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Article Archive

  • Canada’s Shale Boom: More To Come In Montney

    In the world of a constantly changing oil and gas environment, the Montney shale basin is the sleeping giant that holds the key to accelerating Canada’s shale oil and gas boom, but the real treasure within this giant is a tight liquids-rich zone (approximately 15-20 miles wide) that has big and small players alike narrowing their focus for the potential of a giant payout.   A pervasive hydrocarbon system in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) in Alberta and British Columbia, the Montney is estimated to hold 2,200 trillion cubic feet of gas, almost 29 billion barrels of natural gas liquids and…

  • OPEC Hints It May Act To Stop Oil Price Slide

    Oil prices may have gone as low as OPEC is willing to tolerate. After several months of price declines, the secretary-general of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says the group may cut its production target for 2015 because of an abundance of supply. The oil cartel accounts for around 40 percent of the world’s oil supply, and although its influence has diminished in recent years as oil output has risen -- from the United States in particular -- the organization can still significantly impact the price of crude if it wants to. Related: Low Demand, Increased Supply Conspire To…

  • Oil: A Blessing And A Curse For The Middle East

    What exactly is at stake in the battle for control of the Middle East, other than the obvious -- the region’s abundant oil and natural gas? And why is it coming to a head now?There are two aspects to what is currently transpiring in the Middle East: the battle for the region’s natural resources and the battle for the region’s human resources.Related: Oil Companies Turning Away From The Middle EastThe region’s natural resource wealth has long been both a blessing and a curse. It has helped countries like the United Arab Emirates and Oman achieve amazing progress in a relatively…

  • True Cause Of Fracking Leaks Found – Industry Breathes A Sigh Of Relief

    An Ohio State University led study has pinpointed the likely source of most natural gas contamination in drinking-water wells associated with hydraulic fracturing as the walls of the gas well and their well casing seal to the ground.It’s not the source many people may have feared and, if the press can get its facts – truth – and integrity act together, the news should enable the natural gas industry, the state regulators and well engineers an opportunity to solve the public’s anti fracking issue with real results for much improved water well protection.Related: The Consequences Of Fracking: Two Clashing ViewsThe…

  • This Just Sent Shockwaves Through The Coal Market

    Breaking news: the thermal coal market is reeling this week. After the world's biggest consumer of the commodity announced some sweeping changes to its rules.That's of course China. Where officials have finally moved on an import ban for shipments of certain types of coal coming into the country.Related: Why King Coal Will Keep Its CrownA notice of new rules around the coal ban was officially posted on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission on Monday. Here's how the ban breaks down (summary courtesy of the keen China-watchers at the Black China blog).There are three levels to the…

  • Why King Coal Will Keep Its Crown

    For climate change activists and those hoping for an energy future dominated by renewables or even less-polluting natural gas, the death of coal cannot come quickly enough. But with coal still the dominant form of cheap electricity throughout the world, it is unlikely the bogeyman of climate change will disappear anytime soon.That's because the price of coal, compared to other fuels, is just too good to refuse. Just look at China, where the country's double-digit economic growth has largely been fueled by coal, which fulfills 60 percent of its energy mix.According to a chart showing the levelized cost of energy…

  • Why the Debate Over U.S. LNG Exports Has Been Won

    The debate over natural gas exports appears to be over. On Sept. 10, the U.S. Department of Energy approved two more export terminals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and it barely made any news. The decision means that there are now three projects that have cleared all hurdles, allowing construction to begin. More are in the offing. The Obama administration has shown itself entirely open to idea of exporting LNG, even though it prefers a gradual and deliberate approach rather than the blanket approval favored by the oil and gas industry. Environmental groups have opposed exports, arguing that opening up…

  • Gazprom Neft Can Sidestep Sanctions, But Not For Long

    Western sanctions won’t change any business plans for the Russian oil company Gazprom Neft during what’s left of 2014, but a senior executive says it is considering options for next year.Even now, Gazprom Neft is feeling a bit of a pinch, Deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev told reporters on Sept. 15 aboard the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Pechora Sea in the Russian Arctic. “I do not think that we can stop our projects due to problems with financing,” he said, noting that borrowing has become more costly as the number of offers for financing declined.The sanctions, imposed Sept. 12, shut…

  • Mining Sector To Experience Major Investment Over Coming Months

    Countercyclical investors sitting on $8 billion unspent funds have been waiting for clear signs of a market bottom. The wait may well be over.The mining M&A market is not exactly in robust health at the moment.Mining and metals deal values during the first half of this year tanked 69% to $16.7 billion, deal volumes are down 34% and nearly 9 out of every ten agreements were valued at less than $50m according to the latest Ernst & Young market barometer.One reason for the slackness, the consulting firm notes, is that "the much anticipated influx of substantial capital from new mining-focused…

  • How to Profit from the Growing Trend in Pipeline Safety

    As of 2012, the total mileage of interstate natural gas transmission pipelines surpassed 303,000 miles in the United States, and for crude oil and petroleum products, there are over 150,000 miles of pipeline in place. Taken together, that is roughly equivalent to having pipelines stretch around the circumference of the Earth more than 18 times. And that does not even take into account smaller distribution pipelines, which have a much more extensive network throughout the country.But a lot of that infrastructure is aging, and over time it experiences wear and tear. When pipelines corrode or degrade, they can rupture and…