While Mexico’s gas-rich San Juan Basin turned up another declining year of natural gas production in 2012, state officials and some exploration and production (E&P) companies are maintaining interest in the state’s overall oil, liquids and gas businesses.
Articles from 2012
Water samples taken downstream of facilities authorized to treat wastewater from natural gas wells in the Marcellus Shale had elevated concentrations of chloride but not total suspended solids (TSS), although the obverse was true in samples collected downstream of watersheds with shale gas wells drilled on them, according to a report published in the Proceedings of National Academies of Sciences (PNAS).
NuStar Energy LP’s planned acquisition of natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline and fractionation assets could be in jeopardy as seller TexStar Midstream Services LP told the company in mid-February that it was terminating the sale. NuStar disclosed during a midstream conference presentation in early March that it was evaluating its legal options in the matter. “If NuStar does not complete this acquisition, we do not expect a material adverse impact on our results of operations,” the company said in a presentation to a Morgan Stanley midstream conference. Last November, NuStar said it was buying the Eagle Ford Shale NGL assets, as well as Eagle Ford crude oil pipeline, gathering and storage assets (see Shale Daily, Nov. 9, 2012). The crude oil asset transaction, worth about $325 million, has closed. The pending NGL asset transaction is worth about $100 million.
Denver-based DCP Midstream Partners LP announced a $626 million dropdown from DCP Midstream of an additional 47% interest in its Eagle Ford joint venture, bringing its ownership to 80%. It’s the largest dropdown in the history of the partnership.
The Domestic Energy Jobs Act (SB 76) was passed by the North Carolina Senate Wednesday, setting the stage for horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of oil and natural gas wells to begin in the state two years from now. It also encourages the governor to coordinate with South Carolina and Virginia for offshore drilling.
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead on Wednesday signed a new law changing the requirements for the state’s oil and natural gas supervisor, a post that has been vacant since June. Senate Enrolled Act 3 changes the criteria for the top oil/gas spot in the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC).
A proposal to cut down on flared associated natural gas supplies in the Bakken was rejected by the North Dakota Senate Wednesday on a 34-13 vote. The measure (SB 2315) by Sen. Tim Mathern would have eliminated any hardship exemptions to the state’s ban after a year. Viewed as one of the toughest proposals to combat flaring yet, SB 2315 was strongly opposed by the industry, led by the North Dakota Petroleum Council (see Shale Daily, Feb. 12). State officials increasingly have worried about flaring, which has stayed above 30%, but below a September 2011 record of 36%. Senators opposing the measure urged patience in letting the industry address the problem. Even with the ability to flare gas for a year without paying taxes or royalties, and beyond that to seek hardship status for extending the practice, some operators are trying to find uses for the gas, including using it to produce electricity to run hydraulic fracturing equipment, and to produce fertilizer (see Shale Daily, Dec. 26, 2012).
Pioneer Natural Resources Co. has signed an agreement with Sinochem Petroleum USA LLC, a U.S. subsidiary of China’s Sinochem Group, to sell 40% of its interest in 207,000 net acres leased by the Pioneer in the horizontal Wolfcamp Shale in the southern portion of the Spraberry Trend Area Field for $1.7 billion.