By - Jim Vess

Bill overhauling Colorado oil and gas regulations is speeding through the legislature

Energize Weekly, March 13, 2019 A bill aimed at dramatically overhauling regulation of oil and gas operations in Colorado is swiftly moving through the state legislature. The legislation is in response to growing concerns as large fracking operations get closer to suburban development and in the wake of a string of court rulings that knocked down local attempts to deal

By - Jim Vess

Debt load to squeeze shale drillers cash flow and pinch dividends, analysis says

Energize Weekly, March 6, 2019 U.S. shale operators face a cash pinch in 2019 as rising debt servicing will leave them with “barely” enough cash to pay dividends, according to an analysis by Oslo, Norway-based Rystad Energy. “Indebted shale exploration and production companies (E&Ps) spent the second half of 2018 reducing their leverage ratios,” according to the analysis by Rystad,

By - Jim Vess

Midwest polar vortex fuels natural gas demand record and near-record for electricity

Energize Weekly, March 6, 2019 Extreme cold at the end of January pushed Midwest natural gas consumption to record levels and near-record levels for electricity demand on Jan. 31—the single coldest day when temperatures dropped to as low as minus 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Natural gas, the primary heating fuel in the region, hit a record demand of 37.9 billion cubic

By - Jim Vess

Montana-Dakota Utilities to close uneconomical coal plants in favor of gas and wind

Energize Weekly, February 27, 2019 Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) said it will close three aging coal-fired generation units in the next three years, replacing the capacity with cheaper natural gas-fired and wind generation. “Low-cost power available on the market, due to low-cost natural gas and increasing wind resources, as well as rising costs to operate these facilities, led to the decision

By - Jim Vess

Global oil production keeps rising in 2019 while demand stays flat, IEA says

Energize Weekly, February 20, 2019 A surge in global oil production while demand remains relatively stable will leave markets struggling to absorb production in 2019, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) monthly market forecast. The IEA raised its estimate for crude oil production growth in 2019 to 1.8 million barrels a day (MBPD) from 1.6 MBPD, while demand growth

By - Jim Vess

U.S. expands reach as world’s top export of ethane, shipping to 10 countries in 2018

Energize Weekly, February 13, 2019 The United States—the world’s top exporter of ethane—increased its reach in 2018, sending the gas, a key feedstock in petrochemical manufacturing, to 10 countries, according to federal data. The U.S. surpassed Norway as the top export of ethane in 2015. Ethane is used in a wide range of products including plastics, antifreeze, detergents and as

By - Jim Vess

Coal and oil all but disappear from New England electricity generation

Energize Weekly, February 13, 2019 Oil and coal, once the dominant sources of electricity generation in New England, have all but disappeared, primarily replaced by natural gas, according to ISO New England, the region’s grid operator. Since 2000, coal’s share of energy production has dropped to 1 percent from 18 percent, and oil is now 1 percent compared to 22

By - Jim Vess

United States set to become a net-energy exporter by 2020 for first time in 67 years

Energize Weekly, February 6, 2019 The United States will become a net-energy exporter by 2020—as crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids production surpasses domestic energy consumption, according to a forecast by the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). The last time the U.S. was an exporter was in 1953. The U.S. has been an exporter of coal and coke

By - Jim Vess

Demand for frac water and wastewater treatment set to soar by 2021, says Rystad Energy

Energize Weekly, January 30, 2019 The demand for water for hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells has more than doubled in the last three years and is projected to reach more than 6.3 billion barrels by 2021, according to an analysis by Rystad Energy. Hydraulic fracking sends water, chemicals and sand into wells under pressure to fracture rock and

By - Jim Vess

EIA forecasts oil prices edging up in 2019 while natural gas prices decline

Energize Weekly, January 23, 2019 Brent oil prices will rise to $61 a barrel in 2019 and $65 a barrel in 2020, while natural gas prices will remain below 2018 levels for both years, according to federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts. West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices will average about $8 a barrel lower than Brent in the first

By - Jim Vess

DOE launches programs for new coal markets and to enhance oil and gas recovery

Energize Weekly, January 23, 2019 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched programs to find new markets for coal and boost oil recovery from shale plays. Under the Maximizing the Coal Value Chain program, $9.5 million in federal cost-sharing funds will be available for developing ways to improve coal as a fuel, as a feedstock or material for manufacturing.

By - Jim Vess

Natural gas-fired plants dominated 2018 new generating capacity, renewables set to rebound in 2019

Energize Weekly, January 16, 2019 New natural gas-fired generation capacity in 2018 accounted for nearly three-quarters of the total 24,808 megawatts (MW) installed for the year—and was double the amount of gas-fired capacity installed in 2017, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. The 18,550 MW of natural gas-fired capacity more than offset the 16,900 MW of coal-fired plants that

By - Jim Vess

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose across all sectors in 2018, Rhodium says

Energize Weekly, January 16, 2019 U.S. carbon dioxide emissions linked to energy use rose for the first time in three years in 2018—with all sectors from power generation to manufacturing to home heating—posting increases. There was a 3.4 percent increase in emissions, according to a study by the Rhodium Group, an energy and economic analytics consultant. “This marks the second

By - Jim Vess

Natural disasters caused $160 billion in damages in 2018 with about half covered by insurers

Energize Weekly, January 16, 2019 Natural disasters worldwide caused $160 billion in damage and killed 10,400 people in 2018, making it the fourth mostly costly year for the insurance industry since 1980, according to the international insurer Swiss Re Group. “The indications at the start of 2018 were that it would be a more moderate year,” Petra Löw, a Swiss

By - Jim Vess

Energy commodity prices, from oil to natural gas to gasoline, fall to end 2018

Energize Weekly, January 9, 2019 Energy commodity prices—hit by a weak oil market—fell 21 percent in the last quarter of 2018 after having been strong for most of the year, according to in the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI). It was the first time since 2015 that crude oil prices ended the year lower than where they were at

By - Jim Vess

Global oil and gas supply chain emits 5,200 million tons of greenhouse gases, IEA says

Energize Weekly, January 2, 2019 The oil and gas industry is a source of carbon emissions even before the fuels are burned—one that should be addressed even as fossil fuels remain in the world energy system for decades, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA’s “well-to-wheel” analysis of indirect or fugitive emissions is the first comprehensive global assessment

By - Jim Vess

Oil prices and demand forecast to be soft in 2019 as economy slows and U.S. production grows

Energize Weekly, December 19, 2018 Oil prices are projected to decline sharply in 2019 as demand remains flat due to slowing economies and weakening currencies—as well as more U.S. oil in the market, according to national and international energy agencies. The federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) last week slashed its projected price for Brent crude in 2019 by 15 percent

By - Jim Vess

Global carbon emissions rise, cutting them will be a challenge, studies find

Energize Weekly, December 12, 2018 Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, driven by increased fossil fuel consumption, jumped in 2018. Even with major initiatives to curb carbon, fossil fuels are likely to hold a dominant share of energy production through 2040, according to a series of new studies. Carbon emissions worldwide rose 2.7 percent in 2018, compared to 1.6 percent in

By - Jim Vess

New England set to meet winter electricity generation demands, though fuel issues linger

Energize Weekly, December 5, 2018 New England’s power grid operator—after a cold snap last winter taxed generating capacity—has put in place new programs and says it expects to have the resources to meet demand. Still, fuel constraints could pose a risk. ISO New England (ISO-NE) said in its winter outlook that it expects consumer demand to peak a 20,357 megawatts

By - Jim Vess

Carbon emissions in heavy industry and transport could be could to zero by 2060, study says

Energize Weekly, November 28, 2018 Heavy industry carbon emissions—less of a focus and harder to curb than the power sector’s—could be reduced to zero by 2060 at cost of just a fraction of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to a new study by the nonprofit Energy Transitions Commission. The challenge in reducing industrial and transportation carbon emissions is that

By - Jim Vess

Natural gas storage in the U.S. at a 13-year low heading into winter season

Energize Weekly, November 21, 2018 Natural gas underground storage in the U.S. began November at the lowest levels in 13 years, 3,208 billion cubic feet (Bcf), according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). The data released Nov. 8 covers storage levels in the lower 48 states. Each of seven storage regions were at their lowest levels since 2005 and

By - Jim Vess

Oil supplies and prices remain stables thanks to increased production from U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia

Energize Weekly, November 21, 2018 Oil supplies are up and prices down—despite flagging output from Venezuela and sanctions on Iranian oil—as result of increased production from key countries and a softening demand from developing countries, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. In August, the IEA warned that losses of Venezuelan and Iranian supplies could be “challenging,” but production from Saudi

By - Jim Vess

Midwest, Northeast to start winter heating season with higher fuel oil and propane prices

Energize Weekly, November 14, 2018 The Midwest is heading into the winter home-heating season with above average inventories, modest price increases and a forecast of a mild winter, while the Northeast is facing a decline in inventories, a sharp price hike and colder temperatures. Propane prices were up nationally 4 percent compared to prices at the start of the 2017-2018

By - Jim Vess

Expensive Colorado ballot battle on oil drilling setbacks could lead to a compromise

Energize Weekly, November 14, 2018 In the wake of a hard-fought battle over an oil and gas ballot initiative, Colorado political and industry leaders are looking for a path to comprise. Proposition 112, sponsored by the grassroots anti-drilling group, Colorado Rising, would have created a statute requiring oil and gas facilities to be set back 2,500 feet from homes, public

By - Jim Vess

Worldwide fuel subsidies rising under pressure from higher oil prices, EIA says

Energize Weekly, November 7, 2018 After a sharp decline, global fuel subsidies rose in 2017—under pressure from rising oil prices, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Worldwide fossil fuel subsidies had fallen by almost half to about $250 billion between 2012 and 2016. In 2017, they rose 12 percent to $300 billion, according to data from the IEA’s World

By - Jim Vess

U.S. set record for crude oil production in August, becoming world’s leading producer for the month

Energize Weekly, November 7, 2018 U.S. crude oil production reached 11.3 million barrels a day in August, surpassing Russian output, and making the U.S. the world’s leading crude oil producer, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Production records were set in several states. Texas posted a record 4.6 million barrels a day, followed by North Dakota at 1.3

By - Jim Vess

PJM has had the biggest growth in natural gas-fired generation of any U.S. market

Energize Weekly, October 24, 2018 The PJM Interconnection, the largest U.S. wholesale electricity market, has in the last five years added the most natural gas-fired capacity of any grid in the country, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). PJM has seen the closure or announced closure of coal-fired and nuclear plants on its grid, while steadily adding natural

By - Jim Vess

Pipeline constraints could hurt winter energy market prices in New York, Boston and Los Angeles

Energize Weekly, October 24, 2018 A forecast for a mild winter and adequate electricity generating capacity are good news for the winter energy markets, but pipeline constraints could create risks for several major cities, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) assessment. The growing dependence on natural gas-fired generation coupled with the pipeline issues could also “have significant implications

By - Jim Vess

U.S. crude oil export carried by supertankers rose in first half of 2018

Energize Weekly, October 17, 2018 U.S. crude oil exports surged in the first half of 2018 as the use of the largest supertankers grew dramatically. Crude oil overtook hydrocarbon gas liquids as the biggest U.S. petroleum export product. The 1.8 million barrels a day exported was 80 percent more than the first half of 2017, according to the federal Energy

By - Jim Vess

LNG market set to post a record in 2018 buoyed by Asian buyers

Energize Weekly, October 3, 2018 The market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is poised to set a record in 2018, spurred by Asian imports, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analysis. Demand is projected to grow 308 million metric tons per annum (MMtpa) in 2018, up 8.5 percent from 2017. “The rate of growth will slow from 2019 and

By - Jim Vess

Carbon Tracker says fossil fuel demand peaks in 2020, spurred by rapid market transformation

Energize Weekly, September 19, 2018 Demand for fossil fuels will peak in the 2020s, as market competition, technological innovation and shifts in energy transform the market and create financial risk, according to a Carbon Tracker analysis. The projections by the London-based energy think tank are aggressively predicting a peak at least a decade ahead of other forecasts. “We have seen

By - Jim Vess

Oil and gas capital investment has been a volatile boon and a bane in the economy

Energize Weekly, September 5, 2018 Capital investment in the oil and gas industry grew rapidly after 2006 but has shown itself to be more volatile than overall capital investment, creating both a boon and a potential bane for the economy, according to an analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. From 2006 to 2014, capital expenditures, or capex,

By - Jim Vess

Frack sand demand “extreme” as market set to rise to $6 billion by 2023, IHS Markit says

Energize Weekly, August 29, 2018 The increased drilling of longer horizontal wells in shale oil and gas formations is fueling an escalating demand for the sand used to keep open fissures in rock after it has been fracked, leading to a $6 billion market by 2023, according to energy consultant IHS Markit. The market for the sand, called a proppant,

By - Jim Vess

Water demand for fracking surges, wastewater and fluids also rise at drill site, study finds

Energize Weekly, August 29, 2018 Water demand for fracking and the flowback and produced water from fracked wells has soared with the amount of water being used up as much as 770 percent and flowback volumes increasing up to 1,440 percent in six years, according to a Duke University study. The increased water use and wastes in shale oil and

By - Jim Vess

Ethanol production capacity rises in 2017 as Trump administration seeks a new policy

Energize Weekly, August 8, 2018 Ethanol fuel production capacity rose an estimated 5 percent in 2017 to 16 billion barrels a year as the Trump administration continues to try to strike a comprise between the refiners and agricultural interests on ethanol-treated gasoline. Between the beginning of 2018 and the start of 2017, recorded ethanol production capacity increased by more than

By - Jim Vess

Venezuelan oil production propped up by foreign joint ventures in 2017, EIA says

Energize Weekly, July 11, 2018 Venezuelan oil production is increasing, being held up by its joint ventures with foreign oil companies from Russia, China and the U.S. Even with that, production and exports have plummeted, according to an assessment by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Output has been falling since a peak in the late 1990s, but it has

By - Jim Vess

Methane leak rate at oil and gas operations 60 percent higher than federal figure, study says

Energize Weekly, June 27, 2018 The leak rate of methane emissions from oil and gas operations is about 60 percent higher than federal estimates, according to a study published June 22 in Science magazine. The findings are based on measurements taken at more than 400 well pads in six basins and midstream facilities, as well as aerial surveys over oil

By - Jim Vess

Forecast of global oil demand trimmed by IEA on rising prices, economic uncertainty

Energize Weekly, June 20, 2018 The International Energy Agency (IEA) has trimmed its forecast for the increase in world oil demand for 2018 to 1.4 million barrels a day as supply, economic and price uncertainties could still roil the global market. “Rapidly rising prices in recent months have raised doubts about the strength of demand growth, and we have modestly

By - Jim Vess

Energy consumption and carbon emissions rise in 2017, the power sector lags, BP review says

Energize Weekly, June 20, 2018 Energy consumption grew worldwide 2.2 percent in 2017, about an 80 percent increase year-over-year, and the fastest growth in four years as emission of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide also rose for the first time since 2014. Consumption of natural gas and oil rose, and for the first time in five years, consumption of coal

By - Jim Vess

Many shale plays are profitable, but there may be a rough patch for some high-price areas

Energize Weekly, June 13, 2018 Oil companies have cut the costs of shale drilling, leading to the resurgence of activity even without oil prices rebounding to pre-recession levels, though some of the high-priced plays are vulnerable to market forces, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The key to the shale boom has been improved horizontal drilling and fracking technologies,

By - Jim Vess

U.S. shale oil production rises, Canadian production and exports also rise

Energize Weekly, May 9, 2018 U.S. oil production and productivity per well from shale plays increased in 2017 making up more than half the nation’s crude output—a decade-long trend, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). The average well produced more oil in 2017 than those drilled in previous years. The EIA has seen this year-on-year improvement since it

By - Jim Vess

U.S. crude production in the Gulf of Mexico hit a record in 2017, output is projected to grow

Energize Weekly, April 18, 2018 U.S. crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico hit a record 1.65 million barrels a day in 2017—and 2018 and 2019 production is set surpass that, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gulf production hit that highest recorded annual level despite platform outages and pipeline problems in December 2017, as several new

By - Jim Vess

U.S. LNG exports quadruple as world market grows led by Asia

Energize Weekly, April 4, 2018 U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) quadrupled in 2017 compared to the previous year as global demand jumped 9.4 percent to 285 million metric tons a year, according to market analyses by the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. After last year’s bump, the global demand is projected to rise

By - Jim Vess

Dallas Federal Reserve survey finds oil and gas operations expanding in 2018

Energize Weekly, April 4, 2018 Oil and gas activity in Texas posted growth for the sixth consecutive quarter in the first quarter of 2018 with prospects for continued expansion this year, according to the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank’s quarterly regional energy survey. The survey also found the average break-even point for drilling a new well was $52 a barrel for

By - Jim Vess

U.S. industry will be the largest consumer of natural gas through 2050, EIA forecast says

Energize Weekly, March 14, 2018 U.S. industry will be running on natural gas—consuming it as a fuel and a feedstock—and using more of it than any other sector through 2050, according to a forecast by the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). The EIA expects the industrial sector’s consumption to rise 40 percent to 13.7 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) in

By - Jim Vess

U.S. set to be major supplier for new global oil demand as OPEC sees slow growth in supplies

Energize Weekly, March 14, 2018 The United States, thanks to surging shale-oil production, will “dominate oil supply growth” over the next five years and is becoming “ever more dominant in the global oil market,” according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The key exporting countries meeting demand growth along with the U.S. will be Brazil, Canada and Norway. The four

By - Jim Vess

Court ruling on methane comes from one of 60 climate lawsuits filed against Trump administration

Energize Weekly, February 28, 2018 Trump administration efforts to roll back methane controls on oil and gas operations were blocked by a federal court ruling last week in one of the 60 lawsuits filed against the administration on climate change issues. On Feb. 22, Judge William Orrick, in the U.S. Northern District of California, granted a preliminary injunction against the

By - Jim Vess

EIA forecast shows increase in oil and natural gas production, with gas playing biggest role by 2050

Energize Weekly, February 14, 2018 Oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas production are all projected to grow steadily over the next five years, with oil and gas liquids leveling off and natural gas continuing to climb slowly, according to the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA). Oil production has already surpassed the 9.6 million barrels a day record set in

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