Storage

Henry Hub, Marcellus Spread Narrows as Pipeline Capacity Grows

Natural gas spot prices around the United States are often compared to prices at the Henry Hub in Louisiana. At trading points in and around the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, natural gas prices consistently trade below the Henry Hub national benchmark pric..

OPEC Says $95 Oil Coming, But Not Until 2040

This week opened with the average global price of oil at an 11-year low, yet OPEC expects its own producers eventually will cut back on production, causing prices to rebound to $70 per barrel by 2020. That may seem a long time for producers to wait for oil to become more profitable, but in OPEC’s annual World Oil Outlook, issued Wednesday, the oil cartel does not see oil prices returning to the heights of $110 per barrel, where it was before the price crisis began in June 2014. Instead, it says it doesn’t expect prices to reach even $95 per barrel until 2040.

Oil Jobs Drive North Dakota to Lead US in Population Growth Again

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota is once again leading the nation in population growth, and the number of residents in the state is at an all-time high, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The bureau's most recent estimate put the state population at 756,927 in July, an increase of 16,887 residents — or about 2.3% — compared to July 2014. That percentage, far higher than the national average, is largely driven by people in search of jobs in oil-rich western North Dakota.

Columbia Pipelines Looking to Spend $1.1 Billion on Modernization

Columbia Gas Transmission has filed a customer agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend its long-term system modernization program by three years, through 2020.The agreement, with a requested approval by March 31, would provide for $1.1 billion of additional investment. Parent company Columbia Pipeline Gas (CPG), has invested about $1 billion under the modernization programs over the past three years, placing more than 100 projections into service. These include: • Replacement of more than 130 miles of bare steel pipelines and wrought iron facilities

AP Investigation: US Power Grid Vulnerable to Foreign Hacks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Security researcher Brian Wallace was on the trail of hackers who had snatched a California university's housing files when he stumbled into a larger nightmare: Cyber-attackers had opened a pathway into the networks running the United States power grid.

Crestwood Equity Completes Open Season on Pipeline Expansion

Crestwood Equity Partners completed a non-binding open season on Dec. 7 seeking shipper support for the Delaware Takeaway crude pipeline system (Delta), a 164-mile crude and condensate pipeline header system originating at a Crestwood terminal to be built north of Pecos, TX. The pipeline would have potential downstream connections to multiple downstream interconnects that will provide shippers access to end markets including El Paso, Midland, Cushing, Houston and Corpus Christi.

Dont Expect Crude Exodus Because Export Ban Ending

Congress is on the verge of passing a major budget deal that includes some of the largest changes to energy policy in some years. Tucked into the budget bill is a repeal on the ban on crude oil exports from the United States, a highly sought after goal on behalf of the oil and gas industry. In exchange for lifting the export ban, Republicans agreed to extend tax credits for wind and solar for five years.

Mexico Oil Sector Sees Most Successful Auction So Far

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's third auction to open oil and gas blocks to private investment was the most successful yet, with all 25 blocks drawing bids Tuesday. Officials awarded exploration and production rights to mostly Mexican companies, as well as one Canadian firm plus consortiums involving U.S. and Dutch investments. No major multinational oil companies participated in the bidding.

AP Analysis: Why US Will Export Oil for 1st Time in Decades

NEW YORK — The United States, seemingly awash in crude oil after an energy boom sent thousands of workers scurrying to the plains of Texas and North Dakota, will begin exporting oil for the first time since the 1973 oil embargo. The lifting of the embargo is part of a spending deal expected to be pushed through the House and Senate by the end of the week. Here's a brief look at why the ban was in place, and the reasons why that ban is now being lifted after four decades.

Fuel Thefts from Mexican Pipelines Rise 55% Despite Pemex Efforts

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Authorities say illegal taps drilled into government pipelines by fuel thieves have risen by about 55% this year, reaching almost 500 per month. Fuel theft is skyrocketing despite efforts by the Pemex oil company to make it less attractive, by shipping fuel that lacks final additives through some pipelines. According to government figures made public Monday, 3,286 clandestine taps were found in the first 11 months of 2014, compared to 5,091 in the same period of 2015. The thefts averaged 497 taps in the last five months of 2015.

Bourdon Named Chairman of American Midstream

Lynn L. Bourdon III was appointed as chairman, president and CEO of American Midstream Partners LP, the company said Dec. 14. Steve Bergstrom retired from those positions, effective Dec. 10, the company added. Bergstrom will continue serving as a director on the board of directors. Most recently, Bourdon was president and CEO of Enable Midstream Partners LP. Prior to that, he was group senior vice president of NGL and natural gas marketing, petrochemical, refined products and marine services at Enterprise Products Partners LP.

Company Plans Gravel Island to Extract Arctic Offshore Oil

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Arctic offshore drilling by Royal Dutch Shell PLC drew protests on two continents this year, but a more modest proposal for extracting petroleum where polar bears roam has moved forward with much less attention. While Shell proposed exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea about 80 miles off Alaska's northwest coast, a Texas oil company wants to build a gravel island as a platform for five or more extraction wells that could tap oil 6 miles from shore in the Beaufort Sea.

Deliveries to Sabine Indicate Train 1 Commissioning Well Underway

The first substantial deliveries of 46 MMcf to Sabine Pass LNG took place Dec. 10 from Creole Trail’s Creole Trail-SPLIQ-D meter location. This increase in deliveries came from a 33.6 MMcf receipt off of the TETCO pipeline. The point has an operational capacity of 1.7 Bcf. Nominations at this point were first seen Oct 1; since then it has averaged 2.74 MMcf/d. This correlated with consistent flaring activity seen by Genscape’s proprietary monitors.

Countries Added to Shale Oil, Natural Gas Resource Assessment

EIA continues to expand its assessment of technically recoverable shale oil and shale natural gas resources around the world. The addition of four countries – Chad, Kazakhstan, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – to a previous assessment covering 42 countries has resulted in a 13% increase in the global assessed total resource estimate for shale oil and a 4% increase for shale gas.

Accidental Partnership: From Potential Pipeline to Joint Venture Litigation

The briefing is now complete in a closely watched appeal of a landmark judgment issued last year in Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. v. Enterprise Products Partners L.P., in which a Texas jury concluded that, notwithstanding express contractual language disclaiming the formation of a partnership in connection with preliminary exploration of an oil pipeline project, the conduct of the parties could – and did in fact – establish a legally binding partnership.

OPECs Newest Member Actually Likes Low Oil Prices

As expected, OPEC’s decision to stick to its ‘high’ production levels in its December 4th meeting in Vienna didn’t go down well with the markets as oil prices plunged after the announcement. It is also quite evident that there is now a growing resentment within OPEC as members like Venezuela, Libya, Algeria and Angola were hoping for a production cut, which could have helped their ailing economies.

Editor's Notebook: Winners, Losers and Keystone XL Debacle

I have some final thoughts about the Keystone XL debacle, because that’s what it was. That project never should have been the line in the sand in the debate over climate change, because as we all know, any environmental effect would have been negligible at worst.

Oil Price-Dependent Alaska Looks at First Income Tax in Decades

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has proposed instituting a personal income tax for the first time in 35 years as the oil-dependent state looks to plug a multibillion-dollar budget deficit amid chronically low prices. In laying out his budget plan Wednesday, Walker also proposed using the fund that provides annual checks to most Alaskans to generate a stream of cash to help finance state government. The plan would change how dividends are calculated and mean lower checks, at least initially — 2016 payouts would be about $1,000 less than this year's.

Oil Industry Cutting Again, But It Still Might Not Be Enough

Chevron announced on Dec. 10 its decision to slash capital expenditures even further for 2016, cutting spending down to $26.6 billion, or 24% below 2015 levels. "Our capital budget will enable us to complete and ramp-up projects under construction, fund high return, short-cycle investments, preserve options for viable long-cycle projects, and ensure safe, reliable operations," Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson said in a statement. "Given the near-term price outlook, we are exercising discretion in pacing projects that have not reached final investment decision."

Former Energy Secretary Says OPEC Evolving

As far as one-time Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham is concerned the rumors of OPEC’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. “People who say OPEC is dead are dead wrong. They are evolving,” Abraham told about 100 guests of The Economist’s World in 2016 Breakfast, held Wednesday in Houston. Abraham, who is also a former Republican senator from Michigan, said the energy industry is facing a starkly different set of circumstances now than when he served in the George W. Bush administration from 2001 until early 2005.

Judge Rejects Bid to Block Alberta Clipper Pipeline Upgrade

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge rejected the key parts of a lawsuit brought by tribal and environmental groups that sought to block a capacity expansion on the Alberta Clipper crude oil pipeline, saying the courts don't have the authority to intervene at this stage. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis concluded Wednesday that the letters the State Department sent to Canadian-based Enbridge Energy weren't the kinds of final decisions that courts have jurisdiction to review.

ARM Midstream Plans Infrastructure in Oklahomas Stack Play

Asset Risk Management’s wholly owned subsidiary. ARM Midstream, is partnering with Highbridge Principal Strategies, LLC to build a cryogenic processing plant, natural gas gathering system, and crude oil gathering system in Oklahoma's STACK play. Plans for the Kingfisher Midstream system include over 100 miles of low- and high-pressure gas gathering pipelines, over 15,000 hp of compression, and a new cryogenic processing facility with initial processing capacity of 60 MMcf/d.

Oil Prices Seen Staying Low Next Year as Demand Weakens

PARIS (AP) — The head of the International Energy Agency expects oil prices to remain low next year as demand weakens and supply remains high. The price of oil fell this week to its lowest since early 2009, when the global economy was deep in crisis. The U.S. benchmark recovered 1.6% at $38.08 on Wednesday. Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, which represents oil-consuming nations, told a news conference on the sidelines of the U.N. climate conference in Paris, said, "When we look at 2016, I see very few reasons why we can see growth in the prices."

New Legislation Affects U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Two recently enacted laws authorize significant sales of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) over the next decade. The Bipartisan Budget Act authorizes the sale of 58 MMbbls of SPR oil from 2018 to 2025 for deficit reduction purposes and an estimated 40 to 50 MMbbls of oil in the fiscal period 2017-2020 for SPR modernization.

Marathon Abandons $270 Million Ultra-Deepwater Project

Marathon Oil announced on Dec. 2 its decision to abandon a key deep-water oil project in the Gulf of Mexico. The well that Marathon had been drilling had already caused the company some problems. Drilling the well took seven months, and mechanical problems delayed the project’s completion. Marathon said last week that upon completing the project, drilled at 34,600 feet, that it had plugged the well and released its rig. Marathon says that it has no further plans for the block.

Pipeline Rush in Upper Midwest: Gas to Replace Coal

Nine- and even 12-figure numbers don’t phase Paul Copello, a petroleum engineer and president of IIR Energy, a capital projects tracking company that globally compiles and analyzes information for over 95,000 energy projects worldwide, collectively representing potential capital investment of $13.7 trillion. Among those projects, the natural gas pipeline sector is one of the surest bets for consistent increased capital spending, Copello told an energy meeting in Chicago last September.

Oil Sands Producers Can Live with Albertas New Carbon Taxes

If business is good at anything, it is pragmatism. Take a hostile takeover for example. After weeks or months of trading insults and accusations in and out of the media, a deal is struck and the warring CEO’s shake hands and call the final deal a stroke of genius. Whatever they may really feel, they put the past behind them and move forward, ostensibly in the best interests of shareholders. After all, it’s just business.

World News: Cross-border Project Expected to Produce 40,000 Bopd

Chevron Corporation’s subsidiary, Chevron Overseas (Congo) Limited, has begun oil and gas production from the Lianzi Field, located in a unitized offshore zone between the Republic of Congo and the Republic of Angola. Located 65 miles offshore in 3,000 feet of water, Lianzi is Chevron’s first operated asset in the Congo and the first cross-border oil development project offshore Central Africa. The project is expected to produce an average of 40,000 bopd.

Report: Oil Bust Kills 19 Million Barrels Per Day of Future Oil Production

The collapse in oil prices have led to severe cuts in spending and investment from oil producers, and a new report by Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. finds the combined cuts will lead to a daily 19 million barrels of potential future oil production taken off the table. The report said oil companies have either canceled or suspended final investment decisions on 150 oil projects, which account for about 125 billion barrels of oil.

NGSAs 2015-2016 Winter Outlook for Natural Gas

Strong natural gas production and storage inventories approaching a new record have positioned the nation’s gas industry well to meet winter demand, the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) said in its 15th annual Winter Outlook assessment of the natural gas market.