U. S. energy landscape continues to change
BOULDER -- The growth in exploitation of unconventional oil and gas is having a “transformational impact” on a number of other factors, thereby causing the U.S. energy landscape to change, said a veteran analyst. Speaking this week to the Fortieth International Energy Conference, hosted by the International Research Center for Energy & Economic Development in Boulder, Colo., Guy Caruso said that the U.S. is now suddenly 80% energy self-sufficient but still part of a global market. Caruso is a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic & International Studies and is a former administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
“Governmental policies that are still being based on resource scarcity and rising U.S. demand need to be revisited,” said Caruso. “We have changing demand growth centers and new, emerging players, yet we have old institutions. When you consider that environmental issues still loom large, the ‘Great Dilemma’ is ‘How do we go forward?’”
Caruso noted that with a leveling or even decline in demand, new supply growth will shape the market; continued, significant reductions in selected foreign (non-Canadian) imports is very likely. New infrastructure being built could be used, he said, to distribute domestic crudes eastward and westward in the U.S., as well as southward. In addition, he predicts that spare refining capacity (as currently configured) in PADD District III will encourage the exporting of petroleum products from the U.S. “If that happens,” explained Caruso, “then significant U.S. product exports could slow refining expansion in Latin America.”
A number of factors could alter this outlook, added Caruso. “The over-or-under-performance of resources, and or steep decline rates in unconventional production, could certainly affect things,” he said, “There other additional factors, like technology advancements, including distruptive technologies, along with the investment climate for participants; the commerciality, economics, prices and costs for projects; the timing and expense of infrastructure build-out; and geopolitical or catastrophic events.”