Most oil and gas execs concerned about methane fee, LNG pause

By Shelby Webb | 03/28/2024 06:46 AM EDT

A survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas found an industry pointing to uncertain conditions.

Cove Point LNG Terminal.

Oil executives are criticizing the Biden administration's pause on liquefied natural gas permits. A heat exchanger and transfer pipes at a Maryland LNG terminal are pictured. Cliff Owen/AP

Most oil and gas executives surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said the Biden administration’s liquefied natural gas export approval pause and EPA’s proposed methane fee will hurt their businesses.

Some industry leaders said in a survey released Wednesday that uncertainty caused by the 2024 presidential election and the candidates’ potential regulatory regimes made them hesitant to drill new wells — even though current oil prices are more than high enough to make drilling profitable. President Joe Biden is expected to face former President Donald Trump in November.

“I can’t recall a more uncertain time with disturbing world conflicts and the choice we have to make in the U.S. presidential election,” an unnamed executive told the Dallas Fed.


The survey — which polled 147 companies across Texas, southern New Mexico and northern Louisiana — found that activity in the oil and gas sector remained “relatively unchanged” during the first quarter of this year. About 55 percent of companies expected employment levels to remain about the same throughout this year, and about 30 percent expected a slight increase in employment. But responses also pointed to a decline in oil and natural gas production.