Archive for the ‘exploration’ Category

Australian Wolf stalks Mongolian oil opportunities

Mongolia might not be the first place that springs to mind as a potential investment destination for oil and gas players, but one small Australian company is hoping the recent passing of a new petroleum law will open up opportunities in the landlocked nation between Russia and China.

Wolf Petroleum is the only Australia-listed oil and gas company operating in Mongolia. But the industry minnow, capitalized at just A$5.5 million ($5.2 million), claims a position as Mongolia’s largest petroleum acreage holder, with one production block and two exploration areas covering more than 74,400 sq km (18,000 million acres).

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Gas Daily: Colorado’s anti-fracking ballot initiative fizzles out…for now

After some local areas of Colorado last year passed fracking bans of dubious legality — that sort of thing is generally the responsibility of the state, not a city or town — there arose a clamor for an initiative that would give localities that power. It was seen as a way to severerly limit fracking throughout the state.

It was such a hot-button issue that Democrats in the state were concerned that the issue could create rifts in the party. But all that fretting was for naught; the issue won’t be on the ballot in November.

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New Frontiers: Looking at the oil prospects in the Delaware Basin

In another look at a highly prospective formation in the US, Starr Spencer reviews the outlook for the Delaware formation, part of the Permian basin, in this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers.

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“Mini-trends” increasingly common in the oil industry

In the talk about oil cycle phases, one pattern that has emerged in recent years is the appearance of “mini-trends” within the industry that are often at odds with what is happening in the larger market.

As a result, data is growing increasingly complex, and even single data sets contain a “story-behind-the-story” which often makes more complete interpretations necessary and keeps journalists and researchers busy “Deciphering It All.”

Case in point — one of many — is the offshore industry which is undergoing a slump in dayrates, particularly for deep- and ultra-deep waters, while the onshore sector — which at least in the US and increasingly overseas now consists of unconventional drilling — churns ever-higher amid what is generally agreed to be a larger, unprecedented boom.

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Pertamina CEO finds ways around the Indonesian government

The CEO of Indonesia’s state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina Karen Agustiawan seems to have it sorted out: If Pertamina is to succeed, it must do so “despite” the government.

During my trip to Jakarta last month, where I was attending the Indonesian Petroleum Association’s annual oil and gas conference, I heard many executives talk about the hurdles they face in doing business in Indonesia. Too much bureaucracy, too many permits and an unattractive fiscal regime were the most commonly cited issues.

All of them expressed frustration, but none as candidly and openly from the dais as Agustiawan.

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A city in the heart of the Marcellus and its tortoise-like economic growth rate

IHS Global Insight teamed up with the US Conference of Mayors to produce a report looking back at the growth rates of US metropolitan areas. It also looks forward to 2020 and projects growth rates through that year.

Sitting at the top of the forward-looking list is Midland, Texas. Anybody familiar with the oil industry doesn’t need an explanation why the Midland-Odessa area is at the top of the heap. The production explosion in the Permian Basin has made it a boomtown once again.

The report projects annual average economic growth of 5.8% through 2020. That’s a full point better than Greeley, Colorado, which is in second place. And Greeley isn’t far from the Niobrara formation in that state.

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New Frontiers: Atlantic coast of Canada gets new oil exploration attention

There’s been some oil production off the east coast of Canada for many years. But the region is getting new attention, as Ashok Dutta reviews in this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers.

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At the Wellhead: Ukraine’s civil strife has a shale angle

In so many of the world’s hot spots, now and in the past, hydrocarbons have played a big role or at the very least, a secondary one. In this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead, Ukraine correspondent Alexander Bor looks at the country’s shale gas prospects in light of the turmoil there.

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Marrying the sun and upstream oil production to cash in on LCFS credits

All along, the backers of the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard have claimed that the standard, by not being top-down, is going to spur innovation in helping sellers of transportation fuels reach the state’s goals.

And sometimes, they’re proven right. For example, we blogged awhile ago about a plan to turn landfill gas produced somewhere other than in California into two things: natural gas vehicle fuel, and LCFS credits.

It’s hard to imagine how these little things are going to add up enough to help the state’s fuels industry reach its ambitious goal of a 10% cut in the carbon intensity of its transportation fuels. But it does support the suggestion that some companies or individuals will get creative and capitalize on LCFS processes in various ways.

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Japan enters a new stage of shale oil drilling

At 10:50 am on May 23, a drilling pipe was gradually and quietly spinning downward and reaching a depth of around 25 meters when I got on the platform of a 50-meter high drilling rig in search of shale oil.

The scene like this may not be too unusual in Texas but this was happening in Akita, about 600 km north of Tokyo. That’s where Japan Petroleum Exploration started its horizontal drilling project just 80 minutes prior to my arrival on the platform.

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