David Feldman

Three Things to Know in Energy – 4/3/2017

Blog Post created by David Feldman Champion on Apr 3, 2017

1. Oil prices continue to fall as rig counts increase.


Oil futures are down today and with the rising US rig count indicating shale output is on its way up the global oversupply continues despite OPEC’s cuts.   International benchmark Brent futures (LCOc1) dropped 15 cents to $53.38 a barrel.  U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (CLc1) fell 8 cents to $50.52 a barrel.  That means both of these contracts have reported their worst quarterly loss since late 2015 in the March quarter.


2. Oil leak reported in Cook Inlet pipeline.


The Cook Inlet pipeline, just south of Anchorage halted operations on Sunday after a leak was noticed and reported by workers on the Hilcorp Alaska offshore platform.  The amount of oil spilled is not yet known, but a flyover found patches of oil sheen about 3 miles downstream from the platform. 


Officials immediately stopped the flow of oil to the pipeline after the sheen was discovered; however, the DEC reported that the pipeline itself had about 460 barrels worth of oil in it at the time the incident was reported.  As of Sunday evening, the investigation as to what caused the leak was still underway and undetermined. 


3. New US Energy Information Administration report for 2016 reports Coal as main driver for US production decreases.


We have yet to see the impact from the Trump administration’s cutback on coal regulations, but in the meantime, coal power isn’t looking so good and seems to be on the decline.  A new report from the US Energy Information Administration revealed that the United States’ 2016 energy production dropped year-over-year for the first time since 2009.  And the main driver:  COAL.

Other energy sources decreased, but coal plummeted 18 percent from 2015 to 2016.  One positive note from the report is that renewable energy seems to be on the rise.  Technologies such as solar and wind power are up 7 percent since last year at this time – the biggest contributor being wind. 


With this news, it begs the question, “Is it too late to prop up the coal industry?”  What do you think?