In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron wants to win local governments over to hydraulic fracturing. To do that he wants to permit “local governments to keep 100% of the business taxes, some $3 million annually, generated from each well drilled.” Quote from the Chemical & Engineering News.More at American Chemical Society.
Although recent cold weather was part of the driving force, natural gas hit $5.18/MCF on Friday – the highest price since summer 2010.More at Houston Chronicle.
“The report, Fueling the Future with Natural Gas: Bringing It Home, says that the Henry Hub price of natural gas is expected to remain in the range of $4-5 per million British Thermal Units (MMBtu) (in constant 2012 dollars) on an annual average through 2035.More at IHS.
Where will the next shale hotspot develop? China? Australia? Argentina? The location with existing infrastructure and the most resource development experience might win.More at Fuel Fix.
“The smallest oil producing member of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and fifth-largest oil producer in Central and South America, Ecuador is largely dependent on oil, which represented 76% of the country’s total energy consumption in 2012. Hydroelectric power was the second largest energy source. Natural gas and non-hydro renewable fuels are also important to Ecuador’s energy mix. Ecuador’s hydrocarbon resources are exclusively owned by the state, and changes to Ecuador’s legal framework continue a trend towards policies of resource nationalism.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration’s country report.More at Energy Information Administration.
Activity in the Bakken Formation and other energy plays in North Dakota is still creating a demand for more workers than are available. Drillers, welders, truck drivers, mechanics, well service workers, computer scientists, accountants, laborers, carp…More at BismarckTribune.com.
“A substantial increase in natural gas exports could have a number of effects, including increased natural gas and electricity prices, increased gross domestic product, or GDP, and increased production of natural gas through fracking. A debate is therefore unfolding about whether a dramatic rise in export volumes should be prevented or encouraged.” Quoted from the article.
Related: What is Liquefied Natural Gas? 
 http://geology.com/articles/lng-liquefied-natural-gas/More at American Progress.
In the second half of this short video on CNBC.com, Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, comments on China’s shale gas and shale oil potential. He believes that China has a greater amount of energy locked up in shale than the United States but there are geographic, geological and technical challenges that limit production and distribution.More at CNBC.com.
The amount of natural gas produced from shale in China during 2013 was about 200 million cubic meters. That is up from the 30 million cubic meters produced in 2012. For perspective, the United States produced about 70 billion cubic meters in October,…More at Bloomberg.
“A new study finds that in Texas, the U.S. state that annually generates the most electricity, using natural gas for electricity generation is saving water and making the state less vulnerable to drought.” Quoted from The University of Texas at Austin press release.More at The University of Texas at Austin.
Some crude from the Bakken Formation might contain significant amounts of natural gas that might make it more flammable and prone to explosions during transport.More at Reuters.
“A new study from the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin forecasts that one of the nation’s most productive shale gas basins, the Fayetteville Shale, will continue to be a major contributor to U.S. natural gas supplies for years to come, with economically recoverable reserves of 18 trillion cubic feet through 2050.” Quoted from The University of Texas at Austin press release.More at The University of Texas at Austin.
The Energy Information Administration’s Drilling Productivity Report for January includes a graph that shows the steadily rising production from the Marcellus Shale.More at Energy Information Administration.
“The enactment of a series of regulatory reforms to make the oil and natural gas sector more attractive to foreign investors led to an increase in Colombia production. The government implemented a partial privatization of state oil company Ecopetrol in an attempt to revive its upstream oil industry.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration country analysis brief.More at Energy Information Administration.
Wells in the Utica Shale  produced an average of 14,500 barrels of oil per day and 370 million cubic feet of natural gas.
This record production rate occurred while the area is still throttled by inadequate pipelines and processing plants.
Related: Horizontal Drilling Density in the Utica Shale 
Russia has an abundant supply of natural gas and China has a huge population that needs it. Now, after years of discussions an agreement might be reached for China to purchase the gas.More at Quartz.
Drilling in the Barnett Shale of Texas is at its lowest level since 2000. There are currently only about 25 rigs operating there, compared with over 2000 during the 2007-2008 peak.More at Star-Telegram.com.
We plotted a Google map showing the horizontal legs for Utica Shale wells drilled in eastern Ohio before late November 2013 and were really surprised by the geographic pattern and density of drilling in some areas.
We plotted a Google map showing the horizontal legs for Utica Shale  wells drilled in eastern Ohio before late November 2013 and were really surprised by the geographic pattern and density of drilling in some areas.
 http://geology.com/articles/utica-shale/More at Geology.com.
Canada has enormous amounts of oil and natural gas in shale, oil sands and conventional resources. One problem encountered in developing these resources is usually a lack of pipelines.More at The Chronicle-Herald.
“Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa and was the world’s fourth leading exporter of LNG in 2012. Despite the relatively large volumes it produces, Nigeria’s oil production is hampered by instability and supply disruptions, while the natural gas sector is restricted by the lack of infrastructure to monetize gas that is currently flared .” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration.
Related: Natural Gas Flaring Visible from Space 
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Pennsylvania has become the #2 state in the nation for natural gas production but consumers in the state still pay above average prices for natural gas. An article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explores some of the factors that determine the price of…More at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
USGS has an interesting release (linking to an Oilfield Review article ) that provides some insight on how drillers are able to steer a horizontal well. These wells can travel horizontally for two miles or more and they must stay in the formation and not drift laterally. The technology employed might surprise you.
 http://geomag.usgs.gov/downloads/publications/3_geomagnetic.pdfMore at USGS.
The Energy Information Administration has published a graph that shows how the average new-well gas production per rig in the Marcellus Shale has been climbing rapidly over the past few years. This increase can be attributed to improved technology. Traditionally a growth in the number of rigs in a field could be used as a predictor of increased production. Recently production has increased even with the number of rigs falling. More information. 
 http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=13551More at Energy Information Administration.
The Scranton Times-Tribune has an article in which an experienced driller describes how efficiency improvements have cut the amount of time required to drill a horizontal well.More at The Scranton Times-Tribune.
BP has agreed to spend $16 billion on developing the Khazzan natural gas field in Oman.More at UPI.
Royal Dutch Shell was planning to spend $20 billion on a natural gas-to-liquids plant on the Gulf coast but cancelled the project. They are not new to this business as they own the largest gas-to-liquids plant in the world  in Qatar and another one of the largest in Malaysia. They are also building the world’s largest floating LNG plant  for a field off the coast of Australia.
If you watch the news about natural gas you have seen a huge rush to permit LNG plants that will export natural gas out of the United States, other companies getting into the LNG and gas-to-liquids businesses, multiple natural gas developments off the coastlines of every continent but Antarctica, countries all over the world realizing that they have a huge amount of natural gas in shale, enormous amounts of gas being flared instead of captured  and all of that is before we count gas in the polar regions  and methane hydrates .
Record amounts of oil and natural gas are being produced from wells in Ohio and new proposals to tax the production are being debated.More at Farm and Dairy.
The Alberta Geological Survey has published Summary of Albertaâ€™s Shale- and Siltstone-Hosted Hydrocarbon Resource Potential. This is a 339-page publication with lots of maps, data and descriptive information.
You will find this report as item OFR 2012-06 on the linked page. The landing page also lists dozens of other reports on digital data, organic petrography, rock evaluation, geochemistry, pycnometry and more.More at Alberta Geological Survey.
“The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the 10 largest oil and natural gas producers in the world, and is a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). In 2012, the UAE produced 2.8 million barrels per day of crude oil and condensates, the fourth highest total in OPEC.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration.More at Energy Information Administration.
The cities of Fort Collins and Lafayette, Colorado asked voters if they wanted to ban hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas within the city jurisdiction. The votes resulted in bans, now the Colorado Oil and Gas Association is trying to get the …More at Bloomberg.
Cobalt International Energy reports a discovery off the coast of Angola that could hold 700 million to 1.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.More at Reuters.
The Financial Post has an article (and a shocking image) that describe Shell’s Prelude project – the world’s largest floating vessel and the first ocean-based LNG plant. It will be stationed off the coast of western Australia.
Related: What is LNG? 
 http://geology.com/articles/lng-liquefied-natural-gas/More at Financial Post.
“The Alum Shale in Denmark contains an estimated mean of 6.9 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas, according to a new report by the U.S. Geological Survey. This estimate comes from the first-ever USGS assessment of shale gas resources in Denmark.” Quoted from the USGS press release.More at USGS.
The demand for frac sand  has been growing rapidly for the past several years as oil and natural gas companies are using it for hydraulic fracturing  in shale formations .
Related: What is Frac Sand? 
Today’s news has several stories that explain how oil and natural gas from shales are moderating energy prices for consumers.
Bloomberg : Marcellus gas eliminates a regional price premium in the Northeast.
The Telegraph : Low cost ethane helps British manufacturers
Reuters : Shale oil will moderate oil prices in 2014
“Russia is the second-largest producer of dry natural gas and third-largest liquid fuels producer in the world. Despite its significant reserves of coal, it produces only modest amount of coal. Russia’s economy is highly dependent on its hydrocarbons, and oil and gas revenues account for more than 50% of the federal budget revenues.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration.More at Energy Information Administration.
“The energy industry was the target of 53 percent of all cyberattacks reported to the Department of Homeland Security between October 2012 and May 2013.” Quoted from the Star-Telegram article.More at Star-Telegram.
The number of permits issued for drilling the Utica Shale in Ohio has been significantly higher in 2013 than in 2012.
Data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Lots of property owners who signed a lease in one of the natural gas shale plays are now receiving monthly or quarterly royalty payments. Many of these people were pleasantly surprised with the size of their first royalty check — but then shocked to see the size of subsequent checks fall rapidly. What’s happening?More at Geology.com.