Ernest's Feed
May 7, 2015

Oil that caught fire on N. Dakota train was less volatile than new rules

, May 7 (Reuters) – The crude oil aboard a
BNSF train that derailed in central North Dakota on
Wednesday caught fire even though it was less flammable than
required by a new state law that took effect last month.

Test results sent to federal investigators and seen by
Reuters show the state’s new rule may not be stringent enough to
significantly reduce the risks of fireballs following
derailments of trains carrying crude. In this crash, the crude
on board contained about 20 percent fewer volatile gases than
regulations allow.

May 7, 2015

Exclusive: Statoil U.S. execs leave for private-equity backed oil startup

By Ernest Scheyder

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – At least five senior Statoil executives and engineers have left the Norwegian oil giant’s North Dakota unit to form their own U.S. exploration and production company backed by $500 million in private equity.

The move is one of the first to show that billions of dollars waiting to finance energy deals in the wake of the last year’s crude price drop have started flowing to industry veterans eager to strike out on their own.

May 6, 2015

Continental Resources quarterly loss less than expected

, May 6 (Reuters) – Continental Resources Inc
, the second-largest oil producer in North Dakota, posted
a quarterly loss that was less than Wall Street had expected on
Wednesday as cost cuts helped offset low oil prices.

Continental, which does not hedge oil production, said it
believes that oil prices will rise later this year.

May 6, 2015

Small town evacuated after oil train derails in North Dakota

/NEW YORK, May 6 (Reuters) – A BNSF
train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire in Wells
County, North Dakota, on Wednesday, just days after the United
States and Canada announced sweeping reforms to improve safety
of the volatile shipments.

About 40 residents from the nearby tiny town of Heimdal were
evacuated after as many as 10 tank cars came off the rails, fire
officials and the state’s emergency management agency said.

May 6, 2015

‘Boomtowners’ looks to the human side of North Dakota’s oil fields

, May 6 (Reuters) – Aiming to show the human
side of North Dakota’s oil industry, the Smithsonian Channel’s
“Boomtowners” chronicles the highs and lows of transplants to
one of the nation’s fastest-growing economies.

Producers of the show, which airs the third of six episodes
this Sunday night, deliberately sidestepped any focus on the
environmental concerns of hydraulic fracturing, the
controversial technique that uses high-pressure water laced with
sand and chemicals to coax oil and natural gas out of the

May 5, 2015

U.S. shale oil firms say refracking not the best path in downturn

By Anna Driver and Ernest Scheyder

HOUSTON/WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) – Refracking, the practice of fracking an oil and gas well a second time, is still too unpredictable to rely on as a way to slash costs and increase output during the oil price slump, top U.S. shale oil executives said on Tuesday.

Oilfield service companies, including Schlumberger NV and Baker Hughes Inc., have touted refracking as a cheap way to revive output from existing shale wells. Output from existing wells, measured in barrels per day, normally drops as much as 70 percent in the year of operation. Also, some wells were not thoroughly fracked the first time.

May 4, 2015

EOG Resources results beat Street on oil hedges

, May 4 (Reuters) – Oil and natural gas
producer EOG Resources Inc posted a better-than-expected
adjusted profit on Monday as hedges and cost cuts helped offset
low oil prices.

It was the continuation of a theme for U.S. shale oil
producers, including Whiting Petroleum Corp and Hess
Corp, who have aggressively curtailed spending and
relied in varying degrees on hedges all quarter.

May 1, 2015

Chevron profit beats expectations, cost cuts offset cheap oil

May 1 (Reuters) – Oil and natural gas producer Chevron Corp
reported a 43 percent drop in quarterly profit on
Friday, though results beat analysts’ expectations as cost cuts
and robust refining margins helped offset the impact of tumbling
oil prices.

The reliance on refining operations mirrored results at
large, integrated rivals Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal
Dutch Shell, as such companies tend to lean on their
refining divisions for profit during times of cheap oil.

May 1, 2015

North Dakota still on track for oil tax break

, May 1 (Reuters) – The clock kept ticking in
April on a suspension of North Dakota’s oil extraction tax after
a state-calculated average of the month’s crude price fell below
$52.59 per barrel for a fourth straight month.

The tax break, enacted in the 1980s, had the potential to be
worth more than $5 billion to oil producers over a two-year
period. However, sweeping tax changes signed into law late
Wednesday by Governor Jack Dalrymple effectively ended that boon
for the oil industry, though the new law also lowered the
overall permanent tax rate.

May 1, 2015

Chevron profit beats Street as cost cuts offset cheap oil

By Ernest Scheyder

(Reuters) – Oil and natural gas producer Chevron Corp (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday as cost cuts and strong refining margins helped offset the impact of lower oil prices CLc1 LCOc1, sending shares up in early trading.

The No. 2 U.S. oil company reported net income of $2.57 billion, or $1.37 per share, compared to $4.51 billion, or $2.36 a share, a year earlier.