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

Archive for the ‘energy industry’ Category

Oil leaders: OPEC threatening U.S. economy and New Mexico’s lifeblood; Nation has lost 400,000 oil and gas jobs in past two years


The full article is here-> http://rdrnews.com/wordpress/blog/2016/10/08/oil-leaders-opec-threatening-u-s-economy-and-new-mexicos-lifeblood-nation-has-lost-400000-oil-and-gas-jobs-in-past-two-years/

Dan Fine, an oil economist with the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, speaks at a conference in Carlsbad recently about how foreign oil imports are hurting the American oil industry. Fine said OPEC has flooded the U.S. market with foreign oil since 2014 in an intentional effort to put U.S. producers out of business, while Saudi Arabian-backed companies are trying to buy American companies in an effort to control the flow of oil within U.S. borders. (Hobbs News-Sun Photo)

CARLSBAD — Oil experts say America is under attack by Saudi Arabia and OPEC, but instead of bombs, the OPEC oil cartel is dropping millions of barrels of oil on the U.S. economy in a clear effort to undermine the nation’s oil producers and kill any chance of American energy independence.
The first to feel the flood of foreign oil into the U.S. are the independent oil producers, whose stripper wells in Texas alone account for 20 percent of the nation’s oil and gas production, said Judy Stark, executive vice president of the The Panhandle Producers & Royalty Owners Association.
Stark was one of the half dozen speakers at an event of 25 people Sept. 27 in Carlsbad where the Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative, a group of independents seeking import quotas on foreign oil, met to announce their “white paper” that will be presented to the next president.
“We know OPEC has toyed with our market for many years but what I see coming now is a threat, without a doubt, to our national security,” Stark said. “The Middle East wants control of the U.S. market. When they came out and decided to flood the market with oil and drive U.S. producers out of business, their whole point was to take back their lost market share — our production. They are telling us is they are not going to let us produce our own natural resources. Guess what? They have done a pretty good job.”
The Sept. 27 Carlsbad meeting was a first battle cry that Dan Fine, a co-founder of the initiative and oil economist with the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, said won’t be taken up by the nation for two years — when the rest of the country wakes up and finds it is too late to stop OPEC from controlling America’s energy industry.
“We are pioneers,” Fine said. “My point is, we are sitting here today 18 months to two years ahead of everyone. Sometime in early 2018, the country will discover what we are having a discussion about here today.”

What’s at stake?

What’s at stake is some 276 billion barrels of oil reserves now estimated to exist in the United States.
According to Fine, that number surpasses what Saudi Arabia has and they are terrified. Fine quoted Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, concerning the shale oil discoveries made in the United States.
“The United States has increased oil production by an enormous 65 percent over the past five years,” Fine said, quoting Hamm’s statement. “We can and should use our nearly unlimited oil and gas supplies to drive a stake through the heart of OPEC forever.”

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This is what an oil bust looks like by Jonathan Thompson


Low prices have energy companies and communities reeling as rig counts plummet and unemployment climbs.

The full article is here-> http://www.hcn.org/articles/this-is-what-an-oil-bust-looks-like

“In early March, Daniel Fine, associate director of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, told a gathering of tribal energy officials that the oil bust is officially on. Those gathered, however, sure as heck didn’t need an expert to tell them that. In the oil and gas patches it has become clear that the economic gains of the so-called shale revolution are being wiped away by one of the worst fossil fuel downturns in U.S. history.

Now, the oil companies are crying for help. First, they got the crude oil export ban lifted. Next they want proposed federal rules on methane emissions weakened or scrapped. As if any of that will help.

Back in 2010, the price of a barrel of Brent crude (the international oil price benchmark) topped $80. That made it profitable to extract oil from tight shale formations, which is especially costly. A drilling frenzy ensued, domestic oil production skyrocketed, oil companies raked in profits and oil patch communities prospered.

But all that new oil on the market, plus China’s slowing economic growth, began to dampen oil prices in the summer of 2014. Instead of curtailing production to keep prices afloat, OPEC’s leaders launched a thinly veiled price war, clearly aimed at putting U.S. producers out of business. Here are some indicators that OPEC won the war:

The U.S. rig count has collapsed to levels not seen since, well, ever. With both oil and natural gas prices at near-record lows, it simply doesn’t make economic sense to spend up to $10 million to drill a well. So the rigs are shutting down. In September 2014, 1,931 oil and gas rigs were operating in the U.S.; today there are just 476. That’s a 75 percent decrease, and it’s still some 50 percent lower than the 1987 count, which followed what was considered the biggest, baddest bust ever, until now. Tom Dugan, who runs an oil and gas production company in northwest New Mexico, told the Farmington Daily Times, “It’s the hardest bust I’ve been through and I have been in this business for 57 years.”

Energy policy expert says oil slump a bust


by James Fenton, jfenton@daily-times.com5:02 p.m. MST March 5, 2016

The complete article is here-> http://www.daily-times.com/story/money/industries/oil-gas/2016/03/05/energy-policy-expert-says-oil-slump-bust/81289608/

FARMINGTON — “It’s officially a “bust.”

That’s the verdict from Daniel Fine, one of Gov. Susana Martinez’s senior advisers on energy policy. The U.S. oil and gas industry — and the San Juan Basin — is in a “bust” period, Fine said Tuesday at an inter-tribal energy conference at San Juan College’s School of Energy.

“This is what a bust is. You lose the workforce,” said Fine, who is associate director at New Mexico Center for Energy Policy at New Mexico Tech. “Loss to the country and to the Southwest will be the workforce. It will be decimated at levels of less than $30 a barrel (of crude oil).”

And 2015 was a year of layoffs and cutbacks.

Since the collapse of oil prices on the commodities market in fall of 2014, the number of  workers laid off from local oil and gas companies — from the large corporations to the smaller independents — has been in the thousands.

“We’re in a ‘bust.’  So be ahead of the curve, and think ahead in this business by at least six months,” Fine told the Native American and non-tribal energy leaders and business people in the Merrion conference room at the new $15.8 million school.

He said looming federal regulations such as the the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s proposed Onshore Oil and Gas Orders Nos. 3, 4 and 5 along with proposed updates to its rule aimed at reducing “fugitive” atmospheric methane from oil and gas operations were doubling the pain already caused by low crude oil prices. He said that a third of all U.S. oil and gas producers — especially those burdened with debt — will inevitably go bankrupt.

But Fine’s sobering analysis wasn’t without one ray of hope for the industry.”

Inter-Tribal Energy Gathering Keynote w/leading energy expert Dr. Daniel Fine


Inter-Tribal Energy Gathering

March 1-2, 2016

San Juan College School of Energy

Farmington, NM

Free to the public

This gathering of Rocky Mountain West mineral producing Tribes, First Nations and Alaska Native Corporations is created to build Tribal Executive capacity on important issues in regards to oil & gas. We will be creating awareness and discussion on the impacts of the government’s oil & gas policies, generate information to create hydraulic fracturing regulations that can be shared from a web-based format, and host a networking opportunity for Tribes, First Nations and Alaska Native Corporations, so that you may get to know each other professionally and socially.

This specific event is intended to facilitate a multi-Tribal discussion on proposed, pending and recently implemented state and federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing. As part of “Front Page News”, many attempts to implement regulations that are certain to impact Tribal oil and gas economies without adequate or meaningful consultation or dialogue with Tribal Leadership. This is an opportunity for Tribal Executives to hold in confidence, that discussion with an analytical review of existing regulations for consideration of “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” of said regulations. The evaluation of Colorado, North Dakota, New Mexico and Tribal Regulations will be discussed. The proposed outcome of the facilitated session is a set of DRAFT Regulations for Tribal consideration for adoption.

The second part of the agenda is to hold a discussion and ultimately arrive at decisions on the formation of a Multi-Tribal Energy Organization that has been widely discussed and proposed by Tribes for Tribes. Finally, the introduction of various leading innovative technologies for Tribal consideration and evaluation will conclude the event in an up-close and personal hands on approach will be presented in a round-robin format. Come and meet the executives. Don’t miss this exciting and highly participatory event!

Fine: Washington, D.C., on oil and gas


The “deal” between the parties over the energy future of the United States and the San Juan Basin at the end of 2015 was the most misguided example of politics at the fuel pump since th…

Source: Fine: Washington, D.C., on oil and gas

Fine: Washington, D.C., on oil and gas


by Dr. Daniel Fine, New Mexico Center for Energy Policy

The complete article is here-> http://www.daily-times.com/story/opinion/columnists/2015/12/28/fine-washington-dc-oil-and-gas/77979916/

The “deal” between the parties over the energy future of the United States and the San Juan Basin at the end of 2015 was the most misguided example of politics at the fuel pump since the 1970s. Then it was retail price control and now it’s a free-for-all in the price of oil in the world market with West Texas Crude approaching 10-year lows.

Lifting the restriction on exporting crude oil adds American oil to a world market which is over-supplied. Expect no cash flow increase for American producers and still lower world prices than with the restriction or ban in place.

This is not the place to assess the other side of the “deal.” However, tax credit extensions for wind and solar as alternative fuels to replace coal and later natural gas are no longer of concern to the Republican Party in Congress.

With petroleum economics based on market prices, there is virtually no way that the “deal” will bring about tens of thousands of new jobs in the oil and gas fields. How does exporting crude oil lead to increased drilling and rig deployment if this increases supply in an oversupplied world market? On the contrary, it leads to lower prices and negative cash flows for producers who must cut their workforces.

If oil and gas prices rebound in the next three years, the alternative fuels are beneficiaries as tax credits shape new non-fossil fuel investment, offsetting the risk of lower oil and gas prices, This was no doubt the objective of the climate change politics of Paris and the Democratic Party in Congress as well as the White House.

Although U.S. oil refiners will have a transportation cost tax adjustment from the “deal,” what prevents them from buying foreign oil at lower prices than American oil (North Sea Brent at declining prices)?

Daniel Fine is associate director, New Mexico Center for Energy Policy at New Mexico Tech, and project leader of the Energy Policy, state of New Mexico, Department of Energy Minerals and Natural Resources. The opinions he expresses in this column are his own.

Lifting of export ban unlikely to fuel growth anytime soon byBy Kevin Robinson-Avila / ABQ Journal Staff Writer


For the complete article use this link-> http://www.abqjournal.com/695149/biz/biz-most-recent/lifting-of-export-ban-unlikely-to-fuel-growth-anytime-soon.html

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The federal government is preparing to lift its ban on crude oil exports for the first time in 40 years, but most producers and industry analysts expect little benefit, at least in the short to medium term.

Congress agreed to suspend the ban in its new omnibus spending bill approved on Friday and since signed by the president. That could pave the way for the first crude exports since 1975, when the federal government originally imposed restrictions to shore up domestic supplies in response to the Arab oil embargo that decade.

U.S. producers have lobbied heavily to eliminate the ban, given that modern drilling technologies have opened up vast new U.S. crude reserves. That has pushed domestic output to its highest levels since the early 1970s, contributing to global oversupply and a fierce price war with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that began last year.

To sustain U.S. production, oil companies want to access foreign markets where prices are higher than that paid by domestic refineries.

But the battle with OPEC has sharply cut prices across the board, greatly narrowing the gap between what foreign refineries now pay for Brent oil — the international benchmark — and what domestic ones pay for U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate.

The price differential has shrunk to less than $3 per barrel, down from $20 or more a few years ago, said Tom Kloza, chief petroleum analyst with the Oil Price Information Service in Maryland. As a result, the benefits for accessing foreign markets are now minimal for U.S. producers.

“At this point, with the compression of crude oil prices across the board, the prices for Brent and West Texas Intermediate are very close to one another,” Kloza said. “That’s made the advantages of eliminating the export ban a moot point for the foreseeable future.”

U.S. exports could actually aggravate the price war with OPEC, driving markets even lower, said Daniel Fine, associate director of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

“OPEC will likely move now to retaliate against U.S. crude exports,” Fine said. “U.S. producers will be unable to compete against severe price discounting by OPEC, particularly by Saudi Arabia and Iran. No country or refiner out there is going to take U.S. oil at a premium price against discounted prices from OPEC.”

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