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

Archive for the ‘Enviroment’ Category

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.

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: Oil – before and after the November election (USA TODAY Farmington Daily Times)


The article can be found here-> https://www.daily-times.com/story/opinion/columnists/2018/06/24/fine-oil-before-and-after-november-election/699460002/  The Trump Administration is moving towards less royalty rates on Federal land leases, less Bureau of Land Management discretion on Environmental Protection Act obstruction on the Application for Petroleum Drilling process, less coal and nuclear power generation decline, and less oil supply confidence in OPEC-Russia world price management.

This is the thrust of the signature world energy domination policy of Secretary Ryan Zinke for the last 16 months. It accounts for the action of OPEC-Russia 10 days ago. Saudi Arabia led OPEC to increase oil production to respond to President Donald Trump, but averted a price shock with gradualism. More output from OPEC offers increased revenue in the very short term.

It now faces an election to decide majority party control of Congress. Should the Democratic Party win at least in the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump will be set back on energy policy and its action realization. He will be forced to use executive power narrowly.

The Democratic Party will prepare for 2020 and the foreclosure of Trump-Zinke on world energy domination through an American petroleum system and public land dispensation.

What will the Democratic Party control of energy in Washington and Santa Fe look like?
Imported oil is consistent with a resumption of climate change energy policy which is less carbon in the economy and more renewables as the alternative.

World investment flows are putting solar and wind ahead of oil and gas for the first time. Electric cars are now one to every six in sales in California and soon in Europe, displacing diesel engines.

The Democratic Party in Washington in 2020 will no doubt align with the European Union in Climate Change with a roll-back of the Trump Administration regulatory reform.

Methane, public land access, a return of BLM dominance, along with tax and infrastructure incentives can be expected. Battery charging technology and its placement capacity expansion on the Interstates will promote the market for electric vehicles. New issues restricting unitization, spacing and density of oil and gas wells should appear on state and Federal land.

In Santa Fe, the current Martinez energy policy and plan (2015) would be rejected in favor of a new Democratic Governor’s choice to start over in 2019.  It should be like Colorado’s energy policy but with strong regulatory hydraulic fracturing intervention and fresh water use conservation emphasis.

The oil and gas industry concentration on the Delaware, Permian, Williston (along with the Bakken Formation), Eagle Ford basins along with the Marcellus in natural gas will double up at heavier entry cost and consolidation.

This process, however, promises San Juan Basin natural gas higher prices. New exploration and production on public land would be minimal and legally challenged.

New off-shore U.S oil would be closed with “national monument” type public law.
The Democratic Party has no conservative business Democratic faction to offset the impact on American oil and gas as an industry.

In New Mexico, county leaders from San Juan, Eddy and Lea will continue to argue on the basis of statewide revenue. The Democratic Party in Santa Fe must demonstrate economic development through diversity while oil and gas is politically isolated.

With Canadian imports and even Russian gas in Boston harbor in very cold and snow-storm winters, the East Coast can return to the way it was before Trump on foreign oil imports – America no longer “First.”

The West Coast without refineries and wired power from natural gas is already there in Democratic Party dominance and declining combustion engines.

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.

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.”

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