Just because a pro-energy politician has begun to transition into the White House doesn’t mean things for the Colorado energy industry are getting any easier. This week, the industry faced attacks on a variety of fronts as anti-fracking protestors have begun to diversify their efforts by moving into the courtroom. This new round of legal effort undermines the overly positive impact of fracking on the state as a whole.
It’s a brand new day, folks. With the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States (admit it, you were surprised no matter how you voted), it’s only natural to wonder what lies in store for the oil and gas industry in the next four years. Trump has spent a lot of time in the last several months doing his very best to befriend high-ranking members of the industry, so there’s nothing to indicate that good times aren’t on the horizon. However, President Trump will have to fight something of an uphill battle if he’s going to repair an already ailing industry.
It’s been a really tough year for people hoping to expand fracking projects in the United Kingdom. 2016 began with Greenpeace dropping a fracking installation piece in Parliament Square, and it’s looking to end with one of the most aggressive anti-fracking campaigns ever launched. Or so it may seem.
Though fracking has been practiced by the United Kingdom to some extent since the 1970’s, the government’s latest attempt to launch new fracking projects within its borders has met with extreme resistance. Those people who may have hoped to profit from the expanded fracking projects may need to look elsewhere, and those who may have been a little worried about another nation actively seeking their own source of shale gas may not have much to worry about when all is said and done.
In their effort to increase profit while reducing the strain on the environment, oil and gas companies are constantly looking for innovative ways to extract shale from the Earth. Depending on who you ask, the newest advancements for obtaining that shale differ greatly. Chesapeake Energy, for example, is practicing something called, “monster fracking” which could potentially boost well output 70 percent.
In Colorado, though, they’re hedging their bets on a new advancement in lateral fracking that may help reduce the number of standing wells while increasing the output of each location. The process has already been adopted by several companies like Denver-based SM Energy Company, Pioneer Natural Resources, and, funnily enough, Chesapeake Energy.
On October 18, the former head honcho at Greenpeace UK, Stephen Tindale, released an editorial in The Sun in which he called hydraulic fracturing a central part of the solution when it comes to fighting climate change. As the UK begins to explore the benefits of hydraulic fracturing, Tindale’s endorsement has big implications not only for his country, but for the world as a whole.
Tindale spoke particularly about the need for Britain to supplant its coal-fired power stations with cleaner burning natural gas alternatives. Recently, Britain has pledged to end the use of coal power within the next decade. As Tindale writes, “That’s excellent news from a green perspective. But we need other things to fill the energy gap that’s left, otherwise Britain is going to run out of power. Renewable energy is the best long-term answer. But there’s no chance it will be ready to fill the gap by 2025. And the nuclear sector is also moving too slowly.”
In recent weeks, as the 2016 Presidential election has lumbered ever-closer, we’ve taken a look at the specific stances that both candidates bring into the fray. From Hillary Clinton’s knack for double talk to Donald Trump’s serious need for an education, no matter how things turn out, the oil and gas industry will end up in a state of flux. However, that may not be such a bad thing for oil and gas, as both candidates seem to have big plans for the future of oil and gas.
We’re just a few short weeks away from the conclusion of one of the most contentious Presidential elections in recent memory. The candidates might be imperfect (to put it lightly), but like it or not, the American public will be dealing with the repercussions of voting day for years to come. Before we all shuffle into a booth on November 8, it’ll be important to understand the oil and gas policies of the primary candidates and how they’ll impact the industry in the years moving forward.
Let’s start with Hillary Clinton, the seasoned politician with the dubious past.
The hydraulic fracturing industry is repeatedly under fire from those who would love to prove that natural gas extraction is not only harmful to the environment, but a constant danger to the employees who work on the job. From environmental groups to newspapers, it seems a small army has aligned to demonize an entire industry. More often than not, these attacks are so intent on proving their point that they only provide half the story.
Every year, the US Department of Energy puts out a statistical analysis of the country’s oil and natural gas standing. How much we’re using, how much we’re buying, that kind of thing. This Annual Energy Outlook (AEO), which is produced by the DOE’s statistics branch, the Energy Information Agency, also includes a prediction on the country’s net oil and gas usage over the next few years. This year’s AEO had some pretty big surprises for not only the industry, but the entire world.
Last month, a new study found that cutting $4 billion in federal subsidies to the oil and gas industry would have limited impact on production and consumption. Gilbert Metcalf, an economics professor from Tufts University, concluded in his report for the Council on Foreign Relations, “Cutting oil drilling subsidies might reduce domestic oil production by 5 percent in the year 2030. As a result, he [Metcalf] thinks, the worldwide price of oil would inch up by only 1 percent. He assumes the price of oil will hardly be affected because other countries would increase production as the flow of U.S. crude slowed. Demand would hardly budge, as the price of gasoline at the pump would rise by at most 2 cents a gallon.”
However, those conclusions are misleading.