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

Posts tagged ‘MancosShale’

Column: International production means oil prices likely to remain low By Daniel Fine


For the complete article use this link–> http://www.daily-times.com/farmington-opinion/ci_28613365/column-international-production-means-oil-prices-likely-remain “The price of West Texas Crude oil has declined below $50 per barrel as a reaction to the expectation that oil export sanctions against Iran will be lifted within the framework of the multi-nation “deal” to slow the country’s progress toward developing nuclear weapons. The global market is oversupplied and Saudi Arabian production is approaching its highest level since the 1970s.

San Juan and Delaware basin oil producers have sharply reduced costs through efficiencies. American higher-cost production shows no sign of a decline while OPEC lower-cost production increases in spite of lower prices. Saudi Arabia has decided to fight the Americans for market share.

The outlook for Iraq places still more production in the global market. Iraq production, now at 4 million barrels per day and rising, could reach 6 million in two years. The Iranian Oil Company could attract BP and Total to invest capital and technology if sanctions permit. This would drive Iranian production to equal Iraq. In the short-term Iran has the capability of expanding exports by 1.2 million barrels.

Should the “deal” fail or be changed by Congress to a phase-in of Iranian oil exports over a longer period of time and the White House goes along, the price of oil should recover to $60 per barrel. This is a long-shot scenario, however.

There will be more Middle East production for export than anticipated and its impact on American shale oil production will be a three-year, low-price oil regime. On the other hand, the current price war is moving quietly to an old variable. From 2009 to early last year, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States assumed that American shale technology (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) was unsustainable. They changed course last year and resorted to the price war for market share.

The reason for this change in strategy was first, the decline ratio of shale horizontal wells; and second, the regulatory obstacles. Simply put, OPEC perceived the environmental/global warming/climate change political group mobilization as capable of winning tighter federal regulations that would cause higher costs to the oil industry stopping the “technology play.”

OPEC now regards the appearance of new methane rules as a revival of its earlier “unsustainable” scenario. Methane mitigation regulations can setback natural gas production but also the associated gas from oil production. San Juan Basin oil producing formations are heavy in associated gas. If methane emissions, leaks or flaring persist, OPEC calculates, it will cause regulatory intervention as part of the new International Treaty on Global Warming.”

Join the San Juan Basin Energy Conference 2015! New Mexico Governor Martinez and CEO, WPX Energy Rick Muncrief are speakers!


Event Date and Time
Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Time: All day
Repeating Event: Daily;Until=3/26/2015 12:00am

Location: Henderson Fine Arts Center

Event Details

The continuing drop in oil prices and the opportunities for natural gas will be a focus of the 2015 San Juan Basin Energy Conference, set for March 24-25, at San Juan College in Farmington, NM.

“The conference will give those attending the opportunity to discuss and receive insights into the future of energy and the market it serves,” said Randy Pacheco, dean of the San Juan College School of Energy and the CEO of Four Corners Innovations. San Juan College School of Energy, Four Corners Innovations and New Mexico Center for Energy Policy (a division of New Mexico Tech) are sponsors of the event.

“We expect the 2015 conference to attract the same industry professionals who came in 2013, and who are willing to share their visions and knowledge of the industry,” Pacheco said. “The conference encourages networking and provides a positive environment for leaders to discuss their concerns and their expectations of the future of oil and gas and electrical generation.”

Conference attendees will have an opportunity to learn from keynote speaker Rick Muncrief, an industry professional who is familiar to many in the Farmington, NM, area.

Muncrief, who was named WPX Energy Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer in May, has ties to the San Juan Basin, and will speak to the expected 750 attendees on March 24. Before taking the helm at WPX  in its Tulsa, Okla., offices. Muncrief worked for ConocoPhillips and Burlington Resources locally and spent five years with Continental Resources.

Muncrief’s return to Farmington is anticipated by many who know him.

Bill Standley, former mayor of Farmington and now a municipal judge, remembers Muncrief as a man of, “intelligence and integrity,” he said. Standley said if he were a member of a board of directors of a major oil and gas company, he would invest in a chief executive officer of Muncrief’s caliber.

Muncrief recently made news in southwestern Pennsylvania when he announced WPX has decided to divest itself of its Marcellus Shale assets. WPX has approximately 160 active wells in dry gas areas in southern Pennsylvania, and has been drilling in the Marcellus since 2010. Muncrief and the board of directors of WPX decided to focus on New Mexico and two other areas of the county in which WPX has assets. Colorado, which has natural gas liquids, and North Dakota, along with New Mexico, where the company drills for oil, offer a positive return on investment, a spokesman said of the three states.

In addition to Muncrief, speakers expected to participate in the conference include Ken McQueen, also of WPX; David Martin, Secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department; Dr. Dan Fine, research associate for the New Mexico Center for Energy Policy/ New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology; Steve Henke, president of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association; and Marita Noon,executive director of Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy, a lobby group funded by New Mexico oil and gas industry interests, and  the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Other speakers have been invited to participate in the conference and those names will be released when they are confirmed.

This is the second San Juan Basin Energy Conference. The first one, held in March of 2013, attracted more than 450 people attending.

“The tremendous response from the leaders in the industry to our first conference, and the success we enjoyed from it, has set the bar pretty high for the 2015 conference,” said Randy Pacheco. “The cost of oil, the direction and future of the oil and gas/energy industry, and the vision of industry leaders will make this conference, just like the one in 2013, an event that will bring together people who have invested their time, experience and talents to an industry that remains a backbone of our economic foundation.”

For additional information, visit the conference web site at www.sanjuanbasinenergy.org; or call 505-566-3676.

Event Location

Henderson Fine Arts Center

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