Energy exports could help national security, new report suggests

The US should encourage oil and gas exports as part of a broader strategy that also includes accepting the reality of energy interdependence, taking steps to reduce domestic consumption and diversify supplies, and integrating energy security into strategic policy and military planning, a recent report recommended.

“The time is right to explore new strategies to safeguard the physical oil trade, new criteria for the use of strategic reserves, new potential energy export opportunities, and new possibilities for energy-focused trade arrangements,” Elizabeth Rosenberg, who directs the Center for a New American Security’s Energy, Environment, and Security Program, said in CNAS’s report, “Energy Rush: Shale Production and US National Security.”

It was developed by CNAS’s Unconventional Energy and National Security Task Force, co-chaired by Paula J. Dobriansky, a former US Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs; former US Energy Sec. Bill Richardson; and former US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.).

The report makes three main points, Dobriansky said at a Feb. 6 event where it was released:

• The unconventional oil and gas rush is an alert to policymakers because it presents opportunities and challenges.

• The US remains connected to global energy markets, which means it won’t be immune to volatile prices and will need to promote stability.

• A new global energy order is emerging, which will require new strategies and ways of thinking.

“These energy developments are essential for a strong US economy, which matters greatly for our security,” she said. “We’re also acquiring more global energy influence, including on Russia’s relationship with its customers, and have new opportunities for developments and collaborations with neighbors like Mexico, where so much has happened already.”

Smart energy diplomacy

“We must be smart in our energy diplomacy,” said Richardson. “We must help countries desperate to find alternatives to their current supplies.” The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ global oil market influence has diminished somewhat, but the US should maintain its ties with the cartel’s members because it has additional interests, he added.

“We should accept this change with a degree of modesty, and not use in-your-face diplomacy with the rest of the world,” said Warner. “We need to remember that countries on which we used to depend [for imported crude] still matter. We should assist them in continuing to help their economies grow, but in ways that strengthen the whole global economy. We’re all in this together, so we should be modest about the largesse we gain from this tremendous opportunity.”

It’s also time for the US to retire the idea of “energy independence”, which was an easy way for politicians to score points with voters for many years, because it ignores the contribution healthy and open global markets can make to improving national security, the 3 former federal officials agreed. “We’ll need to learn how to deal with political perceptions in other parts of the world where we have other strategic interests,” Dobriansky said.

Unconventional and deepwater production can help the US become self-reliant in producing the oil and gas it needs, but oil particularly will remain vulnerable to volatile prices and supply disruptions, according to Thomas E. Donlon, a former National Security Advisor who now is a distinguished fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who also spoke.

“We also have other interests in the Middle East, where so much of the world’s oil still is produced, that we’ll continue to pursue,” he said. “Other trading relationships will change. Lower US imports mean more foreign oil will go to China and other countries which will increase their import reliance on places like the Middle East.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Shell cuts $15 billion in spending for 2015-17

01/30/2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC has curtailed more than $15 billion in potential spending over the next 3 years, but is not “not overreacting to current low ...

Victoria extends drilling, fracing ban

01/30/2015 The new Victorian Labor government of premier Daniel Andrews has extended the coal seam gas (CSG) exploration and hydraulic fracturing ban in the s...

Chevron’s $35 billion capital budget down 13% from last year

01/30/2015 Chevron Corp. will allocate $35 billion in its capital and exploratory investment program for 2015, including $4 billion of planned expenditures by...

US Senate passes bill approving Keystone XL pipeline project

01/30/2015 The US Senate has passed a bill approving construction of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline by a 62-36 vote after 3 weeks of debate. Nine...

Oxy cuts capital budget by a third

01/30/2015 In the midst of falling oil prices, Occidental Petroleum Corp., Houston, expects to reduce its total capital spending for 2015 to $5.8 billion from...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX natural gas prices drop after storage report

01/30/2015 US natural gas closed at its lowest price in more than 2 years on the New York market Jan. 29 following the government’s weekly gas storage report,...

Pennsylvania governor reinstates state forest drilling moratorium

01/29/2015 Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed an executive order fully reinstating a 2010 moratorium on new oil and gas leases in state forests and parks. ...

PwC: Low oil prices might drive surge in restructuring in 2015

01/29/2015 Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the oil and gas industry hit 10-year highs in terms of deal value and volume in 2014, according to a report f...

DOE could meet 45-day LNG export decision deadline, Senate panel told

01/29/2015 The US Department of Energy would have no trouble meeting a 45-day deadline to reach a national interest determination for proposed LNG export faci...
White Papers

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected