The dramatic growth in oil and gas production in the United States has presented an unexpected set of new opportunities. To begin, shale gas production has substantially lowered the domestic price of natural gas, thus benefitting domestic consumers and driving gains in competitiveness. Moreover, the abundance of domestic natural gas upended the consensus view from just over 10 years ago that the United States would become a significant importer of natural gas. In fact, liquified natural gas (LNG) is now being exported to the global market from the lower 48 states.
The path to this new reality has been earmarked by debates concerning domestic price impacts and geopolitical consequences. The price impact of LNG exports is couched in an international trade context that centers on industrial competitiveness and broader macroeconomic gains from trade; and analysis has shown the expected net impact of expanded trade is positive. U.S. LNG also adds diversity, liquidity and fungibility to the global gas market, thereby serving to dissuade hegemonic action by large monopoly gas suppliers and impacting pricing paradigms around the world.
The evolution of U.S. crude oil production has been equally impressive and transformational. U.S. oil production grew to such an extent that it — much as was the case with natural gas — triggered a vigorous debate about trade that ultimately ended with a lifting of a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. While the short term domestic implications associated with crude oil exports are significantly different than with natural gas (due to the already immensely fungible global oil market), the longer-term economic and geopolitical implications are potentially profound.
Within a 67-day period, inaugural waterborne shipments of crude oil, LNG and ethane (a key natural gas liquid) left the contiguous United States:
- Theo T, loaded with some 400,000 barrels of light-sweet crude oil produced by ConocoPhillips in the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas, left the port of Corpus Christi on Dec. 31, 2015. It was headed to the Grand port maritime de Marseille, France.
- Asia Vision set sail from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass export facility in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, on Feb. 24, 2016. Loaded with 3 billion cubic feet of LNG produced by Cheniere and sold to Petrobras, the ship was destined for the Port of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- INEOS Intrepid, with a cargo of 173,000 barrels of ethane produced in the Marcellus shale formation in Western Pennsylvania, left the Sunoco Logistics facility at Marcus Hook in Philadelphia on March 6, 2016. It was headed to the INEOS ethylene facility in Rafnes, Norway.
Reaching these milestones was made possible by the sustained efforts of the U.S. oil and gas industry, the U.S. government, the Visegrád Four nations – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – and other allies in Central and Eastern Europe.
On behalf of LNG Allies, the Embassy of the Czech Republic (which currently holds the Visegrád presidency) and the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute, we cordially invited you to join us on the morning of April 26 for a Transatlantic Energy Security Forum™ at the Baker Institute. During this morning discussion, a distinguished collection of speakers from industry and government discussed recent developments and explored the tasks that lie ahead for transatlantic energy trade and security.
Join the conversation online with #BakerEnergy.
7:30 am Registration and Breakfast
8:15 am Welcome and Introduction of Dignitaries
8:30 am Introductory Keynote: American Energy Leadership
8:45 am Introductory Conversation: The Energy World – Forever Altered by U.S. Shale?
9:15 am Keynote: Liquefied Natural Gas Exports – Changing Global Markets
9:30 am Keynote: Liquid Petroleum Export – Sharing America’s Abundance
9:45 am Coffee Break
10:00 am Diplomatic Conversation: The United States and Its Central European Allies
10:45 am Commercial Conversation: New Links in the Energy Value Chain
11:15 am Reflections and Path Forward
11:30 am Closing Observations
The Honorable Robin Dunnigan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State
Peter B. Doran, Vice President for Research, Center for European Policy Analysis; Author, "Breaking Rockefeller"
Martin J. Durbin, Executive Director, Market Development, American Petroleum Institute
Anatol Feygin, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Development, Cheniere Energy
Maynard Holt, Co-President and Co-Head of Investment Banking, Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.
Fred H. Hutchison, Executive Director and Founder, LNG Allies
His Excellency Rolandas Kriščiūnas, Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the United States
The Honorable Charles D. McConnell, Executive Director, Energy and Environment Initiative, Rice University; Former Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
Kenneth B. Medlock III, James A. Baker, III, and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics and Senior Director, Center for Energy Studies, Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy
Petr Michalek, Political and Economic Officer, Embassy of the Czech Republic
His Excellency Josip Joško Paro, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United States
His Excellency Pál Ságvári, Ambassador-at-Large for Energy Security, Hungary
The Honorable Christopher A. Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
Daniel Werner, Chief Operating Officer, Fairwood LNG
Rafał Wittmann, Advisor to the Management Board, Gaz-System S. A., Poland