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BySudhendu Kash Kashikar, Terry Jbeili, MicroSeismic, Inc. Shale well refracturing activity will increase steadily, as companies optimize the process. There is, it seems, a constant refrain, in this post-oil-price-rout environment, about the survival of shale operators and, by extension, their suppliers. The immediate need is to cut costs across the board. Yet, even more important is the need to maintainand even increaseproduction from existing assets. The decline curve in unconventional reservoirs is steep, a trend typically countered by the drilling and completion of new wells, which is both costly and time-consuming. At current oil and gas prices, in many cases, completing new wells does not provide the requisite Internal Rate of Return (IRR) to pass economic muster. Enter refracturing. A few years after coming onstream, most horizontal shale wells produce at a fraction of their initial rates, leaving large volumes of unrecovered oil and gas in the rock. These bypassed reserves could
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.
Crude prices continue to rise amidst falling shale oil production. One analyst says there arent enough rigs in operation to offset legacy declines. EIA: Shale Oil Production Cuts to Get Bigger Next Month By: Lynn Doan (Bloomberg) (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. lost about 1 percent of the oil production flowing from its shale formations this month, and the decline is just starting. Output from the prolific tight-rock formations such as North Dakotas Bakken and Texass Eagle Ford shale will slide 54,227 barrels a day this month, based on Energy Information Administration estimates. Itll fall another 86,000 barrels in June to a five-month low of 5.56 million, the agency said Monday. Last years plunge in crude prices led to the steepest and most prolonged retreat from U.S. oil fields on record. Drillers have idled more than half the countrys rigs and eliminated tens of thousands of jobs. Some of the countrys largest shale producers including ConocoPhillips and EOG Resources Inc. have said spending
Oil production is beginning to recover as rig counts remain low, but Schlumberger CEO Kibsgaard says that the recovery will fall short of reaching previous levels. U.S. oil drilling faces slow recovery, no new highs - Schlumberger By: Reuters NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) - An eventual recovery in U.S. oil drilling activity after the biggest slump in three decades may never reach last years frenzied pace, according to the worlds largest oilfield services company. The drilling recovery will likely to be slower to emerge due to a growing reserve of wells that have been drilled but not yet hydraulically fractured and increased activity in re-fracking wells that are running dry, Schlumberger Ltd Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said in a conference call Friday. Schlumberger expects the rebound in U.S. onshore drilling will be pushed out in time as the inventory of uncompleted wells drilled and the refracturing market expand, Kibsgaard told analysts following the announcement of the companys
As costs continue to fall and new techniques allow producers to draw 30 percent more oil or natural gas from each well, some shale wells are showing large profits through the downturn. Shale Wells Are Turning Into Cash Gushers By: Bradley Olson The profitability of some U.S. shale wells at current prices will almost double as cost cutting and technology turns them into cash gushers despite oils crash. A report by Citigroup Inc. highlights what companies such as EOG Resources Inc. have been saying for months: that belt-tightening across the industry and more strategic drilling in prolific areas would deliver ample profits even at $50 crude. The improvement is driven by costs that are expected to fall by 20 to 30 percent and techniques that allow rigs to wring 30 percent more oil or natural gas from each well compared with a year ago, according to the Citigroup report on Wednesday. That might bring some surprises when shale producers begin reporting first-quarter financial results
As oil prices begin to climb, oil field service companies are charging less for completion costs and giving producers an incentive to ramp up production. As costs fall, companies may start completing wells again By: Rhiannon Meyers (FuelFix) Oil companies keeping thousands of barrels of crude off the market by drilling but not completing wells may soon start flooding the market again. Producers earlier this year began announcing plans to defer well completions, essentially storing their oil underground until the market rebounded and they could fetch a better deal for their products. But oil prices recently have ticked up slightly, and oil field services companies are charging less, giving producers more incentive to start pumping those wells. So prices start to recover and everyone says, Oh great. Now were off to the races, Raoul LeBlanc, senior director of research at consultant group IHS Energy said in an interview with FuelFix. If producers unleash a flood of crude, they heighten
Incomplete wells are giving some producers major advantages over competitors as they leverage lower completion costs and higher returns. IHS: 1,400 wells drilled but not completed in Eagle Ford Shale By: Jennifer Hiller (FuelFix) There are nearly 1,400 wells in the Eagle Ford Shale that have been drilled but not completed, according to new analysis from the firm IHS. Oil prices are hovering around $50 per barrel, down by half since last summer. And some Eagle Ford oil producers have been drilling but not fracking wells. The delay in completing wells avoids sending new barrels of oil into a cheap market. For a small handful of operators, IHS reports that the drilled-but-not-completed wells will give them a big advantage over competitors. Nearly 40 percent of those 1,400 delayed wells have a break-even costs below $30 per barrel, according to IHS. The operators include BHP Billiton, Chesapeake, Anadarko Petroleum, EOG Resources, ConocoPhillips and Pioneer Resources. (The remainder
Low gas prices are forcing drillers to use new techniques in order to meet production goals in existing shale plays. Drillers new techniques, experience cut well costs, boost yields By: David Conti (TribLIVE) Ray Walker often invokes a favorite saying when asked how shale gas companies can increase production by 20 percent or more while cutting spending on drilling by more than 40 percent. The rock rules, said Walker, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Range Resources Corp., repeating a phrase he used during the Fort Worth-based companys most recent earnings call. When youre in the core ... of a play, that means you have the best rock, and the best of all those technical things that make the rock produce more, he said. With natural gas prices at their lowest levels since 2012, companies need to squeeze more gas from that rock in the Marcellus and Utica shales, and do it more cheaply. By focusing on drilling in core areas with improved technology and demanding
Drilling budgets are being cut across the country but a series of overlapping fields in southern and central Oklahoma look to still have great potential. Despite low oil prices, drilling continues in southern Oklahoma By: Adam Wilmoth (NewsOK) Despite low oil prices and slashed drilling budgets throughout the country, a patch of southern and central Oklahoma continues to gain attention as a potential bright spot. A series of overlapping oil fields with peculiar names has the potential to grow into a significant area of oil development. But its too soon to know how the patch will develop as the companies are still early in their drilling programs and low oil prices have threatened to slow the effort. Collectively known as the Anadarko Basin, the region is home to some of the states early and most prolific oil production. South-central Oklahoma recently has attracted companies such as Continental Resources Inc., Marathon Oil and Newfield Exploration Co., which have brought with them
Reuters reports on why shale producers are cutting costs so quickly and the effect that will have on the market going forth. US Shale Oils Crash Diet Likely To Bring Forward Output Dip By: Anna Driver and Terry Wade (Reuters) OUSTON, Feb 23 (Reuters) Shale oil producers are throttling back so quickly on drilling that U.S. crude output could fall sooner than expected, within months, executives say as they slash costs to cope with tumbling crude prices and compete with Persian Gulf rivals. About a dozen chief executives who talked to Reuters or who spoke publicly, acknowledged they were taken aback by the scale and speed of the cutbacks, noting how this oil price downturn was different from several previous episodes in their careers. For one, companies are cutting costs deeper and faster than before as Wall Street investors increasingly place a premium on capital discipline rather than just production growth. Some also say the nature of shale makes it easier for companies to defer
In an effort to cut costs in the price downturn, the oil industry is looking to return to old wells. Drillers Take Second Crack at Fracking Old Wells to Cut Cost By: David Wethe (Bloomberg) (Bloomberg) -- Beset by falling prices, the oil industry is looking at about 50,000 existing wells in the U.S. that may be candidates for a second wave of fracking, using techniques that didnt exist when they were first drilled. New wells can cost as much as $8 million, while re-fracking costs about $2 million, significant savings when the price of crude is hovering close to $50 a barrel, according to Halliburton Co., the worlds biggest provider of hydraulic fracturing services. While re-fracking offered mixed results in the past, earning it the nickname pump and pray, the oil crash is forcing companies to pursue new technologies to produce oil more cheaply. Analyzing reams of data from older wells has become a key piece of the puzzle, identifying the best candidates for re-fracking instead of
North Dakota energy bosses determined new drilling would not cease until oil prices fell below $30/barrel. North Dakota: Crude Production is Being Focused in Four Core Counties By: Gene Lockard (Rigzone) The crude oil price drop has yet to chase all producers out of North Dakota, and it likely wont as long as prices remain at or above a critical threshold, according to recently released analysis by the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources House Appropriations Committee. In doing their analysis, the department looked at several areas affected by wilting crude oil values, including well permits, rig counts, production projections and even breakeven pricing. What the department concluded is that new drilling would not cease until prices fell to $30/barrel or less, far lower than prices in the mid- to upper $40s a barrel seen in recent days. The drop in prices has slowed production in the state dramatically, however, and drillers that have remained are focusing on the most
Wood Mackenzie forecasts onshore well counts to fall from 37,000 in 2014 to 26,000 this year. Wood Mac: US Onshore Well Count to Fall by 26% in 2015 By: Karen Boman (Rigzone) The U.S. onshore well count will decline by 26 percent, from more than 37,000 in 2014 to an estimated 27,000 in 2015, as the decline in oil prices prompted many operators to cut their 2015 spending plans, according to a recent estimate by Wood Mackenzie. North American drilling and completion expenditures exceeded $140 billion in 2014, but Wood Mackenzie expects operators to commit less than $90 billion to upstream development over the next 12 months. Such sizeable cuts will have serious implications across the oilfield services sector, said Wood Mackenzie in a statement. Using its North America Supply Chain Analysis Tool, Wood Mackenzie forecasts that rig day rates will decline by 30 percent, while the rig count will drop from an annual average of nearly 1,800 in 2014 to under 1,300 in 2015. This decline will
Dan Shingler of Crains Cleveland reports on how market conditions in the coming year will affect drilling in the Utica shale and around the country. Shale is in survival mode; drilling is being affected by tumbling oil and gas prices By: Dan Shingler (Crains Cleveland) The price of oil has dropped by more than 50% in about the last six months, to five-year lows of less than $50 per barrel. Natural gas has taken a similar tumble, dropping from nearly $5 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) last May, to less than $3 in recent days. Its a situation many analysts are equating with the mid-1980s, which was the last time the price of oil, and the U.S. drilling industry, crashed. Except this time, Ohio is an oil and gas producer and has more to worry about than the cost of driving a car or heating a home. The low prices are likely to impact shale drilling, which many see as the states biggest economic success story in decades. We, as an industry, are in survival mode. ... Its having a significant
After plunging nearly 40 percent in November, new well permits rose in December despite falling oil prices. Exclusive: New U.S. well permits rise slightly in December after crude oil plunge By: Kristen Hays (Reuters) - New oil and gas well permits issued across the United States rose slightly in December and surged 72 percent in Colorado and Wyoming after falling sharply in November on tumbling crude prices. Permit counts provided exclusively to Reuters by data firm Drilling Info showed 4,551 new well permits were approved last month, up less than 1 percent from Novembers count of 4,523. New permits plunged nearly 40 percent in November compared with October, signaling a potential slowdown in the shale oil and gas boom that brought the United States head to head with Saudi Arabia as the worlds top crude producer. Crude oil prices have plunged 55 percent since June as demand has not kept up with hefty global supply, including that from the U.S. shale oil boom. [O/R] Allen Gilmer,
Starr Spencer of Platts reports that analysts are relating a decline in drilling permits to holiday lulls, not falling oil prices. Recent drop in US land drilling permits due to holiday, not prices: analysts By: Starr Spencer A recent decline in US land drilling permits is most likely the result of holiday-related lulls, rather than sharply lower oil prices, analysts said this week. As NYMEX oil prices have fallen to the mid-$50s/barrel level and held there for the past week or so, the number of issued land drilling permits appears to be largely in line with historical averages. A look at permitting activity stretching back to mid-June, when oil began its descent from about $107/b, shows that while permitting is down from six months ago, the drop has not been severe. And even the sizable late-November decline in permitting was in line with the typical seasonal pattern given that permitting activity usually falls during the US Thanksgiving Day holiday, analysts said. A few weeks
Oil and gas companies are shifting exploration towards southeast Michigan, with 20 permits obtained for wells in the area as of July 2014. With some public backlash and complications in the process, there still remains potential for great economic benefit in the area as companies tap into this comparatively unexplored area. Oil and gas exploration on rise in metro Detroit By: Chad Halcom Lease deals for landowners mineral rights and permits to drill new oil wells are both on the rise in metro Detroit. But as new pumps begin to dot the landscape in communities like Shelby Township and Scio Township, the out-state portion of Michigans oil and gas exploration industry is largely lackluster. The shift is best documented by trends with state permits. Oil and gas exploration company executives and state regulatory officials say permit requests to drill new wells have been moving over the past two years toward Southeast Michigan. The Detroit area has yielded modest oil deposits at relatively
Domestic crude production has surged to its highest level in more than a quarter-century due to a record number of oil rigs being drilled outside major U.S. basins. In this article from Bloomberg, Lynn Doan and Richard Stubbe examine where drillers are seeking new oil plays and how that is benefitting U.S. oil production. Oil Rigs Hit Record as Drillers Move Outside Big Basins By: Lynn Doan and Richard Stubbe Rigs targeting oil in the U.S. surged to a record as drillers ventured outside the nations biggest basins to search for crude in developing plays such as the South-Central Oklahoma Oil Province, known as SCOOP. Oil rigs jumped by 15 to 1,588 this week, even as the counts in some of the most established basins, including the Permian of Texas and New Mexico, were either unchanged or down, data posted on Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI)s website show. It was the most since Baker Hughes separated the oil and gas rig counts in 1987. Rigs targeting crude outside the major plays jumped
Baker Hughes has released the latest numbers for US drilling rig counts, detailing the weeks changes from across the drilling spectrum. Baker Hughes: US Drilling Rig Count Jumps to 1,883 By:OGJ Editors The US drilling rig count shot up 12 units to 1,883 rigs working during the week ended July 25, Baker Hughes Inc. reported. Land rigs gained 9 units to 1,805 and offshore rigs gained 3 units to 60. Rigs drilling in inland waters were unchanged from a week ago at 18. Oil rigs were up 8 units to 1,562 while gas rigs were up 3 units to 318. Rigs considered unclassified edged up a unit to 3 overall. Directional drilling rigs jumped 12 units to 229. Horizontal drilling rigs increased 5 units to 1,293. Canada topped the US with a 14-unit gain, bringing its total to 395. Oil rigs gained 12 units to 238 and gas rigs gained 2 units to 157. To read the rest of this article, visit OilGas Journal