International news for oil and gas professionals
Although less-than-stellar US employment figures have been announced on a regular basis for a couple of years, there is some good news regarding jobs numbers in one area.
Tumult in international markets raises large questions about oil demand in the next couple of years.
Despite continued concerns over the pace of the global economic recovery, particularly in developed countries, the US Energy Information Administration expects worldwide oil consumption to increase this year and next spurred by demand in developing countries. US oil consumption, however, is forecast to contract from a year ago.
The International Energy Agency has lowered its forecast of worldwide oil demand by 60,000 b/d for 2011 to average 89.5 million b/d and raised its 2012 outlook by 70,000 b/d.
With the outlook for economic growth in the US revised downward, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has cut its forecast for worldwide oil demand growth this year by 150,000 b/d.
Projections of large future energy demand growth may actually be underestimates, making it all the more urgent for governments to adopt regulatory policies that are less prescriptive and more outcome-based, Shell Oil Co. Pres. Marvin E. Odum said.
As the nation's top Democrats and Republicans locked horns over raising the national debt ceiling and dealing with a growing budget deficit on Aug. 1, the US Department of Energy quietly announced that 11 research projects aimed at extracting more energy from unconventional oil and gas resources while reducing environmental risks would receive $12.4 million of federal support.
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement conditionally approved Shell Offshore Inc.'s revised exploration plan to drill up to four shallow-water wells in the Beaufort Sea beginning in July 2012.
Increasing volatile crude oil prices and declining domestic production were major contributors as the US energy security risk worsened in 2010, the US Chamber of Commerce said in its US Energy Security Risk Index.
Newfield Exploration Co., Houston, said it sees a net resource potential of more than 700 million bbl of oil equivalent on its holdings in the Uinta basin in the wake of two acquisitions that closed in May that added 70,000 net acres for $300 million.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. believes the Utica shale in eastern Ohio offers a major new liquids-rich play based on 3,200 ft of proprietary core samples it obtained from nine wells and production results from three wells.
Venezuela's state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA recently signed a $2 billion financing agreement with Eni SPA mainly for development of the two firms' joint venture in the Orinoco heavy oil belt.
Iraq's large oil-production potential could put it in a position to vie for leadership with Saudi Arabia in the world oil scene in the coming decades.
A friend once observed that the Iranians are a smart people: They read history and study maps. These days, they're diligently studying maps of the East Mediterranean's oil and gas resources, and planning to "help" Lebanon explore for it.
It should surprise no one that equity markets withered after Congress and the White House finally enacted a budget deal allowing the US to keep paying its bills.