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6th Oil/Natural Gas Shock: ‘Drillers Continue To Return Cash To Shareholders… Rather Than Boost Production’
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The U.S. government took steps last week to release 180 million barrels of oil from reserves over the next six months in an attempt to reduce the price of oil on foreign energy markets. Read more here.

Although only 10 percent of oil drilling happens on federal land, the federal government also proposed steps to get drillers who own 12 million acres of unused leased land with 9,000 unused permits to put them in production.  Read more here.

A U.S. House Committee invited top drillers on federal land to appear at a hearing this week, but they declined.  Together they hold 2,800 unused permits.  Read more here.

But the reaction from investors and oil and natural gas companies was the same as the previous week in many articles in national and international media--

-- “Oil executives less inclined than ever to invest the proceeds from $100-a-barrel crude into new wells.”  Read more here.

-- “Drillers continue to return cash to shareholders from high crude prices rather than boost production.”  Read more here.

-- “The fracking revolution revived the energy industry in Texas and the U.S., ushering in years of cheap oil and gas. But don’t count on frackers riding to the rescue this time.”  Read more here.

In fact, Reuters reported U.S. drillers added just three oil and gas rigs amid slow growth in drilling last week.  Read more here.

This shouldn’t be a surprise because oil and natural gas prices are set by foreign energy markets and demand and they’ve been spiking because of Putin’s War, which is great for oil and gas investors and companies, but for the rest of us and the economy-- not so much.

Occidental Petroleum had its best quarter with over 100 percent gains.  Read more here.

FYI: There Is No Limit On What Oil/Natural Gas Companies Can Charge You.

What They’re Saying In PA

The natural gas industry and their politicians in Pennsylvania are still pushing hard for an over-build out of gas infrastructure and moving legislation that contains Ersatz Energy Policies in an artificial attempt to show they’re dealing with energy issues.

But, they’re not.

They continue to try to lock-in Pennsylvania consumers closer and closer to the natural gas industry where foreign energy markets and demand set the prices, all at the very literal expense of Commonwealth customers.

And, there has been no headway in getting the industry to start using their unused drilling permits from DEP, drilling on land they’ve already leased from DCNR or opening up closed-in wells they’ve already drilled to increase production.  Read more here.

There has also been no progress on addressing critical state issues like pipeline safety and preventing the abandonment of new wells.  Read more here.

And in the middle of this war, both Senate and House Republicans were still attempting to block DEP’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Regulation consistent with RGGI by passing legislation again to try to block the rule in the House [Read more here] and filing a fresh lawsuit to block the rule and held yet another hearing on the issue in the Senate [Read more here].

You can get a good feel for what happened last week in Pennsylvania from the NewsClips--

-- 6th Oil/Natural Gas Shock: ‘Drillers Continue To Return Cash To Shareholders… Rather Than Boost Production’  [PaEN]

-- Federal Court Hears Senate Republican Caucus Appeal For Standing In Challenge To Delaware River Basin Commission Ban On Fracking  [PaEN]

-- Republicans On House Committee Move Bills To Unleash Natural Gas Industry In Pennsylvania, Kill RGGI  [PaEN]

-- Republican Chair Of House Environmental Committee Believes Opponents Of Natural Gas Infrastructure Projects ‘Just Need To Be Ignored And Politically Ran Over’  [PaEN]

-- Majority Chair Of Senate Committee Calls Opponents Of Natural Gas Infrastructure ‘Radical Environmentalists,’ Arguments By Of Supporters Of RGGI ‘Hysteria’

-- StateImpactPA - Jon Hurdle: PA Republican Measures To Boost Natural Gas Output Unlikely To Succeed, Analysts Say

-- StateImpactPA - Rachel McDevitt: PA Lawmakers Push Pro-Fossil Fuel Bills, Citing Russia’s War, Need For Energy Security

-- MCall - Ford Turner: House Republican Lawmakers Advance Energy Bills Amid Concern Over Prices, Russia-Ukraine War

-- Warren Times: PA Republican Lawmakers Double Down On Oil, Gas Drilling

-- StateImpactPA - Jon Hurdle: PA Republican Measures To Boost Natural Gas Output Unlikely To Succeed, Analysts Say

-- Bay Journal: Ukraine War Triggers Push For More Fracking In Pennsylvania  - By Ad Crable  [PaEN]

-- New Castle News: PA Conventional Oil Industry, House Republicans Say Domestic Investments Needed To Increase Natural Gas Production [Conventional industry produces less than 1% Of PA’s natural gas.  Click Here to get the real story]

-- PennFuture Blog: Debunking The Fossil Fuel Industry’s Stance On Russia’s War In Ukraine

-- Scranton Times: Bradford County LNG Plant Faces, State, Federal Hurdles [After The Company’s Failure To Move Ahead On The Project Resulted In A String Of Expired State, Federal Approvals For The Project]

-- Scranton Times Editorial: Best Way To Fight High Oil [Natural Gas] Prices Is To Use Less, Transition To Renewable Fuels

-- Centre Daily Times: As Oil Companies Cash In, Here’s How You Can Save Money On Gasoline In PA

-- Courier Times Guest Essay: Don’t Let Big Oil, Natural Gas Cynically Profit From Putin’s War - League Of Conservation Voters

-- Reuters: Energy Transfer [Major PA Pipeline Owner] To Sell LNG To China

-- Urging Restart Of Keystone XL Pipeline: Senate Resolution 255 (Langerholc-R-Bedford) urging the President to expedite completion of Keystone XL oil pipeline [FYI: for Canadian oil - not in Pennsylvania].

-- Sen. Casey: PA To Receive $186 Million To Lower Energy Costs For Families From Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law  [PaEN]

What The World Is Saying

To see beyond what the natural gas industry is saying to their politicians in the cloak rooms of Harrisburg, PA Environment Digest is again providing these NewsClips during the sixth week of the 6th Oil/Natural Gas Shock--

-- White House: To Release 1 Million Barrels/Day From Oil Reserve; Get Congress To Adopt New Fees On Oil Companies Not Using 9,000 Permits They’ve Had For Years To Drill On Federal Land 

-- Financial Times: EPA Chief Defends Push For Greater Oil Supply  [“​​Regan said the surge in prices had shown the US was “still, to a certain extent, held captive to fossil fuels”. Greater development of renewable resources would leave the country less “vulnerable” in future, he said.”]

-- Reuters: Oil Falls Most In 2 Years After Oil Stockpile Release

-- Reuters: U.S. EIA Reports U.S. Oil Production Fell 2% In January, Lowest Since Sept. 2021

-- Bloomberg Green: Biden’s Oil Relief Plan Seen Backfiring As Drillers Dig In Heels  [“Oil executives less inclined than ever to invest the proceeds from $100-a-barrel crude into new wells.”]

-- Reuters: U.S. Drillers Add 3 Oil And Gas Rigs Amid Slow Growth [“Drillers continue to return cash to shareholders from high crude prices rather than boost production.”]

-- Post-Gazette/Dallas Morning News: Why Texas Frackers Won’t Be Riding To The Rescue: It’s Profit-Taking Time [“The fracking revolution revived the energy industry in Texas and the U.S., ushering in years of cheap oil and gas. But don’t count on frackers riding to the rescue this time.”]

-- Reuters: International Energy Agency Meets To Discuss Releases From Oil Reserves Alongside The U.S. Action

-- Reuters: Top Federal Lands Producers Decline U.S. House Committee Hearing On Oil Prices, 2,800 Unused Permits

-- Reuters: Biden Says U.S. Oil Companies Sitting On Record Profits

-- Bloomberg: Occidental Petroleum’s Best Quarter Ever Blows Away Stock Market

-- Courier Times Guest Essay: Don’t Let Big Oil, Natural Gas Cynically Profit From Putin’s War - League Of Conservation Voters

-- Financial Times Guest Essay: Big Oil Has Nothing To Complain About Under Joe Biden

-- Bloomberg Green: Biden Embraces Oil As Ukraine War Overwhelms His Climate Agenda

-- Bloomberg: VISA Changes Rules For Gas Stations To Avoid $125 Pump Limit  [FYI: There Is No Limit On What Oil/Natural Gas Companies Can Charge You]

-- Bloomberg: Oil Consumers Take Control Of Market As OPEC+ Stands Back

-- AP Explainer: What’s Next For Europe’s Natural Gas During War?

-- Reuters: U.S. LNG Exports Rise 16% To New Record

-- Bloomberg Green: Europe’s Decades-Long Effort To Replace Coal, Natural Gas With Wind, Solar and Batteries Has Become A Wartime Urgency

-- Reuters: EU Will Do ‘Whatever It Takes’ To Rebuild Solar Energy Manufacturing In Europe

-- Forbes: 5 New Reports Show Wind And Solar Power Can Cripple Putin, Secure Climate Goals

-- Financial Times: Renewable Energy Pushes Ahead Of Coal For The First Time

-- WSJ: LNG Export Boom Draining U.S. Natural Gas Supplies, Lifting Prices

-- Reuters: Europe Would Struggle To Refill Natural Gas Storage Without Russian Supplies

-- Financial Times: Can U.S. Natural Gas Relieve Europe From Russian Supply Dependency? [U.S. Official: “The true path to energy security runs through clean energy.  The first part is getting Europe off Russian gas.  The second part is getting Europe off gas altogether.”

-- Financial Times: Germany Takes Step Towards Natural Gas Rationing Over Payment Stand-Off With Russia

-- Reuters: Germany Declares ‘Early Warning’ Of Possible Russian Natural Gas Cutoff

-- Reuters: Russian Natural Gas Keeps Flowing To Europe Despite Putin’s Deadline To Pay In Roubles

-- Reuters: Russia’s Top Lawmaker Warned European Union To Find Roubles To Pay For Natural Gas, Oil, Grain, Metals, Fertiliser, Coal And Timber

-- Financial Times: Europe Battles To Secure Specialised Ships To Boost LNG Imports

-- Reuters: 2 Groups Of European Lawmakers To Reject Proposal To Label Natural Gas, Nuclear Energy Sustainable Investments

-- WSJ: E.ON, Australian Billionaire Aim To Replace Russian Gas With Hydrogen

-- Financial Times: Texas Oil Drillers Say They Have Little Capacity To Raise Production Due To Staff Shortages, Supply Chain, Sand Issues

-- Bloomberg: Oil Drillers Say Scarce Steel Is One Reason For Flat U.S. Output

-- WSJ: Biden’s Global Quest For Oil Triggers Republican, Democratic Pushback

(Map: Major existing and some proposed pipeline routes in Pennsylvania by FracTracker.)

[Posted: April 3, 2022]  PA Environment Digest


4/4/2022

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