Ernest's Feed
Jul 29, 2015

U.S. oil firms turn to fracking mixology as crude slides again

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – U.S. oil companies, under renewed pressure from falling crude prices, are increasingly tweaking and mixing fracking technologies as they scramble to squeeze more out of wells and eke out profits after rounds of cost-cutting.

Shale oil firms need the experiments to payoff now more so than before given that oil prices have resumed their slide to trade around $49 per barrel this week from $60 a few months ago.

Jul 24, 2015

North Dakota oil hub defiantly boasts it is ‘last great place’ for growth

, July 24 (Reuters) – With oil prices
falling, you wouldn’t think Williston, North Dakota, was “the
last great place for opportunity,” but that is the slogan the
state’s oil hub has come up with to try to shake off its
economic downturn.

Those lured by that promise will find apartment rents have
begun to plunge in Williston after a 50 percent fall in the
price of oil caused hundreds of layoffs and put off job
seekers in search of the town’s legendary six-figure pay
packets.

Jul 14, 2015

North Dakota Native Americans hint at exiting state oil tax deal

By Ernest Scheyder

NEW TOWN, N.D. (Reuters) – A leading official on a Native American reservation where roughly a third of North Dakota’s oil is extracted has voiced his strongest threat to date to walk away from a tax-sharing deal with the state, ratcheting up energy industry concerns about dueling levy rates and regulations.

If no new agreement can be reached, EOG Resources Inc, Marathon Oil Co and other oil producers on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation may have to pay two tax rates to two governments and potentially meet two sets of regulations, a complex system that could lead them to exit from operations on tribal land.

Jul 11, 2015

North Dakota oil-loading hub lays off 10 percent of staff -source

, July 10 (Reuters) – One of the largest
facilities in North Dakota that loads oil onto railcars laid off
10 percent of its staff this week as it pares operations in an
environment of lower oil prices, a source familiar with
the company’s operations said.

Savage Services Corp laid off 12 full-time employees at its
373-acre transloading and pipe logistics facility in Trenton,
North Dakota, just outside Williston, the state oil capital, the
source said.

Jul 10, 2015

North Dakota’s oil output jumps in May despite low prices

, July 10 (Reuters) – North Dakota’s daily
oil production rose 3 percent in May, state regulators said on
Friday, hinting that the state’s Bakken shale formation may be
more resilient to sliding crude prices than expected.

The state’s well count hit a record high in the month with
producers deciding to hydraulically fracture more freshly
drilled wells, bucking a trend to mothball them. Drilling permit
applications also spiked.

Jul 9, 2015

As oil teeters at $50, a few shale producers still drilling more

/HOUSTON, July 9 (Reuters) – A handful of
optimistic U.S. shale drillers are sticking with plans to deploy
more rigs in the coming months even as oil prices take a sharp
dive well below many producers’ $60-a-barrel breakeven point.

On Wednesday, Pioneer Natural Resources Co. became
the first big company to publicly confirm it was drilling more
wells, saying it had already added two rigs in the Permian Basin
of Texas this month and would keep on adding two a month as long
as the oil price “remains constructive.”

Jul 8, 2015

Power outage in North Dakota’s capital delays drilling rig data

, July 8 (Reuters) – A power outage in North
Dakota’s capital on Wednesday brought down computer servers that
provide data used to track myriad output statistics across the
second-largest U.S. oil producing state.

The outage means the state’s daily drilling rig count – a
closely watched number that can offer guidance on future oil
production – is not available. The count stood at 76 on Tuesday,
near where it has been for several weeks.

Jun 25, 2015

In bet on oil prices, WPX plans to add Bakken rigs

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Drilling rigs are coming back to North Dakota. WPX Energy Inc, a small oil producer in the No. 2 U.S. crude state, said on Thursday it will add two rigs this year, becoming the first since the crude price downturn to announce concrete steps to boost output.

Though only the 11th-largest North Dakota oil producer, trailing Whiting Petroleum Corp and others, WPX has effectively staked out a leadership position in the state’s Bakken shale formation by saying it will add rigs, slash well completion costs and target a 20 percent boost in output by 2016.

Jun 23, 2015

North Dakota’s oil rig count appears to have hit bottom

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – The drilling rig count in North Dakota’s oil patch, a closely watched metric through which many attempt to divine future crude production, appears to have hit a bottom.

For the past three weeks the count has hovered between 76 and 79, after sliding only slightly from 80 at the end of May. On June 12, the count hit 76, the lowest level since 2009. The count bobbed slightly in the ensuing days, hitting 77 on Tuesday.

Jun 19, 2015

North Dakota governor sees OPEC ceding global swing status

, June 19 (Reuters) – OPEC’s decision this
month to maintain existing oil output will fail to push rival
producers out of the market because rising global crude demand
should soon lift prices and boost drilling activity, North
Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said.

Since November, the Saudi Arabian-led cartel has held to a
policy of unconstrained output, an approach many suspect is
designed to flood global markets with more crude, push prices
lower and punish rivals, including North Dakota, the
second-largest U.S. oil producer.