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U.S. Is Now EXPORTING Fuel, But the Oil Companies Are Gaming the System to Keep U.S. Prices HIGH

George Washington's picture





 

By Washington’s Blog

 

Leah McGrath Goodman – who has written for the Financial Times, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Fortune – notes that the U.S. is now an exporter of refined petroleum products, but that Americans aren’t getting reduced oil prices because the oil companies are now pricing the oil according to European metrics:

The U.S. is now selling more petroleum products than it is buying for the first time in more than six decades. Yet Americans are paying around $4 or more for a gallon of gas, even as demand slumps to historic lows. What gives?

 

***

 

Americans have been told for years that if only we drilled more oil, we would see a drop in gasoline prices.

 

***

 

But more drilling is happening now, and prices are still going up. That’s because Wall Street has changed the formula for pricing gasoline.

 

***

 

Until this time last year, gas prices hinged on the price of U.S. crude oil, set daily in a small town in Cushing, Oklahoma – the largest oil-storage hub in the country. Today, gasoline prices instead track the price of a type of oil found in the North Sea called Brent crude. And Brent crude, it so happens, trades at a premium to U.S. oil by around $20 a barrel.

 

***

 

So, even as we drill for more oil in the U.S., the price benchmark has dodged the markdown bullet by taking cues from the more expensive oil. As always, we must compete with the rest of the world for petroleum – including our own.

 

This is an unprecedented shift. Since the dawn of the modern-day oil markets in downtown Manhattan in the 1980s, U.S. gasoline prices have followed the domestic oil price ….

 

In the past year, U.S. oil prices have repeatedly traded in the double-digits below the Brent price. That is money Wall Street cannot afford to walk away from.

 

To put it more literally, if a Wall Street trader or a major oil company can get a higher price for oil from an overseas buyer, rather than an American one, the overseas buyer wins. Just because an oil company drills inside U.S. borders doesn’t mean it has to sell to a U.S. buyer. There is patriotism and then there is profit motive. This is why Americans should carefully consider the sacrifice of wildlife preservation areas before designating them for oil drilling. The harsh reality is that we may never see a drop of oil that comes from some of our most precious lands.

 

***

 

With the planned construction of more pipelines from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, oil will be able to leave the U.S. in greater volumes.

 The Wall Street Journal noted last November (subscription required) :

“The sale of an oil pipeline running from Oklahoma to Texas upended U.S. energy markets Wednesday, sending the price of crude surging above $100 a barrel …Enbridge Inc.—which bought a 50% stake in the Seaway Pipeline—announced it would reverse the direction of the flow, allowing more crude to move south from oil storage in Cushing, Okla., into the world’s largest refinery complex along the Gulf Coast. Over the past two years, the U.S. has started producing so much oil that existing pipelines have been unable to move it to refineries. That has led to a glut of oil in the center of the country, keeping the price of American crude far below that of petroleum traded overseas…With a new supply of oil headed to Gulf Coast refineries, exports of gasoline are expected to rise … For decades, oil has been imported from overseas to the Gulf Coast, then either refined there or moved elsewhere in the U.S. for processing.

 

“The pipeline system was set up to move crude from south to north…U.S. oil production, which had been declining since the 1970s, is climbing again. After bottoming out at five million barrels a day in 2008, domestic production has jumped by 10% in the past couple of years. It is expected to grow even more amid a drilling boom, as companies use hydraulic fracturing to free oil from shale rocks … More crude flowing to the Gulf Coast will feed a growing energy-export business to Latin America’s rapidly growing economies. U.S. exports of petroleum products have reached 2.6 million barrels a day, double the level of three years ago. Roughly 15% of the gasoline and diesel refined in the U.S. is now exported, according to U.S. Energy Department data. “The middle of the U.S. should start considering applying for membership in OPEC,” said Phil Verleger, an oil economist who runs PK Verleger LLC. Industry analysts don’t expect rising U.S. crude-oil production to translate into lower gasoline or diesel prices anytime soon. So much gasoline and diesel is exported from the Gulf Coast that U.S. customers compete with customers in Mexico and the rest of Latin America—and have to pay as much as these foreign users ….

 

Because of the glut in Cushing, the price paid for crude in the Midwest U.S. has been substantially less than European benchmark prices, such as Brent crude. This is expected to largely disappear by the middle of next year, as the Seaway pipeline change gets underway.”

CNN Money reported in March that the Keystone Pipeline might also raise fuel prices within the U.S:

Gas prices might go up, not down: Right now, a lot of oil being produced in Canada and North Dakota has trouble reaching the refineries and terminals on the Gulf. Since that supply can't be sold abroad, it reduces the competition for it to Midwest refineries that can pay lower prices to get it.

 

Giving the Canadian oil access to the Gulf means the glut in the Midwest goes away, making it more expensive for the region.

Tyson Slocum – Director of Public Citizens’ Energy Program - explained in November:

How does bringing in more oil supply result in higher gas prices, you ask? Let me walk you through the facts. A combination of record domestic oil production and anemic domestic demand has resulted in large stockpiles of crude oil in the U.S. In particular, supplies of crude in the critical area of Cushing, OK increased more than 150% from 2004 to early 2011 (compared to a 40% rise for the country as a whole). Segments of the oil industry want to import additional supplies of crude from Canada, bypass the surplus crude stockpiles in Oklahoma in an effort to refine this Canadian imported oil into gasoline in the Gulf Coast with the goal of increasing gasoline exports to Latin America and other foreign markets.

 

***

 

Cushing typically is a busy place – I noted in my recent Senate testimony how Wall Street speculators were snapping up oil storage capacity at Cushing. And all of that surplus capacity is pushing WTI prices down – and for many in the oil business, downward pressure on prices is a terrible thing. As MarketWatch reports, “[B]y running south across six U.S. states from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, [the Keystone pipeline] would skirt the pipeline hub at landlocked Cushing, Okla., a bottleneck that has forced Canadian producers to sell their oil at a steep discount to other crude grades facing fewer obstacles to the market.

 

***

 

There are several global crude oil benchmarks, and the price differential between Brent and WTI now is around $10/barrel, which is a fairly significant spread, historically speaking. Moving more Canadian crude to bypass the WTI-benchmarked Cushing stocks, the industry hopes, will align WTI’s current price discount to be higher, and more in line with Brent.

 

***

 

The Keystone pipeline isn’t just about expanding the unsustainable mining of … Canadian crude, but also to raise gasoline prices for American consumers whose gasoline is currently priced under WTI crude benchmark prices.

In an interview in January, Slocum noted that oil is America’s number 1 import at time same that fuel is America’s number 1 export.

Specifically, more oil is being produced now under Obama than under Bush. But gas consumption is flat.

So producers are exporting refined products.  By exporting, producers keep refined products off the U.S. market, creating artificial scarcity and keeping  U.S. fuel prices high.

Slocum said that the main goal of the Keystone Pipeline is to import Canadian crude so the big American oil companies can export more refined fuel, driving up prices for U.S. consumers.

 

 


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Thu, 05/10/2012 - 12:36 | Link to Comment Herkimer Jerkimer
Herkimer Jerkimer's picture

Gee, what a surprise: Businessmen screwing us.

 

No. Human nature screwing us.

 

Thorium Bitches. Thorium.

 

Local, regional, decentralized, tiny nuclear plants, that makes electricity cheap.

 

Defeat those scumbags of humanity by making thing them play by the rules they only claim to play by: Capitalism

 

And the key to captialism is competition.

 

•?•
V-V

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:08 | Link to Comment surfersd
surfersd's picture

Where to start? Does GW understand the fungibility of the oil markets? Does he realize that refiners on the East Coast and the Caribeean have shut-down due to poor margins? If the refiners in Houston did not export the gasoline and distillate that they are they they to would have to shut-down, driving prices even higher. GW propbably still does not understand the Brent / WTI dynamic that has caused the spread to approach $20 time and again.

The refiners on the coast have to pay a world price while the mid-con refiners are buying WTI at a discount. Tjis is why gasoline prices in Chicago are 50 cents to a $ 1.0 cheaper then those cities on the coasts (California is even higher, but then is another story as well).

As a proud zero hedge member from the begining there has been a increase in posts that are truly uninformed. Tyler your are still the man.

 

 

 

 

Fri, 05/11/2012 - 09:56 | Link to Comment Bill - Yes That Bill
Bill - Yes That Bill's picture

So how would you CHANGE the rules of the game so that AMERICA wins...???

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:31 | Link to Comment Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

We can get more for our oil? Where do I sign up?

maybe the US should nationalize all oil resources and ban exporting..hammer and sickle 2.0

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:29 | Link to Comment utgolfer
utgolfer's picture

I quit reading most of GW's stuff a while back.  Reading this post, I remember why...the US is an "exporter of oil" per GW, what a joke.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:22 | Link to Comment madcuban
madcuban's picture

Every part of this article is wrong.  How pathetic.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:19 | Link to Comment Mercury
Mercury's picture

If you actually read the article you'll learn that supply and demand "happened" not that Wall St. "changed the formula".

There are non-moving parts in the system too such as the Jones Act and  the fixed number and location of US refineries. You want to live in the "green" Pacific northwest, fine, but there are going to be trade-offs. The trade-off of the Jones Act is that it's cheaper for the NE to import oil under many conditions.

Fri, 05/11/2012 - 09:56 | Link to Comment Bill - Yes That Bill
Bill - Yes That Bill's picture

So, Mercury... how do you create a more perfect system - "perfect" in a nationalistic sense?

You're the King... you're the Furhrer... you're El Hefe... what are your orders, boss?

 

 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:05 | Link to Comment American Sucker
American Sucker's picture

The US is not exporting oil, it is exporting petroleum products.  Oil is the raw material from which petroleum products are made.

The US still imports 9 million barrels of oil every single day.  The info is freely available on the EIA website.  However, the US is currently exporting petroleum products, primarily diesel fuel, which is much more in demand in Europe than here.

It's not Obama or the environmentalists or Big Oil or any such nonsense.  The US produces a bunch of diesel we don't use, so we sell it to Europe.  The End.

Fri, 05/11/2012 - 09:52 | Link to Comment Bill - Yes That Bill
Bill - Yes That Bill's picture

Fair enough.

While the article (and thus my comment) used "energy" and "oil" interchangably, your point is valid.

That said... so do you believe "the system" as it exists is the system that best serves the interests of the American People?

 

 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:25 | Link to Comment string
string's picture

Thank you. Although you are still off the mark.

The 'U.S.' doesn't produce oil or petroleum products(distialte). These things are produced by private corporations. These entities are not 'the U.S.' and, while their activities may happen within the U.S. the result is not 'ours'. So, next time you hear an Ayn Rand sychophant Libertarian free martket Freeberty movement clone bitch about high fuel costs or 'energy independence... just smile and tell them that it is their beloved market at work and 'ain't it beautious?!?!

 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 12:14 | Link to Comment American Sucker
American Sucker's picture

I was using "US" as a metonym for "the American economy".  I don't literally mean "the American government", as I thought was abundantly clear.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:12 | Link to Comment tgatliff
tgatliff's picture

Exactly.  Also, Mr. Washington appears to be advocating a policy of preventing the oil industry from selling refined products on the open market.   These types of policies have been attempted in the past, and never work.   People will always find a way to setting an arbitrage trade.  Especially in a market as large as energy.

The thing that annoys me is the intentional distrotion of facts, which we are seeing on a daily basis.  Yes, manipulation is occuring, but the bulk if the energy constraint issues are expected when you have a limited supply of resources, but a nearly expodential increase in the number of people who want it.    The good side of this, however, is that high energy prices will be the the death of globalization of wage arbitrage.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:04 | Link to Comment Bill - Yes That Bill
Bill - Yes That Bill's picture

OK. You're the King. The Boss.

 

Your policy goal is to ensure Americans access to cheap energy... and let's say by "cheap" I mean gas priced somewhere around $2.50/gal. at the pump.

 

A duel policy goal is to pursue a policy of American exports of oil and refined fuel which give America - at least in theory - the same sort of "stick" down the road that OPEC has long possessed.

 

What are "fair" profits for the oil industry? Well... first... policies must also be pursued towards a goal of recreating an AMERICAN oil industry/refinery spearhead as opposed to "multinational" oil companies with no basic overriding loyalty to America and Americans first. Next... higher profits for "our" oil companies should be the goal - but these higher profits should be gained within the the framework mentioned above - Americans having access to realitively cheap energy. As for the rest of the world... screw 'em. Charge whatever the market will bear!

 

Yes, yes... I know... oil is a GLOBAL market. But that's my point! How do we make it a "duel" market where AMERICAN oil companies profit... where AMERICANS get relatively cheap energy... and it's the foreigners who "lose" while we win?

 

I'm not interested in the theory of free trade or in "fairness." I want what's best for Americans. Obviously supply and demand comes into play, but American demand is - or at least should be - paramount.

 

Obviously profits must be sufficient to benefit the oil companies... the AMERICAN oil companies I'd like to see return to "national" as opposed to multinational corporations. Profits must pay for operating expenses, R&D, opening up new drilling, giving return on investment to stockholders... but the goal is to achieve all this in a way which primarily benefits America and Americans. (And Canadians...) (And, hell... let's throw in the Mexicans.)

 

So... IS there a way to pursue such a vision?

 

IF you were the King... the Boss... how would you go about pursuing such goals?

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:17 | Link to Comment tgatliff
tgatliff's picture

ABSOLUTELY!!!!  The government takes over the oil industry and pumps all that oil just for its citizens.   Also, they will need to take over the refineries as well... Once they do this, it is smooth sailing and everything will be daisies and roses.... You know, just like what Chavez did in venezuela.. I mean it turned out GREAT for him right???   

Fri, 05/11/2012 - 09:49 | Link to Comment Bill - Yes That Bill
Bill - Yes That Bill's picture

So you have no answer, huh? You think the system as it is now is perfect - no tweeks necessary? OK. BTW... if you worked for me... you'd be fired. No imagination PLUS not even the guts to directly defend the status quo... (*SHRUG*)

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:59 | Link to Comment darteaus
darteaus's picture

"It was the stawberries.  That's when I knew I got them.  I rounded up every key on the ship."

 

Captain Queeg

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:55 | Link to Comment Augustus
Augustus's picture

From the article authored by Geo Wash:

In an interview in January, Slocum noted that oil is America’s number 1 import at time same that fuel is America’s number 1 export.

Specifically, more oil is being produced now under Obama than under Bush. But gas consumption is flat.

So producers are exporting refined products. By exporting, producers keep refined products off the U.S. market, creating artificial scarcity and keeping U.S. fuel prices high.

-----------

So then, the headline is absolute BS.  The US is NOT exporting oil.  It is still IMPORTING oil.

What is actually happening is that the US consumer is now not getting as large a discount on the refined products as before.  Reducing the transport bottlenecks has allowed the producer to get a higher price for the crude, and ship more refined product.  Note that the producers will then pay higher extraction taxes and income profits taxes.  OBammie should be as happy as a Muslim Sheik.

Some may want to look at the increased costs of soybeans,  Over $15 a bu. because China had a bad crop and So. America had a bad crop.  It is the higher world price and the exports that are makeing farmes very profitable.  High beans - high cattle feed prices - expensive steaks.  How unfair.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:50 | Link to Comment BlackVoid
BlackVoid's picture

Oil - above everything else - has a world market.

The title is totally FALSE, misleading disinformation. The US does NOT EXPORT OIL.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:04 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

Yes, George, you need to change the title, we will NEVER be net oil exporters again. Not even close...

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:35 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

As for "free markets" in oil or gasoline, you must be joking.  In a world where money is printed up by political fiat and handed out  to speculators, no market is going to be free.  Especially if the "market" is dominated by a few players.  The players will go to great lengths to portray the market as being free.  They'll hire lots of well-trained mouthpieces to convince you that it's free.  So believe.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:35 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Let's not confuse oil with gasoline.  Lots of interesting and profitable "adjustments" to oil before it becomes gasoline.  I wonder what percentage of the final price of gasoline is comprised of the cost of oil.  I wonder how many components of that price are controlled by a few "energy" companies either outright or through proxies.

BTW lots of new posters today and the usual ones who appear only for "energy" issues.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:59 | Link to Comment Augustus
Augustus's picture

You can look at the crack spread to get the cost components and estimate where the profit is being generated in the product mix.  However an easy method is to look at NY Unleaded gasoline and multiply by 42 gallons per bbl = compare to Brent or WTI.  Of course WTI has been selling at a large discount to Brnet for months.  But Louisiana Light has been at a premium.  And the production in the Bakken has been at a large discount to WTI (no transport).

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:25 | Link to Comment Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Isn't this a sign of going Third World? 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:12 | Link to Comment Smokey1
Smokey1's picture

GW,

Every time I think there is no conceivable way that you can surpass your well-documented record of being a misguided fool who is utterly clueless, you step up once more and prove there is no limit to your stupidity.

The notion that the US is a net exporter of oil is on its face absurd and would be believed by nobody except Downs Syndrome children and the most deranged idiotic conspiracy theorists.

Please, someday post an article that doesn't suck elephant dicks---an article that is supported by facts instead of an article that is supported by the psychotic delusions of your terminally sick mind.

Keep believing there is plenty of oil here. In fact, why don't you and the abiotic crowd go have a big circle jerk, or is that where you got the nonsense for this embarrassing excuse for an article to begin with ?

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:14 | Link to Comment toady
toady's picture

It's interesting that you ask for facts, yet supply none. Only name calling ...

Drill baby drill!

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:10 | Link to Comment Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

By the way I am OK with George introducing topics for us to chew on.  Bully for you George.  You can't be an expert in everything, even on 'teh Interwebz'.

Commodity markets are highly specific due to the differing physical characteristics of each commodity.  Even the pure financial types often fall on their faces trying to grapple with fundamentals from one commodity to the next.  That's why we share and care so, here at Fight Club. 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:07 | Link to Comment bullet
bullet's picture

George, you ignorant slut...

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 15:24 | Link to Comment Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

Jane you Ignorant slut
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k80nW6AOhTs (0:06)

Bart Simpson - Do The Bartman (Official Video HQ)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKC7Oz6ZrRU (6:02)

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:07 | Link to Comment Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Just to cut through the bullshit for a moment, consider this:

If the Americas (together) become energy independent, but global prices are still set by the faceoff between China and the Persian Gulf (while Europe becomes a Gazprom fiefdom but never mind)....

How long will politics allow a global oil market?

Just sink any tanker attempting to cross the ocean and US prices would plummet. Oh and of course there's those damn Mexicans and Venezuelans but surely they could be, uhm, persuaded....Brazil would be a very interesting dynamic in a new trade bloc/trade collapse scenario. 

Odds?  Such scenarios are increasingly likely, if perhaps a decade distant.

Refined product markets are interesting but nowhere near as critical as the Big Kahuna, lovely lovely crude.  Refined product markets can be totally skewed by a few large refineries on a regional level.  They enter, they exit, things adjust.  Not that bottlenecks or gluts are calm or comfortable, mind you.  But the 'crude basis' ultimately rules the day.  And that is more and more a China-Saudi story and nothing else. 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 08:49 | Link to Comment hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

GW you need to be taken out behind the wood shed for this!!!!!

"On a Btu basis, the US imported 58% of the oil it consumed in 2011. This percentage is down from a high of 67% in 2005 and 2006, but it is still very high."

SOURCE EIA

 

Did you even bother to find out what the industry definition of "petroleum products" was before you wrote this?

 

I strongly suggest that you do a little homework and rewrite this (insert description of your choice) article.

Here are some solid sources for you to do your homework!

How about you try starting with the EIA data on the subject matter,

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/

If it is to tech complicated to understand (which I doubt considering some of the work I have seen you do in the past) than go the Gail Traverberg's site, her writing is easy for lay people to understand.

Gail  took this issue out to the "wood shed" the other day, I suggest you read this

Gailhttp://ourfiniteworld.com/2012/04/16/the-myth-that-the-us-will-soon-beco...

And in  case you have question she is very easy to contact, (by the way take a look at her resume.....)

http://ourfiniteworld.com/about/

I am really disappointed in the quality of this article!

Shame on you, you're in for a big time out!!!!!  lol

Now please go make it right......

 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:06 | Link to Comment Augustus
Augustus's picture

Geo Wash writes the headline, then goes to Before It is News to cut and paste the garbage.

Probably suffering from the fumes of the Macondo well blowout, even though he was not within 500 miles.  The potent Sigsby Salt is destroying his mind.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:25 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

HCE you need to send him that photo of male rectitude to open his eyes wider. It was a clear statement of fosssil fueled energy.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:21 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

"Gail Traverberg's site"

It's Tverberg.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 08:41 | Link to Comment ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

Not one mention of a declining dollar that will raise the cost of all things regardless of production?  Weak.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 08:23 | Link to Comment eugene12
eugene12's picture

What a lot of nonsense.  Filled with misrepresentations and false statements.  The US is not at "record production".  Our great increase is a few hundred thousand barrels a day.  May as well p... in the ocean.  Canada will reach international markets.  Canada is losing billions a month by having to sell to the US.  If Keystone isn't built, they'll build a line to Kitamat.  Will Keystone increase our energy costs?  Yes!  Right now Canadian oil is trapped by lack of infrastructure.  All that will change is we'll have to start paying what their oil is worth.

As far as exports, American refineries have excess capacity so are refining and shipping abroad.  It's not "excess supply" but buying imported oil, refining it and selling the products in the open markets. American jobs!! 

The amount of American knowledge about energy wouldn't fill a thimble.  Frankly, sites publishing such trash simply display their own ignorance as well. 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 08:27 | Link to Comment hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

I am very disappointed in GW's research on this matter!

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:05 | Link to Comment TDoS
TDoS's picture

Agreed.  The second I saw the headline I immediately wanted to jump on and point out that we are exporting that which we already imported to refine.  Glad to see other hedgies we're all over this.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 08:28 | Link to Comment Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

Big Oil = State Oil - I would dare go further and mention that the decline in oil production is due largely to inefficient socialist attempts to act as producer.

 

http://www.economist.com/node/7276986

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 08:30 | Link to Comment hardcleareye
hardcleareye's picture

Deep sigh.... I think you need to spend a little time reading the articles on The Oil Drum...  oh that's right you don't want to be confused with the facts, never mind....... go back to your fantasy world.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:35 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

the oil drum is not reporting the gas fracking trend in true perspective IMHO. They are so obsessed with the negative eco-fall out effect, that their assessment of its future importance in local energy production pattern gets diluted by their convictions about its negative impact on eco-systems and the incidental cost that entails.

Without doubting that angle of the dangle, I do maintain that we need to get a handle through open debate on this issue of orgasmic magnitude; expecially ONE point which has been noted about frack gas production from shale structures concerning the average depletion rate per well over time. There is uncertainty on this critical measure to ascertain production rate and consequential profitablility of each punctured structure. No point drilling to nirvana country if it goes dry as a mussel without juicy flesh after first erruption. 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 10:10 | Link to Comment TDoS
TDoS's picture

Fracking for shale gas isn't the same as drilling for light sweet crude.  First and foremost, the product of the former is no where near as valuable as the latter.  Further, the average "fracking" well has a production decline rate of 90% within the first eighteen months.  Quick spurt, then fall off, like a teenager having sex.  There is no real financially viable way to keep this stuff coming out of the ground.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:06 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

I agree, but in the context of this thread, we are talking about US, home bred, fossil fuel energy options. There AINT NO light sweet crude to be found on US soil. Its all deep arctic or deeper than deep Mexican gulf. So...the discussion has to center around BAkken and MArcellus, the TWO big reservoirs of local US fossil energy. Whence my comment. Yours is that the gas fracking rates depletes to 10%, aka we lose 90% very fast! If its true it spells a bad picture for frack gas; all that expenditure with incidental eco-degradation for little bang.

I wonder if that 90% depletion figure is right...

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:49 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

Several misperceptions on this subject: 1) Bakken is an OIL play, the source of new oil production in the US is the Bakken primarily with oncoming Eagleford and minor Permian basin hz oil plays, Marcellus is a gas play but is higher liquids which enhances it's economics 2) All these plays do indeed have very high decline rates (I don't believe 90% is correct but the concept of very high declines is accurate) 3) the idea that "frack" has an "incidental eco-degradation" is utter bullshit.  It's been going on for 50 years and there is still to this point NOT ONE example where deep hydraulic fracturing has contaminated an aquifer.  Not one.  The physics are clear, what's also clear is that the environmental money raisers worked for years to make it an issue and we finally got a political setup that allowed it to take off. It's all about raising money for the enviro lobby, nothing else.

And before the screaming starts - there is an environmental risk from frac operations, but it is identical to any large scale chemical/industrial process on the surface.  IE control and containment then disposal of large volumes of fluids with significant industrial contamination.  THAT does need regulation and oversight.  But the notion that the "Frakking" process itself is terribly dangerous and has significant environmental implications is utter hogwash.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 11:08 | Link to Comment Augustus
Augustus's picture

There is Louisiana Light crude.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:18 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

No comment from the "oil drummer boys" on the US increasing production and exporting oil?

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 08:22 | Link to Comment gasmiinder
gasmiinder's picture

In an interview in January, Slocum noted that oil is America’s number 1 import at time same that fuel is America’s number 1 export.

If I may paraphrase "George you ignorant slut". In general the global economy works in the following fashion.  A factory takes in basic materials then creates something that has more value than the source material. That increase in value provides jobs, pays for the cost of the factory, pays taxes to support the government that you believe provides all the good in the world, and (in the case of refiners) a VERY small margin of profit. Why is it when the subject is petroleum related idiots like George think it isn't supposed to work that way? I've got news for you George, there is NO magic gasoline fairy that provides this amazing fuel to markets - it works like every other product that you use.  Someone produces the basic materials and someone takes them and builds the product. To do this requires signifcant capital and manpower and provides value to the economy.

Specifically, more oil is being produced now under Obama than under Bush. But gas consumption is flat.

And if you think there is ANYTHING meaningful in that statement you're as big an idiot as George. It's only reason for being inserted is to further a meme that has no basis in reality.

By exporting, producers keep refined products off the U.S. market, creating artificial scarcity and keeping  U.S. fuel prices high.

By exporting producers feed the global market in the most efficient manner possible which keeps prices (which are set by the global market including transport costs) low. Really George - the concept of supply & demand is NOT THAT DIFFICULT. 

the main goal of the Keystone Pipeline is to import Canadian crude so the big American oil companies can export more refined fuel, driving up prices for U.S. consumers

Posting that drivel says more about the ignorance that emanates from the GW source than anything I can state.  GW believes that increasing the supply of the input material can somehow be manipulated to drive up the price of the resultant product.  Really. I'd love to see an example of anytime in the history of the planet that has occurred.

 

 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 09:07 | Link to Comment RECISION
RECISION's picture

+1

"artificial scarcity..."  Crock.

You would do better to talk about "artificial surplus".

 

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 08:22 | Link to Comment lynnybee
lynnybee's picture

yea, & something isn't quite right when gasoline is $4/gallon here & 75cents/gallon over in DUBAI.    my friend was over there recently, he said there isn't one junk car on the road & gasoline is dirt cheap.    how can gas be priced so differently if we are 'globalized.'   oh, we're globalized alright, as long is it's beneficial to corporations.    the money out of our pocket for gasoline goes straight into the prosperity of other countries.    yea, junk me.

Thu, 05/10/2012 - 08:32 | Link to Comment Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

In Dubai they subsidize gasoline, which means that they charege YOU extra to keep the peace at home and the price low...

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