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Update: Oil Prices Hit Three-Week High
30 Mar 2017 at 11:20am
[Editor's note: This story was updated from a previous version posted at 7:50 a.m. CT March 30.]Oil prices jumped for a third day on March 30 to their highest in three weeks after Kuwait gave its backing for an extension of OPEC production cuts in an attempt to reduce global oversupply.Kuwait oil minister Essam al-Marzouq said his country was among several nations supporting the extension of a deal between OPEC and other exporters to limit output, state news agency KUNA reported.The rebound has renewed some optimism after a period of three weeks where speculators aggressively reduced long positions following weeks of higher-than-expected inventory figures. Both Brent and U.S. crude reached their highest levels since March 9 on March 30.

IEA: No Major Increase For Oil Prices, Despite OPEC Cuts
30 Mar 2017 at 9:30am
The International Energy Agency (IEA) does not expect a major increase in global oil prices despite efforts by OPEC and non-OPEC members to reduce output, its executive director Fatih Birol told Reuters.OPEC and 11 other producers including Russia agreed in December to cut their combined output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) in the first half of the year in an effort to eradicate a stubborn supply glut and boost prices.That agreement, which provided an initial boost to crude prices, could be extended for six months, but Birol does not believe that prices would receive a significant boost.

Green Groups Sue Trump Administration Over Keystone XL
30 Mar 2017 at 9:25am
[Editor's note: This story was updated at 11:45 a.m. CT March 30.]Six environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on March 30 to challenge its decision to approve construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.The groups told a federal court in Montana that the State Department, which granted the permit needed for the pipeline to cross the Canadian-U.S. border, relied on an "outdated and incomplete environmental impact statement" when making its decision earlier this month.By approving the pipeline without public input and an up-to-date environmental assessment, the administration violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the groups said in their legal filing.

Technology, Human Factors In Oil, Gas Continue Evolving
30 Mar 2017 at 7:53am
One day, many years from now?at least 30 in the estimation of Glenn Jacobson, a partner at Trilantic North America?oil, simply too costly to extract, will sit underground. Until then hydrocarbons will continue to be extracted by an oil and gas industry that values the ability to adapt technology to its needs. The industry ?tends to, in general, develop resources in order of lowest extraction cost to highest extraction cost,? Jacobson said following Privcap?s recent ?Inside The Energy Tech Revolution? webinar, which discussed possible future trends in industry technology and hiring. ?Technology has the ability to reset this ordering and/or shift the curve at certain points in time ? but it is fairly inevitable that it will be harder to extract oil in the future than it is now.? During the ongoing downturn, energy companies have retooled themselves to ease the process of making money. As hopes of an upturn continue surfacing, Jacobson and two other analysts highlighted ways the industry is harnessing technological and human capital advances, which could help it survive and thrive through the next round.

Texas Judge Kicks Exxon Climate Lawsuit To New York Court
30 Mar 2017 at 7:10am
A federal judge in Texas on March 29 kicked an ExxonMobil lawsuit seeking to thwart two states from pursuing a fraud case over climate change to a Manhattan court, saying his court wasn't the best place to resolve the dispute.A group of state attorneys general, led by New York's Eric Schneiderman, brought a securities fraud suit against the world's largest publicly traded oil company in 2015 claiming it misled investors by soft-pedaling the dangers of climate change.

Aker Solutions To Acquire Reinertsen For $24.9 Million
30 Mar 2017 at 7:05am
Aker Solutions agreed to buy oil services provider Reinertsen to build on its position as a leading maintenance and modifications supplier offshore Norway, the company said March 30.The asset deal will give Aker Solutions ownership of Reinertsen's Norwegian oil and gas services business for NOK 212.5 million (US$24.9 million).Reinertsen is the third-largest maintenance and modifications supplier offshore Norway with about 700 employees. The company's order backlog contains key maintenance and modifications contracts with Statoil ASA (NYSE: STO), including a minimum six-year framework agreement awarded in December 2015. It also has some smaller subsea services and engineering contracts, the release said.

North Dakota Oil Output Set To Rise With Dakota Access Opening
30 Mar 2017 at 6:59am
North Dakota oil production will get a shot in the arm next month as the Dakota Access Pipeline comes online despite opposition by environmental groups and Native Americans, allowing the energy industry to save at least $540 million in annual shipping costs.The Dakota Access Pipeline gives the state's producers cheaper access to refineries and other customers on the U.S. Gulf Coast.Market players said they expect this will hasten a revival of output from the Bakken, which fell sharply along with global oil prices during the past two years.

Samson Resources Hires Advisers For Strategic Review
30 Mar 2017 at 6:35am
Samson Resources II LLC is undergoing a strategic review following its acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Samson Resources Corp. emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 1.Samson II is a privately held E&P headquartered in Tulsa, Okla. The company's portfolio is comprised of about 490,000 net acres in East Texas, North Louisiana and the Powder River and Green River basins in Wyoming, according to its press release.The company said March 28 it engaged Jefferies LLC as lead adviser and Houlihan Lokey Capital Inc. as co-adviser to conduct a strategic review of its assets, including an evaluation of its core competencies and underlying reserve and production potential.

ConocoPhillips Attacks Debt With $13 Billion In Canadian Divestitures
29 Mar 2017 at 2:20pm
[Editor's note: This is a developing story. Check back for updates.]Houston?s ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) said March 29 that it would sell assets and interests in Canada for $13.3 billion in cash and equity, with proceeds earmarked for debt reduction and share repurchases.The company said it signed a definitive agreement with Cenovus Energy Inc. (NYSE: CVE) to sell its 50% nonoperated interest in the Foster Creek Christina Lake (FCCL) oil sands partnership as well as the majority of its western Canada Deep Basin gas assets.ConocoPhillips Canada will retain its operated 50% interest in the Surmont oil sands joint venture (JV) and its operated 100% Blueberry-Montney unconventional acreage position.

CEO Survey: Oil And Gas Innovation Key But Skilled Employees May Be Scarce
29 Mar 2017 at 1:53pm
Niloufar Molavi, PwC?s global oil and gas leader, is apt to remind people that core of the oil and gas trade?often obscured by huge M&A and big oil discoveries?is a thriving industry that makes its leaps and bounds through technology. Innovation and emerging technologies for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing will be vital to diversifying methods for acquiring energy sources, according to PwC?s 20th CEO Survey. But with technology as a potential catalyst, 64% of oil and gas CEOs are worried about a shortage of employees to fill a large technical and skilled workforce in the oil patch, according to PwC?s 20th CEO Survey. ?The most difficult skill to find in the oil and gas sector is leadership, according to 71% of the CEOs interviewed,? PwC found. While not as important as collaboration (99%), adaptability (96%) or problem-solving (96%) to the overall organization, leadership is important ?given the large technical and skilled workforce in the oil patch.?

Interior Department To Review Energy Royalty Rates On Federal Land
29 Mar 2017 at 11:05am
The U.S. Interior Department said March 29 that it would form a new committee to review royalty rates collected from oil and gas drilling and coal mining on federal lands to ensure taxpayers receive their full value.Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the committee would advise him on whether the government is getting a fair price from companies that lease public land for energy and natural resource development.The committee will replace the process put in place by former Interior secretary Sally Jewell to review and overhaul the federal coal leasing program.

OPEC Compliance With Output Cut Rises In March
29 Mar 2017 at 10:55am
OPEC oil output is likely to fall for a third straight month in March, a Reuters survey found on March 29, as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made progress in trimming supplies while maintenance and unrest cut production in exempt nations Nigeria and Libya.The reduction by the UAE has helped boost OPEC compliance this month with its production-cutting deal to 95%, up from an initial February estimate of 94% and a record high, according to Reuters surveys.OPEC pledged to reduce output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) from Jan. 1?the first accord on supply curbs since 2008. Non-OPEC countries pledged to cut about half as much.

Patricio Sanchez Becomes President Of Sanchez Production's General Partner
29 Mar 2017 at 8:14am
Sanchez Production Partners LP reported March 28 that the board of directors of the general partner electedPatricio D. Sanchezas the general partner's president and COO.

Genel Energy's CFO To Step Down, Sources Say
29 Mar 2017 at 8:05am
Genel Energy Plc is set to lose its finance chief while still struggling to find a replacement for Chairman Tony Hayward, sources told Reuters, increasing pressure on the company after a second revision to its Kurdish oil reserves sent its shares sliding this week.Together with the collapse in oil prices since 2014, the former leader among international oil and gas exploration and production companies today faces a huge challenge as it shifts its focus to supplying gas to Turkey.Hayward, a former head of BP Plc (NYSE: BP) and one of Genel's co-founders, is planning to step down in June, but the succession issue remains open, with former BG Group boss Chris Finlayson no longer in the running, industry and company sources said March 29.

Operators Wonder At Wattenberg Prospects
29 Mar 2017 at 8:01am
The Niobrara is following the trend of many unconventional shale plays in the U.S.? costs are down, and thanks to the technology that?s continuing to evolve, production and completion efficiencies are up.Scott Reasoner, chief operating officer at PDC Energy said that the Denver-based company owns about 96,000 acres in the core of the company?s Wattenberg Field prospect with estimated potential of about 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Bboe). PDC acquired theses reserves from a series of downspacing efforts and by identifying other productive zones.?We feel like the rates of return here are competitive with any of the other plays in the basins in North America,? he told an audience at Hart Energy?s recent DUG Bakken & Niobrara conference. ?In the D-J Basin, it?s important to be in Wattenberg Field because the Niobrara isn?t the same everywhere.?

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