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OPEC minister sees oil price floor at $45

OPEC minister sees oil price floor at $45 | Oilfield News | Scoop.it
An OPEC official predicted that oil prices had bottomed out on Monday, briefly raising hopes that the steep slide might be easing.

West Texas Intermediate crude, the benchmark contract in the U.S., moved up early in the morning, but ended the day down 45 cents at $45.16 US a barrel at mid-afternoon on Monday, while Brent crude was down 67 cents at $48.12. Western Canada Select oil is now at $31.81.
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Japan to Study Ice Gas Reserves

Japan to Study Ice Gas Reserves | Oilfield News | Scoop.it

Japan is planning a three-year study into how much methane hydrate, or "ice gas", it has within its territorial waters in the Japan Sea over the next three years, the country's trade and industry minister said Tuesday.

 

Japan will also continue to develop technologies to extract natural gas from undersea methane hydrate reserves with the aim of making

commercialization of the process viable by as early as 2023, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi said Tuesday.

Methane hydrate is a compound in which a large amount of methane is trapped within a crystal structure made up of water, so forming a solid that is similar to ice.

 

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) reported March 12 that it successfully extracted natural gas from methane hydrate deposits from under the seabed offshore Japan

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A Boom in Theft Costs Texas Industry millions. Oilfield equipment thelf

A Boom in Theft Costs Texas Industry millions. Oilfield equipment thelf | Oilfield News | Scoop.it
If you drive west from Houston out Interstate 10, about the time you’ve gone 100 miles and reached the edge of the Eagle Ford Shale, you’ll begin noticing them: Big rigs and other assorted trucks. They’re heading to the oil and gas fields of South and West Texas. Some are loaded with tons of steel pipe, others with tanks and contraptions for mixing the concoctions used to drill and “frack” wells. Still others are full of high tech seismic devices.
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Public Outcry Rises Against Bill To Allow Oil Drilling In Blackwater River Forest - NorthEscambia.com

Public Outcry Rises Against Bill To Allow Oil Drilling In Blackwater River Forest - NorthEscambia.com | Oilfield News | Scoop.it

A bill sponsored by Rep. Doug Broxson will allow private companies to drill for oil and gas in the Blackwater River State Forest in north Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties — and public outcry against the idea is growing.

 

Broxson says drilling could create as many as 300 new jobs while creating $30 to $60 million in revenue for the state. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has given a nod to the plan to drill on 190,000 acres if natural assets are not disturbed.

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Spike in air pollution linked to drilling

Spike in air pollution linked to drilling | Oilfield News | Scoop.it
In the Colorado mountains, a spike in air pollution has been linked to a boom in oil and gas drilling. A thousand miles away on the plains of north Texas, there’s a drilling boom, too, but some air pollution levels have declined. Opponents of drilling point to Colorado and say it’s dangerous. Companies point to Texas and say drilling is safe.

The answer appears to be that drilling can be safe or it can be dangerous. Industry practices, enforcement, geography and even snow cover can minimize or magnify air pollution problems.

“It’s like a vehicle. Some cars drip oil,” said Russell Schnell, deputy director of the federal Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo. “You have wells that are absolutely tight. And you have other places where a valve gives out, and you have huge leaks.”
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Drilling off Lofoten can reap billions : Views and News from Norway

Drilling off Lofoten can reap billions : Views and News from Norway | Oilfield News | Scoop.it

Norway’s oil and energy minister, bullish on the prospects for the country’s oil industry, was smiling after a new report claimed that drilling off Lofoten could create as many as 37,000 new jobs. Environmental activists weren’t smiling at all.


Ola Borten Moe was in the scenic area off Norway’s northern coast on Friday to unveil several reports on the prospects for and consequences of oil exploration in the northeastern Norwegian Sea. He’s already been told that billions will flow into the local economy if he and the government open up the waters west of Lofoten and Vesterålen to oil and gas exploration.


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Oil and gas boom offers opportunities, risks - USA TODAY

Oil and gas boom offers opportunities, risks - USA TODAY | Oilfield News | Scoop.it

Talk about dramatic change.

Not long ago, U.S. natural gas production was lagging so badly that energy companies were planning to import huge quantities of liquefied natural gas from abroad. Now some of those same companies want to convert their import terminals into facilities for exporting U.S. gas.


So much new supply of gas is coming from shale formations that futures prices, which soared to almost $13 per thousand cubic feet in 2008, dropped to little more than $2 earlier this year before rebounding to about $3.50 recently. Inexpensive natural gas has given U.S. manufacturers a competitive edge over foreign factories, helping to revive U.S. industry.


The news for oil is also good, though less dramatic. U.S. oil production is expected to rise from 7.3 million barrels a day in 2010 to 10.3 million barrels a day in 2020. That should be enough to slash imports about two-thirds by 2035, making America less dependent on oil from the volatile Middle East.


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Are Domestic Natural Gas Markets Turning Positive?

Are Domestic Natural Gas Markets Turning Positive? | Oilfield News | Scoop.it

Over the last five years natural gas production in the U.S. has increased by roughly 20% as the impact of horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and robust exploration efforts have led to what some have referred to as a ‘glut’ of natural gas.Some experts claim that the U.S. will see a century of inexpensive natural gas production due to the development of the huge shale reserves located in North America – great for U.S. manufacturers but not necessarily for natural gas producers.

Until recently drilling and developmental activity has continued unabated even in the face of falling natural gas prices and declining rates of return on exploration expenditures. Domestic natural gas prices fell this summer to levels not seen in a decade. Meanwhile crude oil prices have tripled.

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Murphy Oil Announces Preliminary Quarterly Earnings - DailyFinance

Murphy Oil Announces Preliminary Quarterly Earnings - DailyFinance | Oilfield News | Scoop.it
EL DORADO, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Murphy Oil Corporation (NYS: MUR) announced today that income from continuing operations in the third quarter of 2012 was $228.9 million ($1.17 per diluted share) compared to $347.3 million ($1.79 per diluted share) in the third quarter of 2011. Net income, which includes the results of discontinued operations, was $226.7 million ($1.16 per diluted share) in the third quarter 2012 compared to $406.1 million ($2.09 per diluted share) in the 2011 third quarter. Earnings in the 2012 quarter were below prior year levels primarily due to the effects of lower North American natural gas sales prices, weaker U.S. retail marketing margins, an income tax benefit in the 2011 quarter, and an unfavorable variance from foreign exchange.
During the third quarter of 2012, the Company's Board of Directors agreed to sell the Company's exploration and production operations in the United Kingdom. The sale of these assets is expected to be completed near year-end 2012. The results of these operations in both years, as well as the results of U.S. refining operations in 2011, are presented as discontinued operations. The results of discontinued operations was a loss of $2.2 million ($0.01 per diluted share) in the 2012 third quarter compared to income of $58.8 million ($0.30 per diluted share) in the 2011 quarter.


For the first nine months of 2012, income from continuing operations was $801.7 million ($4.12 per diluted share) compared to $847.4 million ($4.36 per diluted share) in 2011. The decline in continuing operations income in 2012 was primarily attributable to weaker U.S. retail marketing margins and an unfavorable variance in the effects of foreign exchange in the current year. Net income in 2012 totaled $812.2 million ($4.17 per diluted share) compared to $986.6 million ($5.07 per diluted share) for the same period in 2011. Net income in the current year included discontinued operations income of $10.5 million ($0.05 per diluted share) compared to discontinued operations income of $139.2 million ($0.71 per diluted share) in 2011.
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Shell Ends Alaska Offshore Drilling for the Year

Shell Ends Alaska Offshore Drilling for the Year | Oilfield News | Scoop.it
Shell Oil had its problems this year drilling off the Arctic coast of Alaska, but on Wednesday it declared success on the final day of operations for the season. (Only a brief autumn exploration season is allowed by regulators because of ice flows.)

Thick ice delayed operations in the spring. Then, one of the drilling ships dragged its anchors and nearly collided with the coast. And finally an oil spill containment barge was damaged during certification tests.

In the end, the company did not have time to drill in the underwater zones that contain oil.

But after years of legal and regulatory challenges, Shell did begin drilling two wells — one in the Beaufort Sea, and a second in the Chukchi Sea — the first time oil exploration was conducted in the two Arctic seas simultaneously in decades.
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Boom or Bust (song)

Wes St. Jon sings "Boom or Bust," a song he wrote about the ups and downs of working in the oilfields. More stories at blackgoldboom.com.
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Study finds oil and gas drilling caused air pollution in West

Study finds oil and gas drilling caused air pollution in West | Oilfield News | Scoop.it

A comprehensive analysis of emissions and ozone pollution in the Uintah  Basin in eastern Utah  concluded that the primary source is oil and gas  operations.

 

The  oil-field operations created about 99 percent of the volatile organic  chemical emissions and about 70 percent of the nitrogen oxides emitted in the  basin.

 

"It isn't surprising, this is a rural area," said Brock LeBaron,  who managed  the study for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

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The Solution To California's Problems Is Beneath Its Feet — But Rich Environmentalists Are Having None Of It

The Solution To California's Problems Is Beneath Its Feet — But Rich Environmentalists Are Having None Of It | Oilfield News | Scoop.it

SHALE exploitation in North Dakota has lifted incomes and brought unemployment  down to 3.2% of the workforce, the lowest level in the country.

 

Californians are rarely found looking longingly towards the Midwest. But the  revelation that their state, with unemployment at 9.8% and America’s highest  poverty rate, may be sitting on the largest deposit of shale oil in the  continental United States has led some to wonder if their salvation lies 10,000  feet (3,000 metres) beneath them.

 

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Natural Gas Nation: EIA Sees U.S. Future Shaped by Fracking in Annual Energy Outlook 2013

Natural Gas Nation: EIA Sees U.S. Future Shaped by Fracking in Annual Energy Outlook 2013 | Oilfield News | Scoop.it
Natural gas drilling rigs dot the landscape in Wyoming, one of several states contributing to a boom in natural gas production that will create a lasting impact on the U.S. economy, according to the government's new annual energy outlook.
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RIGZONE - Rice Students Design An Offshore Oilfield City of Tomorrow

RIGZONE - Rice Students Design An Offshore Oilfield City of Tomorrow | Oilfield News | Scoop.it
A team of Rice University students have conceived an award-winning concept for a facility that would allow oil and gas employees to work and live offshore Brazil.

The three students – dubbed Team Petropolis – were presented with the opportunity to address the challenge Petrobras faces in housing workers as its exploration efforts move further offshore Brazil as part of the 2012 Challenge for the Odebrecht Award for Sustainable Development.

As part of the competition, the students addressed a need raised in a May 2011 Rio Times article. This article discussed the fact that Petrobras' fixed and floating platforms already serve as small autonomous floating cities with energy and water. But additional platforms will be needed to meet activity, and the growing distance of exploration offshore from the coast will make running helicopter trips unfeasible. To meet this need, Petrobras said it was planning 50 additional floating cities offshore Brazil.

To address Petrobras' offshore development and housing needs, the three architecture students designed a 372-mile (600-kilometer) chain of manmade islands that can sustain 50,000 people, including spouses and children of the oil workers. As part of the project, "New Model of Water-Based Urbanization Offshore Southeast Brazil", the team created a master plan of a city that would utilize the Brazilian offshore current to sustain the island, saving energy.
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BP reorganizes oil production unit - Chicago Tribune

BP reorganizes oil production unit - Chicago Tribune | Oilfield News | Scoop.it

BP unveiled a reorganization of its oil and gas production operations on Friday, reversing a change it enacted after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.


The latest move is partly intended to free Chief Executive Bob Dudley up from close oversight of day-to-day operations so he can help chart BP's recovery from the disaster which killed 11 men and spilled 5 million barrels of crude into the sea, three sources close to the company said.

BP's shares have failed to recover since the Macondo well was capped, and Dudley has been criticized for failing to communicate a strategy for growth.


Lamar McKay, currently head of BP's U.S. operations, will become head of a new exploration and production (E&P) unit it called Upstream, a reinstatement of a role that was abolished in 2010, in the wake of the oil spill.

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BP Oil Spill Settlement: Fine For Deepwater Horizon Disaster May Be Largest ... - Huffington Post

BP Oil Spill Settlement: Fine For Deepwater Horizon Disaster May Be Largest ... - Huffington Post | Oilfield News | Scoop.it

BP Plc is expected to pay a record criminal penalty and plead guilty to criminal misconduct in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster through a plea agreement it has reached with the U.S. Department of Justice that may be announced as soon as Thursday, according to sources familiar with discussions.


Three sources, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said BP would plead guilty in exchange for a waiver of future prosecution on the charges.


One of the sources did not disclose the amount of BP's payment, but said it would be the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history. That record is now held by Pfizer Inc, which paid a $1.3 billion criminal fine in 2009 for marketing fraud related to its Bextra pain medicine.

BP and the Justice Department declined to comment.


London-based oil giant BP has been locked in months-long negotiations with the U.S. government and Gulf Coast states to settle billions of dollars of potential civil and criminal liability claims resulting from the April 20, 2010, explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig.

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Canadian oil company to drill more wells near Kettleman City

HANFORD — At least four more exploratory oil wells will be drilled in western Kings County, according to an agreement signed last week by a Canadian company.

Zodiac Exploration Inc. has announced an agreement with Aera Energy LLC to drill at least two vertical and two horizontal wells northeast of Kettleman City. In return, Aera gets a 50 percent stake in the potential oil production on 19,600 acres of Zodiac-leased land in the area.

Zodiac drilled two exploratory wells last year, stirring new interest in oil production in a region that has seen oil discoveries in the Kettleman Hills in the past.

“If a reintroduction of that industry on the Valley floor takes place, certainly it’s a positive move for the South Valley,” said John Lehn, Kings County Economic Development Corp. CEO. “The assumption is that it will help bring wealth to the region and offer jobs to local residents.”

But it’s not clear that the drilling will be commercially successful.

Zodiac has been using new cost-saving technology involving deep vertical wells, which then fan out horizontally into multiple horizontal layers of rock.

The company is also experimenting with a controversial technique called fracturing or “fracking.” The process involves injecting pressurized water and chemicals underground to break up rock and allow trapped oil to escape to the surface.

The oil Zodiac is extracting is stuck in denser rock that can’t be accessed using traditional drilling techniques.

Greenaction, a Bay Area-based environmental group active in the Kettleman City area, maintains that the technique pollutes groundwater.

“We want to see solar and wind developments instead of more fossil fuels,” said Greenaction Executive Director Bradley Angel. “Kettleman City is already overwhelmed with pollution, and we don’t need anymore.”

Zodiac applied in July 2011 for a conditional use permit with Kings County to establish a processing facility that would separate oil from other materials sucked up out of the wells. A hearing was scheduled for December, but Zodiac put the application on hold, said Sandy Roper, a county planner.

Zodiac decided to delay its application because it wanted to build partnerships with other companies before moving forward, said Zodiac CEO and President Murray Rodgers. Rodgers said it had nothing to do with any environmental opposition.

“It was purely a commercial decision,” he said.

Lehn said he doesn’t think there’s solid science proving that fracking harms the environment. He said continued fossil fuel development is necessary to balance the use of renewable sources such as solar and wind power, and he praised the job potential of new oil development. He noted the significance of the Kern River oil field for Kern County’s economy.

Lehn said it’s difficult to attract new manufacturers to California in part because renewable energy requirements raise costs.

“I suppose I would sum [Greenaction’s activities] up in one word, and that’s ‘dramatic,’” Lehn said.

Angel vowed to fight Zodiac’s expansion efforts.

“I’m sure it would create some jobs, and it would also add more pollution to an area that already has terrible air quality and numerous local pollution sources,” Angel said. “We need more businesses ... that are renewable and job creators.”
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Pre-drilling under Chirag oil project to be completed by year-end

Pre-drilling under Chirag oil project to be completed by year-end | Oilfield News | Scoop.it
The pre-drilling process under the Chirag oil project will be completed by the end of the year, BP Azerbaijan, which acts as the operator of the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) block of oil fields in the Caspian Sea, told Trend news agency.
"Pre-drilling is carried out from the drilling rig Dede Gorgud," the company said.
The jacket of the new platform West Chirag will be sent to the sea after the completion of pre-drilling, and the upper modules will also be sent after its installation, BP said.
BP Azerbaijan also said the process of connecting subsea infrastructure to the existing platform in the deep part of Guneshli field has ended.
"All the works have been completed and work of the platform has been restored. Currently, daily volume of the production at the platform is 110 000 barrels," BP noted.
The company said, in general, ACG daily oil production volume fluctuates in the range of 650-700 thousand barrels.
The company also noted that all work within Chirag oil project are carried out in accordance with the schedule.
The Chirag Oil Project involves the construction of the new West Chirag platform which will be installed at a depth of 170 metres between the Chirag and Gunashli production platforms.The investments made to the project implementation will hit $6 billion. First production from the platform is scheduled for late 2013. Over 300 million barrels of oil are expected to be produced under the Chirag project until the end of the contract on ACG in 2024.
A landmark agreement on developing the ACG fields was signed with 13 energy majors from eight countries in Baku in 1994. ACG participating interests are: BP (operator - 35.83%), SOCAR (11.65%), Chevron (11.27%), Inpex (10.96%), Statoil (8.56%), ExxonMobil (8%), TPAO (6.75%), Itochu (4.3%), and Hess (2.72%). Hess has sold its share in the project to India's ONGC, and the transaction will be completed in the first quarter of 2013.
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Tullow strikes more oil in Turkana

Tullow strikes more oil in Turkana | Oilfield News | Scoop.it

Exploration firm Tullow Oil plc on Wednesday announced a fresh discovery of oil deposits at Twiga South-1 exploration well, on Block 13T in Northern Kenya.The well is about 30km west of Ngamia-1 well where Tullow struck oil earlier this year.

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