Analysis by the father of American Geopolitics Dr. Daniel Fine, MIT.

Posts tagged ‘econews’

This is what an oil bust looks like by Jonathan Thompson


Low prices have energy companies and communities reeling as rig counts plummet and unemployment climbs.

The full article is here-> http://www.hcn.org/articles/this-is-what-an-oil-bust-looks-like

“In early March, Daniel Fine, associate director of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy, told a gathering of tribal energy officials that the oil bust is officially on. Those gathered, however, sure as heck didn’t need an expert to tell them that. In the oil and gas patches it has become clear that the economic gains of the so-called shale revolution are being wiped away by one of the worst fossil fuel downturns in U.S. history.

Now, the oil companies are crying for help. First, they got the crude oil export ban lifted. Next they want proposed federal rules on methane emissions weakened or scrapped. As if any of that will help.

Back in 2010, the price of a barrel of Brent crude (the international oil price benchmark) topped $80. That made it profitable to extract oil from tight shale formations, which is especially costly. A drilling frenzy ensued, domestic oil production skyrocketed, oil companies raked in profits and oil patch communities prospered.

But all that new oil on the market, plus China’s slowing economic growth, began to dampen oil prices in the summer of 2014. Instead of curtailing production to keep prices afloat, OPEC’s leaders launched a thinly veiled price war, clearly aimed at putting U.S. producers out of business. Here are some indicators that OPEC won the war:

The U.S. rig count has collapsed to levels not seen since, well, ever. With both oil and natural gas prices at near-record lows, it simply doesn’t make economic sense to spend up to $10 million to drill a well. So the rigs are shutting down. In September 2014, 1,931 oil and gas rigs were operating in the U.S.; today there are just 476. That’s a 75 percent decrease, and it’s still some 50 percent lower than the 1987 count, which followed what was considered the biggest, baddest bust ever, until now. Tom Dugan, who runs an oil and gas production company in northwest New Mexico, told the Farmington Daily Times, “It’s the hardest bust I’ve been through and I have been in this business for 57 years.”

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Energy policy expert says oil slump a bust


by James Fenton, jfenton@daily-times.com5:02 p.m. MST March 5, 2016

The complete article is here-> http://www.daily-times.com/story/money/industries/oil-gas/2016/03/05/energy-policy-expert-says-oil-slump-bust/81289608/

FARMINGTON — “It’s officially a “bust.”

That’s the verdict from Daniel Fine, one of Gov. Susana Martinez’s senior advisers on energy policy. The U.S. oil and gas industry — and the San Juan Basin — is in a “bust” period, Fine said Tuesday at an inter-tribal energy conference at San Juan College’s School of Energy.

“This is what a bust is. You lose the workforce,” said Fine, who is associate director at New Mexico Center for Energy Policy at New Mexico Tech. “Loss to the country and to the Southwest will be the workforce. It will be decimated at levels of less than $30 a barrel (of crude oil).”

And 2015 was a year of layoffs and cutbacks.

Since the collapse of oil prices on the commodities market in fall of 2014, the number of  workers laid off from local oil and gas companies — from the large corporations to the smaller independents — has been in the thousands.

“We’re in a ‘bust.’  So be ahead of the curve, and think ahead in this business by at least six months,” Fine told the Native American and non-tribal energy leaders and business people in the Merrion conference room at the new $15.8 million school.

He said looming federal regulations such as the the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s proposed Onshore Oil and Gas Orders Nos. 3, 4 and 5 along with proposed updates to its rule aimed at reducing “fugitive” atmospheric methane from oil and gas operations were doubling the pain already caused by low crude oil prices. He said that a third of all U.S. oil and gas producers — especially those burdened with debt — will inevitably go bankrupt.

But Fine’s sobering analysis wasn’t without one ray of hope for the industry.”

Industry Touts Major Mancos Play Estimates point to 6B barrels of recoverable oil


By Emery Cowan Herald staff writer ecowan@durangoherald.com

FARMINGTON – The San Juan Basin could be headed toward a renaissance in natural-gas and oil drilling if rosy expectations touted by industry officials at Monday’s San Juan Basin Energy Conference hold true.

“In the southern part of the basin, the Mancos play has the potential to revitalize declining San Juan Basin oil production and also has a tremendous amount of future gas production in the northern part of the basin,” said Ron Broadhead, a principal petroleum geologist with the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources.

The conference, which drew about 500 attendees from across the nation to San Juan College, was the first to have a dedicated focus on the Mancos Shale, which stretches across the northwestern part of New Mexico and into southwestern Colorado.

After years of declining production in the San Juan Basin, companies are eyeing the shale play for both natural-gas and oil potential because of advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies that have helped operators unlock shale gas and oil across the nation.

“It’s reasonable that the Mancos Shale could be a really, really good shale play in the San Juan Basin,” said Darryl Williams, the vice president of subsurface for BP North America Gas Exploration and Production Co.

Other presenters were more direct.

“I’m bullish on the Mancos, we’ve already seen a number of wells drilled that are economic,” said T. Greg Merrion, president of Merrion Oil and Gas. “I’m looking forward to this next boom.”

With natural-gas prices hanging around $4 per thousand cubic feet, many conference speakers focused on the oil-producing window of the shale play located in the southern San Juan Basin.

The play has been estimated to contain up to 60 billion barrels of oil, about 10 percent of which is expected to be recoverable, according to estimates by Encana and Daniel Fine, a senior energy analyst with the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy.

The possibility of a resurgence had some speakers proclaiming the beginning of a new era of economic prosperity for northwest New Mexico.

“These are happy times again,” former U.S. Senator Pete Domenici said. For more of the article go to —> http://durangoherald.com/article/20130318/NEWS01/130319558/0/FRONTPAGE/Industry-touts-major-Mancos-Shale-play

Energy expert Dr. Daniel Fine takes on the “opposition” to Shale Gas in North Carolina


“While North Carolina struggles with an ongoing abysmal employment situation, fracking is providing a welcome boon for North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, among others. Being a latecomer in the game could have its own benefits, however; as Daniel Fine of the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy has explained, North Carolina is well positioned to survey and adopt the best practices, the best technology, and the best legal landscape. And the Deep River Basin in Lee and Chatham counties offers an especially promising area for development.”

The full one hour video can be seen here–>”North Carolina’s approach to natural gas fracking” —>  http://lockerroom.johnlocke.org/2012/02/27/north-carolinas-approach-to-natural-gas-fracking/

On You Tube (2 minutes)—–>  http://youtu.be/4Lbn9diK1PA

Podcast: danielfine022712.mp4

Dr. Daniel I. Fine works with the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy. He is a longtime research associate at the Mining and Minerals Resources Institute, MIT. Fine is also a policy adviser on nonconventional oil and gas. He is co-editor of Resource War in 3-D: Dependence, Diplomacy and Defense, and has contributed to Business Week, the Engineering and Mining Journal and the Washington Times. Fine has testified on strategic natural resources before the U.S. Senate committees on Foreign Affairs and Energy and Natural Resources. In this speech, he discusses “Shale Gas Wars: From Pennsylvania to North Carolina.” Fracking’s promise of jobs, growth too compelling to ignore By Jon Sanders John Locke Foundation March 9

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