By JOHN P. TRETBAR
For the first time, monthly U.S. crude oil production figures topped 12 million barrels per day, while Texas and Oklahoma also set records. According to the Petroleum Supply Monthly report from the Energy Information Administration, U.S. operators tapped nearly 12.2 million barrels per day in April, the latest monthly figures available. Oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma all hit record highs. Texas reached 4.97 million barrels per day, while Oklahoma notched 617,000 barrels per day. Kansas production in April was 95,000 barrels per day.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a big decline in domestic crude oil inventories to 468.5 million barrels for the week ending June 28. That’s down more than one million barrels for the week. The government reported weekly U.S. production increased slightly to more than 12.2 million barrels per day. Average production over the last four weeks is up nearly 12% over the same four-week period a year ago. Imports increased nearly one million barrels to 7.6 million barrels per day. Imports over the last four weeks averaged about 7.3 million barrels per day, which is 13% less than the same four-week period last year.
Operators reported continuing problems with high water across the area causing delays in drilling activity. Independent Oil & Gas Service reports drilling was underway on one lease in Ellis County, but said flooding delayed work at four other sites. Across Western Kansas there are 24 active rigs, up two. There are seven seven active drilling rigs in eastern Kansas, which is up one over last week.
Baker Hughes reported a big drop in its weekly rig count, with 963 active rigs, a drop of five oil rigs and one seeking natural gas. The count in Oklahoma was down five rigs, Louisiana was down four. New Mexico was up three rigs. The count in Canada was down four at 120 active rigs.
Regulators report 25 new Kansas drilling permits for the week, 480 so far this year, with 15 permits in eastern Kansas and ten west of Wichita. There’s one new permit on file in Ellis County.
Independent Oil & Gas Service reports 27 newly completed wells last week across Kansas, 777 so far this year. There were twenty completions east of Wichita, and seven in Western Kansas, including one dry hole in Stafford County.
One of the world’s largest oil-field service companies, Weatherford International filed for bankruptcy protection on last week. The Wall Street Journal reports bondholders approved a restructuring agreement that will reduce Weatherford’s total debt by 70% or almost $6 billion. Five years ago, the company was worth more than $12 billion, but the Journal reports equity shareholders would be left virtually empty-handed under the agreement.
An Oklahoma company bogged down by earthquakes, disposal limits and lawsuits will face an involuntary bankruptcy case in federal court in Oklahoma. White Star Petroleum tried to get the case dismissed in favor of a voluntary Chapter 11 filing in Delaware. But The Daily Oklahoman reports the hearings will be held locally. The company’s hopes for crude production from the Mississippian Lime play were doused by the huge amounts of water those wells produced, the earthquakes that followed disposal of that water, and the lawsuits that followed one of those earthquakes.