August 6th, 2018
The Kansas Corporation Commission reports 182 new intent-to-drill notices filed during the month of July, up from 179 in June, and 103 a year earlier. There are 11 new intents in Barton County, 11 in Ellis County, three in Russell County, and five in Stafford County.
Baker Hughes reported a drop in its drilling rig count last week to 1,044 active rigs nationwide, down two oil rigs and down three rigs seeking natural gas. Colorado and New Mexico each dropped two rigs, and the count in West Virginia was down three. Independent Oil & Gas Service reports 15 active drilling rigs in eastern Kansas, up one, and just 28 west of Wichita, down five rigs. They’re moving in completion tools at three leases in Barton County and six in Ellis county. Operators were about to spud one well in Barton County, two in Ellis County, and one in Stafford County.
So far this year, operators have filed one thousand permits for drilling at new locations in Kansas, including 45 filed last week. There are two new drilling permits in Barton County, one in Russell County and two in Stafford County.
Independent Oil & Gas Service reports 19 newly-completed wells across the state for the week, 917 so far this year. There were nine east of Wichita and ten in western Kansas, including one in Barton County.
According to a new report, Russia smuggled $238 million worth of crude oil to North Korea from 2015 to 2017, ten times more than previously reported. Voice of America news reports the Russians helped North Korea evade UN. sanctions by setting up an illicit trade network, which a South Korean research group says is likely still being used.
The proposed Keystone oil pipeline expansion gets a “mostly clean” environmental review from the State Department. The report might provide fodder for both proponents and detractors of the project. Bloomberg reports it notes “no significant impacts on water and wildlife,” but minor to moderate impacts in several areas. While TransCanada is planning some preparatory work for this fall, the pipeline still is facing a challenge before the Nebraska Supreme Court, which is expected to wrap up early next year, as well as legal challenges to the project’s U.S. presidential permit. TransCanada has yet to officially declare it is building the project, despite U.S. and state approval. The second international crossing would add nearly half a million barrels to the existing Keystone system, which moves heavy crude from Alberta, Canada to Cushing, the Texas coast, and the refining cluster in southwest Illinois.
The State of Idaho is hoping to get a boost in the oil patch by letting the federal government take over regulation of saltwater disposal wells. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday issued a final rule transferring a portion of the state’s Underground Injection Control program to its control. At least one producer says its production in the state has dropped because of the high cost of trucking oilfield wastewater to evaporation ponds. That’s about $9 a barrel, whereas an injection well could lower that disposal cost to $2 per barrel.
BP’s recovery from the Deepwater Horizon disaster eight years ago has been remarkable. They appear to have nearly covered their financial costs from the tragedy. Last week they agreed to spend $10.5 billion for a new swath of US shale assets. And this week they announced their second-quarter profits quadrupled from a year ago to $2.8 billion. The company announced a 2.5% increase in its dividend, the first such raise for stockholders since the price crash of 2014.
From the heart of the Bakken, the second-largest shale oil play in the country comes word of a refinery proposing to convert to vegetable oil instead of petroleum. Andeavor, formerly known as Tesoro, hopes to produce renewable diesel fuel from local soybeans for export to high-demand markets in California. According to the Bismarck Tribune, Andeavor formally applied to the Health Department for the permit needed to convert the facility.