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From the President, USAEE

Lori Smith Schell, PhD, ERP
President, Empowered Energy
(Durango, CO)
 

As much as I love the autumn colors, I am never quite ready to let go of summer.  This summer was a busy one, highlighted by the 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference in Anchorage, Alaska at the end of July.  Anchorage was at its best, providing us with warm sunny days for the duration of the conference.  The technical tours to the North Slope, Valdez, and local sites were well attended and provided great opportunities to engage with colleagues while taking in the magnificent Alaskan scenery.  The conference organizing committee provided a great lineup of plenary session speakers and the concurrent sessions included a breadth of topics.  The plenary session on Unconventional Oil and Gas Development was co-hosted with the Society of Petroleum Engineers, a professional collaboration that we hope to continue going forward.  The post-conference workshop on methane hydrates was well attended and engaging and took the concept of unconventional gas development a step further into the future.

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 From the Editor

Robert Eric Borgström
Independent Advisor on Regulation
(Washington, DC)

 

Dear Colleagues

This issue of USAEE Dialogue focuses upon the excellent USAEE/IAEE North American Conference that we enjoyed this summer in Anchorage.  Our first ever conference in Alaska was a great success and our photo and article coverage should bring back happy memories to those of us who participated as well as encourage all members to put next year’s conference in New York on their calendars for June 15-18, 2014. (Please follow this link for further information www.usaee.org/usaee2014 .)

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32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference

Anchorage, Alaska: July 29-31, 2013

Additional pictures from the conference may be found at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/usaee/sets/

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From the Conference Program Chair

Roger Marks
Principal, Roger Marks & Associates
(Anchorage, AK)

 

Three years ago, when the Anchorage chapter of the USAEE (the Anchorage Association for Energy Economics) first envisioned hosting the annual USAEE North American Conference, we had several goals. We wanted to bring to the local community the international resources of the Association to discuss issues germane to Alaska, as well as the rest of the world. We believed that an event focused on Arctic themes would attract experts from other Arctic nations. And we conceived Association members would be enriched by the opportunity to visit Alaska.  It appears that we met those goals. A total of 273 delegates attended from 25 states and 22 countries. This included 57 students and 107 newcomers. About 75% of the delegates were from outside Alaska.

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Conference Overview

Roger Lueken
PhD Student, Engineering and Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University

 

Attendees of USAEE's first ever North American conference to be held in Alaska were treated to three days of stimulating presentations and great networking opportunities as well as great weather and magnificent scenery.  Highlights of the conference included the exceptional plenary sessions that covered a wide range of topics relevant to energy economics, from oil and gas markets to isolated electric power grids.  Each session made a point to relate the discussion to issues in Alaska, giving conference-goers a taste of the unique energy challenges facing Alaskans today.

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Selected Papers from the 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference

The Conference Program, including links to additional papers, abstracts

and presentations may be found at

http://www.usaee.org/usaee2013/program.aspx

 

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Modeling the North American Market for Natural Gas Liquids with NGL-NA™

Robert E Brooks
Founder & President, RBAC, Inc.
(Sherman Oaks, CA)


This paper concerns NGL-NA™, a new model designed to analyze and forecast market fundamentals in the North America natural gas liquids (NGL) market.  A principal impetus for this model is the expanding production of natural gas and natural gas liquids due to the “shale gas revolution”.  This phenomenon has stressed existing NGL infrastructure and caused unanticipated declines in NGL prices.  The industry requires a realistic scenario analysis tool to help it identify and evaluate investment opportunities in this fast growing but risky market.

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From Shale Gas to LNG Exports: The Prospects for North American LNG Exports

Susan L. Sakmar[1]
Visiting Assistant Professor
University of Houston Law Center

 

While much has been written about shale gas being either an “energy game changer”[2]  or an environmental hazard, far less attention has been focused on whether the U.S. should export its newfound abundance of shale gas as liquefied natural gas (LNG) to foreign countries.   This paper analyzes this key policy question in the context of briefs submitted to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) (hereinafter “DOE”) in respose to its request for comments on its “2012 LNG Export Study”.

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Relative Price Elasticity of Demand Change: A Case Study for Hydrous Ethanol and Gasoline in Brazil

Paulo Henrique de Mello Sant’Ana
Professor, Center of Engineering, Modeling and Applied Social Sciences
Federal University of ABC (UFABC), São Paulo – Brazil

 

Elasticity is frequently used in economics to analyse how the change of a variable affect others.  Price elasticity of demand and cross price elasticity of demand are often used in energy economics, but these indices have limitations if there are close substitutes for a good with similar prices. The objectives of this paper are to: (1) Calculate price elasticity of demand and cross price elasticity of demand for hydrous ethanol and gasoline for flex-fuel vehicles in Brazil, also showing the limitations of both indices; and (2) Propose an elasticity index that has better results than elasticity of demand and cross price elasticity of demand for the case studied.

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Selected Summaries of Papers from the Concurrent Sessions

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Optimization of Cost and Greenhouse Gas  Emissions of a Dedicated Energy Crop Supply  System to Biorefineries in Tennessee[i] 

Burton C. English,
Professor, Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics
University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)
 
Zidong Wang,
Student, Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)
 
T. Edward Yu,
Asst. Professor, Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)
 
James A. Larson,
Professor, Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics,
University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN)

 

Producing biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass (LCB) has been suggested as a way to mitigate dependence on fossil fuels and production of greenhouse gasses (GHG). The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 mandates 16 billion gallons of LCB-based biofuels per year for transportation by 2022 in the United States. Considerable LCB feedstock will be needed to fulfill this goal.

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The Impact of US Energy Policy on the Balance of Trade

Gal Hochman
Assoc. Prof., Dept. of Agriculture, Food & Resource Economics
Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ)
 
Ella Segev
Lecturer, Dept. of IE&M
Ben Gurion University of the Negev (Israel)

Geoffrey Barrow
Graduate Student, Dept. of Agriculture & Resource Economics
University of California, Berkeley
 
David Zilberman
Professor, Dept. of Agriculture & Resource Economics
University of California, Berkeley
 
 

It is a common perception that US energy policy is driven by energy security and climate change concerns. Fuel security means reduction of dependence on unreliable supply of fossil fuels, whereas climate change means switching away to strategies and fuels which will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The US emphasize reduced GHG emission by tightening the CAFE standards, subsidizing electric cars, imposing environmental regulation that lead to reduction of use of coal in power plants (in April 2012 EPA released a draft that called for any new power plant to reduce GHG emissions to levels of “state-of-the-art, combined cycle natural gas plant”), and biofuel policies - including the Renewable Fuel Standard and Low Carbon Fuel Standard (the former is a volumetric mandate, the latter is a GHG standard for transportation fuels). The US government also allowed further expansion of Fracking, which led natural gas prices to plummet and replace coal and nuclear in electricity production as well as diesel and gasoline as vehicular fuels (in trucks, buses, taxis, etc).

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Assessment of the Economic Impacts of the Shale Oil and Gas Boom

Farzad Taheripour
Assistant Professor,
Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)
 
Wallace E. Tyner
James and Lois Ackerman Professor,
Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)
 
Kemal Sarica
Post-Doctoral Associate,
Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)

 

This paper summarizes two papers presented at the 32nd USAEE/IAEE North American Conference in Anchorage, Alaska. The first paper is a general equilibrium analysis of the overall economic impacts of the shale oil and gas boom[1], and the second is an energy sector model (MARKAL) analysis of the impacts of natural gas exports[2].

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Coal to Liquids: Why and How It Makes the Case in China

Ning Wu*
Senior Economist,
TOTAL Exploration and Production, USA
(Houston, TX)

 

The People’s Republic of China (China) is actively developing coal-to-liquids (CtL) technologies. Meanwhile in Europe and the United States, these technologies have evolved to an unfavorable stage because of the intense capital investment and economic uncertainty caused by the volatility of crude oil prices, technological risks, and significant carbon-dioxide discharge (Vallentin 2008a, 2008b).

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A conference program and a venue not to be missed!

 The 37th IAEE International Conference

New York, New York

June 15 - 18, 2014

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