LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Doubts about the sustainability
of the North American oil and gas boom centre on rapidly
declining output from many shale wells after they are initially
Shale sceptics point to the need to drill an ever-increasing
number of new holes just to replace the declining output from
existing wells, let alone expand production. At some point it
will become impossible to keep up, they argue.
LONDON, Aug 28 (Reuters) – The independent companies at the
forefront of the U.S. shale boom will finally earn enough from
selling oil and gas to cover their capital expenditures next
year, for the first time since 2008.
Free cash flow, which measures operating cash flow minus
capital spending, for the 25 leading independent oil and gas
producers is expected to show a surplus of $2.4 billion in 2015,
according to a consensus forecast in the Financial Times.
LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Shared development of oil, gas
and possibly other natural resources is the most promising
option for reducing tensions in the South China Sea and should
be the focus of efforts to improve diplomatic relations between
China and its coastal neighbours.
Joint development agreements (JDAs) are already common
across Asia. Most of the countries with a disputed claim in the
South China Sea have signed at least one joint agreement to
explore for oil and gas, either in the South China Sea or in
neighbouring areas like the Gulf of Thailand and the East China
Sea, so there are plenty of precedents to draw on.
LONDON, Aug 26 (Reuters) – China and the United States
appear headed for a damaging confrontation over the extent of
China’s territorial claims in the South and East China Seas.
Now that China has become the world’s largest importer of
oil, and energy more generally, the country’s need to develop
more indigenous energy supplies has become urgent.
LONDON, Aug 22 (Reuters) – “I believe and will prove that
our country is not deficient in oil reserves. If I can use my
20-year lifetime in exchange for a large oil field, I will.”
Those comments, recorded in an illustrated history of the
Songliao Basin published by China National Petroleum Corporation
(CNPC), are attributed to Wang Jinxi, an oil field worker who
became a hero of Communist China during the 1960s and 1970s.
LONDON, Aug 20 (Reuters) – For those trained in law, social
sciences and the arts, I have some bad news: the best days may
be over because the future belongs to scientists, engineers and
In high school and university classrooms across the United
States, a quiet revolution is underway as students adapt to a
difficult job market by choosing more quantitative disciplines.
LONDON, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Cheap natural gas is starting to
revolutionise traffic on U.S. roads, cutting bills for some of
the country’s heaviest fuel users while reducing carbon
emissions and other pollution.
The revolution is still in its very early stages. Gas
remains a niche vehicle fuel, with last year’s nationwide
consumption less than the amount of gasoline and diesel
dispensed in the tiny state of Vermont.
LONDON, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Following four decades of war,
sanctions, nationalisation and unrest, oil and gas producers are
gradually adjusting to rely less on the Middle East.
The countries around the Persian Gulf and on the Arabian
Peninsula still contain the greatest concentration of giant and
super-giant fields anywhere in the world and have some of the
most attractive oil and gas geology.
LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Gas-fuelled locomotives are not a
new idea. Plymouth Locomotive Company built the first
propane-fuelled rail engine as early as 1936.
The industry has experimented with natural gas-fuelled
trains on a small scale for the past 80 years without ever
moving beyond the prototype stage.
LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) – From modest beginnings in the
Barnett shale beneath the city of Fort Worth, unnoticed by most
energy analysts, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing
spread across North America and transformed all aspects of the
energy landscape in under 10 years.
Now the most important question for energy analysts is what
technology will revolutionize the system next.