Oil & Gas Focus

January 15, 2018

Follow the Money:  Here’s Why Investors Can’t Get Enough of Oil With $70 in Sight

January 11, 2018 by EnergyNow Media 
(Bloomberg) by Alex Longley

To really understand what’s helping push oil prices toward $70 a barrel, just follow the money.

Investors have piled into commodities markets in the last month as the most bullish oil market structure in years is buttressed by OPEC-led production cuts, strong global economic growth and a softer U.S. dollar. With crude trading near a three-year high, here’s a look at how investors have increased their thirst for oil.

Taking the Long View

For many investors, it’s all about backwardation. As oil supplies have tightened, near-term contracts have become pricier than later-dated ones. That market structure makes it profitable to hold onto a long position, as each month investors roll into cheaper contracts further along the curve. Last week, the nearest Brent futures were trading at their biggest premium to those for a year later since 2014. “Being long oil gives a positive annual return, even if oil stays flat,” said Giovanni Staunovo, a commodity analyst at UBS Group AG. “The last time you could say that was in 2014.”

Strong Growth, Weaker Dollar

The global macro-economic picture is also supporting prices. While surging economic growth helped demand to soar in 2017, the U.S. dollar slid through most of the year as other global economies fared better. With the typical inverse link between crude prices and the dollar taking hold once again in the second half of the year, oil got another shove. This week, the U.S. Department of Energy boosted its 2018 global oil demand outlook by 150,000 barrels a day, an indication that economic buoyancy may continue this year. “Recent price strength can be partially explained by dollar weakness, and both are the result of strong global economic growth,” said Jan Edelmann, commodity strategist at HSH Nordbank AG.

Broad Rotation

It’s not just oil that has a spring in its step. Whether it’s equity gauges being led higher by oil and gas companies or gains in other commodities markets, there’s been a broad-based rotation into materials and the companies that process them. Shares in Royal Dutch Shell Plc touched a record this week, while the Bloomberg Commodity Index has just come off the back of its best-ever run of gains. “The psychology and sentiment is really strong at the moment,” said Torbjorn Kjus, chief oil analyst at DNB Bank ASA. “It seems to be a broad macro view that not only oil but also other commodities are going to have a good year in 2018.”

The Trend Is Your Friend

Crude prices are currently in an uptrend that began midway through last year. With prices up as much as 56 percent from their June lows, Brent has barely paused for breath. That’s made it hard for bears to wrestle back the initiative. “Trying to pick the top in a market like this is always a very dangerous pastime because you’re trading against the prevailing trend,” said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets Plc.

Danger Above?

The flip side is that there are plenty of technical warning signs flashing red. Both Brent and WTI have closed in overbought territory in recent days, while a major Fibonacci retracement level sits at about $71.40 for Brent, should the psychologically key $70-a-barrel marker be pierced. As a result, “$70 to $72 a barrel looks toppish in the short-term,” Hewson said.


November 14, 2017

$940 Million: Cenovus agrees to sell Saskatchewan enhanced oil recovery assets to Whitecap

November 13, 2017 by The Canadian Press

CALGARY — Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSX:CVE) says it is selling its majority stake in a Saskatchewan enhanced-oil recovery project to Calgary-based Whitecap Resources Inc. (TSX:WCP) for $940 million.

The deal is the last on a list of four asset sales the major oilsands producer vowed to complete to help pay for its $17.7-billion acquisition of most of the Canadian assets of Houston-based ConocoPhillips earlier this year.

It has previously agreed to sell its Palliser assets in southeastern Alberta to Torxen Energy and Schlumberger for $1.3 billion, its Suffield operations in southern Alberta to International Petroleum Corporation for $512 million and its Pelican Lake heavy oil assets in northern Alberta for $975 million to Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ).

Incoming Cenovus CEO Alex Pourbaix says in a statement that the sale will allow the Calgary company to retire the entire $3.6-billion bridge facility associated with the ConocoPhillips purchase before year-end.

Cenovus has said it will identify other assets for sale this year to take the total raised to between $4 billion and $5 billion.

In a separate release, Whitecap says the purchase of Cenovus’s 62 per cent interest in the Weyburn, Sask., project will boost its overall production in 2018 by about 25 per cent to about 74,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The Weyburn project has been in operation since 1954. Cenovus began injecting carbon dioxide into its oil-producing underground formations in 2000 to enhance oil production and extend the life of the field.


September 6, 2017

Oil Rises to 3-Week High as Refineries Restart After Harvey

September 6, 2017, by EnergyNow Media (Bloomberg)

Oil rose to a three-week high as key refineries and pipelines restarted from shutdowns forced by Hurricane Harvey, reviving crude demand in the heart of the U.S. energy sector.

Futures added 1.2 percent in New York after closing 2.9 percent higher Tuesday, while in London Brent climbed to its highest since May 25. Although U.S. Gulf Coast refiners are working to restore operations to normal, traders are also watching the approach of another Atlantic hurricane, Irma. Motiva Enterprises LLC said its Port Arthur Refinery in Texas, the largest in the U.S., will return to 40 percent production by the end of the weekend.

Harvey forced refineries, pipelines, ports and offshore platforms to shut as the storm intensified before making landfall on Aug. 25. Many of those facilities are back in service, though others have yet to resume operations. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecast half of the refining capacity lost to the storm will be back online by Thursday and may prove positive for the oil market in a few months.

“The post-Harvey clean-up is in full swing and the U.S. energy business is returning to normality,” said Norbert Ruecker, head of commodity research at Julius Baer Group Ltd. “Refineries are resuming operations and ports are re-initiating trade.”

West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery was at $49.25 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 59 cents, as of 1:06 p.m. in London. The contract on Tuesday added $1.37 to settle at $48.66 a barrel, the highest since Aug. 11.

Brent for November settlement added as much as 88 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $54.26 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, the highest since the last OPEC ministerial meeting on May 25. The global benchmark traded at a premium of $4.54 to the November WTI contract.

U.S. crude stockpiles likely rose by 2.5 million barrels last week, while gasoline inventories dropped by 5 million barrels, which would be the biggest loss by volume since March, according to a Bloomberg survey before government data to be released Thursday.

Gasoline Drop

October gasoline futures in New York dropped as much as 1.5 percent to $1.6740 a gallon, falling for a third session. The decline comes after prices surged in August by the most in more than a year.

Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm ever to form in the open Atlantic Ocean, was moving toward Puerto Rico late Tuesday after being upgraded to “extremely dangerous” Category 5. Although the latest models show it veering away from gas and oil platforms off the coast of Texas and Louisiana, sparing Houston from more devastation, it’s still threatening to wreak havoc upon the Caribbean islands and Florida.

“The upgrade of Hurricane Irma may have spurred some precautionary buying of crude oil,” said Jens Naervig Pedersen, senior analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen. “The impact of Harvey and likely impact of Irma will distort upcoming U.S. inventory data and thus limit visibility in the oil market with regards to the ongoing rebalancing process.”

Oil-market news:

The oil production cap deal with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries may be extended beyond the first quarter of next year with changes to terms if the market remains “unbalanced,” according to Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak. Libyan authorities reopened a valve that had been closed on the pipeline linking the Sharara oil field, the nation’s largest, and its Zawiya refinery, according to person familiar with matter. Energy mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. may slow over the next month or so as companies assist displaced employees and people take time to help each other with flooded homes following Houston’s devastating floods. Europe’s biggest energy companies have a message for the aging U.K. North Sea oil industry: We may be selling assets, but that doesn’t mean we’re heading for the exit.


August 2, 2017

Drilling Forecast Suggests More Optimism In Oil and Gas Industry

August 1, 2017, by Reid Southwick, Calgary Herald

A new forecast for the oil and gas industry is slightly more upbeat than it was three months ago, but warns the “lofty levels of activity” reported pre-recession “are likely a thing of the past.”

The Petroleum Services Association of Canada, in its latest outlook, said 7,200 wells are expected to be drilled across the country this year, up by nearly eight per cent from its April forecast.

There were signs of improvement in Alberta, where an extra 280 wells are expected to be drilled this year, up to 3,600, accounting for half of the forecast total.

The industry group said the improved outlook was due in part to a broader rise of capital investment among oil and gas producers in what are considered conventional reserves, which are recovered by drilling and fracking.  They also provide faster financial returns than costly oilsands operations.

Another factor paving the way for slightly more aggressive drilling activity in the oilpatch is the costs producers cut during the recession, which means they can drill more wells at less expense.

Mark Salkeld, chief executive of the industry group, said drillers, frackers and other oilfield service companies remain “cautious” about whether oil and gas producers will continue with their spending plans for the rest of 2017 while oil prices skirt the US$50 mark.

“Cost-cutting, confidence in oil prices, technology, that’s what’s helped us stay active,” Salkeld said.

Despite the optimism, drilling activity is expected to be far short of levels reached in pre-recession 2014, when 11,200 wells were drilled. Citing opposition to mega-energy projects and ongoing challenges to send Canadian oil and gas to overseas markets, Salkeld said a return to an era similar to the pre-recession boom may be out of reach.

Calgary-based Precision Drilling Corp. reported this week that 51 of its rigs were operating, outpacing last year’s activity levels but still short of earlier expectations.

During the three months ended June 30, Canada’s largest driller had an average of 29 rigs active in the country, well above year-ago levels of 13 active rigs.

The second quarter generally marks a seasonal slowdown in oil and gas drilling in Canada, when softer ground can prevent movement of heavy equipment into remote areas.

“There’s no question that increased volatility and lower oil prices experienced late in the second quarter, combined with poor spring weather, proved to drag on second quarter activity, which is persisting in the third quarter,” Precision CEO Kevin Neveu said in a call with analysts and reporters Monday.

West Texas Intermediate crude bounced from a high of US$53.40 to a low of $42.50 between April and June, not counting intraday trading. While the benchmark oil rose above the $50 mark for the first time in two months Monday, the jump was short-lived following reports of a rise in OPEC production.

“Stabilizing or improving commodity prices could bode well for Canadian fourth quarter activity as our customers consider ramping up for the winter drilling season,” Neveu said.

Companies that drill and frack wells often rely on capital budgets set by oil and gas producers as indicators of upcoming activity in the industry.

A report published by Barclays analysts before oil and gas companies began reporting second quarter earnings predicted “capital spending reductions will be the major theme for the quarter” among mid-sized producers, due to concerns with commodity prices.

Still, the analysts said any spending cuts may have little impact on overall production targets, while many companies may have the financial wherewithal to withstand weaker oil and gas prices.

In a separate report ahead of second-quarter earnings, analysts at CIBC World Markets said oil and gas producers hadn’t signalled any intentions of slowing down spending.

The analysts cited major increases in the number of wells completed, or ready for production, and the number of licenses issued to drill wells in Western Canada, compared to year-ago levels.

August 2, 2017 Post


July 25, 2017

Oil Rises as Saudis Pledge Deep Export Cuts, Shale Boom Slows

July 25, 2017 by EnergyNow Media (Bloomberg)

Oil rose as Saudi Arabia promised deep cuts to crude exports next month while the U.S. shale boom showed signs of slowing.

Futures in New York added 1.8 percent, the biggest gain in almost a week. Saudi Arabia will cap shipments at 6.6 million barrels a day in August, 1 million lower than a year earlier, said Energy and Industry Minister Khalid Al-Falih. In the U.S., Halliburton Co. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. signaled that the investment in shale fields may finally be succumbing to the oil price slump.

Oil remains in a bear market amid concern rising global output will offset curbs by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. While the Saudi comments at talks with oil producers in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday helped lift prices, the same meeting agreed to let Nigeria and Libya continue boosting production, slowing the market rebalancing.

“Yesterday’s Saudi decision to cut exports still lingers in the market,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief analyst for commodities at SEB Markets. The headlines that the U.S. shale oil boom is easing are also driving futures higher, he said.

West Texas Intermediate for September delivery gained 93 cents to $47.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 8:41 a.m. local time. Total volume traded was about 5 percent above the 100-day average. Prices rose 57 cents to $46.34 on Monday.

Brent for September settlement climbed as much as 99 cents, or 2 percent, to $49.59 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices rose 54 cents to $48.60 on Monday. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $2.28 to WTI.

Saudi Arabia won’t act alone to balance the market and other nations should improve their implementation of supply cuts, Al-Falih said Monday. When OPEC holds its next full ministerial meeting in November, it may need to discuss extending the supply cuts for longer, United Arab Emirates Minister of Energy Suhail Al Mazrouei said in a Bloomberg television interview.

Oil-market news:

Hedge funds are still holding large bearish bets against oil and OPEC, yet out in the real world traders and refiners buying and selling actual barrels say it’s starting to look somewhat more bullish. French President Emmanuel Macron is meeting with the head of Libya’s United Nations-backed government and the North African oil producer’s powerful eastern-based military commander in the latest attempt to seek a solution to their standoff. Barclays Plc sold the last part of its oil book to an unidentified buyer, triggering a surge in trading of exotic options written in the era of higher crude prices, according to people familiar with the matter. U.S. crude stockpiles probably dropped by 3.1 million barrels last week, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. Oil may rise $5 to $7 a barrel on Venezuela supply disruption, Barclays warns.


May 30, 2017

Oilpatch Recovery to Boost Alberta, Saskatchewan Growth, says Conference Board

Posted on May 29, 2017   By: The Canadian Press

CALGARY — The Conference Board of Canada says a slow recovery in the oil and gas sector will allow Alberta and Saskatchewan to emerge from recession and lead the provinces in economic growth this year.

In its spring provincial outlook, the board says Alberta will have the fastest growing economy this year after two years of contractions. Real GDP is forecast to increase by 3.3 per cent, thanks to startup of a new oilsands refinery near Edmonton and efforts to rebuild Fort McMurray after the 2016 wildfire.

Saskatchewan and British Columbia are expected to tie for second place at 2.5 per cent this year, based on stronger drilling numbers and labour markets in Saskatchewan and slower housing and forestry sectors in B.C.

The board says all provinces will grow this year except Newfoundland and Labrador which will shrink by 3.0 per cent before bouncing back in 2018 on new oil production at the Hebron offshore project.

Ontario is forecast to slow to 2.3 per cent in 2017 thanks to a slowing housing market in the southern part of the province, while Quebec will advance by 1.8 per cent on consumer spending boosted by tax cuts and job creation. Manitoba is to post 2.1 per cent growth.

Nova Scotia’s outlook is forecast to advance by just 0.5 per cent this year, while New Brunswick’s GDP growth is expected to hit 1.0 per cent and Prince Edward Island is to rise to 1.8 per cent on tourism and manufacturing sector.

“The difficulties in the resources sector are slowly dissipating and helping Alberta and Saskatchewan emerge out of recession. However, the turnaround is still in its early stages and a full recovery will take time,” said Marie-Christine Bernard, associate director of the provincial forecast for the board.

“Economic prospects are also improving across the country, but continued weakness in business investment—both in and out of the resources sector—could hurt economic growth in all provinces down the road.”

At the Alberta legislature Monday, Finance Minister Joe Ceci called the forecast “good news.”

“It shows that jobs are returning, confidence is returning to this province (and) recovery is in process,” said Ceci.

It was a sharp contrast to last week, when the Alberta government was hit with another credit downgrade. S&P Global Ratings reduced Alberta’s rating two notches, from AA to A-plus.

S&P cited concerns with provincial debt it expects will reach $94 billion by 2020.

Ceci said S&P’s recommendation for tax hikes or billions of dollars in cuts would not serve Albertans well as it digs out from financial problems caused by low oil prices.

“I like our plan,” said Ceci. “I think Albertans like our plan.”

The Canadian Press


April 13, 2017

Gas Prices on the Rise, Hit Highest Level in Eastern Canada Since Late 2014

Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press

Drivers facing sticker shock from rising gas prices in many parts of Canada should expect to dig even deeper into their wallets as the summer approaches, says a leading expert on gas prices.

The average price for regular unleaded in the country was about $1.15 per litre as of Wednesday afternoon, according to gas price tracking firm GasBuddy. That’s up almost five cents a litre in one day and 20 per cent from a year ago.

“The numbers are eye-popping but they’re also a source of public angst,” said Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.

The combination of higher ingredient costs for summer fuel, growing U.S. demand and the lower value of the loonie have caused prices in Eastern Canada to hit their highest level since October 2014, he said.

The seasonal switch from winter fuel involves the replacement of butane with more expensive alkylates in blended summer gasoline. The growing use of premium fuels for new cars requiring turbo-charged power is also a factor, McTeague added.

Pump prices in the Greater Toronto Area hovered around $1.16, while in Montreal they were $1.25, according to GasBuddy’s website. The highest average gas prices in Canada, aside from the Far North, were in Vancouver at $1.39, and the lowest were in Stonewall, Man., north of Winnipeg, at 99.5 cents.

McTeague said he sees prices rising another three to five cents per litre in Eastern Canada.

“They may stabilize a little bit throughout April and beyond geopolitical considerations, I sense that we are going to be seeing even higher prices throughout the summer, likely due to U.S. demand, which continues to exceed expectations,” he said.

More Americans hitting the road could also mean a third consecutive year of record fuel demand, which will translate into higher pump prices in Canada, he added.


April 3, 2017

Oil Holds Above $50 as OPEC Optimism Weighed Against U.S. Supply

By: EnergyNow Media


Oil is holding near $50 a barrel as OPEC’s optimism over output cuts confronts pessimism over rising U.S. supply.

Futures in New York were little changed after rising 5.5 percent last week, the biggest weekly gain since December. While OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said Sunday that he is “cautiously optimistic that the market is already rebalancing” and stockpile levels have started to ease, data on Friday showed the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. rose to the highest since September 2015.

Barkindo’s comments support the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ commitment to drain swollen inventories before the group meets May 25 in Vienna. Kuwait and other producers from the group joined with non-member Oman to voice support for an extension of the six-month deal to cut output that began in January. The effects of the curbs have been contrasted by a surge in U.S. supply and production.

“The market is pricing in full compliance and an extension and a pick-up in U.S. demand,” Ole Sloth Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, said by email. “If we see oil climb back towards to the highs before May, I think OPEC will be less inclined to extend. At this stage it’s a question of waiting for further news on inventory reductions.”

West Texas Intermediate for May delivery was at $50.77 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 17 cents, at 1:26 p.m. in London. Prices gained $2.63 last week to settle at $50.60. Total volume traded was about 40 percent below the 100-day average.


March 9, 2017

Canadian Natural buying Shell, Marathon oilsands holdings for $12.74 billion

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press 03.09.2017

CALGARY – Canadian Natural Resources has struck a blockbuster $12.74-billion deal to buy Alberta oilsands assets from Royal Dutch Shell and Marathon Oil, boosting its exposure to the higher-cost sector even as soft crude prices prompt some large foreign players to exit.

The deal announced Thursday would see Canadian Natural (TSX:CNQ) buy Shell’s 60 per cent stake in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project, which includes a mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta., and the Shell-operated Scotford bitumen upgrader and Quest carbon capture project northeast of Edmonton.

Separately, Houston-based Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) would sell its 20 per cent stake in Athabasca to Shell and Canadian Natural, who would pay US$1.25 billion each.

Canadian Natural investors welcomed the deal, bidding the stock up about eight per cent to $42.60 around midday on the S&P/TSX composite index. Financial analysts noted it would boost Canadian Natural’s earnings and cash flow and strengthen its stable of long-life producing assets.

Calgary Herald Post 2017-03-09_11-33-13

“We like the deal as CNRL is buying an upgraded oilsands mining project at metrics lower than it costs to build,” said analyst Arthur Grayfer of CIBC Capital Markets.

Alberta’s oilsands, the third-largest proven oil reserves in the world, are also among the most costly and carbon-intensive to produce from and many companies have reconsidered their exposure. Earlier this year, Norway’s Statoil closed its deal to sell all of its Canadian oilsands assets for $832 million.

Canadian Natural CEO Steve Laut made clear on a conference call that he thought he was getting a good price.

“This deal is highly accretive on all per share metrics and we’ll be able to acquire a world-class mine that is up and running for a 40 per cent discount to what it would cost to build,” he declared.

The transaction would boost Canadian Natural’s overall output of bitumen and conventional oil and gas to more than one million barrels per day if it closes as expected by mid-2017.

Canadian Natural would pay Shell a total of $11.1 billion, comprised of about US$5.4 billion in cash plus 98 million shares.

Shell is also selling its Peace River thermal oilsands assets, including its shelved Carmon Creek project, and undeveloped oilsands leases to Canadian Natural.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden said in a statement the deal allows the company to focus on assets such as deepwater oil and gas that offer higher returns on capital.

“Our people have built a strong, competitive and environmentally responsible oilsands business over the last several decades, but oilsands mining and in situ operations are no longer a strategic fit for Shell,” said Shell Canada president Michael Crothers on a conference call.

Marathon announced the oilsands sale in a news release that also revealed it would spend US$1.1 billion to buy U.S. shale assets.

Upon completion of the deal, Canadian Natural will take over from Shell as operator of the Athabasca mining assets, located east across the Muskeg River from its Horizon oilsands mine.

Shell would continue to operate the upgrader and Quest. It would retain 100 per cent ownership of the neighbouring Scotford refinery and chemicals plants.

Canadian Natural says as part of the agreements, it will welcome about 3,100 employees from Shell and Marathon Oil. About 2,760 of them work at the mines, 110 are at the Peace River in situ operations and 230 are based in Calgary.


February 2, 2017

Saudi Oil Minister Says World to Be ‘Amazed’ by Aramco IPO Data

February 2, 2017  5:41 AM   Bloomberg

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., which is planning what could be the world’s biggest share sale, will publish annual financial statements before the offering set for 2018, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said.

The state-owned company, known as Saudi Aramco, will disclose its 2017 annual statements prior to the listing, Al-Falih said Thursday at a seminar in Riyadh. No single market can absorb an initial public offering of Aramco’s size, and the company is looking to sell shares on at least two or three stock exchanges, he said.

“Aramco applies the best international standards in governance and management,” Al-Falih said. “It has advanced technology. All of this qualifies it, at the appropriate time, to publish this information through its IPO program, and we confirm that the world, without exaggeration, will be amazed.”

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, plans to sell less than 5 percent of the company as part of plans by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to set up the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund and reduce the economy’s reliance on oil. Saudis have estimated the entire company to be worth more the $2 trillion. The kingdom pumped 10.48 million barrels a day of oil in December, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Saudi Aramco plans to sell shares on the Saudi stock market, and company officials have mentioned also listing on bourses in the London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York and Canada.

“Even if we sold five percent, no market in the world can absorb an IPO of this size,” Al-Falih said at the seminar. “Therefore, the intention is for there to be several markets, at least two or three.”


January 24, 2017

$50b Renewable Energy Programme Set in Saudi Arabia: Minister

Posted on:  January 16, 2017, Reuters

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia will launch in coming weeks a renewable energy programme that is expected to involve investment of between $30 billion and $50 billion by 2023, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Monday.

Falih, speaking at an energy industry event in Abu Dhabi, said Riyadh would in the next few weeks start the first round of bidding for projects under the programme, which would produce 10 gigawatts of power.


2017.01.24 Oil & Gas Focus - Saudi Arabia


In addition to that programme, Riyadh is in the early stages of feasibility and design studies for its first two commercial nuclear reactors, which will total 2.8 gigawatts, he said.

“There will be significant investment in nuclear energy,” Falih said.

Under an economic reform programme launched last year, Saudi Arabia is seeking to use non-oil means to generate much of its additional future energy needs, to avoid running down oil resources which are required to generate foreign exchange through exports.

Falih said Saudi Arabia was working on ways to connect its renewable energy projects with Yemen, Jordan and Egypt. “We will connect to Africa to exchange non-fossil sources of energy,” he said, without elaborating.

Its finances strained by low oil prices, Riyadh wants to conduct many of its future infrastructure projects through partnerships in which private companies from within the kingdom and abroad would bear much of the cost and risk.


November 30, 2016

OPEC in First Joint Oil Cut with Russia Since 2001, Saudis Take “Big Hit”

Posted on:  November 30, 2016, Reuters

By Rania El Gamal, Alex Lawler, and Ahmad Ghaddar | VIENNA


OPEC agreed on Wednesday its first oil output cuts since 2008 after Saudi Arabia accepted “a big hit” on its production and dropped its demand on arch-rival Iran to slash output.

Non-OPEC Russia will also join output reductions for the first time in 15 years to help the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries prop up oil prices.

Brent crude jumped over 9 percent to more than $50 a barrel as Riyadh reached a compromise with Iran and after fast-growing producer Iraq also agreed to curtail its booming output.

“OPEC has proved to the sceptics that it is not dead. The move will speed up market rebalancing and erosion of the global oil glut,” said OPEC watcher Amrita Sen from consultancy Energy Aspects.

Iran and Russia are effectively fighting two proxy wars against Saudi Arabia, in Yemen and Syria, and many skeptics had said the countries would struggle to find a compromise amid frosty political relations.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said ahead of the meeting that the kingdom was prepared to accept “a big hit” on production to get a deal done.

“I think it is a good day for the oil markets, it is a good day for the industry and … it should be a good day for the global economy. I think it will be a boost to global economic growth,” he told reporters after the decision.

OPEC produces a third of global oil, or around 33.6 million barrels per day, and under the Wednesday deal it would reduce output by around 1.2 million bpd from January 2017.

Saudi Arabia will take the lion’s share of cuts by reducing output by almost 0.5 million bpd to 10.06 million bpd. Its Gulf OPEC allies – the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar – would cut by a total 0.3 million bpd.

Iraq, which had insisted on higher output quotas to fund its fight against Islamic State militants, unexpectedly agreed to reduce production – by 0.2 million bpd.

For a table on the cuts, click on [L8N1DV5SZ]

Iran was allowed to boost production slightly from its October level – a major victory for Tehran, which has long argued it needs to regain market share lost under Western sanctions.

Clashes between Saudi Arabia and Iran dominated many previous OPEC meetings.

“If you get this deal done, it would be huge. You remove a lot of oil from the market and you get the Russian participation,” said veteran OPEC watcher and founder of Pira consultancy Gary Ross.

He said oil could rise to $55 per barrel.


Falih had long insisted OPEC would do an output-limiting deal only if non-OPEC producers contributed.

OPEC president Qatar said non-OPEC producers had agreed to reduce output by a further 0.6 million bpd, of which Russia would contribute some 0.3 million.

Russia, which had long resisted cutting output, pushed its production to new record highs in recent months.

“Russia will gradually cut output in the first half of 2017 by up to 300,000 barrels per day, on a tight schedule as technical capabilities allow,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told a briefing in Moscow.

Novak, who spoke an hour after OPEC announced its deal, did not say from which output levels Russia would cut.

A combined output reduction of 1.8 million bpd by OPEC and non-OPEC represents almost 2 percent of global output and would help the market clear a stocks overhang, which had sent prices crashing from levels as high as $115 a barrel seen in mid-2014.

Non-OPEC Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have said they might also cut.

OPEC suspended Indonesia’s membership on Wednesday since the country, a net importer, could not cut output, Qatar said.

The move will not affect OPEC’s overall reduction as Indonesia’s share of cuts will be redistributed among other members.

Bob McNally, president of Washington-based consultancy Rapidan group, said on Twitter that compliance with cuts would be key: “In deals with Russia, OPEC is like (the late U.S.) President (Ronald) Reagan used to say: ‘Trust but verify’.”

OPEC will hold talks with non-OPEC producers on Dec. 9. The organization will also have its next meeting on May 25 to monitor the deal and could extend it for six months, Qatar said.

(Additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Shadia Nasralla and Lisa Barrington; Writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Dale Hudson)



November 29, 2016

Trudeau says “yes” to Trans Mountain, Line 3 Pipeline Projects, rejects Northern Gateway

Posted on:  November 29, 2016, EnergyNow Media

(By: The Canadian Press)

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is approving Kinder Morgan’s proposal to triple the capacity of its Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C. — a $6.8-billion project that has sparked protests by climate change activists from coast to coast.

Trudeau is also effectively killing the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline across northern British Columbia, but giving a green light to Enbridge’s lesser-known $7.5-billion Line 3 pipeline expansion from Alberta to Wisconsin.

The Liberals had promised a decision on Kinder Morgan by Dec. 19 but decided to announce all the pipeline decisions at once ahead of a Dec. 9 meeting between Trudeau and the provincial and territorial premiers.

“We are under no illusions that the decision we made today will be bitterly disputed by a number of people across the country who would rather we had made another decision,” Trudeau — flanked by a number of his senior cabinet ministers — told a news conference in Ottawa.

“We took this decision today because we believe it is in the best interests of Canada and Canadians. And as long as Kinder Morgan respects the stringent conditions put forward by the National Energy Board, this project will get built — because it’s in the national interest of Canadians, because we need to get our resources to market in safe, responsible ways, and that is exactly what we’re going to do.”

Trudeau, who described spending much of his childhood on Canada’s west coast and living for a number of years in British Columbia while working as a teacher, insisted his government was making the right call.

“Others will be opposed to this project for their own reasons,” he said. “We respect that … but to them and to all Canadians, I want to say this: If I thought this project was unsafe for the B.C. coast, I would reject it.”

He said the project would create 15,000 new middle-class jobs, the majority of them in the trades, and would meet stringent environmental standards while also adhering to the federal government’s national climate plan.

That includes 157 binding conditions set out by the National Energy Board, he added, noting that the project would not have been approved without the government of Alberta’s own carbon-pricing efforts and cap on oilsands emissions.

The decision to close the book on Northern Gateway came as a surprise to no one. But Trudeau added a corollary: a moratorium on crude oil tanker shipping on B.C.’s north coast, something the Liberals promised in the 2015 election campaign.

Alberta’s NDP premier Rachel Notley, who met earlier in the day with Trudeau, lauded the prime minister for his leadership as she promised her own constituents a brighter day ahead as a result of the approval.

“Today we are finally seeing some morning light,” she said in a statement.

“We are getting a chance to break our landlock. We’re getting a chance to sell to China and other new markets at better prices. We’re getting a chance to reduce our dependence on one market, and therefore to be more economically independent…. of equal importance, we are building the economy within a strong new national environmental policy.”

Indigenous leaders and environmental leaders who spoke earlier in the day appeared resigned to the government’s decision, but far from prepared to give up their fight.

“The struggle will simply intensify,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of British Columbia Chiefs. “It will become more litigious, it will become more political and the battle will continue.”

There are no conditions under which the chiefs would have been willing to agree to the project, Phillip added.

“The risks are just too grave. The tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet will increase by 700 per cent and it’s inevitable that there will be a collision in a very congested inlet.”

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs said the federal government simply doesn’t have the blessing of Canada’s aboriginal community to approve the project.

“They’re not going to exclude us the second time. They don’t have consent to come through our treaty lands without us,” he said.

“Now’s our opportunity to send a clear message that we demand that we’re listened to. The standard of consent is one of consensus amongst our people. And I don’t see a day where our people will consent to destruction of the land, to destruction of the water. I just don’t see it.”

Earlier Tuesday, the broad strokes of a year-long Liberal government effort to position the government between fossil fuel development advocates, indigenous groups and climate policy hawks played out during question period in the House of Commons.

Rona Ambrose, the Conservative interim leader, said it is not enough for the Liberals to approve major pipelines; it must then “champion them through to the end” in order to see that they actually get built.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, by contrast, accused the Liberals of a “Goldilocks approach” that has browbeat the Liberal party’s own environmentally conscious, anti-pipeline MPs into silence.

Trudeau was happy to claim the middle ground.

“One side of this House wants us to approve everything and ignore indigenous communities and environmental responsibilities,” he said.

“The other side of the House doesn’t care about the jobs or the economic growth that comes with getting our resources to market.”

The stalled Northern Gateway oil pipeline from Alberta through the Great Bear Rain Forest to Kitimat, B.C., had so far been thwarted in the courts for lack of proper indigenous consultation.

The less prominent Enbridge project will see the half-century-old Line 3 pipeline from Alberta through southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the United States replaced by an entirely new line about twice the current pipeline’s working capacity.

The Trans Mountain and Line 3 expansions alone would boost pipeline capacity by more than 1.1 million barrels per day.

The pipeline decisions follow weeks of Liberal government announcements designed to show it is serious about combating climate change, including an accelerated coal phase-out and a national floor price on carbon emissions starting in 2018.

Trudeau confirmed Tuesday that he’ll be holding a first ministers meeting with provincial and territorial premiers as well as indigenous leaders on Dec. 9 in Ottawa, where the pan-Canadian climate plan will be the main focus of the agenda.

U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden will also be making a visit to Ottawa on Dec. 8-9 to meet with the first ministers — perhaps one last opportunity for the Liberals to showcase their environmental policy entente with outgoing President Barack Obama before president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.

— Follow @BCheadle on Twitter

Bruce Cheadle , The Canadian Press


November 9, 2016

Oil Erases Losses as Market Turmoil Abates After Trump Victory

Posted on:  November 9, 2016, EnergyNow Media


Oil erased losses as global markets adjusted to Republican Donald Trump’s election as the 45th U.S. president.

Futures were little changed in New York, reversing an earlier decline of 4.3 percent. Turbulence in financial markets calmed and a knee-jerk selloff of risky assets abated as Trump, 70, promised to try to unite America’s divided political factions after his victory over Hillary Clinton.

The result nonetheless rattled markets that had banked on a continuation of economic and trade policies under a Democrat president. Most polls had shown Clinton ahead of Trump going into the vote and websites that took bets on the victor had put her odds of winning at 80 percent or more.

Read more: Commodities in turmoil as Trump’s victory shocks investors

“The market’s first reaction to Trump’s victory is risk-off, with the liquidation of positions built up on Monday on expectations of a Clinton win,” said Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG in Zurich. “But Trump’s acceptance speech sounded bipartisan, pro-growth and diplomatic, so some of the negative fears have waned.”

West Texas Intermediate for December delivery fell 1 cent to $44.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:14 a.m. London time, after dropping as much as $1.91 to $43.07. Total volume traded was almost four times the 100-day average.

Brent for January settlement rose 14 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $46.18 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract declined 11 cents to $46.04 on Tuesday. The global benchmark traded at a 54-cent premium to WTI for January delivery.

Trump was pushed over the 270 Electoral College votes needed to become the president-elect and the Republicans also retained control of Congress. Trump has pledged to clamp down on immigration to the U.S. and renegotiate free-trade agreements with countries including Mexico.

In a special report on Nov. 7, Societe Generale SA said the election outcome wouldn’t have a profound impact on oil, while analysts at Nomura Holdings Inc. had said a Clinton victory combined with an OPEC deal could trigger sharp price rebounds.

In the longer term, the reaction in oil markets to the election result would likely take a back seat to questions over whether OPEC will be able to complete a deal to restrain output at its late-November meeting in Vienna.

“Oil prices are in for some volatility until the dust settles,” said Tushar Tarun Bansal, director at industry consultant Ivy Global Energy in Singapore.  “It does add to the long-term uncertainty about the global markets.”

Oil has retreated below $45 a barrel following the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ failure to agree on output quotas for member countries on Oct. 28.  The group must reach a consensus before finalizing its September deal to cut production.  OPEC’s chief warned of prolonged market instability if there is no agreement to limit supply.

Other raw materials and the companies that produce them were whipsawed by Trump’s shock victory.  Agricultural commodities declined while industrial metals rebounded from earlier losses and gold surged with haven assets.

In other oil market news:

Militants blew up the Forcados oil pipeline in Nigeria, Niger Delta Avengers’ spokesperson Mudoch Agbinibo wrote on Twitter.  U.S crude supplies rose by 4.4 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report Tuesday.  Government data Wednesday is forecast to show stockpiles gained 2 million barrels.  Energy companies led declines in Asia.  Australian producer Santos Ltd. dropped 7.5 percent, the most since May. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., the world’s biggest refiner known as Sinopec, slumped as much as 7.8 percent during intraday trading in Hong Kong.  Trump may turn U.S. energy policy on its head, as his plans are “basically the antithesis of the current administration’s and Ms. Clinton’s planned pro-clean energy proposals,” JBC Energy said in an e-mailed report.


November 1, 2016

Want to Start a Junior Oil Company?  It’ll Cost You $100 Million

Posted on:  November 1, 2016, EnergyNow Media



Juniors are getting larger, better capitalized and will soon only work in the very best production areas


Like everyone else in the global oil patch, Canadian junior oil and gas companies have had a rough time of it. The oil price rout engineered by the Saudis and OPEC that began in the second half of 2014 left a trail of failed juniors in its wake. But not often discussed is the additional pressure of low natural gas prices caused by the “shale gale”—as industry veterans call it—out of the U.S. With few exceptions for the best-managed firms, those juniors clinging to life after two years of bust are suffering battered and bruised balance sheets. And when the inevitable upturn arrives, juniors may be confronted with a transformed industry that is not as hospitable as in years past.

“I think the juniors and intermediates will reflect a smaller group of companies that have survived and thrived through this difficult period and come out stronger on the other side”
– Gary Leach

Most Canadians think of 2014 as the start of the downturn in the energy sector. But Gary Leach, CEO of the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada, says natural gas-weighted juniors were already suffering since prices dropped in response to the flood of cheap gas unleashed by U.S. shale producers. After peaking at almost US$14 per Mbtu in 2008, prices plummeted and today they remain under $3. Canadian exports to the U.S. peaked in 2007 at well over 4,500 Bcf and last year were under 3,000 Bcf, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. “The entire business model for Canadian natural gas producers, especially those weighted more toward gas, was in trouble,” says Leach.

Juniors adapted by switching to more liquids-rich natural gas because propane, butane, ethane, and condensate were priced off oil benchmarks, which were much more robust. And as the gap between gas and oil prices widened, investors pressured management teams to chase more oil. “The initial wave of transition was through the natural gas side of the business and it forced a lot of companies to change their business model,” says Leach. “The world we had five years ago was marked by a big difference between those fortunate enough or clever enough to be liquids and oil-weighted and those that were dry gas-weighted.”

Another change that marked the new business model for juniors was a shift away from raising capital on public markets and, instead, tapping private equity. “A point of departure between the Canadian oil patch and other countries has been the heavy reliance by Canadian companies on public capital markets,” says Leach. Even less than a decade ago the TSX and TSX Venture exchanges were full of micro-caps and juniors. All that changed after the financial collapse of 2008 dragged on for two years and sent investors fleeing into T-bills and bonds. After the carnage stopped, investors’ appetite for scrappy management teams with an inside play or a technological advantage rapidly diminished. Only 20 publicly traded juniors remain, says Patrick O’Rourke, an analyst with AltaCorp Capital, who follows junior and mid-cap producers. Fortunately, private equity stepped up. Managers recognized the opportunity to build value, especially after oil prices took off after 2011. “A lot of Canadians don’t realize it but the Canadian Pension Plan, the Ontario Municipal Employee’s Pension Plan, the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, all of these big government and union pension plans are big investors in the Canadian oil patch,” says Leach.

And then the second shoe dropped in the fall of 2014. Saudi Arabia opened the taps wide, flooding global oil markets and sending prices into free fall. West Texas Intermediate briefly dipped below $30 at one point last winter—with Western Canadian Select languishing in the lower $20s—sending a chill over an already struggling junior sector. Junior companies began failing left and right. By the summer of 2016, the Land Integrity Foundation estimated as many as 230 juniors were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Companies shifted to survival mode, sometimes ripping up service contracts and asking vendors to rebid, or even using reverse auction websites to drive suppliers to the lowest possible price, says Mark Salkeld, CEO of the Petroleum Service Association of Canada.

The upturn isn’t far off, as oil markets slowly rebalance during the fall of this year and appear poised to test $60 per barrel—or perhaps much higher, according to some economists—sometime in 2017, and gas looks to be headed north of $3 per Mbtu based on supply concerns. What might the Canadian junior oil and gas sector look like in a revitalized oil patch? Much different, according to Leach, Salkeld and O’Rourke.

For starters, companies will likely be much bigger. No one agrees on a precise definition of the proper size of a junior, but 500 to 10,000 boe/d is a common yardstick, which will likely become quite a bit longer in the next five to 10 years. “I think the juniors and intermediates will reflect a smaller group of companies that have survived and thrived through this difficult period and come out stronger on the other side,” says Leach. “They’ll be larger, better capitalized, and probably only working in the very best production areas because marginal production areas with high costs just won’t be economic.”

One of the reasons for higher costs will be government regulations. The election of the NDP in Alberta and the Liberals nationally has dealt industry a double-whammy, according to Leach. Canada has always been a high-cost place for the oil and gas industry to do business, he argues, but the past 18 months have compounded the problem. The Alberta carbon tax, with perhaps a national version tacked on for good measure; fugitive methane emission reduction; the cost of addressing abandoned wells…the list goes on. Add to it delay—or even non-approval—for new pipeline projects and the prospects look daunting. “The cost of doing business in Western Canada is very high, and I’ve worked all over the world,” says Leach. “Canada and provincial governments have got to provide investment and regulatory certainty.”

Change is certainly coming to the Canadian oil and gas services sector, which could be both good and bad for juniors, says Salkeld. Good because as producers shed staff and expertise, service providers are expanding their technical offerings, allowing customers to remain lean and competitive with less overhead. “The service providers took on more and more of the technology to deliver successful wells,” he says. “Now, producers are looking to the service companies for their hydraulic fracturing or cementing or well completion or optimization expertise. The relationship between small producer and service company is going to be different coming out the other side of this downturn.” But Salkeld also worries that juniors that burned bridges with service companies to drive down costs and survive may not be the highest priority when good times return. “If the small guys ripped up contracts or wheedled us down to nothing, but bigger customers didn’t, our members are going to stick with the customers that stuck with them,” he says.

Even if a service company is willing to forgive a junior’s survival tactics, it may not have enough trained workers to provide the services. Salkeld and Leach warn that oil and gas lost tens of thousands of trained and skilled workers over the past two years, many of whom have left the industry; quite a few won’t be coming back. “It’s going to take a long time to ramp back up. We’ve passed the point of rebounding quickly. It’ll be a while now, we just lost too many people,” says Salkeld, who notes that the West drilled 10,000 to 12,000 new wells annually before the downturn, but current levels are only a quarter of the peak. Ramping up, he says, will be a “long, slow process.”

One bright spot in the near-term is the role new technologies and techniques have played since 2014 in driving down costs. U.S. shale producers have been particularly aggressive given their steep decline rates, but the flow of expertise across the border is pretty much seamless, says Leach. Producers are refracking wells, experimenting with fewer and more strategically placed frack stages, lowering the number of days required to drill, adopting Big Data/analytics strategies, and managing supply chains better, to name a few approaches. “The technologies that we’re using in the oilfield services for drilling, completions, hydraulic fracturing, multi-well pads, economies of scale—that’s all grown significantly in the past four or five years,” says Salkeld. Juniors can expect to benefit from the innovations, but some take a less technology-intensive approach, according to O’Rourke: “For the companies that are exploring, they’re taking exploratory risks and in some cases want to minimize technology risk.”

O’Rourke adds that going forward, investors will support juniors that have the same ingredients they’ve always looked for: a high quality management team, “good rock,” and a strong balance sheet. But there is no denying juniors will face headwinds. “You’re no longer doing the friends and family round and raising a million or two. At the very low end I’d say you need $50 [million] to $100 million, maybe even more than that,” he said.

The days of plucky upstart Canadian juniors starting with a shoestring budget and a smart management team, then selling out to a larger company or maybe growing to be a thriving mid-cap, appear to be over. The “lower for longer” price environment coupled with much higher capital requirements and the need for ever more technology favor bigger players. Not that there won’t always be dozens of juniors trying, say experts, but the odds are getting longer and longer that they will be successful.

For information on how to subscribe to Alberta Oil Magazine CLICK HERE


October 18, 2016

OPEC Reversal Is Gift to Oil Majors After 2 Years of ‘Hell’

Posted on:  October 18, 2016, EnergyNow Media

When the bosses of the world’s biggest oil companies gather in London on Tuesday, they might have the urge to track down the Saudi energy minister and shake him by the hand.

After two years pursuing a Saudi-led strategy to pump without limits, pummeling industry earnings, OPEC has unexpectedly come to the aid of the oil majors. Last month, it surprised the market by deciding to cut production and put a floor under volatile crude prices.

The question now is how soon they will resume drilling. Prices are near levels where many majors have said they can start investing again after billions of dollars of spending cuts and thousands of job losses sent discoveries to the lowest level in 70 years. In U.S. shale fields, explorers are already adding rigs, boosting oilfield work to the highest since February.

“After all the hell we’ve had, there should be a pick-up now,” said  Danilo Onorino, a portfolio manager at Dogma Capital SA, which owns oil companies’ bonds. “The industry has been damaged in the past two years and things need to start improving.”

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih has said getting explorers to start drilling again is one of the reasons behind the OPEC deal. He’ll be joined at the Oil and Money conference by company bosses that include BP Plc’s Bob Dudley, Rex Tillerson of Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp.’s John Watson.

“He needs to convince everyone to start investing again else there is a big supply crisis coming,” Onorino said. “If prices remain at these levels for about six months, the industry’s spending should start moving higher.”

Oil’s slump has forced Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto leader, to cut fuel subsidies and even borrow money to finance its budget. Though the kingdom needs higher prices, it will be wary of a jump that could spur development of alternative energies and limit demand for its vast resources of crude.

While Brent has climbed as high as $53.73 a barrel since oil producers announced a preliminary deal in Algiers on Sept. 28, prices remain at less than half their mid-2014 level. Still, if crude holds above $50, it may be enough to encourage spending by an industry made leaner by two years of cost cuts. The global benchmark added 0.5 percent to $51.80 at 10:09 a.m. London time.

Total SA, France’s largest oil company, is “almost happy” to see crude at $50 to $55, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said in Istanbul on Oct. 11. The CEO welcomed OPEC’s decision to limit supply, saying that investment cuts in the industry had blocked new projects, threatening to cause an oil shortage by 2020.

Cost Discipline

Investments are coming back, but only for the best projects, BP’s Dudley said at the Oil & Money conference Tuesday. For now, the company is unlikely to invest in costly deepwater or frontier exploration projects, he said.

BP has said it will be able to balance cash flow with shareholder payouts and capital spending at $50 to $55 a barrel next year. The company is taking on more debt to maintain dividends and is keeping investments low, cutting to below $17 billion this year from $23 billion in 2014. Dudley aims to get about 75 percent of the cost reductions from the lean times to “ stick,” he said on Tuesday.

“We can’t lose our discipline on costs at any time, or let capital expenditure slide out of tight control,” Dudley said in a speech last week in Istanbul. In the past, “we have let costs drift up when prices are high, then cut back when prices fall.”

OPEC’s policy of pumping at full throttle in spite of low prices to defend market share punished drillers. At the same time, it drove down operating expenses and compelled companies to find creative ways to save money. Because the majors have succeeded in pushing costs so low, they’re well-positioned to benefit if prices rise, said Iain Armstrong, a London-based analyst at Brewin Dolphin Ltd., which owns shares in both Shell and BP.

“Shareholders have been united in forcing cash conservation, project cancellations and the preservation of dividends,” said Alex Blein, a portfolio manager at Amundi, which manages more than $1 trillion of assets, including shares in Exxon and Chevron. “Higher prices will help cash generation and repair damaged balance sheets.”

For companies to start spending, the recent oil rally must be sustained. Even at the OPEC meeting at Algiers, fractures within the group emerged that threaten to derail a final agreement on quotas, expected in Vienna on Nov. 30. The deal, the first to cut output in eight years, will probably exempt some members, including Iran, Libya and Nigeria, which want to boost production after prolonged output disruptions.

“OPEC’s apparent change of heart is a big surprise, and the market is naturally skeptical as OPEC is notoriously non-compliant with its own targets,” Blein said. “What is interesting this time round is, firstly, the consistency of Saudi support for lower production and, secondly, their willingness to exclude Iran from the cuts.”

Shale Returns

There’s also the question of whether any cut by OPEC will be made irrelevant by a potential increase in non-OPEC production. Russia, currently pumping at a record pace, hasn’t said whether its commitment is to an output cut or just a freeze. In any case, it hasn’t made good on previous pledges to cooperate with OPEC.

In the U.S., the recent slide in output could quickly swing to growth as shale drillers, encouraged by higher prices, have increased the number of oil rigs for seven consecutive weeks to the highest level since February.

For now at least, the OPEC deal means the specter of $30 or even $40 crude is gone, and the oil companies have emerged stronger from their ordeal, said Brewin Dolphin’s Armstrong.

“These are profound changes that mean we need to be competitive in a way that’s different from the past,” BP’s Dudley said. “From now on, the challenge is to build — and sustain — businesses that are good through all cycles.”


October 6, 2016

Saudi Aramco IPO Will Offer Stake in All of Company’s Operations

Posted on:  October 6, 2016, BOE Report

The world’s biggest oil company is planning to sell shares in the entire business and not just in its refining or distribution operations, its chief executive officer said in an interview.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, will announce “very soon” a list of investment banks and consultants advising it on the initial public offering, CEO  Amin Nasser said in Bahrain. without specifying a date. It plans to list shares on the Saudi stock market and is also considering foreign bourses in London, Hong Kong and New York, he said. Its plan to sell a stake of about 5 percent could value the company in trillions of dollars.

“We need to do a lot of internal work to prepare for this listing,” Nasser said. “We are listing a part of the entire company, and not just downstream,” he said, referring to operations including refining and distribution.

Saudi Arabia, under pressure from lower crude prices, wants to sell shares in Aramco in early 2018 as part of an effort to generate revenue and reform its economy. The government hopes to raise about $100 billion from the planned IPO of its flagship asset.

“There are no obstacles for the IPO of Aramco,” Nasser said. “It’s going very smoothly, and we are on target. We achieved a lot of progress so far. People have to appreciate the size of Aramco and its complexity.”


September 23, 2016

Oil Rebounds as Saudi Arabia Said to Offer Output Deal to Iran

Posted on:  September 23, 2016, EnergyNow Media

Oil rebounded to head for a weekly gain after Saudi Arabia was said to have offered to reduce production if Iran agreed to freeze its output.

Futures were little changed after earlier declining as much as 1.9 percent in New York. The kingdom would be willing to reduce its output if Iran were to agree to freeze at its current production level of 3.6 million barrels a day, according to two people familiar with the situation who asked not be identified because the talks were private. The talks between the two nations ended without agreement Thursday. Now is the right time for a deal, according to Falah Al-Amri, Iraq’s governor to OPEC. Prices are unlikely to climb above $50 a barrel unless the group reduces production, he said.

Oil has fluctuated since August’s rally on speculation the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia will agree on ways to stabilize the market when they meet Sept. 28. While Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said members are close to a deal, all but two of 23 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg said an agreement to limit production is unlikely. Freezing output was proposed in February, but a meeting in April ended with no final accord.

“There is unlikely to be a voluntary limit to production,” said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “Such an agreement would be at odds with OPEC’s current strategy of defending its market shares.”

West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was at $46.41 a barrel, 9 cents higher on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 12:15 p.m. in London. The contract advanced 98 cents to $46.32 on Thursday, the highest close in two weeks. Total volume traded was about 39 percent below the 100-day average. Prices are up 7.8 percent this week.

OPEC Meeting

Brent for November settlement gained 37 cents to $48.02 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after rising 1.8 percent to $47.65 on Thursday. Prices are up 4.9 percent this week. The global benchmark was at a $1.60 premium to WTI.

For a story on the supply challenge pressuring OPEC to act, click here.

Saudi Arabia and Iran met at OPEC headquarters in preparation for informal talks in Algiers, according to two people briefed on the discussions. OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo visited Qatar and Iran this month to build consensus before the gathering. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sept. 2 that the producers can overcome their divisions to reach a deal.

Oil-market news:

Market conditions are better than they were in April, Iraq’s Al-Amri said at an energy event in Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates. Nigeria’s planned output boost gathered pace as the African country issued programs to load two grades of crude that have been blocked for months following militant attacks on pipelines. Canada is sending a record amount of oil to the U.S., filling pipelines to capacity and threatening to push more crude into rail cars.


August 17, 2016

OPEC’s Former Head Says Conditions Right for Oil-Freeze Deal

Posted on:  August 17, 2016, EnergyNow Media

OPEC is on course to strike an output-freeze deal with fellow oil producers in Algiers next month because its biggest members are already pumping flat-out, the group’s former president said.

While a similar initiative failed in April, an agreement can now be reached as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and non-member Russia are producing at, or close to, maximum capacity, Chakib Khelil said in a Bloomberg Television interview. Khelil steered OPEC in 2008, the last time it implemented an output cut, which was announced in Algeria in December of that year. In a separate interview, former Qatari Energy Minister  Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah was convinced there is a need for an accord.

“All the conditions are set for an agreement,” Khelil said from Washington. “Probably this is the time because most of the big countries like Russia, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are reaching their top production level. They have gained all the market share they could gain.”

Analyst Doubts

While oil prices have advanced since OPEC announced it would hold informal talks in the Algerian capital next month, analysts from UBS Group AG to Commerzbank AG doubt any freeze deal will be completed, and comments from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria have kept expectations low. Talks collapsed in April as Saudi Arabia insisted Iran would have to limit its production, a condition the country rejected as it ramped up exports previously curbed by sanctions.

As producers are almost pumping at full-tilt, the impact of any accord to prevent further increases would essentially be “psychological,” Khelil said. That would nonetheless have a benefit for the market, according to the Algerian, who was also the country’s energy minister from 1999 to 2010. The global crude oversupply is already diminishing, and markets will probably reach “complete equilibrium” next year, Khelil said.

Slow Process

Qatar’s Al-Attiyah, speaking by phone, said the re-balancing is proceeding slowly and there is a need for global producers to act together and speed up the process. He said it’s “really hard to say” whether anything will be agreed in Algiers.

“OPEC and other producers need to do something because for the market to rebalance on its own that will take a lot of time,” Al-Attiyah said. “Even next year, we have to be cautious and not expect that the market will rebalance quickly.”

Still, both former ministers agreed that a freeze, even if it’s only symbolic, would revive the bullish mood among oil investors and traders.

“The freeze deal will not have a huge impact on fundamentals but it will help improve the market sentiments,” Al-Attiyah said. “At the end, a step taken is better than doing nothing.”


July 12, 2016

Alberta to Cut Royalty Rates in Effort to Squeeze Out More Oil, Gas Production

Posted on:  July 11, 2016, EnergyNow Media
By:  The Canadian Press

CALGARY — The Alberta government is introducing two new royalty programs to encourage the energy sector to spend more on developments in their early stages and squeeze more oil and gas from underutilized existing operations.

Under the programs, companies would pay reduced royalty rates on those projects for a longer period.

CEO Tim McMillan of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says the new royalty system recognizes the higher risks and greater costs of drilling associated with emerging developments and wringing out as much oil and gas from ongoing operations.

The changes were recommended by the provincial royalty review advisory panel in January.

They are to take effect as of Jan. 1, at the same time as Alberta’s overall new royalty framework.

The Canadian Press


June 23, 2016

Saudi Arabia Declares Cease-Fire in Oil War

By Leonid Bershidsky on 6/23/2016 (Bloomberg)

The new Saudi oil minister, Khalid Al-Falih, says  the oil glut is over.  That means the kingdom’s war against U.S. shale producers is coming to an end, too.  Who won it is a tough question to answer; on balance, it’s probably the Saudis, but they have paid a huge price, and the surviving U.S. frackers have also benefited.

In September 2014, Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state oil company, simultaneously increased output and discounts to Asian customers, making it difficult for producers with higher costs to compete.  The U.S. shale industry responded with desperate bravado, cutting costs, perfecting technologies and pumping like crazy to avoid defaulting on its debts.  Yet, according to Haynes and Boone’s Oil Patch Bankruptcy Monitor, 81 North American oil and gas companies have filed for bankruptcy since the beginning of 2015.  In Texas alone, there have been 41 bankruptcies, representing $24.3 billion in debt.

As a result, U.S. oil production has declined to late 2014 levels, while Saudi Arabia has defended and indeed increased its market share.  Last year, it maintained its export volume to the U.S., while sales to China grew by 4.5 percent and to India by 18 percent.

The North American shale industry knows now that it’s at the mercy of Saudi Arabia.  The kingdom has more than two million barrels a day — perhaps even three million if necessary — of spare production capacity that it can use to flood the market again, drive down prices and render any ambitious American plans useless.

This is Our Patch

Saudi Arabia and Russia increased their crude oil output (in thousands of barrels a day), while the U.S. retreated.

2016.06.23 Oil & Gas Focus - Graph Bloomberg


Al-Falih takes a long-term view and expects the oil market to grow, not decline, in absolute terms in the next two decades, despite adverse changes in the energy mix.  “Even if the share of oil goes down from, say, 30 to 25 percent, 25 percent of a much bigger global demand means a much higher absolute number of barrels that will be in demand by 2030 or 2040,” he told The Houston Chronicle.  So it makes more sense to fight for long-term market share rather than a momentarily high price.  In that regard, the Saudis have won the oil war.

The repercussions and costs of this victory, however, are harsh.  The monetary loss is the most obvious one: At its current output level of 10.2 million barrels a day, Saudi Aramco is making $600 million a day less than if the oil price had stayed above $100 a barrel.  The U.S. shale business is missing out on about as much revenue, considering it has lost 1 million barrels a day of production compared with its peak, but the U.S. economy has, on balance, benefited from lower oil prices, while the Saudi one has suffered because it’s almost entirely oil-dependent.  This is prompting the big policy rethink in Riyad.  As Al-Falih, an ally of reform architect Prince Mohammed bin Salman, said in the Houston Chronicle interview, “Nobody has the intention of turning off the oil economy in Saudi Arabia.  We’re trying to build it up.  But what we hope while we’re doing this is the non-oil economy will grow even faster.”

The Saudi victory is also hollower than it might be because some of the kingdom’s competitors did not retreat — on the contrary, they, too, boosted production.  While private U.S. companies responded as expected to overwhelming market pressure — they consolidated, worked on costs, cut investments or went belly up — the Saudis’ major competitor, Russia, redoubled efforts to pump as much oil as it could, because most of the production is concentrated in government hands and the government needed the revenue.  Also, Iran, Saudi Arabia’s perennial rival, got a free ride after international sanctions against it were lifted.  With production costs not much higher than those for the Saudis, it ratcheted up production quickly, filling in for output drops elsewhere caused by the Saudi policy.

Saudi Arabia can live with these results of its war.  The current price level of about $50 a barrel is acceptable, and Al-Falih admits that attempts to target specific price levels by regulating output have failed in the past.  Russia and the surviving U.S. shale producers are not at death’s door at this price point, either:  The former’s economic decline will probably end this year, and the latter can start making cautious plans for the future rather than fighting for survival.

The equilibrium is fragile: the market’s rebalancing has been accelerated by unexpected disruptions that won’t be permanent.  So Al-Falih is signaling that his country won’t tip the scale by increasing production.  According to him, Saudi Arabia would like to “maintain that balance while also giving heed to moderate prices for producers and consumers.”

Any number of accidents could disrupt this attempt to stabilize the oil price at the current level.  Yet Saudi Arabia’s willingness to accept $50 as the new normal should reduce volatility, making the market more boring for speculators but friendlier to oil producers and consumers.


May 30, 2016

Oil at $60 Gains More Backers on Forecast for Higher U.S. Demand


ABU DHABI (Bloomberg) — The United Arab Emirates’s economy minister joined forecasters looking for $60 crude this year with demand and production moving more in line.

“It’s possible for oil prices to reach $60 or more during this summer” as demand increases in the U.S., U.A.E. Economy Minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori said at a conference in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Crude will end the year higher than $60/bbl, Mario Maratheftis, global chief economist at Standard Chartered Plc, said on Bloomberg TV. SEB Bank forecast last week that Brent would touch $60 at times in 2016.

Oil futures jumped 31% this year, climbing above $50/bbl last week, as U.S. crude stockpiles declined, trimming a glut. Robust demand in India and other emerging nations led the International Energy Agency in May to reduce its estimate of the global oil surplus for the first half. Brent last traded above $60 in July.

“We’ve always been incredibly bullish on oil,” Maratheftis said. “We expected supply to collapse. Demand is still very strong. I would expect oil prices to keep rising.”

Brent for July settlement fell 0.3% to $49.15/bbl by 2:25 p.m. in Dubai, after trading at $50.51 last Thursday.


May 16, 2016

Oil Rises to Six-Month High as Goldman Sees Demand Above Output

Posted On May 16th
By : EnergyNow Media
Comment: Off
Tag: US and International News
May 16, 2016

Oil climbed to a six-month high as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the market moved into a deficit earlier than expected following supply disruptions in Nigeria and an increase in demand.

Futures rose as much as 2.6 percent in New York. The shift to a supply deficit this month happened one quarter earlier than forecast, Goldman Sachs said in a report. The bank raised its price forecasts, while projecting a return to surplus early next year. Militant attacks and pipeline outages have cut Nigerian volumes by at least 30 percent, its petroleum minister said last week.

After falling to a 12-year low earlier this year, oil has rebounded on signs the worldwide glut will ease amid production cuts. The supply surplus in the first half is proving to be smaller than estimated, the International Energy Agency said last week, citing robust demand in India and other emerging nations. Morgan Stanley, Barclays Plc and Bank of America Corp. joined Goldman Sachs in noting that supply losses are leading markets to rebalance.

“The oil market looks set on a course for rebalancing much faster than previously expected,” Barclays analysts Miswin Mahesh and Kevin Norrish said in a report. “Fresh catalysts in the form of large and extended supply outages in Nigeria are supporting upward price momentum in oil, just when it seemed about to fade.”

Goldman View:

West Texas Intermediate for June delivery increased as much as $1.19 to $47.40 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since Nov. 4, and was at $47.22 by 8:37 a.m. local time. Total volume traded was near the 100-day average. Prices have climbed more than 75 percent from their February low.

Brent for July settlement increased as much as $1.25 to $49.08 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract declined 25 cents to close at $47.83 on Friday. The global benchmark crude was at a premium of 96 cents to WTI for July.

Goldman increased its WTI price forecasts for the second quarter through the fourth, while raising its full-year 2016 projection to $44.60 a barrel from $38.40. There’ll be a more gradual decline in inventories in the second half than previously estimated and a return to a production surplus in the first quarter of 2017, with low-cost output continuing to grow, the bank said.

“The physical rebalancing of the oil market has finally started,” Goldman analysts Damien Courvalin and Jeffrey Currie wrote in the report dated May 15. “The market has likely shifted into deficit in May.”


Oil-market News:

China reduced crude production in April by 5.6 percent from a year earlier to 16.6 million metric tons, the lowest level since February 2015, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. The decline rate was the most since November 2011. Refining at Chinese plants increased 2.4 percent from a year earlier to about 10.93 million barrels a day last month, the data show. Rigs targeting crude in the U.S. fell to 318 after 10 were idled last week, Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday. Explorers have cut more than 1,000 machines since the start of last year. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept forecasts for global supply and demand unchanged in its last monthly assessment before members meet to review the market on June 2. Supplies of four key Nigerian crude grades — Bonny Light, Qua Iboe, Forcados and Escravos — have been disrupted as a result of sabotage and accidents.



Saudi Prince Puts His Stamp on Major Government Overhaul

Posted On May 8th
By : EnergyNow Media

May 8, 2016

(Bloomberg)  Saudi Arabia replaced its central bank chief and long-time oil minister as part of sweeping economic changes led by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to reduce the nation’s reliance on hydrocarbons. King Salman appointed Ahmed Alkholifey to head the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, as the central bank is known, succeeding Fahad Al Mubarak, who had been in the role since 2011. Also out is Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi, the architect of the 2014 switch in OPEC policy that’s since roiled crude markets, replaced by Saudi Aramco Chairman Khalid Al-Falih. Saudi Arabia is undergoing its biggest ever economic shakeup, led by the the deputy crown prince and second-in-line to the throne, as it prepares for the post-oil era following the plunge in crude prices that started in 2014. The kingdom’s energy industry, as well as its central bank, will play a “critical role in the economic transformation” plans, said Simon Kitchen, head of macro-strategy at Cairo-based investment bank EFG-Hermes. “The deputy crown prince has now put his stamp on both institutions,” he said.

Princely Stamp

Al-Naimi, 80, retired after heading the oil ministry for almost 21 years. His departure is another sign of Prince Mohammed’s growing influence. At the April 17 meeting in Doha where producers discussed a possible output freeze to curb the global glut, al-Naimi lacked the authority to complete any deal, according to his Russian and Venezuelan counterparts. The view of Prince Mohammed, who had insisted that no accord was possible without Iran, eventually prevailed and the talks collapsed. As part of Saturday’s royal decrees, the name of the oil ministry becomes the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, and will undertake tasks and responsibilities related to electricity.

Vision 2030

Prince Mohammed’s plans, outlined in the so-called “Vision 2030” blueprint announced on April 25, include setting up the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, transforming Aramco into an energy and industrial conglomerate, and generating an additional $100 billion in non-oil revenue by 2020. Saudi Aramco Chairman Al-Falih Replaces Al-Naimi as Oil Minister Your Guide to Saudi Arabia’s Plan for Life After Oil One of the government’s biggest challenges, though, will be navigating the worst economic slowdown since the global financial crisis as authorities cut spending to plug a budget deficit that reached about 15 percent of gross domestic product in 2015. The benchmark Tadawul All Share Index rose 0.2 percent at the close in Riyadh. The measure has dropped 32 percent over the past year, compared with a 23 percent decline for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. The economy will expand 1.5 percent this year, according to the median estimate of a Bloomberg survey, the slowest since 2009, complicating efforts to reduce what is already among the region’s highest levels of youth unemployment. The International Institute of Finance said in a report published May 3 that it expects “sharply slower growth in the next few years due to the serious fiscal consolidation.”

Central Bank

While Saudi banks are “well placed to weather the slump in oil prices,” they will come under pressure as borrowing costs climb because of increased government borrowing and the decline in private-sector deposits, IIF economists Giyas Gökkent and Garbis Iradian wrote in the report. Alkholifey, deputy governor before the king promoted him to central bank chief, takes office as the government prepares to borrow more through local and global debt markets. The central bank is also considering reducing the reserves banks are required to hold against customer deposits to release more funds for lending, the IIF said. The central bank’s net foreign assets fell by $115 billion in 2015, fueling speculation that the kingdom will abandon the dollar peg. Along with Al Mubarak, a former Morgan Stanley banker, Alkholifey reiterated Saudi Arabia’s commitment to the policy. “The peg will stay. A strong nominal anchor is important during a time of major economic change,” said Kitchen of EFG-Hermes.

Third Reorganization

The king’s government reorganization on Saturday is the third major change since he took power in January 2015. The previous two reshuffles helped propel a younger generation of the Al Saud ruling family, mainly his son Prince Mohammed, closer to the throne of the world’s top oil exporter. The prince was named defense minister, leading the kingdom’s war effort in Yemen against rebels it says are backed by its rival Iran. He also oversees the economy and oil through the Council for Economic and Development Affairs. The prince’s rapid rise to power and fast-paced policy changes have stunned diplomats and analysts alike. His economic plans, which include selling shares in Aramco as well as cutting subsidies, were received with skepticism by some foreign analysts who predict he may face domestic resistance. “Vision 2030 represents a Saudi plan for economic leadership in a world where oil is no longer dominant,” Simon Henderson, the Baker Fellow and director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at The Washington Institute, wrote in a report. “If it succeeds, it will also bring about much broader changes within the kingdom.”

April 25, 2016

Notley addresses Trudeau, ministers about pipeline

KANANASKIS, Alta. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his 30 ministers holed up Sunday at a luxury mountain resort in Alberta to discuss the devastation wrought by plunging oil prices on the province’s economy. Premier Rachel Notley met privately with Trudeau and then gave a detailed presentation to about half the cabinet in the evening at which she drove home the message that a healthy Alberta economy is a necessary precondition for robust national economic growth. She spoke of the desperate need for a pipeline to get the province’s oil sands crude to tidewater and for a quick start to job-creating infrastructure projects. And she reiterated her objections to a recent boost in Employment Insurance benefits for hard-hit regions of the country, which wound up excluding Edmonton. “I think that the interests of Alberta were well-served today,” she said following her presentation. “I made the case again that Alberta’s economic health really is linked to Canada’s economic health.” However, she got no specific promises on any of the issues she raised. And not all cabinet ministers attended the detailed session with Notley, choosing instead to attend other presentations being given at the same time or to flit from one to another. Among those who didn’t plan to attend Notley’s presentation was Finance Minister Bill Morneau, whose maiden budget last month introduced the EI changes and promised billions in infrastructure funding. “I’m going to another presentation right now. I think hers is over-subscribed,” Morneau told reporters during a brief break. Nevertheless, he said the mountain location of the three-day retreat was “very much on purpose because we wanted to be here in Alberta … to understand better the challenges.” Morneau defended the formula by which the federal government calculated which regions of the country are entitled to beefed up EI benefits but appeared to leave the door open a crack to modifying it. “That’s where we’re at right now and I appreciate that Premier Notley, you know, is anxious to make sure that people across the province are well served.” On pipelines, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said the federal government understands “how important the energy sector is for Canada and for Alberta; we know that the sector is going through a very difficult time at the moment.” But he offered no new hope for speedy approval of any of the three proposed pipelines that are currently mired in the environmental review process and facing stiff uphill battles with public opinion. “We want to move our natural resources to tidewater sustainably and we’ve announced a set of principles that will guide us along that way,” Carr said. Notley said she agrees with the approach the Liberal federal government is taking, which she argued is more likely to produce results eventually than the pipeline cheerleader approach taken by the previous Conservative governments in Ottawa and Edmonton. “You know, two Conservative governments — both at a federal level and at a provincial level — came together to fail on the issue of getting a pipeline approved because they paired that with a refusal to deal with climate change and a refusal to deal with the fact that people distrusted the process that was in place,” she said. Like Trudeau, she argued that Canadians are more likely to support a pipeline if they have faith in a beefed up environmental review process. Notley spent some time during her presentation educating federal ministers on her own government’s climate change plan, including a cap on greenhouse gas emissions. Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, a former Edmonton city councillor, said he talks weekly with his Alberta counterpart and is hopeful that infrastructure money can start flowing soon. “We are working with them to sign bilateral agreements as quickly as possible and our goal is not to lose this construction season,” he said. Earlier Sunday, as the prime minister and his ministers arrived for the retreat, Trudeau said the gathering would give cabinet a chance to focus on the “challenges and opportunities” facing Alberta. It’s also a chance for his cabinet to take stock of what they’ve accomplished in their first six months in power and “all the hard work” that lies ahead, he said. This is the second cabinet retreat Trudeau has held. The first, at a seaside resort in New Brunswick in January, cost almost $150,000 and the price tag for this one is likely to be similar. But Trudeau said it’s important for him and his ministers to get out of the Ottawa bubble. “One of the things we talked about a lot during the … election campaign was the need to get out and be strong voices for our communities in Ottawa,” he said after strolling through a chilly rain with his ministers shortly after arriving at the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, a spectacular resort nestled in the Rocky Mountains about 80 km. west of Calgary. “And that requires us, MPs and ministers, to be engaged on the ground, connecting with people and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

February 19, 2016 Check out this article on EnergyNow.ca: http://energynow.ca/90-minute-meeting-earns-saudi-arabia-1-billion-a-month/  

January 26, 2016 LONDON (Bloomberg) — Pierre Andurand, the founder of the $615 million Andurand Capital Management who correctly predicted the slump in oil prices, said the commodity has probably hit bottom and will end the year higher. The price of oil will probably rise to $50/bbl this year and $70/bbl in 2017, though investors should expect heightened volatility along the way, he said Friday in an interview on Bloomberg TV. “We are in a world where we see very low prices followed by very high prices,” Andurand said in the interview. “I actually think it has bottomed.” Andurand’s hedge fund made 8% in 2015 and 38% in 2014, chiefly on wagers that oil would fall. As recently as December, he predicted that oil could touch $25/bbl this quarter. West Texas Intermediate fell as low as $26.19 on Jan. 20, before rebounding 20% to $31.56 at 11:56 a.m. in New York. “There is very little spare capacity in the system,” he said, citing declines in production that began three months ago in countries that aren’t members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Andurand’s previous hedge fund, BlueGold Capital, which managed about $2.2 billion at its peak, had generated a 240% return over four years. That fund closed in 2012 after losses the year before.  

January 25, 2016 http://energynow.ca/oil-drops-as-saudis-to-maintain-spending-china-diesel-use-falls/


(Bloomberg) — Oil gave up its gains after the world’s biggest crude exporter said it’s keeping up investments in energy projects and diesel consumption in China dropped for a fourth consecutive month, signaling an industrial slowdown.

Futures dropped as much as 4.1 percent in New York. Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Saudi Aramco, hasn’t reduced its investment capacity amid lower crude prices, Chairman Khalid Al- Falih said Monday. Diesel use in China dropped 5.6 percent in December compared with a year earlier and gasoline consumption grew at the slowest pace in more than two years.

Oil resumed its decline after the biggest two-day rally in more than seven years as concerns persist over U.S. stockpiles, production from Saudi Arabia and Russia and Iran’s return to the market following the end of sanctions. Slowing demand in China is adding to oil’s bearish sentiments, according to Danske Bank A/S Senior Analyst Jens Pedersen. Prices may take as long as three years to normalize, according to Bank of Montreal Chief Executive Officer William Downe.

“The China demand figures is a stark reminder that consumption growth may not be stellar in 2016,” Bjarne Schieldrop, Oslo-based chief commodities analyst at SEB AB, said by phone. “Prices needs to stay weak for some time in order to keep excess production out and help rebalance the market later.”

November 13, 2015 War of words intensifies between Suncor and Canadian Oil Sands  

October 06, 2015 News Release: Stormhold Energy Ltd. Shareholders and Related Parties The Board of Directors are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Kallum McIvor, as Consulting Geologists to Stormhold Energy Ltd. Kallum McIvor, B.Sc., GIT: Kallum majored in Geology at the University of Calgary. He began his career in the oilfield service sector working with Weatherford. While at Weatherford Kallum was able to complete several open and cased hole logging courses and become acquainted with numerous log based and geological software programs. Throughout his academic career, Kallum focused on sedimentary, carbonate and log based courses. Some academic highlights include; petrophysical techniques, well logging and formation evaluation, subsurface methods of petroleum geology, sedimentary petrology, sequence stratigraphy, stratigraphy and sedimentation. Kallum is a registered Member in Training (MIT) with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).  

September 28, 2015 President’s Message Shareholders of Stormhold Energy Ltd.                                                       

Since my previous address, the markets for junior resource companies has not improved; if anything they may be even worse, but I am not here to dwell on bad news and present explanations for low commodity prices under a promise that the future will be better. I am here to discuss our accomplishments, share some of my insight into the future of Stormhold Energy Ltd. and our future development strategy. In this past year, we have drilled 3 pilot wells that are under completions and future updates will follow when available. We have successfully expanded our land position and revised our exploration and development program within our limited budget. We have hired additional professional Consultants, increasing our industry experience and area knowledge. We have done this in what could be deemed the worst market scenario for the junior resource sector ever. We are currently finalizing details and corporate structures for our joint venture projects in order to move these forward with even greater efficiency. As these are now near complete, we believe it is time to refocus our attention to growing opportunities for the company and its shareholders. Despite the current decline in commodity prices, we know the demand for energy resources is set to increase in the near future. Our corporate Team has developed considerable expertise in all aspects of our play and our technical Team has become well versed in the exploration, development and completions techniques necessary to move forward. The mineral exploration and development industry is seeing virtually no cash injected into funding, advancing and developing new deposits to meet this future demand. Unlike most, Stormhold Energy Ltd. has taken the necessary steps to assure our exploration and development program is successful while jumping over many hurdles as we have in the past. The next step is to find additional strategic partners to assist us financially and technically to develop Stormhold Energy Ltd. further. We started this company with the vision to bring sustainable upside for our Shareholders, partners, family and friends and we continue to work toward that goal. Regards, Chadd Radke President/ CEO September 17, 2015 News Release: SEL announces the acquisition of 15 sections (3,885 hectares or 9,600 acres) of mineral rights in east central Alberta. Stormhold Energy Ltd. is pleased to announce that Stormhold Energy Ltd. (SEL) was successful at the September 16, 2015 Alberta Land Sales Auction and secured Crown Lease Mineral Rights on 15 sections across multiple zones. These lands are also located between two historically producing areas of Alberta, the Provost Field & the Fenn Big Valley Field. That brings the SEL land position in the area to a total of 152 plus sections (97,280 acres) of multiple low risk zone potential.

August 20, 2015

Subject: Two oil expert says things are about to turn the corner once again, and Brent crude is going to surge to $71 a barrel by the end of the year Oil has been demolished over the past year, falling from $100 a barrel to the low 40s. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-19/economist-three-reasons-oil-will-surge-past-70-by-the-end-of-the-year But one oil expert says things are about to turn the corner once again, and Brent crude is going to surge to $71 a barrel by the end of the year. Credit Suisse energy economist Jan Stuart spoke on Bloomberg TV yesterday, giving the reasons behind his big target. July 07, 2015 Stormhold Energy Ltd. Shareholders and Related Parties The Board of Directors are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Bernie Dumanowski, as an Senior Engineering Consultant to Stormhold Energy Ltd. Bernie Dumanowski, P.Eng., Senior Drilling & Completion Engineer for Stormhold Energy Ltd, has over 27 years of engineering experience in the oil & gas industry which includes: drilling, completions, facilities construction, pipeline construction, production operations, exploitation and special projects. His experience is garnered from a broad range of technical and management roles. The majority of his experience has been in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin in addition to HPHT (high pressure-high temperature) experience in the San Joaquin Basin, California USA. Recent experience has been in Southern Alberta with development of Mannville tight oil and tight gas plays utilizing horizontal drilling and multi stage hydraulic fracturing. Bernie started his career with Renaissance Energy Ltd. spending over 13 years in various positions with increasing responsibility. He has assisted in the advancement and use of innovative technologies with respect to drilling, completions and production operations. His current engineering special interests are thermal spallation drilling, deep geothermal wells, toroidal engines and CHP (combined heat power) units. Bernie is a registered member of A.P.E.G.A. (Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta), PTAC (Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada) and CanGEA (Canadian Geothermal Energy Association) Bernie received his B. Sc. degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1987 from the University of Wyoming. March 17, 2015 Stormhold Energy Ltd. Shareholders and Related Parties The Board of Directors are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Richard Bartlett, as a Consultant to Stormhold Energy Ltd. Mr. Richard Bartlett, president of Hydro-Fax, has over 35 years of D.S.T application and hydrodynamic experience, having established Hydro-Fax in 1987. He has extensive hydrogeological experience in the N.W.T. and Western Canadian sedimentary basin. Richard has given talks at the CSPG on a couple of hydrodynamic evaluations. Richard also has taught D.S.T. interpretation and the application of hydrodynamics’ in the industry. Value of Hydrodynamics

  • Determine the disposition of a reservoir’s aquifer and its relation to hydrocarbons within
  • Define pressure compartment’s distribution within the respective reservoir
  • Define direction of preferential migration through application of potentiometric surface mapping
  • Determine where your prospect fits. Is it a new find or an extension of the known play
  • Determine where your reservoir’s pressure is now
  • Define the reservoir’s pressure, and through D.S.T. mapping, the quality of your reservoir and how it behaved while testing

March 13, 2015 News Release: SEL announces the acquisition of 61 sections (15,424 hectares or 39,177 acres) of mineral rights in east central Alberta. Chadd Radke, CEO & President is pleased to announce that Stormhold Energy Ltd. (SEL) was successful at the March 11, 2015 Alberta Land Sales Auction and secured Crown Lease Mineral Rights on 61 sections across multiple zones. These lands are also located between two historically producing areas of Alberta, the Provost Field & the Fenn Big Valley Field. That brings the SEL land position in the area to a total of 240 sections of multiple low risk zone potential.   March 10, 2015 Stormhold Energy Ltd. Shareholders and Related Parties Wells presently licensed, two of which are drill ready (Wells 4 of 18) STL Hz Halkirk 6-6-38-16 (surface location at 1-6-38-16) Well License #0470653 as a Pika/ElkPoint/Camrose well Surface lease acquired.   STL Hz Halkirk 15-14-38-17 (surface location at 1-14-38-17 Well License #0470702 as a Pika/ElkPoint/Camrose well Surface lease acquired.   STL Hz Provost 12-36-37-16 (from surface 16-36-37-16W4); Well License #0474820 as a Mannville/Camrose/Pika.

  1. Padsite survey at 16-36-37-16W4 completed. Surface lease acquired.

STL Hz 102 Provost 4-36-37-16 (from surface 16-36-37-16W4); Well License #0474821 as a Mannville/Camrose/ Pika.

  1. Padsite survey at 16-36-37-16W4 completed. Surface lease acquired.

March 03, 2015 Stormhold Energy Ltd Shareholders and Colleagues, Please find two new Well Licenses (STL Hz 102 Provost 4-36-37-16 and STL Hz Provost 12-36-37-16) These locations are part of our  18 Well Program   February 04, 2015 Oil is on a Gigantic Tear Either a short squeeze or expectations of lower supply has caused the price of oil to boom by more than 20 percent http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-03/oil-is-on-a-gigantic-tear After plunging for months, the price of oil has boomed over 20 percent in just the last three trading days. Last Friday it was just over $44 per barrel. Today it’s selling at nearly $54 per barrel. There are various theories for why oil is moving so hard: Short covering is one possibility, meaning bearish traders have been caught in a squeeze by the turnaround. There’s also hope that supply will rapidly come offline, bringing the market into balance. Last Friday saw a big drop in the number of active U.S. oil rigs. Regardless of what’s driving it, this is a major turnaround!   January 17, 2015 Stormhold is raising $50,000,000.00 in flow-through shares Stormhold Energy Ltd. is pleased to report that we are currently drilling three locations in the Stettler Halkirk area. These are TIGHT HOLE WELLS and no results will be released due to the competitive nature of the industry in this area. These first wells are part of a twelve well program, at which time, in conclusion of the drilling program, the results will be tabulated, assessed as to total reserves and the Company will conclude its mandate; engineer reserves and market the Company further. Consequently, Stormhold is offering flow-thru shares at $1.00 per flow-thru share with the renunciation of 100% of the Canadian Exploration Expenses (CEE) incurred, up to a total of $50,000,000.00. The funding for the balance of the drilling program has been sourced with outside Industry Partners. These shares are available on a first come, first serve basis. We look forward to drawing this project to a successful conclusion and thank all for your continued support. “SIGNED” THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS   October 17, 2014 Shareholders Stormhold Energy Ltd. The Board of Directors of Stormhold Energy Ltd. are pleased to announce we have added Mr. Douglas Biles to our Team of Technical Consultants. Mr. Biles is a senior engineer with over 40 years of domestic and international experience in corporate and project development and in the management of numerous multi-billion dollar domestic and international Companies. Doug has been a senior executive or operations manager for  numerous oil and gas Companies operating in Alberta (Hudson’s Bay Oil and Gas; Home Oil; Kerr McGee Canada; Murphy Oil Canada) and numerous senior roles internationally including Operations Director, TransOcean Drilling Ltd., as well as CEO of Wescorp Energy Inc. and CEO of Atlantic Caspian Resources PLC. September 19, 2014 Stormhold Energy Ltd. Shareholders Please be advised all services are in place including the drilling rig, consultants and well site preparation. We are reshaping the well pad/ site next week pending the rain and moving the drilling rig as well. In addition, our Board of Directors are pleased to announce Mr. Dave Fream, has joined our Team of Consultants. Mr. Dave Fream has over 30 years’ experience in upstream and midstream sectors of the oil & gas industry. Dave works as a Consultant to Stormhold Energy Ltd. coordinating field services and operations. Over the course of his career, Dave has worked in senior roles for several multinational energy and energy services companies, most recently as Canadian Consultant for IOT Infrastructure & Energy Services of Mumbai, India and prior as Vice President and General Manager of Newsco International Energy Services. Dave also founded and developed three energy industry companies in the areas of commodity marketing, engineering and downhole well-drilling tools and has extensive international experience. Dave received a Master of Arts degree in International & Intercultural Communications in 2014 from Royal Roads University. June 03, 2014 http://www.leadstonegroup.com/oilfield-hub/service-supply/ April 07, 2014 Foreign investment in Oil Sands. http://business.financialpost.com/2014/04/04/oil-sands-investment-slowing-because-of-tough-market-not-new-soe-rules-execs-say/?__lsa=e410-a09c March 26, 2014 http://www.oilfieldpulse.com/magazine/current-issue/#sthash.vRvLmN9W.dpbs March 24, 2014 http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/energy-resources/Ewart+Optimism+drives+upturn+oilpatch+deals/9648587/story.html February 18, 2014 Heavy Oil from an Ancient Reef New data from the northern terminus of the Leduc reef trend in western Canada shows a karsted carbonate reservoir with exceptionally high porosities and permeabilities and, in places, bitumen-filled caves. This area is a prime prospect for bitumen development and a new technique, thermal assisted gravity drainage, is being used to recover the hydrocarbons. This article appeared in Vol. 9, No. 6 – 2013 February 11, 2014 http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2013/11/20/a-new-billionaire-emerges-from-devon-energys-6-billion-deal-for-geosouthern/ A New Billionaire Emerges From Devon Energy’s $6 Billion Deal For GeoSouthern

 January 21, 2014 China Gas Holdings Shares Ease From Record, Chairman Still In Billionaire Terrain http://www.forbes.com/sites/russellflannery/2014/01/20/china-gas-holdings-shares-ease-from-record-chairman-still-in-billionaire-terrain/ January 15, 2014 According to Chinese-language economic reports on China’s scaling-up energy strategy, Canadian oil and gas assets are a hedge against risky Middle Eastern investments. And yet, concerns over regulation linger. http://www.albertaoilmagazine.com/2014/01/seekingthedragon-going-up/ January 09, 2014 Shale gas and fracking News and analysis from the Guardian on drilling for shale gas using the technique known as hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ http://www.theguardian.com/environment/shale-gas December 16, 2013 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-12/natural-gas-rises-for-fourth-day-on-outlook-for-stockpile-drop.html#! November 07, 2013 Page 22. http://www.oilfieldpulse.com/magazine/current-issue/#sthash.20tJ1gFa.hBDvAT3W.dpbs November 06, 2013 Why junior oil and gas companies still struggle to find cash. For juniors today, capital is expensive and equity financing difficult to access. http://www.albertaoilmagazine.com/2013/11/why-junior-companies-still-struggle-to-find-cash/ October 17, 2013 The attached is a recap of  anticipated M & A trends for  2013. A great deal of difficulty was apparent by Junior and Intermediate Oil and Gas Companies at the Calgary Dealmakers Prospect and Properties Expo on October 8, 2013. The Expo had over 60 exhibitors and 400 attendees. Will M&A activity improve in 2013?     Ten trends (attached) that will have an impact on the answer to that question. http://www.stikeman.com/2011/en/pdf/EnergyMATrends_2013.pdf It’s generally agreed that 2012 was a difficult year for the oil and gas industry in Canada. No part of the industry was spared from challenging times. Indications of these difficulties included:

  • Persistent wide differentials in prices for Canadian oil and gas production compared to North American and international benchmarks;
  • Decreases in capital spending by producers; and
  • Declines in Alberta land sale bonuses and aggregate drilling days from 2011 levels.

In this difficult environment, the share prices of oil and gas companies declined during the year. The average for small and mid-cap companies was down 19% in 2012. In some cases, lower share prices can result in increased M&A activity as opportunistic acquirer’s look for bargains. However, in 2012 the number of acquisitions of oil and gas producers actually dropped compared to 2011 activity levels. There were some very large deals, but fewer other transactions. The drop in 2012 continued a three year trend of reduced numbers of M&A transactions in the Canadian oil and gas industry. Will M&A activity improve in 2013? “Ten Trends attached” October 15, 2013 When it comes to shales and tight formations, it’s no secret that industry is more and more shunning pure gas plays. Anemic pricing is driving them to the more lucrative oil and liquids plays. Especially oil: the National Energy Board notes tight oil production in Canada started with the Saskatchewan and Manitoba Bakken in 2005; by 2010 Alberta led all provinces. But the NEB cautions it’s still too early to confidently estimate the ultimate impact of exploiting tight oil plays in Western Canada. Helping fill that lacuna are these five plays. http://gchandler.ehclients.com/index.php/graham/oilweek2/five_hot_plays/ September 18, 2013 CNOOC says it is seeking “new technology” to overcome  complex geology. It is not yet clear, industry analysts say, where that technology will come from. “Long Lake is one of the key assets that is going to have to perform better for the Nexen acquisition to make financial sense over the long term, according to a senior banker with ties to both CNOOC and Nexen told Reuters, it is becoming clear that CNOOC overpaid. “The only question now is by how much. The banker “conservatively” estimates that Nexen was more fairly valued at $11 to 12 billion – three to four billion dollars less than CNOOC paid. http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE99600720131007?feedType=RSS&irpc=935 September 18, 2013 Could this be the problem in China.  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-04/graft-probe-threatens-petrochina-as-executives-targeted-energy.html September 18, 2013 The study by the analytics firm IHS nevertheless warned that development is likely to be slower than has been witnessed in the United States, held back by above-ground reasons including government policy and regulation, lack of access to specialized kit and skilled labor, and land-access constraints. Other studies making similar forecasts have also highlighted such barriers and the potential for higher costs. According to the Financial Times, the IHS study puts the cost of the average well outside North America at $8 million compared with $5.6 million inside North America, ranging from $6.5 million in Australia to more than $13 million in parts of the Arabian Peninsula. http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE98G0B520130917?feedType=RSS&irpc=935 September 17, 2013 Eagle Ford to see $28 billion in investment (2013) The oil and gas industry will continue zeroing in on the Eagle Ford Shale, investing an estimated $28 billion in the South Texas region next year. The industry has shifted drilling away from “dry gas” shale plays and towards liquids-rich fields, and that’s one reason companies plan to spend so much in the Eagle Ford, the report says. The Eagle Ford generally produces more oil on its northern arc; more natural gas, or dry gas, on its southern arc; and more natural gas liquids such as propane and butane in-between. Eagle Ford wells generally bring up a bit of everything, but those that bring up a higher percentage of liquids are much more profitable. Natural gas prices are below $4 per million British thermal units, down from $12 in 2008. And dry gas sits at greater depths, making those wells more expensive to drill than liquids wells. McMahon also said the best spots of the Eagle Ford produce a light crude oil that flows at a good rate from the well. “Think of it like a sponge. If you have water in a sponge, you can get the water out more easily,” he said. “If you have honey in a sponge it’s a lot more difficult to extract.” http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/energy/article/Eagle-Ford-to-see-28-billion-in-investment-4100658.php#ixzz2ErJr9uqg September 04, 2013 Recently posted online yet again. Please open the below “link” http://cawidgets.morningstar.ca/ArticleTemplate/ArticleGL.aspx?s=Acquire&r=ASW_Accesswire_399443MSN&culture=en-CA September 04, 2013 What does Petronas’ sale of its Canadian LNG assets mean for exports? Nine months after purchasing Progress Energy, Petronas is shopping stakes in its Canadian LNG business to buyers in India, Japan and beyond http://www.albertaoilmagazine.com/2013/08/what-does-petronas-sale-of-progress-energy-assets-mean-for-foreign-investment-in-Canada/ February 22, 2013 Province seeks input on new energy regulator Albertans will have a hand in building the regulations that will guide the work of the new Alberta Energy Regulator. The regulator, which begins operations in June, marks a new phase of energy regulation for the province. Through the Responsible Energy Development Act, the province is protecting and improving participation rights for landowners, while ensuring industry has an effective and efficient regulatory process. http://alberta.ca/acn/201302/33676D9589382-F6E0-918B-3525D0EF57D1DD31.html February 06, 2013 The 31 local governments include four municipalities directly administered by the central government (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing), five autonomous regions and 22 provinces. http://www.marketwatch.com/m/story/china-local-authorities-set-modest-gdp-goals-2013-02-05 January 16, 2013 Deeper Formation Exploration Exploration & Development of Deeper Formations (Beaverhill Lake, Elk Point, Cambrian and Granite Wash).  These deeper formations are present across virtually all of Stormhold’s leases. Extensive technical analysis has been done on the Stormhold Cambrian test well at 1-2-6-34-37-17 W4 and on three wells previously drilled to a Cambrian TVD with oil, well log, rock analysis and core analysis being extremely positive. Well Log, Oil and Rock Analysis on results from Stormhold’s 102-6-34-37-17W4 well indicate that the Upper Cambrian Deadwood has 140 meters of conventional net pay as well as oil shales and are potentially producible source rock for medium grade oil.  A 700m horizontal reentry into the well is planned for the 102-6-34 well that will penetrate and test-produce a potential of over 600 meters of conventional net pay from the Deadwood formation. An independent evaluation has assigned potential oil resource of over 90 million barrels per section oil in place to the conventional pay in the Deadwood. http://www.stormholdenergy.ca/ January 07, 2013 Unconventional Resource Guidebook & Directory Shale Storm  — Page 21 to 33 interesting article http://issuu.com/jwnenergy/docs/osug_112012 December 31, 2012 Horizontal drilling rigs in the US grew significantly from 362 February 2011 to 823 September 2012 meaning 58% of all onshore rigs in the US are now horizontal. With plays such as the Mississippi Lime and Granite Wash now being revolutionized by horizontal drilling, the growth trend is set to continue into 2013 and beyond. But there is still a great deal in costs and a great deal in time that can be saved. Innovations in curve building, torque and drag reduction, casing, cementing, rotary steerable and fluids are now being pioneered across US shale and tight oil plays to improve project time and reduce project costs, whilst ultimately facilitating higher rates of production.

November 28, 2012 Eagle Ford to see $28 billion in investment http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/energy/article/Eagle-Ford-to-see-28-billion-in-investment-4100658.php#ixzz2ErJr9uqg November 28, 2012 Private Chinese firms join hunt in Alberta oil patch http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/asian-pacific-business/private-chinese-firms-join-hunt-in-albertas-oil-patch/article5748143/ November 21, 2012 Symposium to focus on horizontal completions http://www.mywesttexas.com/business/oil/article_33ce267a-04f0-53ff-a800-d9d289092535.html November 19, 2012 http://enertechadvisor.com/?p=106 November 11, 2012 Crude on the rails: in for the long haul


October 30, 2012


Viking Formation October 29, 2012


Stormhold Energy Ltd Refines The Oil Industry In Alberta


Redefining oil and gas exploration in North America

Finding oil and gas used to be easy. Extracting these resources was once straightforward too. But now, to secure the USA’s future energy supply we have to go deeper, reach the least accessible reserves and make sure we recover more of them than ever before.

Statoil is not the biggest oil and gas company in the USA. But we’re OK with that. We don’t care about big – we only care about great. To provide fuel for your car and gas for your home, we challenge the status quo in everything we do. Whether it’s oil sands in Canada, the fast growing shale oil and gas business in continental US, or in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s part of our creed: never be satisfied with good enough.


Statoil enters Bakken Shale with $4.4B purchase of Brigham Exploration

Norway’s Statoil ASA said Oct. 17 that it has entered into a merger agreement for Statoil to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Austin, Tex.-based Brigham Exploration Company for US$36.5 per share through an all-cash tender offer.

The move is the latest effort by Statoil, which is partially owned by the Norwegian government, to become a major participant in the North American shale market, particularly the Bakken Shale in this case, which has boosted domestic oil and gas production in the United States significantly in recent years.

The Brigham board of directors has unanimously recommended to its shareholders that they accept the offer. Ben “Bud” M. Brigham, chairman, president, and CEO, and the other executive officers and directors of Brigham, who collectively own about 2.5% of the outstanding shares, have agreed to tender all of their shares.

The total equity value is approximately US$4.4 billion, reflecting an enterprise value of around US$4.7 billion, based on June 30, 2011 net debt.

Analysts say the transaction price is good as long as WTI crude prices don’t fall below about $55 per barrel, which Statoil says is the “break-even price” for operators in the Bakken and Three Forks shale plays, where Brigham’s assets are concentrated…read more.


Nexen to be acquired by China’s CNOOC for US $15.1 billion in cash

CALGARY – Oil and gas producer Nexen Inc. (TSX:NXY) has agreed to be acquired by China National Offshore Oil Company for US$15.1 billion cash.  The Calgary-based firm will be purchased by CNOOC Ltd. in an all-cash transaction worth $27.50 per Nexen share.

The agreement is a 66 per cent premium over the 20-day weighed volume average of Nexen shares, and a 61 per cent premium on the closing price of its shares on Friday at the New York Stock Exchange.  In pre-market trading, shares (NYSE:NXY) of the company were up $9.50 to US$26.56 on the NYSE.

“This transaction will allow for significant investment in our business and opens the door to new opportunities for our employees,” said Nexen chief executive Kevin Reinhart in a release.

As part of the transaction, CNOOC said it plans to list its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It also intends to have a head office in Calgary to oversee its North and Central American operations.  CNOOC also noted that it intends to keep Nexen’s existing management and staff….read more.

The US unconventional plays hold a substantial resource base  – July 13, 2012

Through cash acquisition of Brigham Exploration Company in October 2011 Statoil has secured the Bakken and Three Forks oil plays in USA.

Statoil to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Brigham for USD $36.5 per share through an all-cash tender offer.

The total equity value is approximately USD $4.4 billion, reflecting an enterprise value of approximately USD $4.7 billion….read more.

  FCL buys Triwest for $138M – July 3, 2012 REGINA — After working behind the scenes in the province’s oilpatch for more than 70 years, Federated Co-operatives Ltd. (FCL) is making a big splash by buying a Calgary-based junior oil company with 32,000 developed and undeveloped acres of land and 1,200 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) of production in southeastern Saskatchewan. “We will be buying all of the issued and outstanding shares of Triwest (Exploration Inc.) for a total consideration of $138.4 million,” said Scott Banda, CEO of Saskatoon-based FCL, the wholesale arm for 235 western Canadian retail co-operatives. “From our perspective here at Federated, we’ve been in the crude oil business for 70-odd years in a very quiet way,” Banda told the Leader-Post. “In the last two years, we’ve made it one of our strategic intentions to grow as an organization, specifically within the crude oil business.” While FCL’s Co-op Refinery Complex in Regina has been in operation for more than 75 years, Banda said Federated has also been acquiring crude oil production in the province for nearly as many years. “We’ve never been an operator. We’ve always been a silent partner.” With the change in strategic direction two years ago, however, Banda said FCL has been participating in Crown land sales and consolidating its land position in the southeast….read more.

Oil and gas firms compete for skilled labour – June 25, 2012

Big signing bonuses offered as international energy firms recruit in Calgary

Calgary’s oil and gas companies are digging deeper to attract skilled workers.

There’s a wage war going on, with big bonuses being offered to new recruits just to sign up with a company.

Darcy Spady, who has worked as a petroleum engineer for 25 years in the city, says it was much different when he was starting out.

“Most of my classmates and myself struggled to find a job for 10 years,” said Darcy Spady. Now Spady is managing director of Saint Brendan’s Exploration, a small oil and gas company. “We are so understaffed as an industry that there is competition. How do you address competition? Cash, location, lifestyle,” he said…..read more.


Apache discovers huge shale gas reservoir in northern B.C. – June 15, 2012
Firm calls find best on continent
One of three companies planning a $4.5-billion liquefied natural gas terminal at Kitimat on Thursday announced an “outstanding” new shale gas discovery in British Columbia’s remote and largely unexplored Liard Basin.
The find by Apache Corp. is estimated to contain enough gas in itself to justify doubling the size of the Kitimat terminal it’s proposing with partners Encana Corp. and EOG Resources. The company is calling it the best and highest quality shale gas reservoir in North America, based on the volume of gas three test wells are producing.

Apache, the second largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer by market value, said the tests suggest it has 48 trillion cubic feet of marketable gas within its Liard Basin properties…..read more.


ITG Research shows that about 1,400 Eagle Ford wells are waiting to be completed or to be tied to pipelines – May 25, 2012

 There are also shortages of crews, water, and pipelines. Once the problems of getting the oil and gas to market are gone, production from the Eagle Ford could double, and “the Eagle Ford would be the second-largest producing area if you could bring all those to market,” said Trevor Sloan, Director of Energy Research at ITG Investment Research in Calgary, Canada.

Developing the infrastructure to support this prolific play is bringing its own challenges – as well as numerous business opportunities. Therefore, Infocast has organized this ground-breaking breaking Eagle Ford Infrastructure Finance & Development Summit, to bring together industry leaders representing E&Ps, field service companies, midstream providers, trucking and railroad companies, real estate developers, capital providers, local community representatives and government officials. This event’s main focus will be the infrastructure build-out that is desperately needed to support skyrocketing production in the region – getting essential supplies in and products out to clamoring markets.

Alberta industry attempts to woo Quebec – Mission targets growing trade, ridding “misinformation” on oilsands

By Rebecca Penty, Calgary Herald May 12, 2012

CALGARY — As a national debate intensifies over whether oilsands development is in Canada’s economic interest, the Alberta Enterprise Group is striving to win over the group of Canadians that polling figures show are least likely to support growing bitumen production in northern Alberta — Quebecers. The industry organization’s trade mission next week to Montreal and Quebec City also comes as Canada’s two leading pipeline companies openly discuss ambitions to move oilsands bitumen to refiners in La Belle Province.

A delegation of Alberta companies including oilsands firms will meet a diverse group of Quebec business people and political players with the aim of growing trade. As part of the mission, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. president and CEO Marcel Coutu is expected to tell a Montreal Board of Trade luncheon next Wednesday about the sustainability efforts of Syncrude Canada Ltd., an oilsands partnership in which his company is the largest shareholder, as well as Syncrude’s business with Quebec suppliers…read more.



Cutpick is a private oil and gas producer with production of approximately 5,600 boe/d, weighted approximately 65 percent to light oil, primarily in the Viking light oil resource play near Provost, Alberta. Total consideration for Cutpick is approximately $425 million.

The assets expected to be acquired (the “Viking Assets”) are large oil-in-place assets with high-netback light oil production. Crescent Point believes there is significant long-term upside through the application of horizontal infill drilling, multi-stage fracture stimulation and waterflood.

The Viking Assets include more than 300 net sections of land in the Halkirk area of Alberta, 83 net sections of which Crescent Point believes to be prospective for the Viking light oil resource play………….. read more.

Oil Producer Stocks – Time to Accumulate – Stockmarket Newsletter April 29, 2012

The USA markets have been in a BULL phase since October 2011 lead primarily by the consumer and technology related sectors. During this time frame, the Canadian TSX Index has dramatically underperformed the USA S&P500 Index as the commodity complex reflected weakened economic growth emanating primarily from China. We are of the opinion that this trend has run its course and that the beginning of a reversion to ‘the mean’ is imminent.

read more http://www.langisconsulting.com/

Shale Energy, Game Changing Technology – Stockmarket Newsletter April 17, 2012

Norm Lamarche, Front Street Capital:  “Game-changing technology will make North America self-sufficient in energy. It is responsible for driving U.S. oil production up to eight-year highs and pushing the price of natural gas down so much that it has created a competitive advantage for North America’s industrial base for decades to come.  The new supply of oil, natural gas and liquids, means the entire North American supply-demand fundamentals are changing rapidly.” ………….. read more.

Malaysia plans Canadian gas acquisition topping $5-billion

Bloomberg News  Apr 2, 2012

Petroliam Nasional Bhd., the Malaysian state-owned oil company, is studying a Canadian acquisition exceeding US$5 billion as part of the company’s drive to supply natural gas to Asia.

“This is going to be big,” Chief Executive Officer Shamsul Azhar Abbas said in a March 30 interview on the 81st floor of the company’s twin towers headquarters that dominates the Kuala Lumpur skyline. “There are quite a few candidates out there, who are willing to talk,” he said, adding a deal may be announced within three months.

Petronas, as the company is known, joins Asian peers including PetroChina Co., Mitsubishi Corp. and Cnooc Ltd. in seeking production in North America, where natural gas sells for less than 15% of Asian benchmark prices. At more than US$5 billion, a purchase would be more than double the company’s biggest deal.


Canadian Oil Pricing, Time to Diversify Exports – Stockmarket Newsletter – March 30, 2012

Canadian oil ‘discount’ hits $31 in U.S. Midwest – Quote Vancouver Sun March 27, 2012

The so-called Canadian discount on crude oil jumped above $30 a barrel this month, thanks to a lack of pipeline capacity to the West Coast and a glut of oil supply at refineries in the U.S. Midwest.

That means a barrel of Western Canada heavy oil, including production from Alberta’s oil sands, is selling this month for about $75 compared to a world price of about $107 for heavy oil. Heavy oil, laden with sulphur, requires more processing than so-called light sweet crudes, which are fetching about $125 a barrel this week on world markets……..read more.

Westfire Energy expected to attract premium in sale – March 28, 2012

With Westfire Energy Ltd.’s data room now open to prospective buyers, Raymond James analyst Luc Mageau expects the predominant player in the Viking oil play will successfully execute a sale at a meaningful premium to its current share price.

Calgary-based WestFire reported 2011 year-end results on Tuesday morning, with fourth quarter cash flow per share coming in at 35¢ versus consensus of 33¢. Mr. Mageau told clients this was a result of slightly better than expected realized prices and royalties.

He noted that the company’s recent production growth comes after its most active quarter so far in the field. WestFire plans to drilling 55 wells in the first quarter of 2012.

However, the near-term focus for investors will likely be the company’s strategic alternatives process. Given WestFire’s unique oil-weighted asset mix, Mr. Mageau is confident it will find a buyer at a good price for shareholders.

If the process is not successful, the analyst believes WestFire could implement a dividend, which combined with moderate growth, should also drive the stock higher.

Mr. Mageau rates WestFire shares at outperform, but cut his target price to $7.75 from $8.50. The stock closed at $5.01 on Tuesday.

Macquarie Capital Markets analyst Ray Kwan is slightly less optimistic with a neutral rating and $7 per share price target.

“We continue believe the stock will be range-bound until further news on its strategic review,” he said. “Apart from an outright sale, we believe the only catalyst to bring the stock out of its funk is a potential conversion to a dividend-paying entity in 2013.”

Mr. Kwan does see room for a mid-year increase in WestFire’s capex given the success it’s hard thus far. He forecasts a 2012 capital program of $175-million, which is above the company’s current spending guidance of $155-million.


Pengrowth to buy NAL Energy for C$1.3 bln – March 23, 2012

* Acquisition to boost Pengrowth’s presence in Swan Hills, southeast Sask

* Offer at 10 pct premium to NAL stock’s Thursday close

* NAL shareholders to own about 26 pct of Pengrowth on deal completion

* AL shares rise as much as 7 pct

March 23 (Reuters) – Oil and gas producer Pengrowth Energy Corp will buy NAL Energy Corp for about C$1.30 billion ($1.30 billion) in stock to boost its light oil properties in western Canada.

Pengrowth, which has been focusing on developing oil and liquids-rich assets, will now have access to more than 730 locations across Swan Hills, the central Alberta Cardium and southeast Saskatchewan.

“The larger inventory of high netback light oil opportunities of the combined asset base enables us to high grade our investment opportunities…,” Chief Executive Derek Evans said in a statement on Friday.

Pengrowth, which would acquire two new light-oil plays in Alberta and Saskatchewan from NAL, said the combined entity would produce about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

The deal is the latest in a string of light-oil asset buyouts….read entire article.

Marquee Energy Ltd. Announces Acquisition – March 16, 2012

Marquee Energy Ltd. (“Marquee“) (TSXV:MQL.VNews) is pleased to announce that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of a private oil and gas company (“Privateco“) pursuant to a plan of arrangement under the Business Corporations Act (Alberta) (the “Arrangement“).  Privateco shareholders received approximately 10.6 million common shares of Marquee in the aggregate (approximately 20% of the issued and outstanding Marquee shares following completion of the Arrangement) and Marquee assumed approximately $3.9 million of net debt.  The acquisition adds high netback, focused heavy oil assets in the Lloydminster area of Eastern Alberta and further expands Marquee’s existing East Central Alberta core area. Marquee is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Sam Yip as Vice President, Heavy Oil.  Mr. Yip is a Professional Engineer with over 26 years of experience.  He was a co-founder of Privateco and was a director and the Vice President, Production.

Dundee Securities Ltd. and National Bank Financial Inc. acted as financial advisors to Marquee, and Sayer Energy Advisors acted as financial advisor to Privateco with respect to the Arrangement.

Marquee is currently executing its oil focused first quarter capital program. Marquee expects to complete its fifth horizontal oil well at Michichi and its first horizontal well at Coutts before the end of the first quarter. Marquee is scheduled to release its year-end financial and operating results and provide an operations update on March 28 , 2012.  Please visit the Company’s website at www.marquee-energy.com for an updated corporate presentation

Strongbow Resources to drill well in Compeer – March 14, 2012

HOUSTON, March 13, 2012 — Strongbow Resources Inc. (STBR.OB) (“Strongbow” or “the Company”), announces its plan to drill a well at 5-29-33-2W4 as part of a farm-in earning eight sections of land (the “Lands”). The well will target the Viking Formation and test the Bakken Formation. The decision to complete the well horizontally in either zone will be based upon review of core and log data. The Company intends to operate the well in the name of Big Lake Energy Ltd. Upon well completion, the Company will earn a 100% working interest in the well and the Lands. Future production will be subject to a sliding scale royalty to the farmor and Alberta Crown Royalty. The well (Big Lake Compeer 5-29) will likely spud in the month of April depending upon road bans and rig availability.

About Strongbow Resources Inc. On February 21, 2012 Strongbow executed an agreement through which it acquired the right to earn an undivided 100% working interest in a Petroleum and Natural Gas License covering eight (8) sections of land 5,120 acres, more or less) located in the Compeer Area in the Province of Alberta, Canada. It plans to begin exploration of that acreage immediately. Strongbow is also negotiating a number of additional oil and gas leases through which it intends to expand its operations in Canada and the United States.  

Petsec Energy spuds first well at Canadian shale oil project, aims to prove up project potential – March 12, 2012

Petsec Energy (ASX: PSA) has spudded the initial commitment well at a shale oil project in Alberta, Canada to assess the potential for a commercial shale oil project. The project is located in the prolific Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, which contains one of the world’s largest reserves of petroleum and natural gas. The Basin is also Canada’s largest hydrocarbon producing province and accounts for about 90% of the oil and gas produced within the country. The first discovery in the basin was made in 1883, and production to date has exceeded 13.7 billion barrels of oil and 47 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The company is paying 35%, or US$0.7 million (A$0.66 million), of the initial well costs. The well is expected to take about 6 weeks to reach target depth (2700 meters) and results will be evaluated over a 3-4 month period. Petsec will then elect to participate in the drilling of up to 3 optional wells, which it will pay 35% of the costs, to earn a 24.5% working interest in leases covering 17,280 acres (70 square kilometres). The Company is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (symbol: PSA) and has its corporate office in Sydney, NSW, Australia, and operations offices in Lafayette, Louisiana and Houston, Texas, USA.  ……… read more

Kallisto spuds Crossfield WellsMarch 7, 2012 Kallisto Energy Corp. (TSX Venture: KEC) (Kallisto” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has spudded its well at 26-027-01 W5M to test the Lower Manville formation.  The well is expected to cost approximately $1.05 million, exclusive of the costs of the ERCB hearing to secure the drilling license.  Kallisto previously confirmed commercial productivity of the Lower Manville formation with the drilling of a well located at 10-34-027-1 W5M.  Should the 11-26 well be successful, management anticipates completing an expanded 3D seismic program on its lands to identify additional drilling locations.  Kallisto holds more thatn 5,000 net acres of land in the Crossfield area it belives to be prospective for the geological target.  Kallisto is a Calgary-based junior resource company engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas in Alberta.


Whitecap Resources to acquire Midway Energy – February 28, 2012 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/whitecap-resources-to-acquire-midway-energy/article2352299/   Marquee Energy Ltd. Announces Acquisition of Focused Oil Assets – February 28, 2012 http://www.marquee-energy.com/pdf/Press%20Release%20PrivateCo%20Acquisition.pdf   Second Wave Petroleum gets proposals, may look at sale – February 28, 2012 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/second-wave-petroleum-gets-proposals-may-look-at-sale/article2352664/   February 15, 2012 – John Richels, Devon Energy CEO discusses the impact of the new fracking technology on the domestic crude oil market: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000073301   Tight oil the future of energy in North America

Claudia Cattaneo – Feb 15, 2012

Tight oil, the new oil source unlocked by new drilling technologies, is bearing such good results it could quickly compete with Canada’s oil sands as a top secure supply of North American oil.

With companies like Devon Energy Corp., Talisman Energy Inc., Encana Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp. pushing big spending toward tight oil, analysts are ratcheting up their production forecasts for the supplies, which are largely based in the United States.

“Tight oil is changing the landscape in North America,” Steve Fekete, managing consultant at Purvin & Gertz, said at an oil sands industry conference in Calgary this week.

The international energy consultancy predicts production of tight oil in the United States alone could reach between 1.4 million barrels a day and 2.4 million b/d by 2020 – from about 600,000 b/d today derived in large part from the Bakken field in North Dakota.

Tight oil is a catch-all for oil trapped in shale, carbonate or sand formations recoverable with the type of horizontal drilling/hydraulic fracturing technologies that revolutionized the natural-gas side of the business. The forecast is based on fields already known like the Bakken, the Eagle Ford in Texas and the Niobrara in Colorado and could be conservative as new finds are made with increased exploration, Mr. Fekete said in an interview. There are deposits of tight oil in Canada too, like the Bakken in Saskatchewan, but they are not on the same scale as those in the U.S…read more.

Cutpick Energy Inc. Announces Review of Strategic Alternatives

 CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwire – Feb. 8, 2012) –

Cutpick Energy Inc. (“Cutpick” or the “Corporation“) announces that its Board of Directors has determined to evaluate a range of strategic alternatives, including possible liquidity events, aimed at enhancing shareholder value. Cutpick has established a special committee of independent directors to oversee the strategic alternative review process and has engaged FirstEnergy Capital Corp. (“FirstEnergy“) to advise with respect thereto.

Bob Chaisson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cutpick, commented, “Cutpick has developed significant assets on the Viking light oil resource play in the Halkirk area of Alberta including a large inventory of horizontal drilling locations and a large undeveloped land base in the greater Halkirk area.Corporately, December 2011 production rates were 5,453 BOE/d weighted 62% to oil & NGL’s with 25 horizontal oil wells scheduled to be placed on production in the first quarter of 2012. To date, Cutpick has drilled 94 Viking horizontal wells, with a 100% success rate, in the Viking fairway at Halkirk…read more.

Fracking Boom Could Finally Cap Myth of Peak Oil

By Peter Orszag Jan 31, 2012

The U.S. oil market could be on the verge of its own fracking revolution, similar to what the natural-gas market is already experiencing. As a result, domestic production is now projected to rise significantly over the coming decades, reducing the relative share of imports in U.S. oil consumption.

Advances in horizontal drilling and hydrofracking, in which highly pressurized liquids are injected into underground rock, have been used increasingly over the past few years to extract natural gas. The result has been a substantial increase in recoverable reserves — accompanied by a lot of controversy over fracking’s environmental effects — and an associated decline in the cost of natural gas.

In late 2007, wellhead prices for natural gas were hovering in the range of $6 to $7 per thousand cubic feet; by late 2011, they had declined to $3 to $4, and they have fallen further since. John Deutch, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has written that, given the impact on energy markets and therefore geopolitical dynamics, “it is perhaps a permissible exaggeration to claim a natural-gas revolution.”

The same controversial technologies used to recover natural gas from deep-rock formations are now increasingly being used to extract oil. Oil is already being produced from shale at several locations throughout the U.S., most notably the Bakken shale in North Dakota.

As Jim Mulva, the chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips, recently said, “The revolution has spread to domestic oil production. And it may track the path it followed with natural gas. We just don’t know yet. But it looks promising.”…read more.

  Seaview Energy Inc. Announces Strategic Business Combination and Reorganization Transaction With Charger Energy Corp., Silverback Energy Ltd. and Sirius Energy Inc.

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwire – Nov 21, 2011) –

Seaview Energy Inc. (“Seaview” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:CVU.A) and (TSX VENTURE:CVU.B) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an arrangement agreement dated November 11, 2011 (the “Arrangement Agreement”) to effect a strategic business combination with Charger Energy Corp. (“Charger”), Silverback Energy Ltd. (“Silverback”) and Sirius Energy Inc. (“Sirius”) to form a light oil focused, growth oriented junior exploration and production company led by Tom Buchanan and the senior leadership team of Charger.

Strategic Rationale

Management’s strategy is to grow shareholder value by focusing primarily on acquiring, developing and producing light oil resource plays in Western Canada using horizontal, multi-stage fracturing technology. Upon completion of the Arrangement, Charger intends to continue to pursue a growth strategy focused on building a large undeveloped land and drilling inventory through a combination of strategic acquisitions, farm-ins and land acquisitions. Seaview, Charger, Silverback and Sirius have complementary asset bases and collectively have a significant portfolio of light oil growth opportunities, where the application of new completion technology and strong crude oil prices will create an opportunity for Charger to execute its growth plan. In addition, Charger will continue to pursue a consolidation strategy within its core areas of operation where the combined asset base will provide Charger with the scope and liquidity needed to access capital and pursue value added acquisitions.

Focused Asset Base

The Arrangement will create a focused, growth-oriented junior energy company with light oil development opportunities in the Viking and the Cardium resource plays in Central and Northwest Alberta. The combined entity will have access to more than 350,000 net acres of land comprised of 120,000 net undeveloped acres under lease and 230,000 net acres available through farm-in and option agreements. These holdings represent an inventory of locations targeting light oil through horizontal drilling and multi stage fracturing.

2012 Guidance

Management is anticipating 2012 capital expenditures of approximately $75 million for the resulting entity, subject to market conditions, which will include drilling approximately 41 wells primarily targeting Viking, Mannville, Cardium, Pekisko and Nisku light oil opportunities. This light oil focused capital program is expected to result in 2012 average daily production between 4,600 boe/d and 5,100 boe/d with oil and liquids production increasing to represent approximately 41% to 45% of total production. This increased weighting towards oil and liquids is also expected to improve operating netbacks.

Key opportunties for 2012 growth are:

  • Viking resource play: Access to approximately 600 sections of land in the Halkirk/Provost area of Alberta targeting Viking and Ellerslie light oil.
  • Multi-zone resource play: Access to approximately 95 sections of land in the Ghost Pine area of Alberta targeting Viking, Manville and Pekisko light oil.
  • Cardium resource play: 42.5 sections (22.8 net) of land in the Wapiti area of Alberta targeting Cardium light oil and liquids rich natural gas.

 …………..read more.

Quotes of Interest


 Marquee Energy Ltd, (MQL) press release January 18, 2012:

 “Approximately $20 million or 60% of the capital budget is allocated to the East Central Alberta area where 10 horizontal wells and 5 reactivations are planned. Marquee will operate and have a 100% working interest in these operations. East Central Alberta (Michichi/Provost): The Company drilled two vertical test wells targeting oil in the Viking interval in late 2011. Hydrocarbon shows in the Viking interval and other zones are currently being tested. These test results will be used to determine follow-up horizontal well locations.”


Marquee Energy Ltd, (MQL) press release November 22, 2011:

 “With the addition of the two new core areas in East Central Alberta the Company now has more than 53,640 acres of high working interest operated undeveloped land with resource type horizontal oil prospects in the Viking, Mannville and Banff formations. These opportunities are characterized by high rates of return and short term payouts with horizontal drilling costs ranging from one to two million dollars. Drilling operations commenced in November 2011 with a two-well horizontal well program at Michichi. Additional drilling will commence at Provost in December, 2011.”


Crew Energy Inc.(CR) website:

 “Other W4 Properties, Alberta – Other W4 Properties includes minor properties in east central Alberta including Wimborne, Plain Lake, Provost and Killam and is comprised of light oil and shallow natural gas properties. At December 31, 2010 the Corporation had 55 (26.9 net) producing oil wells and 203 (99.2 net) producing gas wells in the area. Production averaged 244 bbl/d of oil and ngls along with 7.4 mmcf/d of natural gas in 2010. In 2010, Crew did not drill any wells in this area. At Provost, the Company has identified more than 30 locations targeting light oil in the Viking formation. The Company plans to drill two wells targeting the Viking oil in the area in 2011.”