U.S. Supermajors Could Form A New Oil Cartel

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The ambitious shale growth plans of the U.S. supermajors could in the future allow them to control so much of U.S. shale oil production that they could also control the price of the U.S. light tight oil going to foreign markets in an ‘OPEC of their own kind,’ Investing.com quoted John Kilduff, founding partner at Again Capital, as saying. Continue reading

U.S. Shale Production Growing At An Unprecedented Pace

 

The oil markets have long expected that U.S. shale production would rebound once oil prices started to rise. But the comeback of shale could be much faster and stronger than many once anticipated.

There are a few reasons for this. First, the industry is leaner than it once was, with some of the least efficient companies forced out of the market and the consolidated sector is now moving quickly with oil prices stabilized in the $50s per barrel range. Second, oil drillers have a lot more experience in shale than they did years ago. Improved drilling techniques, which include longer laterals, more wells per wellpad and stronger fracking processes are yielding more oil per rig and per well. Third, instead of drilling everywhere, companies are focusing on the best spots this time around. Finally, it isn’t just the small companies drilling in U.S. shale – the oil majors are increasingly getting into the shale game. Continue reading

No Shale Revolution For Europe

It’s looking increasingly unlikely that Europe will be able to sever its reliance on Russian energy supplies by developing its own shale gas industry.

For years, Poland has been regarded as the European Union’s biggest hope for developing indigenous sources of natural gas because it sits on large reserves of natural gas trapped in shale. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Poland has 148 tcf (trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas reserves and 1.8 billion barrels of shale oil. By comparison, Russia has an estimated 285 tcf of shale gas.

Poland represents the European Union’s best hope at breaking Russia’s grip over natural gas supplies, and its government has been highly supportive of shale gas development, which is rare in the green-tinged political circles of Europe.

But things have not gone according to plan. Dozens of wells have been drilled since 2010, but almost none have been successful. In fact, Bloomberg reports, the most productive shale projects have returned gas flows that were just 30 percent of what is needed to be commercially viable. Continue reading

OPEC Split as Oil Prices Fall Sharply

Oil prices sank again on Monday, giving consumers more of a break and causing a split among OPEC leaders about what action should be taken, if any, to halt the slide.

The price drop has led to a near free fall in gasoline prices in the United States. On Monday, the national average price for regular gasoline was $3.20, 9 cents lower than it was a week ago and 14 cents below the price a year ago, according to the AAA motor club.

The price at the pump generally follows oil after a few days, leading energy experts to predict lower prices for the rest of the month at least.

“This is not your garden variety autumn price decline,” said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at GasBuddy.com, which reports fuel prices from filling stations across the country. “Clearly there is a rift in OPEC, and that means we are more likely to see a price war over the next six months. Crude oil is teetering on the brink of collapse.Continue reading

World Entering “Golden Age of Gas”

Bloomberg published a lengthy article on the proliferation of shale gas drilling around the world, with interviews from top oil and gas executives. Drillers are trying to replicate the U.S. shale gas revolution in places such as China, Russia, India, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, the U.K, and Poland, among other places, according to the report. For example, Shell is working with Sinopec to tap the world’s largest shale gas reserves in China; Chevron teamed up with YPF SA to drill the massive Vaca Muerta shale formation in Argentina; and oil and gas companies are lining up to move into Mexico to drill the Mexican side of the Eagle Ford shale. Continue reading

The Europeanization of Ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) – Last week’s signing of the political part of the EU Association Agreement began Ukraine’s transition into the German-European hegemonic system. That country, whose current government, which came to power through a putsch and lacks democratic legitimacy, will now have to align itself on EU standards at all levels. Besides adopting Brussels’ system of norms, the country, first of all, will face its integration into the German-European foreign and military policy. Ukraine is already participating in EU Battle Groups and EU military missions. Western – including German – energy companies are seeking to take over the Ukrainian gas sector. This even includes the use of controversial “fracking” methods to weaken Russian influence on Kiev in the natural gas sector. As in Greece, the country will now face the glaring impoverishment of an “extreme austerity” policy, according to experts, which could “torpedo Ukraine’s recent political reorientation.”

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