Halliburton to add 2,000 jobs as oilfield activity surges

Halliburton, which has operations in Ohio’s Utica shale play, plans to add 2,000 U.S. jobs and ramp up “faster than anticipated to try to match the surging oilfield activity, especially in West Texas,” reports FuelFix.com. The news site says that in an operations update call, Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar reported the company is spending more money now to protect market share and ensure stronger profits in the future. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio

Keystone XL pipeline gets green light from Trump administration

President Donald Trump has announced the granting of a permit for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, calling it “the first of many infrastructure projects” that he will approve to put more Americans to work, reports the Washington Post. The newspaper says the $8 billion project would span 1,200 miles, connecting Alberta, Canada’s tar sands with pipelines and refineries on the Texas gulf coast. The move comes two months after President Trump signed an executive order aimed at reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. For more, read the full story.


Oil and natural gas rebound could spark rise in IPOs

Oil and natural gas companies could kick off a series of initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2017 as the U.S. shale industry rebounds in the eyes of Wall Street, reports FuelFix.com. The news site says Credit Suisse analysts believe around 30 privately held drillers, oilfield service companies and pipeline operators could go public this year in transactions worth $8.5 billion, nearly four times more than in 2016. For more, read the full story.


Oil and gas rig count keeps rising including in Marcellus shale play

The U.S. oil and natural gas drilling rig count jumped 21 units to 789 during the week ending on March 17th, continuing a rally that dates to May 27, 2016, reports Oil and Gas Journal. Citing data from Baker Hughes Inc., the news site says the most recent rig count increases were concentrated in Oklahoma and North Dakota. The rig count in the Marcellus shale play increased by one unit to 42, which is double the number on August 12, 2016. For more, read the full story.

National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Steel use up due to changes in oil and gas drilling operations

The number of active oil and natural gas drilling rigs in the United States is not likely to reach the highs of the “shale revolution,” but demand for steel by the energy industry is expected to be higher than it was prior to the collapse of the drilling boom, according to Platts. The energy news site says steel demand per well has increased 45% since 2010. The increase has occurred as lateral drilling lengths have become longer and wells have gotten deeper, Platts reports. For more, read the full story.


Report: Oil and gas producers to spend $25 billion more on capital projects this year

A new analysis by energy research firm Wood Mackenzie says oil and natural gas producers expect to spend $25 billion more on capital projects this year than they did in 2016, reports FuelFix.com. The analysis also says companies hope to pump 1 million more barrels of oil and gas per day in 2017 compared to the prior year. Companies focused on the United States will spend about $15 billion more this year, an increase of 60% over 2016. For more, read the full story.

Global, National

U.S. shale producers lift oil and natural gas reserve estimates

The top U.S. shale firms are lifting their crude oil and natural gas reserve estimates for the first time in two years “even as many major oil companies are cutting the same projections and taking write-downs on more expensive fields,” Reuters reports. The news service says increasing confidence in the growth prospects of U.S. shale plays is “in striking contrast to the retreat of the world's top oil firms from the high-cost oil sands of Canada.” Industry experts told Reuters the increase in reported shale reserves is driven by new drilling efficiencies, leaner operations and improved well completion techniques. For more, read the full story.


Companies report major oil find on Alaska’s North Slope

A unit of Denver’s Armstrong Oil & Gas Inc. and Spanish energy company Repsol SA have announced what they call “the largest U.S. onshore conventional hydrocarbons discovery in 30 years” on the North Slope of Alaska, reports the Denver Business Journal. The companies said the find could amount to approximately 1.2 billion barrels of recoverable light oil from wells near the village of Nuiqsut, about 35 miles from the Beaufort Sea coast. For more, read the full story.


U.S. shale expansion runs counter to OPEC’s global oil strategy

Reuters reports that U.S. shale producers are plotting “ambitious production growth outside the red-hot Permian Basin in Texas, widening a resurgence that could confound” a strategy by OPEC to tighten global supplies. As U.S. shale producers rebound from a two-year price war with OPEC, many are planning to expand production in North Dakota, Oklahoma and other regions such as the Utica and Marcellus shale plays, according to the new service. Reuters notes that Hess Corp., Chesapeake Energy Corp., Continental Resources Inc. and other companies recently detailed expansion projects that would result in a “steady supply of American crude exports through the next decade.” For more, read the full story.

Global, National, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Energy analysts optimistic about oil even after price decline

The American oil benchmark price recently fell by 9% to below $50 a barrel, but most industry analysts think the long-term outlook is for prices to bounce back and continue to climb over the next few years, according to the New York Times. The newspaper says impetus for the price drop was a report by the Department of Energy that U.S. oil stockpiles had bulged by 8.2 million barrels in one week. “The herd mentality kicks in, [but] the fundamentals have not shifted,” Aquamarine Investment Partners CEO Joel H. Moser told the Times about the fall in prices, adding the demand for oil continues to steadily rise and industrial players are moderately gearing up production. For more, read the full story.

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