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Oil and Gas Roundup — May 14

May 14, 2013
TOPICS: In the news
A roundup of oil and natural gas news from around the state, nation and world:

U.S. oil boom leaves OPEC sidelined from demand growth

LONDON (Reuters) — Rising U.S. shale oil production will help meet most of the world's new oil demand in the next five years, even if the global economy picks up steam, leaving little room for OPEC to lift output without risking lower prices, the West's energy agency said.

The prediction by the International Energy Agency (IEA) came in its closely watched semi-annual report, which analyses mid-term global oil supply and demand trends.

"North America has set off a supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world," IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said on Tuesday.

"The good news is that this is helping to ease a market that was relatively tight for several years," she added. Oil on Tuesday traded near $103 a barrel, well below its peak of $147 in 2008.

The IEA said it expected global demand to rise 8 percent on aggregate between 2012 and 2018 to reach 96.7 million barrels per day (bpd) based on a fairly optimistic assumption by the International Monetary Fund of 3 to 4.5 percent global economic growth a year during the period.

That incremental demand will be met mainly by non-OPEC production, which will rise by more than 10 percent between 2012 and 2018 to 59.31 million bpd, the IEA said, increasing its estimate of non-OPEC supply in 2017 by 1 million bpd versus its previous report in October 2012.

The United States will overtake Russia as the world's largest non-OPEC producer as early as 2015, the IEA said.

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GE puts billions toward bringing 'good things' to oil and gas

HOUSTON — The house that Thomas Edison built is conducting brisk business with the expanding oil and gas industry these days.

General Electric Co.'s divisions in oil and gas and related industrial applications are quickly expanding their reach into the drilling world, rolling out new services and technologies to meet the needs of an increasingly technologically sophisticated industry. GE Oil & Gas is the fastest-growing business unit within the GE family.

That business unit's growth is meant to keep pace with the expansion of the industry in general.

The company is busy carving out a niche for itself in the shale oil and gas boom that's spreading from the United States to other countries, while becoming particularly active in the offshore energy sector, where much more specialized electrical equipment is needed, primarily for safety reasons.

"It's growing at a fast clip because of the sheer demand," said Marty Trivette, senior manager for industrial solutions at GE Energy Management.

Company representatives said that since 2007, GE has spent $11 billion on acquisitions to expand its oil and gas business. Revenues generated by the division totaled $15.2 billion last year.

The physical expansion of these operations has been huge as well. As of May, GE Oil & Gas says, it employed 37,000 people globally, up from 12,000 in 2007, increasing its staff more than threefold.

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Texas governor honors fracking pioneer

DALLAS —You could call him the father of fracking.

In the 1980s and 90s George P. Mitchell developed a technique for drilling natural gas wells horizontally. What might have seemed a small development turned huge when it was combined with another technique used to open cracks in rocks through a series of small underground explosions followed by an injection of pressurized water – better known now as hydraulic fracturing.

Mitchell Energy drilled its first successful well in the Barnett Shale 1997, and so-began the age of fracking.

On Monday afternoon Gov. Rick Perry is scheduled to commend Mitchell on the floor of the statehouse for his work and “continuing Texas’s leadership in energy development that promises to change global energy markets and strengthen both the Texas and U.S. economies,” according to The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.

Mitchell is now 94 years old and living in Galveston, and according to a spokesman remains “active” with his foundation, which promotes “sustainable solutions for human and environmental problems,” its website states.

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