Argentina's oil production has been on the rise this year, recovering from the demand and price impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Oil output climbed to 492,000 b/d in February, up from 446,000 b/d in May. While that was still down from 520,000 b/d in March 2020, market watchers appear confident that production will fully recover by the end of 2021. Argentina's current administration has been keen on boosting production, primarily from the Vaca Muerta shale play, which is said to hold...
Published 04/19/21
Opportunity zones are tax-advantaged investment vehicles that grew out of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to bring economic redevelopment to impoverished areas. For the oil and gas industry, opportunity zones can benefit producers and investors. US Energy Development, a small upstream producer, recently added an opportunity zone to its portfolio in New Mexico called the Shetland project. We talked with Matthew Iak, executive vice president at US Energy, about opportunity zones, the...
Published 04/12/21
The administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico came to power with the promise to undo the energy reform of his predecessor, which opened the private sector to investment. During the last 18 months, the government has issued agreements, decrees and regulations in its strategy to benefit the state utility. We spoke to Victor Ureta of Acclaim Energy, a Mexico-based consultancy, about those legal moves, the impact on the industry, and what we can expect from those processes.
Published 04/05/21
The dearth of newly sanctioned LNG export projects in 2020 and so far in 2021 — especially in North America, which has been responsible for the majority of new LNG supply globally over the last five years — is a worrisome sign for the market that could lead to more price volatility in the future. In North America, there was only one new liquefaction project sanctioned last year — Sempra Energy’s Energia Costa Azul project on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. More than a dozen other developers in the...
Published 03/29/21
Environmental, social and governance considerations have becoming pressing issues among refiners in today's net-zero carbon world. While other refiners and oil companies are starting to embrace ESG, it has been a key part of Meridian Energy's strategy since 2013, when the company was formed. We talked with Meridian CEO Bill Prentice about building an ESG refinery in North Dakota.
Published 03/22/21
Mexican production of crude oil has declined continuously since reaching a peak in 2004. Since then, the government has tried to bring back production while keeping revenues steady. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has embarked on a new quest to rescue Pemex, whose waning revenues have been needed to help develop Mexico for the last seven decades. We spoke with Marco Cota, a former Pemex executive and now head of Talanza Energy, a Mexico City consultancy, about Pemex's chances to...
Published 03/15/21
Conversations at this year's CERAWeek by IHS Markit, held virtually this year after being canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, were wide ranging, although energy transition was often the main topic.
Published 03/08/21
As the shortest route from the US Gulf Coast to East Asia, the Panama Canal has emerged as a key fixture in global trade flow dynamics. We spoke with Ricaurte Vásquez Morales, administrator of the Panama Canal Authority, who has been working to reduce congestion of the canal, which has grown in part because of LNG shipments from the US.
Published 03/01/21
For the past several days, much of the producing states of Texas and Oklahoma have been gripped by sub-freezing temperatures, ice storms and snow. Today we talk with Parker Fawcett, North American supply analyst for S&P Global Platts Analytics, to discuss the impact of the severe weather on US oil and gas production, and other consequences of the winter storms.
Published 02/19/21
The Uinta Basin in Utah is the producing area of the US Rocky Mountains. Its production has declined in recent years for two reasons: the region's isolation and the gooey, waxy crude produced from it. We spoke with Mark Hemphill, senior vice president for the Rio Grande Pacific Corp. He is project manager for the Uinta Basin Railway, an 85-mile, $1.5 billion project to bring Uinta Basin crude to a connecting point with two Class I railroads near Kyune Pass, Utah.
Published 02/15/21
US President Joe Biden make good on his campaign promises and rejoined the Paris Agreement upon taking office, a move that has huge implications for Mexico in particular, given the current energy strategy of the government, which focuses on fossil fuels. We spoke with Aldo Flores-Quiroga, senior adviser for energy and natural resources at FTI Consulting. He formerly served as secretary-general of the International Energy Forum.
Published 02/08/21
Apart from simple supply and demand, nothing impacts oil markets as much as geopolitics. Former President Donald Trump did everything he could to load up sanctions on countries like Iran and Venezuela in order to cut down on their crude exports. Now we'll see what President Joe Biden might do and whether those moves lead to more barrels coming back on oversupplied markets. We spoke with Paul Sheldon, chief geopolitical adviser for S&P Global Platts Analytics, about the Biden presidency...
Published 02/01/21
President Joe Biden's inauguration was particularly momentous, including for energy companies and markets. A flurry of executive actions were signed just hours after Biden took the oath of office, and against that background there are big changes underway in federal policy. Oil, natural gas and energy transition will all be impacted by these early moves.
Published 01/25/21
Today we are looking at oil storage trends. Oil storage sits at the heart of oil pricing, and a lot has happened in this arena over the last year, mirroring crude and product markets. Ahead of S&P Global Platts' Oil Storage Virtual Conference, to be held January 21, we talked with two experts in the field: Richard Redoglia, CEO of Matrix Global Holdings; and Steven Barsamian, Chief Operating Officer of the Tank Tiger.
Published 01/18/21
Today we are examining the outlook for new North American liquefaction projects to be sanctioned in 2021 amid a virtual standstill in 2020. The recent runup in the Platts JKM has buoyed developers, but challenges remain. S&P Global Platts natural writer Harry Weber spoke with Charif Souki, co-founder and executive chairman of Tellurian, which is proposing to build an export facility in Louisiana. Souki also co-founded Cheniere Energy, the biggest LNG exporter in the US.
Published 01/08/21
The 2020 US elections were arguably the most consequential of our time. Among the many issues that drove voters to choose one candidate over another was energy. Oil, natural gas and the energy transition all were at play, and now the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden will be expected to deliver on promises made. Jasmin Melvin and Maya Weber of S&P Global Platts and Ellie Potter of S&P Global Market Intelligence discuss the challenges and opportunities for Biden in...
Published 12/18/20
Earlier this year the oil market suffered a historic price collapse as pandemic-blunted demand left the world awash in crude. Against this background, the OPEC+ group in April agreed to is deepest-ever production cuts. The agreement was largely successful in fostering a recovery in oil prices throughout the summer and fall, but oil demand outlooks have again come under pressure. The group reached a compromise agreement December 3 to scale back production quotas and to meet monthly to...
Published 12/11/20
US crude output fell this year in response to low demand stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Production has held at around 10.5 million b/d to 11 million b/d since late October, according to the US Energy Information Administration. But that is down roughly 2 million b/d on the year, and many analysts expect little change for 2021. However, some oil industry leaders are much more bearish on production. Adam Waterous is one of them. Waterous, managing partner and CEO of North American...
Published 12/04/20
The presidential election is over, and the results are being certified. President Donald Trump may keep contesting votes in court, but we’re expecting the beginning of the Biden administration come January. Today we look at the state of the midstream oil sector amid an ongoing pandemic and an upcoming Democratic White House that won’t be as friendly toward putting new pipe in the ground. The never-ending fight over the Keystone XL pipeline hangs in the balance, as does the fate of the...
Published 11/30/20
California and its clean car ambitions had a lot riding on the US presidential election. The state's Air Resources Board spent the Trump presidency fighting with the US Environmental Protection Agency about its rollback of Obama-era tailpipe standards, which were set to increase average fuel economy of the US passenger vehicle fleet by 5% annually from 2021 to 2026. The Trump administration slashed these targets to a 1.5% annual increase. Trump's EPA also moved to revoke California's...
Published 11/20/20
The US oil and gas sector is facing several huge transitions all at once: the immediate crisis brought on by the pandemic and a longer-term energy transition away from fossil fuels. Today we're looking at a third shift confronting the US upstream: digital transformation and the need for the oil and gas workforce to catch up in this area. A new survey by Ernst & Young found a major digital skills gap among the oil and gas workforce, and the pandemic is increasing the urgency to close...
Published 11/13/20
Joe Biden is now officially president-elect after securing a win in natural gas-rich Pennsylvania despite the fight over fracking we've heard so much about these last long weeks. S&P Global Platts Analytics predicts a muted production impact if Biden bans new federal drilling permits, putting up to 1.1 million b/d of oil output and 3.7 Bcf/d of gas output at risk by 2025. On this special episode, we take a look at the implications ahead for energy and climate policy with Washington...
Published 11/07/20
Dozens of highly consequential energy issues are at play in this week’s US elections, ranging from who will occupy the Oval Office for the next four years, to who will fill the last open seat on the Texas Railroad Commission. But overhanging all of this is a US economy crippled by the ongoing pandemic. Beth Ann Bovino, US Chief Economist for S&P Global Ratings, helps explore this unique interplay.
Published 10/30/20
It's Election Day in the US, and at a lot is at stake in the energy sector for the next four years. We're revisiting three key policy areas that could shift direction depending on today's vote: * US policy in the Middle East and Washington's relationship with OPEC, with Amy Myers Jaffe, research professor and managing director of the Climate Policy Lab at Tufts University's Fletcher School. * US oil sanctions toward Venezuela and Washington's so-far failed attempts to remove the Maduro...
Published 10/27/20
A victory by Joe Biden in the US presidential election could have a big impact on the US-Mexico relationship and might even force the Mexican administration to change course on its energy goals. Mexico's energy policy is currently focused on fossil fuels, despite having international commitments to move toward green sources of energy and the legal framework to do so. We spoke with Guillermo Zuniga about how a Biden White House would change this dynamic and how he sees Mexico's path forward...
Published 10/26/20