Episodes
Asphalt, the heaviest part of crude used in road and home construction, could see a surge in demand as the $1 trillion infrastructure bill would provide record amounts of funding for highway improvements. But all that depends on the bill making it to the president’s desk to be signed into law. That legislation also includes critical language that would provide five years of funding stability for the federal-aid highway program and other surface-transportation programs that are soon set to...
Published 10/18/21
Amid a crowded field of US liquefaction projects, Commonwealth LNG is looking to build momentum for its proposed 8.4 million mt/year facility in Louisiana as it targets a final investment decision in late 2022 and shipping its first LNG in 2025. Senior editor Harry Weber spoke with Commonwealth LNG CEO Paul Varello about the state of the global market, the status of commercial efforts to support his project, and the impact that the run-up in spot prices in Asia and Europe is having on US...
Published 10/11/21
Last week brought another major development in the outlook for the US adoption of electric vehicles, with Ford Motor Co. and South Korea's SK Innovations announcing an $11 billion project to manufacture EVs and lithium-ion batteries in Kentucky and Tennessee starting in 2025. A lot of uncertainties still surround the outlook for EV adoption in the US, including government incentives like those in President Biden's Build Back Better proposal, the cost comparison with gas-powered cars, and...
Published 10/04/21
Global oil demand will still be significant for years, even under the most ambitious energy transition. So which basins will continue to produce, and which others will be abandoned? Offshore E&P company Kosmos Energy has answered those questions by halting its frontier exploration and selling those assets in the past two years. Its oil portfolio is now focused on two areas: West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico, and it aims to increasingly shift to natural gas. Senior editor Meghan Gordon...
Published 09/27/21
The American Gas Association has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and believes that natural gas utilities are well-positioned to help the Biden administration achieve the ambitious climate goals laid out by the president, though they’re not on board with some proposals floated on Capitol Hill, including the methane fee. Jasmin Melvin spoke with Richard Meyer, AGA’s vice president of energy markets, analysis and standards, about the administration’s climate agenda and what...
Published 09/20/21
Chris Midgley, global director of analytics at S&P Global Platts, shares his latest outlook for global oil demand heading into the third year of the pandemic and takes stock of the tension between climate ambitions and economic growth. Midgley explains why US shale drillers continue to hold back despite relatively higher oil prices, whether the US and Iran will likely reach a nuclear deal to remove oil sanctions, and how US Gulf Coast producers and refiners are recovering after Hurricane...
Published 09/13/21
As August comes to a close, Washington, DC, is ramping up again with energy issues before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. On the natural gas side, the commission could start answering longstanding questions about how it will evaluate pipelines and LNG facilities in the face of opposition and pressure to weigh climate change impacts. In terms of electric markets, FERC recently kicked off a new proceeding that could revamp its transmission policies to help connect more renewable...
Published 08/30/21
President Joe Biden took a strong stance against fossil fuels right away, essentially canceling the long-simmering Keystone XK Pipeline and implementing a moratorium on all new oil and gas lease sales on federal lands and waters. Since then though, his administration has refused to oppose other key crude oil pipeline projects, such as the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the nearly completed Line 3 replacement pipeline from Canada. Also, while his campaign promised to cancel new...
Published 08/23/21
Representative Sean Casten, Democrat-Illinois, has not been shy in sharing his belief that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will be essential in combatting climate change and pivotal to achieving the US’ ambitious clean energy and decarbonization goals. To get the message across and garner support for legislation aimed at granting FERC greater authority to facilitate the shift to a clean energy economy, the congressman has put his spin on Megan Thee Stallion and Fergie hits while...
Published 08/16/21
The Biden administration is racing to adopt its energy and climate policy priorities before the pressures of the 2022 midterm elections limit what the White House can do. Meghan Gordon spoke with Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners, about a few of the policies set to make a big impact on the US economy, energy producers and market dynamics. They talk about the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen's effort to assess climate...
Published 08/09/21
Many of the key moments in the oil markets still echo today and are useful in looking at the challenges ahead for producers, consumers and markets during the energy transition away from fossil fuels. We spoke with Adi Imsirovic, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and former global head of oil at Gazprom Marketing & Trading, about his new book, "Trading and Price Discovery for Crude Oils." We talk about the role of governments and regulators in markets,...
Published 07/30/21
The US Department of Energy’s newly rebranded Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management aims to fund the research and technology deployment that will help the US reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We spoke with Acting Assistant Secretary Jennifer Wilcox, head of the office and a carbon capture expert, about some of the promising technologies to curb US dependence on fossil fuels and cut emissions. We talked about harder-to-decarbonize sectors like aviation, shipping and long-haul...
Published 07/23/21
Silos within the energy industry are coming down as companies confront the need to dramatically cut carbon emissions. The so-called energy convergence is the idea that companies, policy makers and regulators need to be more collaborative across the energy spectrum. Joe Brettell is a partner for strategic engagement at Prosody Group, which consults on energy, agriculture and financial services. We asked him about the rising importance of US regulators, climate-related investor pressures, and...
Published 07/19/21
The UAE and Saudi Arabia are locked in a dispute over how to ease oil-production limits as global demand recovers from the pandemic. Nareeka Ahir, a geopolitical analyst at S&P Global Platts Analytics, tells us about the oil market risks that could emerge from the fight. She also shares the latest geopolitical risks from the Iran nuclear talks, Iraq's widespread power outages, Nigeria's oil facility attacks and Libya's volatile oil output.
Published 07/07/21
Freeport LNG CEO Michael Smith joined us to talk about the state of the market, his company's expansion plans, climate concerns and the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. Activity has started picking up for US developers of new liquefaction terminals after a two-year lull in firm commercial deals that predated the coronavirus pandemic. For existing exporters, global gas and LNG forward prices are trending strong and relatively stable, pointing to a long runway for exporters to enjoy...
Published 07/06/21
As extreme weather events continue across the US, they're disrupting energy supplies and demanding more planning for the future. Texas and California have both in recent weeks asked residents to conserve electricity to avoid power grid failures, only a few months after crippling power outages during Texas' deep freeze. And the Gulf Coast just started what looks to be an active hurricane season. Today's guest believes the conversation about the energy transition away from fossil fuels has...
Published 06/25/21
It's no secret that the power sector is undergoing dramatic changes. Market dynamics and ambitious decarbonization goals set by the Biden administration are driving a transition away from fossil fuels and toward more renewable energy and electric vehicles. Consumers and investors are also expressing new expectations for sustainability and a cleaner energy economy. Utility executives have acknowledged a need for new digital technologies and a digitally savvy workforce, but a new survey by...
Published 06/18/21
Venezuelan sanctions and the Maduro regime have been a backburner issue so far for US President Joe Biden. When he was elected, many energy analysts predicted he would grant some sanctions relief on humanitarian grounds. Fernando Ferreira, director of Rapidan Energy Group’s Geopolitical Risk Service, predicts we'll start to see the White House's direction on Venezuela later this year. We asked him about the ban on diesel-for-crude swaps, Chevron's waiver extension, the status of opposition...
Published 06/14/21
The US and Iran are entering a sixth round of indirect talks in Vienna aimed at restarting the 2015 nuclear deal. S&P Global Platts Analytics still expects the sides to reach a deal in the coming months, with the Biden administration removing sanctions on Iran's oil, petrochemical, shipping and other sectors by September. This sanctions relief would allow Iran to boost crude and condensate exports to 1.5 million b/d by December, from 600,000 b/d in May. We spoke with Henry Rome, senior...
Published 06/07/21
Investors are proving they have climate change and the energy transition on the their minds. Last week, activist investors got at least two seats on the ExxonMobil board of directors, and Chevron's shareholders approved Scope 3 emission targets, both which could lead to lower oil and gas production ahead. The popularity of ESG (environmental, social and governance) investments is soaring. But what does it even mean for a company to adopt that label, and how do we weigh one ESG pledge...
Published 06/01/21
The Biden administration surprised many last week in granting a sanctions waiver to the company building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. The move allows work to continue on the almost-finished project, despite long-standing US opposition on the grounds that it will increase Germany's dependence on Russian gas supplies. We spoke with US Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican-North Dakota, who introduced a bill to reinstate the Nord Stream 2 sanctions. The pipeline is...
Published 05/25/21
The White House and Democrats in Congress are looking at a number of ways to increase taxes and federal revenues from the oil and gas industry as part of their climate and clean energy agenda. They're looking at higher royalty rates on federal lands and eliminating deductions like intangible drilling costs and percentage depletion. We spoke with Dan Naatz, executive vice president for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, about how his group is engaging on this issue. We also...
Published 05/24/21
We're sizing up some of the top geopolitical factors influencing oil markets with Paul Sheldon, chief geopolitical adviser for S&P Global Platts Analytics. The US and Iran entered a fourth round of indirect talks in Vienna this month. Sheldon explains why he still sees good odds of a framework deal emerging within weeks and what that would mean for the US easing sanctions on Iran's oil, petrochemical, shipping and other sectors. Sheldon also previews OPEC's June 1 meeting, looks further...
Published 05/17/21
Will the cyberattack that forced the largest US oil pipeline to shut down for days be a wake-up call for the industry to rapidly shore up its cyber defenses? On this special episode, we have two interviews from cybersecurity experts. Both say they were not entirely surprised by the attack on the Colonial Pipeline, as they have witnessed the oil and gas sector be slower to adopt cyber security programs than counterparts in the utility sector. Leo Simonovich, global head of industrial cyber...
Published 05/11/21
Just how realistic are the ESG goals being set each quarter by US energy producers in the face of rising pressure from investors, banks and the government to become more environmentally sustainable? The Biden administration has ushered in new climate priorities across the government, including the Environmental Protection Agency reviewing methane limits, the Federal Reserve weighing climate risks to the economy, and the Securities and Exchange Commission examining climate disclosures in...
Published 05/10/21