• Oilfield News

    Oil Rallies 3 Percent As U.S. Shale Shows Signs Of Slowdown

    Oil rose 3.3 percent on Tuesday to the highest close in more than a month, a day after U.S. oil producer Anadarko said it would cut capital spending plans and Saudi Arabia vowed to reduce crude exports to help curb global oversupply.

    An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary, Alberta, Canada on July 21, 2014. REUTERS/Todd Korol/File Photo (REUTERS)Brent crude futures rose $1.60 or 3.3 percent to settle at $50.20 a barrel, the first time the benchmark closed above $50 since June 6. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rose $1.55 or 3.3 percent to settle at $47.89 a barrel, the highest close for that benchmark since early June.

    The lower oil prices in June and July may have been affecting U.S. shale production, said Mark Watkins, regional investment manager at U.S. Bank.

    "Companies are not drilling as fast as they had been in the beginning of 2017," he said, "They’re not producing as much because it’s much less profitable with prices in the low $40s."

    On Monday, Anadarko Petroleum Corp posted a larger-than-expected quarterly loss and said it would cut its 2017 capital budget by $300 million because of depressed oil prices, the first major U.S. oil producer to do so.

    Earlier, Halliburton's executive chairman said growth in North America's rig count was "showing signs of plateauing."

    "In the U.S. investors...


    Oil And Gas Students Look For Other Places To Apply Skills

    Some usually highly popular oil and gas certification programs are lacking the students.

    Lonestar College Energy and Manufacturing InstituteThere was a time not long ago in Texas when knowing how to drill for oil and gas was a ticket to a great job.

    But in the past two years, as the price of oil dropped, more than 100,000 Texas oil workers lost their jobs.

    But where did those workers go?

    We found that workers once set on oil careers are re-thinking, and re-tooling, so they can work where the jobs are.

    “I’ve gotten a lot of petroleum engineer friends of mine that wish they got their bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, ”Michael Young, director of advanced technology at Lone Star College’s Energy and Manufacturing Institute in Cypress, said.

    “Because if you’re so specialized in something, if they need that, then you’re really popular. But if you’re not needing it, you don’t have that diversity of portfolio.”

    Young teaches applied mathematics in the community college’s mechatronics and machining program, an oil and gas gateway program.

    For 10 weeks, students learn both theory and practice four days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    On a recent afternoon, students were practicing how to set up equipment that uses sprockets and chains.

    Their instructor for this class, Mike Branch,...


    Greenpeace Activists Protest Near Oil Rig In Norway's Arctic Sea Area

    Environmental activists protested on Friday near an offshore rig contracted by Statoil in the remote Norwegian Arctic, where the firm is looking for oil and gas deposits.

    Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise ship sails next to Statoil's Songa Enabler oil rig during a protest in the Barents sea, Norway, July 21, 2017. Will Rose/Greenpeace/Handout via ReuterserrickThe Nordic country wants to open up northern areas for exploration to offset declining production in the south. Oil and gas production is Norway's leading industry, accounting for 20 percent of its economy.

    From the Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise ship, 11 campaigners launched inflatable boats carrying banners opposing Statoil's Songa Enabler oil rig, 275 km (170 miles) north of the Norwegian coast, in the Arctic Barents sea.

    One of the banners read "“The People Vs. Arctic Oil”.

    "We are doing this because the Norwegian government fails to understand what they are supposed to do according to the Paris agreement," protest leader Sune Scheller told Reuters.

    "The vast majority of the oil and gas has to remain in the ground if we are going to protect our homes from the consequences of climate change," he said before the action.

    Some 29 activists from 19 different countries, including the Philippines, South Africa, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Spain, Finland and Sweden, participated...


    Texas Oilfields Fuel Meth Boom

    Eddy Lozoya never failed a drug test in the three years he hauled water and sand across the West Texas oil patch, even though he used at least $200 a day in cocaine to keep his eyes open on brutally long days behind the wheel of a Kenworth T600 semi-truck.

    Eddy Lozoya during his drug use days. (photo by Eddy Lozoya)Lozoya, like his fellow truckers, found ways to beat the tests and keep driving. Earning six-figure salaries, they consumed cocktails of drugs to push themselves to their physical limits on trips between scattered drilling sites that could last 36 to 48 consecutive hours. They would drive their 35-ton vehicles in tight, single-file formations, blowing air horns when the sleepiest among them began drifting off the road.

    "We always had cocaine," he said.

    Lozoya, a recovering addict at 23, is among the thousands of oilfield workers who have succumbed to mix of money, boredom and drugs that often accompany energy booms. Drillers of all sizes have poured billions of dollars into the prolific Permian Basin this year, rebuilding operations after a two-year oil bust that devastated the region. But for all the economic benefits of the industry's high-paying jobs, the oil rush is again bankrolling an expanding market for illegal drugs.

    Law enforcement officials say drug trafficking, drug abuse and drug-related crimes have...


    Legendary Wildcatter Boone Pickens Suffers Texas-Sized Fall

    Famed oilfield wildcatter, financier and corporate raider T. Boone Pickens is addressing health issues after a "Texas-sized fall" put him in the hospital last week.

    FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2015 file photo, T. Boone Pickens appears on the In a posting to LinkedIn, the 89-year-old Pickens said he is still mentally strong but that as far as his life goes, "I clearly am in the fourth quarter."

    Pickens fell in the early morning hours of July 11 and was admitted to Baylor Hospital in Dallas, spokesman Jay Rosser said Friday. He was released from the hospital Monday and is in daily physical and speech therapy, while still engaged with the office of his Dallas investment firm, BP Capital, and his various business entities, Rosser said.

    Pickens said he suffered several strokes over the Christmas holiday. He said he's regained 90 percent of his speech through aggressive therapy and determination.

    "Many of those who face adversity like this at 89 choose to hide it," he wrote. "My life has always been an open book. Some chapters of my life have been great. Others not so much."

    Pickens built one of the country's biggest independent oil companies, Mesa Petroleum, before moving on to BP Capital and founding clean...


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