According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Newly Awash In Oil, Should We Export Surplus We Produce

Monday, November 18, 2013

Newly Awash In Oil, Should We Export Surplus We Produce

According to a June, 2012, article in the Wall Street Journal, by Angel Gonzalez, titled Expanded Oil Drilling Helps U.S. Wean Itself from Mideast, America reportedly could cut its reliance on Middle East oil in half by the end of this decade.

That’s good news to Sam and me. According to an article in Bloomberg News, Feb. 2012, by Barbara Powell, the U.S. Energy Department said the U.S. exported more gasoline, diesel and other fuels than it imported in 2011 - for the first time since 1949. 

The Bloomberg article reported, “It was forecast that the U.S. would ship abroad 350,000 barrels a day more petroleum products than it imported in 2012 and 320,000 barrels daily in 2013, according to the department’s Short-Term Energy Outlook oil report .“

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the share of total U.S. consumption met by liquid fuel net imports has fallen from its peak of more than 60% in 2005 to an average of 40% in 2012 and is expected to decline to 28% in 2014; that would be the lowest level since 1985.

But Sam and I don’t know if we like the idea of the U.S. is becoming a net-oil exporter. It’s great to not be dependent on foreign oil, BUT WHY do we have to send extra oil we produce here overseas - especially when we still are paying more than $3 a gallon at the gas pumps here?

An article in The Christian Science Monitor, by David J. Unger asks, Should the US export Oil? Unger reports that “the US oil and gas industry's trade association is contemplating a push to lift a decades-old ban on US oil exports. The 1970's era law is no longer relevant, critics of the ban say, since oil production in the United States is booming and demand is waning.”

Unger reported that Blake Clayton, an adjunct fellow for energy at the Council on Foreign Relations wrote in a June policy memo, "Exporting energy is good for the economy. Letting drillers reap extra profits from selling crude oil overseas, if the market dictates, would provide greater incentives for drilling, stimulating new supply. It would also encourage investment in oil and gas production in the United States rather than abroad."

Gonzalez’ WSJ article quoted Marvin Odum, president of Shell's U.S. unit and head of its exploration and production activities in the Western Hemisphere saying, “The drop in American energy imports comes at a time when hundreds of millions in the developing world are beginning to consume more energy as they rise from poverty. We're very fortunate that this is happening. It enables resources to flow to emerging economies."

But Unger reported that former Rep. (now Senator) Ed Markey (D) of Massachusetts, in a March statement introducing legislation that would place a moratorium on US oil and gas exports said, "American oil should be kept here to benefit our consumers, not shipped to Europe or Asia to help boost oil company profits."

The shift from net importer to net exporter, according to Gonzalez’ WSJ article is “a result of technological advances that are unlocking new sources of oil in shale-rock formations, oil sands and deep beneath the ocean floor. This surprising bounty comes from the widespread use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a technique perfected during the last decade in U.S. fields previously deemed not worth tampering with.

“First developed in natural-gas fields, fracking yielded an unexpected oil boom that has redrawn America's energy geography," Gonzalez article says. "Abundant crude, combined with a huge refining base and waning demand at home turned the U.S. into a net exporter of refined products last year; the EIA expects that situation to continue beyond 2020.”

—Gerald F. Seib, Gregory L. White, Chip Cummins and Keith Johnson contributed to the
WSJ article.

Unfortunately, fracking may have some environmental consequences our oil companies haven’t forseen. They say they’re taking measures to protect the environment, but then BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico comes to mind, not to mention the environmental degradation from gold mining, copper mining and so on.

“Export issues are something we’re going to have to address,” John Felmy, the chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute (API), the oil and gas trade association, told Bloomberg. “It’s a debate we have to have.”

Frack that! Don’t corporate types always try to accentuate the positive while ignoring the negative? Three bags of poop on corporate arrogance.

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