Ernest's Feed
Sep 2, 2015

Nearly half of hotel rooms in North Dakota oil capital sit empty

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Nearly half of the hotel rooms in the epicenter of North Dakota’s energy boom have been sitting empty this year, yet another sign that plunging oil prices have cooled the economy of the second-largest crude producing U.S. state.

Producers, oilfield service providers and other energy companies across the state’s western oil patch have cut employee hours, canceled projects and laid off staff, all hoping to weather the low-price storm.

Aug 24, 2015

North Dakota’s governor says will not seek re-election in 2016

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple, who shepherded the state through an oil boom that made it the No. 2 U.S. crude producer, said on Monday he will not seek re-election in 2016.

Dalrymple, who helped tighten regulatory standards across the state’s Bakken oil formation, steps that some critics decried as too lenient, said he decided not to seek re-election in order to spend more time with his family.

Aug 19, 2015

In downturn, North Dakota’s oilfield firms jostle for tiniest of jobs

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Oilfield service companies eager for work amid plunging crude oil prices CLc1 have until the end of Wednesday to bid for a guaranteed job: plugging a North Dakota well abandoned by a producer closing up shop in the No. 2 U.S. oil patch.

Whichever oilfield service company does the plugging, be it Halliburton Co (HAL.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Schlumberger NV (SLB.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) or another firm, the job could bring in more than $20,000.

Aug 10, 2015

Buffett bets Precision can deliver long-term as aircraft sales grow

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s $32.3 billion deal for Precision Castparts Corp (PCP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) shows his willingness to overlook repeated operational stumbles at the company to place a long-term bet on the growth of global air travel.

Buffett usually seeks out companies with strong leadership and earnings metrics. But Precision, a maker of aerospace and other parts, has posted lackluster results for the past year, most recently in late July when it reported an 18 percent decline in net income for its fiscal first quarter. The company blamed higher-than-expected costs to ramp up to meet demand from aircraft makers.  

Aug 6, 2015

EOG profit beats Street as cost cuts offset drop in oil prices

Aug 6 (Reuters) – EOG Resources Inc reported a
better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit on Thursday as
the oil producer successfully slashed well and transportation
costs to offset plunging crude prices.

The price drop has hamstrung nearly all of the energy
industry this past year, forcing many companies to lay off staff
and curb spending.

Aug 6, 2015

Continental Resources’ heavy pipe use to move oil bad for railroads

, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Continental Resources Inc
said on Thursday it ships more than two-thirds of its
North Dakota oil via pipeline, a major change that threatens the
oil transportation business of BNSF and other
railroads which had boomed in recent years.

The second-largest North Dakota oil producer pumped nearly
160,000 barrels of crude per day in the second quarter through
pipelines owned by Kinder Morgan and others. In 2014 it
sent nearly all of its oil by train.

Aug 6, 2015

Sewage flow becomes Williston’s oil bust indicator

, Aug 6 (Reuters) – The population of a U.S.
oil boomtown that became a symbol of the fracking revolution is
dropping fast because of the collapse in crude oil prices
, according to an unusual metric: the amount of sewage

Williston, North Dakota, has seen its population drop about
6 percent since last summer, according to wastewater data relied
upon heavily by city planning officials.

Aug 5, 2015

Continental Resources profit beats as cost cuts offset cheap oil

Aug 5 (Reuters) – Continental Resources Inc, the
second-largest oil producer in North Dakota’s Bakken shale
formation, posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on
Wednesday as the company slashed costs to offset plunging crude

In a bold bet on oil prices and the ability to keep costs
low, Chief Executive Harold Hamm boosted Continental’s 2015
production guidance.

Jul 31, 2015

Tumbling oil prices slam profit at Exxon Mobil, Chevron

July 31 (Reuters) – Weak oil prices shriveled
quarterly profit at Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp
, compelling both companies to rethink operations and
plan for what many expect to be a sustained period of cheap

Earnings at Exxon and Chevron, two of the world’s largest
oil producers, also missed analysts’ expectations, adding to
concerns that perhaps executives had not acted quickly enough to
mitigate the impact of an over-50-percent drop in oil prices
since last summer.

Jul 31, 2015

Chevron profit tumbles 90 percent, misses estimates; shares drop

By Ernest Scheyder

(Reuters) – Second-quarter profit at oil producer Chevron Corp (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) tumbled 90 percent, missing analysts’ expectations, amid weakness in oil prices CLc1.

Chief Executive John Watson bluntly said the results were “weak” and that he was working to slash costs by renegotiating supply contracts. Earlier this week, he laid off 2 percent of the company’s staff.