The U.S. — home to the prolific Permian Basin and Marcellus and Haynesville shales — will not lead crude oil and natural gas production as the shale curve flattens, Tinker Energy Associates CEO Scott Tinker said Feb. 8 on the sidelines of NAPE Summit in Houston.

“And if we continue to not do anything, and the federal government convinces people it's all terrible, no, we won't lead,” Tinker told Hart Energy. “And I think the Middle East and Russia would be thrilled if we didn't lead on oil and gas anymore.”

However, Tinker said a lot of technically recoverable U.S. oil and gas remains to be produced.

“We’ve got to protect it all, not just the climate from the land, the air and the water, your world, your business. We have to protect it all because it all impacts the environment,” Tinker said during a lunchtime keynote address.

Tinker also warned of the negative impacts that could arise from the recent pause on approvals for new LNG exporting facilities announced by U.S. President Joe Biden.

“You can hurt the economics here by being extremely nationalistic about all this. Keep it here. Well, that's a terrible idea. We're global players. It's hurting the people, our allies the most,” Tinker said.

Tinker said that in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as Moscow gas flows to Europe dwindled, the U.S. was able off set lost volumes by redirecting its LNG cargos to countries most in need.

Tinker also talked about the climate, noting that no country is on track to meet Paris Agreement goals. The 2015 accord aimed to “substantially reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions to hold global temperature increase to well below 2 C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels.”

Tinker said the world doesn’t have a CO2 “temperature knob.”

“You don't dial in X CO2 and get this temperature… That's one thing and 1.5 C is a reasonable target,” Tinker said. He said the world was on track for a lot lower changes in temperature than the worst forecast from the Washington-based Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), citing data from all the climate scientists.

“It's the extreme activists and politicians that are saying the worst things. But the climate people are saying now we're on track for kind of around 2 degrees  to 3 degrees, not 1.5 degrees, not 2 degrees,” Tinker said. “But, if we can accelerate the people who are burning the coal like Asia, [and] accelerate them like we are into health [or more prosperous economies], they will move away from that sooner.”

Tinker said the U.S., China, India and others burn coal but said the sooner the world could get past that, the better. “If you slow it down, it takes longer [to transition to cleaner energies],” Tinker said, referring to moving countries away from coal dependency.

Extremes need to converge

Tinker argued that two groups of world leaders were on two extremes of the fossil fuel industry and needed to approach one another.

Biden as well Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz, Canada’s Justin Trudeau and the EU president Ursula von der Leyen, are arguably heavily influenced by party input as they chase “hopes and votes,” Tinker said, adding they were focused mainly on climate security, solar, wind and batteries.

Tinker argued that the other extreme included Russia’s Vladimir Putin, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohamed bin Salman and China’s President Xi Jinping, all of whom receive essentially no public input. These leaders chase “physics and economics,” and are more focused on energy security and growing coal, oil, gas and nuclear, he said.

“Those are extremes, we’ve got to bring them together,” Tinker said.

Tinker said Europe and Asia were the only two regions that consume more oil and gas than they produce. Since they don’t have any reserves, they import a lot of LNG and oil, Tinker said.

“So, Europe needs options to gas,” Tinker said, adding that Asia also needs options.

Renewable energy myth

On renewables, Tinker downplayed them somewhat during his keynote.

“Energy requires things to come from the earth to convert [them] into collection systems and to go back into the earth or into the atmosphere. There is no renewable energy, this is a myth,” Tinker said.

Tinker said elective EVs were great but shouldn’t be mandated. “Let’s not require that we all own one,” he said.

Tinker noted that China controlled the EV downstream battery supply chain, dominating in the mining, material processing, cell component, and battery cells categories while Europe was in a big fight about EVs but was being driven by policy.