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

Archive for the ‘Enviroment’ Category

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.”

NM Energy Outlook Summit: Forecasts hazy for industry in flux by Sal Christ Reporter Albuquerque Business First


For the complete article use this link–> http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/morning-edition/2015/11/nm-energy-outlook-summit-forecasts-hazyfor.html

Panelists at Business First’s second annual New Mexico Energy Outlook Summit yesterday offered but one common ground: Something needs to be done to turn the industry around.

Emceed by ABF publisher Candace Beeke, the event brought together Dr. Daniel Fine, associate director of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy at New Mexico Tech and a senior policy analyst in the New Mexico State Department of Energy Minerals and Natural Resources; Ron Darnell, senior vice president of public policy for PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM); Bob Gallagher, president of RMG Consulting; and Regina Wheeler, chief executive officer of Positive Energy Solar.
Ron Darnell, senior vice president of public policy at PNM Resources, speaks during Thursday’s New Mexico Energy Outlook Summit while Regina Wheeler (left), CEO of Positive Energy Solar, looks on.

Over the course of 90 minutes, which included a keynote speech delivered by Fine and a panel discussion, the group addressed questions about the state of the energy industry in New Mexico and the United States, what 2016 might look like for the oil and gas industry and possible solutions to the current industry slump. While driven, in part, by audience-submitted questions, everyone offered a much differing perspective.

In his keynote speech, Fine said he was “coming with realism and bad news” and believed that while no one can forecast the price of oil, “we should prepare for 2003 prices.” He estimated that the price of oil could drop to the $22 to $28 range by June 2016.

Fine also said that the state could see a 10 percent reduction in shale production by that time, as well. He cited increased foreign production of oil over the last couple of years, China’s stabilization at a lower growth rate, decreased commodity demand and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) price war with the U.S. shale industry.

Publisher’s Note: Energy Industry Critical to New Mexico, Your Business


For the complete article use this link–> http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/2015/11/publishers-noteenergy-industry-critical-to-new.html by Candace Beeke is the president & publisher of Albuquerque Business First

It’s time to talk seriously about the energy industry in New Mexico. And you have some work to do.

Whether your business is directly involved in this industry, it’s very much tied to its outcomes — and right now, there’s much concern about that in the state. After all, some 30 percent of New Mexico’s tax base comes from oil and gas. And you’ve read the headlines we’ve been reporting on how that sector is faring. If you haven’t, let me recap — it’s a fracking mess. The price of oil dropping more than a year ago has resulted in rapid cost cutting from many of the energy majors, including ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) and Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL), both of which have major operations and workforce in New Mexico — although smaller now.
Some 30 percent of New Mexico’s tax base comes from oil and gas.

But that’s just one sector of energy. At Albuquerque Business First’s Energy Outlook event Nov. 12, we will hear from the CEO of one of the fastest-growing companies in New Mexico — Positive Energy Solar. And Positive wasn’t the only energy player on ABF’s List of gazelle companies this year. Affordable Solar Group ranked high and made Inc.’s list of fastest-growing companies, as well.

In addition to solar, we will hear from New Mexico energy giant PNM Resources (NYSE: PNM), which has its hands stretched into multiple sectors of energy. We’ve also added oil and gas expert Bob Gallagher, whom many of our readers will remember from his decade of leading the state’s oil and gas association, NMOGA, as well as his time as advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. Gallagher tells me it’s not all doom and gloom in New Mexico oil and gas. In fact, he knows of pockets in the state that are growing rapidly and seeing strong new investment.
But New Mexico doesn’t operate in an energy vacuum. It’s critical for our companies — whether involved directly in energy or on the periphery of it, as most of us are — to understand the global and national challenges facing this industry. Dr. Daniel Fine from the Center of Energy Policy at New Mexico Tech will give us that broad overview and tell us what’s coming in the future.

Governor’s energy plan sets up New Mexico for new opportunities by Ripon Advance News Service


Governor’s energy plan sets up New Mexico for new opportunities by Ripon Advance News Service | Friday, Sep 25, 2015 @ 2:57pm For a link to the plan and the full article –> https://lnkd.in/e4mVTVk

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez recently announced a sweeping, statewide energy plan aimed at embracing a wide array of energy sources, including oil and gas — which already accounts for more than $1 billion in yearly state revenues — solar, wind and new technologies. The far-reaching energy policy and implementation plan

entitled “Seizing our Energy Potential: Creating a More Diverse Economy in New Mexico,” is the state’s “first comprehensive energy policy and plan since 1991, nearly 25 years ago,” Michael Lonergan, Martinez’s press secretary, told Ripon Advance.

The plan put forth by Martinez, who is the nation’s first female Hispanic governor, calls for “an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to energy development that promotes production from all sources” in order to create jobs, diversify a key sector of New Mexico’s economy and support the nation’s efforts to achieve energy independence, among other goals, Lonergan said this week.

Lonergan told Ripon Advance that the key components and initiatives of the plan include: improving New Mexico’s energy infrastructure; promoting greater production of all sources of energy; improving energy workforce training in the state’s higher education system; reducing freshwater consumption in production; streamlining regulatory processes; and exploring and potentially seizing on new energy opportunities.

Improving the state’s energy infrastructure, for example, will include new rail lines to improved electric transmission that will allow New Mexico to better move its energy and its products to markets in the Southwest and Southeast United States, as well as into Mexico and other markets.

In particular, rail from the Four Corners region to Interstate 40 would reduce the cost of transporting coal, crude oil and agricultural and other non-energy products from northwest New Mexico to markets throughout the state and beyond. Such improvements also would allow materials for energy production to be brought into New Mexico at a lower cost to producers.

In a statement unveiling her statewide energy plan earlier this month, Martinez called New Mexico “one of the most energy-rich and energy-diverse states in the nation.”

Editorial: Governor’s energy plan is excellent future blueprint


New Mexico has a wealth of energy resources. And now it has a comprehensive plan to help guide development of those riches to grow the state’s economy.

Last week at the 2015 Southeastern New Mexico Mayor’s Energy Summit in Carlsbad, Gov. Susana Martinez laid out a broad “all of the above” energy policy. “There is no reason we shouldn’t be an energy leader,” she later told attendees at the eighth annual Domenici Public Policy Conference in Las Cruces.

Her plan embraces a wide range of energy sources, ranging from oil and gas to solar, wind and up-and-coming technologies, such as “small modular reactors,” which must still be approved by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

While the oil and gas industry has been – and still is – the backbone of the state’s energy economy (accounting for more than a billion dollars in revenues to the state each year), it’s clear there is plenty of opportunity for the growing renewable energy sector given New Mexico’s abundant sunshine, miles of windswept open spaces and nuclear experience and expertise.

One of the keys is development of more infrastructure – electricity transmission lines to move power generated by wind and solar, and new refineries and improved roads, rail and pipelines to transport resources in and out of the energy-producing areas in the southeastern and northwestern parts of the state.

It also proposes deployment of new battery storage technologies and exporting coal as utilities start using less of that resource as a result of agreements with the federal government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

Link

New Mexico energy secretary visits Farmington to begin revising energy plan


New Mexico energy secretary visits Farmington to begin revising energy plan

Plan is expected to boost economic development in the state
By Chris Roberts The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The New Mexico Energy Secretary visited Farmington on Wednesday to hear from oil and gas executives on a proposed revision of the state’s energy policy, which has not been substantially changed since 1991.

Dave Martin, secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, sat with T. Greg Merrion, president of Merrion Oil and Gas, and others and listened to the concerns and suggestions of local people involved in coal, natural gas, crude oil and energy production. It was the first stop in a tour that will include Hobbs, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Albuquerque. During those other stops, topics of discussion will include energy efficiency, renewable energy and biofuels.

“All-of-the-above will produce more jobs,” Martin said of including renewable energy. “A lot of these things are going to be region specific.”

Martin said people invited to the Wednesday meeting at San Juan College were “targeted” for their local knowledge of the issues. Media was asked not to attend the actual discussions, so business leaders could speak freely, but when a reporter from The Daily Times showed up at the meeting, he was allowed to sit in. Martin spoke to the press after the meeting. For more of the article use this link–> http://www.daily-times.com/farmington-business/ci_24615895/encana-announces-multi-million-dollar-drilling-plans-2014

Link

US Gas and oil boom benefits consumers


US Gas and oil boom benefits consumers

After years of steadily rising prices, “low-cost fuel” may seem like an oxymoron.

But thanks to a steady surge in domestic oil and gas production, energy experts say consumers could enjoy inexpensive gasoline and natural gas for years to come.

MAP MASTER“The outlook is for a low-cost energy economy in the U.S.,” said Daniel Fine, associate director of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, which is run by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. “This is a long-term trend, not an isolated event, and it’s something almost revolutionary.”

The country’s newfound oil and gas boom, made possible by modern drilling technologies, has helped keep gasoline prices well below the $4-per-gallon peaks that consumers faced just a few years ago. It’s also driven home-heating bills to record lows since 2009.

Now, with production still climbing fast, Fine and others say natural-gas prices will remain moderately low for another five to 10 years at least. And gasoline prices likely will continue to fall into 2014, before stabilizing at somewhere above $2 per gallon for the foreseeable future.

“I believe gasoline will reach $2.35 a gallon or less quite soon, within a year at most,” Fine said.

Gregg Laskoski, a senior policy analyst with the online price-tracking service Gas Buddy, agreed.

“That may seem shocking, but it’s not as outlandish as it sounds,” he said. “The potential is certainly there.” For more of the article use this link—> http://www.abqjournal.com/302397/biz/oil-gas-production-booms.html

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