After five consecutive quarters of falling rig counts, U.S. onshore rig activity will improve through the rest of the year, according to a forecast issued on Friday by Baker Hughes Inc.
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The Marcellus Shale today is the largest U.S. natural gas production region, with output of more than 7 Bcf/d, which has led to a “significant, positive” impact on early movers, but some operators continue to underperform share-wise in the play, according to IHS Inc.
Citing low natural gas prices as being among the economic drivers, power giant Exelon Corp. said Tuesday it is giving up plans to build nuclear power facilities near Victoria, TX.
The Permian Basin, as well as the Eagle Ford and Bakken shales, which today are considered the “big three” drivers of U.S. oil production, would remain economic at current costs if West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices were to fall to $65/bbl, according to an analysis by Raymond James & Associates Inc. In fact, 13 of 20 onshore oil plays evaluated would breakeven below $65 using current costs, said analysts.
February natural gas put in another low Thursday that had not been seen since Sept. 8, 2009 when October futures were as low as $2.628. The day’s price drivers included the release of storage data by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) that showed a 95 Bcf pull from inventories, well off the seasonal pace but greater than what the market was expecting.
Looking to increase natural gas demand, Pennsylvania is pushing for more drivers to convert vehicles to run on the fuel. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) published a guidance document late last month arguing that vehicle conversion is allowed under the state’s existing emissions standards.
If its Keystone XL oil pipeline is the foundation, major U.S. oil and natural gas shale plays will be the drivers for TransCanada Corp. greatly expanding its North America footprint, the Calgary-based company’s senior executives said during recent investor conferences in Toronto and New York City.