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President signs bill to end 40-year old trade restrictions Congress approves repeal as provision in spending legislation by Brian Wingfield With the stroke of a pen, President Barack Obama on Friday ended 40 years of U.S. crude oil export limits by signing off on a repeal passed by Congress earlier in the day. The restrictions lift immediately under a provision in the spending and tax package that the president signed into law. Congressional leaders earlier in the week reached an agreement to end the trade restrictions, established during U.S. oil shortages in the 1970s, as part of a grand bargain that includes tax breaks for renewable-energy companies and refiners. I dont doubt youll see some exports next year, ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance said in a telephone interview after the Senate vote. Were pretty excited about it, but weve also got to get the infrastructure in place. Repeal of the crude-export restrictions reverses four decades of a policy that has defined
After a year of cutting cost and capital, optimism remains as drillers continue to pump oil. Oil Companies Have Cut Back Everything Except Crude Production By: Dan Murtaugh and Naureen S. Malik (Bloomberg) (Bloomberg) -- A year after the bear market in crude began, oil companies have cut workers, are using fewer rigs and have less money to spend. But theyre still pumping more oil. BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell Corp. and Hess Corp. are among the companies producing more crude than a year ago. In the U.S., shale explorers have focused on the most productive parts of their land, drilled faster and better wells there and negotiated lower prices from oilfield service companies. Its helped keep total U.S. output about 1.6 percent higher than at this time last year, even as drilling rigs have fallen by 63 percent. A well that broke even at $60 18 months ago is now at $40, said Harold York, a senior analyst for Wood Mackenzie Ltd. in Houston. If drilling a well generates a return greater
Last Friday the House passed a bill that would repeal the 1975 crude export ban; the bill now goes to the Senate. Jeff Reed from Oil Pro analyzes the factors that led to this vote while providing context around the original EPCA. Repeal Of Oil Export Ban Passes U.S. House By: Jeff Reed (Oil Pro) In a 261 to 159 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives voted early Friday afternoon to repeal the general ban on oil exports imposed in 1975 amid the Arab oil embargo. The bill will now go to the Senate, where its prospects are less certain. The Genesis Of Fridays Vote In early September, H.R. 702, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex), was passed by the House Energy and Power subcommittee by a voice count. The following week, the legislation was taken up and passed by the full Energy and Commerce committee. This past summer, House Speaker John Boehner pledged his support for ending the ban, saying that he hoped repealing the prohibition would be a key piece of an energy legislation package
While shales flexibility makes it volatile to price changes, OPEC is opting for a longer-term strategy that includes big deep water projects. OPEC focuses on rival mega projects, lives with shale swing output By: Rania El Gamal (Reuters) DUBAI, Sept 23 (Reuters) - After almost a year of painfully low oil prices, OPEC members are beginning to believe they are winning against upstart U.S. shale producers in a short-term market share contest. Yet insiders and experts say OPEC is looking for a longer-lasting impact on other high-cost production oil field plans, many in deep oceans, with bigger time scales, even if that means a period of cheap oil prices lasting for years. Privately, OPECs core Gulf members say they have resigned themselves to the idea that the U.S. shale industrys high-tech flexibility means it will respond quickly when prices start rising again, making the United States the new swing producer in world oil, the role held for so long by Saudi Arabia. The oil surplus
A House panel could vote on a measure to lift the ban on U.S. oil exports as early as next week, lobbyists say. Oil export bill said to be set to move as price fears ease By: Mark Drajem and Ari Natter WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- Congress is set to begin consideration of a measure to lift the decades-old ban on U.S. crude exports after a government study concluded the move wouldnt raise gasoline prices for consumers, people familiar with the plan said. A panel in the House of Representatives is planning to vote on a measure to lift the ban, which dates back to the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, as early as next week, according to three lobbyists working on the matter, who asked not to be named because the markup hasnt been announced yet. The full House may vote on it later in September, leaving ahead the more difficult task of gaining enough support for repeal in the Senate, they said. Repealing the ban has gained new political potency as hydraulic fracturing has triggered a boom in
After reporting second-quarter earnings last week, Schlumberger has reason to believe that deep cutbacks in the oil industry are coming to an end. One of the worlds biggest oil companies thinks the worst is over By: Akin Oyedele Schlumberger thinks the plunge in the oil rig count is near the bottom. The $100 billion oil-field services giant reported second-quarter earnings on Thursday afternoon that beat on profit but missed on sales. Importantly, however, the company signaled that it thinks some of the deep cutbacks seen in the oil industry over the last year may be coming to an end. And as the worlds biggest oilfield services provider, Schlumberger is particularly attuned to changes in the industry. In Schlumbergers second quarter, revenue came in at $9 billion, down 12% year-over-year. Earnings per share came in at $0.88. Analysts had expected EPS of $0.79 on revenues of $9.05 billion, according to Bloomberg. Over the last year, the price of oil has declined by about 50%,
The Utica Shale could hold 782 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and nearly 2 billion barrels of oil according to a new study. New study shows greater potential for Utica Shale By: Laura Legere (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) The Utica Shale and associated hydrocarbon-rich rock zones hold significantly more potentially recoverable natural gas than early estimates predicted, according to research released Tuesday at a workshop in Canonsburg. It turns out, according to the new studys estimates, the total Utica Shale play could hold technically recoverable volumes of 782 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and nearly 2 billion barrels of oil. The estimates from a research partnership organized by West Virginia University represent the average of a wider range of possibly recoverable amounts of oil and gas in the Utica, which stretches beneath parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and other states and includes neighboring oil- and gas-bearing geologic layers. A 2012 U.S. Geological Survey
Early evidence from refracking research has shown that the new technique could draw oil from reserves for about 50 years. Refracking Is the New Fracking By:Dan Murtaugh, Lynn Doan, and Bradley Olson (Bloomberg) The technique itself is nothing new. Oil crews across the world have been schooled on its simple principles for generations: Identify aging, low-output wells and hit them with a blast of sand and water to bolster the flow of crude. The idea originated somewhere in the plains of the American Midwest, back in the 1950s. But as todays engineers start applying the procedure to the horizontal wells that went up during the fracking boom that swept across U.S. shale fields over the past decade, something more powerful, more financially rewarding is happening. The short life span of these wells, long thought to be perhaps the single biggest weakness of the shale industry, is being stretched out. Early evidence of the effects of restimulation suggests that the fields could actually
The rig count in North Dakota has stabilized at its lowest level since 2009. North Dakotas Oil Rig Count Appears To Have Hit Bottom By: Ernest Scheyder (Reuters) WILLISTON, N.D., June 23 (Reuters) - The drilling rig count in North Dakotas oil patch, a closely watched metric through which many attempt to divine future crude production, appears to have hit a bottom. For the past three weeks the count has hovered between 76 and 79, after sliding only slightly from 80 at the end of May. On June 12, the count hit 76, the lowest level since 2009. The count bobbed slightly in the ensuing days, hitting 77 on Tuesday. It has, in short, been the longest period since oil prices started to slide last fall that the rig count has stayed in the same range, offering many in and near the No. 2 U.S. crude-producing states energy industry a bit of solace that a nadir has been reached. In early March, for example, the count was at 113. The apparent stabilization has produced a palpable sigh of relief
Much of the talk surrounding the crude export ban has focused on large domestic proudcers but several small firms recently told the House Small Business Committee that they would benefit as well. Ending oil export ban could help little guys, too, small businesses tell House committee By: Jennifer A. Dlouhy WASHINGTON The campaign to export U.S. crude has been dominated by large domestic producers hoping to fetch higher oil prices, but on Wednesday, the spotlight was on small businesses with income tied to domestic oil development. Representatives of those firms, including Roswell, New Mexico-based Read and Stevens, told the House Small Business Committee that overseas oil sales would help sustain their firms, by modestly lifting domestic crude prices. The current depressed oil price and the associated cutback in drilling new wells which would create new revenue for us has had a very strong adverse impact on our financial situation, said Rory McMinn, president of Read and Stevens,
Chris Lafakis of Moodys Analytics gives his argument for lifting the crude export ban and building more pipelines that would pipe oil from the middle of the country to coastal refineries. Lift oil-export ban and build more pipelines By: Chris Lafakis (Philly.com) The U.S. shale revolution has created jobs, improved the balance of trade, spurred billions of dollars of both foreign and domestic investment, reduced carbon emissions, and lowered oil and gas prices. And from the shale gas fields in Williamsport to the refineries in the Philadelphia region, new energy technologies have had a profound local impact. This revolution could do even more if the United States allowed crude oil exports and expanded its pipeline system. There has been a ban on U.S. crude oil exports since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, though domestic refiners are free to export gasoline and other petroleum products. Lifting this ban would amplify the benefits of the energy revolution at little cost. However, removing
A recent study by Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group concluded that lifting the U.S. fracking boom would add billions to the economy, create jobs, and give the U.S. more influence overseas. U.S. should ditch outdated oil export ban - Harvard By: Richard Valdmanis (Reuters) BOSTON, June 10 The United States must lift anoutdated ban on oil exports to take full economic andgeopolitical advantage of its hydraulic fracturing boom,according to a study by Harvard Business School and BostonConsulting Group released on Wednesday. Lifting the 40 year-old ban imposed after the Arab oilembargo and easing restrictions on liquefied natural gas exportterminals would add $23 billion to the economy by 2030, createtens of thousands of jobs, and provide the United States withadditional clout overseas, the paper said. Our energy resources have given the U.S. important newdiplomatic tools that can aid allies and counteract the abilityof unfriendly countries to use oil and gas access
Bloomberg profiles Apache CEO John Christmann and how he plans to use efficient production to contend with OPEC and low prices. Why This Shale CEO Isnt Afraid of OPEC or Low Oil Prices By: Bradley Olson (Bloomberg Business) Apache Corp. CEO John Christmann didnt just get a new job when he took charge of one of the worlds biggest shale producers in the dark days of the oil market crash in January, he signed on to a corporate makeover. In the past six months Christmann has focused on transforming Apache from a high-flying global explorer into a ruthlessly efficient production machine rooted deeply in West Texas shale fields. Under his watch, Apache has set the pace for an industry intent on moving beyond basic cost-cutting to reset priorities on regions and projects that can thrive with $50-a-barrel oil. Christmann has now accomplished what none of his other major peers have yet managed: hes making more cash from operations than hes spending. That compares to the two years preceding
The Global Petroleum Show was underway in Calgary this week where attendees were optomistic about the future of oil despite low prices and uncertain policies. Sun shines, hopes on rise, as crowds pack petroleum show By: Dan Healing (Calgary Herald) Oil and gas prices rise and fall but the show must go on, participants at the Global Petroleum Show insisted Tuesday, as sunny skies greeted crowds of delegates and exhibitors on the first day of a three-day show at Stampede Park in Calgary. Conversations on the grounds often turned to uncertain topics like Albertas new NDP government, which has promised to review the royalties companies pay to drill wells on Crown land, as well as low oil prices and how producer companies are coping through layoffs and cost-cutting. But crowds built steadily through the morning, filling halls containing 2,000 exhibits featuring everything from automation systems to drill pipe. Exhibitor Tim Coburn, director of the University of Tulsas school of energy
The economic benefits of exporting crude oil seem obvious, but Forbes Jude Clemente weighs in on how adequate energy supplies can solve major problems in undeveloped countries. Exporting U.S. Crude Oil is a Moral Obligation By: Jude Clemente (Forbes) CO2 is not emitted in a socioeconomic vacuum. CO2 is emitted as the inevitable by-product of combusting fossil fuels, sources that makeup 85% of the worlds energy economy. We must therefore strike a balance in the equation both an assessment of the dangers posed to the atmosphere by CO2 emissions and the powerful benefits created by the energy usage that results in these emissions. Through much of the 20th and now the 21st centuries, the ascension from poverty begins as countries build electricity networks based on fossil fuels and construct extensive petroleum-based transportation infrastructure. These systems achieve immense economies of scale that provide immense amounts of energy at low cost. Such abundant and reliable supplies of
The shale boom has caused major shifts in the global energy market as evidenced by the U.S. overtaking Russia as the largest oil and gas producer in the world. Rakteem Katakey of Bloomberg reports on the implications of this. U.S. Ousts Russia as Top World Oil, Gas Producer in BP Data By: Rakteem Kataskey (Bloomberg Business) The U.S. has taken Russias crown as the biggest oil and natural-gas producer in a demonstration of the seismic shifts in the world energy landscape emanating from Americas shale fields. U.S. oil production rose to a record last year, gaining 1.6 million barrels a day, according to BP Plcs Statistical Review of World Energy released on Wednesday. Gas output also climbed, putting America ahead of Russia as a producer of the hydrocarbons combined. The data showing the U.S.s emergence as the top driller confirms a trend thats helped the worlds largest economy reduce imports, caused a slump in global energy prices and shifted the countrys foreign policy priorities. We
Baker Hughes released its weekly rig count data which showed decreases in the U.S. and increases in Canada. BHI Rig Count: U.S. -7 to 868, Canada +18 to 116 By: Baker Hughes 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 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. To read the rest of this article, visit Baker Hughes.
A new report by the EPA is causing lawmakers to call for fracking bans to be rescinded in some states. EPA declares no widespread harm to drinking water from fracking, boosting industry By: Fox News Fracking supporters were boosted Thursday by a new Environmental Protection Agency report finding the controversial oil-and-gas extraction process has not caused widespread harm to drinking water. The findings were contained in a draft assessment, as part of a report requested by Congress. The report said the agency did not find evidence that any process has led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States. The agency did say the controversial drilling technique could affect drinking water if safeguards arent maintained. It found specific instances where poorly constructed drilling wells and improper wastewater management affected drinking water resources. But the EPA also reported the number of cases was small compared with the large number of wells
Several mid-cap producers are increasing their production forecasts for this year based on rising crude prices. Barclays: Expect production to rise for a few companies taking advantage of cheap oil By: Collin Eaton (Fuel Fix) HOUSTON A handful of oil companies have expressed a renewed sense of optimism as U.S. crude has hovered around $60 a barrel, with some saying they have even raised their annual production forecasts, according to Barclays. In a report on mid-cap oil producers Wednesday, Barclays said the oil companies, especially those in the Permian Basin and the Appalachian region, say theyre more upbeat about their cash levels and their ability to spend more on drilling. The bank said it has reason to believe more productive wells, lower costs and easy access to capital could keep U.S. production elevated even amid cheap oil. We believe capital spending plans have not fully incorporated cost savings that may be realized from lower service costs and efficiency gains, Barclays
The latest Baker Hughes rig count has shown an increase in Eagle Ford but decreases across the rest of Texas and the U.S. Eagle Ford sees modest drilling activity increase By: Sergio Chapa (San Antonio Business Journal) The Eagle Ford is seeing a modest rebound in new drilling activity, but other shale basins have not been as lucky. West Texas Intermediate crude prices are trading above $60 per barrel but higher prices have not meant more drilling activity for everyone. Figures from Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc.s (NYSE: BHI) rig count released on May 29 show a modest drilling increase in the Eagle Ford but decreases in the Permian Basin, the rest of Texas and across the United States. The number of active rigs rose from 107 to 110 in the Eagle Ford, a shale oil region just south of San Antonio. To read the rest of this article, visit Houston Business Journal.