Australia’s Austin Exploration Ltd. has struck an agreement for Houston-based Halcon Resources Corp. to participate in its Birch Project in the northeastern Eagle Ford Shale. Halcon’s founders are Eagle Ford veterans, having pioneered the play with a previous company.
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North American exploration and production (E&P) companies will begin to unveil their second quarter results over the coming weeks, and while there aren’t expected to be any big surprises, analysts are hoping for details on natural gas market fundamentals — particularly in the Marcellus Shale — along with insight into emerging plays and more information on ethane rejection in natural gas liquids (NGL) plays.
North American exploration and production (E&P) companies will, over the next few weeks, unveil their earnings and operations results for the second quarter, but analysts aren’t expecting any big upside surprises. Instead, they hope for details on Marcellus Shale pricing, emerging sweet spots in the Utica Shale and details about wells in several big onshore basins.
In recent months, the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) has examined shale oil and natural gas potential in southeastern and westerly parts of the state, in addition to the already exploratory drilled northern formations, particularly in the northeast Four Corners area in which the Mancos Shale is found.
A subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc has signed a second, six-month extension that gives it more time to decide whether to purchase property in western Pennsylvania that could ultimately be used for a “world scale” ethane cracker in the heart of the Marcellus Shale region.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) late last Friday filed its second annual report to state regulators summarizing its progress on current and future work aimed at improving its natural gas system’s safety as mandated by a state law (SB 705) passed in 2011 in response to the 2010 San Bruno transmission pipeline failure. Under its pipeline safety enhancement plan, PG&E told the California Public Utilities Commission that it has strength-tested 456 miles of its 6,750-mile gas transmission pipeline system. The utility said its has installed 76 automated shutoff valves on critical parts of the system while validating the safe operating pressure for the entire system. In addition, the utility said it is pursuing an internationally recognized gas safety certification for its system called “Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 55”; it also has established an employee-led company wide, grassroots safety committee to promote safe work habits, best practices and open communications; and it has a new Corrective Action Program to collect and act on gas system issues and ideas though a central internal company processing center. In addition, PG&E said its ongoing gas safety plan overall has been reviewed by several outside parties and includes input from employees at all levels of the PG&E gas operations organization.
Williams’ board has voted to approve the company’s Bluegrass Pipeline project. The company has been engaged in development work on the proposed natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline, which has a targeted in-service date of late 2015. The Bluegrass Pipeline will connect supply from the Marcellus and Utica shales to growing petrochemical and export markets in the U.S. Gulf Coast (see Shale Daily, May 30; March 7). The pipeline also will connect NGL supply with the developing petrochemical market in the U.S. Northeast. Williams and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP in May formalized joint-venture agreements tied to the project and related fractionation, storage and export projects.
Maintenance work on two platforms in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and on a project shutting in some crude oil in Alaska may halt temporarily the growth in U.S. crude oil supplies, but onshore volumes should help alleviate the shortfall, according to energy analytics provider Genscape Inc.