The Domestic Energy Producers Alliance is a nationwide collaboration of 15 coalition associations – from California to West Virginia, Texas to Montana – representing about 10,000 individuals and companies engaged in domestic onshore oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P). We believe in seeking common ground, and in common sense solutions to the challenges that face us in our businesses, including our relationship with the federal legislative and executive branches of government. In only its fifth year, DEPA now represents a majority of the individuals and companies responsible for the current renaissance in American oil and natural gas production.
Washington, DC-based Brookings Institute published a new report September 9 in favor of lifting current US restrictions on the export of crude oil. The report [view] comes to the conclusion that discontinuing the export ban would help lower US gasoline prices for consumers, increase profits for producers and encourage more production on US soil - all of which are good for continued economic growth and productivity and American energy security.
I read with interest a story published in the Financial Times on June 24th titled: “European oil majors hold Tehran talks.” The thrust of the story was that two of Europe’s largest oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, were in advanced discussions with the government in Tehran on contracts to develop Iranian oil assets if the current negotiations produce an agreement that would lift the current sanctions on Iranian oil exports.
The article quotes the consultancy Wood McKenzie as estimating that Iranian oil production could reach as high as 4.4 million BPD by 2025 if the sanctions are lifted and with enough foreign investment. The article also points out that an immediate effect of lifting the sanctions would be a further reduction in the current world oil prices, stating: “Oil prices would be likely to fall if more Iranian crude entered the market as a result of an easing of sanctions. The EIA estimates that oil prices could drop by $5-$15 a barrel next year if sanctions against Iran are lifted.”
Most of us remember something about “how a bill becomes a law” from our high school civics course. The real world of Washington, DC, often is very different from what we learned in school.
Let’s take as an example the very significant effort DEPA has made to convince Congress to end the 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil.
This effort started several years ago when DEPA Chairman Harold Hamm met with a selected group of energy reporters in Washington for an informal dinner discussion of current issues affecting the domestic oil and gas industry. Harold raised the issue of ending the ban on crude oil exports during that discussion. Most energy reporters had not seriously considered this subject at that point.
Contact: Pete Regan, DEPA Executive Director
Just as in virtually every team sport, sometimes you play offense and sometimes you play defense. That’s been story of DEPA’s efforts in Washington, DC, so far this year.
In DC, playing offense actually is much harder than playing defense. Our system of government was set up to make it hard to pass new laws, thus providing a degree of stability that many other countries don’t enjoy. A new law must pass both the House and Senate, go to a conference committee, come back to each house for another vote and then is sent to the President who can either sign or veto it. If he vetoes the new law, then his veto can only be over-ridden by a two-vote of each chamber.