Happy holidays from the BTU Analytics energy team! This year, BTU Analytics would like to kick off the holidays by getting into the spirit of Festivus. As fans of Seinfeld will remember, Festivus begins with the “airing of grievances.” In the immortal words of Frank Costanza, “I got a lot of problems with you people! And now you’re going to hear about it!”
The energy team here at BTU Analytics spends an inordinate, and probably unhealthy, amount of time thinking, reading, and talking about the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Whether it’s environmental studies, project approvals, or pipeline rate cases, FERC is omnipresent in our day-to-day analysis of energy markets. And for what? Despite the length of the regulatory process, with its endless series of comment and review periods, projects are almost always approved. A faster approval process would be a welcome Christmas present for our energy analysts.
Too Many Units
As energy markets have become increasingly interconnected, BTU Analytics has expanded its energy insights coverage to include topics such as international energy prices and carbon capture and storage projects. Frequent readers of our energy insights are, by now, intimately familiar with a variety of energy units: $/MMBtu, Bcf/d, MTPA, EUR/MWh. The list goes on and on. Not only is keeping track of all of these units a headache, but it can also lead to major confusion. Case in point, a recent Reuters article mistakenly listed the capacity of one of the world’s largest proposed offshore CCS facilities at a mere 3.3 metric tonnes of CO2 rather than 3.3 million tonnes. Of course, not everyone is in favor of standardized units. As BTU Analyst Nick Jones put it, “I would be out of a job. 30% of my work is unit conversions.”
Finally, it is time to do away with the phrase “fracked gas.” There is a specific subset of environmental organizations that insist on using “fracked gas” to refer to all natural gas as if that term has any real meaning. One of the hallmarks of the natural gas market is the fungibility of natural gas. Unlike oil, with its various grades, weights, and sweetness, dry gas is dry gas, for the most part. This is not a comment on the environmental impacts of natural gas drilling. Rather, this is an acknowledgment that flaring from a conventional well has the same impact on the environment as gas produced from hydraulic fracturing. The oil and gas industry is confusing enough as it is. We don’t need to be using made-up terms, like “fracked gas,” if the objective is to have a real dialogue on how the industry should move forward to address environmental concerns.
Despite our grievances, the BTU Analytics energy team is excited to bring even more of our market-leading insights and analysis to you in 2023. Make sure you are subscribed to our future insights covering everything from oil and gas, to power markets, to the energy transition by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy holidays and happy New Year from BTU Analytics!