AFPM ’12: US shale production must still overcome political hurdles

01 April 2012 01:21  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--Organisers of  the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC) expect North America shale gas developments to fuel enthusiasm at the gathering, but warned on Saturday that the industry must still overcome US policy and regulatory obstacles.

“The enthusiasm per attendee has risen exponentially over the past couple of years,” said Charlie Drevna, president of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).

But attendees “also have to walk away with the idea that there are potential roadblocks that have to be addressed,” he said.

Drevna pointed to the policies of the Obama administration as one of those roadblocks.

“We still have within this country an administration that in my opinion is anti-fossil fuels,” he said.

“For a combined industry that provides 9.2m jobs in the nation and pays upwards over $31bn [€23bn] a year in taxes and fees, and those 9.2m people also pay taxes, you have to scratch your head and say what is the vilification and the demonisation of the oil and natural gas and refining and petrochemical industry all about,” he added.

AFPM vice president of petrochemicals Jim Cooper said while the administration pays lip service to oil and natural gas production in the US, there are as many as seven federal agencies trying to regulate shale gas development.

Drevna said it has been stated that more natural gas and oil has produced during the Obama administration than ever before, but the production increase has taken place on only private lands.

Drevna said there has been a 14% decrease of oil production on federal lands during the Obama administration, and an 11% decrease in natural gas production.

“Is there duplicity coming out of the administration? Absolutely,” Drevna said.

The IPC in San Antonio runs through Tuesday.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Brian Ford
+1 713 525 2653

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