Thanks to its lower-carbon footprint compared with natural gas, hydrogen could provide an opportunity for oil and gas companies to accelerate their transition to a greener future as well as help them compete with renewables. Equinor and Royal Dutch Shell are among the oil majors actively exploring ways to convert gas into hydrogen and use it to fuel power plants, heat dwellings and other applications.
Private equity firm Apollo Global Management is reportedly may purchase the debt of troubled driller Sanchez Energy and assume control of the company. Sanchez, burdened with $2.4 billion in debt, is working to develop a restructuring plan, but a bankruptcy filing is not off the table either.
Oil producers in the central US need oil prices to average $66 per barrel in order to expand operations significantly, up from $63 per barrel six months ago, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Tenth District Energy Survey. Activity in the region increased slightly during the second quarter, but expectations for future expansion and business conditions fell.
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., announced Monday that the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management will move its headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Grand Junction, Colo. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis endorsed the move, saying, "Grand Junction is the perfect location for the BLM because of community support, (its) location closer to the land BLM manages and the positive impact it will have on our western Colorado economy."
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to mark up the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reauthorization and 10 other energy-related measures tomorrow. Another seeks to set physical and cybersecurity guidelines for pipelines.
Callon Petroleum has agreed to take over Carrizo Oil & Gas in a deal worth $3.2 billion, including $1.71 billion of debt, to increase its footprint in the Permian Basin and the Eagle Ford Shale. "The deal highlights the importance of scale needed to meet investor demands," wrote Neal Dingmann, an analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
The Energy Information Administration projects that US shale oil production will increase by 49,000 barrels per day in August and reach a total of just under 8.55 million bpd. More than two-thirds of the additional supply is expected to come from the Permian Basin.
Persistent issues such as infrastructure bottlenecks, expensive acreage, well interference and low prices are taking a toll on Permian Basin producers' profitability and growth plans, forcing many of them to outspend their cash flows just to maintain production levels. Smaller drillers are the most affected, but larger producers haven't been spared either, with some producers shedding up to 59% of their market value in the past 12 months.
Energy Information Administration data show that the US inventory of drilled but uncompleted oil wells declined by 41 to 8,248 in June after hitting a record 8,315 in February, as investors pressure producers to rein in spending. However, the backlog of drilled-but-uncompleted wells rose by 42 in the Permian Basin.
The North Dakota Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that natural gas companies should pay their royalties and not make deductions for post-production costs. North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness expressed disappointment with the court decision, saying, "Requiring an oil company to pay royalties on the end price of their product is like taxing a farmer on the price of bread rather than the price of wheat."
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