follow us Twitter Facebook
<< Back to News

Oil and Gas Roundup — March 24

March 24, 2014
TOPICS: In the news
A roundup of oil and natural gas industry news from around the state, nation and world:

March Oklahoma rig count level with 2013

The number of drilling rigs actively exploring for oil or natural gas in Oklahoma fell by three this week to 183, Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday.
The tally is the same as a year ago.

Nationwide, the net number of active drilling rigs fell by six this week to 1,803, said Houston-based Baker Hughes. The total is up 57 rigs from a year ago.

Of the rigs operating this week across the U.S., 1,473 were exploring for oil, 326 for gas and four were listed as miscellaneous.

Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery rose 56 cents at settle at $99.46 a barrel.

Natural gas fell 5.6 cents to $4.31 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Oklahoma City opens first public CNG fueling station

The city of Oklahoma City opened its first public fueling station for compressed natural gas as it continues to remake its fleet.

Two CNG pumps — one for buses and another for cars and trucks — are open to the public at the city’s solid waste management facility at 11501 N Portland. The grand opening was Wednesday afternoon.

The $2.8 million facility also boasts 58 more CNG hoses behind the fence, allowing the solid waste department to fuel its growing fleet of trash trucks without having to wait in line at a public fueling station.

Superintendent Jim Linn said the department has 23 CNG trash trucks, with about a dozen more on order.

He said all of the city’s heavy-duty trucks will be fueled by natural gas instead of diesel by 2017.

Read The Oklahoman story:

Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust to consider incentives for GE

GE could receive up to $1 million in incentives for bringing its newest research center to Oklahoma City.

The research giant is building a 95,000-square-foot facility at NE 10 and Central to make its mark as an innovator in the oil and natural gas industry.

It will be GE’s ninth global research center, but the first dedicated to a single industry.

“The project is an opportunity to reinforce Oklahoma City’s role as a focal point for the oil and gas industry,” Oklahoma City Manager Jim Couch wrote in a memo to the Oklahoma City Economic Development Trust. Couch also is general manager of the trust.

The trust will consider signing off on incentives for GE at its Tuesday meeting, according to its posted agenda. Any incentives still would have to be approved by the city council.

Incentives helped lure GE to Oklahoma City, as Gov. Mary Fallin pledged $3 million from a special closing fund to seal the deal last year.

The center is expected to qualify for state jobs incentives as well.

Read The Oklahoman story:

Moniz on gas exports, Russia, and the Keystone Pipeline

In a wide-ranging discussion with U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz at Bloomberg’s Washington office on March 21, Moniz acknowledged what many observers have already deduced: U.S.-Russia relations are “under strain,” and yes, “everything in terms of the relationship is going to be reevaluated.”

Highlights from the conversation include three other areas:

Natural gas exports: Moniz was asked repeatedly whether the situation in Ukraine would expedite the administration’s plans to start exporting natural gas to Europe. The short and emphatic answer was no.

The approval process remains the same, he said, and each of 24 pending applications to export liquified natural gas to non-free-trade countries will be evaluated as they would have been when Crimea was part of Ukraine. When pressed, Moniz did suggest that “maybe we will give some additional weight to the geopolitical criterion going forward.”

Don’t get too excited. This isn’t a switch that can be turned on overnight.

Even if the government fast-tracked the process and approved every application tomorrow, the export projects are privately funded and require billions in capital investment and several years to complete. The furthest along, Sabine Pass, probably won’t begin exporting gas until the end of 2015.

The bulk of U.S. LNG exports won’t hit the global market until 2018 and 2019 at the earliest.

Read more:

Hybrid engine uses less fuel while drilling for it

At a plant east of downtown Houston, a North Carolina company is building hybrid power systems for oil rigs.

The systems are designed to hook up to normal generators used in the oil field, and charge while the generators are working, according to FlexGen Power Systems, which designed the systems and is building them with Amerimex Motors & Controls in Houston.

The systems load electricity into solid-state storage devices called ultracapacitors that are different from batteries, providing short-term storage of up to 1.2 megawatts of capacity, said Josh Prueher, CEO of FlexGen.

The systems can cut down fuel use about 15 percent, and are meant to be used with either natural gas or diesel-powered generators, said Jeff Juergens, director of FlexGen’s oil and gas business.

Oil field generators burn enormous quantities of fuel, especially when engines need bursts of power for such tasks as pulling miles of pipe from a well. The result is a sudden jump in the work rate and a lot of wasted generator fuel, Prueher said.

Engines equipped with the hybrid systems can take supplemental power stored in the ultracapacitors, allowing the generators and engines to work more efficiently, he said.

Read more:

Report: Cheap gas will fuel US manufacturing job surge through 2020

An ample supply of cheap natural gas has ignited a U.S. manufacturing surge projected to expand plant payrolls and drive demand for chemicals, machinery and steel through the end of the decade, according to a report released last week.

Sinking natural gas prices have stung U.S. energy producers, but they are linked to more than 196,000 new manufacturing jobs in major metropolitan areas and a $124 billion boost to sales for energy-intensive products like fabricated metals and plastics, according to a U.S. Conference of Mayors report on the nation’s industrial growth.

The fossil fuel is a central feedstock used in chemical manufacturing plants and steel mills, and since 2007, U.S. oil and gas producers have made it much more accessible by cracking open shale rock that had trapped it for millennia.

Subsequently, industrial sectors have pushed the national economy further in its recovery from the recession that began in 2007, and will probably underpin economic growth through 2020, according to the report, which was prepared by IHS Global Insight.

Through the end of the decade, manufacturing employment could jump 1 percent each year in the United States, led by fabricated metals, machinery and iron and steel manufacturing, which each grew about 10 percent between 2010 and 2012, the report said.

Read more:

The Weekly Oil and Gas Follies

Each week Forbes contributor David Blackmon outlines the week's silliness, shenanigans, fake news and real news related to the oil and natural gas industry.

Read this week's here:

<< Back to news