That said, the US oil production grew incredibly this year. It will be a net exporter again. In addition, the US has large refining capacity, so it gets to export oil derived products which were counted towards the net (The actual crude oil exports were still only half its imports).
The detail is somewhat overwhelming, but thenet import number is shown near the bottom.
I paid $1.89 today in beautiful Columbia South Carolina.
But it has 11-13% less energy per gallon, so one burns 11-13% more gallons to travel the same distance.
Or can it be argued either way, e.g. that if the production was spread over more countries the prices would be less dependent on any one country in isolation?
We saw something like this is 2008 where oil rose to $140/barrel and people still paid that price. This can happen again once shale growth levels, and years of underinvestment in expensive oils like deepwater and oil sands bite.
Sorry, but once again Trump doesn't know what he is talking about. He majorly F'd the OPEC countries and allies by telling them he'd sanction Iran and then pulling back on it after they invested in production. You cannot simply turn on and off the taps for oil, and he doesn't understand that. OPEC had no choice but to plan a cut or else the market would have driven more into bankruptcy.
Edit: Also a fun fact - US shale oil primarily produces gasoline, so even if OPEC cuts we still have adequate supply of gasoline. But actually prices for gas aren't down much because of added taxes. The Saudi oil minister actually commented on that this week, that it is unfair that they helped consumers by increasing production (as Trump requested) but when crude prices fall governments fill the gap with taxes.
Is this the result of a lack of market makers who will hold the oil (maybe the cost of storage is too high), so it's shipped to wherever needs it at that exact point?
Shipping: no easy to ship from producing site to say NE coast, so they might buy from Sweden and Saudi Arabia, while producer, say in Texas might have a pipeline to the west coast and export to China.
Price/contracts: some large buyer (say refineries) buy on long term contracts and might still buy at prices negotiated when the US had policies restricting domestic production. Also, not everybody sells at market price, so you could buy foreign for cheaper than what's currently available domestically.
Are you asserting that buying oil from Sweden will somehow reverse Norway's independence?
Or that we should punish Sweden for having had the union with Norway?
Seems a long grudge to carry for a hundred-year-old "amicable and peaceful dissolution" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_between_Sweden_and_Norwa...
Like recommending the US should not have helped England in WW 1 because of the war of 1812.
Norway is a significant oil producer and exporter, worthy of mention together with Saudi Arabia in the context of discussing oil producers (potentially) exporting crude oil to the US; not Sweden. Norway was in a (forced) union of kingdoms with Sweden until 1906, so someone referring to Sweden as an oil producer may only be somewhat right if 1906 had not happened. hth
The U.S. Energy Information Administration says Sweden has produced 8.4 thousand barrels per day since 2010.
Tiny, but non-zero (they remain heavily reliant on oil imports from Russia).
Also, Lundin Petroleum is a Swedish oil extraction company, which extracts oil off the Norwegian coast. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lundin_Petroleum
And Sweden does have onshore oil deposits that have not been opened for extraction - https://sputniknews.com/business/201703071051330296-sweden-o...
Note that dorfsmay didn't say "oil extracted in Sweden", you added that qualifier yourself. He also indicated his example may be weak on details, whereas you were explicitly striving for accuracy.
The only operational, limited extraction of oil in Sweden took place in Gotland, until 1993. The remnants of that activity have now become historical markers. The Swedish government agency of statistics reported in 2016 that there is absolutely no production of crude oil in Sweden ("I Sverige sker ingen produktion av råolja.").  Who should we trust on this, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, or the Swedish government?
Not sure why all of this is so arresting.
I believe Canadian tar sands also rely on these, for similar reasons.
Lease condensate and NGL count toward total production and export numbers but are of limited use in domestic fuel consumption.
The net import report suggests the difference is NGLs.
The oil markets are some of the biggest and most efficient in the world, so there must be a reason for this.
Company A may own oil wells in Alaska and a refinery near Houston. Off the tankers go to Japan and Korea for the Alaskan crude, and in the tankers come from Venezuela to Houston.
Alaska is only 4% of US production these days because North Slope is a more exornsive operating location than lower 48 shale oil.
Of course, most of this differential is eaten up by transport middlemen, so this isn't much of a good thing for the consumer still.
Then it changed and here we are today.
Crude oil producers lobbied for an end to the export ban, and in late 2015 they got their wish when President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016. This $1.15 trillion spending bill contained a provision that stated: “To promote the efficient exploration, production, storage, supply, marketing, pricing, and regulation of energy resources, including fossil fuels, no official of the Federal Government shall impose or enforce any restriction on the export of crude oil.”
So this is what is happening. There is a lot of economic warfare going on in energy markets. The OPEC gig is designed to make sure that extracting oil is profitable, if there was no OPEC then it might as well be pre-Standard Oil days when there was a race to the bottom, with everyone churning out as much as they can and prices going to zero.
Another change is that the U.S. vassal Iraq is back online, with the oil being looted from beneath the sands there to line the pockets of the big corporations that backed that particular war.
Given this supply situation - the U.S. and Iraq now selling on the open market - something has to give. Hence, in this game of musical chairs it is practically necessary to keep other suppliers out of the game. Hence sanctions and other economic measures to keep players such as Venezuela, Iran and Russia in their place.
Now this is bad for the U.S. dollar as sanctions, tariffs and protectionist nonsense mean that countries like India are happy to by oil from Iran. They see the childish USA as a here today, gone tomorrow empire and Iran as a proper civilisation with many millennia of legit history and culture. Same with China and the trade deals they have with Russia. This is all going on differently to before. In the pre-9/11 days the world was happy to buy a freshly printed dollar from Uncle Sam in order to buy oil. Now that bit is being bypassed, not out of choice but what do you do if there are sanctions stopping you from buying that useless greenback?
For many decades the U.S. was able to print as much money as possible with those excess dollars going overseas, to not enter the domestic economy. This meant that there was no inflationary pressure on the dollar. With the Trump trade wars going on various countries are now reducing their dollar holdings and going for a mix of other currencies, e.g. the Euro and the Rouble. So soon the U.S. young people are going to be the bag holders and the whole scam of the U.S. dollar as the world's reserve currency is going to come crashing down.
Hence the current desperation by the U.S. to foist their hydrocarbon products onto lame countries such as Poland and the Ukraine, usually wrapped up with some arms sales deal for good measure. Meanwhile more and more groundwater in the U.S. gets polluted with the miraculous fracking. This fracking business is built on quite sub-prime financing, tantamount to a Ponzi scheme and, once the LNG has been liquified and sent half way around the world it is not as competitive as 'gas from Russia'. World politics also goes from mutual trade and cooperation to protectionism and fascist politics.
At least this is better than the 'Peak Oil' with massive die-off that doom-mongers were predicting 15 or so years ago but it does not make for happy times. Oil is not a 'scarce resource' even if it will run out eventually, the problem - as 'solved' by Standard Oil - is too many people drilling for it, so it has always been an artificial scarcity. Also that small detail of the law being changed to enable U.S. producers to export is not widely known, certainly not on this thread thus far has any comment been made.
I get that there's probably been a fair bit of empty tanker capacity over the past few decades going back the other way, but I wonder what's so special about US oil that merits taking it all the way to the Persian Gulf. Surely our military didn't need that much for its operations in the neighborhood?
West Texas Intermediate is the lightest, sweetest crude on earth. Most refineries are built to handle medium density/sulfur, so everyone else has to buy it to mix with theirs.
https://rentar.com/best-crude-oil-world-crude-oils-better-ot... (end of the article)
Malaysian Tapis is a small deposit used as a benchmark, but isn't traded globally the way WTI is. As far as usable reserves go, WTI is still the best.
There are also regulatory reasons for this one. As I understand it, as a general rule, you cannot legally export raw timbers harvested from federal and state lands in the US.  There are also trade problems when wood products come from federal lands because of potential subsidies. (You want to get a Canadian to talk your ear off, just bring up softwood in the context of US trade.) 
Raw timbers and cants also have pest concerns that kiln-dried lumber doesn't.
Lumber mill jobs require some basic numeracy and literacy or trade training as opposed to just "any strong man" and would be a more sustained task. The two together imply that the locals would reap some benefits during the operation through at very least selling services - even if they leave after they work through the forests it would be less likely to cause a humanitarian crisis and/or insurrection.
Even a sociopathic imperialist leader would be annoyed that they have to keep wasting resources cleaning up after timber barons instead of scheming after things of far more value.
Whereas mines often do process on-site, since for something like gold ore you will be shipping multiple tons per ounce of product, plus then the remainders from the ore become a disposal problem at the processing site.
Same reason silicon foundries aren't necessarily located anywhere near where the raw materials are sourced from.
US military use of oil has also fallen compared with a few years ago because of reduced ground combat tempo in Afghanistan / Iraq.
They are still a massive oil user though, so a long way to go.
In the meantime, eliminating our energy dependence on autocratic nations is a pretty big benefit. EU is so dependent on Russian gas they can't push back against aggression.
If we in America are going to continue to use fuel, it's preferable (assuming this matters to you as an American) that we support the jobs and wealth of those in the United States before Saudi Arabia. At the same time, you're right this could be terrible, but for the reason that more supply could lower oil prices and make electric vehicles, and renewable energy as a whole, a less compelling alternative, thus slowing our transition.
I doubt the oil markets behave this simplistically, however, so who knows what will happen.
Time and time again we see that public interest in oil free ways of doing their lives, from electricity cars to electric furnaces waxes and wanes with the cost of oil. If oil prices drop the progress of electrification will slow down massively.
And, every drop of oil pumped is more carbon. We will burn all that oil. If we hadn’t discovered it (or discovered it much later), it wouldn’t go into our atmosphere and risk our species chance of survival.
Given nobody has objectively defined happiness, no. But energy intensity, "calculated as units of energy per unit of GDP" starts at what you're getting at . On that front, energy intensity has been materially increasing (EDIT: decreasing) for decades .
Yet they're tightly mingled with GDP. Sitting on a hill is not relaxing if your family is starving. Neighbourhoods aren't happy if institutional instability and political violence is afoot. GDP isn't a material measure. It's a measure of production, which is closely tied to the subjective measure of value. (For example, digital goods.)
Production doesn't equal happiness. But it certainly helps make it attainable.
Until we have an objective measure for happiness, I'm not sure we can say this. The best I can say, for myself, is the gains are punctuated. Production (or income) gains produce a big bump in happiness, then nothing for a while, then unlock something novel which again produces another big jump. Projecting that onto a society, I see the potential for massive gains in future civilization-wide happiness in lines of medical and human spaceflight research.
More wealth means people who like relaxing on beaches can relax on beaches. I’ve done a fair amount of that. Once I’ve recharged I start getting restless. (There is a half-welded attempt at a shallow-water submarine at a friend’s in Costa Rica.)
Increasing? You meant decreasing, right?
Energy productivity is increasing, ie: we're producing more with less energy.
Yes. Fixed--thank you. I got mixed up between the Wikipedia article quoting energy intensity and the EIA page using energy efficiency (essentially, the inverse of intensity).
That said, in 2018 we have little excuse for our current track. We couldn't have done solar or nuclear instead of oil 100 years ago, but we can today, and the fact that we're not is shameful.
Not even close, diesel/gasoline stores 35 MJ/l, a good battery (lithium-metal, much better than lithium-ion), 4.32 MJ/l
Now, if only we could extract 90% of that diesel stored energy.
Meanwhile, the average passenger car in 2000 created 11,000 pounds of co2 over the course of a year... I don't think I had seen that number before - no wonder there's a problem.
that said, diesel is mainly used in large trucks and shipping vessels, where I would imagine energy per unit volume would be more important than energy per unit mass. if electricity were much cheaper than diesel fuel, it could certainly become the economic choice for all but the longest routes.
Regenerative braking helps more for stop-and-go driving in cities but it's basically meaningless for long-haul trucking or shipping.
An awful lot of energy consumption is just fine with waste heat, it doesn't need a heat engine. There you get 90% efficiency even with heating oil.
"Grandpa, tell me again about combustion engines."
"Well, they burned gasoline in a series of tiny explosions, and they were set up so that the timing of those explosions would generate motion."
"Haha, that sounds like a Rube Goldberg machine."
"Yes, and the worst part is that fire is hot. So even though gasoline contains a lot of energy, the process of turning it into motion was fantastically inefficient. They turned so much of the energy into useless heat that they needed whole separate systems just to throw it all away so the darn things wouldn't melt."
I was looking at concept drawings from Walt Disney's original conception of EPCOT, back when it was supposed to be a living community and not just a theme park. What struck me is, that sort of environment doesn't just seem to offer a more pleasant and human way of life; it's also probably way more efficient, both economically and environmentally, than typical communities in the USA.
So, yeah, development was fast, but it followed a greedy search and got trapped in a local optimum.
Well, as of the 70s we were doing both. Hell, Jimmy Carter even put solar panels up at the White House. (Reagan took them down.)
"An electric vehicle held the vehicular land speed record until around 1900."
They were not solar panels (for electricity), they were solar water heaters, and they didn't work very well, which is why they were taken down.
I think we've finally reached a point now were the market is offering both individual and larger scale commercial/public energy solutions. It takes time for new infrastructure investment - it's lots of small efforts. Given the reality on the ground in most of the developed world I have to imagine it takes another 50 years to get to majority renewables.
So what's a petroleum producing world power to do? Seems like ensuring a balance of power and energy production for the next 50 years of world development is a responsible thing to do.
Depends on what is understood by the standard of living. The situation where some people have to spend 6 hours a day trapped inside their vehicles just to get to work and back home, hardly can be seen as a high standard of living.
I tend to be quite sceptical about the claims that high energy consumption is imperative for higher standard of living.
> The Kapauku people of Papua think it is bad luck to work two consecutive days. The !Kung Bushmen work just two-and-a-half days per week, rarely more than six hours per day.
But there has been a pretty clear increase in standard of living, even if you consider that some people have long commutes in climate-controlled vehicles with comfortable seats and media devices at their fingertips, on their way to jobs where they earn a PPP-adjusted income that's historically and globally very high.
Think of the global decreases over the past century in starvation, disease, infant mortality, maternal mortality, illiteracy, accidental death, etc.
Things aren't perfect because they'll never be perfect, but that doesn't mean we haven't made progress overall.
There is no denying that fossil fuels have brought an unprecedented level of wealth and prosperity. But what we need to do is face up to the fact that we will lose all of those gains if we arent willing to sacrifice some if them to avoid disaster. Sharing renewable tech with developing countries, ending fossil fuel subsidies, taxing emissions, legislating with a healthy environment as a first priority - they will make many a little bit worse off, but are utterly crucial for any hope of a prosperous future.
You don't need oil to make plastic. You can make plastic out of air. The atoms needed for virtually all plastics are just Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, and sometimes chlorine.
You can get every single one of those out of air, and maybe seawater.
The only reason we usually use oil is because of the energy embodied in it, which is needed to make plastic. If you had an alternative source of energy it's quite easy to make plastic out of lots of other things.
There’s no reason properly built plastic tools shouldn’t last approximately forever.
(Obviously nothing lasts forever but correctly formulated and molded plastics are extremely durable)
You sound like somebody completely out of touch with reality. People like you hurt our cause.
Maybe try emailing them with an apology since you have 15000 karma.
Sorry, that sucks
Now, the delay could be a net good thing if it gives non-polluting sources like solar, wind and nuclear more time to become cost competitive, but at the end of the day fracking has enabled billions and billions of barrels of oil to end up as CO2 in the air where previously it would have been left in the ground.
Puml themselves back into irrelevancy
Makes sense now
How the US oil boom changes the US relationship (dependency) to the Middle East and Saudi Arabia specifically, will be one of the more interesting political dramas of the next ~20 years. It has already realistically killed OPEC, leaving the US-Russia-Saudi group as the new core of the global oil market. Forecasts are for the US to go on up to 15 to 18 million barrels per day of production. The US self-interest may rapidly pivot from propping up foreign producers to benefitting from their collapse as competitors. I'd expect the crowd that believes US foreign policy revolves around oil, to invert their story to be that the US actions are now about eliminating energy competitors (eg Iran or Venezuela). If in the coming years the US actually goes the direction of no longer guaranteeing security for eg The House of Saud, I'd expect China to step in and play that role.
How is that an inversion? If you start from the claim that foreign policy revolves around oil and acknowledge the change from a net importer to a net exporter, that would logically affect foreign policy.
The inversion is that the US would be toppling nations in one form or another, or simply not propping them up, to intentionally cause havoc to reduce oil supply from competitors. It would be to harm the competing oil producers for the benefit of US production.
That seems unnecessarily charitable. I don't think this is a novel idea (in 2018), or one that can be credited to Trump in particular in any way.
Google trends puts the peak since 2004 (for the US) in 2008 — when US gas prices were at a relative height — and basically declining interest since, as gas prices have fallen. But the concept long predates even that (initial interest in the US probably largely driven the 1973 OPEC oil embargo).
Now we can start to disengage from the Middle East and let them sink back into the sand. That would save the US a trillion a year.
Even US generals are proclaiming Afghanistan a stalemate and that it's time to go home. It would require a vast number of soldiers on the ground to decimate the Taliban at this point. There's nothing left that can be accomplished there, short of staying forever and deploying a vast number of soldiers to prop up the central government perpetually. The original mission was accomplished long ago.
The US has only a few thousand soldiers in Iraq, helping with training, support and limited ISIS resistance issues. Mostly Iraq is operating entirely independently as a nation, with near record high oil production (and plans for much more output). Short of a near-term catastrophy, they should be able to stand on their own from here.
People think the current cost problem in the US military has to do with the Middle East. Unfortunately it doesn't. Ending everything we're doing over there will only save about $50 billion. The other unnecessary $200 billion the military industrial complex is spending, they're not giving back, even though they should. They'll pivot any spending reduction from the Middle East to Asia (China containment). They even have the audacity right now to proclaim that they need more money.
Sure. This gradual trend has been a long time coming. I agree it's hugely significant, but I object to the attribution to Trump in the opening paragraph of the piece.
> Now we can start to disengage from the Middle East and let them sink back into the sand.
I agree there are huge benefits to the US in ceasing to fund the Saudis in particular, and to a lesser degree, other members of OPEC. Re "disengage" in particular, I don't think we should totally tear down diplomatic relations and abandon foreign policy goals, though. Maybe that's not what you meant.
> That would save the US a trillion a year.
Where does this figure come from? What are you comparing? Our oil production rate didn't change overnight and it seems unlikely that the difference from yesterday amounts to $2.7 billion per day ($1T annualized).
It's doing that to reduce the costs of importing oil, to reduce its vulnerability to oil supply disruptions, to reduce its terrible problems with air pollution, to counter global climate change, and to take over the world automotive industry.
Who do you think is pursuing the wiser course?
A smaller population and sustainable practices mean we as a species may actually avoid a catastrophe.
Carbon emissions is probably going to be the defining challenge of this century and its looking more and more like climate policies are not palatable to the general population. As with other problems in the past we really need to innovate our way out of the problem with advances in fusion, renewables and new durable battery tech.
All this fear about climate change makes me want to go back to school and study materials science and do whatever I can to advance tech to steer us off this cliff.
Thankfully, renewable energy is expanding rapidly and the government has ambitious targets of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 275 GW by 2027, up from around 75 GW today.
Is 11 years enough time to invent, deploy, and scale any or all of those technologies?
There certainly isn't enough time for you to go back to school, learn what you'd need to learn, and make a meaningful contribution.
What is needed, however, is political will. The solutions can be expensive (in the short term), and solving environmental issues that will harm future generations does not win enough votes amongst a population mostly concerned with their own short-term welfare.
Where I live in NJ there are plenty of examples to point to. Raising our gas tax is widely unpopular, and as a result our roads are full of potholes -- so much so that we pay more repairing our cars than we would pay in higher taxes for road maintenance.
The truth is that the ignorant frackers of Texas should get a Nobel Peace Prize.
The problem is that to do anything about climate change we are going to have to change the way we live our lives. We need to be willing to spend the time and money and effort on a massive reorganization of our civilization to make it less dependent on fossil fuels, which among other things will require us to use less energy to live our lives. The sad part is that most of the work will not require new technologies or significant research efforts; we just need to bite the bullet and deploy the technologies we already have.
That aside, I already live in a place where the majority of people do not own a car (and I did not even get a driver's license until I was 25 years old), and of those that do the majority do not use their car in their daily commute. As a first step we should reorganize other cities and their suburbs to be less automobile-centric and to be more walkable and to have more effective public transit. There are local efforts underway even in very conservative areas of the United States (Salt Lake City comes to mind), but we need a larger effort that is part of a national strategy. The only thing holding us back is fear of change and an attitude of laziness (which is what the "it's too expensive and hard to do" argument represents -- especially given the fact that we already did something at that scale in the 20th century when we reorganized our society to support a car-based commute), and both of those are problems that require competent leadership more than anything else.
Baloney. We'd have to rebuild all our cities. Stop for a minute and think seriously about the cost (even just the energy cost) of doing that.
> especially given the fact that we already did something at that scale in the 20th century when we reorganized our society to support a car-based commute
No. We didn't rebuild the cities to do that, for the most part. We built the new growth in a different way than the existing cities. But fixing the existing setup to be less car dependent would require a whole lot of rebuilding. (You mention Salt Lake City. Trax and Frontrunner are fine, but they haven't emptied I-15. You want to change Salt Lake so that I-15 is empty? You're going to have to do a lot more than extend Trax.)
Not doing it will likely be more expensive. There have been plausible studies that indicate the cost of dealing with the effects of climate change is significantly greater than what it would cost to avoid it.
Tearing down and rebuilding is not the only option. And as another commenter notes, the cost of dealing directly with climate change could be orders of magnitude higher. So let's try to have a more open and honest debate rather than covering our ears and shouting :)
Well that's because all you need to do is shift money and "offset credits" around to solve the problem, not actually cut emissions!