Big U.S. shale gas field Marcellus faces small output drop due to low gas price – EIA

Natural gas production in the Marcellus shale, which has grown over the past decade from next to nothing to the source of about a fifth of U.S. output, may decline for the first time if prices remain low for much longer, according to federal government data. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says production in the…

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New technology for Saudi shale fracking moves closer to reality

The key to an energy boom is simple: Build a technology to get at the oil and gas that geologists already know is trapped in various subterranean, or subsea, formations. The fracking boom in the US is the obvious example. Extracting seabed methane hydrate is another huge bet—energy-starved Japan has made that. Saudi Arabia could…

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Argentina’s YPF, Petrolera Pampa expand shale gas partnership

Argentina’s state-controlled energy company YPF said it has expanded its cooperation agreement with another Argentine crude and gas producer, Petrolera Pampa, with a view to developing the Rincon del Mangrullo shale-gas block in the southwestern province of Neuquen. The accord ensures the two companies will continue to develop the tight-gas project they launched in early…

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Two Canadian shale fields could contain 190 billion barrels of oil – NEB

Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) and Northwest Territories Geological Survey (NTGS) released a joint Assessment of Unconventional Petroleum Resources of the Bluefish Shale and the Canol Shale in the Northwest Territories. This is the first time the unconventional resource potential of these shales has been evaluated. The volume of oil-in-place for the Canol Shale is…

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South Africa’s shale gas reserves face downgrade

South Africa could have far fewer shale gas deposits than originally estimated. In 2011, South Africa’s shale gas resources were projected to be 485 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), but subsequent estimates by the Petroleum Agency of South Africa and the Council of Geosciences appraises recoverable gas resources at 36 Tcf. Mosa Mabuza, deputy director-general of…

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China reports discovery of ‘huge’ tight oil deposit

China said state-owned energy giant China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has discovered the country’s largest tight oil deposit in northwest Shaanxi Province. Tight oil is an unconventional energy which exits in petroleum-bearing formations like shale or sandstone. Commercial production from tight oil formations usually requires similar technology used in shale gas production. CNPC estimated that…

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Columbia Pipeline Group plans expansion in Marcellus and Utica shale gas plays

Columbia Pipeline Group plans to spend billions of dollars in building and upgrading infrastructure in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays to connect natural gas supply to demand. The company, a spinoff from its Indiana parent company NiSource, which is one of the largest utility companies in the U.S., will handle natural gas infrastructure for…

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Technology and the coming big-data revolution in US shale oil fields

With petroleum prices down 50% over the past year, many analysts and pundits are predicting the end of America’s shale oil boom. Recent headlines include: “Oil Price Fall Forces North Dakota to Consider Austerity” (New York Times); “Oil Price Drop Hurts Spending on Business Investments” (Wall Street Journal); “The American Oil Boom Won’t Last Long…

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How US refiners have benefited from the shale boom

The past four years have seen a boom in U.S. refining with strong margins and increased throughput.  The balance of refinery feedstock has changed from a majority of imports to a majority of domestic crude. Market inefficiencies – in the distribution system, crude quality mismatches and export restrictions have kept U.S. crude prices below international…

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