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Oil and Gas Roundup — August 18

August 18, 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 down by two to 209

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

The tally is up 40 from a year ago, when it was 169.

Nationwide, the net number of active drilling units rose by five this week to 1,913, according to Houston-based Baker Hughes. The total is up 122 rigs from a year ago when it was at 1,791.

Of the rigs operating this week across the U.S., 1,589 were exploring for oil, 321 for gas and three were listed as miscellaneous.

Is re-fracturing the next big trend in the oil patch?

SAN ANTONIO — Tens of thousands of new oil and gas wells have been drilled and hydraulically fractured in recent years — part of a shale boom that has spread across the U.S.

Could re-fracturing some of those existing wells be the next big trend in the oil patch?

Robert Drummond, president of North America for oil-field service company Schlumberger, said that continually improving fracturing techniques will make companies question whether it makes more sense to spend money drilling a new well or re-fracturing an existing well.

“The (re-fracture) model going forward will challenge the economics of drilling new wells in some fields,” said Drummond, who spoke at a World Oil breakfast event in San Antonio on Tuesday at the St. Anthony Hotel.

Drummond said that Schlumberger has technology to carry frac sand further and open up better channels in the rock. “There’s tens of thousands of candidates throughout North America that have got the same issue here — they have failed to get all of the (fracture) clusters to contribute,” said Drummond.

Read more:

Return on water investment: Shale leads in jobs, energy

As Energy In Depth has pointed out before, context is important when discussing water usage and shale development. While anti-fracking activists claim that shale development is draining the water supply, the truth of the matter is that in top oil and gas producing states – such as Pennsylvania, Texas, and Colorado – shale development accounts for less than one percent of each state’s total water use.

So we know that shale uses less water than other activities like golf course maintenance, and it pales in comparison to the water we use for agricultural purposes. But what do we get from the gallons that we do use?

Well, jobs for one thing — and lots of them. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), oil and natural gas extraction currently provides over 200,000 direct jobs to Americans across the country. EID compiled and analyzed data from the BLS, the U.S. Census, federal agencies and industry reports in order to see what the story is with water usage and job creation.

A typical hydraulic fracturing operation in deep shales uses about four to five million gallons of water (much less in California), so EID compared the jobs created per five million gallons of water used across several industries. The numbers, as they say, speak for themselves.

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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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