Shale drillers cut back on NGL production as price slump persists
With U.S. prices for natural gas liquids continuing a steady decline, the country's top oil and gas drillers are dialing back on production of the commodity in favor of portfolio optimization and disciplined capital spending. In the third quarter, oil entered its midcycle price level at between $60 per barrel and $70/bbl at the Brent price benchmark, compared to year-ago prices that had peaked above $85/bbl. Meanwhile, Mont Belvieu NGL prices fell to just above 40 cents/gallon and stayed there over the quarter, compared to about $1/gallon a year ago.
US oil, natural gas production up 1.4% in October 2019
Production of crude oil and natural gas across the U.S. took a step higher in October 2019 and remains well above year-ago levels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's latest "Monthly Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production" report released Dec. 31, 2019. Total U.S. gas production, as measured by the EIA's "gross withdrawals," includes the natural gas liquids present in wet gas, as well as nonhydrocarbon gases, and any gas delivered as royalty payments or consumed in field operations.
Pennsylvania levies record $30.6M fine on Energy Transfer
A subsidiary of midstream developer and operator Energy Transfer LP will pay $30.6 million for failing to promptly correct environmental violations discovered after the Revolution natural gas pipeline exploded in September 2018 after heavy rains and a landslide in Beaver County, Pa. As part of a related consent agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the agency will lift its ban on Clean Water Act permits for Energy Transfer and its subsidiaries, clearing the way for Energy Transfer's Sunoco Pipeline LP unit, which was not involved with the Revolution incident, to finish its expansion of the Mariner East family of NGL pipelines in the eastern part of the state.
AltaGas JV to purchase remaining interest in NGL marketing company
AltaGas Idemitsu Joint Venture LP received notice from Sam Holdings Ltd that it is exercising a put option requiring the joint venture to acquire Sam Holdings' approximately one-third interest in Petrogas Energy Corp. Petrogas provides oil and NGL marketing and supply services in North America and its assets include the only operating liquefied petroleum gas export terminal on the U.S. Pacific coast. AltaGas Idemitsu, which owns the remaining two-thirds interest in Petrogas, said it is evaluating the put notice.
Range cuts 2020 capital budget to $520M while keeping production flat
Range Resources Corp. reduced its capital budget for 2020 to $520 million, which the company plans to allocate for its Marcellus Shale assets, while aiming to maintain production at 2.3 Bcfe/d. The independent natural gas, NGL and oil producer also increased its hedge position, with over 1 Bcf/d hedged, equivalent to more than 60% of its expected 2020 natural gas production, in order to support the budget.