American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018 - 163

because where the Democrats gain control,
the legislative process rapidly would be
subordinated to a recurring review over
any Trump administration actions," he
forecast. "Virtually no legislation would
get done except for the annual battles over
appropriations, and it would be an even
more contentious time in Washington.
"The next three years will be intense
and exhausting," he advised.
Different Futures
PPHB's Brooks considered the phrase
"This time it's different," which he deemed
the four most dangerous words in forecasting. Although a book of that title
suggests that investors have lost more
money following that advice than by any
other strategy, he said, it sometimes proves
accurate. He contrasted the outlook for
U.S. oil and gas in the early 2000s-which
presumed inexorable production decline,
growing imports and supply disruption
risks-with the reality of the unconventional
shale revolution that followed.
"If you had known about George
Mitchell and his associates working to
solve gas shale drilling and production
puzzles in the early 2000s, would you
have believed anyone who told you that
it would be different this time?" Brooks
posed.
He cited a pair of energy scenarios
from history: The sudden collapse of demand for whale oil in the late 1850s and
what appeared to be the dwindling U.S.
supply of natural gas in the 1970s.
"Many issues beyond the oil and gas
industry's control will shape its future,"
he forecast. "As we come back to the future, we will hear the echo asking if this
time is different. Is it? Is this the whale
oil industry of the late 1850s or the
natural gas business of the 1970s? One
changed because of economics, the other
by government actions. Are we in a world
of unrestrained production growth or will
we revisit the outlook of the early 2000s?
Or are we just going through another
typical industry cycle?"
As U.S. production continues to climb,
the United States will become an increasingly important player as a global
energy exporter, especially in the liquefied
natural gas market, he predicted.
"Possibly the greatest-but least understood-change is in the geopolitical
world," he considered. "Scarcity and
cartels long have shaped oil markets and
major geopolitical trends. In today's new
order, peak oil no longer drives the decisions of governments, businesses and individuals. The world will become more
natural gas centric as this fuel assumes a
more dominant role in energy markets.
"The geopolitical shifts will give more

Fox and Friends co-host
Brian Kilmeade (left) visits with OOGA President
James Aslanides, president of MFC Drilling
inc. in Coshocton, Oh.
Kilmeade's keynote remarks included reflections on his career path
and tidbits from his
books.

power to nontraditional producers," Brooks
decided. "OPEC will become a greatly
diminished force and the freely functioning
market will play a greater role in balancing
the global energy market."
With regard to production, Brooks
mentioned the industry's ability to increase hydrocarbon output with fewer
rigs. "Not only is technology changing
how we drill wells, it is helping the industry complete wells in ways that significantly boost output and recovery,"
he pointed out. "Remember, we get only
about 35 percent of the wells' potential
reserves. It has been estimated that if
we can raise the recovery rate from 35
to 45 percent, we will add 1 trillion
barrels of new reserves."
Welcome Warming
Geoscientist and author Wrightstone
opened his presentation by deconstructing
the oft-repeated mantra that 97 percent
of scientists agree about climate change.
Instead, he distinguished, the consensus
is limited to agreement that:
* Atmospheric carbon dioxide has
been increasing;
* The CO2 increase is almost entirely
attributable to human causes; and
* Average global temperatures have
been increasing for more than a century.
"There is not that level of agreement
about the catastrophic position on climate
change: That the temperature increase
we have seen in the last 100-200 years is
driven primarily by man, and second,
that the temperature increase we are causing is going to lead to catastrophic climate
impacts on both the Earth and the human
condition," he advised.
Instead of accepting the label of "climate change denier," Wrightstone described himself as a skeptic. Skeptics
such as he "believe the natural forces
driving temperature for hundreds of mil-

lions of years did not suddenly cease at
the beginning of the 20th Century, and
that the same natural forces are driving
temperatures now," he related.
"We admit that CO2 necessarily has
to have some warming effect, but it probably is overwhelmed by natural drivers,"
Wrightstone explained. "Second, the increasing CO2 and rising temperatures are
leading to either benign or-I strongly believe-beneficial effects on the Earth's
ecosystems and the human condition."
According to Wrightstone, context is
everything in climate science, so he considered how 600 million years of CO2
data showed that geologic periods prior
to the present averaged atmospheric concentrations of 2,600 parts per million-6.5
times current levels. Moreover, he noted,
the globe's current warming trend began
in 1695, before the industrial revolution.
"That was the depths of the Little Ice
Age," he detailed. "It was horrific: 600,000
people died in one year in France. Half
the population of Iceland perished. The
River Thames froze solid."
Wrightstone pointed out how many
thriving human civilizations correlated
with warm climates and periods, and also
observed that far more climate-related
deaths were associated with lack of heat
than too much of it.
"Cold kills multiples as many people
as does heat: 15-20 times as many people
die from cold than heat," he stated. "This
is a classic case of how the media and
alarmists twist a kernel of truth. A European Union study of temperature-related
death predicts 160,000 more people will
die early by 2050 because of heat. The
headlines proclaimed that 160,000 people
would die because of climate change,
but they did not report that 260,000 would
be spared an early death from cold."
Moreover, he emphasized, the earth
is undeniably greening. "It is completely
APRIL 2018 163



American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - April 2018

Contents
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