Exclusives

DUG East, conference, Marcellus, Utica, shale, Tom Petrie, Petrie Partners

Multiple political and military trends, along with the rise in U.S. crude oil and natural gas production, are occurring at the same time. And that makes for an uneasy situation, Tom Petrie says.

Proactive approaches will set shale players up for long-term success.

Understanding drainage volume and improved permeability of stimulated rock is essential to forecasting production, according to MicroSeismic Inc.

Production trends, dependence on oil taxation, legal constraints and whether existing fiscal terms make projects uneconomic are among the factors countries will consider, according to an energy consultancy.

The industry faces serious challenges. Yet, engineers say the hurdles can be cleared with a more unified effort.

Deepwater International

According to WoodMac, its analysis of 2,222 oil fields suggests that if Brent crude falls to US $40/barrel, which is entirely possible, 1.6% of global oil supply could turn cash negative on an operating cost basis. 

At PETEX 2014, Richard Herbert, COO, Exploration at BP, highlighted a number of global trends in exploration that he believes will be factors as energy demand continues on its ongoing growth curve. 

Exploration

Apache Energy Ltd., the Australian subsidiary, was sold to a private-equity fund consortium managed by Macquarie Corporate Holdings Ltd. and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. Proceeds totaled $1.9 billion.

The next energy hot spots make the move to the front burner. 

Eldar Saetre didn’t comment on Statoil’s deals strategy, but speculated more deals will follow Shell’s purchase of BG, Bloomberg said. Sellers’ high valuation expectations are problematic, he said.

Halliburton Co. will separately sell its fixed cutter and roller cone drillbits, directional drilling and LWD/measurement while drilling businesses. It is currently working to acquire Baker Hughes Inc.

Parent of refiner Sinopec Corp. will provide integrated oilfield services worldwide this year, chairman Jiao Fangzheng said. It also seeks an overseas acquisition for technologies, he said, according to Reuters.

Production

The data showing the U.S.’s emergence as the world’s top driller confirms a trend that’s helped the world’s largest economy slash imports, caused a slump in global energy prices and shifted the country’s foreign policy priorities.

The kingdom produced 10.33 million barrels a day (MMbbl/d) in May, an increase of 25,000 barrels from April, according to data the country communicated to OPEC.

Crude output from the prolific tight-rock formations such as North Dakota’s Bakken and Texas’s Eagle Ford shale will shrink 1.3% to 5.58 million barrels a day (MMbbl/d) this month, based on U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates.

Pumping more oil was the goal discussed at the recent OPEC summit. OPEC has pumped above its production quota for months, determined to subdue supply from higher-cost producers, Bloomberg said.

With oil companies around the world cutting investment, U.S. output peaking and prices up, Saudi Arabia’s strategy will be extended at OPEC’s semiannual meeting on June 5, say Societe Generale SA and Bank of America Corp.

Technology

Energy companies have to consider the potential for hackers to damage drilling rigs and power stations. Last year, Anonymous launched “Operation Petrol” and Russia launched “Sandworm,” Bloomberg said.

Carbon dioxide output from burning fossil fuels rose 0.5% from 2014, according to BP’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy. OPEC nations had a larger than average decline, Bloomberg said.

The upstream industry is already inherently risky, but its continued expansion into new areas is exposing it to a wider array of nontechnical issues and threats.

BP Plc, Eni SpA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and BG Group Plc united on climate change policy following discussions about industry’s role in limiting greenhouse gases, Bloomberg said.

There are now three new super-regions, with two in North America--the Permian Region and the Houston Region. Organizational changes will not impact reporting of production in the quarterly supplement.