The basic underlying principle is simple: The point at which the supply curve and the demand curve meet will determine the price of the commodity. Increasing supply when demand remains constant will cause prices to fall. And yet prices have continued to spike. As my colleague Daniel J. Weiss explainsthe reasons for the recent price increase are myriad and include political instability in the Persian Gulf, the influence of financial speculators, and increasing worldwide demand as economies recover. Yet many conservatives are dusting off their old bumper stickers and touting more drilling as the sole solution to high prices at the pump. Gingrich simply trumpets the misguided talking points of building the Keystone XL pipelinetapping shale oil in the upper Midwest, and of course opening more areas to offshore drilling. When President Obama took office inthere were fewer than drilling rigs operating in the United States, a number that dwindled to fewer than by April
Oil Prices’ ‘Spectrum of Pain’
In the U. Thanks to advancements in fracking and horizontal drilling, the U. It’s a great time to be in the industry. Stocks in the sector are way down. Natural gas prices have fallen so far that in at least one recent case, next-day prices actually turned negative. It’s the worst possible time to be in the industry. Yes, despite the impressive performance of U. There’s a simple reason why — and there’s no easy way out. No matter how much the top U. Image source: Getty Images. The year was , and an economist named Garrett Hardin was trying to describe how the rational behavior for an individual could differ from what was rational behavior for a group. As an example, he asked readers to picture a common plot of grassy land that was free for grazing cow herds. For each individual herder, the rational move is to graze as many cows on the land as possible to maximize their personal benefit from the resource. But, hang on! If everyone does that, the plot will become overgrazed, grass will stop growing there, and all the herders will suffer. The rational move for the individual isn’t the same for the group. Hardin called this «The Tragedy of the Commons,» and it’s been an influential economic and resource-management concept ever since. Of course, the Tragedy of the Commons wouldn’t seem to apply to U. But the theory still applies. Thanks to the advent of fracking and horizontal drilling, natural gas production began to boom in , and the market forces of supply and demand — faced with oversupply — sent prices downward. The Henry Hub spot price of natural gas — the U. To put that into perspective, the average U.
Unfair Share: How Oil and Gas Drillers Avoid Paying Royalties
Jump to navigation. With MP nominations now closed for the Labour leadership contest, the race is on for the five chosen candidates to win enough support from local parties, unions and other Instead, the fracking industry has helped set new records for U. Is Natural Gas the New Coal? They were right. Who would be foolish enough to produce more oil than the existing infrastructure could handle in a year when the industry promised restraint and a focus on profits? New Mexico, for one. And North Dakota. Texas is experiencing a similar story. Despite the highest oil prices in years and record amounts of oil production, the fracking industry continued to spend more than it made in One practice the fracking industry uses to obfuscate its long money-losing streak is to change the goal posts for what it means to be profitable. Because that is how Wall Street makes money. An excellent example of this is the risk that rising interest rates pose to the fracking industry. Even shale companies that have made profits occasionally have done so while also amassing large debts. And yet when Simply Wall St. For the past decade U. With investors cracking down and interest rates rising, some are asking how much longer it can go on. View the discussion thread. This trend of failing finances has the potential for the U. Get DeSmog News and Alerts. Follow desmogblog. Read more. Fracking 2. New Mexico Oil and Gas Association. Justin Mikulka’s blog Share.
With shares of U.S. gas producers lower than last year, investors say a surge in the fuel prices will fade
Still, production has barely declined, a testament to the rapid gains that oil producers are making in coaxing ever more oil from older wells and the few new wells they are still drilling — and doing both while investing far less money. The Norwegian oil giant Statoil, for instance, is experimenting here in the Eagle Ford shale field with a host of new drilling tools and techniques. It is using new well chokes that technicians can operate remotely from a computer or even a smartphone to quickly adjust flows to maximize production without overtaxing pipelines. The knitting is progressing. Even as the company cut the number of rigs it runs here from three to two since last year, it has managed to lift production by one-third, a feat that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. Companies have laid off thousands of workers, and some are having trouble paying their debts. Companies like Anadarko Petroleum and EOG Resources have drilled hundreds of wells without completing them, saving their expenditures on hydraulic fracturing until the price of oil recovers. But a majority of the major companies are managing to survive by increasingly using techniques traditionally more common to manufacturing plants than to oil fields to achieve economies of scale. And at the same time, our energy industry is going to feel some pain. CARLOS: High cost producers are going to start seeing the cost of oil infringing on their budgets and their ability to make money. SOT: Secretary Lew: The sensible place for Russia to go is to do the right thing and work through ukraine on a diplomatic basis and let oil prices go where they go. In some shale fields where companies typically drill up to eight wells on each production pad, companies are no longer drilling one well at a time. Using rigs that can move on tracks or legs, they are drilling and completing several wells at a time, slashing the time it takes to drill each well. The result has already been a slower decline in domestic shale oil production than many experts had expected, and the promise of a spike in output if the global market price continues to rise as it has in recent weeks. The Energy Department still expects the average daily production for the year to be moderately higher than in , rising from 8. Using new fiber-optic sensors thousands of feet below the ground, operators are receiving streams of data allowing them to analyze rocks in real time to make quick decisions. The sensors can determine how far a fracturing job is penetrating hard rocks to plan the spacing of wells more accurately. That way, producers are assured that one well is not draining oil from another and that no significant section of the shale is left untapped. And by keeping track of temperatures, pressure and vibration on equipment that is out of sight, sensors and advanced software can predict when equipment needs servicing before it breaks down. The company is deploying meters that can determine how much water is mixed with gas and oil before production even begins.
A simple scenario
Jump to navigation. With MP nominations now closed for the Labour leadership contest, the race is on for the five chosen candidates to win enough support from local parties, unions and other Right now, natural gas prices are artificially low because fracking companies have been producing record amounts of natural gas at a loss.
As Schlotterbeck points out, this is an unsustainable business model. But it has supplied natural gas consumers with artificially cheap energy, giving natural gas a competitive edge over the dying coal and nuclear power industries.
The news that gas prices can only go up while renewables and battery costs continue to drop and already are easily beating natural gas for power generation in places like California means that in a thwse market economy, no new natural gas power plants would be constructed.
Natural gas promotional video. Now, the coal industry tried the same approach, but the economic reality eventually became too much to overcome. This week, a U. Chubb became the first of the big U. While the entire U. In the past year, natural gas prices in Texas drillers cannot make money with these low natural gas prices gone negative. Drillers are producing too much natural gas for the market to absorb it, and the problem is getting worse.
View the discussion thread. Get DeSmog News and Alerts. Follow desmogblog. Read. Justin Mikulka’s blog Share. Atmospheric gs of methane
Jump to navigation. With MP nominations frillers closed for the Labour leadership contest, the race is on for jake five chosen candidates to win enough support from mwke parties, unions and other The company that for the past decade has been emblematic of the rise and pitfalls of shale drilling and fracking, Chesapeake Energy, saw its stock price collapse today, plunging by Over the past decade, the firm also racked up billions vannot dollars in debtsbecame the target of a federal antitrust investigation settled inand was fined millions for illegally polluting water and causing other environmental harms. The company said on Tuesday it might might not be viable as a going concern if low oil and gas prices persist. Chesapeake Energy is hardly alone in floundering financially. Lawler said during an earnings call on Tuesday. The company needs to generate income in part because it must make payments on its debt — like many companies in the shale industry. As the saying goes, never underestimate the nafural of a U. Back inthe New York Times first reported that some industry analysts were deeply skeptical of the shale gas rush. But mergers and acquisition activity has slowed dramatically in the shale industry more recently, hitting their lowest point in a decade during the first three months of View the discussion thread. By Tara LohanThe Revelator. Originally posted on The Revalator. Get DeSmog News and Alerts.