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In the News

"Companies slash capital budgets as oil price drop cuts cash flows" - Oil & Gas Journal forecasts a 32% cut in US E&P spending in 2015. Canadian budgets are forecast to drop 23%. These numbers hardly tell the whole story. "Of the North American E&P companies rated by Moody's only 6% plan to increase capital spending this year." Twenty one percent of the companies plan to reduce spending by more than 60%, and more than half will cut their budgets by at least 40%.  Oil & Gas Journal, April 6, 2015, 28-30.

Wyoming seeks judicial review of BLM's new fracing regulations - In its filing, the state argued that BLM’s rule conflicts with the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, exceeds the US Department of the Interior agency’s statutory regulations, and interferes with Wyoming’s own fracing regulations. - Oil & Gas Journal - 3/27/15

Analysts: Oil industry dealing with downturn better than years’ past - Investment bankers and analysts entrenched in the oil and gas industry say companies have so far staved off the major negative impacts of the current industry downturn better than previous downturns by acting more proactively and aggressively EIA explained, however, that “as oil prices and upstream investment spending fall, reduced demand for rigs and other oil field services will tend to reduce the price of those services. Lower costs for oil services can make upstream investment more attractive and partially offset the effect of reduced upstream budgets on the level of upstream activity.” Additionally, Wood Mackenzie said this week in a report that global exploration budget cuts will average 30% in 2015, noting that “the industry is addressing a long-standing cost inflation issue,” and “that on average exploration costs will fall by a third, softening the blow of budget cuts.” - Oil & Gas Journal - 3/26/15

Maryland House, Senate pass hydraulic fracturing bills - Senators voted 29-17 in favor of a bill that holds drilling companies strictly liable for injuries to residents or their property, and in the case of legal action companies would have to disclose what chemicals they use for drilling. In a 93-45 vote in the House, delegates voted to support a three-year moratorium on the drilling practice while more studies are done on fracking's impact on public health. - PennEnergy - 3/24/15

DOI issues final rule for fracing on public, tribal lands - The US Department of the Interior issued a long-anticipated final rule to govern hydraulic fracturing of onshore oil and gas wells on public and tribal lands. Officials said the regulations will improve safety and help protect groundwater by updating requirements for wellbore integrity, wastewater disposal, and public disclosure of chemicals. 

DOI officials said that the key components of the rule, which takes effect in 90 days, include:

  • Provisions for ensuring the protection of groundwater supplies by requiring a validation of well integrity and strong cement barriers between the wellbore and water zones through which the wellbore passes.

  • Increased transparency by requiring companies to publicly disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing to BLM through the web site FracFocus.org, within 30 days of completing fracturing operations. Exceptions for proprietary information would be allowed as long as BLM had access to the information in an emergency.

  • Higher standards for interim storage of recovered waste fluids from fracing—specifically, use of rigid, above-ground containers instead of open, lined pits—to mitigate risks to air, water, and wildlife.

  • Requirements for companies to submit more detailed information on the geology, depth, and location of preexisting wells to give BLM an opportunity to better evaluate and manage unique site characteristics.

Oil & Gas Journal - 3/20/15

USW, Shell reach tentative deal to end strike at US refineries - Oil & Gas Journal - 3/13/15

Analysts expect oil prices to continue to fall - PennEnergy - 3/10/15 

Report notes strong Saudi fiscal 'buffers' - Saudi Arabia has fiscal buffers enabling it to cover projected deficits while oil prices are low for at least 4 years and perhaps more than 8 years. - Oil & Gas Journal - 3/5/15

Work stoppages commence at largest US refinery, three other facilities - Work stoppage notices were delivered to Motiva's 600 MBPD at Port Arthur, TX and two other refineries and a chemical plant. The new sites bring the total of affected facilities to fourteen. - Oil & Gas Journal - 2/23/15

Blast hits Southern California oil refinery - Explosion rocks ExxonMobil refinery at Torrance. PennEnergy - 2/18/15 

US sets 2014 M&A record, driving global values to $185 billion - Among the top 10 US upstream deals in 2014, six provided the buyer with its first foothold in a shale play. Another three of the top 10 deals were corporate acquisitions in which a company acquired a competitor with a similar operational profile. - Oil & Gas Financial Journal - 2/16/15

Company suspends efforts to seize Nebraska land for Keystone oil pipeline - PennEnergy - 2/13/15 

Energy Market: Oil on wild ride, How will it end? - Arguments for increase, decrease, or stay the same with little consensus. - PennEnergy - 2/10/15 

BHI: US rig count down 87 units in 10th straight week of losses - Total is lowest since March 26, 2010, and 315 units lower than last year. The count has decreased by 464 units of which 435 were targeting oil. - Oil & Gas Journal - 2/6/15

Oil's Survival of the Fittest: Interview with Stan Szary of Saturn Minerals - Mr. Szary says, "For conventional light oil projects in Western Canada--like Saturn’s--with operating costs at $20 a barrel, its business as usual. For shale oil, heavy oil and oil sands projects, where operating costs can be anywhere from $50 to $100 a barrel, the outlook is far more challenging." OilPrice - 2/5/15

Union strike underway at US refineries, petchem plants - United Steelworkers Union has instituted a strike at nine US refineries and petrochemical plants. The strike affects 1,950,000 B/D of capacity or 12.4% of US refinery capacity.  Oil & Gas Journal - 2/2/15

Low oil prices produce 2015 budget cuts.

    PNR cuts capital spending nearly in half - Oil & Gas Journal - 2/11/15

    Chevron's capital budget down 13% from last year - Oil & Gas Journal - 1/30/15

    Shell cuts $16 billion in spending - Oil & Gas Journal - 1/30/15

    Oxy cuts capital budget by a third - Oil & Gas Journal - 1/30/15

PetroStrategies Developments

A Layman's Guide to the Oil and Gas Industry - class updated for 2015

Fundamentals of Downstream Operations - class updated for 2015

Understanding and Evaluating Oil and Gas Investments - class updated for 2015

Fundamentals of Upstream Operations - class updated for 2015

PetroStrategies Editorials

April 2, 2015 - A New, Agile Oil and Gas Industry

March 2, 2015 - Can OPEC Find the Right Balance?

February 4, 2015 - Retirees Leave with Pension and Knowledge

January 14, 2015 - Coking Capacity, Heavy Canadian Crude Imports, and the Keystone XL Pipeline

January 6, 2015 - Deja Vu - This All Seems Very Familiar

January 1, 2015 - Been there, done that, got the t-shirt

Latest ranking of the World's Largest Oil and Gas Companies

New listing of Biggest US Oil and Gas Companies

Gas prices hold hope for upstream operators. Expect shift from oil drilling to gas drilling.

  Please click on the link to learn more.

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