Sam Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain, is credited with having said “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” or something very near that.
Those predicting the demise of the U.S. shale oil and gas industry in the wake of the dramatic drop in oil prices that began last summer should learn the back story behind what is perhaps the most famous and enduring of Clements’ many quotes.
President Obama’s unsurprising Feb. 24 veto of the bill authorizing construction of the final key leg of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada through Nebraska took place in private. There was no news conference, no ceremony, no gathering of bill opponents standing behind the President, no TV cameras. The Administration only made a modest statement announcing the veto.
It also means that there continues to be no resolution to the highest-profile energy policy issue of the last decade.
All Presidents and their Administrations have great potential to make people angry with the decisions they make and actions they take. President Obama’s Administration, however, scored a rare “two-fer” when it unveiled its newest approach to accessing oil and gas resources in regions where drilling wasn’t previously allowed.
Airline executives, resort developers, cigar and rum importers and even bankers may be excited about the new business opportunities created by President Obama’s controversial plans to normalize relations with communist Cuba.
It’s no coincidence that the proposed merger of the second- and third-largest oil field services is coming together against the backdrop of the biggest drop in oil prices in nearly five years.
No. 2 Halliburton and No. 3 Baker Hughes reached agreement in mid-November on a $34.6 billion deal that would, upon consummation and the expected sale and/or spinoffs of certain units to appease antitrust regulators, make the combined company almost as big and powerful as Schlumberger, currently the global leader in oil field services.
The Obama Administration may have effectively stalled – for now – the Keystone Pipeline, but Toronto-based pipeline and distribution giant Enbridge is moving to demonstrate that Washington cannot entirely block the flow of heavy Canadian Tar Sands crude in the United States.
Oil and gas production in Texas has risen to near-record levels thanks to higher-than-anticipated crude prices and gas production that are, at least partially, a product of increased global instability and geopolitical turmoil.
Despite the mushrooming civil war in Iraq, led largely by the insurgent organization known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Americans are paying scarcely more to fill up their cars today than they were a month ago. This is especially surprising, considering that Iraq is the world’s fifth-largest oil-producing nation.