DOE suggests topics for National Petroleum Council studies

The US Department of Energy wants more industry advice on how the White House can best implement energy policy changes proposed last month. Department officials asked the National Petroleum Council at its annual meeting Wednesday to consider a dozen proposals that represent a virtual laundry list of challenges facing the industry.


Maureen Lorenzetti
OGJ Online

WASHINGTON, DC, June 6 -- The US Department of Energy wants more industry advice on how the White House can best implement energy policy changes proposed last month.

Department officials asked the National Petroleum Council at its annual meeting Wednesday to consider a dozen proposals that represent a virtual laundry list of challenges facing the industry. The council is a 175-member committee that advises the US Energy Secretary on oil and gas issues.

DOE officials say NPC could report in depth on up to two issues a year. In a diversion from NPC's customary, formal studies, DOE suggested the council might be asked to draft short-term analyses for DOE or plan meetings and workshops.

DOE suggested 11 studies that NPC might choose to undertake, but gave no priority to any.

Industry sources noted NPC members have "significant" interest in reexamining constraints that may be prevent refinery expansions.

The 11 topics were:

-- The potential of supplies from Alaska, Canada, Mexico, the Outer Continental Shelf, and liquefied natural gas imports.

-- The dynamics of fuel switching and oil and gas consumption in electric generation and industrial processes.

-- Expansions of US gas pipelines and storage fields needed to meet future demand, including the effect of gas supplies from Alaska.

-- The potential contribution of oil and natural gas from frontier sources such as ultradeep waters, the Arctic, methane hydrates, and deep gas formations.

-- Critical issues facing oil refining, storage, and transportation, building on NPC's 1989 and 2000 reports.

-- Trends in the environmental performance of the oil and gas industry.

-- Opportunities for energy conservation and energy efficiency from exploration and production to retail distribution.

-- The economic competitiveness of the US oil and gas industry in the global economy, including ways the government could help limit the risks of operating overseas.

-- The reliability of US petroleum product supplies, including crude supply sources and refining and transportation issues.

-- Whether the mix of sweet and sour oils in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve reflects the feedstock needs of domestic refiners.

-- Offshore technology research and development needs, updating a 1995 NPC report and reflecting increasing ultradeep Gulf of Mexico projects.

Contact Maureen Lorenzetti at maureenl@ogjonline.com

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