follow us Twitter Facebook
<< Back to News

Oil and Gas Roundup — Oct. 11

October 11, 2013
TOPICS: In the news
A roundup of oil and natural gas news from around the state, nation and world:

Governor’s energy conference draws record crowd in Tulsa

Gov. Mary Fallin's annual energy conference drew a record crowd Wednesday, the first time it was staged in Tulsa.

More than 500 people attended the 2013 Governor's Energy Conference at the Cox Business Center in downtown Tulsa.

Fallin said it was fitting to have the third annual conference in Tulsa since it once was the oil capital of the world. The first two conferences were in Oklahoma City.

Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett, who described himself as the only mayor of a major city with oil and natural gas experience, said Oklahoma has long been supportive of the energy industry.

Read more:

Utica shale focus expanding to new counties with McClendon’s interest

Shawn Bennett wasn’t surprised Wednesday when he saw that former Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon’s new company said it plans to invest $1.7 billion in the Utica shale play in eastern Ohio.

Bennett, a director with Energy in Depth Ohio, an oil and gas group that provides research, education and public outreach on the shale play, told me McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP has been running ads in eastern Ohio newspapers for a few months, trying to drum up interest from property owners willing to discuss leasing their land for oil and natural gas development.

But the company’s formal disclosure of its plans signals that McClendon’s company will play a huge role in developing the Utica play, Bennett said.

“It signifies Utica shale will remain one of premier shale plays in the country,” he said.

American Energy said it initially plans to acquire leases for approximately 100,000 acres in the Utica play. That would put it in the Top 10 for acreage in the play, Bennett said.

Read more:

Salazar: Shutdown will hurt Gulf production

The federal government shutdown could harm oil and gas production across the United States, former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar warned Thursday.

The Bureau of Land Management has already canceled an Oct. 16 auction of oil and gas leases in New Mexico’s piece of the Permian Basin, and an Oct. 22 auction of drilling rights in Montana is also in jeopardy. The agency also has stopped processing drilling permits for onshore oil and gas leases.

“Some of the bigger companies have permits stockpiled, but a lot of the smaller operators don’t, and they’re going to take a hit unless the government opens soon,” Salazar told reporters on a conference call arranged by the Center for American Progress.

While Interior Department agencies are still issuing permits to drill new wells in federal waters, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is no longer vetting proposed exploration plans that form the backdrop for individual offshore well drilling decisions.

“The continued shutdown of the federal government will ultimately affect the government approval of activities in the Gulf of Mexico,” Salazar predicted. Given “the contribution the Gulf is making to the energy future of the United States . . . it’s not the kind of rollback we ought to have.”

Read more:

Kinder Morgan exec: Pipeline grid needs realignment

Surging oil and gas production in new areas across the United States creates fresh opportunities and challenges for companies operating a labyrinth of North American pipelines built decades before the current drilling boom.

The country needs a “rationalizing of the pipeline grid” to reflect the new energy development, said David Devine, the new chairman of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America and the president of central regional natural gas pipelines of Kinder Morgan. Pipeline companies will play “a vital role” providing “the critical infrastructure that’s needed to link these new gas resources to new consumption markets.”

The current pipeline network was constructed around former oil and gas hotbeds, with much of the grid flowing to the north and east. But oil drilling in North Dakota, natural gas production in the Northeast and the zeal for natural gas liquids on the Gulf Coast have dramatically changed the dynamic.

“Location of shale gas production basins relative to consuming markets will continue to drive adaptations of the interstate pipeline grid,” Devine told reporters Wednesday. Companies increasingly will be “taking pipe in the ground that may no longer be highly utilized as designed and putting it into service in different, higher-valued purpose.”

Read more:

South Africa proposes HF rules

South Africa's cabinet on Thursday proposed new regulations to govern exploration for shale gas, an important step in opening up an industry that could provide new energy supplies for Africa's largest economy.

South Africa last year lifted a moratorium on shale gas exploration in its Karoo region, where fracking might tap what is believed to be some of the world's biggest reserves of the energy source.

The sparsely populated Karoo is renowned for its rugged scenery and is home to species such as the mountain zebra and riverine rabbit, one of the rarest mammals in the world.

The government signaled on Thursday it was keen to start exploiting the resource.
"Not only does the potential of shale gas exploration and exploitation provide an opportunity for us to begin production of our own fuel, but it also marks the beginning of the reindustrialization of the South African economy," Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said in a statement.

"By embarking on this process presented by hydraulic fracturing for the production of shale gas, we bring the country a step closer to the achievement of our objectives," she said.

Companies showing an interest in exploring South Africa's shale gas potential include Royal Dutch Shell.

Read more:

The Weekly Oil & Gas Follies

Each week, Forbes and Energy In Depth columnist David Blackmon will “briefly chronicle the week’s silliness, foibles, fake news and real news related to the oil and natural gas industry.”

Check out this week’s here:
<< Back to news