Lastly I have done an analysis for Oil royalties. I have combined the best year ever for crude oil production 2010 with optimistic projections for offshore and ANWR. The result is this will cover less than 1/2 of 1% of current federal spending. This is not even enough to pay 5% of the the interest on the debt. If we paid the interest, stop burrowing, and paid this amount, we would pay off the debt. It would only take about 760 years. USGS has a pretty good idea of how much oil is under public land. Improved technology and high prices makes more of it feasible every year. However, there would have be a huge increase in production and price for this to be a practicable way to pay off the debt. That does not seem likely to occur.
Newt Gingrich and Heritage Foundation think energy royalties can pay off the national debt. This is a breakdown of a best case for coal. Currently the Bureau of Land Management, by law can only charge 8% energy royalties on coal. We, as in we the people because public land is our land, are getting a much lower rate of return then private land that gets 12%. Oil and natural gas royalties are over 12%. And raising this number would certainly help. Either way we are still under 1/10 of 1% of current federal spending. I am making this estimate based on the best year ever for coal production of Federal land 2008, when Barak Obama was president. Except for offshore natural gas, all of these commodities had record years of production, on federal land, under the Obama Administration.
The Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich believe the nation debt can be paid by oil and gas royalties. Natural gas prices have been on a downward trend the last several years for a variety of reasons. To put it simply the is supply and demand. Offshore production, on Indian and government land declined during the Bush administration. I will be making subsequent posts on crude oil and coal. I am trying to take the best possible case, based on available data and historic trends. Based on these very optimistic numbers Natural Gas royalties can pay for less than 1/10th of 1% of current federal spending.
The “new” shale oil at Bakken North Dakota was discovered in the 1950’s by the US geological survey. Although the median estimate of 413 Billion barrels sounds impressive, that is less than and 1/3 the size of Tengiz in Kazahkstan. Using current technology, current industry estimates are only 18-25 billion barrels of Bakken are recoverable. This is because the shale is unusual hard and the shale has less permeability than most oil shale. Its good news for the US, to get more domestic petroleum. If your hoping for lower gas prices from it, don’t expect much.
Just watched Newt’s energy informational. Like most people, I am happy about the good news in North Dakota. However the former Speaker loses a lot of credibility, when runs fast and loose with facts. Why was gas so cheap when Obama started his term? This was clearly due to reduced demand due to the Great Recession. See the US demand chart for oil attached with comparison to India and China. The data comes from petroleum company BP. Energy issues are particularly interesting to me, so I will be posting more on this. BTW, the chart shows how ineffectively the CAFE standards have worked in the US.
Drill Baby Drill? I did some quick math to figure out much much of a difference in the global oil market expanded drilling would make, and its about 2.88% . Clearly not enough to take us to $2.70/gal. Experts all agree oil consumption will increase over the next several years, particularly in China and global economic recovery and speculation are are also driving up gas prices. Yet, expert’s estimates vary on how much effect each of these factors is causing. And drilling will create some jobs, but estimates also vary on how many jobs and how many of those are long term. The US does export some petroleum, but banning that export could cause more harm than good by creating a trade war. The energy crisis has been going on since the Carter administration, if it was easy to fix we would have already fixed it. But the situation is not hopeless, many things can be doing to more smartly use what energy we have.