Falling natural gas prices would be even lower if not for a growing U.S. export market — both via pipeline to Mexico and through liquefied natural gas shipments around the world.Warm winter weather has been hard on U.S. natural gas producers, who have watched prices do nothing but slide since the end of last year. Natural gas futures are down 22 percent since the beginning of the year, having run up in late 2016 on the expectation that winter heating demand would result in much more gas coming out of storage.
Source: Mexico to the rescue of U.S. frackers
The oil industry’s top trade group will be among the advertisers vying for attention during halftime of Sunday’s Super Bowl game, according to an ad contract obtained by a political spending database.The Sunlight Foundation, a nonproft open government group that maintains the database tracking political ad buys, showed that the American Petroleum Institute bought a 30-second spot for $100,000 from WRC-TV, the NBC affiliate for the Washington, D.C. area. According to the foundation, the ad was the single most expensive television spot of API’s recent campaign promoting the Keystone XL pipeline and other industry priorities as the new Republican-led Congress debates several energy-related bills.An API spokeswoman said the group will fill the spot with its “Energy Superpower” ad championing hydraulic fracturing, the drilling technique that has led to a surge in natural gas production and made the U.S. the largest producer in the world. The Sunlight Foundation reported that API recently spent about $80,000 on a separate ad with WRC.The lobbying firm spent $73.5 million on advertising and promotion in 2012, the last year for which the organization’s tax forms were available.
via Fuel Fix » Oil lobbying group buys Super Bowl ad.
Oil rigs could one day join the treetops in George Washington National Forest south of the nation’s capital.Despite protests from Virginia’s Democratic governor and environmental groups, the U.S. Forest Service announced this week it would make 177,000 acres – or about 17 percent – of the forest in Virginia available for leasing for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The practice would be allowed on about 167,000 acres where there are existing private mineral rights – in other words, sites where people, groups or companies own whatever oil, gas and other minerals sit beneath the soil. It would also be allowed on another 10,000 acres that have already been leased to oil and gas firms.
via Fracking Approved in George Washington National Forest – US News.
Alcoa’s oil and gas division, based in Texas, was founded in the mid-2000s and initially focused on components for deep-water drilling. After 2011, the company started marketing aluminum drill pipe, mostly to an international market.The oil and gas unit is part of a company-wide effort to move away from being a commodity-driven company to become more of an engineering and full-service organization.It’s only recently that Alcoa’s oil and gas focus has turned domestic.In North America, Alcoa has found some takers in the Marcellus and Utica shales, according to Tim Marvel, managing director of its oil and gas division.Eclipse Resources, for example, tested aluminum pipe on some of its Utica wells hoping to avoid getting a bigger, more expensive rig to pull the weight of a long steel drill string. Supplementing steel pipe with aluminum, the company’s driller was able to go deeper than the 6,000 foot limitation of the rig had it been operating with just steel, saving the operator $150,000, according to an Alcoa case study.Alcoa is looking for aluminum drill pipe to be incorporated alongside steel, not to replace it. “Just substituting where you need to,” Mr. Marvel said.This isn’t a new application.Mark Stebbins, district operations superintendent for gas with Consol Energy Inc., recalled using aluminum drill pipe for years when he was with Dominion, which had its shale gas assets purchased by Consol in 2010. Back then, they were drilling shallow, vertical gas wells.“The advantage is [that] the same rig can drill a deeper depth with the same weight. All you’re doing is switching the drill pipe,” he said.
via Pennsylvania inspectors key to Marcellus regulation.
Energy companies are using more water and sand to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale in Marshall and Ohio counties, a new report by a research firm said.Companies working in what’s called the “wet gas window” of the two counties are using up to 10 million gallons of water for each project, along with 13 million pounds of sand. That’s up from about 4 million gallons of water and 1 million pounds of sand a few years ago, according to the report by Wood Mackenzie.The use of sand for wells in the two counties increased 58 percent between 2012 and 2013 alone, the report shows.The drilling technique, called hydraulic fracturing or fracking, uses water, abrasives and chemicals to extract natural gas laced through shale deposits.”Using more sand and water has allowed us to be able to get a larger return,” Corky Demarco, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, told The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register
via Drillers using more sand, water to extract gas from Marcellus shale in Marshall, Ohio counties – Daily Journal.
A study published Monday says that the shale-gas boom has contaminated drinking water wells in the Barnett Shale of North Texas and in the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania.The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was conducted by researchers from five universities, the Dallas Morning News reported.It concludes that blame for the contamination rests to gas leakage from defective casings and cementing in gas wells, not directly from drilling or hydraulic fracturing itself, the Morning News said.
via Shale water contamination due to well construction, not drilling or fracking, study says – Houston Business Journal.
US states that embraced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling staged stronger economic recoveries than those that did not since 2008 when the country plunged into recession, an economist told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.”In those states that have chosen to pursue energy development, output and jobs have grown faster than in most other states, while their unemployment rates are well below the US average of 6.1%,” Bernard L. Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business in Dallas, said to the committee’s Energy and Power Subcommittee on July 24.Texas, which aggressively developed its tight oil and gas formations, witnessed a 100% increase in its crude production since 2010 and has the lowest unemployment rate, 5.1%, of any large state, Weinstein said in written testimony for the subcommittee’s hearing on state energy policies’ economic impacts.”By contrast, New York, whose southern tier sits atop one of the ‘sweet spots’ of the Marcellus shale, has imposed a ban on hydraulic fracturing with the result that oil and gas production has plummeted in recent years, while the state’s unemployment rate is currently at 6.7%, with some upstate counties as high as 7.5%,” Weinstein said.Communities in Montana and North Dakota saw jobs rise dramatically in sectors beyond oil and gas as the Bakken shale was developed, another witness testified. “The streets of Sidney and Williston are crowded with petroleum engineers, drilling managers, environmental specialists, and other natural resource workers,” said Paul Potzin, director emeritus at the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research in Missoula. “But these high-paying specialties are not the only ones to benefit from the boom. Almost all sectors of the local economies are experiencing greater-than-expected growth in employment opportunities and wages.”
via States with fracing are economically stronger, House panel told – Oil & Gas Journal.
Houston-based energy services provider Exterran Partners LP Nasdaq: EXLP will again acquire assets of MidCon Compression LLC, a Chesapeake Energy Corp. NYSE: CHK subsidiary, for $135 million, the companies said on July 14.Exterran will receive 162 natural gas compression units through the deal, the second in four months between Exterran and Chesapeake for MidCon assets. In April, Exterran bought 337 units from Chesapeake for $360 million.“We are pleased to acquire an additional fleet of modern, highly standardized assets from MidCon and continue to deliver on our strategy of growing our core contract operations business,” Exterran President and CEO Brad Childers said in a statement.
via Chesapeake Energy Corp. sells off MidCon Compression assets to Houston based Exterran Partners – Houston Business Journal.
Posted in Fracking
Houston-based Halliburton Co. NYSE: HAL has formed a new joint venture to produce oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing in China.The deal represents Halliburton’s first fracking joint venture in China. The effort is part of the next wave of shale production to take the successes in Texas and the rest of the United States to other parts of the world.The agreement is with China-based SPT Energy Group Inc. affiliate, Petrotech Xinjiang Engineering Co. Ltd. They are forming a new company called Xinjiang HDTD Oilfield Services Co. Ltd. The new company, according to Halliburton, will provide fracking and well stimulation services, including design and analysis, data acquisition, and pumping and chemical services, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China.
via Halliburton forms new joint venture with Petrotech Engineering Co. Ltd. – Houston Business Journal.
Oklahoma has unexpectedly become the earthquake capital of the United States — with some 240 small earthquakes magnitude 3.0 or more this year. That’s about twice as many as California has gotten.A NEW STUDY LINKS OKLAHOMA’S EARTHQUAKES TO WASTEWATER DISPOSAL WELLSIn a new study in Science, researchers say they’ve pinpointed a likely culprit — disposal wells that are used to bury massive amounts of wastewater from oil and gas operations.Oklahoma’s oil and gas industry has been booming since 2008, thanks to various advanced techniques such as “dewatering” operations and hydraulic fracturing. But these activities can create millions of barrels of wastewater that is difficult to treat and often gets injected back underground into disposal wells.A smaller number of Oklahoma’s injection wells, the Science study found, seem to be putting pressure on faults and triggering seismic activity — often as far as 20 miles away. In fact, just four injection wells associated with a dewatering operation near Oklahoma City were likely responsible for one-fifth of the region’s earthquakes since 2008.
via Oklahoma's earthquake epidemic linked to wastewater disposal – Vox.