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  • 04/03/2018 5:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The March road map of oil prices from Boston Energy Research is now available:

     It is doing all it can to reduce surplus oil inventories.


    To read the full article, contact for a 6 month subscription at an introductory price of $995.

    Boston Energy Research does an in depth analysis of latest monthly data for a detailed road map and forecast of 2018 oil prices. Boston Energy Research selects equity investments in the energy sector for major institutional investors.

  • 03/01/2018 3:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When natural gas companies approached Charlie Clark and Jim Barrett about the minerals under their farms, the northern Pennsylvania landowners in neighboring counties both decided to let them drill.

    They hoped — like so many landowners — to bring in some extra cash.

    For Clark, the decision has paid off. But Barrett says he feels cheated, and is now suing his gas company.

    That disparity in how royalties are paid spans the Marcellus Shale, and it’s popping up in other oil- and gas-rich regions across the United States. It stems from a complex web of laws, court rulings and legal jargon that determines how money is distributed to property owners who allow energy companies to tap the minerals below their land.

    Clark and Barrett might have started out with similar hopes, but their different experiences show how tough it can be for landowners to navigate the gas business — and how resolutions are hard to come by.

    A tale of two mineral owners

    Clark said he’s grateful every day for the two gas wells drilled on his dairy farm. He estimates he receives about $10,000 per month in the form of gas royalties.

    “This is what we’ve done with our gas money,” Clark said, standing in his new barn filled with dairy cows. “This barn here cost $40,000 to build it, and we were able to build it out of our pocket.”

    Growing up in rural Susquehanna County in the northeastern corner of Pennsylvania, his family used to scrimp and save just to buy basics, like new shoes.But that all changed when the drilling rigs rolled into town and he started receiving royalty checks.

    “We’re living like we used to, but without the stress,” Clark said. “The bills are all paid. Your kid’s gotta go to college? No problem.”

    He’s a good example of when the royalty process works. It goes like this: Gas companies and landowners sign a lease agreement before drilling begins. The royalty is money paid to the mineral owner, like Clark, for the right to use his resource. It’s negotiated to be a certain percentage of the revenue from the sale of the gas.

    Clark is leased to a company called Chief Oil and Gas. The company gets gas it needs, and Clark gets paid. He said it feels like he hit the lottery, but he knows other people with similar gas wells are striking out.

    “I thank God every day that it happened here, and I didn’t live over there 10 more miles, or 15 more miles, that way, to the west,” he said.

    Barrett lives in that direction, about 40 miles away in Bradford County on what he describes as “a pretty typical mountain farm.”

    Like Clark, he’s grateful for the drilling.

    “It kept Bradford County alive,” he said. “This would have been a ghost town in 2008 or 2010 if it hadn’t been for the gas industry.”

    But for Barrett, the boom has not panned out the way he hoped.

    He claims Chesapeake Energy, which operates four wells on his farm, is stealing from him, and he has joined a class action lawsuit against the company. Chesapeake, which did not respond to a request for comment for this story, is defending itself against lawsuits in at least seven states for allegedly under-paying royalties.

    He estimates Chesapeake owes him hundreds of thousands of dollars for the gas it’s pumped out of his farm. The company has said in the past that it’s committed to working with its royalty owners to answer questions.

    Why the disparity?

    Much of the controversy surrounding royalty money boils down to a concept known as post-production costs: the expenses of moving and treating gas through a network of pipelines. To cover the costs, drillers might take deductions from royalty checks.

    Some landowners agree to that, while others negotiate a lease that prohibits it. Many sign leases that don’t address it at all.Some leases have vague language that leaves room for a gas company to take deductions, even if a landowner objects.

    Those objections might result in lawsuits, often when deductions seem exceptionally high to a landowner who can’t make heads or tails of the calculations on a royalty check.

    Disputes over post-production costs have popped up all over the country as oil and gas production soars, the result of new horizontal drilling and fracking technologies that allow drillers to tap into shale rock.

    But by 2014, the United States was producing so much oil and gas that it led to a global oversupply. That’s when the complaints started to roll in, said Gary Preszler, vice president of the National Association of Royalty Owners board.

    Many energy-producing states took a hit. In most of them, like North Dakota where Preszler lives, wells produce both oil and gas.

    When prices plummeted, oil suddenly wasn’t worth what it used to be. But the gas still needed to be transported and treated, and that cost stayed constant, Preszler said.

    “That’s when people saw their checks being reduced significantly,” he said. “Even though those deductions may have been taken previously, they just … disregarded it because to them it seemed like just a small and minimal amount.”

    In Pennsylvania, it was a different story. Wells here produce mainly gas, so landowners like Barrett noticed right away if companies took out big, unexplained cuts. Some Pennsylvania landowners have been complaining for years about exorbitant deductions.

    But many never have a reason to complain. Clark, for example, said he feels his deductions are reasonable.

    Their experiences, both of which are shared by landowners in other states, are uniquely American.

    “This is the only country on the planet where individuals actually own the mineral interest,” said Jerry Simmons, executive director of the royalty owners group. “Everywhere else, it’s owned by the government.”

    He estimates 12 million American landowners own minerals.

    Over the years, some sued when they felt they were being cheated. That has led to a patchwork of court rulings in many states, determining how leases are interpreted.

    Some landowners hire a lawyer to negotiate a lease with explicit language that prohibits deductions or spells out exactly which costs can be taken out. The greater stake an individual has in a well, the more bargaining power they have to negotiate a lease that works in their favor, University of Texas law professor Owen Anderson said.

    But not all go that route.

    “As often happens, these landowners and mineral owners sign these leases the company offers without negotiating terms and without getting legal advice,” Anderson said.

    Later, if they believe they’re not getting paid fairly, their options are slim. They can hire an expert to audit their royalties and go to court, but some can’t afford to do that.

    Preszler said the better option is to prevent landowners from signing bad leases.

    “It’s a lot easier to try to get the terms correctly done at the front end than to try to manage and fix a problem later,” he said.

    His group is developing a seminar to better educate landowners.

    Little hope for relief

    Advocates in Pennsylvania want to strengthen the law that is supposed to ensure mineral owners are paid a fair royalty.

    A decades-old state law guarantees a minimum 12.5 percent royalty, but Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has ruled that deductions can still be taken, even if they result in a royalty below that rate. For four years, royalty owners in Pennsylvania have pushed to change the law to ensure they receive at least that rate.

    So far, the Legislature hasn’t passed a bill.

    Lawsuits are still playing out in Pennsylvania, including one brought by Pennsylvania’s attorney general. Josh Shapiro is seeking to recover money for thousands of Pennsylvanians, including Barrett, stemming from a lawsuit filed in 2015 that claims several gas companies violated the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law by promising landowners royalty money they never paid.

    Susquehanna County resident Charlie Clark purchased a new hay baler for his dairy farm with royalty money he received from natural gas development on his land.

    Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

    Susquehanna County resident Charlie Clark purchased a new hay baler for his dairy farm with royalty money he received from natural gas development on his land.

    Back on his farm in Susquehanna County, Clark said even though he’s “won the lottery” with gas royalties, he thinks the law should ensure everyone is paid fairly.

    “I guess I really don’t understand why the government hasn’t stepped in and done and little bit more, because it would benefit them too,” he said. “Any extra money we’d get, we’d be taxed on.”

    Over in Bradford County, Barrett said he and his wife will have to sell the farm to retire.

    But he wants to be able to pass it onto his grandkids.

    “My dad and his uncles, their goal was to keep the farm going for their sons,” he said.

    His grandfather and great-grandfather did the same, passing the farm to the next generation.

    Although Barrett’s hopeful things will change to give him a shot at keeping the farm in his family, like many mineral owners across the country, he knows one thing: There’s not much more he can do about it.

  • 02/23/2018 3:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Chevron has operated in Monterey County for over 70 years, and in Fresno and Kern counties for over 100 years. For our Chevron family and yours, we spend considerable time and effort conducting our operations in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner that meets or exceeds regulatory requirements.

    Chevron looks forward to continuing to invest in our communities and building upon our legacy as a safe and responsible operator for many years to come.

    There is no doubt that anti-oil activist groups will continue to sponsor and fund costly ballot initiatives, like Monterey County’s Measure Z, simply to shut down oil and gas operations. They have no evidence of contamination from oil operations, but use misleading information and fear tactics to persuade voters otherwise.

    This is unfortunate for all of us because these initiatives hurt our communities with lost local jobs for our families and neighbors whose jobs and small businesses are supported by the oil industry, and they ultimately lead to lost tax dollars to fund our schools, police and fire departments, and other critical services that help our communities.

    Impacted parties are entitled to protect their legal rights.

    Measure Z’s ban on new drilling and the phase-out of underground injection would result in the shutdown of oil operations in Monterey County. In this light, Chevron, along with a coalition of oil producers, service companies, individuals, royalty owners, and the local school district, brought legal challenges to protect our rights.

    The Monterey County court struck down Measure Z’s prohibitions on new drilling and underground injection.

    The court reasoned that these prohibitions in Measure Z were at odds with fundamental constitutional principles. Simply put, a local county cannot act in conflict with the policies and the laws of the federal and state governments. The federal and state governments have crafted policies to encourage the continued production of oil, so long as it is done in a safe and environmentally protective way. In fact, California regulations impose the strictest set of testing and operational requirements in the country. Local ballot measures, such as Measure Z, disrupt these policies.

    The decision on hydraulic fracturing Is saved for another day.

    The Monterey County court did not uphold Measure Z’s ban on well stimulation treatments, such as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Instead, the court determined that it did not have to answer the question on fracking because no party had standing to challenge that provision of Measure Z.

    The court reached this conclusion based on one reason that underscores the misleading nature of the entire Measure Z campaign — there is no fracking in Monterey County because fracking is not needed to produce oil from the oil-bearing underground formations that are located within that county.

    So where are we now?

    We are back where we started. Chevron will continue to be a safe and responsible oil operator and invest in Monterey, Fresno, Kern and surrounding counties to develop the energy that improves lives and powers our state and the world forward.

    Al Williams is vice president of Chevron USA Inc., San Joaquin Valley

    Business Unit, based in Bakersfield. The opinions expressed are his own.

    Read the full NARO ROAR articles Jan 2018 ROAR One Sheet.pdf

  • 02/20/2018 4:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    DENVER (AP) — Colorado's top oil and gas regulator is stepping down to take a job with an energy consulting company.

    The Oil and Gas Conservation Commission said Tuesday Director Matt Lepore is resigning on March 4 after more than five years in the job.

    He'll become legal counsel and strategic adviser for Adamantine Energy, a Denver consulting group that works with energy companies dealing with regulators, activists, investors and others.

    Adamantine's founder and top executive is Tisha Schuller. Schuller was formerly CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, a major industry lobbying group in Colorado.

    The new director of the oil and gas commission will be Julie Murphy, currently assistant director for energy and minerals at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. That department is the oil and gas commission's parent agency

  • 02/09/2018 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), questioned a U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) official today during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee subcommittee hearing regarding his legislation, the Lake Bistineau Land Title Stability Act (S. 1219), which would clarify the ownership of roughly 200 acres of land near Lake Bistineau in Louisiana that is currently occupied by more than 100 private landowners.

    Sen. Bill Cassidy

    In 1842, the U.S. government approved an 1838 original survey of lands in Louisiana. Based on this survey, the state transferred 7,000 acres of land around Lake Bisteneau to the Bossier Levee District in 1901, which then conveyed the land to private ownership three years later. In 1967, BLM resurveyed this land and declared a new boundary line in a notice in the Federal Register in 1969, but the agency did not notify all affected landowners of its claim to the lands or file its claim in local property records. After private landowners initiated an inquiry in 2013, BLM maintained its claim on the lands based on the results of the 1967 survey.

    Cassidy’s bill would make the 1842 survey of lands the survey of record by voiding the 1967 survey, nullifying the legal effect of any future land survey of the affected areas, and preventing the federal government from claiming the land in the future. U.S. Representative Mike Johnson introduced companion legislation in the House (H.R. 3392).

    The legislation is supported by landowners in affected the area (Lewis, Hollingsworth, Vogel),Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, the Louisiana Landowners Association, and the National Association of Royalty Owners.

    To read the entire articles.

  • 02/06/2018 2:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Energy InDepth's Jackie Stewart

    For the past few years, we have watched the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and other “Keep It In the Ground” (KIITG) activists employ bait-and-switch tactics to try (unsuccessfully) to stop pipeline development and ban fracking. After epic failures across the state, fringe environmental activists have turned to launching fake landowner coalitions in a new attempt to mislead the public, with a prime example being the Tri-County Landowners Coalition.

    But these so-called “landowner” coalitions are nothing more than front groups for a small group of well-coordinated activists who have no interest in leasing or protecting royalty owner interests — but instead want to stop all oil and gas development in its tracks. And their overall goal is even more far-reaching than the oil and gas industry, as they have publicly stated they want to “decide what industries come in here.”

    In response to these fake landowner groups in Ohio, the actual national landowner advocacy group – the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) – recently told EID,

    “This constant drum beat by folks who do not want any fossil fuels developed under the guise of ‘local control’ is tiring, and for those of us who have a national perspective is anything but local. Most of the groups claiming to be ‘local grassroots’ organizations may have enlisted a few local residents to carry the banner, but don’t be fooled. The tell on who is behind them is the rhetoric they spew which is the exact same message developed by Food and Water Watch, Food and Water Action, Sierra Club, Green Peace, etc., who are anything but local. Don’t believe me? Just visit any of those organizations’ websites and see what they say about oil and gas, and you will find the exact same talking points these supposed local grassroots groups are using. They all point to lack of federal Safe Drinking Water Act authority over the oil and gas industry as some terrible miscarriage of justice. Look, this is NOT about local control. This is a private property issue.  This is about a few who want to control everyone else for their own selfish reasons.”

    So who’s behind the fake Tri-County Landowners Coalition?

    Launched by Frack Free Ohio activist Bill Baker, the so-called Tri-County Landowners Coalition “represents” three Ohio counties — Richland, Ashland, and Holmes — and includes, Hayesville Community on Fracked Gas (HCFG), Clear Fork Landowners Group (CFLG), Advocates for Local Land (ALL), and the Monroe Township Landowners Coalition (MTLC).

    It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Baker and Frack Free Ohio, but he is no stranger to pushing anti-fracking activities in Ohio. Recall that Baker was behind a Community Bill of Rights effort in 2013 in Richland County, as well.  Five years later, Baker is now attempting to launch this fake coalition, backed by what appears to be about five people, including Elaine Tanner, program director for the nonprofit Friends For Environmental Justice (FFEJ). Tanner recently claimed she has been “a lifelong resident” of Ohio, yet as recently as September 2015, she was identified as part of the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC), in that case fighting the coal industry, and was quoted as being a resident of Letcher County, Ky.

    “Our lives in Appalachia are being shortened,” pointed out Elaine Tanner of Letcher County (Kentucky), noting the ‘unimaginable damage to our environment’ coal companies are leaving behind and the ‘legacy pollution we face in our future.’ She said that coal companies should be held accountable for this damage. (emphasis added).

    A recently staged press conference was clearly coordinated by OccupyEarth USA, as the event was filmed and posted to their YouTube page immediately after its conclusion. OccupyEarthUSA, in conjunction with United Citizen Action Network (UCAN), also enlisted Baker’s help to raise money to launch the epic failure of the Ohio #NODAPL copycat camp last year to stop leasing of federal minerals in Ohio’s Wayne National Forest.  For the record, the website for UCAN Ohio no longer exists, nor do the bogus copycat camps.

    So why the landowner angle these days? 

    Click To finish the article

  • 02/05/2018 10:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have just been informed Apache is changing the way post-production costs maybe be reflected on your check detail.  

    Beginning Feb 2018 check, post-production costs will be reflected in the deduction column of the check detail.  This change is indirectly related to a new accounting pronouncement issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in Accounting Standards Update No 2014-09 Revenue from Contracts with Customers (topic 606). 

    There is a change in the website address where you can access your owner data.

    Your owner data is now located at https://secure.OildexDXcom/apache 

    In July 2017 Oildex acquired the Financial Data Exchange and Owner relations products and services from PDS Energy Information, Inc.  These services were previously used to host Apache Owners' data.

    For questions contact Owner Relations 800-272-2434 or in the Houston area 713-296-6052 or by email

  • 02/02/2018 2:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The U.S. Department of the Interior this week quietly removed Obama-era reforms to the leasing of federal land for oil and gas drilling in a move to "simplify and streamline" the process, according to a memo sent to field staff on Jan. 31.

    The instruction memorandum sent to field officials by the acting director of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) updated the review process for leasing out federal land for oil and gas production to speed up permitting of new lease sales.

    The memo effectively erases the reforms implemented by the Obama administration aimed at including input from environmentalists and local tourist industry groups in the process of leasing federal land for drilling, which the oil and gas industry said was time-consuming and redundant.

    "This [Instructional Memorandum] aims to simplify and streamline the leasing process for more efficient and effective oil and gas lease management," the memo said, adding that policy changes would result in "additional revenue from increased lease sales" and reduced costs for environmental reviews and responses to protests.

    To read the full article, click here

  • 01/30/2018 2:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Exxon Mobil on Tuesday (1/30/18)  said it will triple its production of oil and chemical feedstocks in one of the most productive shale basins in the United States and expand infrastructure to bring those products to market by 2025.

    The announcement came one day after the world's largest publicly-listed oil company said it would ratchet up its U.S. investments to $50 billion over the next five years, in part due to the benefit of recent U.S. tax cuts.

    The Irving, Texas-based oil major said it plans to increase total daily production in the U.S. Southwest's Permian Basin by 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent, a measure of crude, natural gas and other product output. In 2016, Exxon's total output was 4.1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

    Exxon expects crude oil production alone to increase five-fold in the Permian, which runs beneath western Texas and eastern New Mexico. Last year, Exxon doubled its Permian holdings through the $5.6 billion acquisition of companies owned by the Bass family.

    Read the full story
  • 01/30/2018 9:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As the first month of 2018 comes to a close, the situation for the U.S. oil and gas industry remains highly positive. Several current news stories help to paint this rosy picture.

    First, the U.S. rig count remains remarkably stable. 

    Wait, didn't we just see headlines that the Baker Hughes weekly rig count jumped by 11 last week? Well, yeah, but that came after a pretty flat month overall. And when you look at the current DrillingInfo daily rig count, you see that measure of drilling activity in the U.S. is essentially flat since mid-December.  (Do you know that NARO Texas members get a FREE one yr, one county subscription to DrillingInfo??)

    So what does that tell us? Well, if we look at nothing but the number and how it goes up or down on a weekly or daily basis, not much. But if we look at it as a measure of industry activity over time — like the last six weeks, in the case of the DrillingInfo count — it tells us that the industry is not to this point engaging in the self-destructive rush to increase drilling that we saw at the start of 2017. Remember, that rush to drill resulted in dumping the price for WTI by about $10/bbl by April of last year.

    This stability — unanticipated by most energy experts — appears to be holding true even as the price for WTI has climbed over $65/bbl, a level at which most forecasters would have anticipated another rush to drill. So what's up with that?

    The big independent producers are focused on capital discipline.

    It's important to remember that more than 70% of U.S. shale oil and natural gas wells are drilled by a relative handful of large, independent producers. In a really good piece published at Platt's late last week, CEOs at several of those companies talked about their plans for 2018. The headline of the piece — "North American E&Ps to Focus on Capital Discipline" — basically tells the story.

    These companies do plan to increase their overall production during 2018, but in a change from 2017, when they achieved that goal mainly by activating hundreds of additional drilling rigs, they plan to meet their goals this year through the utilization of improved completion and fracking technologies. Note that the other, equally important main goal for these companies this year is to increase returns to shareholders and investors.

    "Many operators, led by Anadarko Petroleum (APC), have already begun to take action to return cash to shareholders, sell non-core assets to shore up balance sheets or announce growth programs that are limited to internally generated cash flows," notes Gordon Douthat, a senior adviser at Wells Fargo. Indeed, we see exactly this sort of capital allocation taking place across the large E&P sector.

    Given this information, no one should be surprised at all by the relatively static rig count through January — that's actually the plan, as these companies have goals of growing overall production through maximizing recoveries from each well drilled rather than through drilling more and more wells.

    "Oil Boom Gives the U.S. a New Edge in Energy and Diplomacy"

    Ordinarly, we would expect to see a headline such as this in an industry trade publication or attached to a position paper put out by the Trump administration. But guess what? That's actually the headline attached to a Jan. 28 story run by ... wait for it ... The New York Times. No kidding.

    The piece itself, authored by Clifford Krauss, essentially points out the reality that the Trump plan for U.S. energy dominance is proceeding apace, although without actually giving the Trump policies any overt credit for making it happen. Here's a key passage from the piece:

    The results go far beyond the economic, offering Washington strategic weapons once unthinkable. The United States and its allies now have a supply cushion at a time when political turmoil in Venezuela, Libya and Nigeria is threatening to interrupt flows to markets.

    Only a few years ago, such threats — along with a recent pipeline failure in the North Sea and storms in the Gulf of Mexico — would have sent the price of crude soaring. Instead, the rise has been muted, and gasoline at the pump remains below $2.60 a gallon across most of the United States.

    The new energy power also relieves pressure on Washington to act militarily if tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia break out into war. And it gives Washington the leeway to apply sanctions on other producers — as it has in Russia, and may in Iran or Venezuela — with far less risk to the global economy.

    Now, compare that with how I summed up the Trump plan for U.S. energy dominance when it was articulated by the administration last summer:

    When President Trump talks about his goal of Energy Dominance, he’s referring to a plan that envisions implementing policies that encourage four major elements:

    • Taking full advantage of America’s amazing abundance of oil, natural gas and coal;

    • Increasing exports of all three of those fossil fuels and their related products;

    • Relying more on imports of oil from Canada, Mexico and other Western Hemisphere nations, and less on imports from the Middle East and North Africa; and

    • Leveraging all of those three elements to enhance U.S. bargaining positions in its foreign policy initiatives.

    Now, we can argue all day long about whether or not America's new position of international strength has anything to do with the policy choices implemented thus far by the current administration, but it's pretty obvious that they haven't hurt. Domestic production is up, exports are up, reliance on Western Hemisphere imports is up, and the result, as The New York Times notes, is a suddenly enhanced bargaining posture for the United States.

    Regardless of who gets the credit, what it all amounts to is a pretty rosy current situation for the domestic oil and gas industry. How long this will last is anyone's guess, but it sure is a welcome change from the previous three years.

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