May 19, 2014, 7:58 AM
- Brent crude rises above $110/bbl on renewed concerns over Libya's oil output following some of the worst violence in Tripoli since Gaddafi's ouster in 2011.
- Gunmen stormed Libya's parliament yesterday and demanded its suspension, claiming loyalty to a renegade army general.
- An end to a month-long blockade of major oil ports in eastern Libya last month raised the prospect of higher crude exports, but just-opened oil fields have been closed again as clashes erupt.
- Also helping push crude prices are potential Norwegian strikes and the shutdown of BP's Foinaven field for maintenance.
- Energy companies with a significant presence in Libya include Total (TOT), Statoli (STO), ConocoPhillips (COP), Marathon Oil (MRO), Hess (HES) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY).
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, SCO, DTO, BNO, DBO, CRUD, USL, UWTI, DNO, DWTI, SZO, OLO, OLEM, TWTI
May 16, 2014, 12:39 PM
- Data released by a lobbying group for oil refiners confirms that crude from North Dakota is very volatile and contains high levels of combustible gases, but the group says the crude is no more dangerous to ship than oil from other shale regions and new rules on safety standards are not needed.
- Oil and refining companies say it's mostly the railroads that are at fault: a probe into the derailment and explosion of a train in Lac-Megantic last year found that brakes weren’t applied correctly; a train that exploded in North Dakota in December crashed into a train that had derailed across the tracks; and the April explosion of a train carrying Bakken crude through Lynchburg, Va., may have been caused because sections of the track bed had been washed away by heavy rains.
- Among Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, KOG, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
May 12, 2014, 10:58 AM
- Marathon Oil (MRO +1.1%) reportedly plans to decide within this year whether to develop a pair of discoveries in the vicinity of its Alvheim oil field off Norway.
- Development of the two discoveries likely would require total investments of 2B-3B Norwegian kroner ($338M-$507M).
- MRO is looking to boost the resource base for the Alvheim field and plans to start drilling three more development wells later this year to lift the recovery rate.
May 6, 2014, 5:59 PM
- Marathon Oil (MRO) +1.8% AH after Q1 earnings more than tripled despite a drop in revenue, as domestic production continues to grow and exploration costs fell 84%.
- North American shale production jumped 10% Y/Y, but overseas production fell 14% due to a strike in Libya and aging fields in Norway and the U.K.; says the sale of its North Sea assets is on schedule and that bids are due this quarter.
- Q1 revenue fell 12% to $3.53B, sales volume slipped 11% to $463M, while net production available for sales dropped 13% to $448M.
- Operating margin narrowed to 33.5% from 35.8%, while provisions for income taxes fell 40% to $590M.
May 6, 2014, 4:51 PM
Apr. 30, 2014, 3:04 PM
Apr. 25, 2014, 4:56 PM
- New Concept Energy (GBR) surged 30% today, reaching a two-year high, on market speculation that a larger rival may be interested in buying some of its natural gas properties in the Utica shale formation in West Virginia.
- GBR shares raced as high as $3.28 before closing at $2.40, as online chat boards suggested the likely suitors could be either Chevron (CVX) or Marathon Oil (MRO).
- Volume reached 2.57M shares, or ~107x the daily average of 24,052 shares over the past three months; GBR issued a statement that the company's policy is not to comment on unusual market activity.
Apr. 23, 2014, 12:57 PM
- North Dakota's industrial commission is considering a proposal that would cut back on the state’s booming oil production as a means of controlling the amount of natural gas that’s being burned off at well sites.
- North Dakota drillers currently flare more than a third of the gas because development of pipelines and processing facilities to capture it hasn’t kept pace with oil drilling.
- "If production curtailment is the chosen regulatory path, then wells will be shut in or not even drilled,” says Roger Kelley, director of regulatory affairs for Continental Resources (CLR), one of the biggest players in the state.
- Other top North Dakota producers include EOG, WLL, HES, KOG, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
Apr. 21, 2014, 5:45 PM
Apr. 16, 2014, 12:14 PM
- Another potential problem related to fracking has been discovered in North Dakota, where piles of garbage bags have been found in two places recently filled with “oil socks” used to capture silt found in the waste water from fracking, but which also contain radioactive waste.
- North Dakota wells may produce 27 tons/day of the filter socks, and the state has no storage facility capable of handling radioactive waste - with 500-600 injection wells now producing the socks.
- Though the radiation levels are mild, the discoveries provide further evidence of how regulators in the state have been slow to address the repercussions of the shale oil boom.
- Bakken producers include CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, KOG, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
Apr. 10, 2014, 10:46 AM
- Oklahoma is experiencing a noticeable increase in earthquakes near drilling sites, according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, suggesting a potential link between fracking and seismic activity.
- The state already has experienced as many earthquakes YTD than all of last year combined: 109 earthquakes with a magnitude 3 or higher through April 6, the same number of earthquakes as in all of 2013.
- The incidents pose a conundrum for regulators in a state that has fully embraced oil and gas drilling.
- Among drillers with a significant Oklahoma presence: CHK, CLR, APA, DVN, SD, EOG, MRO, OKE, OKS, GPOR, WPX, WMB, WPZ, LPI, CWEI, NFX, NGL, COG, WLL, NBL, MPO, PQ, XEC
Apr. 7, 2014, 9:48 AM
- Brent crude prices slip below $106/bbl as worries about supply disruptions ease after Libyan rebels occupying four eastern oil ports agree to gradually end their eight-month blockade.
- Libya's Zueitina and Hariga ports, held by federalist rebels demanding more autonomy from Tripoli, will open immediately, while larger ports Ras Lanuf and Es Sider apparently will be freed in two to four weeks after more talks.
- Energy companies with a significant presence in Libya include Total (TOT), Statoil (STO), ConocoPhillips (COP), Marathon Oil (MRO), Hess (HES), Occidental Petroleum (OXY) and Repsol (REPYF, REPYY).
- ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, SCO, DTO, DBO, BNO, CRUD, USL, UWTI, DNO, DWTI, SZO, OLO, OLEM, TWTI
Apr. 4, 2014, 6:35 PM
- There's no sign of a boom-and-bust scenario in the Bakken and Three Forks formations, where oil production will average 1.1M bbl/day in 2014 and grow to 1.7M bbl/day by 2020, Wood Mackenzie predicts.
- The research firm also says there is close to $118B in remaining value in the U.S. parts of the formations, adding that the expected lifetime of a Bakken well is 25-30 years.
- Participants are expected to spend ~$15B on drilling and completion of wells this year.
- Bakken producers include CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, KOG, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
Mar. 24, 2014, 12:49 PM
- In an update of its 2014 plans, Marathon Oil (MRO -0.2%) says it will begin accepting bids for its North Sea businesses in Q2, while it is ramping up drilling in the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Woodford shale plays so far this year.
- MRO also will expand its share buyback program by $500M, bringing the total to $1.5B after already repurchasing $1B of its common stock.
- "We continue to have high confidence in our ability to deliver on our North America long-term production growth targets," CEO Lee Tillman says in describing MRO's plans to deploy more than two dozen rigs in the Eagle Ford shale play in Texas, the Bakken reserve area in North Dakota and the Woodford shale area in Oklahoma.
- See 2014 capital spending at $5.9B.
Mar. 17, 2014, 8:18 AM
- U.S. Navy SEALs seize a diverted oil tanker in the Mediterranean Sea southeast of Cyprus, thwarting an attempt by a breakaway Libyan militia to sell its contents on the black market, the Pentagon says.
- The tanker had sailed last week from the Libyan port of Es Sider with a cargo of crude, and after leaving Libyan waters it appeared to have sailed the Mediterranean in search of a buyer for its oil.
- The crude from Es Sider was produced by a joint venture between Libya’s National Oil Corp., Hess (HES), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Marathon Oil (MRO).
Mar. 13, 2014, 12:20 PM
- Libya’s prime minister is out and a rebellious militia’s demands for autonomy have been emboldened by its apparently successful sale of oil.
- A North Korean-flagged tanker left Es Sider, Libya's largest oil export terminal, two days ago after the navy refused to attack the vessel and failed to impound it, but the recipient of the cargo the U.S. says was illegally sold oil is uncertain, as even North Korea has disavowed the move.
- The crude exported from Es Sider was produced by a joint venture between Libya’s National Oil Corp., Hess (HES), ConocoPhillips (COP) and Marathon Oil (MRO); the rebels say the U.S. companies will get their share of any payments.
- Analysts at the PVM brokerage says Libya is on the verge of bankruptcy due to falling oil revenues, and that both rebels and whoever is in power will have to come to some kind of agreement shortly to resume oil exports.
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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