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'Firing on all cylinders': Texas set oil production record in 2018

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Power Forecast Briefing: Natural Gas And Coal Dynamics, Pressure On Nuclear, And Southwest Capacity

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Coal Forecast Surging Export Volumes Aid Coal Production As Gas Competition Tightens


'Firing on all cylinders': Texas set oil production record in 2018

Buoyed by rapidly growing unconventional production in the Permian Basin and the rebounding Eagle Ford Shale, Texas oil production reached record levels in 2018, easily surpassing the previous mark set 45 years before, according to data from the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association.

In its annual nationwide "State of Energy Report," the association, commonly called TIPRO, said Texas produced 1.54 billion barrels of oil in 2018, surpassing the 1.28 billion barrels produced in 1973. The 2018 oil production total was an increase of 277 million barrels over 2017. Texas more than tripled the production of second-place North Dakota, with 443 million barrels.

The state was also the nation's largest natural gas producer, with an estimated total of 8.8 Tcf produced. That was up approximately 800 Bcf from 2017 and surpassed second-place Pennsylvania by 2.7 Tcf.

TIPRO also reported strong returns on the employment front, saying that more than 26,700 oil- and gas-related jobs were added to the state in 2018. That brought total employment in the state's oil and gas sector to more than 352,000 jobs. Second-place Oklahoma added 5,266 jobs, according to the report.

The oil and gas advocacy group said 40% of all oil and gas jobs in the U.S. in 2018 were in Texas, and nearly 30% of all oil and gas business nationwide was in the state. During his State of the State address Feb. 5, Gov. Greg Abbott noted the continued surge in the state's oil and gas production as well as the recovery from the 2014-2016 price collapse, which led to hundreds of thousands of job cuts.

"As the national leader in oil and natural gas production, Texas is paving the way for America's energy independence," Abbott said. "From technological advancements resulting in increased oil and natural gas output to our LNG export facilities, the Lone Star State's energy economy is firing on all cylinders."


Watch: Power Forecast Briefing: Fleet Transformation, Under-Powered Markets, and Green Energy in 2018

Steve Piper shares Power Forecast insights and a recap of recent events in the US power markets in Q4 of 2017. Watch our video for power generation trends and forecasts for utilities in 2018.

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Jun. 20 2018 — Steve Piper shares his Q1 2018 analysis and power market insights along with guidance from our Power Forecast solution on the Market Intelligence platform. The next guidance report will be released around mid-July 2018.

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Coal Forecast Surging Export Volumes Aid Coal Production As Gas Competition Tightens

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Higher export volumes aid coal production as gas competition tightens domestically

Jul. 20 2017 — Coal production made gains through June as modest electricity demand to open the summer was offset by stronger exports. Weekly shipments for June came in 24% higher than the same period last year, continuing the improved production results for 2017. However, easing natural gas prices during June provided little headroom for thermal coal prices. The NYMEX CAPP eased by $0.25/ton (0.5%) for the month, while the NYMEX PRB gained $0.24/ton (2.2%).

Natural gas prices traded lower during June than in May, with low electricity demand doing little to clear surplus storage. After opening the month at $3.05/mmBtu, Henry Hub spot prices varied during mid-month from $2.85-3.12/mmBtu, before closing at $3.07/mmBtu. Natural gas remains in a moderate surplus, with June injections trailing modestly below historical averages. Storage levels as of June 23 stood at 2,816 Bcf, 182 Bcf above five-year averages. The surplus restrained natural gas markets during the month, with warmer weather the last week of June kicking off the cooling season and providing a boost to prices.

Coal inventories remain in surplus as well, with April stockpiles growing to just over 166 million tons, 9.3% above normal. The growth in inventory corresponds to estimated displacement of coal from natural gas generation resulting from Henry Hub prices declining by 20 cents per mmBtu. Looking ahead to the summer season, robust cooling demand could add 1.5 million tons per week to production, which would drive coal production to levels not seen since the summer of 2015. For the four weeks ending June 24, coal shipments averaged 15.5 million tons, as demand into the summer season picks up. Production levels continue to improve overall, about 24% higher than the same period last year. Inventories remain above normal, and low electricity demand shoulder season may do little to clear them, tending to keep a lid on prices.

Higher natural gas prices have boosted coal demand for the first half of 2017, especially compared to the dramatic loss of demand that occurred during the first half of 2016. However, surpluses linger in both the coal and natural gas markets going in to summer. If electricity demand remains low, growth in coal production could taper during the peak season.

On the improved demand picture for the year, the CAPP and NAPP coal regions are projected to beat 2016 production levels. A firmer natural gas strip, easing coal retirements during the year, and stronger seaborne metallurgical markets all contribute to the improved outlook. The markets for Illinois Basin and Southern PRB are also projected to rebound by 44 million tons this year on improved price competitiveness.

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