FUTURE OF OIL & GAS

Designing a future interdisciplinary and shared research agenda to understand the role of oil and gas in the energy transition

Designing a future interdisciplinary and shared research agenda to understand the role of oil and gas in the energy transition

As the world confronts an energy transition, the global energy system is being re-imagined and the role of oil and natural gas in that transition is not entirely clear. Governments are pursuing increasingly ambitious initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify their energy systems. At the same time, the world is facing significant energy demand growth from emerging and developing economies. The dual pressures of reducing their carbon footprint, while also providing the necessary resources to fuel energy growth creates another layer of complexity for the oil and gas industry.

Mines and the world

The Payne Institute extends to public policy Mines’ conviction that energy and the environment must– and can – fruitfully coexist. We are in an enviable position to tap into a deep well of on-campus and alumni leaders in industry and environmental groups around the world. We foster collaboration with a focus on problem-solving rather than furthering entrenched agendas.

COLORADO

Colorado has been at the forefront of establishing regulations for the oil and gas industry and working in a coherent inclusive manner between the industry and other stakeholders. That form of broad engagement based on science should continue. It will serve to both evolve the discussion in the state and at the local level, but also serve as a lodestar for the national and global discussion.

NEWS

Global Energy Politics June 1, 2020

GLOBAL ENERGY POLITICS

Payne Institute Fellow Thijs Van de Graaf has a new book that uncovers the intricate ways in which our energy systems have shaped global outcomes in four key areas of world politics: security, the economy, the environment and global justice. We are on the cusp of a global energy shift that promises to be no less transformative for the pursuit of wealth and power in world politics than the historical shifts from wood to coal and from coal to oil. This ongoing energy transformation will not only upend the global balance of power; it could also fundamentally transfer political authority away from the nation state, empowering citizens, regions and local communities. June 1, 2020.

HOW PLUMMETING FUEL PRICES AND REDUCED OPERATIONS COULD FREE UP BILLIONS OF DEFENSE DOLLARS 5/26/2020

HOW PLUMMETING FUEL PRICES AND REDUCED OPERATIONS COULD FREE UP BILLIONS OF DEFENSE DOLLARS

Payne Institute Fellow Michael Baskin writes about how the U.S. Department of Defense is one of the world’s largest consumers of petroleum, yet it relies on an industrial-era system to plan for volatility in global oil markets. Prioritizing stability over efficiency, the system is not designed to respond nimbly to shocks in the oil market like the one happening right now due to COVID-19.  May 26, 2020.

ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION: THE CASE OF GHANA’S SANKOFA GAS PROJECT 5/26/2020

ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION: THE CASE OF GHANA’S SANKOFA GAS PROJECT

Payne Institute Scholar John Ayaburi and Director Morgan Bazilian consider the economic benefits of Ghana’s Sankofa natural gas project.  In 2014, Ghanaians experienced severe power outages — known as “dumsor” — with the productivity losses estimated at 2 percent of GDP. Domestic natural gas production could provide reliable and low cost electricity for Ghana, if it can be developed. A joint project, Sankofa gas project, aimed at developing natural gas off the coast of Ghana promises to transform the country’s energy mix.  May 26, 2020

Economic impacts of the 2020 oil market crash 5/21/2020

ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF THE 2020 OIL MARKET CRASH

Payne Fellow Brad Handler and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the upstream oil and gas industry risks losing more than 200,000 jobs over the next six to 12 months—comparable to the 2015–2016 oil market downturn—and appears poised to shrink over the longer term, as well. This may challenge states and local communities that have significant upstream exposure and suggests they focus on making their economies more resilient.  May 21, 2020. 

Steel, Hydrogen And Renewables: Strange Bedfellows? Maybe Not… 5/15/2020

STEEL, HYDROGEN AND RENEWABLES: STRANGE BEDFELLOWS? MAYBE NOT…

Payne Institute Fellow Dolf Gielen and Advisory Board member Kenneth Medlock write that as firms and nations increasingly adopt “net zero” carbon ambitions, some sectors of the economy stand out as more difficult in meeting those goals, particularly industrial activities that require very high temperatures and/or generate process emissions associated with chemical transformations. While these sectors present challenges towards deep decarbonization, new opportunities are emerging rapidly. A future low-carbon energy system will likely be more material-intensive than the current one, and in virtually any vision of a net-zero carbon future there is a massive need for new infrastructure.  May 15, 2020.  

COVID-19 has tested governments around the world – here’s what that means for the energy transition 5/13/2020

COVID-19 HAS TESTED GOVERNMENTS AROUND THE WORLD – HERE’S WHAT THAT MEANS FOR THE ENERGY TRANSITION

Payne Institute Advisory Board member David Victor and Payne Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the world is ensconced in a global public health crisis due to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus, and the related economic crisis and oil market crash, the path to a low-carbon future has become more uncertain.  It is more critical than ever to look at countries’ readiness for the energy transition.  May 13, 2020.

Fostering Effective Energy Transition 5/13/2020

FOSTERING EFFECTIVE ENERGY TRANSITION – 2020 EDITION

The Payne Institute contributed to the World Economic Forum Platform for Shaping the Future of Energy and Materials.  The annual benchmarking of energy systems across countries has enabled tracking the speed and direction of their energy transition and identifying opportunities for improvement. The transformation of the energy system over the past decade, although slower than required to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, has been significant. But this hard‑earned momentum now risks being lost, as the ongoing COVID‑19 pandemic continues to cause economic and social damage.  May 13, 2020.  

How U.S. Shale Can Survive The Oil Crash 5/11/2020

HOW U.S. SHALE CAN SURVIVE THE OIL CRASH

Payne Institute Fellow Brad Handler and Morgan Bazilian look at the question regarding whether we have reached peak oil demand is a pressing concern for U.S. upstream activity. U.S. tight oil’s current cost structure, which generally requires ~$50/barrel WTI to make it economically viable, suggests that oil demand needs to return to pre-COVID levels for U.S. shale to recover. This article considers the industry’s ability to lower its cost structure further in order for it to maintain competitiveness.  May 11, 2020.

 

Demand Doubts Dampen Investor Sentiment 5/11/2020

DEMAND DOUBTS DAMPEN INVESTOR SENTIMENT

Payne Institute Fellow Brad Handler and Morgan Bazilian write about concerns over the long-term future of oil exercise US investors’ thinking. The European financial community has harboured growing concern over the longer-term prospects for oil demand for a few years. But the collapse in US oil and gas (O&G) share prices is testament to a shift there too, with investors no longer bullish on robust long-term demand—particularly given the increasing prominence of the transition to lower carbon energy.  This change in sentiment implies relatively less US oil development activity and threatens to shrink the industry permanently.  May 11, 2020.

MINES ENERGY FUTURE PODCAST – WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON WITH OIL AND GAS: INSIGHTS FROM A PETROLEUM ENGINEER 5/8/2020

MINES ENERGY FUTURE PODCAST – WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON WITH OIL AND GAS: INSIGHTS FROM A PETROLEUM ENGINEER

Mines Energy Future podcast featuring Dr. Jennifer L. Miskimins, Interim Department Head and Professor, Petroleum Engineering, Director, Fracturing, Acidizing, Stimulation Technology (FAST), Co-Director, Center for Earth Materials, Mechanics and Characterization at Colorado School of Mines discussing the future of oil and gas in these unpredictable times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. May 8, 2020.

For more information about the Future of Oil & Gas Initiative at the Payne Institute for Public Policy, please contact our Strategy and Operations Manager, Gregory Clough, at gclough@mines.edu.