Analysis by the father of American Geopolitics Dr. Daniel Fine, MIT.

Archive for the ‘Energy Dominance’ Category

Increasing Natural Gas Trade Between the U.S and Mexico


The Heritage Foundation Background Paper

Increasing Natural Gas Trade Between the U.S and Mexico

July 1, 2019 22 min read Download Report

Authors: Dr. Daniel Fine, Ph.D and Nicolas Loris

 

SUMMARY

Increased energy trade has important economic and strategic significance for the United States and Mexico. Mexico’s energy-market reforms that opened access and improved natural gas trade between American producers and Mexican consumers have been beneficial for citizens in both countries. President López Obrador’s desire to return to energy nationalism threatens those gains. Both the U.S. and Mexico should commit to policies and regulations that continue to open access to markets, improve transparency, and expand opportunities for investment. Doing so will benefit both Americans and Mexicans.

Analysis: Oil market glut will lead to declining prices through 2020 by Dr. Daniel Fine


The Full article  in the Farmington Daily Times Energy Magazine (USA TODAY)

With the OPEC-Russia meeting ahead, the price of oil is at a crossroad.

President Trump wants lower prices for gasoline at the pump and the Democratic Party wants a shortage to lift prices higher. This is the 2020 presidential election, to re-elect Trump or a create a Democratic left-center White House.

Is OPEC-Russia ready to sustain output cutbacks for $70 Brent Oil or continue revenue maximum against market share? Curiously, in the conversation at Vienna the Oxy purchase of Anadarko will resonate. Why? Oxy must now increase its export of oil to lower its debt (Warren Buffet and more) and prevent a serious management miscalculation of paying too much for Anadarko.

Permian Delaware shale, with new high volume pipelines completed soon, must find expanding import markets of l.5 million barrels of oil per day or the equivalent of OPEC-Russia resuming late 2016 output for export.

As this writer concludes this column for the The Farmington Daily Times’ Energy Magazine, which Is going on hiatus in San Juan County after this edition, there is no change in an outlook that dates back to the oil price crash of 2014-2016.

There is too much oil (over-supply) against world demand for it.

Exxon-XTO in the Permian is prepared for $40 per barrel, and to still add  $82 billion value in the New Mexican Permian or the Delaware in the next 40 years.

However, along with Chevron, Oxy,  EOG and Pioneer, it must have a market for the economic recovery of reserves estimated at nearly 47 billion barrels in the Permian Delaware Basin. They must export against OPEC-Russia production.

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The lifting cost of Saudi Aramco oil remains lower than Permian Shale. Saudi Aramco has sold debt (bonds) and 63% of its cash flow goes to its government? With oil demand slack and sluggish, and electric vehicles preparing for a 2024 market challenge both technically and politically (zero emissions).

While associated natural gas has partially become a free commodity from Permian Delaware producers, natural gas is up next, after coal, as a target for Green Energy. It should resemble oil on a smaller scale as price dependent entirely on exports in the form of LNG.

Will Persian Gulf, Australian, and Russian natural gas production roll backward in favor of American LNG? American exporters today cannot compete in a $5 per ton Asian LNG market.

Some San Juan Basin producers at the recent San Juan Basin Energy Conference openly discussed shifting capital spending

from natural gas to oil development.

This writer reaffirms his $50 average price for WTI oil in 2019 presented for the smaller independent producers at a briefing at Merrion Oil last December, but beginning early in 2020 forecasts a second half average of $38 per barrel .

In New Mexico, the Governor can adjust the Energy Transition Act basic law next February, but it should be a petroleum-revenue 30 day session without serious oil and gas organized opposition.

New Mexico is now a hybrid Green State with more exportable oil and gas than every OPEC country except Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and yet it will impose the most effective rules for methane capture.

No amount of ad hominem distraction against its policy and leadership will change this direction, and the nation could follow with the outcome of the national election next year.

Daniel Fine is the associate director of New Mexico Tech’s Center for Energy Policy. The opinions expressed are his own.”

 

Energy expert: New Mexico oil production has lessened potential for war


A must read! -> 2/11/2019 Hobbs News Sun | Sunday, February 10, 2019 | 7
Energy expert: New Mexico oil production has
lessened potential for war
CURTIS C. WYNNE NEWS-SUN

County ranks third in the nation in oil production.

Lea and Eddy counties have made history by reducing the possibility of a

Middle Eastern war for oil, according to Daniel Fine, a research and

development energy expert at New Mexico Tech.

Why? Because oil and gas production eliminates this nation’s need to rely on

the Middle East for fossil fuel.

Having served in developing former Gov. Susana Martinez’s energy policy and

in the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Fine said he’s

currently writing an energy paper for a Washington, D.C. think tank.

“What has happened now, with President Trump’s policies and the

(Department of) Interior policies under (David) Bernhardt, is the chance of the

United States getting into a Middle East war to protect its interests in oil supply

and imports has evaporated, finished,” Fine said.

He dated the potential for war in the Middle East over oil as early as the 1970s.

“We have almost 50 years of tension and potential military participation in the

Middle East to provide us with imported oil from there,” Fine said. “The two

counties in New Mexico have eliminated this and have now played an important

role in peacemaking…” See the link below->

Hobbs News Sun _ Sunday, February 10, 2019 _ 7

Analysis: Things are flat in the Permian, and there’s a push for renewables in Santa Fe by Dr. Daniel Fine


 

The article by Dr. Daniel Fine is here-> https://www.daily-times.com/story/money/industries/oil-gas/2019/01/27/analysis-things-flat-permian-governor-wants-renewables/2595583002/ The Permian-Delaware Basin rig count should start falling as oil operators, large and small, are flat for 2019.

Spending has been sharply reduced as supply now dominates the A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) used by many commodity traders in oil.

The large or integrated oil companies have all the rigs of 2018 in place for 2019. This would make October the price peak of the latest boom or recovery in oil. Permian-Delaware Basin production would decline at least 500,000 barrels in 2019 to offset the supply glut and stabilize at $50 per barrel.

OPEC members, notably Saudi Arabia, need a fiscal price of oil of $85 per barrel to pay for government and social spending. But at $60 per barrel, cash flow will not make it.

Its new public relations-lobbying in the U.S will require Sovereign Wealth Fund borrowing at market rates, which will be higher mainly because of U.S Senate sanctions over the murder of a Saudi journalist writing for the Washington Post.

This writer forecast a 2019 $50 per barrel average price of oil when prices fell to $43.00 last month.

At the same time, many small and independent producers have break-even at $50 with high-interest debt!

There are Chapter 11 bankruptcies valued at $140 billion from the Panhandle in Texas to the San Juan Basin that resulted from the OPEC -Saudi Arabian price and market share war of 2014-2016 against Southwestern small/independent shale and tight sands producers who now want reparations or damages.

This could hold up financial public relations as state courts hear from local energy banks and their Chapter 11 or equivalent clients.

Saudi Aramco is looking at American LNG investment in the Gulf Coast.
But that would compete against Russian Gazprom export pipeline gas to the European market.

This would confront Russia with Saudi Arabian conflict and threaten Russian-Saudi Arabian accord in OPEC.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico has announced a target of 50 percent renewable energy in 10 years. Electricity rate payers would bear the cost. She also placed New Mexico in the Climate Change Treaty Camp. However, if the Democratic Party wins the White House in 2020 there is no doubt that Washington will follow Santa Fe and our new governor.

In the meantime, the new Secretary of Energy Minerals and Natural Resources, Sarah Cottrell Probst, is a world expert in carbon tax architecture to mitigate global warming.
And there could be trade-offs with the super-majors in the Permian-Delaware basins.
The new Administration is expected to create a new energy policy that will replace the effort of ex- Governor Martinez. One issue that did not appear in 2015 was well-density.

The current company-state conflict centers around increased density because of down-spacing in the sub-surface. The opposition is beyond this specific technical capability: it is about more production of oil and carbon in relation to climate change.
What happens in New Mexico will have an impact on regulations in other states and, later, in national energy policy.

This column is an independent analysis by Dr. Daniel Fine, who is the associate director of New Mexico Tech’s Center for Energy Policy and the State of New Mexico Natural Gas Export Coordinator. The opinions expressed are his own.

Reactions to Delaware Basin news shows misunderstanding of petroleum economics by Dr. Daniel Fine


The article is here-> https://www.daily-times.com/story/money/industries/oil-gas/2018/12/18/delaware-basin-news-reveals-public-misunderstanding-oil-industry-economics/2282224002/

News of the size of oil reserves in the Delaware Basin (New Mexico’s share of the Permian) while OPEC was deciding how many barrels it will cut from the world market to lift prices caused epic confusion – and revelations of how little “authorities” and the media understand petroleum economics.

The New Mexico media, which relies mainly on interviews with petroleum industry spokespersons, got it wrong.

Government numbers came out as 46 billion barrels (Permian total) with 26 in New Mexico. This means nothing but oil in good rock along with technical recovery as an estimate. Some excited “authorities,” who should know better, exclaimed that there was more.

However, the estimate is based on the application of technical means to recover the oil. The reserves of real oil depend on ultimate economic recovery. This means technical based on geology, plus economics. A high price will recover the billions of barrels while a low price will not.

In short, the numbers reflect the rocks without economics.

The Delaware reserves plus the Texas Permian are now there to expand supply over 12 million b/d in the United States.

This writer has warned that world oil demand is sluggish and imprecise with only references to legacy guesswork that the developing world plus China demand will support prices long term or forever. Yet, world oil consumption has increased only 5 percent in the last 10 years.

OPEC, with Saudi Arabia as its leader, has expired as the world administrator of the price of crude oil. At its December meeting in Austria, Qatar quit after nearly 70 years and announced concentration in LNG production and world export as the existing market leader.

OPEC emerged with a serious factional split between OPEC original and OPEC with Russia. There would have been no agreement without Russia and its old Russian Federation members as producers. Moscow is the new world oil price-setter indirectly while OPEC Original becomes a collaborator in cartel for now. Simply put, Saudi Arabia no longer is the “residual supplier” alone.

The production roll-back of 1.2 barrels per day by both “OPEC” is not enough for “balance” supply and demand for world crude oil.  It is being tested daily by commodity traders. In a briefing to New Mexico independent and small producers before the meeting in Austria, this writer warned that 1.7 million b/d was needed for balancing stabilization. Without that size of a production and export reduction, the average price of WTI oil in 2019 will average $50 per barrel.

Nearing 12 million b/d and over the Permian producers voluntarily will be required by this price to revise capital spending and place production into DUC (non-completions) and storage. There is doubt that the export of tight or shale oil would continue if the Brent price falls lower and loses its premium over WTI. A net cutback of Permian between 500,000 to 750,00 b/d should be a non-OPEC response to an oil glut even more serious than 2014.

Saudi Arabia is untouched as an American strategic ally in confronting Iran in the Middle East as a hegemonic threat.

Despite some Republicans and the Democratic Party in Congress, violation of human rights over the death of a Saudi journalist and critic of the Crown Prince will not override U.S. national interests in the Middle East.

President Trump has not deviated from post—World War Two foreign and defense policy.

Trump wants low oil prices for American consumers and forced OPEC this summer to pump more to offset export sanctions on Iran.

Still, with OPEC under a deep division which no President could achieve since 1973, Trump as a geopolitical manager of world oil has removed about 500,000 b/d between January and December of 2018. America, via Trump and without a formal cartel alignment, determines much of the price of world oil.

The United States and its Southwest tight and shale oil has changed from dependence on world oil to domination. Never again can OPEC engage the U.S. in a price and market share war as it did in 2014-2016 through supply acceleration in an oversupplied world market.

WTI emerges as the new world price. It is American barrels that set the price and OPEC is a price-taker. Since there are nearly 50 billion barrels in reserve in New Mexico, how will the Permian producers set a return on investment in a free market for petroleum?

Dr. Daniel Fine is the associate director of New Mexico Tech’s Center for Energy Policy and the State of New Mexico Natural Gas Export Coordinator. The opinions expressed are his own.

Analysis: Trump and Saudi collision on oil, and Bingaman’s return to Santa Fe by Dr. Daniel Fine


The whole article is here->https://www.daily-times.com/story/money/industries/oil-gas/2018/11/25/analysis-trump-and-saudi-collision-oil-bingamans-return-santa-fe/2015081002/

n an earlier column, readers overseas benefited from this writer’s forecast that crude oil prices would fall dramatically because most commodity traders got it wrong. Simply, this column’s analysis was the buying of oil assumed a shortage would result once the sanctions against Iran would be activated the first week of November.

President Trump wanted lower oil prices with OPEC and Saudi Arabia pumping more. Two weeks ago, a call from the Middle East confirmed readers of the column had followed the analysis in the Energy Magazine and sold Brent oil — and profited.

Oil has slumped under $60 as the delusion of a shortage vanished. In the November issue column, this writer made a call: the oil price would reach $50 as a low. There is no change in that forecast. The price in the commodity market for WTI crude would touch in the very high $40 range before the Saudi-led production cut-back is realized. Why? Again, too much capacity to produce too much oil for demand.

What’s the impact on SW oil?

Oil demand without commodity traders’ bets on the sanctions against Iranian oil production and export contradicts flagging demand. Some Southwest shale producers, faced with discounts on domestic sales, are exporting oil to world markets and capturing the higher Brent price or differential between the WTI priced Midland domestic and the Brent price for the World.

But this would shift Southwest tight oil into a world market where such supply also chases weaker demand. This switches U.S. oil into world oil as exports and diverts it from going into U.S. storage.

Unlike the last three price sell-offs Saudi Arabia, speaking for OPEC, is strangely silent on calling on non-OPEC producers join it in lowering production or “balancing” the

market.

Quite the opposite. Led by shale producers in the Delaware (New Mexico) Basin in the Permian complex, United State production approaches 12 million barrels per day, a historic high and number one position against the Middle East and Russia.

Only a serious price decline, short of the 2015 bottom, would signal oil non-completions. A cutback of U.S. production by 750,000 barrels per with an OPEC cutback independent of Russian production of around one million barrels will stabilize or balance the world oil market.

But U.S producers cannot (anti-trust) belong to a collective price-setting organization (cartel).

President Trump wants lower prices, even if this means a breakup of OPEC into two and a moderate production roll-back by Southwest producers – a negative cash flow for those without or less advantaged by Tier One wells.

The overwhelming Democratic Party electoral win influenced OPEC and Saudi Arabia to resist President Trump’s pressure for lower world oil prices because he is much weaker and easier to upend in oil supply and demand world “domination.”

Bingaman is back!

The Democratic Party indirectly dimmed the “blue flame” price outlook regardless of blue wave voting margins. But enough of “color revolutions” in politics or economics?

This writer is constructively reacting to the return of former Sen. Jeff Bingaman to New Mexico’s politics through new state Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham. She asked him to head her transition team.

With Democratic Party factionalism into Progressive/Ultra-Progressive forces against the traditional Moderate/Conservatives, Sen. Bingaman’s experience and history in working with the late Senator Domenici in forging the U.S Energy Act of 2005 is in best interest of New Mexico.

Recall the energy policy of “all of the above” in the Bush and Obama Administrations coupled with the Energy Policy of outgoing Governor Susana Martinez was a compromise of give-and-take between two New Mexico Senators of different parties and energy policy objectives.

Dr. Daniel Fine is the associate director of New Mexico Tech’s Center for Energy Policy and the State of New Mexico Natural Gas Export Coordinator. The opinions expressed are his own.

Dr. Daniel Fine: Trump and oil in trade geopolitics


The full article is here-> Full Article by Dr. Fine

“Unlike 1973, and its oil embargo against the United States, there is no supply threat from the Middle East. Consequently, only a demand unknown moves the price of crude oil. Permian/Delaware has displaced the Middle East as a source and even Mexico imports U.S. production.

This has caused euphoria in Santa Fe among lobbyists who prepare for a new Governor from the Democratic Party.

She will have to decide that the rhetoric of renewable energy is no match for her budget bounty made up of revenue flows from Lea and Eddy Counties. Token demonstrations for higher taxes from oil and gas producers no doubt will occur, but in Santa Fe only the price of oil is the threat that can take the punch off the table.

And here the connected experts publicly answer reporters that the Permian is an exceptionalism in oil and gas: it will never become a basin in a downturn.

However, all the charts and slides converge on upward supply without much on demand to offset the upward slope. It is almost impolite to ask where is the market for the massive supply of oil now and in the near-term future?  What about demand for oil?
China? Not quite as electric cars – yes, Tesla or Chinese versions appear as I-Phone-like technology against the combustion engine.

California, with 40 million people and seven states following its waiver, can set miles per gallon requirements on engines towards zero emissions.

This is the meaning of President Trump’s policy to force California back into the Union where Washington decides on what the combustion engine can and will do.

This a decisive battle over Climate Change and the “Resist” (Trump) movement of the Democratic Party.

After all, it is California which pledged to support the Paris Climate Change Treaty which Trump opposed.”

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