“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.”
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.
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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.
It has been 70 years since a President of the United States has considered domestic oil and gas as a “power” in world affairs. With Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke charting a new course, the Trump Administration is considering a transfer of Federal Land management with natural resources to the Western States.
Coupled with Zinke’s proclamation of American energy world domination, a revolution on how to think about oil and gas in the San Juan Basin is taking place.
The Four Corners BLM management could move across Farmington to the New Mexico state office. The Bureau of Land Management’s Washington control might move to Denver.
It is more than speeding up Applications for Petroleum Drilling (APD): it is who decides and implements Trump-Zinke. How is San Juan natural gas to advance American oil and gas first in a redesign of domestic resources on a world stage?
Farmington and Carlsbad would control, as New Mexico State offices of oil and gas, new rules with national and global meaning. The San Juan Basin future would have natural gas reserves managed for strategic and economic purposes in the Baltic and Black Seas. Management would be drawn from New Mexico.
What is the cost for this historic transfer of power from Washington or a non-oil and gas Potomac?
The State of New Mexico must legislate expansion budgets to overcome the limitations of Santa Fe staff in numbers and expertise. Under State Oil and Gas Law, inspectors are needed to inspect wells (62,000).
Inspection of Federal oil and gas wells (transfer from Washington BLM) requires a budgetary alignment with the strategy and vision of Secretary Zinke.
There is a return to the economic development history of America. San Juan Basin natural gas does not depend on localized manufacturing alternatives into natural gas in the Four Corners. Pipelines take care of markets. The expansion to ultimate economic recovery is in the new policy of this Administration.
I was the lunch keynote speaker at the Jicarilla Apache Energy Conference in Dulce. Indian nation natural gas must not be outside American oil and gas first. Investment and production is now a different opportunity. Deals with conventional oil and gas companies were part of the excitement.
Readers of this column in the Energy Magazine have followed a forecast made 11 months ago, in which I have seen warning signs of oversupply of world oil in 2019.
The Initial Public Offering (IPO) shares in Saudi Aramco is doubtful. China or BP could buy non-controlling blocks of shares as an alternative. If this IPO fails, Saudi Aramco will have little reason to throttle OPEC production downward.
This would open the way for a trend-line similar to 2014. Saudi Arabia is in the first phase of instability. What happens to Mohammed bin Salmon, the Crown Prince, lies in Qatar, and with the Kurds.
It is important to recognize that the IPO process called for the right of women to obtain driving permits. Underwriters were on notice that such discrimination would distract buyers of Saudi Aramco shares.
Hilcorp’s female staff at Dulce added that they (women in Saudi Arabia) must be 30 years of age and will not be able to drive at night.
“How can Saudi Arabia and OPEC behind them strike a second blow against shale oil producers in the Southwest? The first was the 2014-2017 price and market share war in which they raised production to put the higher cost Americans out of business.
This was partially abandoned at Algiers in a reversal to opt for a higher price for crude oil from $26 to the high $40 range. The marketing tool is lowering their production by 1,800,000 barrels per day.
The second blow is process.
The Saudi Arabian Oil Ministry and its state company, Saudi Aramco, negotiated in London with Glencore (world’s largest trading combined with mining), banks and hedge funds to see if they could reduce the liquidity necessary for American oil and gas shale producers to hedge forward to obtain a higher price.
Without access at only financial transactions costs to the “strip” or the forward price of oil at at least 10 percent higher than current prices “spot,” WPX and all the Permian-Delaware significant producers would not have survived the recent downturn in their current form.
If there is no difference between the price oil today and September 2018, which is called the “contango,” this would be a problem of liquidity – no entity taking the other side against the oil and gas producer on a contract. No cash would be bet against the oil and gas producer who sells forward one year. One side, for example, sells 70 percent of 2018 oil production at June 2018 prices in the present while the other side buys or covers, as the counterpart, the contract.
Saudi Arabia correctly followed data which demonstrated that despite the decline in the price of oil from $100 in 2014 to a low of $26 per barrel, oil producers hedged against the fall and largely survived. Without hedging the producers would have negative cash flows and serious problems of debt to keep going.”
There is instability in the leading oil producer within OPEC and the lowest cost producer in the World. Nothing like this has happened in Saudi Arabia since the middle of the last century.
It is only a matter of the short term before the price of world oil is affected. And its Implications will reach the Four Corners and New Mexico no matter what Congress or The White House does.
First, the instability begins from a dynastic change with an ailing and aging King and a young crown prince ousting his cousin as the successor to the throne as King of Saudi Arabia. This divides the rulers into two factions: the traditionalists or old guard (Ali Al-Naimi) against the modernists and a take-over generation. Second, the oil ministry and Saudi Aramco (the Government-owned and monopoly oil company) is now controlled by the take- over generation.
No doubt President Trump was influential in the recent diplomatic visit to the Kingdom. He gave support to the take-over faction with closer ties to the take-overs through Mohammed bin Salman, now the heir to the throne. Billions in American service company projects with Saudi Arabian petroleum expansion were announced. President Trump concluded with a strategy and tactic of eliminating radical Islam in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. He said it must be attacked at the roots of the social and political order.
Qatar was next. It has been isolated and diminished by the take-over generation adding more resentment among the traditionalists in Saudi Arabia. While it is the largest producer and exporter of liquid natural gas in the world, it also produces as much as 80 percent of the oil output of the Permian Basin. The big picture is struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia to dominate the region or Islamic Middle East.
It was the take-over generation that switched Saudi Arabia oil strategy from an anti-American shale and sand price and market share war against West Texas Intermediate oil to a reduction of output in OPEC. This was the decision of Algiers to raise prices in anticipation of a Saudi Aramco initial public offering of shares next year.
Share prices would be sold at higher prices with this cutback of OPEC production.
The Crown Prince moved to restore subsidies and salaries, based on oil revenue, which were reduced or eliminated as the oil price fell because of market share strategy to lower oil prices to shut down or slow American shale competition from 2014 to late last year. Prices moved upward as OPEC withheld some 1.8 barrels from the World Market. But the commodity market has displayed skepticism after an initial rally that not enough supply has been pushed back to “balance supply and demand” this year.
Oil and the emergence of Saudi Arabian instability should converge in a struggle between the traditionalists or old guard over the control of the Ministry of Oil and indirectly Saudi Aramco as a pre-public company. The new crown prince now in control of the country must not fail as head of the take-over generation. The price of oil must increase another 50 percent to $65 per barrel before the Saudi Aramco sale of its stock worldwide – minimum 5 percent and maximum 10 percent.
If this fails or the sale does not meet expectations, the traditionalist or Old Guard will combine an attack on modernism with a return of Saudi Arabia as the residual or swing world supplier of oil with price setting supply actions of higher output for lower prices or lower output for higher prices.
The outcome will impact the future of American exporters of oil. The take-over modernist will accommodate a “balance” which includes a market for Permian exports. The Old Guard will not. A Second Downturn in 2019, forecast in this column seven months ago, will take place with either outcome, but with mitigation from the take-over generation. President Trump will have lost the Crown Prince and the modernists in the coalition to root out radical Islam as he readies for 2020.
Shale oil producers in the Southwest and North Dakota would be losers, if the Trump strategy is stalled or fails because a traditionalist recovery of civil and oil power in Saudi Arabia. This would occur as Saudi Arabia and OPEC could resort to the market share flood of the world market as in 2014.
As never before, President Trump’s 2020 campaign would then strike a new campaign strategy toward a North American oil and gas market with prices determined as continentalist and world oceans imports of oil limited.
The San Juan Basin natural gas future increasingly depends on new markets in Mexico and short-term advantages if Qatar’s half of world’s supply of LNG is isolated or neutered.
Has the oil price and market share war ended with a Saudi Arabian win? Or, as some fund managers and speculators argue, has Midland won? We are now in a trading range high of $50 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate.
Looking back two years, Wall Street, the oil and gas industry and its trade associations got it all wrong. I was a minority of one in New Mexico with my OPEC analysis of a low of $23 to $28 per barrel which was realized earlier this year. Once again there is triumphalism and hubris about winning the war against OPEC.
What is it all about? If OPEC agrees to freeze production at August output that would put OPEC between 32.5 and 33 million barrels per day. In 2013, OPEC was below 30 million. If they “freeze” it will be at 2.5 million more than early 2014 while our production had dropped almost 1.5 million.
In other words, OPEC oil expanded its market share and more significantly has displaced our oil here at home in the American market by nearly one million barrels per barrel. This is a double win for OPEC and Saudi Arabia: more of their oil imported into our market and fewer barrels of our oil produced, which is the loss of rigs and jobs and a painful downturn.
The Permian Basin and its Delaware Basin extension into New Mexico has become the new North Slope Alaska of the 1970s. It is there that drilling rigs and well completions will be re-activated next year. The “breakeven” price is lower because of geology and cost-cutting service contracts. The downturn contracts, however, will expire and non-Haliburton contractors will ask for more. Margins will tighten as costs increase. But North Dakota has leveled off and Eagle Ford is not the Permian.”
“ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico and West Texas oil producers are gearing up for a national effort to draw all major U.S. oil basins into a grassroots movement to restrict crude imports from overseas.
Leaders of the Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative, which launched in April in the Permian Basin, are seeking public meetings and rallies in other oil-producing zones to convert what’s now a regional initiative into a national movement, said Daniel Fine, associate director of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, who is working with local producers.
Those efforts will kick off in September with a presentation at the fourth Southeastern New Mexico Energy Summit in Carlsbad. After that, initiative leaders expect to hold public meetings in other shale oil basins, including the Bakken in Montana and the Dakotas and the Eagle Ford in South Texas.
“We’ll take it to Carlsbad first, and then it goes national,” Fine said. “We want to organize public rallies with producers and field workers whose jobs are at stake. This is a grassroots effort in the basins where the oil bust has taken place.”
The initiative is a reaction to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ aggressive oil-pumping policies since mid-2014, which have helped drive global oil prices to ten-year lows and thrust domestic U.S. production into crisis. Initiative leaders say those policies were a deliberate effort by the mid-Eastern members of OPEC, particularly Saudi Arabia, to drive U.S. producers out of business.
Banning crude imports from overseas would undercut OPEC’s ability to manipulate prices, they say, and allow U.S. producers to ramp up domestic production to supply the U.S. market.”