Posts Tagged ‘shale’

Low oil prices are painful, but volatility is insult to injury

As if the recent oil price dive to the lowest level in six years wasn’t enough to keep industry nerves on edge, the current price volatility is proving just as hostile to producers as sliding margins.

After bottoming out in late January at $45/b, NYMEX crude had recovered to $60/b by May, in a correction now widely seen as premature as it was overcooked. Bears pointed to the stubborn and growing glut of global oil supply hanging over the market.

If the rebound was quick, the subsequent fall has been just as dramatic and the double-dip in oil prices has been more severe than many predicted.

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Ineos sends Europe a fracking message about gas; next stop, upstream

As the champagne bottles smashed into the side of the two newly-built ships that in November will bring the first cargo of US shale gas into Europe, billionaire chairman of Ineos Jim Ratcliffe sent a clear message to European lawmakers whose energy policies have stalled his plans to frack for gas in Europe.

Emblazoned down the side of the two freshly-named vessels — the Ineos Insight and Ineos Ingenuity — were the words “Shale Gas for Manufacturing” and “Shale Gas for Chemicals.”

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The conundrum of North Dakota’s oil output: At the Wellhead

North Dakota made headlines recently with its crude oil production numbers for May, which surprised many and left some scratching their heads. Brian Scheid looks into what drove the production, and what it means for future production, in this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead.

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The changing dynamics of global benzene supply

Benzene is a primary aromatic and the precursor for the C6 value chain, and finds itself at crossroads in relation to the aromatics main outlet of supply. Benzene supply is traditionally dependent on gasoline production out of the refinery and as a co-product of naphtha cracking.

However, massive projections for increased polyethylene terephthalate demand in Asia led to a wave of investments in paraxylene production units and resulted in growth of benzene production as a by-product from these units. Also, with major refinery expansions in the Middle East (especially processing heavier crude, which yields more benzene) and Asia, as well as move to lighter cracking for ethylene production in the US and the Middle East, benzene supply dynamics globally have changed. Benzene is no longer just dictated by the traditional means of supply.

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North American oil production flush with increasing efficiencies: New Frontier

The US and Canada aren’t slowing oil production, as many predicted when it appeared oil prices were settling into a lower pattern for an extended time period. Efficiencies, which fostered the growth of tight oil production, have continued to protect margins, as Benjamin Morse and Starr Spencer explain in this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontier.

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Financing ‘frack addicts’ and shale producers in the US: Petrodollars

Robert Perkins examines the delicate balance act of financing shale oil production in the US in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

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The alphabet soup of oil patch recovery

The oil industry has always had buzz words and unique verbal shorthand. Remember the “Year of the MLP” (2007) and “Drill, Baby, Drill” (2008)?

During the last down cycle in 2008-2009, oil executives debated whether the recovery – when it came – would be “V”-shaped or “U”-shaped. That is, a relatively rapid bottoming of oil prices in the former instance, followed by a fairly quick rebound – or, alternatively, a steep falloff of oil prices, a plateau as the market got its bearings and settled out, and then a fairly rapid climb back up the price ladder.

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Quantifying the oversupply of US natural gas

This time a year ago, the United States produced about 66 Bcf/d of natural gas and the national average price of next-day delivered natural gas was $4.59/MMBtu. Today, the US is producing roughly 72 Bcf/d of natural gas and the average national price of next-day delivered gas, as of April 13, was $2.35/MMBtu. It is safe to say that we are in an environment of depressed prices and surplus supply.

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A shale gas wealth fund for northern England, but what about the south?

The UK’s Conservative party, running neck-to-neck in the polls with the Labour party ahead of the country’s May 7 general election, has released its 2015 manifesto. Among the commitments is a pledge to establish a shale gas wealth fund for the north of England.

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Petrodollars: Chinese investors second-guess Canadian oil projects

The trans-Pacific partnership of China and Canada promises to diversify product access for one of the biggest oil consumers in the world, but it also comes with problems, as Ashok Dutta explains in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

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