November 25, 2015

NATURAL GAS INVENTORY (Week Ended 11/20/15)

Current: 4,009 Bcf
Actual Injection/(Withdrawal), per EIA: 9 Bcf

Economist Average Estimate, per Bloomberg: 6 Bcf

Previous: 4,000

Click here for the chart with five year averages.

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*DUCs in a Row for 2016: It’s Anybody’s Guess – Oil & Gas 360®

At last year’s The Oil & Gas Conference®, the term “sand” was mentioned repeatedly in regards to completion techniques and optimizations. The term of choice during the commodity downturn is “efficiency” as operators develop methods to generate the best bang for the buck. A popular topic in the third quarter earnings season, particularly for larger companies, was the amount of drilled but uncompleted wells. The deferred wells, known as DUCs for short, are garnering attention as a potential factor in the market’s consistent state of oversupply. – Read More

*Russia, Turkey and World War G – Bloomberg

Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet was bound to inject some vim into otherwise listless oil prices. The real impact may actually be felt in another important energy market: natural gas. President Vladimir Putin described the incident as a “stab in the back,” a phrase with a particularly dire provenance in Europe. This marks a dangerous new escalation in the Syrian conflict, which is why Brent crude nudged up a dollar and change a barrel on Tuesday. Yet the path to a wider conflict that actually takes a substantial amount of oil supply off the market remains unclear. That extra buck or so on the price represents a nebulous, rather than specific, fear. – Read More

*Pipeline Opposition: Irrational Ludicrousness – Forbes

Although the focus of this column is the proposed Kinder-Morgan pipeline in New England, most of the arguments apply to other cases, like Keystone XL. This is written in response to comments by a leading opponent of the pipeline on the local NPR station. Katy Eiseman, president of the Pipeline Awareness Network, remarked that, first, half of the jobs related to the pipeline would not be local, second they would be temporary, and third, Western Massachusetts relies on tourism which would be harmed. The opposition to the pipeline was bolstered by a study released by the Attorney General that argued that more gas pipeline capacity was unnecessary. – Read More

*West Virginia’s Coal Industry is Reeling – Will Shale Gas Take Its Place? – Oil & Gas 360®

Coal has powered West Virginia’s economy for centuries. Generations of West Virginians have come and gone in the Mountain State, and its stalwart blue-collar coal industry continuously attracts the next wave of young people in search of a career in the rolling hills of Appalachia. But the latest generation of West Virginia coal miners—and the ones coming up behind them—are faced with unprecedented uncertainty: do we have a future? – Read More

*The Powder That Could Be Key for Natural-Gas Cars – The Wall Street Journal

Natural gas burns relatively cleanly, and thanks to new extraction technologies, there is plenty of it. But few cars use it; most of the more than 150,000 U.S. vehicles running on natural gas are still trucks and buses. One reason is that natural-gas-powered cars would need a much bigger fuel tank—perhaps filling the entire trunk as well as current gas-tank space—to achieve the range that drivers are accustomed to getting from gasoline. A given volume of gasoline contains more than triple the energy found in an equal volume of compressed natural gas. – Read More

*Cheap diesel deals big setback to natural gas truck sales – Reuters

Sales of trucks powered by natural gas are sputtering and growth will be far weaker this year than last as tumbling diesel prices prevent drivers from switching over to the cleaner-burning fuel even though it is cheaper than it has been in years. Sales of medium and heavy duty natural gas trucks are expected to rise less than 1 percent this year after climbing nearly 27 percent in 2014, Power Systems Research, a St. Paul, Minnesota firm that studies engines, told Reuters. It cut that projection from about 4 percent earlier this year. – Read More

*China Cuts Natural Gas Prices by 28% – Oil & Gas 360®

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planner, announced this week that it plans to reduce the benchmark city-gate prices for natural gas by 0.7 yuan ($0.11) per cubic meter for industry and commercial users. Analysts believe the move, which was expected, effectively reduces the cost of city-gate natural gas by 28%, reports The Wall Street Journal. The NDRC also said that it would allow greater negotiation between buyers and sellers of natural gas over price. Under the new mechanism, China will allow industry players to charge up to 20% more than government benchmark prices in the future, based on supply and demand. – Read More

*Manure from millions of hogs fuels natural gas project – Associated Press

One recipe for renewable natural gas goes: Place manure from about 2 million hogs in lagoons, cover them with an impermeable material and let it bake until gas from the manure rises. Then, use special equipment to clean the gas of its impurities and ship the finished product out. That’s the vision of one of the largest biogas projects of its kind in the U.S. currently being installed in northern Missouri, part of a long-term effort to turn underused agriculture resources into an engine for environmentally friendly farming practices. – Read More

*Business Roundtable: “Strategic Changes” Needed for U.S. Energy Policy, Economy – Oil & Gas 360®

Technological advances in the oil and gas industry have reformed the United States economy, but government policies are preventing the business sector from reaching its full potential. That is the assessment of the Business Roundtable, based on a 31-page report released on November 17, 2015. “Powering Forward; North America’s Energy Resurgence” began by detailing the tremendous leaps accomplished by the continent as a whole, including; U.S. natural gas output increasing by 42% from 2005 to 2014, oil sands production climbing 60% from 2000 to 2014 and Mexico opening up its doors for international investment. – Read More

*Despite LNG, 2016 promises to be a grim year for B.C. oilpatch – Alaska Highway News

2016 promises to be a “brutal” year for the drilling industry in B.C. despite hopes for a liquefied natural gas export boom, an industry group says. In a forecast released last week, the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) said the oilpatch is on track for its worst year since 1983, with 2016 promising to be just as bad. CAODC President Mark Scholz said that B.C. could fare better if it finds new markets, but added LNG export projects are still up in the air. “I would say as long as there’s continued movement on the LNG front, B.C. will likely bode better than other jurisdictions,” said Scholz. – Read More

*Will Cheap Natural Gas Box Out Investments In Advanced Coal And Nuclear Energy? – Forbes

Natural gas is flowing inexorably into the power system and helping to increase the national competitiveness. But the concern going forward is whether the United States will develop an over reliance on it and by extension, whether it is shortsighted to “ignore” advanced coal or nuclear technologies. That was a key topic of discussion at Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine’s conference in Scottsdale, Arizona last week, which zeroed in on the emerging technologies such as rooftop solar panels and energy storage. But while those technologies hold a lot of promise, the need remains for base-load generation that is reliable and that can run-around-the-clock. – Read More

*In 2014 U.S. Crude Reserves Exceed 39 Billion Barrels for the First Time in 42 Years – Oil & Gas 360®

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced today that 2014 was the fourth-highest year on record for crude oil reserves as the United States added 3.4 billion barrels of crude oil and lease condensate to its proved reserves. U.S. total crude oil and lease condensate reserves at year-end 2014 now stand at 39.9 billion barrels, an increase of 9.3% over year-end 2013 reserves. The increases to the U.S. crude reserves is the first time since 1972 that the country’s reserves have exceeded 39 billion barrels, according to the EIA. The majority of the increases came from Texas in 2014, with the state reporting 2.1 billion barrels of increased proved reserves, about 62% of the total increases. – Read More

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