Dec. 9, 2014, 6:20 PM
- North Dakota issues strict new oil standards that will require energy companies operating in the state to strip explosive gases from crude oil that shows a high vapor pressure reading, in an effort to make crude-by-rail transport safer.
- Under the new mandate, North Dakota oil can’t be transported unless it has a vapor pressure reading of 13.7 lbs./sq. in. or lower.
- The rule, which will take effect on April 1, 2015, is the first major move by regulators to address the role of gaseous, volatile crude oil in railroad accidents which have been linked to several fiery explosions, including one last year in Quebec that killed 47 people.
- Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
Dec. 5, 2014, 5:38 PM
- The Eagle Ford shale formation in south Texas produced its billionth barrel of oil some time last month, according to analysts at research firm Wood Mackenzie.
- Eagle Ford now accounts for 16% of total U.S. oil production, and the firm forecasts E&P spending of $30.8B in the region next year, ~22% of the total $139.3B expected in U.S. onshore spending.
- Eagle Ford is widely considered the most profitable U.S. shale field, and many analysts speculate the break-even price for production to remain profitable is ~$50/bbl in much of the play.
- Top Eagle Ford producers include EOG, CHK, COP, MRO, BHP, APC, APA, BP, COG, CRZO, CWEI, CRK, XOM, GDP, HES, MTDR, MUR, NFX, PVA, PXD, ROSE, RDS.A, RDS.B, SN, SM, STO, SFY, TLM, ZAZA
Dec. 2, 2014, 3:13 PM
- Apache (APA -1%), Bill Barrett (BBG -5.6%) and Laredo Petroleum (LPI -4.9%) are downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho, as the firm lowers its crude oil price deck and views OPEC's decision not to cut production as a structural shift in crude oil markets.
- Although the current excess supply/weak demand situation will be resolved gradually, market fundamentals will increasingly drive crude prices in a ~$70/bbl world, the firm says; in the E&P space, it prefers APC, MRO, FANG, RSPP and RICE.
Dec. 2, 2014, 2:48 PM
- Energy stocks (XLE +1.4%) are posting the day's largest gains among S&P sectors, rebounding from recent losses even as Nymex crude oil fell another $2.05 to $66.97/bbl.
- Refiners Marathon Petroleum (MPC +4%) and Valero (VLO +4.1%) and pipeline operator Williams Cos. (WMB +1.5%) are among the top gainers, while losers include most oil services companies such as Halliburton (HAL -2.2%) and rig operator Transocean (RIG -3.7%).
- Anadarko Petroleum (APC +1.6%), Cimarex Energy (XEC +1%), Devon Energy (DVN +0.7%), EOG Resources (EOG +3.8%) and Marathon Oil (MRO +3.5%) were selected top “safe haven” picks for analysts at Tudor Pickering Holt, which said they are “liquid names with high-quality assets and healthy balance sheets."
Dec. 1, 2014, 11:58 AM
- Marathon Oil (MRO -1.7%) says it discovered significant amounts of oil and natural gas in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
- A drillstem testing program at the Jisik-1 exploration well yielded a sustained flow rate of 6,100 bbl/day of oil, and multiple non-associated gas zones flowed at a combined rate of 10M-15M cf/day.
- MRO is operator of the Harir block with a 45% stake, while Total (TOT +0.4%) owns 35% and the Kurdistan Regional Government holds 20%.
Nov. 17, 2014, 3:59 PM
- In the wake of Halliburton's (NYSE:HAL) $34.6B offer for Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), it appears the next hot sector for M&A action is energy: More consolidation is likely, given the weakness for stocks in the oilfield services subsector, low interest rates, and as a drop in demand for oil increases cutthroat pricing competition.
- Speculation is running rampant as investors try to figure out who is next in an industry that is sure to undergo some more consolidation; some names identified as possible candidates include Kodiak Oil and Gas (NYSE:KOG), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), Northern Oil and Gas (NYSEMKT:NOG), Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD).
- GE could go after National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) to show it is serious about the energy industry after last year’s purchase of pumpmaker Lufkin, Royal Bank of Canada says, and Oppenheimer says even BP could be an acquisition candidate.
- But Morgan Stanley does not see offshore drillers getting in on the action, as larger players like Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO), Transocean (NYSE:RIG) and Seadrill (NYSE:SDRL) are still addressing dividend concerns while smaller companies such as Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW) and Pacific Drilling (NYSE:PACD) still trade close to replacement value.
Nov. 13, 2014, 7:23 PM
- North Dakota regulators today proposed standards for requiring energy companies to treat the crude they pump from the Bakken Shale to make it less volatile before shipment by pipeline or train.
- "Our crude oil leaving North Dakota will behave like the gasoline you put in your car," says the head of the state's Department of Mineral Resources, which came up with the recommendations.
- The new rules would require every barrel of oil produced in the state to undergo some kind of treatment, with the goal that all oil-producing Bakken Shale wells ship crude with a vapor pressure below 13.7 psi, similar to 13.5 psi for most automobile gasoline.
- Top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
Nov. 13, 2014, 11:59 AM
- Regulators set to decide on rules for shipping crude oil via railroad are relying on testing methods that may understate the explosive risk of North Dakota crude, according to a WSJ report citing industry and Canadian officials.
- The testing controversy centers on how to determine vapor pressure, a measure of how quickly a liquid fuel evaporates and emits gases; the industry has long relied on a decades-old methodology that does not require sealed or pressurized containers to collect or test crude samples.
- The North Dakota Industrial Commission is set to rule on what steps, if any, producers must take to strip volatile gases out of crude oil before loading it into railroad tank cars.
- Top Bakken producers include CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
Nov. 3, 2014, 6:36 PM
- Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) +1.7% AH despite reporting Q3 earnings that came in short of analyst expectations and revenues that fell 5% Y/Y.
- Total company sales volume from continuing operations excluding Libya averaged 411K boe/day, up more than 7% from a year ago.
- MRO says income from its Q3 E&P business rose 20% Y/Y to $292M on higher sales; exploration expenses fell 34%.
- Says its high-quality resource plays in the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Oklahoma resource basins averaged net production of 192K boe/day, up 43%.
- Despite lower oil prices, Mro says it plans to grow production in Q4; last month, MRO finalized the $2.1B sale of its Norway business and plans to reinvest the cash into expanding in U.S. shale plays.
Nov. 3, 2014, 5:05 PM
Nov. 2, 2014, 5:35 PM
- ACXM, AEIS, AGU, AIG, AMTG, ANV, APL, BDE, BKH, CHGG, CKP, CRK, CUTR, CVD, CXW, CYH, DXPE, EGAN, ELNK, ENH, EOX, EPAM, EQC, FN, FTR, GALE, GRT, GTY, HLF, IART, ININ, KAMN, KBR, LCI, MCEP, MDU, MR, MRO, NBIX, NLS, NOR, NTRI, OGS, OTTR, PKT, PL, PLOW, PQ, QLYS, RBC, REG, RKT, RKUS, RLD, RTEC, SALE, SBRA, SGY, SKH, SNHY, SRC, SSW, SUP, TDW, THC, TXRH, VNO, VNR, WTR, Y
Oct. 29, 2014, 5:53 PM
Oct. 15, 2014, 10:19 AM
- Ethiopia will grant Tullow Oil (OTCPK:TUWLF, OTCPK:TUWOY) an extension to its exploration license after the company reported “encouraging” results in its search so far, the country's mining minister says.
- Tullow had requested more time to analyze data from drilling and seismic surveys in southern Ethiopia after two out of four wells it drilled in the past two years, along with partners Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) and Africa Oil (OTCPK:AOIFF), show they may contain petroleum deposits.
- No oil or gas is currently produced by Ethiopia.
Oct. 13, 2014, 5:57 PM
- Bakken shale oil producers are under pressure to scale back their 2015 drilling plans after Bakken oil fell below $80/bbl for the first time in nearly a year, as worldwide crude prices decline amid ample North American supplies and Persian Gulf producers signaling they’re prepared to keep output high to protect their market shares in Asia.
- The "body language" among producers is that capex next year will be flat or only slightly higher, vs. earlier expectations for 5%-10% increases, says Topeka Capital's Gabriele Sorbara, who adds Bakken drillers need prices of $70-$80/bbl to earn a typical 15%-25% return.
- Bakken wells produced a record 1.047M barrels of crude in July, accounting for 12% of total U.S. output: CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
Oct. 9, 2014, 3:25 PM
- Crushed by relentless anxiety about oversupply and weakening global demand, Nymex crude oil futures closed down $1.54 at $85.76/bbl, their lowest close since Dec. 2012, while Brent crude fell below $90/bbl for the first time in more than two years.
- Including today's losses, WTI crude is down 6.2% since the start of the month and Brent has surrendered ~5%.
- In the face of surging output, a move in WTI below its 10-year average at $82 is not out of the realm of possibility, Brown Brothers Harriman says, adding that "a break of $73/barrel could send WTI toward $64, which corresponds with the 2010 low."
- Among big oil names so far today: APC -6.3%, LINE -4.6%, EPD -3.8%, DVN -3.8%, MRO -3.6%, HES -3.8%, KMI -3.7%, TOT -3.5%, STO -3.3%, RDS.A -3.1%, OXY -3%, KMP -3%, XOM -2.6%, COP -2.6%, MUR -2.6%, CVX -2.5%, BP -2.4%.
- ETFs: USO, XLE, OIL, UCO, ERX, VDE, OIH, SCO, ERY, XOP, DIG, BNO, DTO, DBO, DUG, IYE, XES, IEO, CRUD, IEZ, PXE, USL, UWTI, PXJ, FENY, DNO, DWTI, RYE, FXN, SZO, OLO, DDG, OLEM, TWTI
Sep. 15, 2014, 11:58 AM
- North Dakota's daily oil production jumped 5% in July to an all-time high 34.4M barrels (~1.1M bbl/day), state regulators say, although the number was lower than expected as producers worked to meet aggressive flaring-reduction targets.
- Natural gas production hit 1.3B cf/day, also an all-time high, but the percentage of natural gas flared in the state fell to 26% in July from 30% in June.
- In an effort to curb flaring, state regulators issued strict goals earlier this year with key benchmarks for flaring percentages each month; for October, for instance, the state's oil producers cannot flare more than 74% of natural gas produced.
- Bakken producers include CLR, EOG, KOG, WLL, HES, XOM, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
MRO vs. ETF Alternatives
Marathon Oil Corp is an energy company engaged in the exploration, production and marketing of liquid hydrocarbons and natural gas, production and marketing of products manufactured from natural gas and oil sands mining.
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