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

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Oil and the Saudi Arabia threat by Dr. Daniel Fine


Dr. Daniel Fine, New Mexico Center for Energy Policy

The article by Dr. Daniel Fine is here-> http://www.daily-times.com/story/money/industries/oil-gas/2017/07/30/oil-and-saudi-arabia-threat/499741001/

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.

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The Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative (PIRI) Calls for New White House Policy: Unfair Trade Endangers U.S. Oil Industry Too


The full press release is here-> http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170518005304/en/Panhandle-Import-Reduction-Initiative-PIRI-Calls-White

May 18, 2017 06:00 AM Mountain Daylight Time 

AMARILLO, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In a letter directed to the President of the United States and received by the White House, the founders of (PIRI), the Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative representing thousands of independent small producers of oil in the Southwest United States wrote, “We call upon President Donald J. Trump for a second Presidential Memorandum to order the Secretary of Commerce, to establish the crude oil industry as a “Core” industry to be added to steel, aluminum, vehicles, aircraft, shipbuilding and semiconductors. Crude oil should be recognized as one of the critical elements of US manufacturing and defense industrial bases, which we must defend against unfair trade practices and other abuses.”

“We call upon President Donald J. Trump for a second Presidential Memorandum to order the Secretary of Commerce, to establish the crude oil industry as a “Core”

The PIRI founders further stated in the letter “Following the Presidential Memorandum on the case for steel against Chinese export practices that you signed, PIRI further calls for an immediate Investigation by the Department of Commerce of Saudi Arabia and OPEC abuse between August 2014 and March 2016 of the American oil industry by expanding production to lower world oil prices to destabilize and cause hardships to American producers mainly of light tight oil (shale oil). This was an announced effort to undermine and shut-down producers with higher costs of production. According to one estimate some 150 US companies filed bankruptcy and $150 billion in capital outlay postponed or cancelled. More than 300,000 US industry-related jobs were lost.”

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.”

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.”

Oil guru Fine was right on gas prices


The full article can be found here–> http://rdrnews.com/wordpress/blog/2015/11/28/oil-guru-fine-was-right-on-gas-prices/

Energy expert Dr. Daniel Fine, left, in March predicted the current low gasoline prices. Pictured with Fine during a meeting in Roswell in March are local oil men Rory McMinn of Reed & Stevens, center, and Bob Armstrong of Armstrong Energy Corp. (Jeff Tucker Photo)

An energy expert’s prediction in March that gasoline prices in New Mexico would dip to $1.65 a gallon has been proven true.
Dr. Daniel Fine, associate director of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, said at a landmen’s association’s meeting in Roswell in March that gasoline prices in New Mexico would drop to as low as $1.60 a gallon this year as the United States and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries engage in a crude oil price war.
Gasoline prices in Bernalillo County dipped to $1.64 a gallon this week at some stations, according to GasBuddy.com. Gasoline prices in Chaves County were as low as $1.80 a gallon this week at Sam’s Club in Roswell.
In March, Fine predicted gasoline prices in the Albuquerque market in 2015 would rise slightly to $2.35 a gallon before leveling off somewhere between $2.35 and $1.65 per gallon. He said in March that gasoline prices in Albuquerque could ultimately drop to as low as $1.60 a gallon.
“We made it to $1.60 and I have an outline of where we’ll be in 2016,” Fine told the Daily Record this week. “I’m getting calls to return to Roswell to do the next year.”
Fine said fuel prices in the United States are at their lowest levels since 1998, unadjusted for inflation. Fine attributed the low gasoline prices to soft market demand and excess supplies of crude oil.
The United States has more crude oil reserves than it has had since 1933, Fine said.
Fine said he’s not so sure crude oil prices will rise any time soon. He said there is a lot of anticipation about a Dec. 4 meeting of OPEC in Vienna, Austria.
“There’s a little excitement in the market about what the Saudi Arabian position might be on the 4th,” Fine said. “What’s reported out is some language about stability. So the speculators are buying oil today. But I am very skeptical that this will last.”
Fine, who has been critical of OPEC, said the oil cartel is creating an imbalance in the marketplace by over-producing while crude prices continue to drop.
Fine said many economists assumed Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil producers would cut back production as crude oil prices plummeted, but he said that did no occur.
“From Thanksgiving (2014) on, we’re in this oil price war crisis,” Fine said.

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.

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.

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