follow us Twitter Facebook
<< Back to News

Oil and Gas Roundup — Sept. 8

September 08, 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 one to 213

The number of drilling rigs actively exploring for oil or natural gas in Oklahoma increased by one this week to 213, Baker Hughes Inc. reported on Friday.

The tally is up 43 from a year ago, when it was 170.

Nationwide, the net number of active drilling units went up by 11 this week to 1,925, according to Houston-based Baker Hughes. The total is up 158 rigs from a year ago when it was at 1,767.

Of the rigs operating this week across the U.S., 1,584 were exploring for oil, 340 for gas and one was listed as miscellaneous.

Fallin creates seismic activity council

Gov. Mary Fallin on Thursday announced the creation of a Coordinating Council on Seismic Activity designed to help researchers, policymakers, regulators and the oil and natural gas industry study the state’s ongoing earthquake swarm.

“We believe that by linking scientists and energy experts, we can develop sound regulatory practices and policies in our state while also alleviating any questions our citizens might have,” Fallin said as she made the announcement at the opening of the Governor’s Energy Conference on Thursday. “We’re gathering data and gathering information, making sure we’re dealing with fact-based information.”

The council will be led by Michael Teague, the state’s secretary of energy and environment.

“It very intentionally is not a task force. It’s not a working group. Right now it’s about coordinating the different efforts. There is so much going on,” Teague said. “This is about bringing all these folks together to synchronize what they’re doing.”

Read The Oklahoman story:

Crude oil rail shipments set record pace

Rail shipments of crude oil rose to 119,634 carloads in the most recent fiscal quarter, an increase of more than 10 percent over the 106,605 shipments in the comparable period last year, according to figures released Thursday by the American Association of Railroads.

The association, an industry trade group, called it the busiest quarter ever for crude oil shipments by rail. In the single month of August, shipments rose 25 percent compared to the previous August. Shipments of other commodities showed more modest gains.

As oil production has soared past pipeline capacity, trains have become a favored alternative for the petroleum industry. But as traffic continues to increase, the practice has drawn intense scrutiny.

A series of accidents and spills, including a derailment that killed dozens of people last year in a small town in Canada, have prompted federal officials to issue safety warnings and emergency orders.

As smaller accidents strike communities across the country, fire officials say they fear a major catastrophe. The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed new regulations on rail worker training, oil composition testing, train speed and tank car construction.

Rail officials say they can manage the shipments on their own with careful route selection, speed control and inspections.

Enterprise holds open season for Bakken to Cushing pipeline

Enterprise Products Partners LP said on Thursday that it was holding an open season for a proposed pipeline that would be the first in directly moving shale oil from the Bakken formation to Cushing.

The pipeline, which would have an initial capacity of some 340,000 barrels per day of crude oil and expandable to more than 700,000 bpd, should be fully operational by the third quarter of 2017, the company said.

It is expected to begin service in stages, starting with the Denver-Julesburg to Cushing portion in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The 1,200-mile (1,900-km) pipeline bringing oil from North Dakota down into Cushing would have the capability to transport up to six grades of crude oil and products, including Rockies condensate and processed condensate.

The pipeline is the first foray by Enterprise into North Dakota, home of the prolific Bakken oil fields. Despite a boom in the region, several pipeline projects have already failed.

In June, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said the state wants pipeline capacity to almost double to 1.4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2016, to curb the flaring of natural gas at wells beyond the pipeline system.

<< Back to news