Most Clicked API SmartBrief Stories

1. Oil prices could recover earlier than observers' forecast, exec says

API SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

Oil prices will improve as soon as the first half of 2015, faster than several observers expect, Continental Resources Chairman and CEO Harold Hamm said Wednesday. This is because the market doesn't realize how fast producers can reduce their drilling activity and save cash in response to the price slump, he said. Declines in daily oil output from major shale plays could also begin in the middle of the year or earlier, Hamm said. (01/28) Bloomberg (01/28)

2. Report: Global M&A activity to surge this year amid oil price slump

API SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2015

The decline in oil prices is expected to drive a surge in global merger and acquisition activity this year, according to a quarterly Ernst & Young report. "[U]pstream companies with strong balance sheets operating in low-cost basins will be well-positioned to not only weather the dip in prices, but also scoop up assets from those with less liquidity or more capital intensive assets," Mitch Fane, transaction advisory services principal, utility valuation director and Houston market leader at E&Y, said in the report. The slump will also force oil and natural gas companies to reconsider and revise portfolios, he said. Oil & Gas Journal (01/22)

3. Kinder Morgan proposes to carry oil, condensate via Texas-to-Calif. pipeline

API SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

Kinder Morgan is looking to revive its Freedom oil pipeline as one that would transport 200,000 barrels of oil per day and 100,000 barrels of condensate per day from Wink, Texas, to central California, Tom Martin, president of the natural gas pipelines group for the company, said Wednesday. "What we're looking at now is adding facilities in the Wink area that would create an [Alaska North Slope]-type quality crude to batch out to the West Coast as well as condensate for potential export purposes," Martin said. Bloomberg (01/29)

4. Survey: Oil, gas companies make various adjustments on paying workers

API SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

Various decisions on worker compensation are being made by oil and natural gas companies as they revise their budgets for 2015 in the face of falling oil prices, according to global human resources firm Aon Hewitt. The firm surveyed a number of companies and found that 58% of respondents intend to maintain salary increases this year in spite of declining prices, said Joshua Ross, associate partner at the firm. Ross added that "about 38% of organizations in the oil and gas industry are planning to decrease their budgets for base pay increases." Rigzone (01/23)

5. Obama administration unveils changes to offshore oil, gas leasing

API SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

The Interior Department on Tuesday released a draft plan for its offshore oil and natural gas lease sales spanning 2017 to 2022, proposing 14 sales in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Alaska and along the mid- and south Atlantic coast. This came as President Barack Obama permanently barred 9.8 million acres of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas from being considered for leases. American Petroleum Institute Upstream and Industry Operations Director Erik Milito said the plan disregards such areas that "could create more than half a million new American jobs and generate hundreds of billions of dollars for the government." Oil & Gas Journal (01/27) (01/27)

6. Major global oil companies turn to renegotiating, insourcing, execs say

API SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2015

Cost overruns and delays in the past five years have forced major oil companies around the world to seek more affordable and improved services from engineering and other providers or do insourcing instead, company executives said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "We simply need to bring costs down in line with the current lower oil prices," said Petroleos Mexicanos CEO Emilio Lozoya Austin. Reuters (01/22)

7. Sasol puts off $14B gas-to-diesel plant in La.

API SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

Sasol announced it postponed a final investment decision on its $14 billion natural-gas-to-diesel plant in Louisiana. The decision came as a move "to conserve cash in response to lower international oil prices," the company said in a statement. New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (01/28)

8. Exec: Up to 30% of U.S. shale industry could shut down with oil below $40

API SmartBrief | Jan 23, 2015

Up to 30% of the U.S. shale industry could cease operations if crude oil prices drop below $40 per barrel, said Ross Perot Jr., chairman of The Perot Cos. and Hillwood. However, prices are expected to recover to up to $80 per barrel in the next two years, he said. "The great oil man will continue to move forward. ... It's a wonderful time for veteran investors to jump back into the U.S. oil patch," Perot added. CNNMoney (01/21)

9. API: U.S. crude output hit highest monthly level since Feb. 1986 in Dec.

API SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

U.S. crude oil production in December 2014 rose by 15.9% from a year ago to 9.1 million barrels per day, the highest level for any month since February 1986, according to the American Petroleum Institute. The output was the highest level for the month of December since 1972. "Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing increased production from shale fields. There have also been gains in deepwater drilling and Canadian oil sands that have left us with a lot of crude," API Chief Economist John Felmy said. Bloomberg Businessweek (01/23) Oil & Gas Journal (01/23)

10. Energy Transfer reaches $11B deal to purchase Regency Energy

API SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Energy Transfer Partners has agreed to acquire Regency Energy Partners for about $11 billion, the companies said in a statement Monday. Energy Transfer "intends to become a major player in the Marcellus and Utica shales and believes that pro forma this merger, it is ideally positioned to achieve that goal in the near term," the companies said. The deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter. Bloomberg (01/26)

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