By Ryan Sitton
In just 15 days, President-Elect Trump will be sworn in, and I expect a huge change from the last eight years of misguided Washington energy policies. OPEC’s agreement to cut production will be tested, investment is returning to Texas, and the overall outlook is positive for the energy economy of Texas.
There is no doubt 2017 will be a better year for energy producers, especially those in Texas, than was 2016. How much better depends on some externalities like the OPEC agreement to cut production. Here are my top 9 predictions for 2017.
1. As we look ahead to 2017, we can expect a much better regulatory environment for oil and gas. President-Elect Donald Trump will peel back overly burdensome regulations, creating more opportunities for oil and gas to grow and thrive.
2. If you look at the shift in the global landscape of where people are investing their dollars, they’re looking more at Texas today than they have in 50 years. This renewed investment will continue in the new year, bringing back jobs to Texas and increasing production.
3. 2017 will be a year of recovery for the energy industry and I believe we’ll see $60 per barrel in 2017.
4. I expect to see more LNG exports displacing Russian gas in Europe.
5. There will be more pipeline construction from Texas to Mexico to supply their increased demand for natural gas to fuel their electric generation facilities.
6. The Keystone Pipeline will enable the U.S. to import Canadian crude to Texas refineries, which is good news for job and our refining infrastructure.
7. The U.S. will see increased exports of refined products to fill the need of developing countries that lack refining facilities.
8. When commodity prices come up, Texas will be the first place where production will increase and we will begin to compete for global market share now that the oil export ban has been lifted.
9. The Congressional Review Act will be utilized more in 2017 than ever before since it was created in 1996 to undo federal regulations passed in the waning days of the Obama Administration.