Corsicana, TX Oil Boom

Oil Boom in Corsicana, Texas

June-9-Corsicana-AOGHS 1st tx oilboom

On June 9th 1894, the first oil strike occurred at 1,035 feet deep by a contractor that was hired to find water for the city in Corsicana, Texas. This discovery was made by a company from Kansas called American Well and Prospecting Company, and produced only about two and a half barrels of oil per day. This was not the first oil well drilled in Texas, however, the discovery on South 12th street, led to the exploration and production industry in the great state of Texas.

From the year 1894 to the year 1900, the population in Corsicana grew rapidly to 9,313 citizens. Along with the growth in population came other growth as the town grew to have 12 newspapers, 49 stores, 3 banks, 8 hotels, and much more.

There were more findings later in 1896 that produced 22 barrels a day and by 1897, the field was yielding 65,975 barrels per day of oil from 47 wells. By 1898 there were 287 wells producing in Corsicana.

This Oil Boom created success and abundance for the town of Corsicana. The town built a new courthouse and a new chamber of commerce.

In the year 1923 another deposit of oil was found, “the Powell oil field”, starting another oil drilling boom, and it lured thousands more to their town. By 1953 this town had twenty one millionaires living within their city limits. Corsicana claimed to have the highest per capita income in the entire state of Texas. Furthermore, by 1956 another field was discovered directly to the east and within a few months there were about 500 wells.

The Corsicana field yielded one hundred and twenty five million barrels of oil.

Information retrieved from the internet on 01/10/2018 from https://aoghs.org/petroleum-pioneers/texas-oil-boom/ 
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Trump scraps Obama-era fracking rule

Trump administration officially scraps Obama-era rules for fracking on federal land

The rules would have, among other things, required companies to disclose the chemicals used in their operations.

CORRECTION Fracking Colorado
WORKERS TEND TO A WELL HEAD DURING A HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OPERATION IN WESTERN COLORADO. (CREDIT: AP PHOTO/BRENNAN LINSLEY, FILE)

On Friday, the Department of the Interior officially repealed rules created by the Obama administration to regulate the use of hydraulic fracturing on federal lands, signaling an end to a contentious process that has drawn legal challenges from the oil and gas industry.

Hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — is a kind of oil and gas extraction that requires companies to inject large volumes of chemical and sand-laced water into rock formations at high pressure, breaking the rocks and exposing oil and gas within. It’s a controversial process that has been found to increase the likelihood of earthquakes around drill and injection sites, and can pose a threat to groundwater. Babies born near fracking sites are also more likely to have  significantly low birth weights, which could lead to health problems later in life.

The Obama-era rules, which were finalized in 2015 but never went into effect due to pending litigation, would have required companies to disclose the chemicals used in fracking, as well as forced them to cover storage ponds where companies keep fracking fluids. The rules also would have set more stringent standards on the construction of fracking wells and wastewater management.

The Department of the Interior said that repealing the rules would save “up to $9,690 per well or approximately $14 million to $34 million per year” in industry compliance costs while doing away with duplicative federal regulations. Opponents of the rules argued that state and tribal regulations already did enough to protect the environment and public health from any dangers associated with fracking, and that the federal rules simply added more regulatory burden for the oil and gas industry.

“It was clear from the start that the federal rule was redundant with state regulation and politically motivated, as the prior administration could not point to one incident or regulatory gap that justified the rule,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance — one of two industry groups that successfully challenged the rule in 2015 — in a press statement. “Western Energy Alliance appreciates that BLM under Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke understands this rule was duplicative and has rescinded it.”

The department also claims that the disclosure of chemicals used by fracking companies is “more prevalent than it was in 2015 and, therefore, there is no continuing need for a Federal chemical disclosure requirement, since companies are already making those disclosures on most operations, either to comply with state law or voluntarily.”

In 2015, the EPA found that fracking companies disclosed just 10 percent of the chemicals used in their operations. Between January 2011 and February 2013, 428 operators in 20 states filed with FracFocus, an industry-backed web portal that allows oil and gas companies to voluntarily register the chemicals used in their operations. According to the Interior Department’s repeal of the Obama-era fracking rules, 25 states now use FracFocus for chemical disclosures.

But proponents of the rules argue that they represented meaningful, common sense updates to a regulatory framework that was created before the advent of fracking some ten years ago.

“Arguing that states have rules that talk about the subject of hydraulic fracturing doesn’t tell you much at all,” Michael Freeman, a staff attorney with EarthJustice, told ThinkProgress. “If you want to look at the value of a rule you have to look at what it is actually doing on a number of issues. The rule eliminates pits to store fracking waste in most cases; most states don’t require that.”

In 2016, after delaying the rules for a year, a Wyoming district court found that the Interior Department does not have the authority to regulate fracking on federal lands. The Interior Department, along with a number of environmental groups, initially appealed the decision, though the department changed its position after Trump took office in 2017. In September, a federal appeals court overturned the 2016 decision — which opens up the possibility for another administration to issue similar regulations at some point in the future.

It’s unlikely that the issue has seen the last of its legal challenges, however. Environmental groups are almost certain to challenge the repeal in court, most likely arguing that the repeal violates the Administrative Procedures Act, which holds that agencies cannot make decisions that are “arbitrary and capricious.”

“What the Trump administration has done here is to abdicate its responsibility to protect public lands from the very real risks posed by modern fracking,” Freeman said. “It’s completely arbitrary. Instead, it simply amounts to a favor for Trump’s friends in the oil and gas industry.”

Freeman said that EarthJustice was planning to legally challenge the administration’s repeal in the coming weeks.

Repealing the rules has been a top priority for the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda since taking control of the White House last year. In March, Trump specifically named the rules as targets for repeal in his executive order on energy independence (the same executive order that kicked off the official the repeal of the Clean Power Plan). But Freeman notes that repealing the fracking rules will hardly usher in an energy boom on federal lands — according to the Bureau of Land Management’s own assessment, the impact of repealing the rules would be “positive but seldom significant.”

“While there could be a small positive impact on the development of Federal and Indian oil and gas leases, the proposed rule is unlikely to substantially alter the investment decisions of firms and is unlikely to affect the supply, distribution, or use of energy,” the BLM concluded in July.

Retrieved from the internet 01/03/2017 from https://thinkprogress.org/trump-administration-repeals-obama-fracking-rules-f4595696dff7/

Windfall and the Oil and Gas Sector

The Oil and Gas Sector Is Changing — and So Is Geopolitics

By ROBERT D. KAPLANDEC. 28, 2017

WINDFALL – How the New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics and Strengthens American Power – By Meghan L. O’Sullivan – 479 pp. Simon & Schuster. $29.

Geopolitics is power played out against geographical settings. In this battle, ideas and ideologies matter. But it is often the most technical and complex factors — the ones we least understand and therefore discount, according to Columbia University’s Robert Jervis — that carry the greatest weight. There may be no factor more influential in contemporary geopolitics and yet least understood by journalists and policymakers than the energy revolution, which is less about renewables like wind and solar power than about how the oil and gas sector itself is changing. A Harvard professor and former assistant to President George W. Bush, Meghan L. O’Sullivan, has dissected the intricacies of this industry to offer a riveting and comprehensive geopolitical theory in “Windfall.”

The decline in crude oil prices from $100 per barrel to around $60 and below over the past two years, along with the widespread ability to extract shale gas through hydraulic fracturing of rock, or fracking, has moved the United States from being “the world’s thirstiest consumer of overseas oil to a position of greater self-sufficiency,” O’Sullivan writes. Falling energy prices have also stabilized Europe’s economy, helped Japan manage the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, allowed China to more aggressively pursue its new Silk Road strategy across Eurasia (while reducing the pain of a decelerating economy), kept Russia from becoming an energy superpower and weakened the prospects for energy-rich sub-Saharan African countries. “On the whole,” the author says, “the new energy abundance is a boon to American power — and a bane to Russian brawn.” In fact, it was new extraction techniques in tight oil and shale gas that helped ease America out of the recession.

But triumphalists beware. Though the United States is now the world’s largest energy producer, it can never be the swing producer of hydrocarbons that Saudi Arabia once was, able to determine world prices by simply deciding how much to pump. That is because the United States is not an autocracy with a national oil company, but a vast network of hundreds of small producers making their own decisions and taking their own risks.

At the same time, the energy revolution has laid the basis for a more politically and economically unified North American continent. For this reason, O’Sullivan criticizes Barack Obama for alienating Canada with his delays of the Keystone XL pipeline and Donald Trump for alienating Mexico with his insults and talk of a “wall” between the two countries. O’Sullivan’s book lays out Trump’s ignorance of the whole United States-Mexico relationship. In 2015, the two countries traded “more than $1 million of goods and services every minute.” Rather than “simply trading in final products, the United States and Mexico build goods together, utilizing complex supply chains that crisscross the border,” a grid-work that includes 20 natural gas pipelines.

It was on the American side of the Gulf of Mexico where a floating storage and re-gasification unit was deployed in 2005 for the first time. Once natural gas is shipped in liquefied form, it can be converted back into gas upon arrival across the sea for actual use. Such units are now helping countries in Central and Eastern Europe receive gas from abroad, lessening their dependence on Russia for energy and creating a more globally integrated energy system. No longer dependent on continental pipelines, countries can now receive more gas by sea. This, in turn, has led to cheaper prices worldwide and stark geopolitical implications. China, for one, has benefited. It became less reliant on piped gas from Russia just at the moment when Moscow, reeling from the shale gas boom, was desperate for a natural gas export deal. The result was price concessions to Beijing that Russia otherwise would not have made.

For Russia, the rise of liquefied natural gas has placed the country in an increasingly greater disadvantage in competing with China for markets and influence in former Soviet Central Asia. Russia may still have an advantage because of its energy reserves, but it cannot wield energy for political ends as bluntly as it used to. While Russia is weakened, O’Sullivan posits that China will become in some respects a better global actor, since cheaper gas and oil will gradually reduce China’s need for friendship with energy-rich autocratic regimes and, as O’Sullivan observes, “reinforces Chinese confidence in one of the key elements of the liberal international order: the market.”

Though not wholly original, O’Sullivan writes with great clarity about a frankly dry and complicated subject. In tackling the Middle East, she observes a number of devastating ironies. Cheap oil does not spell the end of Middle East oil producers. It actually helps them, since it could price out high-cost American, Canadian and European oil. A United States that is more self-sufficient in energy will still have to be active in the Middle East to fight terrorism, resist nuclear weapons proliferation, support Israel and bolster other regional allies. Cheap oil spurs economic reform in Saudi Arabia, but also weakens the cause of Kurdish independence, since a successful Kurdish state will depend on oil revenues. Because energy is still only one factor in geopolitics, albeit a crucial one, power shifts will usually be oblique rather than immediately obvious.

Yet will Saudi Arabia have a revolution? Will Russia eventually become a low-calorie version of the former Yugoslavia? Will oil-rich Nigeria collapse, or oil-rich Venezuela continue to implode? Much will depend on the price of hydrocarbons in the years and decades ahead. In geopolitics, a $40-per-barrel world will be vastly different from a $100-per-barrel one. Rather than the usual policy pablum, “Windfall” is a smart, deeply researched primer on the subject.

Robert D. Kaplan is the author of “Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America’s Role in the World.” He is a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a senior adviser at Eurasia Group.

Information retrieved from the internet 12/28/2017 from: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/books/review/windfall-meghan-osullivan.html

Obama Era Fracking Rule

Appeals court will not reconsider decision to overturn Obama-era fracking rule

The Trump Interior Department is moving forward with its plan to repeal the Obama-era regulation on oil and natural gas drilling on federal lands. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
The Trump Interior Department is moving forward with its plan to repeal the Obama-era regulation on oil and natural gas drilling on federal lands. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A federal appeals court said Wednesday it will not reconsider its September decision overturning a lower court’s order to block the Obama administration’s fracking rule.

The Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said it was not interested in rehearing arguments to block the Bureau of Land Management’s regulations on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In September, it said that the case was moot since the Trump administration’s Interior Department is moving to repeal the regulation on oil and natural gas drilling on federal lands.

The rule affects oil wells on public lands that are found mainly in the West.

The Bureau of Land Management plans to repeal the fracking rule by the end of January, according to the administration’s regulatory agenda.

The Obama-era rule targets the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which has made the U.S. the world’s leading producer of energy.

BLM says the fracking rule “unnecessarily burdens industry with compliance costs and information requirements that are duplicative of regulatory programs of many states and some tribes,” according to the unified agenda. “As a result, we are proposing to rescind, in its entirety, the 2015 final rule.”

Killing off the rule has been a top priority of the oil and natural gas industry, as well as Republican lawmakers from western states.

Activist groups are expected to sue the agency after the rule is made final, adding to the list of Trump administration actions being challenged in court in the new year.

Retrieved from the internet on 12/28/17 at 11:37 AM from:  http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/appeals-court-will-not-reconsider-decision-to-overturn-obama-era-fracking-rule/article/2644450

 

Clearing Up Some Confusing Headlines About The U.S. Oil And Gas Industry

Suncor Energy Inc. oil tanks stand in this aerial photograph taken near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Thursday, June 4, 2015. Photographer: Ben Nelms/Bloomberg

In the oil and gas industry, sometimes it is hard to figure out what is real and what isn’t – what is really happening, and what really isn’t happening.  I spent 38 years in the industry, and still have a hard time figuring it all out.  Here are some good recent examples of stories whose headlines made bold claims that, upon reading the entire stories, turned out to be quite nuanced:

  • Are investors really abandoning the shale industry?
  • Did the World Bank really cut off funding of oil and gas projects?
  • Has the business case for building the Keystone XL pipeline really passed?

All are good questions, all of which have been the subject of multiple media reports in the past weeks, and all have more complex answers than the simplistic media headlines that are all most people actually read.  So, let’s clarify some things.

Are Investors Abandoning The U.S. Shale Industry?

We’ve seen many reports alleging that investor funds are drying up for the shale industry during the second half of this year, yet shale producers somehow keep managing to get their business done.  Indeed, in recent weeks we’ve seen a series of announcements of major new investments in domestic shale by private equity and institutional investors, and the Fall debt re-determination season passed without noticeable major hiccups.

So, what gives?  A look at recent presentations by the CEOs at corporate shale producers, like this one from Encana’s Doug Suttles, shows a focus on responding to demands by investors that these companies dedicate more of their resources towards actions that will increase returns on investment capital, a pressure I wrote about in early November.  One result of this investor pressure has been the announcement of a wave of stock buy-back programs since August.  Investors are also pressuring companies to change executive compensation programs that have been, in their view, too focused on increasing production at the cost of profits.

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out on December 13, 70 percent of U.S. shale is produced by just 30 companies. Thus, if most of these companies can be convinced to allocate resources to initiatives to raise investor returns, this problem will become largely resolved.

Did The World Bank Cut Off Funding of Oil and Gas Projects?

That is certainly what the casual reader would have believed from reading the headlines attached to stories like this one from the UK Telegraph last week.  Many other news outlets carried similar stories with similar click-baiting headlines that indicated that the World Bank plans to cut off all funding for oil and gas projects in 2019.  Indeed, even the reader who tends to scan not just headlines, but also reads the first few paragraphs of most of these stories would have read nothing to contradict the headline message.

In the Telegraph’s story, the reader had to get all the way to the 9th paragraph to see the story’s highly significant catch:

In some exceptional circumstances, the organisation may still offer some financial support for upstream gas in poor countries “where there is a clear benefit in terms of energy access for the poor and the project fits within the countries’ Paris Agreement commitments”, the WBG said.

That may include continuing support for projects such as the $700m Ghana Sankofa Gas Project which is intended to increase availability of natural gas for clean power generation.

Given that the World Bank’s mission is focused entirely on helping developing nations improve the circumstances for their people, that’s a pretty significant exception, especially when one considers the crystal clear benefits responsible oil and natural gas development can bring to impoverished nations.  It is entirely possible that this announcement, which was made at the One Planet Summit in Paris, could in fact end up producing no real policy change at all.  But it sure got a nice round of applause in Paris.

Has the business case for building the Keystone XL pipeline passed?

Ummmmmmm…no. That line of thought was used by opponents of the project and some media analysts in the weeks leading up to the final regulatory approval of the Nebraska route for the line that was issued in November.  The logic employed was that so much time had passed while the pipeline’s cross-border permit was being held up for political reasons by the Obama Administration that the rationale for the project had become stale, and the demand for its capacity longer existed.

But this week saw a rash of stories like this one in World Oil Magazine about the rising discounts to WTI experienced by Canadian crude producers due to a lack of pipeline capacity:

Heavy Canadian crude fell to the lowest in almost four years against benchmark prices Tuesday as bottlenecks on pipelines and rail networks crimped exports.

Canadian crude’s discount to West Texas Intermediate futures has widened more than $15 since August as pipeline companies including Enbridge Inc. rationed space amid high Western Canadian inventories. Rail cars struggled to catch up on deliveries after line disruptions over the past two months.

“You are in a serious pain point right now,” Mike Walls, a Genscape Inc. analyst, said by phone from Boulder, Colorado. “It’s the perfect storm of too much supply and not enough capacity.”

The truth is that, even with several other pipeline expansion/new build projects scheduled to come on-line from now through the end of 2019, there is still plenty of demand for the added capacity that Keystone XL will ultimately provide.

For his own part, Trans-Canada CEO Russ Girling said in late November “that the company has been ‘very encouraged’ by discussions with potential shippers in recent weeks on the proposed 830,000 barrel a day pipeline and that TransCanada expects to secure enough binding commitments from shippers to advance the project.”  Sure sounds like the company investing billions of dollars in the Keystone XL project thinks the business case for completing the northern leg of the line remains strong.  At the end of the day, that’s really all that matters.

 

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon, and read my daily updates at DBDailyUpdate.com

 

Story retrieved from Forbes.com 12/19/2017

https://us-u.openx.net/w/1.0/pd?plm=6&ph=bbb82fae-1d27-4d90-bb10-e24164ecd7bc

WSJ Article / Interesting Read

Oil Prices Hit High, Before Sliding, Amid Disrupted Supply

Interruptions across the world and OPEC’s productions cuts buoy a beleaguered oil industry

The Bashneft PAO oilfield, Russia. Oil-supply cuts and disruptions have coincided with healthy oil demand this year as the global economy enjoys a rare spurt of synchronized growth.
The Bashneft PAO oilfield, Russia. Oil-supply cuts and disruptions have coincided with healthy oil demand this year as the global economy enjoys a rare spurt of synchronized growth. PHOTO: ANDREY RUDAKOV/BLOOMBERG NEWS

LONDON—The beleaguered global oil industry is seeing the beginning of the end of the crude glut.

A wave of oil-supply disruptions, rising demand and OPEC’s production cuts has raised hopes among investors and producers that global oil supplies are finally falling back in line with demand, after years of being out of whack.

Oil inventories in the industrialized world—a proxy for the glut—have fallen to their lowest levels in two years. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose past $65 a barrel in volatile trading Tuesday for the first time since June 2015 before falling to $63.46 a barrel on Tuesday evening in London.

Oil-industry players are now preparing for a more stable price around $60 a barrel or higher, after a three-year roller coaster when the price fell from over $100 a barrel in 2014 to less than $28 a barrel in 2016 before stagnating in the $40s and $50s much of this year.

“It’s actually tempting us to revise our price forecasts higher,” said Amrita Sen of consultancy Energy Aspects, which predicts Brent will average $64 a barrel next year.

The rise in oil prices comes with a quirk that could help U.S. companies: American oil prices haven’t gained as fast as Brent and remain more than $6 a barrel cheaper, at about $57 a barrel. That makes American oil more attractive to ship globally. The last time the price differential was this wide, in October, U.S. exports climbed to 2 million barrels a day, a record, according to German bank Commerzbank.

“This is definitely good news for U.S. exporters, who have already been ramping up” sales abroad, said Tom Pugh, a commodities economist at Capital Economics.

U.S. oil exporters and shale drillers have been locking in sales of their crude at higher prices just as American production is forecast to reach record levels in 2018.

The oil-price surge gives big Western oil companies like BP PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp.XOM +0.56% and Royal Dutch Shell PLC more financial breathing room than they have had in years. Many have already taken steps that show they can make money at prices below $60 a barrel. France’s Total SA on Tuesday scrapped the discount it will offer shareholders that opt to receive their dividend payment in stock—a signal that the company is more confident it can haul in enough cash to pay investors.

Meanwhile, Saudi officials on Tuesday said Saudi Arabian Oil Co. would invest $414 billion over the next decade, investments they said were needed for the kingdom to maintain its world-leading ability to produce 12 million barrels a day.

The most recent jolt to the market came from Great Britain, where one of Europe’s most important pipeline systems sprung a leak last week. About 450,000 barrels a day of North Sea oil production is shut off for the next two to three weeks for repairs to the Forties Pipeline System, said its owner, Ineos, the British chemicals and refining company.

“When you have big voluntary cuts, you can’t afford many unplanned outages,” said Olivier Jakob, managing director of Petromatrix, an oil research firm in Zug, Switzerland.

The oil-supply cuts and disruptions have coincided with healthy oil demand this year as the global economy enjoys a rare spurt of synchronized growth.

To be sure, oil prices are likely to correct downward after the U.K. pipeline system returns sometimes this month. Higher prices could cause the OPEC production deal to collapse as its members try to cash in on higher prices by releasing more output.

Analysts have warned that higher prices could cause a flood of new production from the U.S. In the third quarter, U.S. oil production for 2018 was hedged at its highest levels since 2014, allowing producers to keep increasing output even if prices fall next year, Citigroup said.

The volatility was on display Tuesday morning when prices suddenly nose-dived and fell below $65. For some the level represents a psychological ceiling at which they want to cash in and sell.

“The question is where does the next bull buyer come from,” said Michael Tran, director of energy strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

But the sheer amount of oil coming off the market in recent weeks may be too much even for the U.S. to make up for. Shale producers are under pressure to show profits instead of just pumping as much as possible.

Oil companies are working to fix the disruptions, but it isn’t clear how quickly.

Ineos had evacuated local residents and sent a team of engineers to the site of pipeline damage to assess how to fix a crack that had spread over the past several days. “It is expected to be a matter of weeks rather than days,” a company spokesman said.

The 590,000-barrel-a-day Keystone oil pipeline, an important oil artery between Canada and the U.S., has been transporting oil at 20%-reduced rates as a precautionary measure after pipe damage in South Dakota that forced its shutdown late November.

In Iraq, some 275,000 barrels a day of output remains shut down in Kirkuk oil fields, said Antoine Rostand of Paris-based consultancy Kayrros, which uses satellite data to assess output levels at individual facilities.

In Venezuela, a debt dispute with China and U.S. sanctions has knocked its export volumes down by 200,000 barrels a day in late October and November, according to Kpler, a tanker-tracking firm.

Write to Georgi Kantchev at georgi.kantchev@wsj.com and Benoit Faucon at benoit.faucon@wsj.com

Appeared in the December 13, 2017, print edition as ‘Oil Supplies Retreat, Bolstering Producers.’

Article Retrieved 12/13/17 from https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-reason-behind-65-oil-prices-is-disrupted-supply-1513089506 by Pickett Oilfield, LLC