Gathering

Study: No Fracking Bonanza for California's Monterey Shale

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. Geological Survey report out Tuesday downgrades the fracking potential of California's vast Monterey Shale oil deposits. The study is the latest to lower a 2011 federal energy estimate that billed the Monterey Shale as a game-changer for U.S. oil, with what was then estimated at 13.7 Bbbls of recoverable oil overall. Instead, the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) new study said, the most oil-rich portion of the giant shale formation holds just 21 MMbbls of oil that can be recovered by intensive methods, such as hydraulic fracturing, better-known as fracking.

North Dakota Taxable Sales Plummet as Rig Count Faulters

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's taxable sales and purchases dropped more than 16% during April, May and June compared to the same quarter a year ago because of a decline in activity in the western oil patch. It is only the second such quarterly decline since 2009, but officials say they're not surprised nor too concerned given the tremendous growth in taxable sales and purchases the state has experienced in recent years.

EIA Finds U.S. Propane Inventories Reach All-Time High

U.S. inventories of propane and propylene reached 97.7 million barrels as of September 11, the highest level in the 22 years that EIA has collected weekly propane inventory statistics. In the first six months of 2015, U.S. propane and propylene inventories were 24.3 million barrels higher on average compared to the same period in 2014. In the past year, nearly all of the increase in inventories occurred in the Gulf Coast region (PADD3).

Colorado's High Court to Decide if Cities Can Ban Fracking

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether cities can ban hydraulic fracturing, stepping into a high-stakes battle over whether local governments can impose tougher oil and gas rules than the state. The court will hear cases from Longmont, where voters banned hydraulic fracturing in 2012, and Fort Collins, where voters approved a 5-year moratorium in 2013.

Partners Submit Application for 3-State Natural Gas Pipeline

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Four energy partners formally asked the federal government Friday for permission to build a 564-mile natural gas pipeline in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. The 348-page application was submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline is intended to deliver cleaner burning natural gas to the Southeast as utilities move away from coal-burning power plants amid tighter federal rules on pollution that contributes to climate change.

White House Opposes GOP Bill to Lift Oil Export Ban

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House said Tuesday it opposes a House Republican bill to lift the four-decade-old ban on crude oil exports. A decision on whether to end the ban should be made by the Commerce Department, not Congress, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. Earnest also took a shot at House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans pushing to end the oil export ban, which was imposed in the 1970s as the United States responded to an Arab oil embargo that sparked inflation and prompted long lines at gas stations.

World News: Algeria Reforms Laws to Attract Foreign Investment

A Today in Energy brief from the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Algeria is reforming its laws to attract foreign investment in hydrocarbons. Algeria is the third-largest oil producer in Africa, after Nigeria and Angola, and the largest natural gas producer in Africa. However, production of both oil and natural gas has declined over the past decade.

Editor's Notebook: Cheap Energy Brings Jobs Where There Were None

OK, I’m a sucker for natural gas. Maybe I’ve learned something these past 25 years that George Mitchell tried to explain: natural gas is the fuel of the future and can revitalize America. After I read this story off the Reuters news wire, can you blame me?

Strategy Report Points to Improved Safety, Smart Pigs

With liquids pipeline incidents down by half since 1999, even as their use to transport crude oil pipeline has increased, there is little doubt among experts about what has led to this success on the safety front – preventive maintenance and integrity management programs.

Royal Flush? West Texas Fracking Company Uses Toilet Water to Cut Cost

It is no secret that fracking companies across the United States have been turning over every rock in the supply chain looking for ways to cut costs and improve efficiency. That’s what the business requires in a downturn. But now Pioneer Natural Resources seems to be going a step further in the name of price cuts and efficiency. The firm is finding an efficient, if somewhat unconventional, source of water for use in its fracking operations – the neighbors’ toilets.

US Oil, Natural Gas rig Count Stands at 885

HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the United States this week increased by one to 885. Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 674 rigs were seeking oil and 211 explored for natural gas. A year ago, 1,896 rigs were active. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, North Dakota and Oklahoma each gained three rigs and Alaska, California, Kansas and Wyoming each gained one. Texas lost six rigs, Pennsylvania declined by two and Colorado, Louisiana and West Virginia each lost one.

NAPCA Workshop Looks at Changing Energy Environment

</em>NAPCA held its annual one-day workshop Thursday in Houston as the industry struggles to find solutions amid market conditions that can be characterized as anything but certain. As one speaker, Dolty Cheramie, president of Pipe Exchange, put it, ““No CEO or anyone else has one single minute of experience in the market we are in today.” During his presentation, “A Look at the Oilpatch,” Cheramie didn’t pull any punches in what he saw a rough sledding for at least the next couple of years.

Local Fracking Bans Could Go Before Colorado High Court Soon

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's battle over who should regulate fracking could be on the fast track to the state Supreme Court. The Colorado Court of Appeals on Monday asked to bow out of lawsuits over Longmont's ban on fracking and a 5-year-moratorium in Fort Collins. The move would allow the Supreme Court to take the cases immediately, without waiting for the appeals court to hear arguments and make rulings. The higher court hasn't said if it will take the cases.

World News: China and Russia Begin Work On Power of Serbia Pipeline

Russia’s Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) have confirmed that construction is underway on the 4,000-km Power of Serbia Pipeline that will deliver up to 38 Bcma of gas to China. The first joint of pipe for the Chinese sector of the project was recently welded near the city of Heibe in the northern Heilongjiang Province bordering Russia, according to CNPC. Russia started building its section of the 2,500-mile eastern route last year. The pipeline is due to become fully operational in late 2017.

Key Issues Taken on at Pipeline Conference

Pipeline & Gas Journal’s 11th annual Pipeline Opportunities Conference brought in 400 attendees from throughout North America, all focused on getting the most up-to-date information regarding the oil and natural gas industry. In addition to a full day’s worth of conference presentations and roundtables, guests had ample time to network during the even held March 24 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston’s Galleria district.

Latest Contender for Next Shale Boom

The largest natural gas producer in Africa is overhauling its laws in order to halt the decline of production, which has stagnated for more than a decade. Algeria is the continent’s largest natural gas producer and the second largest supplier of gas to Europe (Russia is the largest supplier). It is also the third-largest oil producer on the continent after Nigeria and Angola.

P&GJs Midyear International Pipeline Report

<em>P&GJ’s</em> 2015 international pipeline survey indicates 70,308 miles of pipeline are in various stages of construction or planned. Of these, 32,013 miles account for projects in the planning and engineering phase, while 38,295 miles are in various stages of construction.

ExxonMobil Expanding Crude Processing Capacity at Beaumont Refinery

ExxonMobil will add flexibility to process light crudes at its Beaumont refinery, increasing production capacity by about 20,000 bpd. This expansion will further strengthen ExxonMobil’s integrated downstream portfolio in Southeast Texas. The refinery can currently process 365,000 bpd and produce 2.8 billion gallons of gasoline each year. ExxonMobil said its decision to increase production at the Beaumont facility was based on the abundant supply and low cost of U.S. light crude produced from shale.

In the News: NiSource, Columbia Pipeline Group Now Separate Companies

NiSource Inc. and Columbia Pipeline Group announced July 2 separation of the two companies was completed through a distribution of all the common stock of CPG held by NiSource to its shareholders. NiSource, based in Merrillville, IN, is one of the largest natural gas utility companies in the United States with over 3.5 million customers in seven states under the Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. The company also provides electric distribution, generation and transmission services for 500,000 NIPSCO customers in northern Indiana.

Russia Says Shale Will Affect Oil Prices More Than Irans Return

While many observers believe the deal Iran struck with six world powers over its nuclear program may depress oil prices even further, Russia’s energy minister says the cost of producing shale oil is likely to have an even bigger impact on the world market. Iran’s deputy oil minister, Mansour Moazami, said his country’s crude exports would nearly double eventually from 1.2 MMbpd to 2.3 MMbpd once the sanctions are lifted, and Tehran has urged fellow OPEC members to adjust their output accordingly in order to keep prices stable.

Cuadrilla to Appeal UK Council's Anti-Fracking Decision

LONDON (AP) — Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. said it will appeal a local authority decision to block the oil and gas exploration company's bid to frack shale gas in northwest England — a setback for plans to establish a fracking industry in Britain. Lancashire County Councilors last month rejected plans for exploratory drilling at two sites about 240 miles northwest of London, citing effects on traffic and the landscape. Britain's government hopes fracking will reduce the country's reliance on gas imports.

Novel Solution to Fracking Wastewater Could Keep Everyone Happy

Water used for fracking has always been a headache for the oil industry but now, thanks to new technology being developed in the United States, produced water – H2O used in the process of oil and gas extraction – could soon be recovered and used to power the operation or be put back into the grid, saving operators a bundle. Critics of fracking have long pointed to the prodigious use of water in the fracking process as one of the reasons to be against the controversial procedure, which props open layers of shale rock in order to let the oil or gas hydrocarbons flow into the well bore.

World News: Report Outlines Climate Framework, Spending

Development of a clear climate framework and a global emissions target is essential if $48-53 trillion for a new sustainable energy infrastructure is to be delivered, according to a new report from the World Energy Council. The findings are discussed in the fifth edition of the energy leaders’ dialogue series, the World Energy Trilemma Report, ‘Priority actions on climate change and how to balance the energy trilemma,’ released by the World Energy Council and project partner Oliver Wyman, along with the Global Risk Centre of its parent Marsh & McLennan Companies.

SGA Chairman Says Bring on the Challenges

For every opportunity in the natural gas business there is an equal challenge, and conversely, every challenge can be turned into an opportunity. That’s the nature of the gas business today, but as any industry observer will tell you, that’s been the nature of the beast for the last 15 years.

Not Deterred By Huge Risks, Shell Opts For Megaprojects

U.S. shale has offered the oil industry a business model that is different from conventional drilling of the past. High initial decline rates, especially compared to conventional wells, requires companies to continuously drill to keep up production. But with lower upfront costs and shorter ramp up times, shale drilling is arguably less risky than a multibillion-dollar megaproject that the oil majors had become accustomed to over the past decade.

NY Farmers' Group Proposes Gas Well Fracking Using Propane

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A group of five farm families is seeking a state permit for a natural gas well using gelled propane instead of water for fracking, thus avoiding New York's ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The Snyder Farm Group is seeking to develop a 53-acre natural gas well in the Tioga County town of Barton, near the Pennsylvania border. A permit application is in the preliminary stage before the Department of Environmental Conservation, a lawyer who represents the company seeking the permit said Thursday.

Declining Rig Count in U.S. Tight Formations

The count for both horizontal and vertical rigs in U.S tight formations has declining drastically from October 2014. This article discuss the declining rig count in the seven major Energy Information Administration (EIA) U.S. oil and natural gas regions.

Summer Gas Prices in the Northeast: Why So Low? Why So Unpredictable?

As summer approaches, there are two things to know about natural gas prices in the New York/New England area. First, it is a difficult time to predict gas price movements in the Northeast. But in general, prices are down – and are likely to stay that way for this summer. It’s hard to predict prices because there are a lot of new and unpredictable supply-and-demand dynamics across the country that are particularly pronounced in the Northeast. For instance, the explosion of shale gas production in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions.

Environmentalists Want California to Stop Offshore Fracking

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Environmentalists called on California Gov. Jerry Brown to halt plans for months of hydraulic fracturing in the waters off Southern California, warning that it could lead to chemical pollution or an oil spill. State regulators this month approved nine permits for operator Thums Long Beach Co. for so-called fracking operations between August and December in Long Beach Harbor.

Argentina, China lead shale development outside North America in first-half 2015

As recently as last year, only four countries in the world were producing commercial volumes of either natural gas from shale formations (shale gas) or crude oil from tight formations (tight oil): the United States and Canada, and more recently, Argentina and China. Beyond these four countries, other countries have started exploring hydrocarbons from shale and other tight resources, but they are still short of reaching commercial production.