As Permian oil production booms, Apache doubles down on gas | Permian gas prices post gains as production slows | N.D. oil output holds near record high
May 16, 2019
Shale SmartBrief
News on shale oil and natural gas
Top News
The struggle is far from over in the US shale patch
Even though oil prices have rebounded since the end of 2018 and oil output continues to break records, some shale producers and oilfield service providers are still having trouble making ends meet. Oilfield servicer Weatherford International announced plans last week to seek bankruptcy protection, while other high-cost shale drillers are struggling with debt.
World Oil online/Bloomberg (5/15) 
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News from the Field
As Permian oil production booms, Apache doubles down on gas
While other players rush to pump more oil in the Permian Basin, Apache is betting on natural gas liquids from its Alpine High field to maximize its revenue and is building three gas processing plants. Apache operates about 300,000 acres in the play, and while gas extraction is the company's main focus, Alpine High has the potential to yield at least 3 billion barrels of oil in place from two of five formations.
Yahoo/Bloomberg (5/14) 
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Permian gas prices post gains as production slows
Permian Basin natural gas prices edged back into positive territory this month as gas producers scaled back drilling, bringing output down to just less than 8.2 billion cubic feet per day to date in May, the lowest average in almost a year. As a result, El Paso Permian cash prices rose to an average 39 cents per million British thermal units, while Waha prices are averaging 29 cents per MMBtu.
S&P Global Platts (free registration) (5/15) 
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N.D. oil output holds near record high
North Dakota oil production jumped by 4% from February to 1.39 million barrels per day in March, hovering around the 1.4 million-barrel record set in January, according to the state Department of Mineral Resources. Meanwhile, natural gas production in the state rose 6.5% month-on-month to a fresh high of 2.8 billion cubic feet per day in March.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (tiered subscription model) (5/15) 
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Most super-light Permian oil to flow to global markets
US refiners' limited ability to absorb the Permian Basin's newest type of super-light oil, known as West Texas Light, means that most of the over 500,000 barrels of daily WTL supply will have to be exported. Potential customers include South Korea, which might choose WTL to serve as a substitute for Iranian condensate affected by US sanctions.
Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (5/15) 
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Study: Move to low-sulfur marine fuel to disrupt markets
A switch to low-sulfur marine fuel in January will disrupt oil and refined-product markets by one to five years, according to a Boston Consulting Group study. Prices for low-sulfur crude oil from shale fields and refiners that can process high-sulfur crude will benefit, the study finds.
Reuters (5/16) 
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Spotlight on Policy
Work begins on new oil, gas regulatory framework in Colo.
Colorado's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is scheduled to hold a meeting today with industry representatives and others to hear public comments and talk about the first regulatory changes under a new law that prioritizes health and safety over energy development.
The Associated Press (5/15) 
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Colo. city approves moratorium on new oil, gas permits
The City Council of Broomfield, Colo., on Tuesday unanimously voted in favor of an ordinance that bans the processing or approval of new oil and natural gas permit applications for six months. The council scheduled a second reading on the moratorium for May 28.
Broomfield Enterprise (Colo.) (5/15) 
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API Update
API-U offers training any way you want it, anywhere you want it. Attend one of our instructor-led classes designed to help you get more out of API Standards or choose from over 140 of our eLearning courses in mechanical maintenance, electrical maintenance, instrumentation and control, industrial math and science, and safety. To learn more, visit our site here.
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International Safety Culture Summit, June 5-6, Chicago
Please join the American Petroleum Institute at the 3rd International Safety Culture Summit. The Summit brings industry operators, contractors, service/supply companies, academia and regulators together to facilitate collaboration and drive continual improvement. For more information visit the API Events Page.
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