December 1, 2020
Shale SmartBrief
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Top News
The prospect of a 45% jump in natural gas prices next year is encouraging US shale producers, including EOG Resources, Apache Corp and Continental Resources, to shift their resources to natural gas projects. The US gas rig count has risen 13% since July to 77 and drillers have been hedging more of their projected gas volumes.
Full Story: Reuters (11/30) 
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News from the Field
The outlook for the global oil and natural gas industry is getting brighter amid signs of economic recovery improving supply and demand dynamics, said American Petroleum Institute Chief Economist Dean Foreman during a recent conference presented by the Federal Reserve banks of Dallas and Kansas City. Foreman expects the rebound to be particularly strong in the Permian Basin, thanks to the play's expanded pipeline infrastructure and low breakeven prices.
Full Story: Midland Reporter-Telegram (Texas) (11/28) 
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The coronavirus pandemic has taken a heavy toll on Colorado's oil and natural gas industry, triggering a downturn that has led to steep declines in production, employment and rig counts. The situation has been exacerbated by an uncertain regulatory environment at the state level and the torrent of oil supplies unleashed by countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia, said Dan Haley, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, who added, "It has been historic to see all of these factors sort of converging at one time and one year."
Full Story: Colorado Public Radio (11/30) 
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The Energy Information Administration has published updated structure and thickness maps for the Wolfcamp shale formation, located in the Midland portion of the Permian Basin. These maps are useful for estimating resource availability and determining the most economical locations for extraction.
Full Story: U.S. Energy Information Administration (11/24) 
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Mobile, modular trailers for capturing stranded gas, automated secondary air control systems and vapor recovery systems were among the technologies exhibited for the Texas Methane and Flaring Coalition during a virtual technology showcase. "Members of the TMFC are consistently looking at the technology space to focus on companies that can utilize varying innovations in areas like gas capture, vapor recovery, mobile gas processing and leak detection," said Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, which is a member of the coalition.
Full Story: Midland Reporter-Telegram (Texas) (11/28) 
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Spotlight on Policy
The American Petroleum Institute will use "every tool at its disposal," including litigation, to oppose a possible ban on oil and natural gas drilling on federal land by the upcoming Biden administration, API President and CEO Mike Sommers said on Monday. "This would be a far reaching proposal that would undermine American natural and energy security to the detriment of the American people," Sommers added, citing potential job and economic losses in oil-dependent states.
Full Story: Reuters (11/23) 
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New Mexico will start requiring oil and natural gas producers to file reports that detail the volume and quality of water they use in drilling operations. The new requirement aims to address a lack of data on industry water use and determine whether drilling operations are threatening the state's limited fresh water supplies, said Adrienne Sandoval, director of the state's Oil Conservation Division.
Full Story: The Associated Press (11/29) 
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Economic Impact
Employment in Texas' upstream oil and natural gas sector increased by 600 jobs in October to 171,900 jobs, marking the second consecutive month of gains, the Texas Oil and Gas Association reported, citing figures from the Texas Workforce Commission. "Many companies are still working through the adjustments necessary to address the contracted economy due to COVID-19, yet this second month of positive job growth numbers are a good reminder of the essential role of oil and natural gas in our everyday lives," said TXOGA President Todd Staples.
Full Story: Rigzone (11/25) 
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How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?
Theodor Seuss Geisel,
writer known as Dr. Seuss
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