The Niobrara Shale is often overlooked when discussing the most prolific plays in the Rockies, but it's actually become a significant producer of both oil and natural gas. Major producers, including Anadarko Petroleum and Noble Energy, are actively targeting the Niobrara, and they believe they may just be scratching the surface of its overall potential.
Reports indicate that LyondellBasell Industries is exploring the potential sale of its Houston refinery. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been retained by the company to assist with a possible deal, and at least four potential buyers have expressed interest thus far.
The $2 billion joint venture acquisition of a minority interest in the Bakken Pipeline System between Enbridge Energy and Marathon Petroleum will provide both companies with quicker access to North Dakota oil production. The deal will allow them to transport oil from North Dakota to refineries in Texas once the system comes online by the end of 2016.
Adding digital technologies to oil and natural gas industry processes could cut capital expenditures by up to 20%, according to researchers at McKinsey & Co. Reduced operating costs, advanced operations, and better performance were also cited as outcomes of this "second digital age."
Reports indicate that Sanchez Energy is soliciting buyers for about 25,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford Shale region in south Texas. Sanchez is said to be raising cash to further develop its best prospects, including a lucrative patch of the Eagle Ford known as the Catarina.
Representatives from oil and natural gas companies including MDS Energy and Snyder Brothers gathered at a Pennsylvania legislative hearing to discuss how new regulations are affecting their industry. Among the topics discussed were how the industry and government can work together on permit tracking and the need to regulate conventional and unconventional drilling separately.
Executives at the Gulf Coast Industry Forum have pointed out that the Port of Houston is the only major US port to export more than it imports, and that the region continues to increase exports of almost every type of product derived from shale oil and natural gas. "I believe we're in a significant position to capture new business," said Port of Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther.
The Texas Railroad Commission has ruled in favor of Eastman Chemical in a 3-year-old pipeline dispute with Westlake Chemical. At issue was the cost of shipping ethylene, and whether Westlake was able to charge a free-market rate for the use of its Texas pipeline.
The Energy Information Administration says that crude and gasoline inventories unexpectedly rose last week despite a reduction in output from refineries, which prompted oil futures to drop. "The report is bearish, especially relative to expectations, led by the rise in crude oil inventories that was due to the refinery utilization declines and large rise in imports," said Again Capital partner John Kilduff.
Swiss trader Mercuria Energy Group has exported roughly 400,000 barrels of crude from small US producers. The load consisted primarily of shale oil from North Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado, and eventually made its way to Africa through a multi-step transport process.
- Page 1