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

Posts tagged ‘free market’

Fine: NAFTA, natural gas and the San Juan Basin

As seen here in the Farmington Daily Times->

The North American Free Trade Agreement is now in a final stage with the U.S. team looking over the “energy chapter,” which has been approved by Canada and Mexico. The Administration’s position, with a revisionist-protectionist core, offers President Trump a withdrawal-from-NAFTA option, at least a tactical move to shake up Canada and Mexico in the interest of American merchandise and agricultural exports.
However, not much is known from the inside on plans for natural gas exports to Mexico.  In 1992, the beginning of NAFTA, Mexico’s oil and gas industry was government owned and operated so it fell outside a free trade agreement.
Today, Mexico permits private capital to build, own and operate oil and gas exploration, production and transportation (pipelines) under its Energy Reform Law.
This admits natural gas into the NAFTA framework. Nearly $6 billion of Southwest natural gas was sold (exported) to Mexico last year.

Mexico imports 53 percent of its natural gas from the United States – with 60 percent on track. Needless to say, Mexico is dependent on American natural gas for its power generation.Texas natural gas pipeline entry points dominate the trade, while the Delaware and the San Juan basins are next as business and strategic sources.
The Mancos Shale natural gas below the Four Corners must access the expanding Mexican market in any revision of NAFTA terms. The Trump Administration’s understanding of American natural gas trade with Mexico should include regional economic integration. Energy is required for Mexican industrial growth, and Mexico has constructed the pipelines on its side border to receive and transport natural gas from the Permian and the San Juan Basin.

NAFTA revised should make natural gas exports from the U.S. Southwest a natural resource exemption from narrow foreign trade objectives. Natural gas reserves in the Southwest can be accessible to Mexican importers if pipelines to cross-border points attract American investment long-term. NAFTA changes
would create risk disincentives.

U.S. NAFTA negotiations can be aligned with the Trump-Zinke energy policy of world domination if the export “New Mexican natural gas” is designated a “win – win.”
If the Mexican market for American natural gas is lost, New Mexican natural gas would be mostly “stranded” without offset storage; and, it would push back on the Permian with an oil-only reality as the output of gas from Pennsylvania and Ohio output expands.

Unless Texas and New York media understand the history behind the oil price collapse history of 2014-2016 the industry and public will be compelled to repeat that history soon.

Oil prices are coupled into a “bubble”; or worse – speculation in a “coin” which exists as a product of computer software. Is Bitcoin speculation infecting the value of oil in commodity trading at least momentarily?
Will hedging create a trade?

With New Mexico oil production over 500,000 barrels per day (323,000 four years ago), the coming 30 days in Santa Fe (Legislative Session) should see a Democratic Party state budget expansion or plain spending offensive which would mirror 2018 primaries and general election conflict between progressives and centrists.
There is no threat from off-shore (Atlantic and Pacific Ocean) to New Mexican oil and gas development. President Trump is right to remove off-shore prohibitions, but now the market takes over. The cost of San Juan Basin natural gas is 80 percent less than exploration and production 50 miles out in North Carolina’s Atlantic Ocean.
Three or four dimensional seismic investments—yes; production—no; not as long as there is economic shale natural gas on-shore in New Mexico and the Southwest.

Daniel Fine is the associate director of New Mexico Tech’s Center for Energy Policy. The opinions expressed are his own.


ENERGY DOMINANCE NEEDS NAFTA 1/16/18 Heritage Foundation


Last year, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress of the Trump Administration’s intent to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). After several rounds of negotiation among the United States, Canada, and Mexico, many critical issues remain unresolved.

Opportunities abound for negotiating a better NAFTA. As the Trump Administration pushes for modernization, one commonsense policy area that should be preserved and improved is energy. Canada and Mexico are two of America’s most important trade partners in energy markets. The Trump Administration should build off that success. Strengthening the integration of energy markets among the three countries will unleash the massive amount of energy abundance in North America.

Join us as we hear from experts on how enhancing energy trade with Canada and Mexico will result in more jobs and affordable power for American households and help achieve the Trump Administration’s goal of energy dominance.


Published on Jun 21, 2016

“FARMINGTON – A group of oil and gas executives and energy policy experts from the Texas Panhandle and New Mexico’s piece of the Permian Basin are pushing a plan to restrict seafaring imports of foreign oil from coming into the U.S. in order to stabilize the oil and gas industry and bring back lost oilfield jobs.

The group’s plan, which would exempt crude oil imported from Mexico and Canada, is an effort to push back against the price wars the group said are being waged by OPEC, or the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, led by Saudi Arabia.

Members met at the School of Energy at San Juan College Tuesday to promote the “Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative,” which they say could be implemented in multiple phases within 90 days of the next administration, with the ultimate goal of reducing heavy crude oil imports to about 10 percent of demand.” SEE VIDEO-> OIL IMPORT QUOTA RALLY: TV BROADCAST

Our View: Limiting oil imports would help to protect American producers

by the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal editorial board

The full story is here->

“When the price of oil drops, so does the cost of gasoline. But while people are enjoying paying lower prices at gasoline pumps, plunges in oil prices can cause economic damage in Texas.

And it can put American oil producers out of business when the price of foreign oil imports gets cheaper than the costs of extracting oil from the ground in the U.S.

Oil producers in the Panhandle recently announced the Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative. Their hope is to limit the amount of oil that can be imported from other countries.

We wish them success in getting sympathetic ears to hear their initiative and gathering like-minded people to help further it.

They are right that a limitation should be set on the amount of oil imports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Representatives of OPEC’s 18 nations recently met in Doha, Qatar. Among their topics of discussion was whether to freeze oil production levels.

The nations didn’t reach an agreement on the subject.

“OPEC and Russia and various countries met and decided they weren’t going to freeze oil and, in fact, OPEC said they will increase production again. This will drive the price down to $26 (a barrel) again,” said oil producer Tom Cambridge.”

Governor Martinez first Hispanic to lead GOP governors

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Gov. Susana Martinez will hold the reins of the Republican Governors Association through the 2016 election cycle, after being elected Thursday by fellow GOP governors as the deep-pocketed national group’s new chairwoman.

The vote means Martinez’s national profile will likely rise, as she’s expected to spend large chunks of next year traveling out of state to raise money and rally support for Republican gubernatorial candidates around the country.

N.M. Gov. Susan Martinez

But she insisted the increased RGA duties – which began immediately with Thursday’s election – will not distract her from her day-to-day responsibilities in New Mexico.

“It’s an honor, and it allows me to showcase New Mexico throughout the country,” Martinez told the Journal during a break from the RGA annual meeting, held at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas hotel. “I think that’s really an amazing opportunity.”

Martinez, who had been the RGA’s vice chairwoman, is the first woman and first Hispanic to lead the GOP governors group. She was recommended for the top position by the RGA’s executive committee and elected to the post Thursday by acclamation. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who recently dropped out of the Republican presidential race, was elected the group’s vice chairman.

No other Republican governors formally announced bids for the chairmanship.

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

For the complete article use this link–>

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–> 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.

Tag Cloud