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Oil and Gas Roundup — August 4

August 04, 2014
TOPICS: In the news
A roundup of oil and natural gas industry news from around the state, nation and world:

Oklahoma drilling rig count up by five to 209

The number of drilling rigs actively exploring for oil or natural gas in Oklahoma increased by five this week to 209, Baker Hughes Inc. reported on Friday.

The tally is up 41 from a year ago, when it was 168.

Nationwide, the net number of active drilling units rose by six this week to 1,889, according to Houston-based Baker Hughes. The total is up 107 rigs from a year ago when it was at 1,782.

Of the rigs operating this week across the U.S., 1,573 were exploring for oil, 313 for gas and three were listed as miscellaneous.

South Korean company pursues U.S. shale gas opportunity

SK Innovation will expand its shale gas development business in the United States, the company said Sunday.

"The shale development boom, which started in the United States, has spread to the rest of the world," said Koo Ja-young, SK Innovation's vice chairman and CEO, upon his arrival in the United States. "To make the best of this new business opportunity, we will put our U.S. oil production affiliates at the forefront of our global nonconventional oil business."

Koo began his weeklong U.S. visit on July 28, with stops at the company's Houston-headquartered energy development subsidiary, SK E&P America, and its Oklahoma oil-producing field.

SK E&P America invested $360 million in March to acquire 75 percent of shares in an oil field in Oklahoma's Grant and Garfield counties, as well as 50 percent of shares in an oil field in Crane County in Texas.

SK Innovation is producing 4,500 barrels of crude oil and gas per day in the United States, 3,750 of which come from its Oklahoma oil field, according to the company.

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‘Gasland’ star brings more of the same to California

Calvin Tillman, former mayor of DISH, Tex., and a prominent figure in the egregiously misleading and dishonest anti-fracking “documentaries” Gasland and Gasland 2, visited California last week to tell his story to “ban fracking” activists in hopes of breathing life into a movement that has twice been soundly defeated in our state. It was the same story he told in both Gasland films, and the story that has been thoroughly debunked by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

EID has covered Mr. Tillman’s road shows in Michigan and Ohio, and we have  already reviewed and critiqued the lessons he draws from his personal experience while mayor of DISH at some length. A good summary can be found here.

Because Mr. Tillman came to California just as our state is implementing the nation’s toughest restrictions on the oil and gas industry — and on hydraulic fracturing in particular — we believe that it is important to hold activists to account for the “information” they share.

Tillman made a number of stops in the Golden State, giving succor to the most hardcore of the “ban fracking” activists who, never content with getting exactly what they once asked for, are seeking to circumvent the regulatory process by pushing for local “bans” on fracking. EID caught up with Tillman in Santa Maria (where onshore fracking doesn’t happen) and Hollister (where there isn’t any oil development).

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U.S. gas production up 1.2% in May on Marcellus, Utica additions

Natural gas production in the Lower 48 increased 1.2%, or 0.92 Bcf/d, to a total of 78.10 Bcf/d in May, up from a revised 77.18 Bcf/d in April, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest Monthly Natural Gas Gross Production Report, or EIA-914, released July 31.

The "Other States" category had the largest volumetric increase at 2.6%, or 0.77 Bcf/d, to 30.42 Bcf/d, "primarily because of new wells in the Marcellus and Utica shales," the EIA said.

Oklahoma and Texas reported gains of 0.8%, or 0.05 Bcf/d, and 0.7%, or 0.17 Bcf/d, respectively, "mainly because of new wells coming online," the agency said. Oklahoma's May production was pegged at 6.32 Bcf/d, while output in Texas was reported at 23.44 Bcf/d.

New Mexico had a decline of 3.6%, or 0.13 Bcf/d, to 3.52 Bcf/d because of many operators reporting small decreases.

Enbridge sees new pipeline to U.S. Gulf operating in October

Enbridge Inc's new 450,000 barrel-per-day Seaway Twin pipeline, to carry Canadian oil sands crude to North America's largest refining complex on the U.S. Gulf Coast, will likely start operating in October, the company said on Friday.

Enbridge, Canada's biggest pipeline company, said mid October is most likely when the Seaway Twin will be filled with crude from the company's new 600,000 bpd Flanagan South pipeline.

Seaway Twin will carry crude from Cushing, Oklahoma, to oil tanks near Houston, and although the pipeline was mechanically completed in early July, it will not start operating before Flanagan South, which will run from Illinois to Cushing, is finished in early October.

Traders have been closely monitoring the progress of the two pipelines, which will give Canadian oil sands producers another direct link to the Gulf Coast.

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The Weekly Oil and Gas Follies

Each week Forbes contributor David Blackmon outlines the week's silliness, shenanigans, fake news and real news related to the oil and natural gas industry.

Read this week's here:

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