Tag Archives: #TexasOilProduction

20 Billion Barrels Of Oil North Of Midland Says USGS

wolfcamp-03-jpg-scale-largeThe Wolfcamp Is Largest US Shale Play

Introduction...The Wolfcamp Shale Formation is the largest continuous oil that the USGS has ever assessed in the United States.  Many are calling this discovery just north of Midland and west of Abiliene ‘world class.’

“The Wolfcamp could possibly become the largest oil and gas discovery in the world,” said Scott Sheffield, chief executive officer, Pioneer Natural Resources Co.

The operator is the largest acreage holder in the Spraberry/Wolfcamp field with about 900,000 gross acres (730,000 net acres), the majority of which could be prospective for the horizontal Wolfcamp shale.

Based on Pioneer’s extensive geologic database, petrophysical analysis, and successful drilling results to date, there is significant horizontal Wolfcamp shale resource potential in this acreage.

A vast resource...”The Wolfcamp is interesting because it’s been out there,” said J. Ross Craft, chief executive officer, Approach Resources Inc. Since the onset of Permian development in the early 1920s, operators have drilled through this formation. “Early in my career, we knew the Wolfcamp as a nonproductive shale that would put oil in the pits every once in a while,” Craft said. “That was about it.”

Today, Approach Resources holds 170,000 gross acres (mostly contiguous) in the Permian basin with a reported production of 8.4 MMboe/d as of the first quarter of 2013. In 2012, then company held 95.5 MMboe of proved reserves, with 69% represented by oil and natural gas liquids. “When we first started the company in 2006, we had a $5 million commitment, 0 acres, and 0 reserves,” Craft said.

Both Pioneer and Approach Resources tout Wolfcamp potential as a boon for the industry. According to Sheffield, Pioneer’s Eagle Ford success has provided a smooth transfer into the Wolfcamp. “When comparing phases of development, we see the Wolfcamp trending higher than the Eagle Ford based on activity and production,” he said.

According to Sheffield, the company will test 13 zones within the next 3 years. Sheffield noted that recoverable reserves were based solely on the Wolfcamp A, B, and D shelves and the Jo Mill formation. The potential is enormous, and “more reserves are yet to be discovered,” Sheffield said.

Pioneer combines its Spraberry/Wolfcamp acreage. It operates on the northern end of the play, which is said to contain an estimated 3,500-4,000 ft of shales, which translates to nearly 3 to 4 million acres when considered in 3D space as opposed to surface area. “Compare that to the Eagle Ford shale formation, which is about 300 ft thick and the Spraberry/Wolfcamp shale, with its 50 billion boe, begins to dwarf the Eagle Ford and the Bakken with 27 billion boe and 13 billion boe, respectively,” Sheffield said.

Conclusion…The United States is not running out of oil and gas anytime soon as new application of technology is discovering vast resources.

Take away...Some in the oil and gas industry are saying that the produciton costs of thi new shale play make it uneconomical and this is a just a stock price publicity push for Pioneer and Apache.  Time will tell.

References:  USGS Estimates 20 Billion Barrels of Oil in Texas’ Wolfcamp Shale Formation, USGS.gov., November 15, 2016; Permian’s Wolfcamp formation called biggest shale oil field in U.S., Joe Carroll, Bloomberg News, November 15, 2016

Injection Versus Disposal Wells

Saltwater Disposal Well

Straightforward Operation- Saltwater Disposal Wells

Introduction…Due to our current opportunity in acquiring Saltwater disposal Wells, further discussion of the topic is appropriate.  So, what is the difference between injection wells and disposal wells?

Disposal wells may be used to inject mineralized water produced with oil and gas into underground zones for the purpose of safely and efficiently disposing of the fluid. Typically, the underground interval is one that is not productive of oil and gas. In some cases, however, the disposal interval is a productive zone from which oil or natural gas has been produced or is currently produced. In either case, the disposal interval must be sealed above and below by unbroken, impermeable rock layers.

Injection wells inject fluids into a reservoir for the purpose of enhanced oil recovery from the reservoir. The vast majority of wells in Texas are injection wells. Operators use injection wells to increase or maintain pressure in an oil field that has been depleted by oil production and also to displace or sweep more oil toward producing wells. This type of secondary recovery is sometimes referred to as waterflooding.

Why Texas is so great…Texas is the nation’s number one oil and gas producer with more than 294,543 active oil and gas wells statewide according to oil and gas well proration schedules (as of September 2016). Injection and disposal wells are also located throughout the state to improve oil and gas recovery and to safely dispose of the produced water and hydraulic fracturing flowback fluid from oil and gas wells.

Texas has more than 54,700 permitted oil and gas injection and disposal wells with approximately 35,915 currently active as of September 2016. Of these 35,915 active injection and disposal wells, about 7,482 are wells that are used for disposal, the remainder (about 28,433) are injection wells.

Operators requirements...Operators are required to follow the Texas Railroad Commission (Commission) disposal regulations administered by the agency’s Technical Permitting Section – Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program. Underground Injection Control is a program that is federally delegated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Texas, and it follows national guidelines under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act for surface and groundwater protection. EPA awarded the Commission primary enforcement responsibility over oil and gas injection and disposal wells on April 23, 1982.

In conclusion…Disposal wells ( our current focus)  are not terribly complicated as compared to oil and gas exploration and development.  Nevertheless, certrain requirements of the Texas Railroad Commission are required.  The Commission is oneof the first agencies our team contacts during due dilegence on any future saltwater well purchase is the Commission.

Source: “Injection and Disposal Wells,” Texas Railroad Commission, rrc.state.tx.us

The Surprising Discovery Of One Oil Executive

the-surprising-dicovery-of-one-oil-executive

Reporting Bill Moist, MS, CPA

This Surprising Story is about a man I’ve known for many years.  We have worked on several projects together.  So this is a true story.

As with all those in oil & gas development they have:

  • Big discoveries
  • Small discoveries
  • Some that are not productive

So, he started asking how do we have these benefits of O&G in a more stable reliable environment.  What he wanted included the following:

  • Return of capital in months
  • High cash flow
  • Tax benefits of O&G
  • Steady long-term cash flow
  • Residual value in the property
  • Loyal locked in customers
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Not dependent on new oil and gas exploration
  • If regulators get stupid and limit fracking, it is still ok
  • The best of oil & gas development without the downside

What he found is generally not available to purchase because it is a cash cow for those how already own it.  However, some current economic events are creating the availability (for a time) to purchase existing properties at deep discounts.

Click here to watch video The Surprising Discovery…

Also, regulation makes it difficult and slow to develop new properties which restricts supply.

So, who is this mysterious oil and gas executive who discovered a better more stable way to participate?

What did he discover?

Email or text me your contact information and I’d be happy to share more on a private basis.

This has been Bill Moist, MS, CPA reporting today The Surprising Discovery Of One Oil Executive.

Recovery For Texas Energy

740_energy_oil_and_gas_image_7914 West Texas Oil Boom

In the midst of the shale boom in 2013, Texas added more than 19,000 new jobs in the oil and gas production sector, leading the U.S. job increase in the industry by a wide margin. But back then, global oil prices were stable all year around at US$100 and slightly more.

Crude prices have crashed since 2014—now barely clinging on to above US$50—effectively stagnating drilling activity and oil jobs growth.

Texas, for its part, has shed over 91,000 jobs in oil and gas industry since the end of 2014, with the Houston area economy on the cusp of a recession, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal.

The Dallas Fed has said that signs of recovery have emerged in the U.S. oil market, most notably in the Permian. The Dallas Fed also noted that Texas’s oil and gas employment increased in August—a first since 2014—suggesting that the worst of the energy crisis may be over.

“Increased activity in the Permian Basin and elsewhere has affected employment in the Texas mining sector, which rose slightly in August—its first increase since late 2014,” the Fed statement said.

The Dallas Fed issued probably the most bullish comment on the Texas oil economy so far this year, when Fed economist Pia Orrenius said that encouraging employment growth in Texas suggests that “the worst of the energy crisis may be over”.

In summary...So the latest numbers show that Texas has been overcoming this energy downturn – as it has done with many other lows – to continue to be the mainstay for America’s superpower status.

Reference:  Tsvetama Paraskova, October 14, 2016, Texas Is Making An Energy Recover, OilPrice, OilPrice.com

New Shale Boom On Horizon?

w-texas-oil-boom Oil Shale Boom?

OPEC surprised the markets when for the first time in eight years’ oil production limits will be put in place at its November meeting. The September 29th announcement from OPEC sent markets up by almost $3 per barrel.   The rally continued with the WTI week closing at $48.24.

Hundreds of oil and gas bankruptcies are an ugly background for recent predictions for continued records inventory levels.

The projected changes would be caused by an unprecedented agreement between arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.

In its announcement, OPEC stated:

“In the last two years, the global oil market has witnessed many challenges, originating mainly from the supply side. As a result, prices have more than halved, while volatility has increased. Oil-exporting countries’ and oil companies’ revenues have dramatically declined, putting strains on their fiscal position and hindering their economic growth. The oil industry faced deep cuts in investment and massive layoffs, leading to a potential risk that oil supply may not meet demand in the future, with a detrimental effect on security of supply.”

“The Conference opted for an OPEC-14 production target ranging between 32.5 and 33.0 mb/d, in order to accelerate the ongoing drawdown of the stock overhang and bring the rebalancing forward.”

“What we are looking at here at the very least is a freeze,” Paul Sankey host of the conference call said. “We were looking for more OPEC production growth but now we no longer think so.”

Why did OPEC do it?

“With weaker demand predicted through 2017 they could see a rough market coming,” the analyst theorized. “Being a cartel the economics were overpowering: a 10 percent cut could give as much as a 30 percent rise in oil prices.

In conclusion...If a 30% oil price rise is realized, then oil shale could boom again.

Reference:  September 30, 2016, Will The OPEC Deal Lead To A New Shale Boom? Oil & Gas 360, www.oilandgas360.com

Amazing West Texas Oil And Gas Discovery

alpine-highAlpine High Oil & Gas Discovery

Introduction…Houston’s Apache Corporation has done the unexpected.  It has made an amazing oil discovery in an area that no one expected.  While much of the West Texas Permian Basin region commands $20,000 per acre,  Apache’s Alpine High was purchased for just $1,300 an acre. This acreage is undeveloped and has no infrastructure.  This contrasts to much of the Permian Basin that is very popular with drillers because it is so well developed.

Most amazing disovery  in decades…Thanks to this major find though, Apache has a lock on what could be one of the most exciting finds in decades.  How exciting you ask?  Apache said it’s accumulated more than 307,000 acres and drilled 19 wells in Alpine High, a small part of the sweeping and energy-rich Permian Basin of Texas.

Further, Apache Corp. believes there could be 3 billion barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in what it calls Alpine High.  The reserves could be worth from $8 billion up to $80 billion by some estimates.

The company has begun drilling in the area for two years and says the early wells, which produce more natural gas than oil, are capable of providing at least a 30% profit margin at today’s prices, including all costs associated with drilling. Some are so prolific that they can break even at a price of 10 cents per million British thermal units, according to the company. Natural gas futures closed last Tuesday at $2.72.

Why does this discovery change the landscape? Apache’s recent oil find highlights what could be a new phase in fracking. To date, fracking in the U.S. had really been all about taking explored basins and drilling new wells to get at previously untapped resources. That strategy worked well when oil prices were more than $80 a barrel. At today’s prices though, drilling the old style rigs in mostly depleted fields to get at residual layers of black gold is a money losing strategy. Apache’s find shows that money can be made by taking risks and looking for major new finds in areas that had been passed over previously.

In conclusion…Apache Corporation has struck a world-class oil and gas discovery in a region that no one expected.  This clay-ridden region of the Permian Basin was believed to have little value.  The company has increased it’s 2016 capital spending by $200 million to a full-year capital of approximately $2 billion.

Sources: Michael McDonald, September 15, 2016, Why Apache’s Latest Oil Find Is Such A Game Changer, OilPrice, OilPrice.com; David Koenig, September 7, 2016, Apache may have struck big in West Texas, PowerSource, http://powersource.post-gazette.com

The Oil Glut is Over

Oil Glut Is Over

The Oil Glut is Over So says the world’s most powerful oil man.  The newly appointed Saudi Oil Minister Kalid Al-Falih declared the oil glut over at the Saudi Armco facilities in Houston, Texas last week.

Speaking to the Houston Chronicle about the oil crisis the and the supply glut, Al-Falih said, “We are out of it,” and noted that we would continue to see gradual upward movement in the price of oil.

The oversupply has disappeared. We just have to carry the overhang of inventory for a while until the system works it out,” the oil minister was quoted as saying.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) last week reported a 900,000 barrel draw on U.S. crude inventories, but that still leaves a 530.6-million-barrel stockpile that will take some time to chip away at, according to the Saudi oil minister.

“The question now is how fast you will work off the global inventory overhang. That will remain to put a cap on the rate at which oil prices recover. We just have to wait for the second half of the year and next year to see how that works out,” the Minister told the Houston Chronicle.

Al-Falih also noted on the Saudi Aramco website that due to the Saudi kingdom’s “strategic importance” it will “be expected to balance supply and demand once market conditions recover.”  As reported by Charles Kenedy of Oilprice.com.

In Conclusion…Saudi Arabia was unwilling to reduce oil production when the price colapsed  November 2014.  However, the law of supply and demand has worked to reduce supply and increase demand.  It appears that the Saudi’s impact on oil pricing is on the wane.  Nevertheless, Al-Falih recent comments may give some reason to hope for better days to come in the oil patch.

Where Is U.S. Exporting Oil?

Export Tanker Crude Leaving The U.S.

It has only been three months since the U.S. lifted a 40-year ban on oil exports.  So, it may be surprising that American crude is flowing to virtually every corner of the market and remaking the world’s energy map.

Overseas sales, which started on December 31 with a small cargo aboard the Theo T tanker have been picking up speed.  Exxon Mobil, China Petroleum, and Chemical Corp have joined independent traders Vitol Group and Trafigura in exporting American crude.

“The flurry of export activity is helping support spot oil prices in the U.S. relative to contracts for later delivery,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects, Ltd in London.

American stockpiles are at unprecedented levels, so oil takers laden with U.S. crude have docked in, or are headed to France, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel, China, and Panama.  Oil traders said other destinations are likely.

One reason behind the rise in exports is cheap pipeline and railway fees to move crude from the fields in Texas, Oklahoma, and North Dakota into the ports of the U.S.  Another reason is that the U.S. prices have been trading at a discount to Brent crude, allowing traders to move oil from one shore of the Atlantic to another at a profit.

Source: “The U.S. Is Exporting Its Oil Everywhere, Javier Blas, BloombergBusiness, March 17, 2016

First Tanker Of U.S. Crude Leaves Corpus Christi

Oil Tanker Leaves Port Corpus Christi Foreign-bound oil is first since 40-year ban recently lifted.

ConocoPhilips Co. and NuStar Energy, LP loaded the tanker pumped from the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas.  Vitol Group, Dutch oil-trading company, is buying the oil according to NuStar.

The legislation lifting the 40-year ban was signed two weeks ago.

Whether lifting the ban will help or hurt oil pricing is to be seen. But, from a foreign policy point of view it seems that the United States should help its friends when they have a shortage of oil due to unforeseen tragedies.  After all, when Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast and curtained oil production, the United States had to rely on foreign oil imports.

OPEC has used crude oil as a tool to hurt the United States during the 1973 Opec Oil Embargo.  Why shouldn’t we use it as a tool to help those countries who support democracy and free enterprise?

There was one unanticipated country who apposed lifting of the crude oil export ban…that was Canada.  They were counting on the Keystone Pipeline through the United States to create new markets for its crude oil from its oil sands. Well there is always someone unhappy with any political  decision.

Oil Markets Remain Oversupplied

Let’s look at  last week’s key figures for the oil & gas industry.  U.S. oil production is slightly up, whereas oil futures have been trading lower. Gasoline prices continue their trend downwards.

Friday, December 6, 2015 WTI closed at $39.97, down $1.11 for the week.

U.S. Oil Production

Friday OPEC’s meeting in Vienna did not give oil markets any relief. There was little expectation of an agreement on production cuts, despite the majority of OPEC members pleading with Saudi Arabia to reverse course and cut back the cartel’s output target level, which stood at 30 million barrels per day (mb/d) heading into the meeting.

In summary, here we are a year after Saudi Arabia decided to keep market share rather than cutting production to support pricing.  That decision combined with the U.S. shale industry keeping production levels up has precipitated in a nearly 50% drop in oil prices from a year ago.

Source: OPEC Won’t Cut, Markets Remain Oversupplied, OilPrice.com by Evan Kelly, December 4, 2015