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Natural Gas 4 US: A Future Path in a Time of Chaos

The news is full of distressing reports as the war goes on in Ukraine. The politicians try to explain the difficult choices now and ahead to avoid further expansion of this unjust war being waged in Eastern Europe. Everyone has an opinion, a solution, unfortunately the United States continues to waffle in an energy morass that the current administration began to create the day after Biden took office. Now after two years of claiming green is the way of the future, and failing to be realistic the need to transition with fossil fuels we find ourselves not energy independent but held hostage by a few men in the world, Instead of transforming the world with natural gas the administration is at the mercy of Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as they orchestrate production and price. Let’s buy oil from Putin who psychopathically wages war in Ukraine, the Prince who displaces thousands of his own people to build a Pyramid development in the city of Jeddah, and now negotiate with unfriendly Iran and Venezuela. Meanwhile the global oil giants talk of optimization of production and profit as gas hits $6.00 a gallon and diesel fuel is over $5.00. Chevron and Wall Street also see opportunity to profit. According to various sources including Hart Energy and Reuters News Service

Justin Jacobs, of the Financial Times reports “Oil prices are in a period of heightened volatility with the market reacting and overreacting to news flow. Last week, oil prices fell sharply, with the UAE indicating that it was supportive of increasing oil supplies beyond the current OPEC+ agreement. Later, the UAE walked backed the statement, and a representative from Iraq indicated that the current supply from OPEC+ was adequate for the market.”

“As the war between Russia and Ukraine enters its third week, with seemingly no end in sight, the U.S. is facing confounding challenges in how it responds to Russia’s continued escalation and the worsening humanitarian crisis.”

From Hart Energy “There’s been talk of whether U.S. shale companies could answer the call of surging crude prices with a new drilling rush. The Biden administration says they should. But investors still have a very different answer. As oil prices spike, pressure on the U.S. oil industry to step up output is mounting. But don’t expect Wall Street to give American shale drillers the green light to surge new production anytime soon.”

“Most major U.S. shale producers have adopted a strategy, pushed by major shareholders, of capping production growth at much lower levels than the industry has had over the past decade. Instead, producers are putting cash towards new dividends and share buybacks to boost returns.

It has proven popular among investors and a sudden strategic pivot isn’t likely, industry executives and major energy investors said at CERAWeek by S&P Global.”

Chevron’s Chairman chimed in, “We’ve got enough oil in the world, we’ve got enough gas in the world,” said Mike Wirth, chairman and CEO of Chevron, on March 7. Speaking at CERAWeek by S&P Global March 7, Chevron CEO Mike Wirth reaffirmed his company’s increasing production goals in the Permian Basin.

Wirth said that this year, Chevron is expecting to grow production by 10% compared to 2021. We had an analyst day last week and showed a plateau of, you go down a few years after [2025],

From Reuters comes the report, at the same event EQT CEO Toby Rice, Hess CEO John Hess and Chesapeake Energy CEO Nick Dell’Osso, among others, attended a dinner with OPEC Secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo Officials from OPEC met U.S. shale oil company executives on the sidelines of the CERAWeek conference by S&P Global in Houston on March 7 as energy prices soared over supply concerns. It was at least the fourth time since 2017 that U.S. shale oil producers and OPEC officials have held such meetings to discuss energy concerns.

Last week U.S. President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil and other energy imports on March 8 in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine. “We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas energy,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable in U.S. ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war machine.” Of course after demonizing the continued use of fossil fuels Biden also warned U.S. gas companies against exploiting the situation to engage in profiteering or price gouging.

Is there a sane hope of an America first based energy policy, in the middle of all the turmoil of war and possible economic chaos? Perhaps this could be a start: back in February EQT delivered a letter to the Secretary, of the U.S. Department of Energy Jennifer Granholm. The letter was in response to several Northeast Senators lamenting the rise in natural gas prices. The letter signed by Toby Rice CEO of EQT is worth reading to provide a different perspective of the future. The letter in its entirety can be found on the My Progress News website at:

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