LONDON, Dec 21 (Reuters) – Marketing production is more
associated with technology and entertainment than grubby
industrial raw materials like oil. But marketing is set to
become more important as the oil market moves into surplus and
struggles with an increasingly diverse range of crudes.
Crude marketers need to convince refiners their oil is worth
paying a premium for and to undertake expensive investments to
be able to process it.
LONDON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Chevron’s partnership agreement
with YPF to drill 100 unconventional oil wells in Argentina’s
Vaca Muerta (“dead cow”) shale formation confirms that
exploration and production activity is accelerating in the
country, despite the standoff with Repsol after Argentina
nationalised YPF earlier this year.
Most analysts predicted the nationalisation would deter
further foreign investment in Argentina’s oil and gas industry,
leaving the country’s vast unconventional hydrocarbon resources
stuck in the ground.
LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Gas producers urgently need to
find a way to turn abundant and low-value gas supplies into more
valuable transport fuels like gasoline, diesel and jet.
The fracking revolution has so far had a bigger impact on
gas than oil. Soaring production has depressed the price of dry
gas, and condensates like propane and butane, even as the price
of crude oil remains close to record levels (on an annual
LONDON, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
could be in line for a windfall now that her government is
prepared to start granting licences to frack for shale gas
In her capacity as the Duke of Lancaster, the Queen owns
more than 50,000 acres and subsurface rights to tens of
thousands more across northern England, the part of the country
that has drawn the most interest from companies hunting for
shale gas. Fracking firms will have to pay to put wells on her
property or to drill through the subsurface mineral layers that
LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Not since the early 1980s has
Saudi Arabia seemed so powerful. But the kingdom’s dominance of
the oil market could prove fleeting, as policymakers grapple
with multiple challenges that could slash export earnings by
For now, Saudi Arabia is the unrivalled master of the oil
market. The kingdom holds virtually all the world’s spare
production capacity. Iran, its main rival within OPEC, has been
sidelined by sanctions. Saudi output is at an all time high,
while Iran’s exports have halved.
LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Shale oil and gas production will
become a lot cheaper as the industry absorbs and shares lessons
of advanced fracturing techniques, accelerating along a learning
curve that started in the 1940s.
The concept of a learning curve is most often used with
clean energy technologies such as wind power and solar.
LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – North American oil and gas
production is on the verge of another revolution as older
drilling rigs are replaced by equipment that can drill the same
well in half the time and bore much longer horizontal sections
The number of land-based rigs drilling for oil and gas in
the United States has fallen 12 percent since November 2011,
according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes
LONDON, Dec 7 (Reuters) – The Obama administration will find
it almost impossible to refuse permission for more liquefied
natural gas (LNG) exports now that a report from outside
consultants has concluded unequivocally that exports would be a
net benefit to the U.S. economy.
Current law requires the Department of Energy to approve
export applications unless it can show they are not in the
public interest, which will be hard to do given that a detailed
economic study has now concluded the extra revenues from export
sales will more than offset the impact of higher domestic gas
prices on consumers and energy-consuming businesses.
LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) – The more liquefied natural gas
exports that the United States permits, the bigger the net
benefit to its economy, according to a detailed report
commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy.
But if the report is unequivocal about the economic
benefits, the politics are more complicated.
LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – Hydraulic fracturing to produce
oil and gas has become closely associated in the public mind
with the risk of triggering man-made earthquakes. But the risk
is not high and it is not confined to fracking.
There may be greater danger from geothermal energy
production and pumping carbon dioxide underground as part of
carbon capture and storage projects.