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Warmer winter not likely to hit natural gas demand

Money21-300x171Stephanie Ritenbaugh | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If predictions hold, the Northeast may not have to hibernate through bone-chilling cold like it did last winter.

The latest forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows temperatures are expected to be warmer than last year, when a deep freeze forced people to crank up the heat, drew down natural gas storage inventories and caused prices to spike.

Of course, predicting the weather is a tricky business.

Even so, while natural gas demand spiked last year, overall demand for the commodity this winter is not likely to take a hit, analysts said.

Coal and nuclear plant retirements

“Last winter was rare,” said Gabe Harris, senior analyst of North American gas for Wood Mackenzie. “There is a 97 percent chance that it will not be as cold this year.”

Several nuclear and coal plants have retired since last winter, which could mean about 1 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of extra natural gas demand, Mr. Harris noted.

Read more: http://bakken.com/news/id/223224/warmer-winter-likely-hit-natural-gas-demand/

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What do falling oil prices mean for U.S. shale plays?

Money21-300x171Stephanie Ritenbaugh

As oil prices slip from their lofty perch, the effect on U.S. shale producers remains to be seen — but an impact, if any, is going to be on a play-by-play basis, analysts said.

Brent, the international benchmark for crude, had soared above $115 in June, a peak for 2014. Last week, it dropped to $86.16 per barrel. Meanwhile, the U.S. benchmark for crude at West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slipped to $82.75 per barrel last week.

Prices have been dropping because of a combination of factors, including sluggish economic growth and slowing global demand. Also playing a role is growing U.S. oil production from shale plays. U.S. crude oil production soared to about 7.4 million barrels per day in 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, which produced about 9.6 million barrels per day in 2013, has indicated it would rather cut prices than production, reasserting its place in the market and putting pressure on fellow members of OPEC, or Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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Well Smashing Records

oil drilling rig on oilfieldBy CASEY JUNKINS

MOUNDSVILLE – Tim Carr believed a Monroe County Utica Shale well producing 38.9 million cubic feet of natural gas per day last year was big.

That was until he learned of the 46.5 million cubic feet pumping daily at the Magnum Hunter Stewart Winland well in Tyler County.

“I do not know what we will do with all the gas. Always want to wait and see what the decline is, but these numbers are off scale,” Carr, the Marshall Miller professor of geology at West Virginia University, said.

Corky Demarco, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, said that until this year, most drillers did not believe the Mountain State’s portion of the Utica shale was thick enough to economically produce. However, companies working in northern West Virginia are now digging deeper to reach the Utica.

“What that one well is now producing is about one-eighth of the total production we had in the state seven or eight years ago,” Demarco said of the Stewart Winland. “Now that people see how much gas is down there, you will have more people going after it.”

Magnum Hunter drills wells in northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio via its Triad Hunter subsidiary. Company officials said their Winland well yielded a peak rate of 46.5 million cubic feet per day in September at a choke rate pressure of 7,810 pounds per square inch.

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Southwestern Energy inks $5.37 billion deal for Marcellus, Utica assets in Pennsylvania, W.Va.

marcellus_studyarea--300x197By Anya Litvak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced Thursday that it will shed its liquids-rich Marcellus Shale acreage in a $5.38 billion deal with Southwestern Energy Co.

Oklahoma-based Chesapeake, whose leasing appetite in the Marcellus made it among the top companies holding claim to the land here, said the area being sold — mostly in West Virginia and in the western part of Pennsylvania’s Washington County — wasn’t being properly valued by the market and was near the bottom of Chesapeake’s priority list.

Jason Ashmun, vice president of the Appalachian North Business Unit for Chesapeake, said the company has been “on the bubble” about its southern Marcellus acreage, which includes about 14,000 acres in southwestern Pennsylvania.

As is common among energy exploration companies, Chesapeake’s teams in the company’s various operation territories compete for capital allocations, which have been on the decline since CEO Doug Lawler replaced Aubrey McClendon at the helm last year. Mr. Lawler’s arrival signaled a shift in the company’s spending strategy and a greater focus on efficiency.

“Chesapeake’s very aggressive historical push for growth necessitated investment that substantially outstripped operating cash flow,” said analysts from Standard & Poor’s in a note Thursday morning that upgraded the company’s outlook from stable to positive on news of the Marcellus deal.


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2014 West Coast Oil & Gas Awards Winners Announcement

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The Oil & Gas Awards announce this year’s annual West Coast Oil & Gas Awards recipients in recognition of those companies who excel in the key areas of Health & Safety, Operational Excellence, Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Stewardship.

The second annual West Coast Oil & Gas Awards was held in Bakersfield, CA, on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at the Marriot Convention Center. Where over three hundred guests enjoyed the champagne reception, canapés, and an extended finalists showcase, profiling all of the West Coast Oil & Gas Awards finalist companies, before moving through to the banquet hall to dine.

The gala dinner opened with a few words of thanks from Daniel Creasey, Chairman of the Oil & Gas Awards, swiftly followed by the keynote address from State Senator Jean Fuller, 18th District. Senator Fuller delivered a rousing address to all attendees before the guests settled down to dine.

Once the guests had finished their three-course meal, Marc Bridgen, CMO of the Oil & Gas Awards, conducted the awards ceremony. Each finalist gained recognition for their contributions to the industry and had their judges comments read out to the audience, before they were treated to a round of applause. Each winning company was then called to the stage to collect their award and were photographed in front of the attending crowd and media in recognition and celebration of their accomplishments. 

Congratulations to the following companies for their great achievements in the 2014 West Coast Oil & Gas Awards:

The Award for Drilling Excellence – Baker Hughes

The Construction Company of the Year – EIU of California

The Industry Supplier of the Year – Metal Supply, Inc

The Water Management Company of the Year – Water Planet Engineering

The Award for Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility  E&B Natural Resources Management Corporation

The Consultancy of the Year – Roberts Companies

The Manufacturer of the Year – Hawk Industries, Inc.

The Kenworth Trucks Oilfield Services Company of the Year – Halliburton

The Engineering Company of the Year – TJ Cross Engineers, Inc.

The Breitling Energy Future Industry Leader – Robert Murphy – Chevron

The Award for Excellence in Health & Safety – Ensign United States Drilling (California) Inc.

The General Industry Service Award – Tachyus

The VZ Environmental Award for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship  Preferred Sands

The New Technology Development of the Year Award – Clearsign Combustion Corporation

The TEEMCO E&P Company of the Year Award – Signal Hill Petroleum

The MTS Solutions Industry Leader – Steve Layton – E&B Natural Resources Management Corporation

Congratulations to all of the 2014 West Coast Oil & Gas Awards winners and thanks to all our partners and sponsors.

If you would like to arrange interviews, review video or photo content and receive additional information about the winners or the awards initiative, please contact: Michael Large +1 (210) 591 8468 or email ml@oilandgasawards.com


About the Oil & Gas Awards- The Oil & Gas Awards recognize the outstanding achievements made within the upstream and midstream sectors of the North American oil and gas industry. The Awards are a platform for the industry to demonstrate and celebrate the advances made in the key areas of environment, efficiency, innovation, corporate social responsibility and health and safety. The Awards show the industry’s motivation to develop by recognizing and rewarding the efforts of corporations and individuals.

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