Posts Tagged ‘ oil prices ’

Deepwater Horizon five years later: lessons learned

April 21, 2015
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Five years ago, following a blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers, the nation was spellbound by the 87-day visual of oil flowing freely into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico from the Makonde well. The 3.1 million barrels of spewed oil has been called “the world’s largest accidental marine spill” and “the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.” Looking back, CNN reports: “There were dire predictions of what would follow. Environmentalists and others braced for an environmental collapse on a massive scale.” Indeed, there were extreme claims including one from Matt Simmons, known…

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The geopolitics of oil a game of Roulette

March 31, 2015
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Roulette wheel

Many complicated factors contribute to the global price of a barrel of oil, but two of the leading components are supply and risk—and both have the potential to escalate in the days ahead. The current region-wide sectarian war could easily bump oil prices up dramatically. And, the expected nuclear deal with Iran could drop them—dramatically. Oil price predictions today play like a game of roulette, or a carnival barker of days gone by, round and round it goes, where she stops, nobody knows. A few weeks ago, addressing the need to open up access to mid-Atlantic oil resources, I wrote:…

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Oil and gas exports—a boon if government would step aside

March 24, 2015
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Energy - Export

“Businesses that sell to foreign markets put more people to work in high-quality jobs, offering more Americans the chance to earn a decent wage,” claimed the Obama administration’s Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in a March 18 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) opinion piece. She makes a strong case for U.S. exports: “jobs in export-intensive industries pay up to 18% more than jobs not related to exports.” Her premise is: “The U.S. economy ended 2014 on the uptick, and exports added to the momentum.” Noticeably absent is any mention of the potential for “high-quality jobs” and economic “uptick” that would come from…

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Mid-Atlantic energy resources advance long-term energy security

March 17, 2015
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At the end of January, the Obama administration announced the next step in a long process that could result in the exploration and ultimate extraction of oil-and-gas resources of the U.S. mid-Atlantic—something the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Governors Coalition supports. On March 30, the 60-day comment period ends. If everything goes well, we could see new American resources on the market in twenty years. With the current oil oversupply, it may seem like an odd time to be going after more. However, the legal wheels that could allow limited access to the vast, untapped oil resources move very slowly. Today’s…

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What’s up with the prices at the pump?

March 3, 2015
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Arab America gas price standoff

First, Saudi Arabia drove down the price of oil by increasing its production, which gave Americans a welcome drop in prices at the pump. Could the kingdom now be pushing them back up? Prices at the pump have gone up nearly 40 cents a gallon from the January low—60 cents in California. Every year, at this time, refineries shut down to make adjustments from the “winter blend” to the “summer blend.” However this year, the increase is exacerbated. The unexpected extreme weather in the south, Bill Fleischli, executive vice president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association, explained: “caused some of the…

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