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Capital Flight Is Killing The US Shale Boom

Capital Flight Is Killing The US Shale Boom

Capital Flight

The growth in U.S. shale production is grinding to a halt as low prices put drillers in a financial vice.

The slowdown has been unfolding for much of 2019, but the latest slide in oil prices is another blow to cash-strapped companies. Share prices for many E&Ps are down sharply. For instance, Devon Energy’s stock is down 20 percent since mid-September; EOG Resources is off by 17 percent and Pioneer Natural Resources is down by more than 13 percent. Many other companies have seen similar declines.

Rig counts have fallen by 20 percent since last year, drilling is down, hotel rates are down, and employment is in decline. “If you can’t wring out any costs savings then you’ve got to buy less stuff if you want to get your costs down, and that’s the phase we’re entering into,” Jesse Thompson, senior business economist at the Houston branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, told Bloomberg.

As Bloomberg noted, annualized employment grew only 0.7 percent through August, compared to 11.4 percent for the same period in 2018. The unemployment rate has ticked up from 2 to 2.3 percent. The number of fracking crews has fallen to its lowest level in 30 months.

For embattled shale drillers, there is another imminent hurdle that they must clear. For the first time since 2016, Permian shale drillers could see their access to borrowing slashed. Lenders periodically reassess the borrowing base that they offer to oil and gas producers, a so-called “credit redetermination” period.

According to a survey of financial institutions as well as oil and gas firms by law firm Haynes and Boone, the industry is set to see “a decrease in credit availability for producers and a strong interest in alternative sources of capital.”

In other words, lenders are turning off the spigots.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

ANOTHER NAIL IN THE U.S. EMPIRE COFFIN: Collapse Of Shale Gas Production Has Begun

ANOTHER NAIL IN THE U.S. EMPIRE COFFIN: Collapse Of Shale Gas Production Has Begun

The U.S. Empire is in serious trouble as the collapse of its domestic shale gas production has begun.  This is just another nail in a series of nails that have been driven into the U.S. Empire coffin.

Unfortunately, most investors don’t pay attention to what is taking place in the U.S. Energy Industry.  Without energy, the U.S. economy would grind to a halt.  All the trillions of Dollars in financial assets mean nothing without oil, natural gas or coal.  Energy drives the economy and finance steers it.  As I stated several times before, the financial industry is driving us over the cliff.

The Great U.S. Shale Gas Boom Is Likely Over For Good

Very few Americans noticed that the top four shale gas fields combined production peaked back in July 2015.  Total shale gas production from the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Marcellus peaked at 27.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in July and fell to 26.7 Bcf/d by December 2015:

Top-U.S.-Shale-Gas-Fields-Production

As we can see from the chart, the Barnett and Haynesville peaked four years ago at the end of 2011.  Here are the production profiles for each shale gas field:

Barnett-Shale-Gas-Field

According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), the Barnett shale gas production peaked on November 2011 and is down 32% from its high.  The Barnett produced a record 5 Bcf/d of shale gas in 2011 and is currently producing only 3.4 Bcf/d.  Furthermore, the drilling rig count in the Barnett is down a stunning 84% in over the past year.

Haynesville-Shale-Gas-Field

The Haynesville was the second to peak on Jan 2012 at 7.2 Bcf/d per day and is currently producing 3.6 Bcf/d.  This was a huge 50% decline from its peak.  Not only is the drilling rig count in the Haynesville down 57% in a year, it fell another five rigs this past week.  There are only 18 drilling rigs currently working in the Haynesville.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Global Shale Revolution On Hold

Global Shale Revolution On Hold

Along with the rest of the energy world, we have been closely tracking rig counts (now down 40 percent from last fall) and other data to try to determine where the oil markets are heading. This week, the Energy Information Administration reported that production is finally set to decline in several key U.S. shale regions; a long-awaited development. The Eagle Ford, Bakken, and Niobrara shales are expected to see a combined 24,023 barrel-per-day decline in production in April, the first significant dip in output since oil prices collapsed last year. The monthly data may be a bit obscured by the fact that the Permian basin is expected to see production increases of 21,254 barrels per day. Overall, total U.S. production may stay flat. There is still a great deal of uncertainty about the next few months, but with declines beginning in the Eagle Ford and Bakken especially – two critical regions that drove the U.S. shale revolution – there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel for the oil glut.

The Federal Reserve caused a bit of a ripple in the oil markets this week when it appeared to slightly slow plans to raise interest rates later this year. The Fedlowered its estimate for the federal funds rate this year and next, an indication that it will not let its foot off of the gas pedal in terms of loose money. With low inflation and still room for labor markets to heal, the Fed sees no reason to pull back too quickly. Loose monetary conditions push up oil prices, so WTI and Brent rallied a bit this week on the news (after falling significantly). WTI closed out the week around $45 and Brent at $55 per barrel.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bakken Sweet Spots Are Petering Out

Bakken Sweet Spots Are Petering Out.

The Bakken, as well as other shale oil areas, is not one homogeneous area where equal amounts of oil can be found. David Hughes in DRILLING DEEPER puts it this way, though here he is talking about gas wells, the same applies to oil wells:

All shale gas plays invariably have “core” areas or “sweet spots”, where individual well production is highest and hence the economics are best. Sweet spots are targeted and drilled off early in a play’s lifecycle, leaving lesser quality rock to be drilled as the play matures (requiring higher gas prices to be economic); thus the number of wells required to offset field decline inevitably increases with time.

However the Bakken, at least through the September North Dakota Industrial Commission production report, has given no real indication that the Bakken is even close to peaking. But a closer look at the data makes me believe that is all about to change.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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