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Shale Gas Export Projects Facing Permit Delays

“Government approval of projects intended to export rising supplies of shale gas could be delayed by 18 months as the top energy regulator struggles with a backlog of permit requests,” Bloomberg  reports.

“The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is notifying some developers of multi-billion-dollar liquefied natural gas plants of a 12- to 18-month delay in environmental reviews, the people said, asking not to be named because the information isn’t public. That could affect the commercial viability of several ventures vying for a spot in the rapidly expanding global gas market.” 


Trade Disputes Threaten U.S. LNG Standing

A trade war with China, the EU and others is hindering U.S. efforts “to become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas. In Europe, a potential pipeline project from Russia has been imperiled by possible U.S. sanctions, while the sales practices of Qatar, the world’s biggest LNG seller, are under investigation as being anti-competitive,” Bloomberg  reports.

“The complications arising from trade disputes and geopolitical tensions could distort the global gas market, although it’s unlikely to derail its growth.” 

U.S. Poised to Become World's Top Oil Producer

The U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts total U.S. crude oil production to average 10.8 million b/d in 2018, up 1.4 million b/d from 2017. In 2019, crude oil production is forecast to average 11.8 million b/d. If realized, the forecast for both years would surpass the previous record of 9.6 million b/d set in 1970. Crude oil production at these forecast levels would make the U.S. the world’s leading crude oil producer in both years. 

Oil Boom Not Expected to Increase U.S. Refining Capacity

Even as crude production set records in 2017, refining capacity was similar to what it was the year before.

"Primary crude distillation capacity is not expected to increase more than a tiny fraction in 2018 either," Morningstar director of oil and products research Sandy Fielden tells the Houston Chronicle. "Although major oil companies like ExxonMobil have announced plans to expand existing Gulf Coast refineries to process additional shale crude in the coming years, there is little talk of building new large-scale plants." 

Qatar Investing $20 Billion into U.S. Oil & Gas

“Qatar Petroleum, the world’s biggest seller of liquefied natural gas, is looking to get even larger, investing $20 billion in America’s oil and gas fields.” This is likely to include “the Golden Pass LNG gas export project in Texas, being developed with ExxonMobil,” Bloomberg reports.

“Qatar is also looking to invest an additional $5 billion in so-called downstream assets, such as chemicals projects.” 

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