• 12 hours Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High
  • 16 hours Iraq’s Giant Majnoon Oilfield Attracts Attention Of Supermajors
  • 18 hours South Iraq Oil Exports Close To Record High To Offset Kirkuk Drop
  • 21 hours Iraqi Forces Find Mass Graves In Oil Wells Near Kirkuk
  • 21 hours Chevron Joint Venture Signs $1.7B Oil, Gas Deal In Nigeria
  • 22 hours Iraq Steps In To Offset Falling Venezuela Oil Production
  • 1 day ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 3 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 4 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 4 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 4 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 4 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 4 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 4 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 4 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 4 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 5 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 5 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 5 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 5 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 5 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 5 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 5 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 6 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 6 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 6 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 6 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 6 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 6 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 7 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 7 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 7 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 7 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 7 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 7 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 7 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 7 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 8 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 8 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 8 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects

Breaking News:

Thanksgiving Gas Prices At 3-Year High

Alt Text

Energy Majors Hit Hard By Climate Regulations

Siemens and General Electric have…

Alt Text

GE Looks To Divest Energy Assets As Turmoil Continues

General Electric’s turmoil continues as…

Alt Text

The Kurdish Oil Gamble Has Backfired

Kurdistan’s failure to hold the…

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer and political analyst based in Michigan. His work on matters related to the geopolitical aspects of the global energy sector,…

More Info

U.S. Energy Policy Debate too Myopic

U.S. Energy Policy Debate too Myopic

Brazilian state oil company Petrobras last week announced it encountered a 984-column of hydrocarbons in an offshore field just days after boasting of a new discovery off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. Further north, while struggling, Mexican oil monopoly Pemex said crude oil production reached 2.5 million barrels per day for July. With energy policies moving front-and-center to the U.S. political debate, a discussion that includes Latin and South American reserves could be a more representative version of an "all-of-the-above" strategy.

Petroleo Brasileiro, the state-run oil company known as Petrobras, announced last week the 984-foot column was discovered off the coast of the northeastern state of Sergipe. Four days earlier, a discovery at the Franco prospect yielded a 967-foot column off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The state-controlled company is a frequent target of critics who complain output is slow despite the discovery of major oil deposits in the pre-salt areas off the country's coast. While technologically cumbersome, the government expects to reach a daily oil production benchmark of 7 million barrels by 2020. That would put Brazil on near equal footing with Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia in terms of oil production.

Meanwhile, state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, reported a lackluster July with exports down 6.5 percent from the June figures at 1.12 million barrels per day. The company ranks seventh in the world in terms of oil production, though aging oil fields and a lack of investments means Mexico might become a net importer of crude oil by the next decade. Nevertheless, the government last year opened the door for private companies to start operations in seven oil fields in the country. 

Much of the politicking during the U.S. presidential campaign of 2012 has centered on energy independence and access to so-called tar sands oil from the Athabasca deposits in Canada. Incumbent President Barack Obama already suffered a setback with green initiatives in the wake of the bankruptcy of solar panel company Solyndra. That being said, oil production in the United States is at historic highs during an administration seen by its critics as shutting the door on domestic energy.  Republican challenger and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, in an energy policy unveiled last week, said energy independence by 2020 would come in large part through access to potential reserves off the eastern U.S. coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The Keystone XL oil pipeline under a Romney administration would shield the U.S. economy from potential oil shocks brought by Middle East conflict while at the same time providing a stimulus to a weak U.S. economy.

With little fanfare in February, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed a transboundary agreement with the Mexican government of Felipe Calderon that would make more than 1 million acres of land available to explorers in the Gulf of Mexico. The agreement is likely stalled as both governments wait out the presidential campaign season. The U.S. Interior Department, however, estimates the western Gulf of Mexico could hold as much as 172 million barrels of oil and 300 billion cubic feet of natural gas. While modest, it could both address U.S. concerns about access to the gulf while supporting the Mexican energy sector and economy.

Latin and South American governments aren't necessarily cozy with Washington. Outside of Canada, however, some of the standard oil suppliers to the United States have their own problems that are likely comparable to any potential issues in the Americas. If the U.S. conversation about the direction of energy policy is about energy security and energy dependence, as opposed to back-room deals for political support, any all-of-the-above energy policy should at least consider a look to the south regardless of the administration.

By. Daniel J. Graeber of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News