Oil output recently reached an all-time high. The EIA is calling for further production advances, but the agency continues to struggle to match current oil market trends with its conservative long-term forecasts. Significantly higher oil prices in 2018 appear to coincide with a slowing in oil production growth in 2019. One wonders whether the EIA is attempting to cram today’s market dynamics into a small forecast box, resulting in a too conservative outlook? Utility and pipeline companies are fighting various states over the issuance of water quality permits, the lack of which is shutting down new projects. Executives of these companies have complained to Congress, seeking their help in getting the states to understand their proper role in the regulatory process. Now that a major permit proposal has been rejected, and risks upsetting Massachusetts’ clean energy goal, maybe the issue will gain a fair hearing.
Natural gas prices are swinging wildly as traders and producers focus on the latest weather forecast. This is particularly important as we march toward the shoulder months of weaker gas demand. Whether we have much colder than normal or merely normal winter temperatures for the balance of winter, which Punxsutawney Phil says will last another four weeks, will set the stage for how much natural gas supply will need to be injected into storage caverns to meet next winter’s needs, and in turn, summer natural gas prices. We never thought about the moral decisions, and potentially economic ones, too, that need to be weighed in the programing of self-driving cars. Who makes those decisions, but more importantly, on what basis, when programing these vehicles? We consider some of those moral questions. The clean energy battle is moving from the oilfield and parking lot to the restaurant and kitchen as controlling methane emissions has become the new gas industry battleground. While the oil and gas industry appropriately moves to reduce methane emissions, our eating habits be the bigger issue in controlling this greenhouse gas emission.