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.
Mar. 11, 2014, 11:52 AM
- The stand-off appears to have ended in Libya, where the country’s navy has taken control of a North Korea-flagged oil tanker that was attempting to buy $30M-plus of crude from a militia that took control of the country’s three biggest ports last summer.
- Though the militia controls the As Sidra port, the oil belongs to Waha Oil, a joint venture between Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. and western companies Marathon Oil (MRO), Hess (HES) and ConocoPhillips (COP).
- Libya holds Africa’s largest oil reserves, including some of the world's highest-grade crude, yet production has slumped to ~275K bbl/day from 1.4M last July.
Mar. 10, 2014, 12:59 PM
- Libyan naval vessels have surrounded a tanker at the rebel-controlled As Sidra port which is loaded with millions of dollars of crude that a separatist militia is trying to sell.
- Libya's National Oil Corp. says the crude oil on the tanker - which is capable of carrying 225M barrel - is the property of the company and its consortium partners, ConocoPhillips (COP), Marathon Oil (MRO) and Hess (HES).
- The confrontation is the most serious standoff between militias that have paralyzed the country's oil industry and a weak central government struggling to exert its authority.
Mar. 4, 2014, 12:58 PM
- Marathon Oil (MRO +1.2%) agrees to acquire a 50% interest in the Rift Basin Area in Ethiopia from Africa Oil (AOIFF), which received Ethiopian government approval for the farmout agreement.
- Africa Oil will maintain operatorship of the block, but MRO may become operator if a commercial discovery is made; MRO will make an entry payment of $3M and will fund $15M of Africa Oil's working interest share of JV expenditures in the Rift Basin Area.
Feb. 26, 2014, 9:46 AM
- Yesterday's U.S. government emergency order requiring tests of crude oil on trains prompts confusion as refiners and producers try to understand what the new requirements will mean to their operations and how broadly they will apply to shipments.
- "What do you want us to test for?” says Alon USA Energy's (ALJ) director of supply, trading and business development. "I’m not really sure what this means or what they expect from us."
- Tesoro’s (TSO) VP of development, supply and logistics says he isn’t sure what new procedures were being mandated since the company already tests crude shipments.
- Continental (CLR), the biggest producer of Bakken crude, praises the government’s effort to improve crude-by-rail safety.
- More Bakken names: EOG, WLL, HES, KOG, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
Feb. 25, 2014, 4:42 PM
- Companies moving crude oil by rail must test the volatility of fuel out of North Dakota's Bakken oilfields to ensure the proper classification of crude oil before it is transported, the Department of Transportation announces.
- The move is meant to step up oversight after several recent fiery derailments of oil moved by rail out of the Bakken; some data contends that Bakken crude is more combustible than oil from other areas.
- Bakken oil names include: CLR ,EOG, WLL, HES, KOG, OAS, NOG, EOX, MRO.
- Rails: CSX, NSC, KSU, GWR, CP, UNP.
Feb. 24, 2014, 10:22 AM
- Following a string of explosive accidents on railcars carrying crude oil, a WSJ analysis finds that crude from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale formation contains several times more combustible gases than oil from elsewhere.
- Nearly 1M bbl/day are being produced in North Dakota but with pipeline capacity unable to keep up with growth, railroads are the prime method of transporting the crude to refineries; the volatility of the crude, however, raises concerns that the cargo moving through the U.S. is more dangerous than previously believed.
- Tanker cars full of oil pass through several major U.S. cities, and a repeat of what happened in last July's fatal derailment in Quebec in a densely populated area is a huge safety concern.
- Among top Bakken producers: CLR, EOG, WLL, HES, KOG, OAS, XOM, MRO, STO.
Feb. 5, 2014, 5:49 PM
- Marathon Oil (MRO) -1.5% AH after reporting lower Q4 sales volume, though the bottom line grew 16% due to fewer income tax provisions.
- MRO has generally posted higher production in recent periods from its extensive activity in areas such as the Bakken shale in North Dakota and Eagle Ford shale in Texas, boosting earnings.
- Total net proved reserves were ~2.2B boe at the end of 2013, up 8% Y/Y; reserve replacement ratio was 194%, with 344M boe of net proved reserves added.
- Operating margin narrowed to 26.8% from 39.8%, while provisions for income taxes tumbled 60% to $522M.
- Sales volumes slid 13% Y/Y and fell 3.3% Q/Q.
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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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