Bubbles and sprouts. The United States promised the world a new shale miracle

© 2018 AFP / Nicholas Kamm the US President’s Speech of Donald trump, the energy Department in Washington.Bubbles and sprouts. The United States promised the world a new shale miracle© 2018 AFP / Nicholas Kamm

After three or four years, the United States has become the largest exporter of hydrocarbons if oil prices rise, analysts believe the us Department of energy. If the black gold will fall in price and revolutionary new technology does not arrive, the us shale bubble will burst and America will have to forget about the dream of becoming an oil net exporter.

The day of independence

The energy information administration (EIA) U.S. Department of energy has published its annual report Energy Outlook 2018. The paper argues that in 2022 the United States will become an exporter of energy.

This contributes to the growth of world prices for hydrocarbons. EIA analysts pointed out that last year the volume of us exports and gas imports are almost equal, and further supplies of American liquefied natural gas (LNG) abroad — primarily to Asian markets — will increase.

In the same way is the situation with oil. Last year, the U.S. has reduced imports of «black gold» to 3.8 million barrels per day. And soon America will become a net exporter of crude oil, increasing the volumes of supply to 5.3 million barrels a day.

It should be said that not only the us Department of energy promises the flourishing oil and gas industry. The international energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Outlook report also predicts 2017 USA the world leader in the export of hydrocarbons.

Rosy for Washington prospect promise. However, analysts are somehow not notice the dependence of the refineries on import. Figures are stubborn things.

In 2016, the US will require 863 million tons of oil and produced 543 million. A deficit of 320 million tons offset by the procurement of heavy high-viscosity bitumen oil in Canada, Venezuela and Mexico, reminds the Professor of the Gubkin Russian state University of oil and gas named after Gubkin Valery Bessel.

From it produced a large number of products of petroleum and petrochemical products with high added value. «To refuse imports of heavy oil they can not, because to replace it with a light oil shale is impossible,» — said the source RIA Novosti.

At the end of 2017 the volume of daily production of «black gold» rose to 10,038 million barrels. In 2011 this indicator was at the level of 5,575 million barrels. Thus, in six years, achieved almost double the growth.

The United States has more than 22 thousands of oil and gas fields. Large reserves of hydrocarbons are in Louisiana, Texas, new Mexico and Oklahoma. In these States produced 70 percent of American oil.

However, EIA analysts have linked your rosy predictions about the transformation of USA into a net exporter with the development of shale oil and gas. But the accuracy of their calculations is directly dependent on world prices.

The cost of shale oil is 50-60 dollars per barrel. It is not surprising that play the year before prices drop below $ 40 per barrel proved fatal — the bubble burst. In October 2014, the number of drilling rigs reached 1609, and January 2016 they have worked less than 500. In 2015 42 us shale company filed for bankruptcy. Their debt has exceeded $ 17 billion. The total debt load of the enterprises of the sector was estimated at 250-300 billion dollars.

Now talking about the new shale gas revolution. The range of quotations of Brent crude oil is 60-65 dollars per barrel is attractive for shale companies that have seven thousand ready to use wells. Especially at the moment, there are no problems with access to capital.

«Clearly, the debt load of the US oil industry will rebound, but investors believe in shale production, and while this faith is justified», — says senior analyst «Alpari» the novel Tkachuk.

The lack of fear of inflation once the shale bubble can be explained simply: in the years of the shale boom in the US companies spent approximately 265 billion dollars more than it earned. Now, using the favorable situation, they are trying to «recapture» these costs.

In turn, the associate Professor of international Commerce at the Higher school of corporate management, Ranepa Ivan Kapitonov recalls that there is an objective fact of the growing demand for traditional energy resources. The United States each year need more oil and gas by 0.5%.

«Against the backdrop of the diminishing returns of shale wells even the optimists think that the American companies already teetering on the verge of profitability. To increase production, required a fundamentally new technology that do not yet exist or a sharp increase in oil prices,» — said the expert.

The United States now enter into a three of world leaders on volumes of extraction of hydrocarbons. However, to satisfy in full the needs of even its own market American oil and gas industry is not capable of.

According to Kapitonov, this is confirmed not only by statistics, imports of oil to the USA with delivery in the beginning of the year two tankers with Russian LNG. The expert is confident that a net exporter of energy America in the coming years definitely will not.

In addition, we must not forget that the demand for light crude oil from shale deposits limited. Europe, for example, to impose its will not work, because the refinery of most EU countries is one of the highest in the world of depths of processing, and they use highly viscous bitumen oil.

Most likely, the US will fight their way to the emerging markets of Asia-Pacific countries, particularly China and India, says Bessel. According to him, in this region, «huge shortage of hydrocarbons of any kind, and light oil will buy it with pleasure.» What kind of net exports is there to dream?

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