Most Clicked API SmartBrief Stories

1. Shell rigs head to Alaska prior to possible federal permit

API SmartBrief | Mar 30, 2015

Royal Dutch Shell is bringing oil rigs Noble Discoverer and Polar Pioneer to Alaska as it anticipates possible federal approval to resume drilling activity in the Arctic waters, a spokeswoman said last week. "Any final decision to go forward with a 2015 season will depend on successful permitting, clearing any legal obstacles and our own assessment that we are prepared to explore safely and successfully," she added. Reuters (03/27)

2. Lower 48 unconventional oil projects remain profitable despite price slump

API SmartBrief | Mar 26, 2015

Reports that unconventional oil production in the Lower 48 states will end due to low prices ended up being an exaggeration, as projects in sub-plays continue to be profitable, according to a Wood Mackenzie analysis. Oil and condensate output from the states is expected to increase to 7.5 million barrels per day through 2016, although growth will begin to slow down in the second half of 2015, said Cody Rice, senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie. Operators will also cut spending on research and development but will continue to generate profit from the most important areas of the Bakken and Eagle Ford shales as they concentrate on using proven strategies and technologies. Rigzone (03/25)

3. Senate Dems unveil bill controlling volatility of crude-by-rail shipments

API SmartBrief | Mar 26, 2015

Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Wednesday introduced a bill that would require federal regulators to set limits on the volatility of crude oil transported by rail within 90 days. The legislation is a "messaging" bill, American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard said, noting that the oil and natural gas industry is already working to achieve zero incidents. "We just can't arbitrarily come in and start reconfiguring the balance that we have already achieved," he said. Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.) (tiered subscription model), The (03/25) Reuters (03/25)

4. Federal fracking rules may cost drillers more than expected, API official says

API SmartBrief | Mar 25, 2015

The oil and natural gas industry may have to spend more than the Bureau of Land Management's estimate of about $32 million per year to comply with recently issued rules governing hydraulic fracturing on public lands, American Petroleum Institute Upstream and Industry Operations Director Erik Milito said. "It's all about an industry that just simply wants to have certainty and predictability in the regulatory regime so that you can have the confidence to invest. And we're seeing that torn down in many respects," Milito said. CNBC (03/24)

5. 3 pipelines to be constructed along La.'s Gulf Coast

API SmartBrief | Mar 31, 2015

SemGroup says it is going to build three 34-mile-long pipelines worth $500 million on the Gulf Coast in Louisiana. One pipeline will move crude to a refinery, while the other two will connect two refineries. Construction will begin later this year and should be completed in 2016. Tulsa World (Okla.) (03/27)

6. More oil, gas companies tap tech services to withstand low prices, observers say

API SmartBrief | Mar 30, 2015

Oil and natural gas companies are increasingly turning to technology services firms and startups to find tools to help boost efficiency while saving money, observers say. In the first quarter, more companies than in all of the previous two years asked Baker Hughes about products that can make existing wells more efficient, said Hans-Christian Freitag, vice president of integrated technology for global products and services at Baker Hughes. Scott Johnson, petroleum engineering instructor at the University of North Dakota, said technology helps companies counterbalance the effects of job reductions and spending cuts. Reuters (03/27)

7. ConocoPhillips looks to sell Canadian oil, gas assets

API SmartBrief | Mar 30, 2015

ConocoPhillips is considering a sale of approximately 20% of its non-oil-sands production in Canada with the help of the Bank of Nova Scotia, which the company employed as an adviser for the transaction, the bank said in its website. The assets, which are mostly natural gas, have a production capacity of about 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, the bank added. Bloomberg (03/27)

8. Drillers use nearly 700 chemical additives in fracking

API SmartBrief | Mar 30, 2015

Oil and natural gas drillers use almost 700 chemical additives in hydraulic fracturing operations, according to an Environmental Protection Agency analysis of over 30,000 disclosures in FracFocus. The agency found that in fracking, companies usually use hydrochloric acid, methanol and hydrotreated light petroleum distillates, which all appeared in 65% of the disclosures. Tom Burke, science adviser and deputy administrator at the agency's Office of Research and Development, said the analysis "will be a really important resource for states, industry and communities working to safeguard our drinking water resources." Hill, The (03/27)

9. Report: Global oil, gas drilling could return to 2014 levels next year

API SmartBrief | Mar 27, 2015

Oil and natural gas drilling activity around the world may fall to 2014 levels in 2016, as exploration deflation averages 30% this year and 33% next year, according to a Wood Mackenzie report released Thursday. "Deflation at this rate could allow any companies that hold spending flat into 2016 to fund 50% more exploration versus 2014. Even those with cuts of around the average 30% may see their 2016 activity bounce back to 2014 levels," said Andre Latham, vice president of exploration research at Wood Mackenzie. United Press International (03/26) Rigzone (03/26)

10. Oil companies seek to tap large subsea reserves with cheaper drilling

API SmartBrief | Mar 27, 2015

Oil companies are exploring cost-cutting methods as they seek to generate profits from subsea crude oil reserves that are larger than those of Saudi Arabia or Venezuela, observers say. John Gremp, chairman, president and CEO of FMC Technologies, said costs should be reduced 20% from last year to make most of the projects viable when oil prices are at $70 per barrel. "That large portfolio of deepwater discoveries in inventory won't be developed unless there's significant improvement in the returns," he said. Bloomberg (03/25)

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