Sunday, August 5, 2018

Future looking incredible for US oil production

Ed. Could it be that American business and the American people benefit when the president has the best interests of THIS country in mind rather than those of his fellow Muslims in the Middle East?

Just a thought.

The following article appeared in the American Thinker on August 3rd

HSBC predicted in a recent report that Texas is set to outpace Iran and Iraq in oil production.  Furthermore, HSBC stated that the Permian Basin in West Texas and the Eagle Ford are likely to produce 5.6 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2019.  Iraq is expected to produce 4.8 million bpd and Iran 3 million bpd.  If HSBC's analysis comes true, then Texas will become the world's number-three oil-producer.

This news means that the United States should surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia in 2019 as the number-one oil producer in the world based on Texas's output.  The Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects U.S. production to reach 12 million bpd by late 2019.  A stunning accomplishment when you consider during the Saudi-led war on U.S. shale that crashed oil prices in 2014, bankruptcies overtook the Permian Basin, and production in the U.S. fell from 9.6 million bpd to 8.5 million bpd.

There are three reasons why U.S. oil production is skyrocketing.  Number one is that demand is rising.  OPEC has recently forecast that global oil demand should "surpass 100 million barrels per day next year."  The group sees demand increasing by "1.45 million bpd next year"; however, trade tensions between the U.S., China, Canada, the E.U., and other longstanding trade agreements in question could temper growth.  OPEC qualified its report about demand rising over trade worries by saying, "If trade tensions rise further and given other uncertainties, it could weigh on business and consumer sentiment."  With the U.S. and the E.U. working toward resolving a looming trade dispute over increased tariffs in late July, this is a positive first step toward global oil demand staying strong.

Second, U.S. federal tax policies are favorable toward exploration and production (E&P), which will assist with production increases.  President Trump's America First Energy Plan states:

That we [the U.S.] have vast untapped domestic energy reserves.  We must take advantage of the estimated $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil and natural gas reserves, especially those on federal lands.

According to Karen Alderman Harbert, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Energy Institute, record-breaking oil production will lead to "an explosion in exports."  Growth in exports will allow additional supply to be sold that otherwise wouldn't come to market.  Expanding energy development – particularly, expanding fossil fuel exports – will be a top priority for the Trump administration, as it will also use energy as a geopolitical tool.  Texas is the example for the U.S. moving forward of government and private business working toward expanding oil and natural gas production.  U.S. government policies will continue moving in this direction.

The third and biggest reason is use of technology, where the U.S. is making its greatest gains toward increased production.  Since the 2014 crash, shale companies have slashed costs but also employed automation and cutting-edge technologies like robotics, sensors, and smartphones to keep drilling.  The oil and gas industry is undergoing a modernization push.

This was on display in June at the Unify Conference, "an industry forum on digital technology put on by Baker Hughes," in Houston, Texas.  At this conference, technology companies like Google and Microsoft pitched energy executives to purchase cloud and artificial intelligence deals.  Darryl Willis of Google, who presented at Unify, said, "Energy companies have reams of data but only use 5% of it, a serious problem in the digital economy."

Silicon Valley believes that it can manage data better than E&P firms.  Chevron signed a seven-year deal with Microsoft to "capture and store the terabytes of data Chevron generates around the globe," said Bill Braun, Chevron's chief information officer.  Other firms use the cloud to "find more oil and predict[] needed maintenance on equipment before it breaks down."  Inefficient and antiquated ways that kept U.S. oil production lower are now being replaced by complex and diversified approaches to new technologies to stay competitive in an ever changing global environment.

Shale growth is increasing on a monthly basis, but geopolitical tensions could dramatically lower this growth.  Trade disputes with China where Trump has threatened over $500 billion in tariffs or a war with Iran could send oil prices into the $100 and above range.  This would also lower oil demand and send countries and consumers into lower-cost energy options like renewable energy and electric vehicles.  In other words, only extreme geopolitical situations can lower U.S. oil production – otherwise, the future is positive based on growing demand, favorable governmental policies, and emerging technology.

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