Shepperd: Permian Basin produces global security

As featured in the September 22, 2019 edition of the Midland Reporter-Telegram

As the entire world continues to seek answers for the coordinated terrorist attacks on Saudi oil facilities over the weekend, one thing is clearer than ever, and it is just how important the Permian Basin is during these times.

While not new, these terrorist attacks continue to threaten America and her allies around the globe. But this time, record production of domestic oil and natural gas, especially in our region, serve as a counterbalance to what would normally be a cause of great concern for our nation.

Today, because of the success of petroleum producers in the Permian Basin, there is not worldwide panic, there is not an immediate need to tap strategic reserves, and there is no threat of gasoline shortages for Americans preparing for their workdays.

At this time, it’s anticipated that this 5 million-barrel a day strike from production will have serious and lasting challenges to the world’s oil supply, and if not for the producers in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico, these challenges would cause extraordinary threats to energy security, our nation, our workforce, our schools, and our hospitals.

But these are not ordinary times and that is because of the Permian Basin.

In Texas and New Mexico, the Permian Basin is the largest and most important operating basin in the entire world. This weekend’s attacks are another example of why the efforts of domestic producers to produce oil, gas, and prosperity in the Permian, are so important.

Since 2010, oil production in the Permian region has increased from less than 1 million barrels/day to nearly 5 million barrels/day in 2019 and is anticipated to increase to as much as 8 million barrels/day by 2023.

Over the same period, the United States surpassed Russia as the leading producer of natural gas in 2011 and last year surpassed Saudi Arabia as the largest producer of petroleum.

In short, hundreds of miles away from the largest metropolitan areas in Texas and New Mexico, and 8,000 miles from the attacks in Saudi Arabia, the Permian Basin is buoying the world’s energy supply and ensuring peace, when at any other time, chaos could have ensued.

Today, because of the Permian Basin, the United States is a safer place.

For years, these exploration and production companies have harnessed techniques to manage the worlds’ largest mining exploration in the history of mankind and have done so with great care and focus on environmental stewardship.

While others have pushed an anti-energy narrative, many of these energy critics are today sitting in stunned silence because women and men in the industry have demonstrated the value, necessity, and ingenuity that our country, and our world demands.

The prosperity being produced daily in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico has made our nation safer in these very trying times and I am proud of the leaders in Texas and New Mexico, of both parties, for their efforts to promote this American energy renaissance and keep our nation safe in the face of international terror.

Ben Shepperd is president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association.

Energy security and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive

As featured in The Permian Basin Petroleum Association's official magazine, The Permian Basin Oil and Gas Magazine. (August 2019)

For too long, too many people have accepted the assumption that we have to choose between domestic energy production and environmental stewardship. While the Permian Basin Petroleum Association has never accepted this false dilemma, politicians and policy makers have chosen to act as though these were the only paths moving forward.

Thankfully today, more and more Americans are realizing this is not the case.

With record breaking oil and gas production in the Permian Basin, we are still anticipating a decrease in carbon emissions in the United States in 2019 and 2020 as we have seen in a historical trend since at least the year 2000. The abundance of oil and natural gas being produced in the Permian Basin and across the nation has encouraged the transition of energy generation to cleaner burning natural gas and we are now a net exporter of crude oil.

These impacts cannot be understated. With the largest oilfield in the world in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico, the Permian Basin is leading the path to energy security for America and her allies around the globe.

Last week, President Trump discussed this incredible advancement and noted that he “pledged a strong, growing economy and a healthy environment because I believe that we can pursue both at the same time.”

The Permian Basin Petroleum Association agrees. Energy security and environmental protections are not mutually exclusive.

In Texas and New Mexico, PBPA and its member companies work well with our state and federal counterparts to create a better, more secure, energy future while not sacrificing our goal in promoting environmental best practices.

We share President Trump’s belief that “We have only one America. We have only one planet…We will defend the environment, but we will also defend American sovereignty, American prosperity, and we will defend American jobs.”

The current administration has also focused on creating greater efficiencies at federal agencies and this have yielded positive results. In particular, member companies have been able to benefit from a consistent regulatory structure and the general public has benefited from substantive enforcement of environmental protections.

Additionally, this engagement with our partners in the federal and state governments has encouraged the industry to develop commercially viable technologies, including the recycling of water, to create more sustainable operations that protect fresh water for communities across energy producing regions and beyond.

We have long argued that the answer to innovation is not government mandates that create restrictions on operators. Rather, the solution is to allow the industry to invest in innovations that can be scaled and used by all operators. This market based economy will allow new or smaller operators to enter the industry and build on these technologies instead of the alternative which is a prohibitive regulatory environment that discourages access and competition.

The Permian Basin and its operators look forward to continuing to produce prosperity for these communities in Texas and New Mexico, and for our nation at large. We recognize the responsibility we have as energy producers and will continue to safely and responsibly develop our natural resources so that families can benefit from affordable, reliable, domestic energy for generations to come.

Building a safer Permian Basin, one lane at a time

As featured in the Sunday, July 15, 2019 edition of the Midland Reporter-Telegram.

The prosperity produced in the Permian Basin has invigorated the local and state economy and has brought energy security to America and her allies.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. crude oil production surpassed 12 million barrels per day in April and in a report out this week, the EIA noted that the "Permian Basin in western Texas and eastern New Mexico continues to drive record national oil production growth...account[ing] for about 63% of Texas and 96% of New Mexico crude oil production."

The EIA also recognized that between "January 2018 to April 2019, Texas crude oil production increased by 1.1 million b/d (28%) and New Mexico production increased by 345,000 b/d (64%)."

And while these record levels of production have provided untold prosperity in Texas and New Mexico, they have also created challenges that our industry continues to work toward solving.

One of these primary issues that has been a focus for some time is addressing infrastructure challenges that we all see throughout the Permian Basin.

In the recently completed Texas Legislative Session, the Permian Basin Petroleum Association (PBPA) strongly advocated for increased funding for county roads in these energy producing areas. This session, PBPA, along with member companies and allies, advocated and secured $250 million in funding for county roads. This legislative effort was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott as part of the state budget and we look forward to these grants helping the interconnectivity that we all rely on in energy producing counties.

In Texas, PBPA is working directly with the Texas Transportation Commission, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), and the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), to support funding for transportation programs in the Permian Basin. Specifically, PBPA has joined with regional partners like the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance (MOTRAN) to create a focus over the next few years to finance $600 million worth of projects in each of the next two years in the Permian Basin through the Unified Transportation Plan (UTP).

Federally, we have worked with TxDOT to support their BUILD grant applications to the USDOT to work on specific stretches of state and federal highway that need large and immediate investment. On that front we have worked with the Permian Basin Metropolitan Planning Organization to focus support on stretches of U.S. Interstate 20 that are in clear need of repair.

This is an ongoing challenge that we are looking to address for the short and long term success of these vibrant communities here in the Permian Basin. Our companies are proud to be a part of this energy revolution and we know that the health and longevity of the energy industry and of these communities will rely on adequate infrastructure being constructed.

With help from local, regional, and statewide officials, PBPA will continue to focus on the needs of our communities and represent the Permian Basin to make them as prosperous for the next generation that calls it home.

PBPA in the Media

The following CNN Business videos discuss hydraulic fracturing and water use in the Permian Basin. The video series features several PBPA current and former Board members; Clint Walker of CUDD Energy Services, Tommy Taylor and crew of Fasken Oil and Ranch, and Steve Pruett of Elevation Resources.

    With PBPA’s constant activity in the political arena, the association has received much press. Listed below is a sample of the major media outlets that have featured PBPA recently.