U.S. reconnaissance photos reportedly show Chinese vessels trading oil products with North Korean ships, a violation of UN sanctions. Diplomats from an Asian country confirmed information published this week in the South Korean press that such trade persists despite sanctions, according to The Financial Times.

Source: Daily Dose of News


With the new year fast approaching, millions of Americans are turning to oil and natural gas to make their holiday festivities possible. From the natural gas heating our homes, to the fuel in cars and planes helping us reach family and friends across the country, to numerous petroleum-based gifts we’ll be exchanging this Christmas, oil and natural gas play an integral part of our holidays whether we realize it or not.

To celebrate everything oil and gas provides this time of year, let’s look back and appreciate the most remarkable shale-related trends that have occurred in 2017.

Soaring Production

Despite activists best (and strangest) efforts, American oil and natural gas production soared in 2017. Already the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer since 2012, U.S. oil production grew by over 650,000 barrels per day (b/d) between January and September of this year. Even more impressive, U.S. oil production is projected to keep growing into 2018, with the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimating an additional 94,000 b/d increase in January of next year. Still not enough? The agency forecasts U.S. crude output will reach over 10 million b/d – a new record – thanks to a nearly 1.2 million b/d increase in oil production from shale development alone in 2017.


Through shale development, U.S. natural gas production has grown as well. Between January and December of this year, U.S. shale gas output grew from about 47.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) to over 62.2 Bcf/d – a near 31 percent increase. Natural gas output from shale is projected to grow even further, with EIA estimating an increase of 764 million cubic feet per day (Mcf/d) from December 2017 to January 2018, with almost half of that production stemming from the Appalachia region alone.

Declining Emissions

Considering the incredible oil and natural gas production growth seen this year, the strides oil and gas producers are making on mitigating emissions levels are that much more impressive. A new report from Energy in Depth found methane emissions across eight of the country’s largest oil and gas producing regions have declined by over 10.8 million metric tons (MMT) of CO2 equivalent from 2011 to 2016. In some of the most prolific shale basins, such as West Texas’ Permian, this means that while production has roughly doubled over that period, emissions declined – by 6.3 percent in the Permian’s case, or an amazing 47 percent in New Mexico’s San Juan basin.

This report caps off a year of stellar news about emissions reductions from oil and gas development. Earlier this year, EIA found that sulfur dioxide emissions (SO2) produced from U.S. power generation declined 73 percent from 2003 to 2015 as natural gas has become increasingly relied on for electricity in the United States. Along the same lines, EIA also published data this year showing that 63 percent of the 89 MMT drop in CO2 emissions in 2016 could be directly attributed to switching to natural gas for electricity generation. Overall, shifting to natural gas for power production has resulted in a 2,007 MMT reduction in CO2 emissions since 2005, almost twice the amount that can be attributed to renewable energy sources.


More recently, research has found that emissions mitigation techniques are continuing to improve. As a September report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance found, efforts by the five largest oil and natural gas companies resulted in an average 13 percent decline in greenhouse gas emissions between 2010 and 2015, with companies like Exxon and BP reducing emission by 14 percent and 25.5 percent, respectively. Further, a November study from Penn State and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy found methane leakage rates from natural gas activities in the Northeast Marcellus Shale accounted for just 0.4 percent of production. This is well below the rate at which experts estimate emissions would negate the climate benefits of natural gas use – about 2.0 percent – as well as the current estimated global leakage rate of 1.7 percent.

Remarkably, the U.S. has led the world in CO2 reductions since 2005 at the same time that it emerged as the world’s top oil and gas producer. We have done this while experiencing significant economic growth — a previously unheard of decoupling trend — and also reducing oil and natural gas system methane emissions by two percent.

Growing Exports

With production skyrocketing and emissions dropping thanks to increased natural gas use, the United States is now in a unique position to help trading partners around the globe achieve their climate goals through liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. With only one terminal currently in operation and the first shipment of U.S. LNG taking place less than two years ago, American LNG exports have flourished over the past year.

According to EIA, U.S. LNG exports averaged 1.9 Bcf/d through November of this year, something almost unthinkable 10 years ago when the U.S. was importing over 3 Bcf of LNG per day. Moreover, U.S. LNG export capacity increased from about 1.5 Bcf/d in January to roughly 2.8 Bcf/d, with capacity expected to nearly quadruple by 2019 as additional terminals come on line.


Coupled with increased natural gas pipeline exports and decreased reliance on imported natural gas, this year also saw the United States becoming a net exporter of natural gas for the first time in nearly 60 years.

But natural gas wasn’t alone in its export growth over 2017, as oil exports hits record highs as well. In November, U.S. crude exports to China hit an all-time high of nearly 290,000 b/d, with overall U.S. crude exports to Asia hitting a record 877,000 b/d and challenging the OPEC countries as top suppliers to key Asian importers. Considering the ban on U.S. oil exports was lifted just two years ago, America’s improving position as a key player in the global oil market is that much more astonishing.

Billions of Dollars in Investment

Unsurprisingly, the growth in production and exports has been met with equal enthusiasm for increased investment in shale development. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) 2017 World Energy Investment report, U.S. shale investment grew 53 percent in 2017, with the next largest increase in spending coming from Russia at only six percent.


This growth in investment was apparent right off the bat, with ExxonMobil acquiring roughly 275,000 acres in the Permian for $6.6 billion in January, while other major news this year included EQT’s $8.2 billion acquisition of Marcellus producer Rice Energy and the $19.8 billion in private equity funding raised for energy ventures in the first quarter of the year alone. This focus in investment shows no signs of slowing either, as oil producers are expected to spend $100 billion in U.S. oil fields next year.

Upstream isn’t the only segment of the industry that saw a surge in investment this year, however. As a key component in the manufacture of chemicals, the growth in U.S. shale production has so far spurred $185 billion in chemical project capital investment, according to the American Chemistry Council. Additionally, production from the Eagle Ford shale is driving $50 billion in port and export infrastructure investment at the Port of Corpus Christi alone.


There are so many benefits from oil and gas for which to be thankful this year; from record production dropping prices for consumers, to billions of dollars in investment providing new jobs and economic growth. But if nothing else, 2017 showed the oil and gas industry is strong and here to stay.

Hope you have a safe Holiday Season and happy New Year!

Source: Daily Dose of News


Contact:                     Kate Clark


Appalachian Producers Share Forecasts at
2018 Marcellus-Utica MIDSTREAM Conference

HOUSTON (December 7, 2017) – As the nation’s second LNG export facility starts running in 2018, Appalachian operators will gather in Pittsburgh, PA for the Marcellus-Utica MIDSTREAM conference and exhibition January 30 – February 1, 2018. Companies like Dominion Energy, Crestwood Equity Partners, Antero Resources and more will join 1,000+ industry professionals for the two-day event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

“Cove Point’s LNG terminal opening will draw operators’ attention to the Marcellus and Utica,” said Chris Sheehan, Senior Financial Analyst for Oil and Gas Investor. “The keynote presentations at this year’s Marcellus-Utica MIDSTREAM conference give insights to takeaway capacity and forward-looking strategies, offering valuable market intelligence to all who attend.”

The two-day event will feature the latest production forecasts, plus updates on emerging Appalachian markets and the regions’ expanding takeaway capacity. In the Wednesday morning keynote, Crestwood Equity Partners’ CEO Robert (Bob) G. Phillips will compare and contrast supply dynamics and infrastructure across the regions’ two plays. Phillips will share his company’s predictions of pending opportunities opening up in 2018 and beyond.

During Thursday’s Opening Keynote, Dominion Energy’s Senior Vice President Donald R. Raikes will discuss the Cove Point LNG export facility poised to begin shipments in early 2018. Dominion’s LNG terminal launch marks the debut of an east coast outlet for U.S. gas exports to markets across the Atlantic and beyond.

Raikes and Phillips will be joined by other executives who will lead keynote presentations, panels, company spotlights and more. Other featured speakers include:

  • Matthew Hite, Vice President of Government Affairs, GPA Midstream Association 
  • Chris Akers, President & Chief Operating Officer, Eureka Midstream
  • Kyle Mork, CEO, GreyRock Energy
  • Dana Bryant, Senior Vice President, Midstream & Marketing, Eclipse Resources
  • Robert F. Powelson, Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Steven M. Woodward, Senior Vice President – Business Development, Antero Resources Corp./ Antero Midstream Partners LP
  • Erin Petkovich, Director, Northeast Business Development, Enbridge

To see the complete agenda or register, please visit


About Hart Energy

For more than 40 years, Hart Energy editors and experts have delivered market-leading insights to investors and energy industry professionals. The Houston-based company produces award-winning magazines (such as Oil and Gas Investor, E&P and Midstream Business); online news and data services; in-depth industry conferences (like the DUG™ series); GIS data sets and mapping solutions; and a range of research and consulting services.  For information, visit

When looking for weather conditions for the approaching winter I usually to look to the Farmer’s Almanac.   The Almanac is usually 80% accurate even with predictions made 18 months in advance.   Currently, we have been and will continue to be effected by La Nina, the flipside to El Nino.  Being ever vigilant to the day to day weather, working in the oil & gas industry plus being a financial junkie, over the last 18-24 mos it appears the natural gas price is generally another  predictor of the weather 60-90 days out.   At least it has been.  However, wanting to get a holistic predication looked to ole reliable Farmer’s Almanac for their prediction which is:

Farmer’s Almanac -Mid Atlantic and OH Valley Region forecast

NOVEMBER 2017: temperature 45° (2° below avg.); precipitation 8.5″ (5″ above avg.); Nov 1-3: Rainy, mild; Nov 4-6: Sunny, cool; Nov 7-11: Heavy rain, then sunny, cool; Nov 12-18: Rain, then sunny, chilly; Nov 19-24: Rainy periods, cool; Nov 25-30: Rain and wet snow north; sunny, mild south.

DECEMBER 2017: temperature 42° (1° above avg. north, 5° above south); precipitation 4″ (1″ above avg.); Dec 1-4: Rainy, mild; Dec 5-11: Rain, then sunny, cold; Dec 12-20: Rainy periods, mild; Dec 21-23: Sunny, cold; Dec 24-27: Rainy, mild; Dec 28-31: Snow, then sunny, cold.

THEN, to current forecasting for the La Nina effect:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a weak La Nina has formed and is expected to stick around for several months- much longer than last year. La Nina is a natural cooling of parts of the Pacific that alters weather patterns around the globe.  La Nina is well known to be a major disruptor of weather patterns.  Because La Nina shifts storm tracks, it often brings more snow in the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.   Typically the snowfall is generally slightly above average snowfall.  However, the New England states are often recipients of more snow.

Speaking of the New England region they may be hampered by colder and heavier snowfall than the Appalachian region however, this region has little effect on natural gas prices.  The New England states get their natural gas from foreign ships that sit on their coastline and transports natural gas from foreign counties via pipeline which is much more costly.   I guess they’d rather buy the foreign natural gas than support pipelines to bring the Marcellus gas at a lower cost.

As for the commodity price of nat gas, short term it appears to decrease with a slight increase early 2018.

Nat Gas prices down 30% ytd; nat gas inventories down 182 Billion cubic feet from last year (as reported by CNBC 12.21.17).  The nat gas price seems to align with both Farmer’s Almanac and the La Nina effect – for now.   However, with aggressive efforts to bring pipelines on line, exports of nat gas increasing and nat gas powered electric grids coming on line; this may be the last year the price of nat gas could be viewed as a predictor of the weather.   Stay tuned, 2018 will be a rock n’ roll year for natural gas emerging opportunities.

Joseph Barone
Shale Directories, LLC

A new Energy in Depth report (thank you Seth) shows that methane emissions from oil and natural gas development nationally continues to decline in the top basins across the United States.  This decline is real even as oil and gas production continues to increase.


Based on the latest data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, EID’s report shows methane emissions from the most productive shale basins in the country have fallen considerably in the past six years. These reductions have been achieved even as oil and natural gas production has increased 54 percent and 16 percent, respectively, during that time thanks to advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology.

In the Appalachian Basin — which includes the surging Marcellus and Utica shales — methane emissions have fallen 26 percent since 2011 at the same time natural gas production in the region has more than quadrupled, as the following Energy Information Administration (EIA) graphic illustrates.


The EIA recently noted the Appalachian Basin has increased natural gas production by 14 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) since 2012, growing from 7.8 Bcf/d in 2012 to an incredible 23.8 Bcf/d in 2017.

Speaking of surging production, the Permian Basin, has experienced such a historical production increase in recent years that the term “Permania” has been coined to describe the boom currently underway in west Texas and New Mexico, which is illustrated in the following EIA graphics.


Despite the fact that production in the Permian doubled from 2011 to 2016, methane emissions have decreased 6.3 percent, according to GHGRP data. Coupled with a 5.8 percent reduction in methane emissions in the Gulf Coast Basin since 2011, EPA data confirms that the country’s top oil- and gas-producing state is also a leader in methane emission reductions.

EPA data also show that methane emissions in the Williston Basin — home of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and Montana — have fallen 8.3 percent from 2011 to 2016. These declines came at the same time that oil and natural gas production in the region has quadrupled, as the following EIA graphics show.


Similarly, the Anadarko has emerged as one of the fastest growing oil and natural gas basins in recent years. But despite being one of the fastest growing basins in the country, methane emissions in the Anadarko Basin have decreased 34 percent since 2011 at the same time production has reached new heights.


Even in the San Juan Basin — long a focal point of the “Keep It In The Ground” movement’s push for methane regulations, due to the presence of a methane “hot spot” above the Four Corners region of the basin — methane emissions have fallen by 47 percent since 2011, as the following EID graphic illustrates.


Overall, EPA data show methane emissions from major onshore oil and natural gas production facilities declined by nearly 14 million metric tons between 2011 and 2016.

As “Keep It In the Ground” groups continue to push the EPA and BLM methane rules — claiming that voluntary efforts such as the initiative recently announced by the American Petroleum Institute don’t work — this data show that the exact opposite is true. As the EPA observed in 2014:

“The decrease in production emissions is due to increased voluntary reductions, from activities such as replacing high bleed pneumatic devices, regulatory reductions, and the increased use of plunger lifts for liquids unloading.”

This report should clearly discredit a Dec 15, 2017 report of health risks to babies born near fracking sites.  That report lacks any medical or clinical statistics.

Joseph Barone
Shale Directories, LLC

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, won a decades-long battle Dec. 20 to open part of an Arctic wildlife reserve in her state to oil and gas drilling, but Democratic senators and conservationists vow the war has only begun.

The tax bill passed by Congress contains language pushed by Murkowski and supported by President Donald Trump to hold two lease sales in the 1.5 million-acre 1002 area on the northern coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Democrats and environmentalists deplore the prospect of development in ANWR, home to polar and grizzly bears, 200 species of birds, and where Gwich’in natives depend on migrating herds of porcupine caribou.

Source: Daily Dose of News