Stable outlook for U.S. oil producers at $45 a barrel

By Bill Loveless Most U.S. oil companies will be able to produce more oil while reducing operating costs at...

Columbia Energy Exchange: Bill Richardson

Few people in public service can tote up the career resume of Bill Richardson, especially when it comes to...

Columbia Energy Exchange: Centrica CEO Iain Conn

Disruption is widespread in energy industries around the world today, and success or failure in dealing with that change...

Coal comeback unlikely after Paris climate pact withdrawal: utility CEO

From USA TODAY President Trump once again promised to revive the U.S. coal industry when he announced his intention...

With void in Washington, energy policy shifts to states

As the late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local,” and that pertains to energy as...
Blog, Oil, Prices
Stable outlook for U.S. oil producers at $45 a barrel
Podcast, Policy
Columbia Energy Exchange: Bill Richardson
Corporations, Energy, Podcast
Columbia Energy Exchange: Centrica CEO Iain Conn
Article, Climate, Electricity
Coal comeback unlikely after Paris climate pact withdrawal: utility CEO
Blog, Climate, Sustainable Energy
With void in Washington, energy policy shifts to states

About Bill Loveless

An award-winning energy journalist known for his compelling news interviews in print and on the air. A thought-provoking moderator of high-level public events addressing leading energy and environmental issues. An insider with extensive connections with prominent lawmakers, policymakers and business executives. A perceptive writer providing critical insight on issues.

Blog, Oil, Prices

Stable outlook for U.S. oil producers at $45 a barrel

By Bill Loveless Most U.S. oil companies will be able to produce more oil while reducing operating costs at prices of $45 a barrel or so, Fitch Ratings said July 19. While the price for West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark for crude oil, has fallen from a 2017 high of $54.45 on February 23, producers with solid credit ratings can compensate for the lower price now through further gains in efficiency and lower costs per barrel, Fitch said. WTI closed at $46.02 on July 18. “Most U.S. (exploration and production) companies will continue to see production profile gains and lower costs per barrel of oil equivalent through a combination of reduced drilling days, improved well bore placement, expanded multi-well pad drilling, longer laterals and higher intensity completions, which should help offset market price pressures,” Dino Kritikos, senior director for…

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Podcast, Policy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Bill Richardson

Few people in public service can tote up the career resume of Bill Richardson, especially when it comes to energy policy. So, I thought it just made sense to invite him on the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast to discuss what he thinks of the Trump administration and its approach to energy policy. Richardson’s 40 years of experience include stints as a member of the House of Representatives from New Mexico, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and energy secretary during the Clinton administration, and governor of New Mexico. He’s also been a Democratic candidate for president and the negotiator of difficult talks with North Korea, Cuba, Iraq and Sudan that resulted in the release of hostages and American servicemen. Oh, and need I mention his four nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize and his three books, including one called “How to…

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Corporations, Energy, Podcast

Columbia Energy Exchange: Centrica CEO Iain Conn

Disruption is widespread in energy industries around the world today, and success or failure in dealing with that change often depends on who’s running a company. In this episode of the “Columbia Energy Exchange,” I talk with Iain Conn, the chief executive of  Centrica, a multi-national company based in the United Kingdom, whose roots go back as far as 1812. Conn, who joined Centrica in 2015 after spending 29 years at the oil major BP, is repositioning Centrica from exploration and production and central power generation to what he calls “customer-facing” businesses, a move he says makes sense given fluctuations taking place in energy markets. We talked about that transformation during one of his visits to Washington as well as about world oil markets, Brexit, climate change and Donald Trump.      

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Article, Climate, Electricity

Coal comeback unlikely after Paris climate pact withdrawal: utility CEO

From USA TODAY President Trump once again promised to revive the U.S. coal industry when he announced his intention to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. But that reversal seems as unlikely as ever as electric power producers, the biggest consumers of coal in the U.S., continue to shift to natural gas and renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. In 2016, natural gas became the leading fuel for U.S. electricity generation for the first time, responsible for 33.8% of the output, compared with 30.4% for coal, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Nick Akins, the CEO of American Electric Power, one of the largest utilities in the U.S., says the preference for gas, renewables and energy efficiency, will only grow in response to increasing demands from shareholders and customers for cleaner energy, regardless of changes in…

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Blog, Climate, Sustainable Energy

With void in Washington, energy policy shifts to states

As the late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill said, “All politics is local,” and that pertains to energy as much as any issue. Take the Metro section in the May 17 Washington Post where three stories remind us that battles over climate change are increasingly shifting from Washington to the states and local communities, as the Trump administration puts the kibosh on Obama-era environmental policies. The lead story reports that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has ordered state officials to develop regulations to reduce carbon emissions from power plants and encourage solar and other clean energy sources. McAuliffe wants the plan, which is consistent with the Obama strategy for climate change and energy, implemented by the time he leaves office in January, a tall order given the resistance he will face from the Republican-controlled legislature in Virginia. Nonetheless, his bid…

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Energy, Podcast, Policy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Rep. Fred Upton

Amid the political upheaval in Washington, is there an opportunity to legislate on something relatively routine but still critical to the U.S. like energy policy? The top energy lawmaker in the U.S. House, Fred Upton, says “yes.” Now, the Michigan Republican is an optimist by nature, noting, for example, “I’m a Cubs fan!” And he finds reason for hope when it comes to energy legislation, recalling bills on pipeline safety and other energy measures that he initiated and former President Obama signed. Perhaps the best opportunity for energy action on Capitol Hill is promoting infrastructure, especially steps to further protect electricity transmission and oil and natural gas pipelines from cyber attacks, he tells me in this edition of the “Columbia Energy Exchange” podcast. And Upton, the chairman of the House Energy Subcommittee, isn’t necessarily toeing the line when it comes…

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Natural Gas, Oil, Podcast, Policy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Tommy Beaudreau

President Trump has ordered the Department of the Interior to consider sweeping changes in the government’s plan for offshore oil and natural gas drilling, including opening areas in the Arctic and off the Atlantic Coast where exploration and production was prohibited by President Obama before he left office. What will it take to implement Trump’s plan, and how likely is it to happen? In this episode of the “Columbia Energy Exchange,” host Bill Loveless looks for answers from a man who ran the offshore oil and gas program for Obama, Tommy Beaudreau. Beaudreau is now a partner with the law firm Latham & Watkins in Washington and a non-resident fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. He and Jason Bordoff, the founding director of the center, have just completed a paper on the topic: “What’s Next…

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Podcast, Policy, Sustainable Energy

Columbia Energy Exchange: Bloomberg’s Ethan Zindler

Sustainable energy in the form of natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency, is gaining ground in the U.S. and around the world, as concerns over climate change increase. And sustainable energy isn’t just cleaner, it’s cheaper, as well, as Ethan Zindler, the head of policy analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, tells host Bill Loveless in this episode of the “Columbia Energy Exchange.” Their conversation took place just after BNEF and the Business Council for Sustainability released their 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook.

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Blog, Electricity, Natural Gas, Oil

Oil and gas M&A off to strong start in 2017

Investor interest in U.S. oil and natural gas soared in the first quarter of 2017, as measured in mergers and acquisitions. The professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers reports $73 billion in announced deals for the quarter, representing a striking 160% increase in deal value compared to results in the first quarter of 2016. That’s a record high for oil and gas deals in the first quarter of any year since PwC began tracking such activity in 2002. “Pleased by a pro-energy policy agenda taking shape, reassured by the relative steadiness of the price of oil, and encouraged by advances in shale technology, investors entered 2017 with renewed optimism,” PwC says in a report released April 20. The surge was driven by the upstream segment, with the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico continuing to stand out. In all, PwC cites…

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Climate, Oil, Podcast, Policy, Shale

Columbia Energy Exchange: Chevron CEO John Watson

Host Bill Loveless talks with John Watson, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Chevron Corporation, the second largest integrated oil company in the United States. Bill and John spoke in Washington, D.C. about topics including: the outlook for oil and natural gas markets; climate change and the role of energy companies; the breakdown of public discourse on energy issues; and the Trump Administration, free trade, tax reform and energy policy. Listen.

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