Ernest's Feed
Mar 27, 2015

Hi-tech and Big Data offer hope to battered U.S. oil industry

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – The tech geeks are coming to the oil industry’s rescue.

With the price of crude plumbing lows not seen since 2009, Royal Dutch Shell, Whiting Petroleum Corp and many others are turning to rocket fuel, Big Data, lasers, spectrometers and other new or revamped technologies to do more for less.

Mar 25, 2015

As oil prices slide, North Dakota sees manufacturing in its future

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Business and community leaders in North Dakota’s western oil patch have launched an aggressive campaign to convince more manufacturers to set up shop locally, part of a push to expand the area’s economy beyond crude production and slash costs.

The effort, which was launched on Wednesday at a conference in Williston, capital of the state’s oil industry, comes as crude prices have plunged more than 60 percent since last summer, threatening the economy of a region overly reliant on one industry – pumping of oil out the ground.

Mar 23, 2015

Whiting Petroleum to offer 35 mln shares to reduce debt

, March 23 (Reuters) – Whiting Petroleum Corp
, the largest North Dakota oil producer, said on Monday
it would sell 35 million shares of common stock to help pare
debt from its December buyout of rival Kodiak Oil & Gas.

The offering, as well as a $1.75 billion debt issuance, may
signal the company is not seeking to sell itself outright, as
the cost of an acquisition would rise exorbitantly.

Mar 19, 2015

Continental Resources adds to oil acreage at North Dakota auction

, March 19 (Reuters) – Continental Resources
Inc, the second-largest North Dakota oil producer, spent
$2.3 million at a state land auction for the right to explore
for crude on 160 acres, outbidding its nearest rival with just
seconds left on the clock.

The deal, secured this week with a check to state officials,
shows that despite the more-than 60 percent drop in crude prices
since last summer, demand for oil-rich acreage in the
state remains high. With most of its mineral rights spoken for,
any new auctions tend to elicit strong interest, usually from
smaller companies hoping for a sliver of North Dakota’s Bakken
shale formation.

Mar 19, 2015

Coming too late to North Dakota’s oil party

, March 19 (Reuters) – Like so many before
them, Terra Green and Jeff Williamson came to North Dakota’s oil
country seeking a better life.

They just came too late.

Itinerant, unskilled workers could as recently as last
spring show up in the No. 2 U.S. oil producing state and vie for
salaries north of $100,000 per year with guaranteed housing.
Halliburton Co, CalFrac Well Services Ltd and
others needed brute labor to help coax oil from the state’s
Bakken oil formation, considered one of the largest in the
world.

Mar 18, 2015

U.S. shale oil firms brace for more pain as crude resumes slide

By Anna Driver and Ernest Scheyder

HOUSTON/WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – With the prospect of another plunge in crude prices CLc1LCOc1 looming after two months of stability, U.S. shale oil producers may face another round of spending cuts to conserve cash and survive the downturn.

A deeper retrenchment would have far-reaching effects.

Additional cutbacks would further gut the already-hemorrhaging oilfield services industry and may heighten expectations for a steeper drop in U.S. crude output later this year.

Mar 13, 2015

Whiting aims to sell assets as alternative to full sale – sources

By Mike Stone and Ernest Scheyder

NEW YORK/WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Whiting Petroleum Corp (WLL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), North Dakota’s largest oil producer, has put Texas acreage and pipeline assets up for sale as an alternative to a sale of the full company, according to sources familiar with the matter.

This strategy could appease investors outraged by the possibility of any outright sale. It would dispose of assets not central to the core shale operations and generate cash for the company’s balance sheet, engulfed by more than $3 billion in debt after December’s buyout of smaller rival Kodiak Oil & Gas.

Mar 12, 2015

North Dakota’s job landscape shifting (for now) away from Big Oil

, March 12 (Reuters) – Halliburton Co
, Schlumberger NV and other large energy
companies were conspicuously absent from a major North Dakota
job fair this week, a telling sign as employers in the No. 2
U.S. oil-producing state grapple with sliding crude prices
.

Instead of roustabouts, the state’s oil industry wants pump
technicians, gas-processing plant operators and truck drivers to
help sustain existing production of 1.2 million barrels of oil
per day – not to necessarily grow production.

Mar 10, 2015

Chevron to boost asset sales as sticks by outlook amid cheap oil

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Chevron Corp (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) boosted its asset sales plans by 50 percent to $15 billion by 2017 and trimmed spending to generate more cash as the second-largest U.S. oil company reaffirmed plans to raise production 20 percent despite a plunge in crude prices.

The company also stressed its dividend will continue to grow, executives said as part of a presentation on Tuesday designed to show Wall Street that Chevron can thrive despite a more-than 50 percent drop in oil prices CLc1 LCOc1 since last June.

Mar 7, 2015

Whiting reported to be seeking buyer, but source says not aware

, March 6 (Reuters) – Whiting Petroleum Corp
, North Dakota’s largest oil producer, is seeking a
possible buyer, according to the Wall Street Journal, but a
person familiar with the board’s thinking told Reuters he was
not aware of any such plan.

The Denver-based company began seeking a buyer after
tumbling crude oil prices eroded its market value, the
Journal reported earlier on Friday, citing people familiar with
the matter.