Ernest's Feed
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.

Mar 5, 2015

FBI to open field office in North Dakota’s oil capital

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – The FBI said on Thursday it will open a field office in Williston, North Dakota, capital of the state’s oil patch and an area grappling with a rise in drug use and sex trafficking.

At least two agents from the FBI, the national law enforcement agency, will have jurisdiction over western North Dakota’s oil counties, where the population has spiked due to the development of the Bakken shale formation, one of the world’s largest reserves of crude.

Mar 3, 2015

Clock ticks toward North Dakota reaping up to $5.3 billion oil tax break

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – The clock is still ticking on a potential $5.3 billion, two-year tax break for North Dakota’s oil industry after a state-calculated average of February’s crude price fell below $52.59 per barrel last month.

The state waives its 6.5 percent oil extraction tax if the monthly price of benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude at the Cushing, Oklahoma, transport hub falls below an inflation-adjusted limit, set at $52.59 per barrel for 2015, for five consecutive months.

Mar 2, 2015

Reality hits North Dakota’s pricey apartment market; rents drop

, March 2 (Reuters) – It is getting cheaper
to rent an apartment in North Dakota’s oil patch.

Prices, which only last year rivaled levels in New York City
and Geneva, have slipped about 15 to 20 percent in the past two
months as dozens of new apartment buildings opened in Williston,
Watford City and other oil hub cities.

Feb 26, 2015

Whiting shares tumble on plans to keep fracking despite cheap oil

, Feb 26 (Reuters) – North Dakota’s largest
oil producer, Whiting Petroleum Corp, struck a confident
tone for 2015 on Thursday, saying it will hydraulically fracture
all wells it drills even as peers scale back, but its bold
tactic prompted a sharp drop in its share price.

Executives said they were sure that the company can still
make a profit with oil prices around $50 per barrel

Feb 25, 2015

North Dakota senator to push again for clean coal legislation

, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Senator Heidi Heitkamp
of North Dakota will re-introduce legislation on Thursday
designed to encourage the development of clean coal technologies
that could keep the fuel a key source of American power

The bill, which is likely to be popular in the
Republican-controlled U.S. Senate but face opposition from the
White House, would offer financial incentives for utilities to
develop carbon storage programs and build out the market to sell
carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery.