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Given that the nation's news media was focusing about 23 out of every 24 hours each day on breathless reports about the "shutdown" of some small percentage of the federal government, some of you may be wondering how this "shutdown" is going to impact the oil and gas industry.
The short answer to that question is "not much." A longer and more detailed answer follows.
Upstream operating companies are going to continue to drill and frac and produce oil and natural gas from their wells, just as if nothing has happened in the nation's capital. All of their people are going to keep having to show up for work on each and every business day. This will disappoint some of them, but most will be pretty happy about continuing to receive their paychecks.
The oil and natural gas from those hundreds of thousands of wells will continue to mostly flow into pipelines, although a small percentage of the oil will keep getting transported via thousands of trucks or rail cars. Yes, the railroads will keep running, and the nation's interstate highway system remains open, despite the catastrophic impressions you may be getting from the myriad sensational reports on the various cable news networks.
Pipeline companies will continue receiving and moving all the oil and gas that fuels the preponderance of our nation's economy, just as they do when 100% of the federal government is open.
LNG export facilities will continue liquefying some of that natural gas and putting it on ships, which will continue to export that LNG to international markets. The remainder of that natural gas will continue to be delivered to local distribution companies for home heating, power plants for the generation of electricity, and manufacturing facilities that use natural gas as a feedstock for the production of a vast array of products we all use in our everyday lives.
Most of that crude oil will continue to be taken by the nation's refineries and turned into the gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products that drive our country's transportation sector. A growing portion of it will continue to be loaded onto tanker ships and exported onto an increasingly competitive global market.
In other words, even though the oil and gas industry is heavily regulated by the federal government, it remains a private enterprise , and as such, its operations will hardly be impacted in the near term by this partial federal shutdown.
Now, if this shutdown goes on for a long period of time, then some impacts would show up, mainly in the area of permitting operations on federal and Indian lands, and in the federally controlled waters off the country's various coasts. The workers at the Interior Department who control the issuance of permits to drill and conduct other operations in the various federal and Indian provinces are not considered to be "essential" employees, and will not be reporting for work today.
But even this impact is likely to be quite minimal. Looking back through history, the longest period of time any government shutdown has lasted was 32 days, from December 5, 1995 through January 6, 1996. None of the others have lasted more than 18 days, and the vast majority of the 18 previous shutdowns have lasted less than a week.
The issuing of drilling permits and other approvals by the federal government is already an exercise in often interminable delays. The current shutdown is likely to only add a handful of days to what is already a long waiting game. Even adding 32 days would not end up creating a significant impact on operators on federal and Indian lands.
The issuance of permits related to the nation's interstate oil and gas pipelines will also be impacted, given that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the agency that governs such permits, is not classified as an "essential" service. Again, just as with the Interior Department's permitting processes, the delays at FERC will equal the number of days the shutdown lasts. Given that the pipeline industry just ended a year during which FERC spent half the year without a quorum of appointed commissioners, a shutdown that will most likely last a handful of days pales in comparison.
For those worrying that the shutdown means that those bad ol' fossil fuel industries will be free to just pollute to their heart's content, well, no, that's not in the cards, either. The EPA was declared an "essential" service during the Clinton Administration, and thus, all of that agency's employees will still be reporting for work as normal.
So, at the end of the day, this partial government shutdown is very likely to show up on the oil and gas industry's books as a basic non-event. Now, if this shutdown were to set a new record for duration, that could change, and I'll come back and give you an update at that time. Somehow, I don't think that will become necessary. Just a hunch.
[Note: And just like clockwork, barely four hours after I posted this piece, the Senate agreed to end the government shutdown. Oh, well, it was a fun piece to write.]
The Bureau of Land Management released an environmental study on Friday for a 5,000-well oil and gas project in Converse County, Wyoming.
Five major players in Wyoming industry proposed the joint project, which would cover 1.5 million acres, just north of Interstate 25 between Glenrock and Douglas, and take place over a period of 10 years. Each well proposed is expected to last about 30 years, according to the environmental study.
It’s a hefty undertaking in a region of Wyoming that’s already expecting another oil and gas boom if prices hold.
Anadarko Resources, Chesapeake Energy, EOG Resources, SM Energy and Devon Energy are the partners on the proposal, first made in 2014, before the oil sector busted. The Bureau of Land Management anticipates the joint approach to drilling in the southern Powder River Basin will generate more than 8,000 jobs and between $18 billion and $28 billion in revenue.
About 90 percent of the land is private or state owned. Only about 6 percent of the project’s 1,500 well pads will be built on Bureau of Land Management Land. The remainder is on the U.S Forest Service-managed Thunder Basin National Grasslands.
The Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comment on the joint oil and gas project until March 12.
For project documents visit https://go.usa.gov/xnRAN.
Written comments are accepted by email at the following address: email@example.com
And by conventional mail addressed to the Bureau of Land Management Casper Field Office:
Attn: Mike Robinson, Project Manager
2987 Prospector Drive
Casper, WY 82604
Oil prices continue to surge, briefly topping $66 a barrel Thursday as storage shrinks and oil and natural gas companies finalize their 2018 budgets.
Another sharp drop in storage levels likely indicates the U.S. and global markets are working through the global storage glut and returning to more familiar supply-and-demand fundamentals.
Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries continue to hold global supply in check with their agreement to scale back production, but oil demand in the United States and worldwide also is continuing to grow.
As a result, U.S. commercial storage declined by another 1.1 million barrels in the week ending Jan. 19, settling at 411.6 million barrels, according to a report the U.S. Energy Information Administration released Wednesday. The storage is down 16 percent from 488.3 million barrels one year ago.
The drop is much sharper in Cushing, home to the country's largest commercial storage hub. Cushing's storage measured in at 39.2 million barrels last week, down 3.2 million barrels from the previous week and off 38 percent from 63 million barrels in November 2017.
Oil prices also have been boosted by a weakening dollar, which this week reached a more than three-year low compared to other currencies.
Domestic benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude — which is priced in Cushing — gained 36 cents Thursday to $65.98. The price has gained almost 50 percent from just more than $44 a barrel in June 2017.
International benchmark Brent crude added 41 cents Thursday to $70.94 a barrel.
Natural gas gains
Natural gas prices also are gaining ground. The colder-than-normal winter has led to deeper-than-average storage withdrawals, and forecasters are predicting another wave of cold weather next week.
The benchmark natural gas price slipped 6 cents Thursday to $3.45 per thousand cubic feet, but still is up 31 percent since Christmas.
While cold weather has driven up natural gas prices in recent weeks, the price is likely to soon stabilize again, the EIA said in a report Thursday.
The price has spent much of the past 18 months restrained between $2.80 and $3.40 per thousand cubic feet. The government said Thursday the price likely will average near $2.88 in 2018 and $2.99 in 2019.
"Lower prices in 2018 and 2019 reflect EIA's expectation of increased natural gas production and relatively flat consumption," the report stated.
Natural gas consumption is expected to increase slightly in both 2018 and 2019, with combined residential and commercial use to grow by about 1.3 billion cubic feet per day in 2018 and remain near that level in 2019, the report stated.
We'll find out more about domestic oil and natural gas production over the next month. The major integrated oil companies are scheduled to begin releasing their 2017 earnings and 2018 budgets in early February, with independent producers set to detail their reports by the end of February.
Just confirmed at the close of business TODAY/FRIDAY.
Get a sneak peek at event information here >>> 2018 CO NARO Registration Form.pdf
Monday June 4 at the Embassy Suites (Tech Center) in Denver.
Online registration will be set up Monday 1/26/18!!
Jericho Oil expands presence in STACK
TULSA — Jericho Oil Corp. will participate in the drilling of between two and five horizontal wells in Major County as part of a farm-in agreement through its Oklahoma STACK Joint Venture, the company said.
The effort will allow Jericho to grow its STACK acreage position by about 30 percent at a discount to recent STACK transactions, participate in the drilling of multiple horizontal wells targeting the Osage formation, collect well data and effectively grow production, the company said.
“This transaction puts the company in a good position to cost-effectively boost its strategic acreage position in the prolific STACK play, said Ryan Breen, Jericho's director of corporate development.
Cushing-to-Patoka pipeline announced
MPLX LP subsidiaries MPLX Ozark Pipe Line LLC and Marathon Pipe Line LLC have begun an open season on the combined Ozark 22-inch and Woodpat 22-inch pipelines from Cushing to Patoka, Illinois. The open season will run through Feb. 16.
The Ozark is a 433-mile line that transports up to 230,000 barrels of oil daily from Cushing to Wood River, Illinois. The Woodpat is a 55-mile line that carries up to 215,000 barrels per day from Wood River to Patoka, Illinois. An expansion project is expected to increase the capacity of both lines to 345,000 barrels per day.
"We are pleased to announce the Cushing-to-Patoka Expansion Project as Midwest markets desire further access to West Texas Intermediate crude. This expansion will provide additional capacity for shippers while positioning the partnership to grow its distributable cash flow," MPLX President Michael J. Hennigan said.
Baker Hughes Rig Count: U.S. +11 to 947 rigs
U.S. Rig Count is up 11 rigs from last week to 947, with oil rigs up 12 to 759, gas rigs down 1 to 188, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged.
U.S. Rig Count is up 235 rigs from last year's count of 712, with oil rigs up 193, gas rigs up 43, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 0.
The U.S. Offshore Rig Count is down 2 rigs at 17 and down 4 rigs year-over-year.
WHAT IS THE RIG COUNT? The Baker Hughes North American Rotary Rig Count is a weekly census of the number of drilling rigs actively exploring for or developing oil or natural gas in the United States and Canada.
WHAT IS THE HIGHEST AND LOWEST RIG COUNT RECORDED?
Since 1940 the highest weekly US rig count was 4,530 recorded on December 28, 1981. The lowest U.S. rig count was recorded in 2016. In Canada the highest weekly rig count of 727 was recorded on February 3, 2006. The lowest weekly rotary rig count of 29 was recorded on April 24,1992
WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE THE RIG COUNT?
Rig count trends are governed by oil company exploration and development spending, which in turn is influenced by the current and expected price of oil and natural gas. Rig counts therefore reflect the strength and stability of energy prices. However, there are many other factors at work, including:
Seasonal spending patterns:
The determination is made by the operating company when the rig permit is issued by the state's permitting authority. The operating company will drill appraisal well(s) to determine the hydrocarbon target. Based on the results, the operator makes a judgment call on how to classify the well. For example, if a well is producing – on a Btu basis – 50% gas; 20% NGLs and 30% oil, it could either be listed as a gas well (gas is the largest component), or an oil well (which is driving the economics). This judgment is solely up to the operator.
The Baker Hughes Rig Counts are an important business barometer for the drilling industry and its suppliers. When drilling rigs are active they consume products and services produced by the oil service industry. The active rig count acts as a leading indicator of demand for products used in drilling, completing, producing and processing hydrocarbons.
Baker Hughes Rig Counts are published by major newspapers and trade publications, are referred to frequently by journalists, economists, security analysts and government officials, and are included in many industry statistical reports. Because they have been compiled consistently for 70 years, Baker Hughes Rig Counts also are useful in historical analysis of the industry.
Baker Hughes has issued the rotary rig counts as a service to the petroleum industry since 1944, when Hughes Tool Company began weekly counts of U.S. and Canadian drilling activity. Hughes initiated the monthly international rig count in 1975. The North American rig count is released weekly at noon central time on the last day of the work week. The international rig count is released on the fifth working day of each month.
The Royalty Owners Action Report, ROAR, is a monthly publication that goes to all of our members. It is FULL of amazing information, education, and help. Reach YOUR target market directly with the help of The ROAR!
ROAR Rate Card 2018.pdf
The North Dakota convention, June 28 & 29, is welcoming Montana Mineral owners to their event in Bismark. #TeamBakken Don't miss this opportunity to understand your paperwork, what is happening in the Bakken and how changes this will affect royalty income.
2018 NARO North Dakota Convention
Do you own minerals in Colorado? We are working on firming up our Colorado chapter conference, it looks like it will be June in Denver!! I hope to launch a save the date by the end of the month! In the mean time, stay connect with our Colorado chapter and up today with Colorado issues by "liking" our CO NARO Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/ColoradoNAROThe PA board is working every day getting their 2018 agenda firmed up. Watch for updates on their chapter page!
The PA board is working every day getting their 2018 agenda firmed up. Watch for updates on their chapter page!
PA 2018 Convention Registration Form.pdf
If you have have considered becoming a Certified Minerals Manager, the Pennsylvania event will be the first opportunity to take the CMM Review Course. It will be offered Wed, March 21 8a-5p and is a seperate registration. Well worth the time to attend!
2018 CMM Review Course
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