Weekly Oil & Gas Update


June 29, 2015

Designed for busy managers, this news and commentary source provides a weekly snapshot of the domestic oil & gas industry to over 4,000 readers every week. Focusing on industry trends, it includes changes in rig counts in key states, commodity pricing, and a synopsis of newsworthy events with links to comprehensive articles for additional information.

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Rig Counts - select states with key plays


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Oil & Gas Prices - Bloomberg/EIA


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Crude Oil - USD/bbl



         52.08     106.83 





Natural Gas-USD/mmbtu

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General News

Baker Hughes rig count increases first time in 29 weeks

Although only up two rigs from the previous week, the increase represents the first time the total US rig count has risen since December 5, 2014. Since that time, the count has dropped by over one thousand units. Analyst Raymond James also noted that 1,030 permits for new wells were issued last week, the highest number since February, indicating that directionally, the industry may have hit bottom and begun recovery. "While it is hard to come to much of a conclusion based on a single week of data, this is definitely a material change, considering the stability in permits-issued seen over the last couple of months," said and Raymond James analyst. The rise was led by gas-directed rigs, which were up five from the previous week. Oil-directed weeks were down by three units, while offshore increased by one.  Article here


Howard Energy Partners to build pipeline that will transport natural gas from the Eagle Ford to Mexico

The 200-mile, 30 inch "Nueva Era Pipeline" pipeline will be able to transport up to 600 million cubic feet of natural gas per day down to Monterrey Mexico. "We can provide northern Mexico's industrial centers with access to the most competitively priced gas in the country, while giving South Texas producers access to several new, growing markets," said CEO Mike Howard in a statement. The pipeline is expected to be completed in July 2017. Article here

Unconventional Oil & Gas News

WPX ramping up its Bakken drilling program

The company plans to increase the number of rigs drilling for Bakken oil from one to three by the end of this year. The company credits its 30% reduction in drilling and completions costs for the additional rigs. "The combination of cost reductions and higher EURs gives us the opportunity to generate returns in excess of 30 percent in today's commodity price environment," says CEO Rick Muncrief. "This helps set us up for 20 percent oil volume growth in 2016." The rigs are coming from the company's Piceance Basin drilling program. Article here

Environment and Safety News

Environmental groups shifting opposition from fracking to pipelines

With the EPA's recent study concluding minimal risk to groundwater from fracking, along with other recent data showing the risk from fracking as much less than purported, environmental activists have turned their attention instead to hydrocarbon transportation. According to Kim Watson from Kinder Morgan, "[p]ipeline opposition has become a stand-in for opposition to fossil fuels for some  groups . . . attacking hydraulic fracturing hasn't worded, so opponents have focused on attacking pipelines."  The logic is than without transportation options, resources won't be developed. According to David Mallino, legislative director for the Laborers' International Union of North America, "We're seeing Keystone-like fights on every gas pipeline that's being proposed. We know the goal of some folks is to strand the resource.  If it can't get to market, it will stay in the ground." Article here

Mergers and Acquisitions News

Vantage Energy putting itself up for sale
According to an inside source, the Colorado-based company with assets in the Marcellus and Barnett is looking for a buyer. The company scratched an IPO last September, citing "unfavorable equity market conditions", at which time it valued itself at $1.95 billion.  Possible buyers might include EQT or Antero. Article here

American Energy to spin off midstream business 

The midsteam group will be renamed Traverse Midstream Partners, with the spin off effective July 1. Assets for Traverse include a 35% interest in the 710-mile Rover Pipeline along with a 25% interest in the Ohio River System, a 52-mile gas gathering trunkline. Article here


All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The Weekly Update makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.This is a personal publication; the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer.

Your Author
  Todd Erickson   


Todd is a veteran executive manager in the North American E&P market. He has management experience in high-growth oil & gas service organizations performing a leadership role in operations, strategy, and corporate development with a track record of identifying opportunities and best-practices, creating execution plans, then developing effective teams and leaders to execute them. He received his MBA and JD from the University of Denver.


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