The Independent Petroleum Association of America, however, is “very concerned that the temporary pause turns into a permanent ban,” said Dan Naatz, executive vice president.
Although drillers are operating on existing leases, Naatz said, they’re not able to start the long process of lining up all the pieces needed for new leases, which will create “a kink in the hose” months from now.
“You have to have a long horizon,” he said. “Sometimes from when you acquire a lease until you start exploration, not just production, can take years.”
Naatz said the regulatory uncertainty will drive some drillers away from federal lands and the offshore Gulf of Mexico altogether.
“It’s already difficult to operate on federal lands,” Naatz said. “But as you make those regulatory hurdles so much higher, it really is a concern that it will really slow down production and people will leave.”
That prospect raises concerns for small, independent oil companies, which fear that new rules requiring companies to install methane-leak control technology could be accommodated by large companies but could saddle small companies with costs they cannot afford.
“Our issue is not with the need to manage emissions,” said Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “The biggest impact of regulating existing sources will inevitably fall on low-production wells. That’s where the magnitude of the impact’s going to fall. So the question is, what is it going to look like?”
Mr. Fuller said his group intended to spend the coming months making the case to the Biden administration that the next round of methane rules should offer customized policies that differentiate between the giant oil production farms of companies like Shell and Exxon and the small, two-or-three-well operations of independent wildcatters like his members.
“Our objective will be to try to make sure the regulatory process distinguishes between large and small wells with appropriate regulations for each,” he said.
“IPAA supports cost-effective methane emissions management under the Clean Air Act, but it believes that specific standards are needed for small businesses and low production wells,” says Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. His group says some wells produce just a few barrels a day and could become unviable with stricter regulations.
Op-ed by Jeff Eshelman, IPAA COO
Too often, the conventional wisdom is that we have to decide between a strong energy industry and solutions to address climate change.
That false choice couldn’t be further from the truth, and this Earth Day, let’s acknowledge that an innovative and robust energy sector is critical to finding solutions to our environmental challenges.
And each day, America’s oil and natural gas industry is putting that into practice.
The announcement drew scorn from state and industry officials, including the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA).
“Public lands belong to all Americans, not just the anti-energy extreme activists,” said IPAA COO Jeffrey Eshelman. “These lands provide not only American energy, recreation and grazing, but are also one of the nation’s largest revenue resources.”
The continuation of the leasing freeze fueled existing industry outrage that the Biden administration is throttling drillers and intending a more severe ban on oil and gas activity in the future.
“This action will put jobs on the line,” said Mallori Miller, vice president of government relations for the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
The pause on new sales has angered many in the oil and gas industry and incensed its allies in politics. The news that it will last through June stirred up fears about what the program review will bring.
Miller said the Biden administration was evading a legal obligation and causing regulatory uncertainty for companies with rights to develop resources on public lands.
“It is unfortunate that the federal government has chosen not to uphold its most basic responsibility and provide the certainty that is needed,” she said.
The Center for Biological Diversity and hundreds of other environmental groups petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate methane and ethane emissions for their contribution to ozone, arguing that oil and gas production are worsening a health hazard. The EPA said it will review and respond to the petition. VOCs and nitrogen oxides are considered ozone precursors and regulated in part via state implementation plans aimed at reducing ozone pollution and through permitting.
Jennifer Pett, a spokesperson for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said independent oil and gas producers support “voluntary efforts by industry to reduce methane emissions.” Pett said that VOC regulations imposed on natural gas and oil production facilities “also capture methane emissions.”
On his first day in office, Biden ordered the EPA to write comprehensive standards for curbing methane leaks from existing oil and gas infrastructure by September.
Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), which represents smaller oil and gas producers, said his group recognizes “the importance of environmentally sound, cost-effective regulations” to manage methane but cautioned against overburdening existing well operators. “It’s IPAA’s view that any regulatory actions should recognize the differences between these existing small operations and newly built large facilities,” he said.
Commenting on the confirmation, Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) President and Chief Executive Officer Barry Russell said, “we were pleased that in her confirmation hearings now-Secretary Haaland reiterated the importance of oil and natural gas and the multiple use mandate given to the Department of the Interior by Congress to manage the federal estate”.
“In the coming days and weeks as the department reaches President Biden’s 60-day freeze on leasing and permitting on federal lands, we hope Secretary Haaland and her team consider the perspectives of the independent oil and natural gas producers working and living in the communities where natural gas and oil production are the backbone of the economy, and the role they play in both providing energy for Americans and lowering our country’s environmental footprint,” Russell added.
Oil industry groups said Biden had already eliminated thousands of oil and gas jobs by killing the Keystone XL oil pipeline on his first day in office.
“Do not be fooled, this is a ban” on drilling, said Dan Naatz of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. ”The Biden administration’s plan to obliterate the jobs of American oil and gas explorers and producers has been on clear display.”
Industry groups say a leasing ban will disrupt economic activity and create billion-dollar budget gaps in states like New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming, where federal production has boomed over the last decade. Even a temporary leasing ban might have long-term effects, as operators shift investment budgets or lose the advance time necessary to acquire drilling permits.
“It is not like renting a car. There is a lot of work that goes in ahead of time,” Independent Petroleum Association of America government relations senior vice president Dan Naatz said.
Acting Interior Secretary Scott de la Vega issued a memo dated Wednesday suspending for 60 days any new permits, leases, easements and land management related to mineral production for a “targeted and time-limited” review of “relevant decisions at the Department of the Interior.”
Dan Naatz, Independent Petroleum Association of America senior vice president of government relations and political affairs, called the order “a misguided proposal that will decimate jobs and economic development” in U.S. communities while boosting foreign producers.
Oil industry advocates argue that drilling blockades do nothing to stifle emissions — just shift that crude production elsewhere. “The world is still going to need natural gas and oil under any scenario for a long time,” said Dan Naatz, senior vice president with the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “A leasing ban is just going to ship that production to Saudi Arabia, to Russia, where there are far less stringent environmental controls.”
But Biden may extend the methane regulations to older wells. That worries independent producers, especially those that operate “stripper wells” that produce just a barrel or two of oil a day, that the expense of controlling methane leaks could put them out of business.
“We are very concerned about, especially for our members, our independent producers, that if there’s a heavy Washington-bound approach that handcuffs the industry from finding solutions to this methane question, that would be a mistake,” said Dan Naatz of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Oil industry officials, in contrast, say the incoming administration should carefully weigh the complexities of regulating methane under the Clean Air Act, before rolling out standards they say might eventually require operators to retrofit more than 1mn existing oil and gas facilities with emission controls.
“No one really knows how that would work in an oil and gas production world,” Independent Petroleum Association of America executive vice president Lee Fuller said.
But oil industry officials say they want EPA to incorporate lessons learned over the past four years into any regulations, such as new equipment that can detect methane at lower cost and data on methane from marginal wells. Industry officials say an ongoing two-track litigation process over Trump’s rollback of the methane rules might slow down Biden’s timeline for action.
“I do not know that they can, in fact, step as quickly as they might like to step to pursue those rules,”Fuller said.
Jeff Eshelman, senior vice president of operations and public affairs with the Independent Petroleum Association of America, told the Reporter-Telegram by email, “For the oil and natural gas production industry, optimism around a vaccine is obviously a huge positive.
“A healthy natural gas and oil industry is good for America — bolstering the economy and national security. Increased natural gas production has also benefited our environment — making America a leader in global emission reductions and providing the nation with its cleanest air in 20 years,” he said. “United States’ dominance in oil production has made us the envy of nations — reducing our reliance on foreign and unstable countries, while reducing our trade deficit and helping our world allies.
“Sweeping lockdowns in the spring aimed to stop the spread of COVID-19 contributed to crashing oil prices. The dramatic fall in prices resulted in our member companies seeking a pathway to recovery,” Eshelman said. “The industry lost more than 100,000 jobs between March and August. Our optimism is cautious though, but producers and consumers, alike, should continue to seek policies that always provide access to affordable, reliable American energy.”
Grappling with Biden’s proposal to ban new oil and gas leasing and permitting within federal areas is a chief priority for the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), whose members include many mid-cap gas producers. It’s unclear how quickly and strictly the ban would be applied, but producers are hopeful there’s room for discussion.
For one, a Biden administration would need to contend with legal issues. These include terms of the Mineral Leasing Act that provide a framework for energy development to be part of the multiuse strategy for federal lands, said Lee Fuller, IPAA’s executive vice president.
“It’s a regulatory structure,” he added. “Decisions have to go through the Administrative Procedure Act process, and those decisions get tested in litigation.”
The Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents thousands of small- and medium-sized oil and gas producers, recently launched an ESG Center focused on environmental, social, and governance metrics that investors are increasingly applying when deciding where to put their money.
The value of global assets applying ESG to their decision-making has nearly doubled over the last four years, now up to $40.5 trillion this year, IPAA said in a fact sheet about its new ESG Center, citing data from Opimas.
“If you go back five years, this wasn’t even really something that anyone was talking about,” said Mallori Miller, IPAA’s vice president of government relations. “Now, it’s something that everyone’s talking about.”
The Independent Petroleum Association of America has launched “The ESG Center,” which will advise companies on “how to build an authentic and effective programme” in the ESG agenda sweeping the fund management industry.
The association’s thousands of members include large oil companies and family owners of low-volume wells. Financing for the sector has become scarce as banks pledge to reduce carbon emissions in loan portfolios and fund managers such as BlackRock make climate risk central to the process of picking investments.
The venting and flaring rule “wildly overstepped the authority given to the Department of the Interior,” said IPAA president Barry Russell. “This rule, which aimed to regulate venting and flaring, was an attempt to create yet another regulatory hurdle for American oil and natural gas producers operating on federal lands.
“We are pleased to see Skavdahl’s sensible approach and rightfully see this as a win for producers.”
IPAA’s executive vice president of government relations, Lee Fuller, said the changes will help smaller oil and gas companies that are fighting for survival during the economic downturn and resulting oil glut.
“Those small businesses would be the people who would be served well by changes because it would allow them to keep in operation and not be pressed to shut down because of the regulatory cost,” he said.
But smaller, independent oil companies supported the rule as a measure of relief when many are struggling to stay afloat. Those companies also point out that existing E.P.A. regulations still require them to regulate a separate but related category of gases, volatile organic compounds, and that those curbs have the side benefit of averting some methane emissions.
“This doesn’t shift the regulatory burden – we’re still going to have the same requirements” for any new wells that are drilled in the future, said Lee Fuller, a vice president at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents smaller oil and gas companies.
But lifting the methane rule does avert a far more stringent future obligation on small oil and gas companies: If the rule had stayed in place, it eventually could have required companies to repair and retrofit thousands of older existing wells – a far costlier undertaking.
It is that requirement that terrifies small oil and gas drillers, said Mr. Fuller. “To compel it to apply to existing wells is too expensive. It would drive them out of business.”
The oil industry is fragmented over the plan. Small operators argue the extra costs of methane leak detection can eat into already tight cash flows and force some wells to be shut down. “These small business wells are a very different economic entity than the big wells they designed the original program for,” said Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
The program has been hounded for months by a slow rollout. And crucially, private banks need to participate to make the program work.
But so far, few banks seem willing to do so. “The fact that the banks weren’t that interested in it quelled some of the interest from oil and gas companies,” said Lee Fuller, vice president of government relations at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents small and midsize oil and gas companies.
The Environmental Protection Agency is poised to eliminate direct regulation of methane from oil and gas operations formally Thursday, teeing up a clash with big oil majors who had pressed the administration to keep the regulations intact. Smaller operators, however, have said they can’t absorb the costs of methane regulations. The oil and gas sector is a “food chain industry,” and the regulatory burden would fall on the smallest producers, which tend to operate the lowest production wells,” said Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Fuller also said operations in most large oil and gas producing states, including the entire state of Pennsylvania, for example, would still be covered under VOC-only regulations, even if rules don’t directly curb methane.
The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform has released a new series of videos and interviews with Louisianans about how the state’s extensive lawsuit environment has impacted their lives. “Faces of Lawsuit Abuse,” a multi-part video series called “Louisiana: The Lawsuit Paradise,” provides an in-depth look at “how lawsuits threaten to ruin the state of Louisiana’s economy.” “Plaintiffs’ attorneys, with the help of some powerful allies in government, have waged a seven-year litigation campaign against the Louisiana oil and natural gas industry,” says Energy In Depth (EID), a research program of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. So far, these attorneys have filed 43 lawsuits on behalf of local governments blaming the industry for coastal erosion.
The Obama-era regulation had also been challenged in federal court, but that Dan Brouillette, who grew up in Louisiana, is no stranger to the oil and gas industry. The Secretary of Energy, who took the helm of the federal agency in December after serving as the deputy secretary of energy for two years, said he remembers a time when deepwater drilling meant reaching a depth of 200 to 300 feet under water. Today, offshore companies can hit a depth of 5,000 feet and drill horizontally for a couple of miles. Brouillette last month met with several independent energy company CEOs to hear how the industry was weathering the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and a glut of cheap crude. The meeting, which took place in downtown Houston, was organized by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
The Obama-era regulation had also been challenged in federal court, but that challenge got put on hold pending the California federal court’s decision. Now, several western states — North Dakota, Texas, Wyoming and Montana — have filed a motion to resume the industry’s challenge to the Obama-era rule in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming.
In the July 20 motion, the states wrote that counsel for the Western Energy Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of America supported the motion, while counsel for the federal government did not offer a response to their inquiry.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America said it has been working with legislators to ensure the industry was not excluded from participating in lending programs such as PPP.
“Countless other small businesses like contractors, hotels, and restaurants rely on a functioning energy industry,” said Jennifer Pett, spokeswoman for IPAA. “Radical proposals to exclude oil and natural gas from COVID-19 relief are surefire ways to ensure we won’t have the energy and materials needed to combat this pandemic.”
Pett said many oil and natural gas companies are also producing the personal protective equipment that frontline workers are relying on to keep them safe. It’s why energy workers have been declared “essential” by both Democratic and Republican governors around the country.
Impairments by drilling and oilfield service companies exceeded the peak seen during the last downturn in 2014-2016, Listen said, with most service companies pressured by declining drilling plans and pressure by clients to cut prices.
What are known as goodwill impairments, especially in the upstream and downstream sectors, are largely because of acquisitions made in recent years, he said.
A quick survey of those participating in the online discussion – presented in partnership with the Independent Petroleum Association of America – indicated that most believe industry impairments peaked in the first quarter of the year.
On June 9, 2020, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) to revise the Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations (“Regulations”) to reduce regulatory burdens associated with construction, operation, and maintenance of the gas pipeline systems. …
In response to the NOPR, the West Virginia Independent Oil & Gas Association, the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and many oil and gas producers have filed comments discussing the positive and negative attributes of the NOPR.
Energy and other industry groups applauded the changes.
“The new rule updates … regulations by reducing unnecessary paperwork, setting timelines for environmental reviews and reduces frivolous litigation efforts designed to simply stall or delay vital infrastructure projects,” said Independent Petroleum Association of America President Barry Russell.
The overhaul aims to simplify reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) so that federal permitting of pipelines and other projects could be done within two years. …
Oil groups cheered the overhaul. The changes are “desperately needed,” American Petroleum Institute president Mike Sommers said, and would “make sure that job-creating infrastructure projects get off the drawing board and into development.” Independent Petroleum Association of American president Barry Russell said the revisions would provide “needed certainty” to businesses.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America, a trade group, has launched a media campaign against divestment, arguing that it would cost U.S. pensions as much as $431 million in losses annually.
Energy companies have launched a slate of voluntary initiatives in response to demands that they take more seriously the threat of climate change. Some companies and lobby groups like API and the Independent Petroleum Association of America have insisted these voluntary efforts are enough to rein in methane when coupled with scaled-back regulations like EPA’s coming rule for volatile organic compounds.
Oil and gas should be regulated the same as nearly 60 other industrial categories that are allowed to discharge wastewater this way, they say.
“We see no science-based rationale for why the upstream onshore oil and gas industry should be regulated any differently,” the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and other industry groups said 27 June in comments on an EPA draft study issued earlier this year.
Industry groups say the latest batch of climate cases is part of a coordinated campaign to target oil and gas interests.
Organizations like the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Energy Policy Advocates have long decried climate liability lawsuits as politically motivated. They say states bring lawsuits to influence climate policy in the courts, even though that work should be done in other branches of government.
“We’re mainly trying to say: The train is moving out of the station. Let’s make sure that there isn’t a car at the back of the train that no one is paying attention to that could derail it,” Lee Fuller, executive vice president at the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), the trade organization spearheading the lobbying effort, said in an interview.
North American operators have cut capex by 42% to $58.6 billion, the rig count has plummeted to less than 300, wells have been shut-in and production has slowed as OPEC+ and others removed millions of barrels of oil from the market amid the continuing global pandemic.
WTI fell from more than $61/bbl in January to -$37.63 in late April, rising to about $40/bbl in June.
“While this felt like a lot of chaos, it actually was the market functioning very well,” Bernadette Johnson, vice president of market intelligence for Enverus, said during a June 24 webinar hosted by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Divestment is an extremely costly and complicated process, imposing new costs for funds while losing out on the opportunity to invest in the energy companies driving our world forward. There is a reason New York has ignored and rejected divestment time and again: While costing the state immensely in transaction and management fees and taking wide swaths of companies off the table for investment, the move does nothing to help the environment or address climate change. Let’s leave financial decisions to the experts, not political activists.
Frederick Lawrence, an economist with the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said he is also bearish about supply factors. Last week saw an unexpected buildup of crude stocks, a continued signal of a glut in the market.
OPEC+ extended its production cuts through July, but Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Coast countries are not continuing additional voluntary reductions beyond this month. More U.S. wells are coming back online after prices rose from the depths of their fall.
“Producers have quite a tightrope to walk given all the uncertainties and variables in play,” Lawrence told Josh. “The system is fragile and oil will continue to be volatile.”
Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), expressed cautious optimism at the Fed’s announcement, noting that private banks still need to sign off on any of the Fed-backed loans.
“We’re gathering that access may depend on the lender and vary bank to bank,” he said. “While these recent changes appear to make the scope of the program broader, the ultimate key will be the participation of lenders.”
ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance on Wednesday expressed surprise at the quick rebound in U.S. oil prices that slipped into the negative territory in April and said he expects prices to remain volatile in the near term.
“We were surprised it came back this strong this quickly,” Lance said on a webinar hosted by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Supply and demand are likely to be difficult to balance, resulting in temporary overhangs on both sides as oil and gas producers, refiners and consumers begin to lift fuel production and usage, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said during an Independent Petroleum Association of America webcast.
“The question now is how fast does it (production) come back, and does demand pick up quickly enough that we don’t see continued builds in storage,” Lance said in a one-on-one discussion of current energy landscape perspectives with webcast moderator Jordan Horoschak, the managing director of CIBC Capital Markets.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and Petroleum Equipment and Services (PESA) are not letting unprecedented market conditions and pandemic-related physical office restrictions prevent them from offering their annual professional development and job shadowing program for Texas high school and college students.
An executive with the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), an upstream trade association, told Rigzone the issue of orphan wells has been a longstanding concern of the organization and its member companies.
“IPAA believes that it would be useful to have a sound orphan well program to help the drilling industry maintain employment through these tough times,” said IPAA Executive Vice President Lee Fuller. “It should be a program operated by the states because they have the skills to be able to run it. And, it should be endorsed by the IOGCC which is comprised of the oil-producing states.”
Fuller added that IPAA encourages congressional leaders to continue exploring the idea of a federally funded orphan well program and a workable solution to address the matter.
Tough times for the oil and gas industry, combined with a rollback of environmental regulations, could hinder U.S. efforts to reduce methane emissions and fight climate change, experts warn. But companies opposed to such a rule and lobbying groups like the American Petroleum Institute and the Independent Petroleum Association of America have long held that the Obama rules were duplicative and unnecessary, as producers already have a business incentive to avoid waste. “What company wouldn’t want to preserve their product?” said Nicole Jacobs of Energy in Depth, a project of IPAA, which supports the rollback. “First and foremost, natural gas is a commodity, and if it’s leaking, that’s money going out the door.”
The Trump administration’s plans to offer aid to oil companies at risk of collapsing appear to be waning now that free-fall in crude prices has stopped, according to industry officials. It’s not clear how such a lending program would work for insolvent companies — such firms are barred from the existing Fed programs. While the industry is hopeful, it’s not yet clear whether tweaks to the Fed’s Main Street lending program will provide much help to mid-size oil and gas companies, said Lee Fuller, vice president of government relations with the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Gauging those results will be key for determining whether more aid is needed, he said, but there’s no data since the program hasn’t yet begun.
A recent study by the Environmental Defense Fund found that 3.7% of natural gas produced in the Permian Basin leaked into the atmosphere. Energy In Depth, a project of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, has questioned EDF’s use of “technology warming potential” (TWP), the environmental group’s metric for measuring the climate impact of one technology versus another. Nicole Jacobs, a spokeswoman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, pointed to other peer-reviewed studies that found leakage rates of between 5-9% were needed to negate gas’s advantage over coal. “EDF’s use of TWP is an outlier in the scientific community to the extent that I don’t think it’s even an available option in [life cycle assessment] calculating software,” Jacobs said in an email.
Mike Sommers, who represents API, with more than 600 members, said broader emergency loan programs Congress has already created to help a range of troubled companies are sufficient for oil producers, too. Lee Fuller of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents smaller and more U.S.-based producers, said his group would support a specific program if that’s what it would take. “We have a lot more companies in our membership that have been facing these struggles than perhaps API does,” Fuller said. “We’re trying to make sure they’re getting a fair shot.”
The magnitude of how damaged the energy industry is came into full view on April 20 when the benchmark price of U.S. oil futures, which had never dropped below $10 a barrel in its nearly 40-year history, plunged to a previously unthinkable minus $38 a barrel. “What happened in the futures contract the other day indicated things are starting to get bad earlier than expected,” said Frederick Lawrence, vice president of economics and international affairs at the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “People are getting notices from pipeline companies that say they can’t take their crude anymore. That means you’re shutting down the well yesterday.”
The Independent Petroleum Association of America wants the Fed to permit oil companies to use loans under the Main Street program to pay off existing debt coming due amid the crisis. In a letter to Powell, IPAA president Barry Russell said that change would provide a “bridge to recovery for businesses that would have otherwise been able to meet their debt obligations, were it not for the virus.” Administration officials have indicated they are receptive to changes. “We are working very closely together to ensure all the folks in the producing community have access to those types of loans, that type of liquidity,” Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said during a Tuesday interview on Bloomberg Television.
A newly released University of Houston (UH)-led survey of energy workers concludes that more than half – 53 percent – of respondents are worried about their job security given the dual threat of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sharp drop in oil prices. Some additional results from the study, which UH conducted with the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association (PESA), Pink Petro and the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), include: 83 percent agree that their company had provided “fast and efficient” technology for working remotely during the pandemic, 71 percent credit their supervisor for working effectively with employees to overcome work-family challenges arising from COViD-19, 47 percent expressed optimism about the long-term health of the energy industry.
The fossil fuel industry scored a win Friday after a federal judge upheld the Trump administration’s rescission of an Obama-era rule governing oil and gas extraction on public lands. U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California Judge Haywood Gilliam said states and environmental groups had not shown that the repeal of the 2015 hydraulic fracturing rule had or would result in harm, since the rule had not yet gone into effect. “The Court agrees with Federal Defendants that allegations of past injuries are not sufficient to show actual or imminent injury,” Gilliam wrote. “Although Citizen Group Plaintiffs argue that the removal of these protections increases the risk of harm to members’ drinking supply, this only points to a hypothetical, future injury.” The Obama-appointed judge noted his narrow mandate in reviewing the decision to repeal the Obama-era rule. He said his role was not to determine whether he would have found the administration’s argument compelling if “reviewing from scratch.” “The Court’s task is not to decide whether the changes the Federal Defendants seek to make will result in better or worse environmental policy,” he said. “Those policy questions are the province of Congress and the administrative agencies, and policy changes inevitably result when new decisionmakers take office. “In other words, ‘[e]lections have policy consequences.'” The Independent Petroleum Association of America praised the court’s decision. “IPAA launched the initial challenge to the Obama-Era rule with the belief that the law would be on our side and the initial rule would be overturned,” IPAA President and CEO Barry Russell said in a statement. “Today, we are pleased to come full circle as the Trump rescission rule is upheld and independent producers will not be forced to comply with costly and duplicative rules while operating on federal lands,” Russell said.
Oil and gas industry groups are warning a federal judge that reviving Obama-era standards for methane emissions on public lands would cause “regulatory chaos.” The Western Energy Alliance and Independent Petroleum Association of America made the argument Wednesday in a brief to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is weighing whether to strike down the 2018 regulation from the Trump administration that largely eliminated Obama-era requirements from the Bureau of Land Management.
Dozens of U.S. universities have yanked fossil fuel investments from their endowments amid mounting student and faculty pressure to act on climate change. But fund managers at America’s elite Ivy League schools have avoided ditching shares in carbon-intensive coal, oil and natural gas companies. The fossil fuel industry has pushed back against divestment efforts. The Independent Petroleum Association of America runs a platform called Divestment Facts that contradicts divestment activist claims and highlights anti-divestment voices on campus. “When schools decide to divest, the financial hit their endowments take is both significant and ongoing — having a very real impact on these institutions’ ability to support critical student, faculty and academic programs,” the website says. Nearly all the blog posts are focused on Ivy League campus divestment campaigns, and among these, Harvard takes center stage.
Environmentalists believe the Democratic Party has finally turned a corner, willing to take drastic action on climate change. Oil and gas lobbyists, however, view the bans as typical campaign pledges in a competitive Democratic primary, likely to be softened or disappear altogether ahead of November’s general election.
Not that they’re willing to count on that and are preparing to make their case to the eventual Democratic nominee that the economic disruption caused by scaling back drilling would far outweigh the environmental benefits
“We need to have a conversation about the impacts on everyday Americans’ lives,” said Naatz of the Independent Petroleum Association of America said. “We need to make sure policy makers really understand what you’re really talking about when you talk about a ban on hydraulic fracturing.”
Upcoming regulatory changes from the Trump administration far outweigh the relatively modest legislative initiatives that might affect the oil and gas industry in 2020, trade association executives tell Oil & Gas Journal.
The Trump Administration recently announced efforts to make critically needed revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). These common-sense revisions are long overdue and vitally important. NEPA was signed into law by President Nixon in 1970. Modernizing NEPA will benefit the economy, the environment and untangle delays that have been hindering needed investment in energy projects around the nation. The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the thousands of oil and natural gas explorers we represent commend the Trump Administration for taking this much-needed action…
Federal environmental reviews for pipelines, oil and gas drilling and a long list of other federally-regulated projects would be scaled back under a sweeping proposal released by the Trump administration Thursday, including the end of a requirement that federal regulators consider the implications for climate change. The proposed change to the National Environmental Policy Act, would require federal agencies, with few exceptions, to complete their environmental review within two years, dramatically speeding up a review process that can currently drag out up to a decade, experts said.
“We are certainly optimistic that the presumptive time limits can be met,” said Mallori Miller, vice president of government relations at the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), which represents independent producers that develop 91% of U.S. gas and oil wells, hailed the potential overhaul.
“IPAA is pleased that the administration continues to tackle substantial projects, such as their effort to return the NEPA process to the original intent and scope of the law,” Senior Vice President Dan Naatz said. He oversees government relations and political affairs.
“Although IPAA and our members recognize the important role NEPA plays in public land policy, for many years we have seen the law being abused by environmentalists with extreme agendas to delay and halt various multiple-use activities on federal lands, including oil and gas production,” Naatz said.
Calls for divestment are forcing colleges and universities to navigate a difficult space between students’ concerns and administrators’ fiduciary duty to prudently manage endowments. It’s a difficult spot because no firm consensus exists about whether fossil fuel divestment hurts endowment returns in higher education.
One 2015 paper commissioned and funded by the Independent Petroleum Association of America estimated fossil fuel divestment could cost Harvard more than $100 million per year. A new working paper being presented at the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting seeks to fill in some of the gaps. The main takeaway is that college leaders worried that divesting from fossil fuels will hurt their endowment returns might want to hold off on reaching a final verdict.
More than 30 groups representing a wide swath of U.S. industry, including the American Gas Association, American Petroleum Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have called on the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to issue updates on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
“We fully support the fundamental goals of NEPA to appropriately consider the potential environmental impacts of certain federal actions,” the groups said in a letter to CEQ Friday. “However, CEQ regulations guiding NEPA processes have not been comprehensively updated in nearly four decades. During this time, securing approval for projects and land management decisions has become hampered by unreasonable costs and long project delays. It is time to modernize NEPA processes.”
For every barrel of oil produced from the average Permian Basin well, about three barrels of water get pumped out with it. The water-to-oil ratio is lowest in the established Midland Basin, but more exaggerated in the Delaware and other Texas basins. Most of the water gets injected back underground into disposal wells, although more and more is getting treated and moved to other drilling sites to frack new wells.
Permian oil producers want to get a better handle on produced water before it becomes a crisis, said Karr Ingham, a petroleum economist and executive vice president of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.
The group recently published a study with the Independent Petroleum Association of America containing a series of recommendations for improving the outlook for produced water management.
The EPA has proposed updates to the prior administration’s national standards for the oil and natural gas industry. The proposal would remove regulatory duplication and save the industry millions of dollars in compliance costs each year, while maintaining health and environmental regulations on oil and gas sources that the agency considers appropriate.
In response to EPA’s draft revisions to the NSPS for the oil and gas sector, Independent Petroleum Association of America Executive Vice President Lee Fuller said, “IPAA endorses the change because it would be far more cost-effective with regard to the breadth of emissions sources. IPAA has consistently believed and recommended that a VOC-based program is an appropriate pathway for regulating natural gas and oil production emissions. American producers are committed to managing their greenhouse gas emissions and continue to invest in the development of new technologies to mitigate and reduce emissions. These actions have and will continue to reduce methane emissions from natural gas and oil production operations.”
Democrats are still months from naming a candidate in next year’s US presidential campaign, but oil producers are already preparing for a policy change which could disrupt nearly one-quarter of daily crude oil output and throw thousands of federal leases into legal limbo.
“It’s a significant hit,” said Dan Naatz, a senior vice president with the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “We think it’s a mistake on several different levels.” All 17 Democratic presidential candidates have pushed some policy aimed at slowing US oil output, which the US Energy Information Administration forecasts will average a record of nearly 13.4 million b/d by the end of 2020, up more than 40% in just four years.
A proposed fracking ban put forward by leading Democratic presidential candidates would have a devastating impact on U.S. jobs, energy independence, and even national security, according to several studies. Reports from the American Petroleum Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce painted a stark picture of the economic fallout from ending fracking, a process which has transformed the United States into the top oil and natural gas producer in the world.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) are among eight remaining 2020 candidates who have called for an all-out ban on fracking, despite the fact that the drilling method has put the United States on a path to energy independence. The practice has also led to cleaner energy alternatives and lower carbon emissions, a key goal of climate change activists.
Climate change and college affordability are said to be the top political issues for young Americans. But what happens when they have to choose between the two? The University of California apparently wants to find out.
The system said last week that its $13.4 billion endowment will sell all fossil-fuel assets by the end of September, and its $70 billion pension fund will soon do the same. Divestment is costly, said Arizona State University finance professor Hendrik Bessembinder in a 2016 report commissioned by the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Selling off illiquid long-term assets is expensive, and university endowments would have to scrap investments in mutual funds or commingled funds that have fossil-fuel holdings.
Democratic White House hopefuls are rolling out aggressive climate change plans that show a sharp break from former President Barack Obama by seeking to prohibit new fossil fuel production on federal lands. Federal land is one of few areas where an administration can shift energy development in a major way without relying on action from Congress. Fossil fuels from lands under the federal government’s control accounted for about one-quarter of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions between 2005 and 2014, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It’s also a cash cow: revenues from federal oil and gas output topped $8 billion in 2018, according to the Office of Natural Resources Revenue.
Flexing agency discretion in those ways can make it “very difficult” to operate on federal land, said Dan Naatz, senior vice president of government relations and political affairs with the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “It certainly has us concerned,” he said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us.”
Analysts said Thursday that the direct impact on US oil and gas production from the rollback was unclear, but an estimated 770,000 low-production wells were at risk of shutdown due to the relatively high costs of methane emissions requirements, according Lee Fuller, an executive vice president with the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
“The impact is more related to the premature loss of existing production,” Fuller said Thursday.
Marginal wells, also known as stripper wells, are characterized as producing no more than 15 boe/d over a 12-month period. These wells are often located outside the nation’s more prolific shale plays and account for roughly 10% of US oil production and 11% of US gas production, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s latest data.
There are 770,000 small wells with low production rates, and together they produce about 10% of oil and 11% of natural gas in the U.S., said Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America. These producers wouldn’t be able to afford the technology required by Obama rules, Fuller said.
“We don’t believe you should be shutting down those small wells when there’s not an emissions pool there that’s that large,” he said.
Smaller operators, however, had lobbied the administration to lift the requirements. Lee Fuller, a vice president at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said in an interview that the Obama rule had “made it really onerous on small businesses.”
The Independent Petroleum Association of America endorsed the Trump administration’s decision, noting that companies would still be subject to regulation of traditional pollution sources from oil-and-gas facilities.
For smaller companies, particularly those operating older, low-producing wells, the cost of the regulations would be significant, IPAA Executive Vice President Lee Fuller said. An average, low-producing natural gas well in Pennsylvania might earn only $9 a day, after expenses, he said. The IPAA estimates the regulatory cost for such a well could be as much as $10 a day.
That could be a boon for small producers with wells that produce 15 or fewer barrels of oil per day and that account for 770,000 of 1 million existing sources, according to the Independent Petroleum Association of America. IPAA maintains the regulation poses a heavy financial burden to these producers (Greenwire, Aug. 12).
In a statement, IPAA praised the EPA proposals, saying a combination of state-level rules and existing guidelines for oil and gas in ozone nonattainment areas provide better alternatives for regulating older, smaller wells.
The proposals are in addition to a September 2018 technical action that proposed targeted improvements to help streamline implementation, reduce duplication of EPA and state requirements, and decrease unnecessary burdens on energy producers, EPA said.
Several industry groups were supportive of the EPA proposals.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) endorsed the changes “because it would be far more cost effective with regard to the breadth of emissions sources,” according to Lee Fuller, executive vice president. “IPAA has consistently believed and recommended that a VOC-based program is the appropriate pathway for regulating natural gas and oil production emissions.”
The measure, which could be finalized next year, responds to concerns by some independent oil producers that without action, the EPA could be forced to impose similar requirements on a million existing oil and gas wells. But it comes against the wishes of several global oil companies, which have implored the Trump administration to maintain methane mandates and continue regulating the potent greenhouse gas.
Supporters of the measure say the Obama administration went too far in deciding to specifically regulate methane, rather than focusing on paring conventional pollution from oil and gas infrastructure. The Independent Petroleum Association of America also argues the expense and challenge of plugging leaks on some decades-old, low-producing wells could force some companies to shut in production at the sites.
But for smaller oil companies, many of which count fewer than a dozen employees, the requirement that they inspect individual wells with infrared cameras is too onerous, said Lee Fuller, vice president of government affairs at the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Most affected are so-called stripper wells, which produce less than 10 barrels of crude a day and make up about 80 percent of U.S. wells, he added.
“[Obama’s rule] threatens to shut down all those wells,” Fuller said, “ and that’s clearly been the goal of the environmental community through this process.”
State environmental reviews are generally much less costly, said Dan Naatz, senior vice president of government relations and political affairs at the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Moreover, federal lands tend to be more remote and harder to access than state lands, raising the costs of production still further, Naatz said.
A higher federal rate would mean fewer jobs and less government revenue, he said.
“Either our members would stop producing or reduce production and look to go to state and private lands,” Naatz said. “In many states, like Wyoming, which is 50% federally owned, it’s really hard to operate in just a pure private or state play. If you keep adding additional hurdles, and companies don’t produce on those lands, eventually they’ll become non-productive.”
“Not to say we won’t get to the right spot, but trade is front and center and continues to raise issues for the industry on the macro level,” said Dan Naatz, senior vice president of government relations at the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “Part of it is it’s still early. Once you see who the Democratic candidate is, you’ll see some more enthusiasm.”
The CEO of Earthstone Energy Inc. was up-front about his intentions at the Leaders in Industry Luncheon held at the Petroleum Club of Houston on Aug. 14: Earthstone is actively looking for deals ranging from acquisitions and trades to business combinations.
“I’m going to blatantly conduct a commercial here and tell you that we’re looking for deals and are open for business,” Lodzinski told attendees of the luncheon hosted monthly by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America, which has urged EPA to roll back its methane standards, argues that the Clean Air Act’s requirements for New Source Performance Standards were intended to provide a “floor” for pollution levels. The states each have their own legal framework, but it’s better than having a one-size-fits-all requirement from the federal government, said Lee Fuller, the group’s executive vice president.
“It changes the scope, from our industry, from a rule that’s dealing with 15,000 to 40,000 new sources a year to the million existing wells that are out there,” some 770,000 of which are low-producing sites, said Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Imposing rigid requirements to frequently detect and repair leaks at those low-production wells, would be “a huge cost burden,” potentially eclipsing gross income from the sites, Fuller said. “It would shut in production at a lot of these wells.”
EPA is expected to come out with a draft rule in the coming weeks to replace the Obama 2016 New Source Performance Standards for oil and gas drilling.
Lee Fuller, vice president of government relations at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, sees a clear chance to address regulatory requirements put in motion by the Obama rule, which he warned would have led to high regulatory costs for hundreds of thousands of low-production wells scattered across the country.
Lee Fuller, executive vice president for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, told E&E News that he, too, thought EPA could issue separate rules for different segments of the supply chain. But he left open the possibility that the agency might regulate some of those for methane.
For example, EPA could chose to regulate exploration and production and gas processing for VOCs only, he said. Transmission and storage could be regulated separately — perhaps for methane and VOCs.
He said the more targeted rule might be more effective.
The comments offer additional criticism of half a dozen studies or reports that environmentalists cited in their own comments in defense of the need for strong methane limits.
“Each of these items present highly inaccurate and questionable assessments and present them with strident evangelical certainty that vastly overstates their accuracy and value,” IPAA states.
Similarly, the Independent Petroleum Association of America asserted last year that the fluids are essential for production and make up as much as 10% of the overall cost of a well.
“No alternative or substitute for barite exists in the drilling process,” wrote Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the trade group.
The industry would have no choice but to continue to import barite with or without tariffs, spiking the cost of American energy production, he added.
Jeff Eshelman, a spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America which represents smaller oil and gas producers, said the backers of the climate emergency resolution should not be “demonizing” the industry.
“Thanks to increased natural gas production and use, the United States has a reliable, affordable energy supply which has resulted in record-high emission reductions and some of the world’s cleanest air,” he said. “Most nations envy the benefits of these American resources; it’s a shame this group of Democrats does not.”
Mallori Miller, senior director of government relations for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said in an email that the comment period is a vital step for the BLM to solicit feedback from local officials and other interested parties.
“It is up to the BLM to determine next steps in the process and which parcels they find consistent with characteristics for development, not industry nor environmental groups,” Miller said.
The Natural Gas Council—which has the American Petroleum Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America, American Gas Association, Natural Gas Supply Association, INGAA, and AOPL as members—said in a statement that the recommendations were timely in helping the US gas industry, and the federal, state, and local government entities which regulate it, continue to keep operations safe, timely, and reliable.
The report, conducted by IHS Markit and commissioned by the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), concludes that in Oklahoma alone, producers saw oil production grow by over 17 percent to almost 500,000 barrels per day (bbls/d) from 2016 to 2018, with production expected to reach 650,000 bbls/d by 2025.
An Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) commissioned study maintains independent oil and natural gas producers are dominating domestic energy markets.
The analysis, conducted by the business analytics group IHS Markit, showed independent producers accounted for 83 percent of the nation’s oil production and 90 percent of its natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) production.
Independent oil and gas companies dominate U.S. energy markets, contributing 83 percent of the country’s oil output and 90 percent of domestic natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) production.
Those are two findings in a new Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA)-funded study performed by IHS Markit. The report, “The Economic Contribution of Independent Operators in the United States,” also concludes that independents drill 91 percent of the country’s oil and gas wells.
An official with the Independent Petroleum Association of America recently addressed the challenges stemming from the current environment in the nation’s capital.
Dan Naatz, IPAA senior vice president, government relations and political affairs, listed congressional inertia, leadership in flux and White House instability, even the question of whether political parties still matter, as contributing to uncertainty.
“The whole dynamic has changed,” he told the audience at the Permian Basin Environmental Regulatory Seminar, which was Thursday at the Advanced Technology Center.
Most of the tweaks will align federal regulations with the American Petroleum Institute’s blowout prevention standards.
“The changes in the new rule allow for producers to be nimbler, with more adaptive guidelines based on the most up-to-date insights and innovative technology,” said Independent Petroleum Association of America President Barry Russell.
Independent Petroleum Association of America Pres. Barry Russell said, “The BSEE revisions to the Obama-era well control rule are common sense and will go far to increase the safety of all those who work in the offshore. The changes in the new rule allow for producers to be nimbler, with more adaptive guidelines based on the most up-to-date insights and innovative technology in the offshore exploration and development field.”
In the final rule, the Interior Department noted that the changes were expected to save the oil industry about $824 million over 10 years.
“The changes in the new rule allow for producers to be nimbler, with more adaptive guidelines based on the most up-to-date insights and innovative technology,” said Barry Russell, chief executive of the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed Wednesday downlisting the American burying beetle under the Endangered Species Act — a decision the oil and gas industry cheered. Since listing the species as endangered in 1989, the FWS has “made some positive steps forward,” said Southwest Regional Director Amy Lueders.
“This status change is welcome news to those that have been in limbo awaiting a decision on the listing from USFWS,” said Dan Naatz, Independent Petroleum Association of America senior vice president of government relations and political affairs.
In 2015, groups including the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Texas Public Policy Foundation petitioned FWS to delist the beetle (Greenwire, Sept. 4, 2018).
Doug Domenech, the former director of the Fueling Freedom Project at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, is now the Trump administration’s assistant secretary of Interior for insular affairs. Susan Combs, now awaiting confirmation as another assistant Interior secretary, was a visiting senior fellow at the Texas foundation.
“Many land development, agriculture, transportation, and pipeline or utility operations are delayed or restricted due to the presence of the beetle,” the 2015 petition stated, adding that it “caused issues with the development of the Keystone XL Pipeline” (Greenwire, Sept. 1, 2017).
The American Stewards of Liberty, Independent Petroleum Association of America and Osage Producers Association subsequently sued FWS in 2016 to compel action.
The proposal was cheered by oil industry interests that have pushed the government to strip the beetle’s Endangered Species Act protections. Dan Naatz, senior vice president at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, called the move “welcome news to those that have been in limbo” waiting for a decision.
“Since 1989, the beetle’s listing has been met with criticism for failing to provide the science-based evidence that ESA listings warrant,” Naatz said. “The beetle’s listing was rooted in faulty assumptions about the species’ range, distribution and abundance.”
That hasn’t stopped industry trade groups in Washington from supporting the plan in hopes of increasing their options.
Dan Naatz, senior vice president of government relations and political affairs at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said a court decision shouldn’t bring the government’s work to a halt. “We’re hopeful that the Interior Department will remain committed to the regulatory process,” he said.
Environmentalist have long criticized the oil and gas industry for the release of methane and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) through the process of venting the gas or burning it off during flaring.
But new research published this week by Energy in Depth – a project devised by the Independent Petroleum Association of America showed declines in two of the most active oil and gas basins in America.
Austin Elam, a newly minted partner at Haynes and Boone in Houston, spoke about drillcos’ rise and mechanics last week at a luncheon in Houston hosted by the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
“Equity markets remain quiet, and with borrowing bases not rising, there’s not a lot of liquidity in the market,” he said.
Matt Dempsey, a spokesman for Divestment Facts, a project of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, took the opposite view.
“Comptroller DiNapoli has repeatedly rejected empty calls to divest, placing his fiduciary duty to New York’s retirees over a costly, ineffective political gesture,” Dempsey said in a statement. “Recent academic reports find divestment would impose losses on the fund ranging from $136 million to $198 million per year—the equivalent to eliminating the average annual benefit of over 8,500 retirees —while doing nothing to support the environment. Next steps for New York remain to be seen, but today’s report is another clear indicator that blanket divestment is not a solution.”
Dan Naatz, senior vice president at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, warned that Warren’s proposal to end new fossil fuel leases on public lands “would damage our economy and negatively impact job growth in communities” nationwide.
“The royalties, rental fees and bonus bid revenues” from leasing, Naatz said in a statement, “which are evenly split between the federal government and the states where the development occurred, play a vital role in the state and local economies of states and tribal communities.”
On Friday, Fisher’s class was the recipients of visitors from OXY’s Hobbs office, the IPAA/PESA Energy Education Center and EVERFI. The IPAA is the Independent Petroleum Association of America and PESA is the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association. Both are partnered with EVERFI, which is involved in increased STEM education in America’s schools. They created a middle school program on STEM career exploration that interested Fisher.
The Western Energy Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of
America, which filed the initial challenge to the Obama-era rule, had asked the appeals court to vacate that rule, called the waste prevention rule, completely.
Several industry associations have reacted positively to President Donald Trump’s executive orders signed yesterday, which make it harder for states to block pipelines and other energy projects.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) welcomed Trump’s actions, with IPAA Executive Vice President Lee Fuller stating in an organization release that the IPAA “consistently has supported development of much needed infrastructure to transport America’s oil and natural gas resources to consumers”.
Fuller added that the IPAA supports, in particular, the aspect of the executive orders that calls on the Environmental Protection Agency to update the interim 2010 guidance over permitting under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
“This guidance, overdue for updating, has allowed for implementation of the CWA in a manner inconsistent with the statute and to inhibit projects that are clearly in interstate commerce,” Fuller continued.
Both the energy industry and organized labor greeted the news with enthusiasm. The Independent Petroleum Association of America specifically praised the order addressing the EPA’s enforcement of the Clean Water Act, saying that a 2010 rule change allowed states “to inhibit projects that are clearly in interstate commerce.” Meanwhile, unions expressed their support for a move that will doubtless create more jobs.
Industry groups came out in favor of the president’s executive orders Wednesday, arguing alongside conservative politicians that the Clean Water Act provision had been undermined due to previous interpretation.
“This guidance, overdue for updating, has allowed for implementation of the CWA in a manner inconsistent with the statute and to inhibit projects that are clearly in interstate commerce,” Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said in a statement.
Ringing today’s opening bells are Trex Company with President and CEO Jim Cline at the NYSE and Independent Petroleum Association of America with President and CEO Barry Russell at the Nasdaq.
Federal lawmakers and industry groups including the Independent Petroleum Association of America and American Petroleum Institute have been urging Trump to fill the three vacancies at FERC quickly since the agency lost the quorum it needs to make major decisions in February.
Leaders of two major oil and gas trade associations applauded the president’s Feb. 4 action. “Bernhardt knows the department well and understands the integral role that [Interior] plays in oil and gas development, both onshore and offshore,” Independent Petroleum Association of America Pres. Barry Russell said.
“As a westerner, Bernhardt is familiar with western lands and how by statute [Interior] manages public lands and waters with multiple use policies that balance conservation, recreational opportunities, job-creating economic activities, and safe, responsible energy development,” Russell said.
Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), said that Congressional deadlock between Democrats and Republicans has empowered President Donald Trump to move forward with a pro-industry agenda.
The Trump administration’s push to roll back environmental and other industry regulations enacted by previous administrations are “a good sign, but the reality is that is hard to do,” because Trump’s regulation changes will be litigated, he said.
“American companies who operate in the offshore invest hundreds of millions of dollars in projects and need certainty to see these projects through,” said Mallori Miller, senior director of government relations at the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “Preventing business as usual from continuing over a political fight that has nothing to do with our industry doesn’t help anyone.”
“It’s that uncertainty that can really cast a long shadow as you’re trying to make investments, especially for our smaller companies,” Naatz said. “We hope the White House and Congress – all this is above our pay grade – but we hope they will take action and the shutdown will be resolved soon.”
…“We would like to see all these regulatory issues settled before the presidential election. We don’t know what’s going to happen and the timeline is getting more and more compressed,” said Lee Fuller, executive vice President of government relations at the Independent Petroleum Association of America. “There’s no clear path. The litigation is going to be fairly extensive and complex.”
Despite the Democrats’ newfound power in Washington after taking control of the House of Representatives, industry representatives said Zinke’s impact will be lasting. That’s because they involved agency regulations rather than Congressional action and came at the order of Trump, said Dan Naatz, vice president of government relations for the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
“Although Secretary Zinke was effective at what he was doing, the policy really came from the president,” Naatz said. “We don’t expect any major changes.”
“I think that’s really the most important legacy that Secretary Zinke will have, is moving back to that multiple use concept on areas of federal land designed for multiple use,” said Dan Naatz, senior vice president of government relations and political affairs at the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
“Largely BLM lands are areas that are available for energy production and also available for recreation and agriculture. Our frustration with the Obama administration was they moved much more toward a single-use philosophy, and much to the detriment of our members who wanted to use those areas for oil and gas production,” he said.
Responding to the new data, a spokeswoman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America stressed their implications for economic security. “America’s recent success in developing domestic oil resources – and exporting them – have ensured that no single nation, or cartel, can hold hostage energy consumers and that the marketplace should work freely.”
Dan Naatz, senior vice president of government relations and political affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said in a statement that Zinke should be congratulated for recognizing the important role onshore and offshore federal lands play in the future of energy in America. That and other policy efforts to support Trump’s vision of “energy dominance” in the U.S. would likely continue if Bernhardt is Zinke’s successor.
“Federal lands, by law, are designated for multiple use,” Naatz said. “That can be recreation, hunting, mining, or energy production. We’re confident that David Bernhardt expertly recognizes and will continue to uphold this law of the land for every American citizen, in his current or any future executive branch position.”
Both energy industry and environmental groups mourned the loss of former President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday at the age of 94. Bush was a former member of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, whose President and CEO Barry Russell said Bush “defined the characteristics of the great men and women who encompass our industry – hardworking, entrepreneurial, optimistic, and patriotic.”
Jeff Eshelman, a spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, agreed that imposing quotas on imported steel would be much more damaging to the independent exploration and production industry than applying tariffs to the materials.
While tariffs increase the price of imported products, quotas limit the volumes of goods that countries can export to the US, he said in an interview with Platts on Wednesday.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America, which received the Industry Advocacy Award, is about to celebrate 90 years of representing the independent producers that drill 95 percent of the nation’s oil and gas wells.
Jeff Eshelman, IPAA’s senior vice president, operations and public affairs, said it is an honor to advocate for an independent energy industry that is relied upon by every American for energy to power, heat and cool homes, businesses and factories and that fuels the economy.
For 90 years of supporting the independent energy industry, the IPAA is receiving the Hearst Energy Award for Industry Advocacy.
Founded in 1929, “the mission of IPAA is to ensure a strong, viable American oil and natural gas industry, recognizing that an adequate and secure supply of energy is essential to the national economy,” Eshelman said. “Today, through hard work not only in oil fields across America but in the nation’s capital, we are achieving this mission. Our nation now leads the world in oil and natural gas production.”
Lee Fuller, executive vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents smaller oil and gas producers, said Democrats undoubtedly will come under pressure from their constituencies to take action against climate change and rein in oil and gas development. But, he added, “How many other things do they want to pursue and how much time do they have?
“I think we’re going to have to see it sort out over the next several month. There’s people who want to spend all their time impeaching Trump.”
The Natural Gas Council, whose members include the American Gas Association, American Petroleum Institute, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, Independent Petroleum Association of America and Natural Gas Supply Association, said the report is aimed at providing “insight for policymakers” into the oil and gas industry’s “comprehensive” cybersecurity programs.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has a 10% voting record on IPAA’s priority legislation,” spokesman Jeff Eshelman told NGI. “That’s a stark contrast to the priorities of the current GOP leadership…The workload of a Democratic House and Senate majority would focus less on producing good energy policies, but more so on investigations and oversight — not only on the oil and gas industry, but also most affiliated industries up and down the supply chain, from power plants, to utilities to manufacturing.”
As the massive volumes of water pumped into oil and gas wells continues to increase, energy trade groups said Wednesday they’re partnering on a new research project to assess to issue.
The Texas Alliance of Energy Producers and the Independent Petroleum Association of America are starting a new joint effort on a study called “Sustainable Produced Water Policy, Regulatory Framework and Management in the Texas Oil and Gas Industry: 2019 and Beyond.”
Divestment proponents want state and city leaders to put their money where their mouth is and give up fossil-fuel investments, but to do so ignores reality. Divestment is a high-cost, ineffective means of supporting the environment. It’s time divestment activists and government leaders focus on solutions and not another empty promise with a hefty price tag.
The release of the Bureau of Land Management’s waste prevention rule, also known as the BLM venting and flaring rule, is welcome news for the future of energy development and environmental protection. Oil-producing states’ economies are also set to benefit.
Despite this, some members of Congress were quick to bash the new rule…
Operators of even productive marginal wells may make only $50/d in revenue after taxes and royalties, making them severely at risk for negative impacts of relatively costly regulation, according to Lee Fuller, an executive vice president with the Independent Petroleum Association of America. Federal methane rules, such as one requiring a $100,000 flare camera and hiring trained operators, likely would have shut-in the majority of these marginal wells.
“The costs were enough to take a productive well from plus money to minus money,” Fuller said.
IPAA President and CEO Barry Russell also applauded the Department of the the Interior’s release of the revised BLM rule.
“As environmental stewards and businessmen and women who live in the communities where they work, IPAA member companies strive to explore for and produce as much American oil and natural gas as possible, while always being mindful of the need to protect public lands and the environment,” Russell said. “The Trump Administration’s rule recognizes this fact and acknowledges the cost burden placed on companies that work and explore on federal lands.”
The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed changes give drillers more time both between inspections and to repair leaks when they happen, according to the proposal. Industry groups had said the Obama-era requirements were overly burdensome and unrealistic. “For too long, the federal bureaucracy has buried our industry in unnecessary and often duplicative red-tape,” Barry Russell, the head of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said in a statement.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday issued proposed improvements to the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for the oil and gas industry. The agency said its targeted improvements would “streamline implementation, reduce duplicative EPA and state requirements and significantly decrease unnecessary burdens on domestic energy producers.” Barry Russell, president and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), said, “This proposal not only reassures America’s continued path toward global energy leadership, but also continues to protect the environment and communities where energy production is located. It is important for the states to play an important role in decisions that affect their citizens, industries and natural resources.”
Although each event affected the nations’ power grids differently, there was one consistent result: The natural gas system continued to serve regional grids reliably throughout each one. A review of performance in Florida, the Gulf Coast and northeastern states during and after these three weather events was recently published by analytics expert RBN Energy, on behalf of the Natural Gas Council. RBN found that natural gas convincingly and consistently rose to the challenge of each event. In fact, the system performed remarkably.
As the oil and gas industry grapples with tariffs on imported steel and a byzantine process for bypassing them, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) urged the Trump administration to “understand and address” the unintended consequences of both actions, especially the increased burden on the industry’s small businesses.
In a four-page fact sheet updated last month, IPAA argued that the administration’s 25% tariff on steel imports, in effect since March, have caused prices for domestically produced oil country tubular goods (OCTG) and line pipe (LP) to increase.
Lobbyists for industries working around the species argue that its range has ballooned 100-fold since getting federal protection and that the beetles are able to be raised in captivity for reintroduction into the wild. “The [Fish and Wildlife] Service should be expending its time on imperiled species,” Sam McDonald, the director of government relations for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, told The Washington Post by email. “The American burying beetle isn’t one of them.”
With 6 months having passed since US President Donald Trump announced his intention to impose a 25% tariff on steel imports, the oil and gas industry is still trying to figure out their footing in a newly developing economic reality. The tariffs and import quotas imposed on exporting countries have upped the project costs, and the process by which companies can apply for exclusions for specific steel products has been criticized as opaque, confusing, and slow.
Industry, though, questions whether domestic suppliers will manufacture the type of steel it needs. “The steel industry will say we can make the steel and then the exclusion is denied, but I don’t know if anyone has figured out whether they can make all the steel that is requested in all the exclusions,” IPAA Executive Vice President Lee Fuller said.
A spokesperson for the Independent Petroleum Association of America said the group is optimistic that the changes would “continue to promote the conservation of protected species and their habitats…” and give their members “the flexibility and business certainty needed for the safe and responsible development of America’s public lands.”
A spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America told OGJ: “We’re optimistic that these modest improvements to the ESA will continue to promote the conservation of protected species and their habitats, while allowing our member companies the flexibility and business certainty needed for the safe and responsible development of America’s public lands.”
Several past IPAA Chairmen of the Board are mentioned in this opinion piece on the importance of oil and natural gas industry trade associations and the desire of these leaders to serve and give back to an industry in which they have spent their lives and built their companies.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America’s (IPAA) Sam McDonald told the hearing that, “At its original passage, the ESA received much fanfare and virtually no opposition. However, since that time, it has evolved into one of the most litigious statutes on the books.”
Industry officials say the administration’s efforts to establish import quotas for specific countries are even more concerning than the tariffs. “What I am most concerned about is a quota that would come in and prevent me from buying the pipe,” Independent Petroleum Association of America vice president Lee Fuller said.
“We, like every other industry, are very concerned about the use of steel tariffs and their impact on trade and retaliation from other countries,” Lee Fuller, executive vice president with IPAA, said in a phone interview. But of greater concern is quotas established by the negotiation of bilateral agreements with other countries to curb imports and remove the tariffs, he said.
Oil is priced globally. Increased U.S. production has had an effect on moderating prices, but it likely can’t make a sizable dent on its own, said Frederick Lawrence, vice president of economics and international affairs with IPAA. Many of President Trump’s supporters work in fuel-intensive industries and are more sensitive to gas price spikes, Lawrence said. But he predicted that the market will “cool down” after summer’s peak driving season. That could alleviate voter anxiety as fall elections roll around.
Lee Fuller, a vice president at oil and gas trade group Independent Petroleum Association of America, said it is requesting the administration “look at better alternatives than they have so far.” The IPAA favors granting more tariff exclusions to products not typically made in the United States, including certain specialty steel used in oil drilling.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) praised the House Committee on Natural Resources for easing regulations related to oil and natural gas development on public lands. IPAA represents independent producers that develop 90 percent of America’s oil and natural gas wells.
When members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their partners meet and likely ease their oil output caps, there’s one group of energy stakeholders that won’t be watching too closely: small American oil exploration and production companies. Frederick Lawrence, vice president of economics and international affairs at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said the United States has its own “growing pains” and problems independent of OPEC.
Ahead of the hearing, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) sent a letter to Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) expressing its support of the bills under consideration that they call “common-sense onshore regulatory reform bills.”
Pipeline capacity to move oil to Gulf Coast refineries and export hubs remains woefully short, driving the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate to $10 below the international benchmark, Brent crude. Frederick Lawrence, vice president of economics and international affairs at the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said the two benchmarks were not moving in unison as they once did. If Brent slides, that doesn’t mean WTI will.
Up to half of the specialized pipe and tubular steel products that the industry relies on are imported, according to the Independent Petroleum Association of America—meaning energy companies will need to suck up nearly the entire 25% price increase, absent any tariff exemptions.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America and Western Energy Alliance — along with Wyoming, Montana, Texas and North Dakota — have long opposed the regulation as a costly overreach by Obama officials. The Trump administration is working on a rewrite that would erase many of the safeguards.
Samantha McDonald, director of government relations for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, told the approximately 125 at the conference the IPAA is monitoring several issues, from methane emissions regulations to the Bureau of Land Management’s venting and flaring rules to Waters Of The U.S. to the North American Free Trade Agreement to possible steel tariffs.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) urged U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on Thursday to refrain from imposing U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) emergency authorities that would provide support to a particular class of power plants.
The implications of renewed sanctions on this market are hard to pinpoint… U.S. shale players are already chugging away in a market full of complications. “We are exporting more. We are more of a global player. We are increasing production like rarely seen before. We are stepping in.” said Frederick Lawrence, vice president of economics and international affairs for IPAA.
“IPAA is pleased to see BSEE is taking a closer look at the technically-flawed Well Control Rule, which missed the mark on improving the safety of America’s offshore oil and gas operations,” Daniel T. Naatz, IPAA’s senior vice-president of government relations and political affairs, said.
Let’s be clear, the overly strict enforcement of incidental take against American industry under MBTA is about hamstringing vital economic development and energy production, MBTA applies to direct take, writes Samantha McDonald, director of government relations for IPAA.
“Unfortunately, the tactics of environmental groups [remain] the same, attempting to use the Endangered Species Act to advance an anti-hydrocarbon agenda and halt meaningful business development at the expense of American taxpayers,” said Samantha McDonald, the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s director of government relations.
“We were pleased to see workable changes are being considered to the rule that more accurately represent the scope of power and authority given to the BLM for regulating this type of activity,” IPAA official Dan Naatz said in a news release. “… We hope to work with the Trump administration toward a final rule that properly addresses waste prevention, while protecting American jobs, reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens, and ensuring continued economic growth.”
“We were pleased to see workable changes are being considered to the rule that more accurately represent the scope of power and authority given to the BLM for regulating this type of activity,” IPAA’s Dan Naatz said in a statement.
“We welcome the opportunity to talk about reasonable development of oil and natural gas resources on federal lands,” said IPAA Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Political Affairs Dan Naatz. “We need to make sure, as we always have, that these activities are designed to protect the environment.”
Dan Naatz, vice president of government affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, cheered the latest court decision. “A new rule is coming out,” he said. “The agency is taking comments on it now.” Trying to enforce Obama-era rule in the meantime would only cause confusion, he added.
Dan Naatz, who handles government affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, says a federal court in Wyoming’s decision to halt core parts of the Bureau of Land Management’s methane venting and flaring rule is commonsense. “Not only are our members not able to comply, the agency is not ready to try to tackle all this.”
A product exemption granted for one company will not automatically transfer to other companies, Commerce said, unless the agency approves a broad exclusion. This creates the risk that small oil and gas companies will “bear the brunt of the increased costs” because they lack the resources to file tariff exemption paperwork, the Independent Petroleum Association of America said.
“If the application process is on a per-product basis, we’re fearful small- and medium-sized businesses will bear the brunt of the increased costs,” Neal Kirby, spokesman for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents independent oil and natural gas producers, previously told the Washington Examiner. “Similar to additional government regulations, these businesses don’t have the resources or manpower to apply for a waiver for each imported steel and aluminum product they rely on.”
Part of Trump’s platform when running for the president was on bringing back the steel industry and winning this fight with China, said vice president of the Petroleum Association, Lee Fuller in an interview. “There is a risk to his entire energy agenda, energy dominance, national security, if the steel tariffs have the effect of suppressing the development of U.S. oil and natural gas,” he said. “That’s not consistent with his other objectives.”
Neal Kirby, spokesman for IPAA, which represents independent oil and natural gas producers, said an exemption could be beneficial depending on how it’s applied. “Steel imports are essential to our industry and imports comprise up to half of the U.S. supply for the specific quality of steel in the Line Pipe and OCTG marketplace,” Kirby told the Washington Examiner. Industry would be interested in an exclusion – preferably an industry-wide exception.”
“American energy dominance, economic prosperity and environmental safety are all inextricably linked. We must do everything we can to produce the energy we all rely upon each day, while safeguarding the communities and environments we all cherish. But doing so requires a smart regulatory framework that supports growth, not hinders it,” writes IPAA President and CEO Barry Russell.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance yesterday moved to join the Bureau of Land Management in fending off new litigation from California and environmentalists seeking to revive the agency’s Obama-era fracking rule.
The savings expected under this week’s methane proposal are particularly meaningful for small producers, said Dan Naatz, senior vice president of government relations and political affairs for IPAA. “We welcome the opportunity to talk about reasonable development of oil and natural gas resources on federal lands,” he said. “We need to make sure, as we always have, that these activities are designed to protect the environment.”
“We’re not trying to push people into our industry,” said Anne Ford, executive director of the IPAA/PESA Energy Education Center, which partners with Houston ISD on the Energy Institute High School. “We’re trying to open their eyes to the opportunities in our industry, because it’s vast.”
Independent Petroleum Association of America Pres. Barry Russell said, “With new pipeline infrastructure, additional carbon reductions can be made and can benefit communities across America. Increased use of gas not only benefits the environment, but also provides national security and economic benefits, such as jobs and tax revenue.”
“For the first time in nearly a decade, the United States, under President Trump’s administration, has begun recognizing and utilizing our own energy resources as a strategic, American asset,” Independent Petroleum Association of America President and CEO Barry Russell said. “The impacts of America’s energy resurgence are being felt around the world.”
As divestment activists gear up for another year, it is important to keep in mind the ineffectiveness, cost, and ultimately counterproductive nature of this strategy, writes Jeff Eshelman, senior vice president for operations and public affairs of IPAA.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America will be listening for details on [the infrastructure] front, said spokesman Neal Kirby. “Energy infrastructure plays an important role in helping our member companies get their products safely and efficiently to new markets,” he said.
Industry groups that chafed under Obama’s regulations say they’re pleased with what Trump has achieved so far. “We were excited by what we saw in 2017,” said Dan Naatz, senior vice president of government relations and political affairs at IPAA. “The administration got off to a strong start in reshaping and rebalancing American energy development. It was a look at putting in thoughtful policies, in contrast to the challenges we faced in the Obama administration.”
According to a new survey of 3,000 pensioners from Spectrem Group, 88 percent of respondents believe their pension fund should be “focused on generating returns; it shouldn’t be making investment decisions on the basis of politics.” New York should listen to its pensioners and say no to this costly, empty gesture, or its retirees and taxpayers will be left to foot the bill, writes IPAA Senior Vice President Jeff Eshelman.
Entering 2018, even as it is seeing the benefits of relaxed regulation under a new administration, the US exploration and production industry nonetheless is facing significant challenges, Barry Russell, the leader of the Independent Petroleum Association of America said in an interview.
IPAA vice president Susan Ginsberg called FERC’s order “sound and in keeping with the overwhelming documentation submitted by a diverse group of interested parties. “Even the organized markets stated there is no grid reliability emergency,” Ginsberg said. “FERC took the reasonable, conservative approach to initiate a new proceeding to further evaluate the resilience of certain bulk power systems.”
Susan Ginsberg, the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s vice-president of oil and gas regulatory affairs, said the national organization of upstream independents found FERC’s reasoning and resulting order to be sound, and in keeping with the documentation submitted by a diverse group of interested parties.
The oil and gas industry, also championed by Trump, similarly feels let down by an administration it had hoped would strip away government interference, said Susan Ginsberg, a senior vice president of regulatory affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which represents small oil and gas companies.
The Independent Petroleum Association of America said opening new areas to leasing would increase knowledge about potential resources and help companies make decisions about where to invest while boosting development of America’s abundant energy resources.
Independent Petroleum Association of America Pres. Barry Russell said: “Expanding access to additional offshore reserves allows the US to better understand where production potential exists and where capital should be invested. Although this is just the first step in a long process, today’s proposal is exactly the signal industry needs to drive this work forward.”
The Trump administration proposed opening nearly all U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, a move aimed at boosting domestic energy production. Industry groups welcomed the announcement. “Expanding access to additional offshore reserves allows the United States to better understand where production potential exists and where capital should be invested,” said Independent Petroleum Association of America senior vice president Dan Naatz.
“The rescinding of this burdensome rule … will save our member companies and those operating on federal lands hundreds of millions of dollars in compliance costs without any corresponding safety benefits,” Barry Russell, president and CEO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, said.
Divesting from fossil fuels has real costs for colleges like Johns Hopkins — endowment costs that are transferred to students with no benefit to the environment, writes IPAA Senior Vice President Jeff Eshelman.
“The rescinding of this burdensome rule, which was never enacted due to IPAA and Western Energy Alliance’s ongoing legal challenge, will save our member companies and those operating on federal lands hundreds of millions of dollars in compliance costs without any corresponding safety benefits,” IPAA President and CEO Barry Russell, said.