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Oil and Gas Roundup — Jan. 24

January 24, 2018
TOPICS: In the news
A roundup of oil and natural gas industry news from around the state, nation and world:

Antioch’s Harding speaks to OKC Rotary about the Arkoma Stack

Nathaniel Harding, co-founder and president of Antioch Energy, told several hundred members and guests of the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City this week that the eastern Oklahoma Arkoma Stack play already has gotten some national exposure and that he expects more to come.

"The Arkoma Basin has been a prolific producer of oil and gas in the past 100 years, with about a billion barrels of oil equivalent produced out of it during that time," Harding said.

Lately, producers working in that part of Oklahoma have targeted shale in the area, and Harding said that certainly is the case for Antioch, which has concentrated its efforts to acquire leases there.

Antioch has 23,000 net acres in the play, particularly in Hughes County, with an opportunity to drill as many as 500 wells, he said.

The exploration company is obtaining seismic surveys of its holdings as it continues to focus its acquisitions in areas it sees as geological sweet spots, Harding said.

For Antioch, Harding said it poses the same types of challenges it overcame as it worked on wells in Oklahoma's STACK and SCOOP plays in northwestern, west central and south central Oklahoma.

Read Jack Money’s story at NewsOK.

GOP senators introduce bill to reform onshore energy policies

Five Republican US senators introduced legislation aimed at reforming federal onshore oil and gas policies by giving states authority to manage permitting and regulatory responsibilities on federal land within their borders.

“Punishing regulations and permitting delays have plagued the federal oil and gas permitting process for years,” said John A. Barrasso (Wyo.), the bill’s main sponsor. “Our bill also eliminates unnecessary regulations and increases mineral revenue for states.”

Cosponsors include Sens. John Hoeven (ND), Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), and Mike Lee (Utah). Their bill also would exempt oil and gas operations on nonfederal land from federal permitting and environmental review if the federal government holds less than a 50% mineral ownership interest. It also would give states and Indian tribes primacy over regulations, guidance, and permitting for hydraulic fracturing.

The measure, which they call the Opportunities for the Nation and States to Harness Onshore Resources for Energy (ONSHORE) Act, contains onshore provisions similar to those in H.R. 4239, which Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and three cosponsors introduced on Nov. 3, 2017, and the House Natural Resources Committee approved 5 days later.

— Oil & Gas Journal.

Halliburton adds its optimism to oil industry's outlook

Houston energy services company Halliburton on Monday joined its larger rival, Schlumberger, in projecting continued growth in U.S. oil and gas production and a rebound in slower growing international markets.

The two oil field services leaders touted growing revenues and improving profit margins, even though they both posted net quarterly losses because of one-time charges related to the new U.S. tax law and declining business in economically and politically tumultuous Venezuela.

The U.S. onshore oil business is again booming, especially in West Texas. Halliburton leads the U.S. services market in completing oil wells, especially through hydraulic fracturing, called fracking.

"I am very excited about the way 2018 is shaping up," Halliburton chief executive Jeff Miller said. "North American unconventional activity should be very busy, and international markets are starting to show signs of life."

Halliburton's stock shot up more than 6 percent Monday, while Schlumberger jumped nearly 5 percent. Schlumberger posted its earnings on Friday. The other top industry player, Baker Hughes, a GE company, will report earnings Wednesday.

Schlumberger has a bigger international presence than Halliburton, but executives from both companies are predicting that the oil recovery will broaden this year, said Bill Herbert, a senior energy analyst at Piper Jaffray & Co.

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

China braces for another spike in natural gas demand

China’s push to have millions of households and thousands of industry users switch from coal to natural gas led to an unprecedented increase in natural gas demand and imports in the coldest month—December. The Chinese race to burn more gas instead of coal this winter season, in a bid to fight stifling pollution, left residents in the north freezing in a cold snap early last month, prompting China to backpedal on the coal ban in some areas to ease natural gas shortages.  

China is currently gobbling up LNG cargoes from all over the world as it tries to avoid severe natural gas shortages in the coming month in which another cold snap will be gripping North Asia and which will see the longest holiday period in China—the Lunar New Year, or the Spring Festival—in the middle of February.  

While the weather in China in January and February is usually milder than in December, this year in the second half of January another cold snap is gripping North Asia, with temperatures below normal for the season.

Chinese officials also want to ensure that gas shortages will not spoil the Chinese New Year holiday period, and continue their buying spree on the international markets. According to shipping data by Thomson Reuters Eikon, around 60 ships carrying a total of more than 4 million tons of LNG are en route to China in January—the third-largest volume of LNG imports after the previous record-breaking 4.36 million tons in November, and the new record of 5.1 million tons in December. LNG cargoes traveling to China are literally from all over the world, including the U.S., Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Read more at OilPrice.

Rollout strategy for California city’s climate lawsuit suggests close coordination with activists

The City of Richmond, Calif., yesterday announced that it was adding its name to the list of California municipalities trying to extract monetary damages from the energy industry for global warming. But its announcement comes as the other California municipalities and New York City have come under fire for bringing frivolous lawsuits that will do nothing to help their communities, and may actually cost taxpayers money.

Richmond hired plaintiffs’ firm Sher Edling to represent it in court. The firm is also representing the City and County of Santa Cruz, Imperial Beach, Marin County, and San Mateo County, and Richmond’s lawsuit is largely identical to the others filed by the firm. The Richmond suit is particularly interesting because it targets Chevron, which happens to be the city’s largest employer, and provides gasoline for 20 percent of the cars on Northern California roads.

#ExxonKnew activists quickly pounced on the news – so quick that they were, oddly, the first to report the city’s decision. Hours before the first story hit, Daniel Melling – who is hosting an event Thursday entitled “Holding Fossil Fuel Companies Liable for Climate Change Harms in California,” along with the Union of Concerned Scientists and Bill McKibben – broke the news of Richmond’s filing before a press release was even available.

Read more at Energy In Depth.
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