While crude oil production increased slightly, overall fossil fuel production on federal and Native American lands decreased by 7% in fiscal year 2013, according to a report released Friday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Natural gas and coal led the decline.
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The U.S. onshore operations of Helmerich & Payne Inc. (H&P) are the continuing benefactor of increasing drilling activity, particularly in the Permian Basin, recovering spot pricing levels and a pressing need for more specialized rigs, the company’s CEO said Thursday.
Triangle Petroleum Corp. reported reduced completion costs and is considering a shift to infill what is rapidly being considered its core acreage in the Bakken Shale, as business from its oilfield services subsidiary and a midstream joint venture (JV) in the play also pick up steam.
India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. has made multiple bets on U.S. shale gas and they’re paying off, the company said when it released its fiscal first quarter 2014 results last Friday, which included an 84% hike in U.S. shale-derived revenue from a year ago.
As part of a current fiscal year $90 million program, the California Energy Commission (CEC) on Wednesday awarded two more grants totaling nearly $700,000 to help advance alternative fuel and vehicle technology throughout the state. One grant ($278,000) went to a Southern California school district in Upland, CA, to update the district’s compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility to expand its fleet of CNG-powered buses. A second award ($400,000) went to Greenkraft Inc., an automotive manufacturer in Anaheim, CA, to use as buy-down incentives on the purchase of 40 medium-duty propane trucks. These incentives help pay the difference between alternative fuel vehicles and conventional ones. They are available only for new natural gas- and propane-powered vehicles that meet all of the emissions requirements of the California Air Resources Board. The CEC administers the state’s “Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program,” created by the state legislature in AB 118 a few years ago.
In his long-awaited $3.77 trillion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2014 unveiled on Wednesday and forwarded to Congress, President Obama again sought to repeal tax breaks for oil and natural gas producers. He also proposed tacking on new fees and increasing oil and gas royalties to fund renewable fuel development.
President Obama’s $3.77 trillion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2014, unveiled Wednesday, for the fourth time seeks to repeal tax breaks for oil and natural gas producers. It also would tack on new fees for operations on federal lands and increase oil and gas royalties to fund renewable fuel development.
On the energy news front in Washington DC, Senate hearings for new heads of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Obama administration’s energy budget for fiscal year (FY) 2014, and the return visit of the premier of the Canadian province of Alberta to press for U.S. approval of the Keystone Pipeline XL, will dominate the upcoming week.
The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said it conducted 31 onshore oil and natural gas auctions in fiscal year (FY) 2012, generating $233 million for U.S. taxpayers. In the FY 2012 lease sales, BLM estimated that it received bids on more than 1.4 million acres of public land in 1,707 parcels. It offered 2,315 parcels of land (covering six million acres) during the year, which is 32% more than in 2011 and 41% more than in 2010. The largest onshore oil and gas sale during FY 2012 was held in Billings, MT, in which 59 parcels covering 14,762 acres of public land brought in more than $36 million at an average price of $2,437/acre. BLM has scheduled 33 oil and gas lease sales in FY 2013, including in California, Colorado, the eastern states, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Alaska. Revenues from domestic output on public lands and federal offshore areas, totaling more than $12 billion this year, are shared among federal, state and tribal governments and represent one of the largest nontax sources of U.S. government funds. Revenue generated by BLM’s onshore parcels has more than tripled in the past three years, compared to the last 25 years, the agency said. Since 1988, the average price paid per acre was $55, while over the past three years the average has climbed to $210/acre. Moreover, the percentage of leases protested declined in FY 2012, continuing a trend that began in 2009. Protests were lodged on fewer than 18% of the parcels offered for sale during the year, the lowest percentage since 2003.