Reading from the same playbook that Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz used at his confirmation hearing in April, President Obama’s nominee for assistant secretary of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fossil Energy Office dodged direct questions on whether the department plans to place a pause in approving liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permits later this year (see Daily GPI, April 10).
Articles from Smith
The only possible land mine for continued robust growth in U.S. natural gas supplies in the next five years would be an outright ban or oppressive national regulation of the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in America’s revitalized oil/gas fields, according to a panel of bullish experts assembled on the opening day of the LDC Gas Forum Mid-Continent in Chicago Monday.
As they continue to pursue rules on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), California oil/gas officials are not seeing the increase in exploratory activity or permitting as other shale basins around the nation have experienced. Drilling activity is down slightly compared to this time last year, a spokesperson for the state Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) told NGI’s Shale Daily Wednesday.
Unconventional oil and gas drilling within the 13 plays tracked by NGI’s Shale Daily Unconventional Rig Count dropped by a combined 13 rigs, or 1%, from the previous week to 869 rigs for the week ending Sept. 28. While some of the plays reporting increases or declines in activity were to be expected, others came as a bit of a surprise.
A series of recent reports highlights the economic benefits of the burgeoning gas industry in eastern Ohio’s Utica and Marcellus shales and, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, shale energy “has the potential to be an economic game-changer” for the state and the nation.
Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has named Dennis Arriola as president and COO to fill the vacancy created when Anne Shen-Smith was named chair and CEO. SoCalGas Chairman and CEO Michael Allman resigned in June. Arriola returns after spending 14 years at the company and at Sempra; most recently he was CFO of San Jose, CA-based SunPower Corp. Between 1994-2008 Arriola had a variety of leadership positions at SoCalGas and related companies, the last as CFO of SoCalGas and Sempra’s San Diego Gas and Electric Co. Arriola has an MBA from Harvard and an undergraduate degree in economics from Stanford.
The U.S. oil and natural gas rig count will fall through 2013, with a “glaring change” to the forecast for wet gas drilling, according to Raymond James & Associates Inc. A “meaningful rebound” won’t occur until the second half of 2014 and through 2015, analysts said Monday.
The Cana-Woodford, Eagle Ford and Bakken/Sanish/Three Forks plays continued to lead the activity growth in unconventional fields over the last year as oil and gas producers put more weight on liquids-rich shales to take advantage of higher commodity prices found in oil and natural gas liquids. Conversely, some of the nation’s dry gas shales have seen the largest drilling activity declines as natural gas prices remain below $4/MMBtu for much of the country.
The number of rigs targeting oil and natural gas in U.S. tight sands and shale plays saw a significant drop during the week ending May 20, while oil and gas prices hovered in their recent comfort zones, according to NGI’s Shale Daily Unconventional Rig Count.
Continuing the downward momentum from the previous week (see Shale Daily, April 11), the number of rigs drilling for oil and gas in U.S. unconventional plays dropped by another 1% for the week ending April 15, according to NGI’s Shale Daily Unconventional Rig Count.