The prosperity of American and Canadian energy industries depends upon the policies of their respective countries. Today, we bring our readers insight on American policies from an Australian, Nick Adams, whose principles affect North American energy industries in general.
As always, we encourage readers to connect the dots as you journey toward your own conclusions.
Letter from an Australian to America: Here's why I love you, USA
03 July 2015
It’s December 1985 in Sydney, Australia. Two parents are at wits’ end. Something is not right with their 16-month-old child. For months, they have visited doctor after doctor. No one can tell them what is wrong. On the night before Christmas Eve, with their child more unsettled than unusual, they head for the emergency room at Children’s Hospital.
The ward is nearly deserted, but there is one overnight doctor – a young man with a smiling face and an accent. As he looks the child over, the smile evaporates: “I think your son has neuroblastoma. Get him in for tests first thing in the morning.” Next day, the parents’ worst fears are confirmed. It is Stage IV neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer.
The parents were mine. The child was me. The doctor, it turned out, was an American.
The cause of neuroblastoma remains unknown. Only 1 in 100,000 children get it. Notoriously difficult to diagnose, the tumor has usually spread by the time it is. At Stage IV, an infant has just a 5 percent chance of life. For three years, I underwent chemotherapy, radiotherapy and an operation.
Through the healing hands of God, the master physician, I defied the odds and lived. The instincts of the American doctor, fresh out of college, only in Australia for an internship, just in time, were crucial. So I haven’t only studied American exceptionalism. I’ve lived it. In fact, I’m alive because of it.
American exceptionalism is often derided as a phrase of partisan polemics, or worse still, a mere hypothesis, or even a myth. But it is an incontrovertible reality, however unwelcome or unpalatable this might be to those whose ears are attuned to a different siren.
In 5,000 years of recorded human history, there has been no nation even resembling the United States. The American model has offered, and continues to offer, a greater chance for dignity, hope and happiness for more people than any other system.
As Margaret Thatcher, the British prime minister, put it: “Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.” Lady Thatcher was right. The philosophy is one of individual liberty, free-market opportunity and belief that it's all a gift from God. America is the best idea the world has ever had, the greatest value system ever devised.
What are these values that make America exceptional? Individualism, not collectivism. Patriotism, not relativism. Optimism, not pessimism. Limited government, not the nanny state.
God, not Caesar. Faith, not secularism. E pluribus Unum, not multiculturalism. Life, not death. Equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. Goodness, not moral equivalence.
America is about being bold, not bland. Brave, not meek. Striving for greatness, not mediocrity.
Tellingly, all of these values are aligned with what today is called a conservative outlook. On every single count, traditional America both viscerally and ideologically sides with conservatism.
America thus represents the greatest impediment to leftist aims, and it becomes the prime target of the progressive movement in all its manifestations. It is easy to love America simply for the enemies she makes.
American success – by design, not accident – is the most significant refutation of leftist ideals. That’s because America has fostered a society that allows its citizens the widest latitude for creativity and innovation. It rewards success without government approvals and bureaucratic interference. It embraces religious faith, aspiration and risk.
As a result, the people of America have been the most enterprising, market-oriented, individualistic and averse to taxation and regulation that have ever walked the earth.
America has also shown uncommon valor against the sword of tyranny. She has frosted the neighborhoods of tyranny and oppression, by freezing the sweat and chilling the bones of men harboring such aspirations. From the beaches of Normandy to the sands of Iraq, America has spread more freedom and fought more evil than any other country, expending enormous treasure.
Put simply, the world is a better place for America being in it. This is not to say America is perfect. She’s not. But she is the best thing we have.
People still cross oceans to get to this country. They are as willing as ever to empty their life savings to get to America, legally or illegally. They are as prepared as ever to sell the shirt on their back just to feel the American winds of freedom and opportunity. Nowhere else can so many come with nothing and achieve anything.
So I’m convinced that an American renaissance is not as distant, or as impossible, as many speculate. But neither will it roll in on the wheels of inevitability. We must revitalize an informed patriotism across the land.
We must recover a common recognition that the principles of freedom and responsibility found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are in every American's self-interest, irrespective of identity politics. This must become again, as it once was, the lens in which all Americans view cultural choices, political candidates and public policy.
Saving America requires bringing intellectual ammunition to the battle of ideas. Too many people have forgotten or never learned what makes America exceptional – and you cannot advocate what you cannot articulate.
Since almost losing my life before it began, I have firmly believed God saved my life for a particular purpose.
Is it a coincidence that I have been drawn to the United States for as long as I can remember? Is it chance that it was an American doctor who diagnosed what others had been unable to do? Is it accidental that the dreams in my heart all involve America? As a man of faith, I don’t believe so.
Today, at age 30, I proudly call myself an Australian by birth, a Texan by honorary appointment (thank you, Rick Perry) and an American by choice. I love America because it is confident, competitive, courageous, faithful, idealistic, innovative, inspirational, charitable and optimistic. It is everything as a nation that I wish to be as a person. That’s why I am devoted to helping achieve an American renaissance.
After freedom, inspiration is America’s greatest export. To me, as it was to Churchill, America is the hope that banishes all hopelessness. As Americans, you should never be intimidated into mediocrity or cramped into submission. You’ve been given so much more. For the sake of the world, you must remain the dream-makers and the dream-keepers.
Australian Nick Adams is a best-selling author. His next book “Retaking America: Crushing Political Correctness,” will be released in February 2016.__________________________
Obama made it abundantly clear before he won the election in 2008, that he was going to TRANSFORM America . . . and for some unfathomable reason, the majority of people in the United States either didn't believe him, or had no idea what he meant by his promise to change the USA, while a HUGE number welcomed this promise.
A professor friend of mine from McGill University (Montreal), who was a young man in Germany during the War (not Jewish), but was too young to fight for the Nazis, remembered the nightmare his family lived through under Hitler. My friend knew better than most, what totalitarianism really meant, and that’s why his father moved the family of three to Canada as soon as they were able.
One of his favorite sayings was: “IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT”.
THIS SAYS FAR MORE ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAN IT DOES ABOUT OBAMA:
AMERICA WAS NOT BROKEN. It worked better than any nation ever did. And all it needed was sound Conservative governance.
But no . . . the stupid people had to take America apart, and reassemble it unlike the creation of the Founding Fathers.
And even in 2012, AFTER the American people discovered what Obama actually meant when he promised to RADICALLY TRANSFORM America, more than half of the population who voted in that election voted for him AGAIN.
So . . . Who should we be more frightened of, Obama – or the fools who put him into office TWICE?
WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM HISTORY?
In 1924, a Narcissist wrote a book; he called it Mein Kampf (my struggle), which he described as his (sick) BLUEPRINT for a new Germany, based exclusively on his distorted and corrupt IDEALS . . . and even though his book gained little prominence then . . . HE CERTAINLY WAS ABLE TALK A GOOD TALK.
The world didn’t pay attention to this fellow named Hitler. And by 1933, Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, and the rest is remembered as a violent and sad moment in history.
And as for Europe’s Jews . . . they could have saved themselves, only if they believed what the Nazi Narcissist said and wrote.
AMERICA AND THE WORLD HAS A NEW NARCISSISTIC SELF-BIOGRAPHER:
Before Obama was anyone. And before he did or achieved anything, he wrote not just one book, but two books about his own life and experiences. How narcissistic was that?
AND THE PEOPLE NEITHER LISTENED, QUESTIONED, NOR PAID ATTENTION:
AND NOW . . . Like Humpty Dumpty, America is so broken, that it seems to me; that all the Kings horses and all the Kings men, might never be able to but America back together again.
IS THERE ONE LAST CHANCE TO LOOK FORWARD TO ANOTHER JULY 4TH?
If there’s going to be salvation for the USA, it will come from the Republicans choosing the RIGHT man or woman to run as their candidate for the 2016 Presidential Election.
I have not changed my choices one iota, EXCEPT FOR DONALD TRUMP.
I still really like Scott Walker, I really like Carly Fiorina, I like Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, I’m OK with Marco Rubio and most of the rest of the field, with the exception of Christie and Paul . . . two men I would not support.
And even though he is really low on my list, I could probably endorse Bush if it came down to it. Which I hope it does not.
AND THE REASONS I AM SO HIGH ON TRUMP ARE:
1 – He is no PATSY for the Media Bullies or the demagoguing LEFT.
2 – He is saying what everyone with a brain is thinking.
3 – He doesn't apologize for standing up for the USA . . . HE DOUBLES DOWN.
4 – The Bullies push him an inch – he pushes them back a mile.
5 – He is giving America real HOPE as America’s BACK ALLEY STREET-FIGHTER.
AND THE GREATEST REASON FOR ME TO LIKE TRUMP . . .
If the USA is going to go down to the LEFT . . . at least with Trump, the America we grew up loving, WILL GO DOWN FIGHTING. Not as America has declined since the heydays of Reagan . . . with a multitude of RINO WIMPS, who've replaced Reagan in all aspects of the Republican Party at the upper echelon.
MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT THIS . . . This is the most important election the world has seen, since the Liberty Bell first rang-out on July 8, 1776, heralding what might be THE ENTIRE PLANET’S last reason to celebrate July 4TH.
Best Regards . . . Howard Galganov
Petroleum News. Gov. Bill Walker said June 29 that the state will join North Dakota and 10 other states in a challenge to the recently finalized “waters of the United States” rule. WOTUS, adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, attempts to define what waters are covered....
We Wonder If Today's EPA Announcement Pleases Our Energy Readers: layer this on top of the WOTUS, Ocean Policy, ESA, CAA, CWA and War on Coal MATRIX! Like the industrious Lilliputians did with Gulliver, is EPA -- under White House direction -- strapping the great American economy to the ground, immobilizing it, pretext to total control of the people and their free enterprises? Frankly, the EPA's authoritarian use of rulemaking -- to us -- more resembles a well coordinated attack strategy than simple incompetence. -dh (Ref. 2012 E.O.)
RELEASED TODAY: BP's Statistical Review shows 2014 was a year of ‘tectonic’ shifts
in global energy production and consumption
Yesterday, we linked readers to BP In Alaska, the company's biannual listing the latest facts and figures around BP's ALASKA field data, hiring, community investment, special projects, and more.
Related to headline above TODAY:
1) Bloomberg: Court throws out challenges to EPA power plant rule.... "We are not surprised with the ruling in any way, given that EPA has not finalized the rule. We do, however, think that it is important to note that this is merely a procedural ruling and that lawsuits over the rule will be filed as soon as the agency completes its work and finalizes the rule," said Mike Butler, Mid-Atlantic executive director for the Consumer Energy Alliance, which opposes the rules.
2) Comment: The Out of Control, Anti-U.S., Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to find under the Clean Air Act that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from commercial aircraft contribute to the pollution that causes climate change, endangering.... More
3) WSJ re: EPA. The Obama administration is planning a series of actions this summer to rein in greenhouse-gas emissions from wide swaths of the economy, including trucks, airplanes and power plants, kicking into high gear an ambitious climate agenda that the president sees as key to his legacy. More.
Kasich A Disaster For Energy?
Could Republican Governor John Kasich, like former Alaska Republican Governor Sarah Palin, be a disaster for the job and wealth producing oil & gas & support industries if elected to high national office?
Ohio's Governor John Kasich, a likely presidential contender, seems to have joined ranks of the wealth redistribution crowd in unreasonably attacking his home state's wealth and job producing oil industry.
Primarily democrats (including socialist, environmental and other social activists) have long sought to increase already high and discriminatory taxes and/or royalties on the oil industry in Alaska and Canada.
But populist, anti-oil industry policy, as we see in this case, is not reserved for activists of only one party.
We have commented on the danger of politicizing energy policy, including taxation, many times over the years, including this most recent editorial.
Energy analysts released a report on Kasich's tax proposal a few weeks ago, available here.
The study was prepared by Bernard L. Weinstein, Ph.D. Nicholas Saliba, B.A., B.S., BBA and Sam Lee of the Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business Southern Methodist University Dallas, Texas and sponsored by the Ohio Oil and Gas Association.
Our astute NGP readers throughout Alaska, the Lower 48 and Canada will recognize Kasich's tactics and the arguments against launching unreasonable, discriminatory volleys of tax assaults on the wealth and job producing sector which could otherwise be a jurisdiction's best economic friend.
Alaskans and Albertans in particular will find a number of familiar themes. Their experiences, as we have documented over the years, underline the validity of the majority of the study's observations:
- Because of the 50 percent drop in oil prices since last summer, and historically low natural gas prices, the industry is currently in recession and retrenching
- Hiking Ohio’s severance tax rates will have profound effects on profitability
- The severance tax will not be a sizeable or dependable revenue source for Ohio’s general fund (i.e. unlike Alaska, whose production occurs mostly on state land and whose economy has become over 1/3 dependent on one of the highest taxing (i.e. and highest per capita spending) jurisdictions in the free world.
- The proposed hikes in Ohio’s oil and gas severance taxes are discriminatory
- Higher tax burdens on Ohio’s oil and gas producers may retard future investment in the state
Conclusion: Kasich (Stock photo) appears to be approaching higher office with a very similar, anti-oil & gas attitude to the one we saw reflected in Governor Sarah Palin's (NGP Photo) populist administration.
A populist approach to national energy policy could inhibit energy wealth and job production; stifle the manufacturing, transportation and service industries; exacerbate deficit spending and balance of payment deficits; and, weaken national defense capability.
|Red State by Eric Erickson. ...John Kasich does not want to be president.... ...one does not run for President in the Republican Party by hiring consultants who hate the Republican base to run the campaign of a Republican who says ....|
Both proclaim themselves to be advocates of free enterprise. In many ways, both seem to be well-intended and defenders of the national interest.
However, both have sought to support their government spending priorities by unreasonably, if not unintelligently, attacking the ability of energy investors to increase their investments in a hostile political environment.
In short, Kasich, as represented herein, seems afflicted with an dearth of diplomatic skill, an amateurish communication style and ignorance of the concept of tax hikes in a low oil price environment. Such attributes in a national leader would likely be bad news for oil and gas producers everywhere -- not to mention the negative effect on consumers whose jobs and energy prices would likely be prioritized below populist, government spending programs.
(Note: We invite representatives from Governor Kasich's administration or his presidential advisory team to provide a response to this commentary. Should we have misrepresented any facts, we will make appropriate and timely changes to assure the accuracy of our searchable archives. We would, obviously, provide the same invitation to Governor Palin, particularly if she is planning to seek national, public office. -dh)
Dave Harbour, publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines, is a former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and a Commissioner Emeritus of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). He served as NARUC's official representative to the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). Harbour is past Chairman of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, former Chairman of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and past President of the American Bald Eagle Foundation and the Alaska Press Club. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress.
Opinions or viewpoints expressed in this webpage or in our email alerts are solely those of the publisher and in no way reflect the opinion(s) of any affiliated company, person, employer or other organization.
From a Mid-Atlantic energy consultant friend of ours:
Ohio continues to pursue an onerous approach to an oil and gas severance tax, driven by Governor John Kasich. This has been an ongoing effort by Kasich since shortly after he was first elected governor over four years ago.
The Ohio Oil and Gas Association has endeavored during that time to work with the legislature to adopt a reasonable approach to a severance tax that came close to the model ostensibly sought by the Governor. During that time neither the Governor nor his staff has made any effort to even meet with representatives of the industry, much less work out a fair approach to a severance tax. In the end, Kasich would not even allow the Ohio Senate to vote on the House proposal.
This year the Governor more than doubled his tax proposal, even in the face of horrible pricing for oil, gas, and liquids. It makes for terrible tax policy.
Today...from your out-of-control, anti-US EPA, add a new layer to the 'enslave free enterprise and prepare for authoritarian control MATRIX':
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to find under the Clean Air Act that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from commercial aircraft contribute to the pollution that causes climate change, endangering the health and welfare of Americans.
At the same time, the agency is releasing information about the international process already underway by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for developing carbon dioxide (CO2) standards for aircraft and EPA’s participation in that process. EPA is now seeking public input to inform future steps by the agency.
For the past five years, ICAO — a specialized body of the United Nations with 191 member states — has been working with the aviation industry and other stakeholders to develop coordinated, international CO2 emissions standards for aircraft. EPA and the Federal Aviation Administration, representing the United States, are participating in ICAO’s process to ensure that any standards achieve meaningful CO2 emissions reductions through policies that are equitable across national boundaries.
The ICAO standards are expected to be adopted in early 2016. The items issued today by EPA lay the necessary foundation for the development and implementation of a domestic aircraft standard, in accordance with U.S. law and the ICAO process.
U.S. aircraft emit roughly 11 percent of GHG emissions from the U.S. transportation sector and 29 percent of GHG emissions from all aircraft globally. In 2009, EPA determined that GHG pollution from cars and light trucks threatens Americans' health and welfare by leading to long-lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of negative effects. Since then, the body of science on human-induced climate change has strengthened, supporting today’s proposed finding — under a different section of the Clean Air Act — that GHGs emitted from aircraft engines contribute to pollution that causes climate change endangering public health and welfare. Today’s action supports the goals of the President’s Climate Action Plan to reduce emissions from large sources of carbon pollution.
Today’s actions do not apply to small piston-engine planes (the type of plane often used for recreational purposes), or to military aircraft.
Once this action is published in the Federal Register, it will be open for a 60-day public comment period. Any future domestic actions toward aircraft engine standards would also be open to public comment and review before they could take effect.
For more information on the proposed contribution finding and the advance notice of proposed rulemaking, visit http://epa.gov/otaq/aviation.
BP Statistical Review shows 2014 was a year of ‘tectonic’ shifts
in global energy production and consumption
The 2015 edition of the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, launched today, highlights how significant changes in global energy production and consumption have had profound implications for prices, for the global fuel mix, and for global carbon dioxide emissions.
The 64th annual edition of the Statistical Review highlights the continuing importance of the US shale revolution, with the US overtaking Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer and surpassing Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and gas.
On the consumption side, the Statistical Review records primary energy consumption slowing markedly, with growth of just 0.9% in 2014, a lower rate than at any time since the late 1990s (other than in the immediate aftermath of last decade’s financial crisis). Chinese growth in consumption slowed to its lowest level since 1998 as its economy rebalances away from energy intensive sectors, though China remained the world’s largest growth market for energy.
Speaking at today’s launch, BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley said: “The eerie calm that had characterized energy markets in the few years prior to 2014 came to an abrupt end last year. However, we should not be surprised or alarmed. These events may well come to be viewed as symptomatic of a broader shifting of the tectonic plates that make up the energy landscape, with significant developments in both the supply of energy and its demand. Our task as an industry is to meet today’s challenges while continuing to invest to meet tomorrow’s demand, safely and sustainably.”
The shifts in production and consumption had major effects on energy prices as well as the fuel mix. For oil, prices have fallen sharply, largely driven by the strength of supply as non-OPEC production grew by a record amount while OPEC maintained its output levels to maintain market share. Elsewhere, the growth of China’s coal consumption stalled and global natural gas growth was also weak, held back by a mild European winter triggering a sharp fall in consumption.
Renewables were the fastest growing form of energy, accounting for one third of the increase in overall primary energy use during a year in which global primary energy consumption growth slowed. Even so, they accounted for only 3% of primary energy.
Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use grew by just 0.5%, the weakest since 1998 (other than in the immediate aftermath of last decade’s financial crisis). The slower growth relative to its average over the past 10 years or so was largely attributable to the changing pace and pattern of Chinese economic growth.
Review highlights – energy developments
Growth of global primary energy consumption decelerated markedly in 2014, even though global economic growth was similar to 2013. Energy consumption increased by just 0.9% in 2014, a sharp deceleration over 2013 (+2.0%) and well below the 10-year average of 2.1%.
· Consumption increased for all fuels, reaching record levels for every fuel type except nuclear power. Production increased for all fuels except coal.
· Emerging economies continued to dominate the growth in global energy consumption, as they have on average over the past decade, but growth in these countries (+2.4%) was well below its 10-year average of 4.2%.
· Chinese consumption growth (+2.6%) was the slowest since 1998, yet China still recorded the world’s largest increment in primary energy consumption for the fourteenth consecutive year. OECD consumption experienced a larger than average decline (-0.9%), with weakness in the EU and Japan offsetting above-average growth in the US. The fall in EU energy consumption was the second-largest percentage decline on record (exceeded only in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2009). Energy consumption in the EU fell to its lowest level since 1985.
· Growth was significantly below the 10-year average for Asia Pacific, Europe & Eurasia, and South & Central America.
· Oil remained the world’s leading fuel, with 32.6% of global energy consumption, but lost market share for the fifteenth consecutive year.
· Energy price developments in 2014 were generally weak, with oil and coal prices falling globally. Gas prices fell in Europe, were relatively flat in Asia, and rose in North America.
· Dated Brent averaged $98.95 per barrel in 2014, a decline of $9.71 per barrel from the 2013 level and the first annual average below $100 since 2010.
· Crude oil prices remained firm in early 2014 in the face of continued large supply disruptions, but fell sharply later in the year.
· The average WTI – Brent differential narrowed to $5.66 per barrel (from $10.67 in 2013) despite continued robust US production growth, but remained elevated relative to past levels.
Consumption and production
· Global oil consumption grew by 0.8 million barrels per day (bpd), or 0.8% – a little below its recent historical average and significantly weaker than the increase of 1.4 million bpd seen in 2013.
· Countries outside the OECD accounted for all of the net growth in global consumption. Chinese consumption growth was below average but still recorded the largest increment to global oil consumption (390,000 bpd).
· OECD consumption declined by 1.2%, the eighth decrease in the past nine years. Light distillates (motor and aviation gasoline, light distillate feedstock) were the fastest-growing refined product category for a second consecutive year.
· Global oil production growth was more than double that of global consumption, rising by 2.1 million bpd or 2.3%.
· Production outside OPEC grew by 2.1 million bpd, the largest increase in our dataset. The US (+1.6 million bpd) recorded the largest growth in the world, becoming the first country ever to increase production by at least 1 million bpd for three consecutive years, and taking over from Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest oil producer. Along with the US, production in Canada (+310,000 bpd) and Brazil (+230,000 bpd) also reached record levels in 2014.
· OPEC output was flat, and the group’s share of global production fell to 41%, its lowest since 2003.
Refining and trade
· Global crude runs rose by 1.1 million bpd (1.4%) in 2014 – the highest growth since 2010 and more than double the 10-year average. Refinery runs in the US rose by 530,000 bpd, the largest increase since 1986.
· Global refining capacity expanded by an above average 1.3 million bpd, led by additions in China and the Middle East, with Middle Eastern capacity expanding by a record 740,000 bpd.
· Global refinery utilization remained at 79.6%, its lowest rate since 1987.
· Global trade of crude oil and refined products in 2014 grew by a below average 0.9%, or 490,000 bpd.
· Import growth was driven by China and other emerging economies, while US net imports declined. China replaced the US as the world’s largest net oil importer in 2013.
Consumption and production
· World natural gas consumption grew by just 0.4%, well below the 10-year average of 2.4%. Growth was below average in both the OECD and emerging economies, with consumption in the EU (-11.6%) experiencing its largest volumetric and percentage declines on record. The Europe & Eurasia region (-4.8%) had the five largest volumetric declines in the world in Germany, Italy, Ukraine, France and the UK. Globally, natural gas accounted for 23.7% of primary energy consumption.
· Global natural gas production grew by 1.6%, below its 10-year average of 2.5%. Growth was below average in all regions except North America. The US (+6.1%) recorded the world’s largest increase, accounting for 77% of net global growth. The largest volumetric declines were seen in Russia (-4.3%) and the Netherlands (-18.7%).
· Global natural gas trade registered a rare contraction in 2014, falling by 3.4%.
· Pipeline shipments declined by 6.2%, the largest decline on record, driven by falls in net pipeline exports from Russia (-11.8%) and the Netherlands (-29.9%). Global LNG trade increased by 2.4%. International natural gas trade accounted for 29.4% of global consumption; LNG’s share of global gas trade rose to 33.4%.
· Global coal consumption grew by 0.4% in 2014, well below the 10-year average annual growth of 2.9%. Coal’s share of global primary energy consumption fell to 30.0%.
· Consumption outside the OECD grew by 1.1%, the weakest growth since 1998, driven by a flattening of Chinese consumption (+0.1%). India (+11.1%) experienced its largest volumetric increase on record, and the world’s largest volumetric increase. Global coal production fell by 0.7%, with large declines in China (-2.6%, the world’s largest volumetric decline) and Ukraine (-29.0%) more than offsetting large increases in India (+6.4%) and Australia (+4.7%).
Nuclear and hydroelectric
· Global nuclear output grew by an above-average 1.8%, the second consecutive annual increase, and the first time nuclear power has gained global market share since 2009.
· Increases in nuclear output in South Korea, China and France outpaced declines in Japan, Belgium and the UK.
· Global hydroelectric output grew by a below average 2.0%. Hydroelectric output accounted for a record 6.8% of global primary energy consumption.
· Chinese hydroelectric output growth (+15.7%) accounted for all of the increase in global output.
Renewables (including wind, solar, and biofuels)
· Renewable energy sources – in power generation as well as transport – continued to increase in 2014, reaching a record 3.0% of global energy consumption, up from 0.9% a decade ago.
· Renewable energy used in power generation grew by 12.0%, and renewables accounted for a record 6.0% of global power generation.
· China recorded the largest increment in renewables in power generation for a fifth consecutive year; growth last year (+15.1%) was one-third the 10-year average.
· Globally, wind energy (+10.2%, +65 tera watt-hours) grew by less than half of its 10-year average.
· Solar power generation grew by 38.2% (+51 tera watt-hours).
· Global biofuels production grew by a below average 7.4% (+144,000 bpd).
The BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2015 is available online at:
The website contains all the tables and charts found in the latest printed edition, plus a number of extras, including:
— Historical data from 1965 for many sections.
— Additional data for natural gas, coal, hydroelectricity, nuclear energy, electricity and renewables.
— An oil, natural gas and LNG conversion calculator.
— PDF versions and PowerPoint slide packs of the charts, maps and graphs, plus an Excel workbook of the data.
— Regional fact sheets.
— Videos and speeches.
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released EJSCREEN, an environmental justice screening and mapping tool that uses high resolution maps combined with demographic and environmental data to identify places with potentially elevated environmental burdens and vulnerable populations. EJSCREEN’s simple to understand color-coded maps, bar charts, and reports enable users to better understand areas in need of increased environmental protection, health care access, housing, infrastructure improvement, community revitalization, and climate resilience.
“EJSCREEN provides essential information to anyone seeking greater visibility and awareness about the impacts of pollution in American communities,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “EJSCREEN has been a valuable resource for EPA to advance our commitment to protect Americans most vulnerable to pollution. I’m excited to share this tool with the public to broaden its impact, build transparency, and foster collaboration with partners working to achieve environmental justice.
“State environmental agencies appreciate EPA’s collaborative work on the use and release of this important tool,” said Dick Pedersen, Director of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality and past President of the Environmental Council of States. “Citizens having access to environmental and demographic data is extremely important in helping states implement environmental programs and ensure public health and environmental protection for all. To that end, EJSCREEN facilitates vital citizen engagement.”
EJSCREEN can help governments, academic institutions, local communities, and other stakeholders to highlight communities with greater risk of exposure to pollution based on 8 pollution and environmental indicators, including traffic proximity, particulate matter, and proximity to Superfund sites. These indicators are combined with demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community 5-year Summary Survey enabling users to identify areas with minority or low-income populations who also face potential pollution issues.
EJSCREEN’s capabilities could provide support for educational programs, grant writing, and community awareness efforts so that users can participate meaningfully in decision-making processes that impact their health and environment. While EJSCREEN is being shared publicly to improve work on environmental justice, EPA is not mandating state governments or other entities use the tool or its underlying data.
EJSCREEN does not direct EPA decisions; it does not provide a basis for identifying areas as EJ communities, and it is not an appropriate standalone tool for making a risk assessment. As a screening tool, its data may have levels of uncertainty, and is therefore incomplete in capturing the total number of pollution problems people face.
Today’s release of EJSCREEN initiates a stakeholder engagement period over the next six months. EPA will collect feedback on the datasets and design of the tool – as well as how it could be further enhanced – and will release a revised version in 2016.
Environmental justice is defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless of race or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA’s goal is to provide all people with equal access to the environmental decision-making process to maintain a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.
To access the tool, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/ejscreen.
Commentary: Today, Governor Rick Perry (NGP Photo) announced his candidacy for president. His message embraced a reversal of most Obama-era policies--especially those involving energy. He said, "There is nothing wrong in America today that a change in leadership will not (correct)." (Full Video Below)
We hope that is so; if it is to be so, it will take the sort of passion, commitment, experience and determination reflected in his remarks today.
Yesterday a dear friend on Facebook posted an editorial about 'unaffordable housing costs and stagnant wages'. It sounded to me like the article was a pretext to more massive wealth transfer from the producers to the beneficiaries of our welfare society. We too lament the predicament of many but went on to offer this analysis (edited), with which my FB friend agreed:
Government increases costs of regulation for 20 million small (not to mention large) businesses causing an export of jobs and wealth, then taxes at an excessive rate, then borrows $18 trillion from our children, and then says to all businesses: "now we will force you to pay more per hour for your employees whether their skill, education or the value of the job itself merits more compensation or not."
American citizens are no longer masters of their government, but indentured to it. The generations since WWII have -- intentionally or not -- given away a large portion of the freedom inherited from our ancestors that led to the most successful, free country in history.
High housing costs and "stagnant" wages are not the cause of our economic malaise, but a symptom of it.
An answer to today's morass of economic malaise is not to increase the army of bureaucrats; it is to cut taxes , trim regulations and undertake massive tort reform to reduce everyone's hidden costs and create more private sector jobs.
The answer is not more government subsidized programs today, financed by our kids tomorrow. The answer is not more minimum wage projects that kill small business growth (LAX, SEA).
The answer is us: self reliant citizens who would rather do without than subject our children to a crushing, impossible debt burden acquired by selfish generations of parents.
We add this little information box because we believe it is relevant to Governor Perry's comments today. -dh
This is not an endorsement of this particular candidate for we have also been inspired by the announcements of other candidates. And we have also been impressed with the commitment of some other candidates who rely on a rededication of America to the 'rule of God', which we believe to be indispensable to the survival and prosperity of the American experiment.
But we heard nothing today that would discourage our eventual support.
He said that, "Energy is vital to our economy." Among the more specific energy statements he made were the promises that on the first day in office he would freeze any Obama administration pending regulations; approve the Keystone pipeline; and, authorize the export of natural gas to European allies to free them from dependence on Russian supply.
From a national defense perspective he sent a message to Russia's Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, "If energy is to be used as a weapon, America will have the largest arsenal."
"During my 14 years as governor," Perry said, "Texas companies created almost 1/3 of all new American jobs. In the last 7 years of my tenure Texas created 1.5 million new jobs. Without Texas America would have lost 400,000 jobs."
We note that those are impressive facts and accomplishments, not merely promises.
He added that during his governorship, Texas was an engine of growth because under his watch, the state 1) controlled taxes, 2) focused on reasonable regulations, 3) invested in an educated work force, and 4) stopped frivolous lawsuits (See our related comments, left column).
He said that Texas enjoys the country's second highest high school graduation rate, the highest graduation rate for black and Hispanic students.
Texas led nation in exports, he said, provided historic tax relief and balanced its budget for 14 years (though, in fairness, one notes that while the federal government can avoid balancing the budget by printing money, states cannot print their own currency and must balance their budgets).
In these pages we have lamented the current administration's departure from the rule of law. Perry emphasized the value of maintaining law and order. He recalled that when President Obama refused to control the border, he activated the Texas National Guard. The policy worked. He added, "If you elect me your president I will secure that border. Homeland security begins with border security".
In order for America's energy industry to thrive, the country must be protected. Perry pledged to do that. He said that the most basic compact between the President and the citizens is to keep the country safe. He said that a great lesson of history is that strength brings peace and order while "weakness and vacillation" invite chaos and conflict.
|Dave Harbour, publisher of Northern Gas Pipelines, is a former Chairman of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska, a Commissioner Emeritus of NARUC, and NARUC's Official Representative to IOGCC. He is also past Chair of the Alaska Council on Economic Education, former Chair of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, and past President of the American Bald Eagle Foundation. A former Army officer, Harbour has directed external affairs operations of major oil and gas companies, served as a university vice president and been CEO of several small businesses. Harbour is also Chairman Emeritus of the Alaska Oil & Gas Congress and past President of the Alaska Press Club.|
Point of Personal Privilege: Scroll Down For An Update On, "Alaska's Diplomat", Our Friend, Chuck Becker
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), Friday issued the following statement in response to a letter that 18 Senate Democrats sent to Interior Secretary Jewell, calling on the Obama administration to stop energy production in the Arctic. This comes after the administration approved plans for Shell to drill in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea this summer.
“Today’s attempt to block energy production in Alaska ignores the facts. For more than 30 years, Alaska has demonstrated its safe record of responsible oil and natural gas development in the Arctic. Even the Obama administration agrees this project can move along safely,” Murkowski said. “Right now, the United States can either choose to responsibly develop its resources under its superior standards or let countries like Russia lead the way. We can either choose to produce our own resources or return to the costly days of buying them from abroad. When it comes to realizing the benefits of energy production, I’ll always put Alaska and our nation first.”
The Democrats’ letter opposes increased energy production in the Arctic and is in contrast to the Obama administration, which approved Shell’s plans to drill in the Arctic this summer. This week, U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Abigail Ross Hopper told Platts that new Arctic energy development could be carried out safely.
Hopper echoed President Obama’s recent comments that Alaska energy production is good for our nation. He said, “I would rather us – with all the safeguards and standards that we have – be producing our oil and gas, rather than importing it, which is bad for our people, but is also potentially purchased from places that have much lower environmental standards than we do.”
Alaska has a long history of safe and responsible oil and natural gas production in the Arctic. Some 35 wells have been drilled in Alaska’s Arctic waters since the 1980s. The Northstar field in the Beaufort Sea has produced 150 million barrels of oil since 2001.
Studies show that increased leasing and development in Alaska’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas and in Cook Inlet could, by 2035, create nearly 840,000 jobs and raise more than $200 billion in revenue for the government.
Here is more information about this week's Celebration of Chuck's life, included in an obituary prepared by Chuck's loving wife, Micky and family.
We also include for Chuck's many friends among our readers, a video that the family has distributed.
On this memorial day, we shall long remember those who have fallen in defense of our Nation and Chuck, who served the nation with distinction in so many ways.
Many friends of
"Alaska's Diplomat", Chuck Becker, have commented on the important life he led, including his energy industry understanding. (Note: we will remove or edit any comments at the request of commenters. -dh)
Canada's Fraser Institute analyzes how US loss of freedom affects economic recovery...and wonders how Alberta's new government will affect energy industry vitality.
May 21, 2015 7:24 p.m. ET
Government agencies have a certain descending order of excuses.... (Subscribe and read full WSJ article here.)
The EPA has a problem: its pre-emptive veto of the Pebble Mine, a proposed project in southwest Alaska. The law says that Pebble gets to apply for permits, and the Army Corps of Engineers gets to give thumbs up or down. The EPA, a law unto itself, instead last year blocked the proposal before applications were even filed. The agency claims .... (More....)
This column reported a week ago on EPA documents that tell a very different story. They reveal the existence of an internal EPA “options paper” that make clear the agency opposed the mine on ideological grounds and had already decided to veto it in the spring of 2010—well before it did any “science.” Emails showed an EPA biologist, Phil North..., (More....)
None of this looks good, and in a nearby letter EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran is already bringing up semantics. According to the EPA—and other environmental groups now picking up the same line—the agency didn’t “veto” the project, but ....
In a conversation with me last week, Mr. McLerran also turned to the “underlings did it” excuse. Asked about the options paper .... It is a preliminary document, done by lower level staff.”
On June 7, 2010, Michael Szerlog, manager in the EPA region’s aquatics resources unit.... The message mentions Mr. McLerran.... (More....)
On June 15, Kendra Tyler, special assistant in Mr. McLerran’s office, wrote to EPA staff: “I know that Dennis would like a briefing on the options paper soon . . .” On June 30, Mr. North emailed colleagues to explain that: “The only time the RA [Regional Administrator] is available to discuss the options paper before he visits Bristol Bay is Thursday . . . ” Later that day, Matthew Magorrian, also in the regional office, told a big group of EPA employees that “DM already has draft of options paper.”
...the list of EPA employees who make up the core group discussing the options paper are not a bunch of low-level chemists and permit writers. ...Mike Bussell, then the director of the EPA’s Office of Water and Watersheds in Seattle; David Allnutt, then acting regional counsel; Linda Anderson-Carnahan, then acting associate director of environmental cleanup; Tami Fordham, then policy adviser. Mr. McLerran says no “key decision makers” saw the options paper. ... (More....)
Several of those included in these email chains would go on to take active roles in performing the EPA’s “watershed assessment” of the mine project. Ms. Fordham is listed as a contributor, as is an EPA officer named Richard Parkin. ... Mr. McLerran says “key decision makers” decided to perform three years of “science” on Pebble. But it turns out those doing the science were those who had already decided to block the mine.
The EPA offered this statement on Thursday: “It is a normal part of EPA’s deliberative decision making....” (More....)
The EPA is worried because it is getting blowback that goes beyond public disapproval of its abuse of power. In November a court ordered .... The agency is right to be worried; its Pebble veto is a scandal. (More....)
Fraser Institute lends understanding to Canadian and US economies and energy industries. Here are recent reports:
- Video: Video - What America’s Decline in Economic Freedom Means for Entrepreneurship and Prosperity. America’s decline in economic freedom is eroding entrepreneurship.
- Which path will Alberta's NDP government take? (Calgary Herald, May 8) by Charles Lammam and Jason Clemens
- The provinces are lousy at controlling spending (Calgary Herald, May 16) by Mark Milke (So are the U.S. and Alaska. -dh)
Here is how we memorialized the passing yesterday morning of our great friend, Chuck Becker. Because of his work ethic, kindness, patience, diligence and patriotic labor in support of Alaska and the nation, we discovered the breadth and depth of the public comments made on various web pages. We are delighted to assemble these for the convenience of friends and family so that they might live on in our Northern Gas Pipeline archives:
- Facebook page, Dave Harbour:
Mary Pignalberi During many years at SOA, Chuck was my "cubicle neighbor"while he worked for the US Dept. of Commerce. His smile and "I'm from the well-dressed culture and elite demeanor" will always resonate with me. Thank you for providing a special place of putting him at rest. Mary Pignalberi
- Facebook page, Chuck and Micky Becker:
1 hr ·I was truly saddened to hear about Chuck's passing. When I think of Chuck, probably the first words that comes to mind is "gentleman", his sense of humor, but not at the expense of others and his care and concern for Alaska. Chuck will long be remembered in the most positive ways. My thoughts and best wishes to you.
"Every man dies - Not every man really lives."
Chuck really lived - he was such a good man, a kind man, a generous community man with a big heart.
My condolences, Micky, to you and your family!
- Facebook pages, other:
- Other comments:
- Emails to Dave Harbour
- Dave –
Back in the early ‘00’s (and maybe before that), Chuck was hosting groups of VIPs who would travel to Alaska in the context of trade and economic studies. Twice or three times Chuck sought to bring such groups to Valdez to see the Marine Terminal. Two of the groups I remember were professionals from the Departments of State, Commerce and Energy, whose portfolios included energy trade and global energy production issues. One was a group of foreign service professionals and desk officers with Russian assignments. As you might expect, the groups themselves were comprised of invariably fascinating people in their own right. The Valdez component of their Alaska sojourn would usually fall later during the week. By that time the group would have cohered into a convivial set of traveling companions – but what I saw as indispensable to that (being a bit of a student of organizational behavior) was Chuck’s own spirit of hospitality, his attention to detail that enabled these trips to take place seamlessly, his own intellectual curiosity, coupled with his knowledge and love of Alaska. At Alyeska, we basked in his credibility with his guests – and, since the trips were usually in June or so, the fabulous weather that Chuck always seemed to arrange made ‘basking’ pretty easy! I remember a number of enjoyable conversations with Chuck and his interesting guests standing at the rail of an escort tug, as we watched SERVS and Terminal operations at work, and the majesty of Port Valdez all around us. I’d known Mickey as the very busy and incredibly competent executive secretary at ARCO for Skip Bilhartz and Ken Thompson (and Kevin Myers). We did not know them socially, but it was apparent that they were quite a team.
Thank you for the reminder of some favorite moments in my career, and of a man who added a note of grace wherever he went. Requiescat in pace, Chuck. I’ll look forward to leaning on the rail with you again sometime, watching beauty go by.
1220 L Street NW
Washington DC 20005
- Dave –
- Emails to Dave Harbour