Even as ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries prepare for their Sept. 19 meeting in Osaka, analysts at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. have already declared OPEC's "mission accomplished," in sustaining world oil prices through "the worst global demand in 20 years."
The editorial entitled "OPEC's Chall enge" (OGJ, Aug. 26, 2002, p. 17) disturbed me. It is my opinion that the Oil & Gas Journal's political viewpoints are perceived by those not part of the oil and gas industry to reflect the majority opinion of those in the oil and gas industry.
The heads of the organizations representing the world's main oil exporters and top oil importers claimed to have found common ground anew on the issue of oil market stability, judging from their talks at the World Petroleum Congress in Rio de Janeiro early this month.
A ramp-up in oil production by countries outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in the short term could pose a "serious threat" to prospects for oil market stability in the long term, said the former secretary-general of OPEC, Alí Rod- ríguez Araque.
It is premature to assume that Saudi Arabia has abandoned plans to allow foreign companies to develop natural gas fields as part of a massive $25 billion downstream gas development effort, according to US companies with interests in the kingdom.
Industry officials praised the key findings of a draft report by the US Environmental Protection Agency that found hydraulic fracturing of coalbed methane wells does not contaminate underground drinking water sources. The public may offer comments on the study until Oct. 28.
Congress has a lot to consider before lawmakers leave in early October to campaign for the fall elections. Of perennial interest to industry are the 13 spending bills that fund the federal government each year. But more pressing is a pending comprehensive energy bill that addresses a myriad of issues impacting the oil and gas industry (see News- letter).
The current geochemical view is that hydrocarbons generated from organic matter disseminated in fine-grained sedimentary rocks and coals are controlled primarily by temperature and duration of heating (geologic time).
Expandable-tubular technology advances as the industry extends its application from the drilling environment, where carbon-steel expandable tubulars reduce the telescopic effects of well construction, to corrosion-resistant alloy (CRA) production liners with gas tight connections.
Shell Venezuela SA recently proved the transparency and ease of deployment of a wireless data acquisition-communication system and web-based software in its Urdaneta West field, in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela.
In the statistics section of this issue, Oil & Gas Journal introduces Muse, Stancil & Co.'s monthly Gulf Coast ethylene margins. This series will provide insight into the profitability trends of the merchant olefins business by tracking the gross margin and cash-operating margin of a reference US Gulf Coast ethylene cracker.
Utilization is up for Suezmax tankers, one of the more usefully sized vessel groups (120,000-200,000 dwt) in the oil and gas tanker industry. But the world's economic malaise is nevertheless holding down Suezmax shipping rates.
US natural gas interstate pipeline companies continue to be optimistic about demand in developing markets, according to applications filed before the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission through June 30, 2002.
As LNG occupies a greater portion of the gas supply flow to US markets, more details are emerging of what it costs to install, improve, or expand facilities. Here are a couple of examples filed with the FERC in the 12 months before June 30, 2002.
In 1992, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order 636 requiring pipeline companies to "provide open-access transportation and storage, and to separate sales from transportation services completely."