American Petroleum Institute CEO outlines 2014 priorities
At his 2014 State of American Energy speech today, American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard outlined the broad economic, geopolitical, and security benefits of record-breaking domestic oil and natural gas production in the U.S.
He also discussed API’s advocacy and messaging priorities, issued a new report, and launched a new advertising campaign, which focused on the impact of future policy decisions on America’s energy revolution.
“To lead the energy policy discussion and educate the public on the game changing impact of the choices our nation faces when it comes to energy policy, API’s 2014 messaging and advocacy theme is America’s Energy, America’s Choice,” Gerard said. “It distills America’s energy policy discussion down to a basic choice: An American energy future of energy abundance, self-sufficiency and global leadership or energy scarcity, dependence and economic uncertainty.”
Gerard also unveiled the results of a new study by IHS, which estimates that capital spending in oil and gas midstream and downstream infrastructure has increased by 60 percent between 2010 and 2013, from $56.3 billion to $89.6 billion. This increase in capital spending has provided both an economic stimulus and further proof of how shale driven oil and gas production is reshaping the U.S. oil and gas infrastructure landscape, according to the report.
The IHS analysis also estimates that $85 billion to $90 billion of direct capital will be allocated toward oil and gas infrastructure in 2014. The IHS forecast of oil and gas infrastructure investment over the next 12 years (2014 - 2025) estimates a cumulative spending of $890 billion (in 2012 dollars) in the base case, and $1.15 trillion in the high production case.
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“We can erase what for decades has been America’s greatest economic vulnerability – our dependence on energy sources from other continents, particularly from less stable and less friendly nations – and fundamentally alter the geopolitical landscape for decades to come, all while providing a much needed boost to our economy. But only if we get our energy policy right,” Gerard said.
“We as a country are more energy efficient now than ever and we must become even more energy efficient,” Gerard said.
API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 580 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of over 15 million Americans.
The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $85 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April
Retailers can recover a portion of excess bad debt by temporarily increasing prices from April 2022, according to an Ofwat statement.
The regulator confirmed its view that levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue, thereby allowing "a temporary increase" in the maximum prices. Adjustments to price caps will apply for a minimum of two years to reduce the step changes in price that customers might experience.
Measures introduced since March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 could lead to retailers facing higher levels of customer bad debt. Retailers’ abilities to respond to this are expected to be constrained by Ofwat strengthening protections for non-household customers during Covid-19 and the presence of price caps.
In April last year, Ofwat committed to provide additional regulatory protection if bad debt costs across the market exceeded 2% of non-household revenue.
Georgina Mills, Business Retail Market Director at Ofwat said: “These decisions aim to protect the interests of non-household customers in the short and longer term, including from the risk of systemic Retailer failure as the business retail market continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19. By implementing market-wide adjustments to price caps, we aim to minimise any additional costs for customers in the shorter term by promoting efficiency and supporting competition.”
There are also three areas where Ofwat has not reached definitive conclusions and is seeking further evidence and views from stakeholders:
- Pooling excess bad debt costs – Ofwat proposes that the recovery of excess bad debt costs is pooled across all non-household customers, via a uniform uplift to price caps.
- Keeping open the option of not pursuing a true up – For example if outturn bad debt costs are not materially higher than the 2% threshold.
- Undertaking the true up – If a 'true up' is required, Ofwat has set out how it expects this to work in practice.
Further consultation on the proposed adjustments to REC price caps can be expected by December.
"While it’s great that regulators are helping the industry deal with bad debt in the wake of the pandemic, raising prices only treats the symptoms. Instead, water companies should head upstream, using customer data to identify and rectify the causes of bad debt, stop it at source and help prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.
"While recouping costs is a must, water companies shouldn’t just rely on the regulator. Data can help companies segment customers, identify and assist customers that are struggling financially, avoiding penalising the entire customer in tackling the cause of the issue."
United Utilities picks up pipeline award
A race-against-time plumbing job to connect four huge water pipes into the large Haweswater Aqueduct in Cumbria saw United Utilities awarded Utility Project of the Year by Pipeline Industries Guild.
The Hallbank project, near Kendal, was completed within a tight eight-day deadline, in a storm and during the second COVID lockdown last November – and with three hours to spare. Principal construction manager John Dawson said the project helped boost the resilience of water supplies across the North West.
“I think what made us stand out was the scale, the use of future technology and the fact that we were really just one team, working collaboratively for a common goal," he said.
Camus Energy secures $16m funding
Camus Energy, which provides advanced grid management technology, has secured $16 million in a Series A round, led by Park West Asset Management and joined by Congruent Ventures, Wave Capital and other investors, including an investor-owned utility. Camus will leverage the operating capital to expand its grid management software platform to meet growing demand from utilities across North America.
As local utilities look to save money and increase their use of clean energy by tapping into low-cost and low-carbon local resources, Camus' grid management platform provides connectivity between the utility's operations team, its grid-connected equipment and customer devices.