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by Richard Mason
1 Aug 2017 at 12:24pm
Fasten those seatbelts. Oil and gas has a been busier than commonly understood and the tsunami of accelerating field work in first-half 2017 will add significant crude oil production by year-end 2017. The production surge does not bode well for the price of oil heading into 2018. Still, it is an unequivocal testimonial to the size of the mobilization effort that the oil service sector has provided exiting the worst financial trough in 35 years. It is useful at midyear to revisit the industry?s oft-discussed manufacturing model to benchmark the arc of development in tight formation plays. Whether measured by new drilling permits, active rig count, wells waiting on completion, or completions themselves, field activity underwent a step level change in first-half 2017.

by Scott Weeden
1 Aug 2017 at 12:20pm
If you?re in the horizontal San Andres action on the Permian Basin?s Central Basin Platform (CBP), then you?re playing on the edge by filling in the gaps between major legacy oil fields and tapping into the transitional zones (TZ) and residual oil zones (ROZ) below and between these fields. ?I would describe this as one of the best-kept secrets in the oil field,? said Lance Taylor, founder, president and CEO of Steward Energy II LLC. ?I know people have heard about it, and the common perception is that it is a bit of a niche play. It may not be as glamorous as the Midland or Delaware basins, but I challenge anyone to compare economics against this play?s breakeven oil price under $20 per barrel. If oil prices continue to decline, we will be drilling long after the deeper basins slow down.?

by Brandy Fidler
1 Aug 2017 at 12:11pm
Staci Taruscio?s wealth of expertise led her to branch out on her own. In May 2015, she founded Tulsa, Okla.-based E&P Rebellion Energy LLC, backed by Natural Gas Partners, and serves as president and CEO. The company has a significant acreage position in the Scoop and Stack with development focus on the Scoop.

by Leslie Haines
1 Aug 2017 at 12:04pm
I?ve always found it fascinating how suddenly a ?hot? topic crops up everywhere (in modern parlance, it?s trending). Author Malcolm Gladwell explained the phenomenon in his page-turner, the bestseller ?The Tipping Point.? The topic seemingly emerges from nowhere, then swirls around from think tanks and universities to the lay media, then to industry media, finally onto conference agendas and into government reports?and then it fades away. This past spring, that topic has been peak oil demand. It may have gotten new impetus as of press time because major announcements were made about the future of automobiles and the fuels that make mobility possible. This might affect the oil and gas industry longer term, say in 20 years.

Analyst: Technology Gains In US Shale Ramp Up Production, Pressure
by Velda Addison
20 Jul 2017 at 11:07am
Operators are using technologies such as predictive analytics, microseismic and far-field and near-wellbore diverters to pump more proppant for longer laterals and drill deeper wells. However, as operators use these technology advancements to increase their odds of surviving a sub-$50/bbl world, the industry?s innovation is also putting pressure on oil prices, analysts say. ?The use of advanced analytics along with other technology enhancements is accelerating oil supply-cost reductions. Precision targeting allows E&Ps to land laterals in better rock,? analysts at Barclays said in a note issued earlier in July. ?This innovation, combined with more intensive completions, results in better wells, lower costs and expanding inventory.? Barclays added that it believes U.S. oil production growth will ?surprise to the upside again.? ?The impact of technological innovation on oil and gas drilling is often overlooked by E&P investors,? the firm said. ?We believe improved well results, flattish well costs [per lateral foot] and rising per-well productivity will lead U.S. oil volumes higher and put downward pressure on long-term oil prices.?

US Fines ExxonMobil Over Russia Sanctions Violations
20 Jul 2017 at 8:33am
The U.S. Treasury Department on July 20 said it was fining global oil company ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) $2 million for violating sanctions on Russia in May 2014. The heads of the company?s U.S. subsidiaries signed eight documents between May 14 and May 23, 2014, with Igor Sechin, the head of Russia?s largest oil producer, Rosneft, Treasury?s Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a statement on its website. Sechin had been blacklisted by the U.S. just weeks earlier. The Treasury unit, which enforces sanctions, found ExxonMobil had not voluntarily self-disclosed the violations, ?and that the violations constitute an egregious case.?

Brent Crude Climbs Above $50 For First Time Since Early June
20 Jul 2017 at 6:00am
[Editor's note: This story was updated at 1:55 p.m. CST July 20.] Oil prices dipped on July 20 in choppy U.S. trading, as nagging worries about abundant global crude supplies dragged prices lower after an early rally pushed Brent above $50 per barrel (bbl) for the first time since early June. Traders predicted prices would hold near current levels ahead of a July 24 meeting between key OPEC and non-OPEC producers in St. Petersburg, Russia. The market has been watching reports that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude producer, is considering an additional supply cut to bring markets into balance. The Financial Times reported July 19 that the Saudis were considering additional cuts, citing a consultant's report. On July 18, Reuters reported the country was committed to working with other countries to draw down stocks, taking into account the surprising increase in production from OPEC members Nigeria and Libya.

Trump Administration Touts Plan To Reduce Regulation
20 Jul 2017 at 5:45am
President Donald Trump's administration on July 19 touted its effort to roll back federal regulations by targeting a range of government rules ranging from a "paperwork burden on outdoor enthusiasts" to plans to regulate oil and gas development on Indian reservations. The White House Office of Management and Budget plans to release a fuller update about its deregulation plans on July 20. In a preview released on July 19, it said the Department of Interior planned to cut down on paperwork required for using federal lands by people who enjoy the outdoors, "sport fish restoration programs," and Native American tribes.

Laredo Petroleum Confirms Midland Basin's Medallion Pipeline On The Market
19 Jul 2017 at 12:55pm
Laredo Petroleum Inc.'s (NYSE: LPI) valuable Medallion-Midland Basin crude oil pipeline system is for sale, the Tulsa, Okla.-based company said July 19. Laredo, which owns a stake in Medallion, said that a process has been initiated to potentially sell 100% of the pipeline's ownership interests. The company owns 49% of the ownership interest in the Medallion pipeline system through its subsidiary Laredo Midstream Services LLC. "At this time there can be no assurance that such potential sale will ultimately be consummated or, if consummated, the specific terms of such sale," Laredo said in the press release.

Mexico Sets Jan. 31 For Next Deepwater Oil, Gas Tenders
19 Jul 2017 at 10:11am
Mexico?s oil regulator, the National Hydrocarbons Commission, set Jan. 31 as the date for the next round of auctions for deepwater oil and gas tenders in the Gulf of Mexico. The so-called 2.4 auctions will offer 30 areas, of which 10 are in the Cordilleras Mexicanas deepwater basin, 10 others in the Salina Basin, nine in the Perdido Fold Belt off the U.S.-Mexico maritime border and one more in the Yucatan platform. The Cordilleras Mexicanas deepwater basin is home to national oil company Pemex?s Lakach natural gas project and located east of the Gulf Coast port of Veracruz. Cordilleras Mexicanas is viewed by the oil and gas industry as having extensive untapped potential.

Southwestern Energy Combines Top Appalachian Wells With Conservation
by Leslie Haines
19 Jul 2017 at 8:25am
The industry needs to remember there is more to value creation than dollars from top-performing wells; water and air protection are important as well, David Dell?Osso, vice president and general manager for Southwestern Energy Co.'s Northeast Appalachia division, said at Hart Energy?s recent DUG East Conference and Exhibition. Dell?Osso said the company?s formula for value creation enables it to focus not only on top-quartile wells and longer laterals in the Marcellus and Utica, but also, water restoration and ultimately, higher value in a dollar sense. The company ramped up in late 2014 when it acquired Appalachian acreage from Chesapeake Energy Corp. for nearly $5 billion. ?We think this basin matters to America,? Dell?Osso said.

EIA: US Crude, Gasoline Stocks Drop Sharply
19 Jul 2017 at 8:25am
U.S. crude stocks dropped more than expected last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories also fell sharply, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on July 19. Crude inventories fell by 4.7 million barrels (bbl) in the week to July 14, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 3.2 million bbl. Gasoline stocks fell by 4.4 million bbl, the fifth straight week of declines. The draw was far greater than analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 655,000-bbl drop, and lowered U.S. gasoline inventories to 231 million bbl.

BP Considering IPO Of US Midwest, Gulf Coast Pipeline Assets
19 Jul 2017 at 6:30am
BP Plc (NYSE: BP) is considering an IPO of its vast U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast pipeline assets, the company said July 18, a move that would raise cash. The proposed spinoff, which would be called BP Midstream Partners, revives a plan first broached internally about five years ago before slumping crude oil prices caused the company to put the idea on hold, a person familiar with the proposal said. BP's plan would spin off crude oil, natural gas and fuel pipelines in an MLP, a tax-advantaged structure often used by pipeline and other capital intensive companies. If it decides to go ahead with the idea, BP said it would register the subsidiary by year-end.

Russia To Continue Working With OPEC On Oil Market Rebalancing, Source Says
19 Jul 2017 at 5:45am
Russia is ready to continue working with OPEC to help rebalance oil markets, a Russian energy source said on July 19, adding that Moscow welcomed a flexible approach by OPEC's leader Saudi Arabia to accommodate rising output from Nigeria and Libya. "We welcome the constructive approach and flexibility of our partners in addressing the challenges which arise on the path towards a balanced market," the source, who is close to the Russian delegation negotiating with OPEC, said. "Russia itself is fully committed to the spirit of the initiative aimed at stabilizing global crude markets and will continue working with other countries to achieve this goal," the source said.

Update: Oil Prices Jump Following Surprise Draw In US Crude, Gasoline Stocks
19 Jul 2017 at 5:40am
[Editor's note: This story was updated at 10:35 a.m. CST July 19.] Oil prices jumped almost 1.5% on July 19, extending gains after a U.S. government report showed a bigger weekly draw than forecast in crude and gasoline stocks along with a surprise drop in distillate inventories. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said U.S. crude stocks fell 4.7 million barrels (bbl) during the week ended July 14., exceeding estimates for a 3.2 million draw in crude stocks in a Reuters poll. A day earlier, preliminary data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a 1.6 million bbl increase. Brent futures for September delivery were up 69 cents, or 1.4%, at $49.53/bbl by 10:09 a.m. CST (15:09 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for August rose 64 cents, or 1.4%, to $47.04 on its second to last day as the U.S. front month.

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