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Oil and Gas Roundup — Sept. 30

September 30, 2016
TOPICS: In the news
A roundup of oil and natural gas industry news from around the state, nation and world:

State rig count up 1 as U.S. count jumps 11

The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the state of Oklahoma rose by one to 68 this week, while the nationwide count jumped 11 to 522.

Of the other major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas was down one to 245, Louisiana was up one to 41, New Mexico and North Dakota were up three and two respectively to end at 30, Pennsylvania was up one to 23 and Colorado rose one to 20.

Oil rigs accounted for 425 of the U.S. total, while 96 rigs were exploring for gas. Twenty-two of the rigs were offshore.

A year ago, 97 rigs were active in the state and 809 nationwide.

Third U.S. LNG cargo hits European shores

A third cargo of US LNG has arrived on European shores, the Sestao Knutsen earlier this week unloading at the Turkish LNG import terminal at Aliaga.

The tanker was one of the last to load at Cheniere Energy's Sabine Pass export facility in the Gulf of Mexico before the two-train plant was shut down for planned maintenance in mid-September.

The arrival of US LNG into Turkey marks a step change in flows into Europe.

The previous two cargoes were both delivered to the Iberian Peninsula -- the first in April to Portugal and the second this summer to Spain.

Neither country is supplied with pipeline gas by Gazprom.

But the start of US LNG exports to Turkey is arguably of more importance given that Russia supplies significant volumes of gas to the Turkish market.

In the first half of 2016, Gazprom piped 12 Bcm of gas to Turkey, making it the Russian company's third biggest customer after Germany and Italy.

Turkish relations with Russia deteriorated sharply at the end of last year with the downing by Ankara of a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border.

Read more at Platts.

Yet another study finds HF not to blame for rise in global methane emissions

As environmental activists and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continue to focus all their attention on methane emissions from oil and natural gas systems, yet another study has been released showing that biogenic sources —virtually ignored by environmentalists in their efforts to “combat climate change”— are actually to blame for the recent increase in global methane emissions.

This new study by researchers from the Department of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London, finds a spike in global methane emissions has been “largely driven” by tropical wetlands and agriculture since 2007.

As lead author Euan Nisbet explained, “Our results go against conventional thinking that the recent increase in atmospheric methane must be caused by increased emissions from natural gas, oil, and coal production. Our analysis of methane’s isotopic composition clearly points to increased emissions from microbial sources, such as wetlands or agriculture.”

The study states plainly that its data found “both the majority of this methane increase and the isotopic shift are biogenic.” This is essentially the same conclusion reached by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWAR) study six months ago, and the authors of this new study noted that both studies’ findings “contradict emission inventories.”

Read more at Energy In Depth.

EIA: U.S. underground natural gas storage rises to 3.6 tcf

Natural gas stored underground across the Lower 48 rose 49 bcf for the week ended Sept. 23 to an estimated 3.6 tcf, the US Energy Information Administration reported Sept. 29.

The rise in gas storage was less than anticipated. Analysts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal in advance of the report had expected EIA would report that stockpiles rose 57 bcf.

EIA’s Gas Storage Report said gas storage levels were 90 bcf higher than last year at this time and 220 bcf above the 5-year average of 3.38 tcf.

US gas futures prices had been supported by hot weather across the nation in recent weeks, which increased demand for gas-fired electricity for air conditioning.

Jeff Moore, senior energy analyst for Platts Analytics, said gas prices are expected to rise above $3.50/MMbtu this winter on higher demand and stagnant supply.

Moore expects storage withdrawals will pick up during the winter assuming a return to normal weather. The US is expected to withdrawal an additional 900 bcf from storage this season compared with last winter.

— Oil & Gas Journal.
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