Feb 6, 2018

Energy Dept. boosts long-term U.S. crude oil production outlook

A pumpjack sits on the outskirts of town at dawn in the Permian Basin oil field in Texas. Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The Energy Department's statistical arm projected Tuesday that rising U.S. crude oil production will level off between 11 million and 12 million barrels per day, a level that's higher than the 2017 version of the annual long-term forecast but could nonetheless prove too conservative.

Why it matters: The increased projection in the base, or reference, scenario underscores the surge in oil development from shale plays — the stuff tapped by fracking and horizontal drilling — in Texas and elsewhere.

Last year's version of the Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook
— a huge collection of use and production projections for many energy sources through 2050 — projected a plateau of 10 million to 11 million daily barrels.

The reasoning for the boost: "Lower 48 onshore tight oil development continues to be the main driver of total U.S. crude oil production, accounting for about 65% of cumulative domestic production in the Reference case over the projection period 2017 to 2050," it states. However, it plateaus as "development moves into less productive areas and as well productivity declines," EIA adds.

Worth noting: U.S. crude production is already around 10 million barrels per day. The annual EIA report contains more and less aggressive scenarios, including what could be a vastly larger boost in U.S. production as shale development surges and becomes an even more dominant share of national output.

  • The "high oil and gas resource and technology case" projects U.S. crude oil production rising through the forecast period, climbing to the 15 million barrel range around 2030 and rising into what appears to be the 18-19 million barrel range by 2050.

Go deeper: The whole report — which explores coal, natural gas, renewables and more — is available here.

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A new American coronavirus consensus

A hospital tent city rose in Central Park this week. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Something surprising is unfolding amid the finger-pointing and war-gaming about the coronavirus threat to America: A general consensus is forming about the next 60 days of wait and pain.

Why it matters: America has a chance to return to some semblance of normal in late May or June, gradually and perhaps geographically, but anything extending beyond that would still be too catastrophic to consider.

Florida's slow response may have made its coronavirus outbreak worse

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, Florida Department of Health; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Florida's slow response to the coronavirus may have set the stage for a disastrous outcome in one of the country's most vulnerable states.

Driving the news: Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide stay-at-home order yesterday, but there's bipartisan concern that he held off too long, letting the virus spread too far, before finally taking steps that many other governors embraced weeks ago.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Increase in domestic violence feared during virus lockdown

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Experts are convinced we are on the precipice of a crisis of domestic violence fueled by the anxiety, stay-at-home rules and economic uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: There is already early evidence of increased intensity of abuse of people in unhealthy relationships. But given that many are unlikely to seek help until things are more stable — either by calling hotlines or by leaving for shelters — we likely won’t know the full extent of the abuse until the virus outbreak subsides.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health