In-depth weekly analysis of US oil policy news from S&P Global Platts' senior editors covering the Capitol. Hosted by senior oil news editor Meghan Gordon.
US pipelines wake up to cyberthreats after Colonial shutdown exposes vulnerabilities
Will the cyberattack that forced the largest US oil pipeline to shut down for days be a wake-up call for the industry to rapidly shore up its cyber defenses?
On this special episode, we have two interviews from cybersecurity experts. Both say they were not entirely surprised by the attack on the Colonial Pipeline, as they have witnessed the oil and gas sector be slower to adopt cyber security programs than counterparts in the utility sector.
Leo Simonovich, global head of industrial cyber at Siemens Energy, returns to Capitol Crude after joining us last year, when he made the case that the industry's digital transformation was being accelerated by the pandemic and that it was compounding cyber risks.
John Cusimano, vice president of industrial cybersecurity at aeSolutions, explains the challenges that pipeline networks face in guarding against attacks.
ESG pressure builds on energy sector as investors, lawmakers raise climate goals
Just how realistic are the ESG goals being set each quarter by US energy producers in the face of rising pressure from investors, banks and the government to become more environmentally sustainable?
The Biden administration has ushered in new climate priorities across the government, including the Environmental Protection Agency reviewing methane limits, the Federal Reserve weighing climate risks to the economy, and the Securities and Exchange Commission examining climate disclosures in public markets.
We spoke with Andrew Logan, director the oil and gas program at Ceres, an investor network focused on making financial markets and companies more environmentally sustainable.
He sized up President Biden’s climate policy progress so far, how oil and gas producers are responding to these pressures, whether carbon capture solutions are being oversold, and what rapid decarbonization could mean for the energy sector.
Will Biden’s review of oil, gas leasing turn into a drilling ban?
The US Interior Department has approved more than 500 drilling permits on federal lands and waters since January, despite the Biden administration's halt to new lease sales. The agency has not said when it might resume leasing, other than canceling any sales through June.
Producer-state senators contend that this pause will turn into a permanent ban. Senator John Hoeven, Republican-North Dakota, made that case on yesterday's Capitol Crude podcast. We took a look at how the leasing review is actually impacting US oil production.
Ash Singh, S&P Global Platts manager of supply and production analytics, shares the latest outlook and gives his prediction for how leasing might resume. He also gets into the current economic climate for US drillers and how capital discipline is playing out in the early stages of pandemic recovery.
Battered North Dakota oil sector awaits Dakota Access ruling, Interior leasing review
The Dakota Access Pipeline returns to court today for a pivotal hearing. The Biden administration has been asked by the federal judge in the case to disclose whether it supports an immediate shutdown of the pipeline while the Army Corps of Engineers conducts a new environmental review.
We spoke with Senator John Hoeven, Republican-North Dakota, about the risks to the state if Dakota Access has to shut down.
We also asked him about the Interior Department's federal leasing ban, carbon capture tax incentives, Congress' competing infrastructure packages and US/OPEC relations.
North Dakota's oil production plummeted last year from a peak of 1.5 million b/d in November 2019 to a low point of 864,000 b/d in May 2020, losing its status as the second top oil-producing state to New Mexico for a few months. It pumped 1.1 million b/d in February, putting it back ahead of New Mexico by a thin margin.
Biden climate goals ignore oil demand outlook: Louisiana Senator Cassidy
Louisiana sits at the crossroads of US climate policy, from experiencing some of the earliest effects of rising sea levels and changing weather patterns to depending on fossil fuels for economic growth.
We spoke with US Senator Bill Cassidy, Republican-Louisiana, about how the Biden administration's climate policies are playing out in his state.
He contends the White House's climate ambitions ignore just how dependent the US is on fossil fuels given the pace of cleaner alternatives.
We also asked Cassidy about the Interior Department's leasing moratorium, how offshore drillers are shifting assets out of Louisiana, and what he expects on US-OPEC relations under the Biden White House.
Changes to pricing, regulations key to boosting oil production in Argentina
Argentina's oil production has been on the rise this year, recovering from the demand and price impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Oil output climbed to 492,000 b/d in February, up from 446,000 b/d in May. While that was still down from 520,000 b/d in March 2020, market watchers appear confident that production will fully recover by the end of 2021.
Argentina's current administration has been keen on boosting production, primarily from the Vaca Muerta shale play, which is said to hold roughly 1 billion barrels of oil -- but unlocking those reserves will require changes to Argentina's regulatory and tax environment, and a shift to transparent oil prices.
We talked with Maria Garcia, S&P Global Platts senior editor for Latin American crude, and Charles Newberry, Platts' Argentina correspondent, about what's happening.
The perfect amount of information in a manageable amount of time. Excellent format and great podcast