There are many moving parts when it comes to focusing on energy issues and policies. Here is some of America’s Energy WatchList that I will be monitoring in 2017:
PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THE REPUBLICAN LED CONGRESS- As of this writing, it is six days before the US presidential inauguration. What will be implemented? What will be eliminated? What will be the outcomes? President Trump’s plans have included development of regulatory and legislative initiatives: rescinding Obama’s executive actions and regulations that are outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers, illegal, or contrary to the national interest, including the Climate Action Plan and lifting moratoriums on energy production in federal areas…
OPEC and the supporting non-OPEC countries- Will their pledge be upheld? How much difference do they really make? “Oil had its biggest annual gain in 2016 since the financial crisis, even in a year that also sent prices to a decade low. Saudi Arabia and its Allies in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are reclaiming their role as the world’s cartel, pledging to cut output to end a glut that had shaken the market for two years.” (WSJ)
JOBS: Cautious Optimism? It is beginning to appear that most of the oil and gas companies across the US are optimistic about the future of the oil and gas industry. According to the Federal Reserve in Dallas, in the past quarter, of 147 respondents, 80 were oilfield services firms, and 67 were exploration and production firms, 18.4% reported net hiring and 15% reported net layoffs. The oil services firms increased in hiring by 22.5% and the exploration and production firms had increased in hiring by 13.4%. Therefore, more firms were hiring than laying off staff. Will this trend continue and why?
INVESTMENTS IN THE OIL AND GAS SECTOR- Time to invest? The current status is “after a record-setting number of bankruptcies for North America energy and exploration companies in 2016, the sector is poised to reap the benefits of oil’s rebound and a massive increase in productivity powered by technological improvements.” (USA Today)
IPOS/M&A- Is it time to enter the market? There are several companies on the side line considering both initial public offerings (IPOs) and mergers & acquisitions (M&A). In fact, we are already starting to see activity in regard to IPOs and M&As in the oil and gas sector.
LNG/NATURAL GAS- Upward trend for natural gas demand? The US Energy Information Administration forecasts worldwide natural gas consumption will increase from 325 billion cubic feet a day which was in 2015 to 390 Bcf/d by 2025 and to more than 500 Bcf/d by 2040. LNG terminals/projects are underway. The solution: the demand growth on US supplies will only be achieved by increased drilling. Therefore, more jobs and economic growth should occur.
EARTHQUAKES- What are the facts? What are the answers? The US oil and gas industry is working with others to closely monitor this situation.
CYBERSECURITY- Are we prepared? Are there enough safeguards in place? The oil and gas industry is very aware of the threats of cyberattacks. There have been attacks on US energy companies.
REGULATIONS- What will be eliminated? As mentioned earlier in this writing, President Trump and the Republican led Congress seem focused on eliminating many regulations. What will be the impact to the oil and gas industry by eliminating regulations?
INFRASTRUCTURE- For years, America has needed to update its energy infrastructure. What will happen, be planned, in 2017 and beyond?
GEOPOLITICAL/CHINA/RUSSIA- Geopolitical tensions along with geopolitical cooperation will be at the forefront. Any disruption along with cooperation can dramatically change the outlook on energy demand.
Also, energy education, transportation/auto makers, coal, nuclear, wind/solar, media, digital, and world supply/demand are among the other areas of my daily focus.
Future generations are depending on us to keep the American dream alive. For too long we in America have been wasting time blaming the energy industry or the government for failure to adopt a national energy strategy when we each should be responsible for creating the plan. America Needs America’s Energy!