By JOHN P. TRETBAR
The Midyear Meeting of the Kansas Independent Oil & Gas Association is scheduled April 18-20 in McPherson. Sponsorship forms and trade-show contracts are available at their website (www.kioga.org) and are due by next Thursday, March 15th. The event will feature a tour of the CHS Refinery, an educational outreach program called “Petro Pro Class,” some great food, plus sporting clays and golf tournaments.
The Kansas Geological Survey says the state’s energy operators produced nearly three million barrels of crude in November of last year. The total statewide for the year through November was 32.97 million barrels. Ellis County led the way with a total through November of 2.43 million barrels, adding 223,000. Haskell and Finney counties were next. Then Barton County with 1.562 million barrels through November, an additional 147,000 barrels. Russell County added 129,000 barrels for an 11-month total of 1.46 million. Stafford County added another 92,000 barrels to bring its cumulative total to 963,000 barrels.
Baker Hughes reported 981 active drilling rigs across the US last week, up three. The count in Canada fell by four to 302 active drilling rigs. Independent Oil & Gas Service reported a more than 21% drop in Kansas: seven east of Wichita, down five, and 22 in western Kansas, down three. Operators report drilling about to commence at one site in Barton County and three in Stafford County.
Operators filed 31 permits to drill at new locations across Kansas last week, 12 in the eastern half of the state and 19 west of Wichita. There are two new permits in Stafford County. Independent Oil & Gas Service reported 35 new well completions for the week, 15 east of Wichita and 20 in western Kansas, including one in Barton County, three in Ellis County and one in Stafford County.
The Kansas Corporation Commission reports 146 intent-to-drill notices filed across the state during the month of February, including four in Barton County, three in Ellis County and seven in Stafford County.
Oklahoma regulators hope to reduce the number of earthquakes, mostly too small to be felt, in the so-called SCOOP and STACK plays. They blame fracking for the smaller quakes in those areas, where wells produce much less wastewater than those in northern Oklahoma. Oklahoma Corporation Commission officials argue that the threat of induced quakes from fracking and other completion activity is much smaller than the threat linked to wastewater disposal. But, under the new rules, if a tremor of magnitude 2.0 or greater is detected, the producer must take action. If the tremor is over 2.5, they must pause fracking operations for at least six hours.
A new study by the energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie asserts that booming US shale oil production will soon overwhelm our current refining capacity, and suggests that within five years, three-fourths of our additional production will be exported to Europe and Asia. Reuters reported that the additional oil could also bottleneck at Gulf Coast ports unless new infrastructure is built.
Revised numbers from the government show the US set an all-time crude production record last November: 10.057 million barrels per day, beating out the prior record set in November of 1970.
Texas energy regulators say total crude oil production in the state last year topped 1 billion barrels and daily production in December was 5 percent higher year-on-year. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas reported the number of drilled, but uncompleted wells rose 4 percent in the Permian shale between December and January and more than doubled year-on-year, far outpacing the rest of the country.
A trade group in Texas reported the state’s oil and gas industry paid just over $11 billion in state and local taxes and royalties last year. The Texas Oil & Gas Association translates that into $30 million a day for the state’s schools, universities, roads, and first responders. Public school districts received $1.1 billion in property taxes for the fiscal year. TxOGA says counties received $336 million.
In Washington state, a project to build a massive oil-by-rail terminal officially ended last week when the project’s developers and the Port of Vancouver terminated the lease for a site along the Columbia River. Vancouver Energy said it would not appeal the Governor’s decision to reject a permit for the terminal, and said it would donate its $100,000 March lease payment to a fund that helps local nonprofits.
What’s billed as the biggest bribery trial in history opened briefly Monday, but has been postponed until May. Prosecutors in Italy charge oil majors Shell and Eni, and some of their executives, in connection with a $1.1 billion bribery scheme to win one of Nigeria’s most lucrative oil blocks.
According to Reuters, people were audibly gasping when Royal Dutch Shell bid more than $343 million for nine Mexican offshore oil blocks last month. What they didn’t know was that six months earlier, Shell had struck a giant oil reservoir in adjoining US waters. Shell didn’t tell anyone about the so-called “Whale” well until after the auction. The Whale could contain upwards of 700 million barrels of oil, about half of Shell’s production last year, and is likely one of the biggest discoveries in the industry in the last ten years.