David Feldman

Three Things to Know in Energy – 4/10/2017

Blog Post created by David Feldman Champion on Apr 10, 2017

1. Uncertainty due to Syrian conflict may cause increase in oil prices.


Even though U.S. oil drilling is still on the rise, up for the 12th straight week to 672 rigs, Oil prices are flat due to strong demand and political uncertainty in Syria.  U.S. missile strikes on Syria late last week have traders and everyone in general questioning what the future holds for oil.  Today (Monday) ANZ bank stated, "an unsettled global backdrop (is) leaving the market very finely balanced."  The fact that rig counts are at the highest level since August 2015, put a cap on the price increase – but if the conflict continues, US drilling may not be able to off-set the uncertainty much longer.


2. Rumors are being circulated that Trump Administration is looking to open Atlantic Coast to oil drilling.


Last Thursday Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, when addressing the National Ocean Industries Association, mentioned the possibility of an executive order addressing offshore regulations.  Thoughts are this would be a rollback of President Obama’s regulations and would allow drilling in new areas of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.


There has been no drilling off the Pacific coast since 1969 and the Atlantic coast since the early 1980’s.  If the rumors are true and we do see an executive order regarding oil drilling of our east coast, environmental groups are sure to challenge it immediately in court, and who knows how long that will keep it tied up before becoming official.


 3. PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, recently issued plan for its renewable energy system.


Warren Buffet is using tax credits as a motivator to expand wind and the solar power across the western United States.   Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary PacifiCorp plans to use the federal tax credits to offset a $3.5 billion plan for its renewable energy system that will span from Wyoming to California.


Six states will be included and the new plan will add 900 megawatts of capacity by upgrading generators with larger blades and improved technology, building a new 140-mile-long power line in Wyoming, adding 1,100 megawatts of new wind projects and adding 1,000 megawatts of solar generators in the six states by 2036.  All of these projects are part of the larger government agenda to incentivize renewable energy companies to make these investments in an effort to phase out coal-generated power.