• EPRINC Distinguished Fellow Rafael Sandrea Has Been Alerting Us to the Oil Supply Issue for a Long Time
    As oil prices rise and energy security risks lead to supply shortages, we are reminded that EPRINC Distinguished Fellow Rafael Sandra has been alerting us to the oil supply issue for a long time. EPRINC is re-releasing his April 2021 paper, “With Global Oil Demand on the Rebound. What About Supply?” in the hopes that it helps answer some of the questions facing today’s world.
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  • “The Future of Venezuela’s Oil Industry” by Rafael Sandrea and Martin Essenfeld

    Throughout much of the developed world, there is a consensus that concern over climate change is leading to a rapid downturn in petroleum use and that petroleum will likely have a rapidly declining role in the world’s energy mix over the next 30 years. However, a rapid energy transition to a world no longer reliant on fossil fuels represents a formidable challenge and a high likelihood remains, especially in the developing world, that petroleum’s important and large contribution to the world energy mix will not be so easily displaced. Recent EIA forecasts show that world oil and gas demand has reverted to trend. Supply requirements for the end of 2022 are likely to exceed 100 million barrels/day, a remarkable recovery from a decline in liquids demands of over 15 million barrels a day in 2020 from the Covid-19 pandemic. Although Venezuelan oil production has been constrained by both technical mismanagement and sanctions, the size of its reserve base documents its potentially important role in meeting future world oil demand.

    The timing of Venezuela’s petroleum future depends on whether it can enter the world oil market under traditional commercial conditions. On June 25, 2021, the U.S., Canada, and the E.U. issued a joint communiqué that made clear that a decision regarding the timing and specifics of the sanctions on Venezuela remains the primary determining factor on when and if Venezuela can play a larger role in the world oil market.

    Even if Venezuela were somehow to find its way free of sanctions, the road back to higher production will require massive capital investment. Venezuela, which produced over 3 million barrels in day in the 1970s, is now at only 600,000 barrels per day. The authors estimate that the level of investment and amount of time required to rehabilitate the production potential of Venezuela would approach $30 billion USD in two stages:

    Stage 1 – Pre-sanctions recovery: An investment of $7-9 billion over 2-3 years to get back to production prevalent before sanctions started in 2017 (about 2 million barrels/day).

    Stage 2 – Post-recovery: An investment of an additional $20 billion/year for 2-3 years. These investments would take 4-5 years to yield additional production. This would require investment into offshore and underdeveloped onshore projects to bring them up to full production capacity. With proper investment, Venezuela can sustain a production output of approximately 2.5 million b/d over the next 20-30 years.

    The authors provide an overview of Venezuela’s production potential, and evaluate the technical obstacles that must be addressed to restore Venezuelan oil production. Their paper can be found here.

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  • “With Global Oil Demand on the Rebound, What About Supply?” By Rafael Sandrea

    EPRINC’s Rafael Sandrea has published another paper, this one entitled “With Global Oil Demand on the Rebound, What About Supply?” The piece analyzes the impact of COVID-19 and the Texas Freeze on global oil demand and supply. Rafael also examines future oil supplies moving forward into 2021 by discussing trends in exploration and providing fresh comparative economics regarding oil supply vs. renewables. 


    Rafael’s paper can be found here.

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    The Pandemic and the End of Oil? The Pandemic, Peak Oil Demand, and the Oil Industry – By Michael Lynch and Ivan Sandrea

    Recent months have seen a growing crescendo of claims that a peak in oil demand may be near, or even be past. Pandemic-related changes in behavior such as working from home are predicted to persist after the emergency ends, and advances in technology are said to make oil-fueled vehicles increasingly obsolete. Michael Lynch and Ivan Sandrea have examined these arguments in a new study by the Energy Policy Research Foundation and found strong reasons for skepticism. People in post-pandemic China do not show major changes in their behavior and the increasing demand globally for SUVs implies consumers are not focused on reducing emissions. Further, battery electric vehicles perform significantly worse than internal combustion engines in key metrics, whereas the previous transition, from horses to cars, was due to major improvements in range, speed and carrying capacity, as well as convenience.

    The primary findings:

    • Many of the forecasts are aspirational rather than predictive, that is, describing what needs to happen to achieve climate goals not what is likely to happen;
    • Forecasters too often presume transient market events like the pandemic will have permanent effects;
    • Consumer behavior generally shows little desire for sustainable practices;
    • The capability of electric vehicles is being exaggerated and their shortcomings downplayed; and
    • Past transitions do not suggest a peak and a decline in oil demand is likely.

    The case for a near-term peak in oil demand is certainly more plausible than that of peak oil supply, but its popularity reflects a degree of exuberance that is not warranted by the data.

    Click here to access the paper on this topic written by primary author Michael Lynch, Distinguished Fellow with EPRINC and the author of The Peak Oil Scare and the Coming Oil Flood (Praeger 2016), and Ivan Sandrea, trustee of EPRINC and the former CEO and founder of Sierra Oil and Gas.

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  • EPRINC’s First Webinar, “Crisis in the Oil Market: Remembrances of the Past, Policy Responses for the Future”

    EPRINC has produced its first webinar, entitled “Crisis in the Oil Market: Remembrances of the Past, Policy Responses for the Future.” The webinar featured a roundtable discussion from EPRINC’s staff, distinguished fellows and trustees. They examined the major forces shaping the oil market since 1973-74 Arab Oil Embargo and what we’ve learned in the interim about opportunities and strategies for the industry and policy makers going forward. One of the takeaways was that yes, the crisis in the oil patch is in many ways unprecedented, but we’ve seen this movie before.

    The discussion was led by EPRINC’s president, Lucian Pugliaresi, and drew upon the knowledge base of Larry Goldstein, Michael Lynch and Ivan Sandrea. Lynch and Pugliaresi both presented some slides to facilitate the discussion, and the ones that Pugliaresi used were created by EPRINC’s Max Pyzuir. Both presentations can be found below.

    Larry Goldstein is the former president of EPRINC and a co-founder of Petroleum Industry Research Associates in New York City. Michael Lynch is a Distinguished Fellow at the Energy Policy Research Foundation and President of Strategic Energy and Economic Research. Ivan Sandrea is former CEO of Sierra Oil and Gas, a Mexican independent oil and gas company. Prior to becoming CEO of Sierra, Ivan held a number of leadership and technical positions, including senior partner at EY London, where he was responsible for global oil and gas in emerging markets, and president at Energy Intelligence.

    If you missed the webinar, it has been recorded and is available “on demand” by clicking here.

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LNG Allies, EPRINC, AXPC, and the EEIA offer five suggestions that the Biden Administration can utilize to bolster U.S. and European Energy Security in the near term

Today on February 25, 2022, LNG Allies was joined by the Energy Policy Research Foundation, American Exploration and Production Council, and the Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance in a letter addressed to the Biden Administration expressing increasing concerns on U.S. and European Energy Security. A brief summary of the suggestions in the letter is below:

  • Publicly signal support for domestic natural gas and oil production.
  • Set up a joint EU-U.S. Emergency Energy Infrastructure Council to have new “virtual transatlantic gas pipelines” in place as soon as possible.
  • Instruct DOE Fossil Energy and Carbon Management Office to immediately approve the U.S. LNG export applications pending before it to export gas from the United States to America’s willing partners and allies around the globe with an urgent focus on the applications that have already been approved by FERC.
  • Ask FERC to act within six months on all pending U.S. LNG export facility and gas pipeline applications needed to move more natural gas to domestic customers and LNG export terminals.
  • Immediately release the $300 million in funding that the U.S. promised in 2020 to the Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund to build critical natural gas and other energy infrastructure along the North-South corridor in Central and Eastern Europe. 





EPRINC President Lucian Pugliaresi Testifies Before Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on RFS

On Wednesday, February 16 2022, EPRINC President Lucian Pugliaresi testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works at a hearing called “The Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Challenges and Opportunities.” Lou was joined by Cory-Ann Wind from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Emily Skor from Growth Energy, and LeAnn Johnson Koch from Perkins Cole, LLP. Lou’s testimony was later extensively quoted by Politico’s E&E News (link is behind a paywall), and one of the highlights of these quotes was:

“The principal drawbacks and risk factors of the program are not the use of biofuels as blendstock for gasoline and diesel fuel, but the statutory mandate which requires ever-larger blending volumes without regard to market conditions, costs or technical constraints,” Pugliaresi said. “Price risks to consumers from higher transportation fuel costs rise substantially as mandates push biofuel blending above 10 percent of the gasoline pool.”

The link to the full video of the event and each testimony is here, and Lou’s testimony can be found here.

“Shifting Oil Industry Structure and Energy Security Under Investment Phase-Outs” by Michael Lynch

The International Energy Agency (IEA), a collection of member countries formed in the 1970s to secure the energy security of the advanced Western democracies, is now calling for a halt to the development of new oil and gas resources as a fundamental strategy for addressing the threats from climate change.  The halt in development is viewed by the IEA as essential for the world to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Michael Lynch, Distinguished Fellow at the Energy Policy Research Foundation, Inc. (EPRINC) points out the risks of such a strategy in his paper entitled Shifting Oil Industry Structure and Energy Security Under Investment Phase-Outs.  Since only private oil companies in the West are likely to respond, future oil supply probably would be dominated by Middle Eastern and Russian oil companies, mostly state-owned. Such a policy initiative, if successfully implemented, will see OPEC and allied producers (OPEC+) share of the world oil market supply rise to over 80% by 2040, degrading global energy security and severely limited the capability of the IEA to implement its Emergency Sharing System in the case of an oil crisis. The publication can be found here.