SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

U.S. | Environment & Forest Defense

US Domestic Natural Gas Prices Expected To Double by 2016
by Tomas DiFiore
Friday Mar 1st, 2013 1:35 AM
Americans spent 4 percent of household income on gas in 2012. In 2012, Chevron made $26.2 billion in profits. Exxon, $44.9 billion. Shell, $26.59 billion. At today's prices, that's enough to buy almost 25 billion gallons of gas in California. Last year, Americans paid record-high average gas prices, a fact that is certainly linked to the oil companies' massive profits. But a funny thing happened on the way to the bank of USA, the storehouse of American Resources for America got sold to China. We buy their cheap crap and they buy our country.

US Domestic Natural Gas Prices Expected To Double by 2016

Natural Gas Weekly Update - For the week ending 02202013, Overview
http://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/weekly/

“Natural gas prices were up at most market locations, increasing most significantly in the Northeast. Henry Hub increased from $3.28 per MMBtu last Wednesday to $3.34 yesterday, an increase of 6 cents per MMBtu, or 2 percent. Most trading points increased between 5 and 20 cents per MMBtu week-on-week, with the notable exception of the Northeast. Algonquin Citygate, serving Boston markets, is currently very elevated but fell by 7 percent relative to last week, from $17.85 per MMBtu last Wednesday to $16.55 per MMBtu yesterday. Transco Zone 6 NY, serving New York City, nearly tripled from Wednesday to Wednesday, moving from $6.10 per MMBtu to $17.21 per MMBtu, surpassing Algonquin Citygate on February 20.”

“Currently, domestic natural gas sells for about $3-$4 a unit (per million BTU), but the spot price for natural gas in Japan is about $15-$20 per unit. US Industrial energy users, say that increased exports would raise domestic gas prices to mirror what natural gas is sold for internationally. The Industrial Energy Users of America, has said that higher natural gas prices, in turn, would make it tougher for US manufacturers, our competitiveness is dependent on the price of natural gas, and this is going to damage our ability to keep jobs here."

“We’ve had this bearish outlook on gas a long time.” Cheniere Energy Inc.

“The Cheniere Energy Inc.’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, with a daily capacity of 2.2 billion cubic feet, is the only project approved to export to countries without a free trade agreement, according to the DOE. Japan, China, Taiwan and India, all non-FTA countries, account for about half of world LNG demand, according to the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers.”

“Gas from Sabine Pass would reach Asia at about $11 per million Btu based on current 2016 U.S. gas prices, according to Pehlivanova at Barclays. Cheniere estimates the cost to deliver gas from its proposed terminal at about $10.60 per million Btu, based on Henry Hub prices at $4, liquefaction and shipping costs at $3 apiece and marine fuel at 60 cents, according to a Jan. 14 presentation on its website.”

LNG to northeast Asia rose to a record $19.40 this month, according to World Gas Intelligence.

“Future U.S. LNG imports would be competitive even if domestic natural gas prices were to rise above $8 per million Btu.”

Translation; the manufacturing sector and consumers will have to make it work. Tall tales by the media of Jobs and economic growth will chart the employment levels (shifted) from manufacturing to the Oil and Gas Industry, but not the downturn in the manufacturing sector.

It's a weighted averages zero sum end game. Jobs and economy, the anthem at the forced feeding pool of the reservoir of Frenzy and Greed Inc and The Myth of the Gross National Product. It's not a product, but a 'weighted average' vector of loaned money exchanged for access to assets, hedged against our freedoms and liberties, on money too big to bail out again, amortized over the rate of decay of a national economy, forced to alienate in Mortmain, our heritage of natural landscapes, ecosystem services and functions that sustain a just society.

A funny thing happened on the way to the bank of USA, the storehouse of American Resources for America got sold to China. We buy their cheap crap and they buy our country.

In January 2012, China Petrochemical Corp. - the second-largest Chinese oil company - agreed to buy a one-third stake in five Devon Energy exploratory oil projects in the U.S. for $900 million, to expand shale reserves. The company, known as Sinopec Group, will pay $900 million in cash and as much as $1.6 billion in Devon’s future drilling costs, funding 125 wells in the coming year. China National Petroleum Corp., Sinopec Group, and Cnooc Ltd. are reportedly seeking to gain technology through partnerships in order to develop China’s shale reserves, estimated to be larger than those in the U.S.

According to Bloomberg, U.S. gas explorers including Chesapeake Energy and Devon Energy are selling interests in shale fields to international energy companies such as Total and Sinopec to finance drilling on leases acquired during a “massive land grab” in 2007 and 2008 as oil and gas prices soared to record highs, a bubble that has since deflated, leaving operators like Chesapeake without the funds to fulfill clauses that set deadlines for drilling by a certain period or forfeiting the leases.
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=China_and_fracking

Chesapeake has already sold about $1.7 billion in development stakes to CNOOC Ltd, a subsidiary of China National Offshore Oil Corp, for a share of operations in the Eagle Ford and Niobrara shale gas formations in Texas and Wyoming, respectively. The Eagle Ford deal was announced in January 2011, Niobrara in October 2010.

This months' Mortmain: February 2013

A subsidiary of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, known as Sinopec Group, has agreed to pay $1.02 billion for 50 percent of Chesapeake Energy Corp's stake in an Oklahoma oil and gas field and form a joint venture with the US company, Chesapeake announced on Monday.
The all-cash sale from Sinopec International Petroleum Exploration & Production Corp is for half of 850,000 acres (344,000 hectares) in Oklahoma's Mississippi Lime formation that Chesapeake controls. The natural gas producer has been seeking a buyer for the 425,000 acres as part of a campaign of asset sales to close a cash shortfall and reduce debt.
http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2013-02/26/content_16257175.htm

How about bountiful balanced State and National budgets without free rides for these bums on the plush?

Americans spent 4 percent of household income on gas in 2012. In 2012, Chevron made $26.2 billion in profits. Exxon, $44.9 billion. Shell, $26.59 billion. At today's prices, that's enough
to buy almost 25 billion gallons of gas in California. Last year, Americans paid record-high average gas prices, a fact that is certainly linked to the oil companies' massive profits.
http://www.arb.ca.gov/lispub/rss/displaypost.php?pno=6444

AIG, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup...
The expansion in drilling is also fueled by loans and investment money which comes with hefty interest payments, and is being paraded out to the American Public, President Obama and the media as Energy Interdependence Day 2020.

Energy Interdependence Day 2020
“The energy industry is moving U.S. and Canadian oil landlocked in the heart of the continent (because of insufficient pipeline transportation) via the railroad industry which is helping pick up the slack, shipping U.S. crude across the continent, and creating big demand for new rail tanker cars.”

“Pipeline capacity in the U.S. could expand by 1.7 million barrels a day, and up to 600,000 barrels of new rail capacity will be opened between the U.S. and Canada. A Citigroup's global head of commodities research report said there is an expected near doubling of receiving capacity of rail-shipped oil from 2012 to 2013.”

“Lacking pipelines, over half the North Dakota crude production, of 480,000 barrels a day at the end of 2012, was estimated to have been moved by rail. Much of it went to St. James, La., and Port Arthur, Texas and Mobile, Ala. Bakken is also being railed to facilities in Albany, N.Y., and New Brunswick, Canada.”

“The report also points out the big backlog in rail cars, many of them tank and hopper railcars. Citi said American Railcar Industries last fall said backlog for rail-cars at the end of September was 61,400, and 75 percent were tank rail-cars. Tank rail-cars transport materials like crude, chemicals, propane ethanol and asphalt.”

One has to wonder, do these trains run on fracked Natural Gas too?

Getting resource extractive corporations and banks to act responsibly requires forbearance.

Besides coercive strategies such as;
subsidies for Toxic Waste Disposal in Wastewater wells, and
subsidies for Enhanced Oil Recovery fracking stimulation cycles to keep low volume wells in production to the last drop, and
the lack of any severance tax in California to sweetly keep the Oil and Gas Industry here in California... like they're going anywhere... soon.

There's a lot of investment, and steel, and temperatures, and smelters, and excavated ore, and machine tooling, labor... a thought just crossed my mind. The tank rail-cars, once the boom has passed or pipelines are lain and leaking across the landscape, the tank rail-cars can be used for Toxic Waste Containment.

"The recent natural gas market glut was largely effected through overproduction of natural gas in order to meet financial analyst’s production targets,"she wrote. "Further, leases were bundled and flipped on unproved shale fields in much the same way as mortgage-backed securities had been bundled and sold on questionable underlying mortgage assets prior to the economic downturn of 2007."

In other words, there are two spheres of economics unfolding: day-to-day in-field shale oil and gas production economics ... and Wall Street high finance economics. It's the insane economics of Wall Street investors fueling the economic decisions of those working in the field, in what Rogers describes as a "financial co-dependency."

Go to http://shalebubble.org/wall-street/
for the full report by Deborah Rodgers, or download here in PDF:
http://shalebubble.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/SWS-report-FINAL.pdf


Deborah Rogers spoke in Hampton, New Brunswick in Novmber, 2012, about the economics of shale gas hydrofracking. Deborah began her financial career in London working in investment banking. Upon her return to the U.S., she worked as a financial consultant for several major Wall Street firms, including Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Boafo8dPHT4

Ms. Rogers served on the Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 2008-2011. She was appointed in 2011 by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to a task force reviewing placement of air monitors in the Barnett Shale region in light of air quality concerns brought about by the natural gas operations in North Texas.

Q&A 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwMPiBs2Gc4

Q&A 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU7xSPXH8iw

Uploaded in February 2012, one year ago.
This is Deborah Rogers' full talk, given in Binghamton, Jan 19 2012,
"Shale Promises, or Shale Spin? The Economics Behind Fracking" 1 hour
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYaC7L2svoQ


And then in March 31, 2012 Citizens for a Healthy Community hosted a 1/2-day forum on the threats of oil and gas development and fracking “Understanding the Risks of Oil & Gas Development” Along with John Fenton, and Dr. Theo Colborn and others:

Deborah Rogers discussed the economics around natural gas development and shale plays at the Colorado Citizens For A Healthy Community, public forum on March 31, 2012.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-effAhRs-lQ

Calvin Tillman, former Mayor of Dish, Texas, explained how his community was turned into an industrial zone in the wake of natural gas development. He also discussed the health impacts to his family that caused him to move.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUg820bUOr4

Chip Northrup, Former planning manager at the Atlantic Richfield Corporation and investor in the acquisition and sale of offshore oil rigs and oil and gas projects for more than 30 years. Chip co-owned Northrup Energy, which was sold to ARCO Solar and became BP Solar, the largest solar energy company in the world. Chip discusses how gas wells can leak and other problems with the fracking process at Citizens for a Healthy Community's March 31, 2012 public forum.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzJTMjYQPmQ

Some really polished 'Fracking' video documentaries follow that can be found on YouTube:

The Joy Of Fracking Published on Feb 23, 2013
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woKWdWPbmgI
This is a fair use sampling of what's cooking in the public debate about fracking. Get a taste of the pros (mostly industry spin) and the cons. Really well done!

Be sure not to miss Split Estate Published on May 3, 2012
Emmy-award winning documentary on the oil and natural gas drilling boom in the Rocky Mountain West and the Northeast (32 states are targeted). Imagine discovering that you don't own the mineral rights under your land, and that an energy company plans to drill for natural gas two hundred feet from your front door. Imagine you have little or no recourse to protect your home or land from such development. SPLIT ESTATE maps a tragedy in the making, as citizens in the path of a new drilling boom struggle against the erosion of their civil liberties, their communities and their health.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj1Am482zlo

On a more positive note in California, the California Environmental Quality Act is our best safeguard. Well, short of a full moratorium!

“THE ROADRUNNER" Sierra Club newsletter JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2013
FRACKING PROJECTS NOW TO NEED CEQA REVIEW
Responding to pressure from the environmental community, the California agency responsible for regulating the oil and gas industry recently delivered a major setback to fracking in a decision likely to reverberate throughout the state.

In a nutshell, the state’s Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) reversed its decision to exempt an oil company from environmental review as required in the California Environmental Quality Act an action that may set a precedent for future permit seekers too.

The agency’s decision came after Sierra Club filed a lawsuit to force the agency to compile the
environmental review that was totally lacking for this project and, by implication, for thousands of other such projects that have gone completely without public disclosure for many years. In a Nov. 27 letter to the oil company, Century Exploration Resources of Bakersfield, the agency wrote:

“Following review and analysis of the legal challenge, [the agency] has determined that the
proposed well operations will result in more than a minor alteration in the condition of the affected land, and therefore are not exempt pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15304.”

“This is clearly a result of the Sierra Club lawsuit and is a first step towards public disclosure.”

Prior to the decision, the agency has been rubberstamping oil and gas drilling activity,
declaring it exempt from environmental review or issuing “negative declarations” that such activity will have “no significant effect” on the environment, without any study or mention of the potential impacts from fracking or other drilling techniques.

DOGGR will conduct the second stakeholder workshop to receive input on the “Discussion Draft” Regulations for Hydraulic Fracturing in California on March 13, 2013. The meeting will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Four Points Sheraton, 5101 California Avenue, Bakersfield, 93309. At least one additional workshop will be held, in Sacramento, with the date, time and location to be announced soon. The actual “discussion draft regulations” and other material can be found on the Department’s home page, http://www.conservation.ca.gov/Index/Pages/Index.aspx.

A statewide full moratorium on fracking operations and high volume high pressure horizontal/deviant slick water fracturing of oil wells throughout the State both onshore and offshore, and oil and gas wells throughout the State both onshore and offshore, and/or gas wells in the unassociated gas fields of the Sacramento Basin and South Delta until after January 1, 2015, when the EPA 'Green Completion” ruling takes effect makes sense.

There is far too much at stake.
Tomas DiFiore