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General Interest

Enacting a severance tax aimed at Pennsylvania’s unconventional natural gas activity would substantially harm the commonwealth beyond the industry itself, three oil and gas trade association officials warned.

Posted: December 17, 2014, 8:22 pm

High-volume hydraulic fracturing will be banned in the state of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced Dec. 17, citing health risks and concerns about possible contamination of air and water. The state has had a temporary moratorium on fracturing in the Marcellus shale for years.

Posted: December 17, 2014, 8:12 pm

Cooper Energy Ltd., Adelaide, has bought a 50% interest in the offshore Gippsland Sole dry gas field in retention lease Vic/RL3 as well as 50% of the Orbost onshore gas plant in eastern Victoria from Santos Ltd.

Posted: December 17, 2014, 5:03 pm

Oil prices held fairly steady on the New York market in Dec. 16 trading while Brent crude oil prices fell by more than $1/bbl on the London market. The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries basket of 12 crudes dipped under $56/bbl.

Posted: December 17, 2014, 4:46 pm

The Bipartisan Policy Center issued a report outlining 40 possible options for reforming the federal Renewable Fuels Standard in an effort to move discussion of the controversial program beyond simply preserving or scrapping it.

Posted: December 16, 2014, 9:46 pm

Export Development Canada (EDC) said it is participating as lead arranger in the $3.3 billion debt-financing consortium supporting STAR Rafineri AS’s planned 214,000-b/d SOCAR Turkey Aegean Refinery (Star) in Aliaga, Turkey.

Posted: December 16, 2014, 8:59 pm

Encana Corp., Calgary, reported plans to spend $2.7-2.9 billion on its capital budget with roughly 80% of this total directed towards four of what the company is calling its “highest margin growth plays,” namely the Montney and Duvernay shale areas in Canada and the Eagle Ford and Permian areas in the US. Encana expects to generate about 75% of its 2015 cash flow from oil and liquids production.

Posted: December 16, 2014, 6:44 pm

Cenovus Energy Inc., Calgary, is trimming its capital spending in response to declining crude oil prices and will slow development of some of its thermal oil sands projects in Alberta.

Posted: December 16, 2014, 5:52 pm

Spain’s Repsol SA has agreed to acquire all shares of Talisman Energy Inc. of Calgary for $8.3 billion along with assumed debt of $4.7 billion. The deal has been approved and recommended by Talisman’s board, and the companies hope to complete it by midyear 2015.

Posted: December 16, 2014, 5:33 pm

Oil prices on the New York market dropped in Dec. 15 trading following reports of supply disruptions in Libya and awaiting reports of economic statistics on Dec. 16 from China. The US Federal Reserve also met starting Dec. 16, and a monetary policy statement was scheduled to be released Dec. 17.

Posted: December 16, 2014, 4:06 pm

The US Senate approved a Department of Defense appropriations bill on Dec. 13 containing a provision extending and making permanent a drilling permit processing pilot program the 2005 Energy Policy Act established in several Rocky Mountain US Bureau of Land Management field offices. The measure now heads to the White House, where it is expected to be signed.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 5:54 pm

David B. Cook has been named group executive vice-president and chief executive officer for exploration and production at DONG Energy, Fredericia, Denmark. He previously was executive officer and head of oil and gas at Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. (TAQA).

Posted: December 15, 2014, 5:48 pm

Sunshine Oilsands Ltd., Calgary, has appointed Luo Hong as chief executive officer and Jiang Qi as president and chief operating officer.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 5:03 pm

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has agreed to acquire interest in the Wheatstone LNG and Kitimat LNG projects, respectively in Western Australia and British Columbia, along with accompanying upstream oil and gas reserves, belonging to Houston independent Apache Corp. for $2.75 billion.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 4:44 pm

The average crude oil basket price for the 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties closed below $59/bbl on Dec. 12 while crude oil prices on the New York and London markets also fell.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 4:04 pm

A small subset of natural gas wells are responsible for most methane emissions from US natural gas production, said a study from the University of Texas at Austin.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 6:00 am

An important transition occurred during production of this issue of Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 6:00 am

China, which successfully revised its oil strategy in response to new technologies since 2008, could face fresh tests if prices stay low for a prolonged period, speakers at a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace forum suggested.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 6:00 am

International news for oil and gas professionals

Posted: December 15, 2014, 6:00 am

Russia's Dec. 1 cancellation of its South Stream natural gas pipeline was not surprising. European nations have signaled for years that they intend to diversify their supply sources and rely less heavily on Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 6:00 am

Among greenhouse gases, methane should be particularly amenable to deliberate cuts in emissions.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 6:00 am

A significantly bigger global middle class, expanded emerging economies, and 2 billion more people will contribute to 35% higher world energy demand by 2040, ExxonMobil Corp. forecasts in its 2015 energy outlook.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 6:00 am

Meeting stated goals for Earth's climate requires not only using pricey energy but also spurning animal protein.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 6:00 am

Reducing oil and gas operations' methane emissions is an essential, but far from the only, part of a comprehensive climate strategy, speakers at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event agreed.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 6:00 am

US oil and gas producers are reducing wellhead methane emissions already and don't need ill-conceived, overly prescriptive federal regulations, American Petroleum Institute officials said.

Posted: December 15, 2014, 6:00 am

EOG Resources considers various formations within the Delaware basin of West Texas and New Mexico to be one of its three top US plays with the other two plays being the Eagle Ford in south Texas and the Bakken in North Dakota.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 11:16 pm

Encana Corp. has announced its second major acquisition in a Texas oil play this year, agreeing in September to acquire Permian basin-focused producer Athlon Energy Inc. for $7.1 billion.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 11:14 pm

Linn Energy LLC, of Houston, has agreed to sell assets in Ector and Midland counties, Tex., to Fleur de Lis Energy LLC, of Dallas, for $350 million.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 11:09 pm

A Colorado District Court judge has ruled that a hydraulic fracturing ban in Broomfield, Colo., does not apply to an operator that entered into an agreement with the city before the ban was passed.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 11:07 pm

Linn Energy LLC has agreed to sell all of its oil and gas properties and related midstream assets in the western Anadarko basin for $1.95 billion to FourPoint Energy LLC and EnerVest Ltd.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 10:50 pm

The average Eagle Ford well remains viable with US light, sweet crude prices at $80/bbl, but the economics of some wells outside the play's sweet spots could prove vulnerable if prices continue falling, Gaffney, Cline, and Associates said in an analysis of unconventional resources.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 10:48 pm

EnCana Corp. has achieved significant cost savings in the Montney and Duvernay plays, executives told analysts while discussing EnCana's third-quarter earnings conference.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 10:27 pm

The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permit to Magellan Processing LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Magellan Midstream Partners LP, for a $400 million condensate splitter project to be located at the company’s existing bulk petroleum storage terminal in Corpus Christi, Tex.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 10:05 pm

Southwestern Energy Co. is purchasing Appalachian assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp. in a deal that more than doubles its leasehold in the Marcellus shale and grants it a foothold in an area of the play that is also prospective for the emerging Utica shale.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 9:58 pm

Oil producers in the Bakken, Three Forks, and Sanish plays could face new transportation safety regulations from the North Dakota Industrial Commission that would set operating standards for oil-conditioning equipment at the well to separate production fluids into gas and liquid.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 9:25 pm

Gtuit was started 3 years ago by three engineers in Billings, Mont, who developed a mobile, remote NGL capture and gas conditioning system.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 9:23 pm

Hess Corp., taking seriously a state mandate to reduce flaring in the Bakken shale, has adopted the use of a remote NGL capture technology at a handful of North Dakota wellsites to help meet its goals.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 9:10 pm

Keyera Corp., Calgary, will pay $65 million (Can.) to buy a 70.79% ownership interest in the Ricinus deep-cut gas plant in west-central Alberta.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 8:35 pm

The unconventional oil and gas revolution is entering into a new stage with drilling and completion techniques pioneered in unconventional plays now being used to exploit all types of rock in mature US basins, according to research and advisory firm Wood Mackenzie.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 6:53 pm
Posted: December 12, 2014, 6:13 pm

Matthew Lucey, currently executive vice-president of PBF Energy Inc., will succeed Michael Gayda as the company’s president. Todd O’Malley, currently PBF Energy’s chief commercial officer, will serve as president of the general partner of PBF Logistics LP.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 5:49 pm

The Texas Petro Index (TPI), a composite index based on a comprehensive group of upstream economic indicators released by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers (TAEP), set well-permitting and employment records in October, resulting in another record high score overall.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 5:45 pm

Crude oil prices extended their slump on the New York market with a Dec. 11 settlement of less than $60/bbl for January, and prices continued downward in early Dec. 12 trading after the International Energy Agency cut its global oil demand growth forecast for 2015.

Posted: December 12, 2014, 5:00 pm

Much more environmental impact information is needed before the US can reasonably remove crude oil export limits, a witness told a House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee during a Dec. 11 hearing examining energy policies enacted nearly 40 years ago.

Posted: December 11, 2014, 10:55 pm

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management increased the liability limit for oil-spill related damages from offshore operations to $134 million from $75 million. The change will go into effect in January 2015.

Posted: December 11, 2014, 7:09 pm

OAO Rosneft and Essar Energy PLC have signed key terms of an oil supply agreement in New Delhi. Rosneft said shipments to India may begin in 2015.

Posted: December 11, 2014, 7:06 pm

US Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would remove US crude oil export limits that have been in place for nearly 40 years.

Posted: December 11, 2014, 4:49 pm

Crude oil prices fell below $61/bbl for January delivery on the New York market Dec. 10 after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries lowered its 2015 world oil demand growth forecast and after a weekly US government report showed a build in crude oil supplies.

Posted: December 11, 2014, 4:38 pm

BG Group PLC agreed to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Queensland Curtis LNG Pipeline Pty. Ltd. (QCLNG) to APA Group for about $5 billion.

Posted: December 10, 2014, 7:24 pm

Stone Energy Corp., Lafayette, La., reported that its Pribble 6HU well in Wetzel County, W.Va., flowed from a 3,605-ft lateral at 30 MMcfd during the last 24 hr of a 5-day test.

Posted: December 10, 2014, 7:15 pm

North Dakota has approved new rail transportation safety standards for crude oil that stipulate operating standards for oil-conditioning equipment at the well to separate production fluids into gas and liquid.

Posted: December 10, 2014, 7:04 pm

Goodrich Petroleum Corp., Houston, is considering the sale of at least some of its shale assets in the South Texas Eagle Ford, the company said, adding that it plans to concentrate next year on the Tuscaloosa marine shale.

Posted: December 10, 2014, 6:54 pm

Crude oil prices rose modestly on the New York market Dec. 9 while analysts awaited the US government weekly inventory report on crude oil and product supplies, which showed an increase despite some expectations that the crude oil level would decline.

Posted: December 10, 2014, 6:42 pm

A significantly bigger global middle class, expanded emerging economies, and 2 billion more people will contribute to 35% higher world energy demand by 2040, ExxonMobil Corp. forecasts in its 2015 energy outlook.

Posted: December 10, 2014, 5:20 pm

The E&P branch of Total SA will be restructured into five geographical divisions, an exploration division, and five functional divisions. All moves are effective Jan. 1, 2015 unless specified otherwise.

Posted: December 9, 2014, 8:57 pm

New Zealand’s government has awarded six onshore permits across the Taranaki, West Coast, and East Coast basins, and nine offshore permits across the Taranaki, East Coast, Reinga-Northland, and Pegasus basins, all part of the country’s Block Offer 2014.

Posted: December 9, 2014, 6:56 pm

EOG Resources Inc., Houston, has divested all its Manitoba assets along with certain assets in Alberta in two separate deals that closed on Nov. 28 and Dec. 1., totaling $410 million.

 

Posted: December 9, 2014, 5:19 pm

A small subset of natural gas wells are responsible for most methane emissions from US natural gas production, said a study from the University of Texas at Austin. Researchers cited the two major sources of methane emissions from wells as liquid unloadings and pneumatic controller equipment.

Posted: December 9, 2014, 3:34 pm

Oil prices on the New York and London markets remained volatile, briefly trading around lows not seen since 2009 although prices were attempting to rebound in early Dec. 9 trading.

Posted: December 9, 2014, 3:12 pm

Reducing oil and gas operations’ methane emissions is an essential, but far from the only, part of a comprehensive climate strategy, speakers at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event agreed. Efforts should be combined with an aggressive program to curb excessive carbon dioxide releases, they said.

Posted: December 8, 2014, 10:09 pm

ConocoPhillips has elected to reduce its 2015 capital budget to $13.5 billion, down 20% compared with this year’s budget. The news comes on the heels of crude oil prices hitting 5-year lows.

Posted: December 8, 2014, 8:34 pm

Whiting Petroleum Corp. has completed its acquisition of Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. following the issuance of a final order by the Supreme Court of British Columbia approving the deal on Dec. 5.

Posted: December 8, 2014, 4:54 pm

Oil prices plummeted on the New York and London markets Dec. 5 and continued downward in early Dec. 8 trading. Analysts noted both US light, sweet crude oil prices and Brent crude oil prices appeared headed toward 5-year lows as the US dollar strengthened.

Posted: December 8, 2014, 4:00 pm

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) proposed rail tank car rule could cost the US economy as much as $60 billion, a report commissioned by the Railway Supply Institute (RSI) found.

Posted: December 8, 2014, 6:00 am

The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed reducing ground-level emissions limits to 65-70 ppb from its current level of 75 ppb. It also will take comments on possibly cutting limits to 60 ppb.

Posted: December 8, 2014, 6:00 am

The US Environmental Protection Agency should recognize progress that is continuing before it considers imposing costly new air quality requirements, an American Petroleum Institute official suggested.

Posted: December 8, 2014, 6:00 am

In anticipation of what might become the costliest federal regulation in US history, Congress should join the Supreme Court in reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency's skewed approach to the economic consequences of its actions.

Posted: December 8, 2014, 6:00 am

The oil and gas industry is one of the most capital-intensive businesses in the world. Oil and gas companies' high earnings are necessary to enable the massive investments needed to strengthen America's rising oil and gas production.

Posted: December 8, 2014, 6:00 am

US oil and gas producers are reducing wellhead methane emissions already and don’t need ill-conceived, overly prescriptive federal regulations, American Petroleum Institute officials said.

Posted: December 5, 2014, 7:48 pm

Swedish independent Lundin Petroleum AB reported that Kristin Faerovik has been named managing director of Lundin Norway AS in April 2015. Faerovik will succeed Torstein Sanness, who will retire from that position and assume the role of chairman of Lundin Norway.

Posted: December 5, 2014, 6:27 pm

The US House of Representatives approved a fiscal 2015 defense appropriations bill that includes a provision to extend and make permanent an onshore drilling permit processing pilot program in several US Bureau of Land Management field offices.

Posted: December 5, 2014, 4:35 pm

Crude prices were down again Dec. 4 on news of abundant supply.

Posted: December 5, 2014, 4:32 pm

A National Research Council committee opened a second investigation of potential environmental consequences from diluted bitumen (dilbit) spills from pipelines. It quickly became apparent that this committee would encounter similar problems balancing the need to keep the inquiry manageable while addressing a sufficiently wide range of questions.

Posted: December 5, 2014, 4:18 pm

The UK government will enact incentives for oil and gas development beyond what Chancellor George Osborne announced in a fiscal speech to Parliament on Dec. 3.

Posted: December 4, 2014, 6:31 pm

A fire that hit Oman Oil Refineries & Petroleum Industries Co.’s (ORPIC) 106,000-b/d Mina Al Fahal refinery near Muscat, Oman, on Dec. 4 has been contained, the company said.

Posted: December 4, 2014, 5:00 pm

Oil prices rose modestly on the New York market Dec. 3 after a weekly US petroleum inventory showed crude inventories fell by a surprising 3.7 million bbl, which analysts attributed to higher refinery processing rates.

Posted: December 4, 2014, 4:15 pm

Dave Hager, chief operating officer of Oklahoma City independent Devon Energy Corp., has been selected to succeed John Richels, current president and chief executive officer, following Richels’ retirement on July 31, 2015.

Posted: December 4, 2014, 3:31 pm

The UK government has responded to calls for tax relief from the oil and gas industry by trimming the “supplemental charge” applicable to most production.

Posted: December 3, 2014, 6:26 pm

Southwestern Energy Co., Houston, has signed an agreement to purchase oil and gas assets, including 46,700 net acres, in northeast Pennsylvania from WPX Energy Inc., Tulsa, for $300 million.

Posted: December 3, 2014, 6:16 pm

Oil prices dropped more than $2/bbl on jittery New York and London markets Dec. 2 as analysts awaited the weekly US crude oil inventory report and any indicators of potential changes in ample world oil supplies.

Posted: December 3, 2014, 4:23 pm

China, which successfully revised its oil strategy in response to new technologies since 2008, could face fresh tests if prices stay low for a prolonged period, speakers at a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace forum suggested.

Posted: December 3, 2014, 4:12 pm

The US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Administration’s proposed rail tank car rule could cost the US economy as much as $60 billion, a report commissioned by the Railway Supply Institute found.

Posted: December 2, 2014, 10:07 pm

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley plans to propose regulations that would allow hydraulic fracturing in western Maryland provided that natural gas companies adhere to certain restrictions to limit the risks of water contamination and air pollution.

Posted: December 2, 2014, 9:59 pm

Keyera Corp., Calgary, will take a 35% stake with Bellatrix Exploration Ltd., Calgary, in a deep-cut natural gas processing plant and related pipelines currently under construction by Bellatrix in the Alder Flats in west-central Alberta.

Posted: December 2, 2014, 6:03 pm

Russia has decided against the construction of the 930-km South Stream natural gas pipeline across the Black Sea from Russia to Bulgaria, citing delays on the part of the European Union in taking the steps necessary to move forward.

Posted: December 2, 2014, 4:44 pm

Oil prices rebounded by nearly $3 on the New York market Dec. 1 to settle at $69/bbl after plunging more than $7/bbl in a single trading session last week in reaction to a decision by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to keep their current production quota.

Posted: December 2, 2014, 3:57 pm

Western Australia’s Parliament has approved legislation to increase the government’s share of the Browse basin natural gas fields following reclassification of state offshore boundaries. The Petroleum Titles (Browse basin) Bill 2014 that ratifies the boundary changes was passed on Nov. 25.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 9:18 pm

A new adjustment to Russian oil and gas taxation will benefit oil companies that export most of their crude oil and high-grade oil products but hurt domestically focused producers, refiners, and petrochemical manufacturers, says Moody’s Investors Service.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 9:12 pm

OAO Rosneft has agreed to purchase Total SA’s 16.67% share in the 11.5-million tonne/year PCK Raffinerie GMBH refinery located along Druzhba pipeline in Schwedt, Germany, about 120 km northeast of Berlin.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 8:26 pm

Wintershall Holding GMBH and Statoil ASA reported completion of a $1.25-billion transaction involving assets offshore Norway.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 6:39 pm

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers filed a notice of intent to sue the US Environmental Protection Agency for failing to issue the 2015 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on time.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 6:31 pm

The decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to maintain its members’ production quota at 30 million b/d directs the focus of crude oil pricing on oil-demand growth expectations and tight-oil breakeven economics, said Wood MacKenzie Ltd.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 5:21 pm

Oil prices dived on the New York market to settle at $66.15/bbl for the January crude oil contract on Nov. 28, falling more than $7/bbl from the previous closing after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties announced the cartel agreed to maintain its production quota at 30 million b/d.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 4:44 pm

Presidential stonewalling of the Keystone XL pipeline is hurting the US. Congress should exercise its constitutional power and end the damage.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 6:00 am

Getting electricity to more Africans is a top priority at the US Department of State's Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR), an official told a House Foreign Affairs Committee subcommittee on Nov. 14.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 6:00 am

The US Environmental Protection Agency announced it will not finalize 2014 biofuel quotas under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) before yearend.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 6:00 am

How bad does regulation of the Renewable Fuel Standard have to become before the US Congress ends a program broken beyond repair?

Posted: December 1, 2014, 6:00 am
Posted: December 1, 2014, 6:00 am

The vast majority of potential US tight-oil production growth remains economical in the current crude oil price environment, according to a recent report by IHS.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 6:00 am

Cost data in the oil and gas industry are proprietary and obtaining them is difficult. Unless collected across a large and diverse sample, summary statistics are unlikely to be representative of the activity or process these data are trying to specify.

Posted: December 1, 2014, 6:00 am

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