Companies drilling for oil in active US shale fields have seen their break-even costs drop 6% on average in the past year to about $46 per barrel in the Permian Basin, $47 per barrel in Oklahoma's SCOOP and STACK and $48 per barrel in the Eagle Ford Shale, according to a Dallas Fed survey of 150 oil producers and service companies. Half of the oil producers reported an improved business outlook for the next six months, and executives said they expect oil prices to increase to $53.49 per barrel on average by the end of 2017.
The Interior Department will establish a new advisory committee tasked with reviewing royalty rates collected from oil, natural gas and other resources produced on public land and determining whether taxpayers are getting a fair deal. The review will be conducted over the next two years, after which the committee could propose a number of changes to address certain issues.
Oilfield service firm Rockwater Energy Solutions has acquired Crescent Companies for $207 million from private equity firm White Deer Energy in a move that will form a leading water management services company focused on shale plays across the US and Western Canada.
US crude stockpiles surged by 900,000 barrels to a record of 534 million barrels in the week ended Friday, but the gains were offset by a 3.7 million-barrel plunge in gasoline supplies, the Energy Information Administration reported. Meanwhile, distillate inventories dropped by 2.5 million barrels.
Oil drillers in North Dakota's Bakken Shale expect the Dakota Access Pipeline to boost oil production in the region, with the industry also saving at least $540 million in annual shipping costs. Hess predicted 10% growth in its Bakken production, while Oasis Petroleum sees its output increasing by over 30% in 2017.
The Trump administration on Tuesday filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking it to delay ruling on lawsuits over the Clean Power Plan. "Because the rule is under agency review and may be significantly modified or rescinded through further rulemaking in accordance with the executive order, holding this case in abeyance is the most efficient and logical course of action here," the Justice Department said in the motion.
Wall Street traders' relative strength index technique for buying and selling stock also can be used to measure "slow slip" movements in tectonic plates, a University of Washington study says. The study, which used the technique with a single GPS station's observations, recorded slow slips along the Cascadia fault and found the estimated size and duration of the slips matched results from in-depth reviews of the fault.
Italian oil and natural gas company Eni says its oil discovery about 6 kilometers off the coast of Mexico contains more than the company's previous oil estimate of 800 million barrels. "This is an important find and we've found new layers of good light oil that make us think there's more," CEO Claudio Descalzi said of the discovery, which is close to installations owned by Mexican oil company Pemex.
Russia says it still has an interest in looking for oil in its Arctic areas even though high development costs are forcing most companies to wait for oil prices to go above $75 per barrel. "Like most experts, I am sure the unique deposits, playing key roles in the global balance of reserves, are bound to be opened exactly there," said Sergei Donskoi, Russian minister of Natural Resources.
Instead of paying as much as $60,000 per acre in the Permian Basin, shale drillers such as Parsley Energy, Double Eagle Energy Permian and Pioneer Natural Resources are rushing to trade land with competitors in win-win deals that allow them to drill longer laterals while preserving the value of their acreage. Double Eagle co-founder and co-CEO John Sellers said land, not money, is the real currency in the Permian, adding that "you have to have acreage they need as much as you need acreage from them."
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