As the "easy oil" disappears, options for future production will be based on “Unconventional Reservoirs” (Tight/Shale Oil), on the implementation of best management practices and application of Improved Oil Recovery processes (IOR) predominantly on Heavy, Extra Heavy Oil and Tar Sands. While much of the recent discussion on where the marginal barrel of new oil will come from focuses on unconventional plays, it misses the equally large upside from already discovered fields, in the form of IOR.
This article discusses the nature of IOR projects, identifying reasons why insufficient attention is paid in the design of IOR pilots, reducing the potential of booking additional reserves, leading the industry to come up short in the contribution that this activity could bring.Read more
The Acquisition and Divestment (A&D) market has changed. Previously, exploration and discovery upside was sought after with new development potential or undeveloped acreage firmly part of the transactional value expectation.
However the A&D market has moved, with value now focussed on mature, developed assets that bring instant cashflow. With the change in focus, the due diligence of assets for a potential transaction also requires modification, with the focus now being on enhancement and improvement of current operations, and as such, asset due diligence now requires far more detailed consideration of the surface facilities, costs and abandonment liabilities.Read more
Unconventional reservoirs present many technical challenges to those charged with quantifying reservoir character and performance (Bust, Majid, Oletu & Worthington 2013). One of these challenges concerns the identification of net pay. The role of net pay in unconventional reservoirs continues to evolve as a design criterion for reservoir stimulation and well completions. Unlike conventional reservoirs, shale-gas development is not yet at the stage where longstanding net-pay protocols have been tried and tested. Therefore, any protocol has to be regarded as being at a pilot stage, especially in view of the complexity of shale-gas systems.Read more
15 months ago we examined the Canadian LNG sector in the context of emerging global gas dynamics. Has anything changed?
Quite definitely the puck has, and continues to move in terms of LNG supply, LNG demand, pricing, market development and industry trends. However on the face of it there has been limited progress made in realising Canada’s LNG export potential.
This short piece will look back at some of our comments from 15 months ago as well as looking forward to what is to come for Canadian and global LNG.
Reflecting on the points we raised 15 months ago…Read more
For anyone who follows ice hockey, Wayne Gretzky needs no introduction. A former Canadian professional player, head coach and legendary national hero, from 1979 to 1999, Gretzky represented four teams over 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL). When he retired in 1999 - his jersey, number 99, was retired league-wide with him - he was the holder of 61 NHL records. Called the greatest ice hockey player ever, he was famously nicknamed "The Great One".
Maybe Canada’s LNG industry should take a page from Gretzky’s play book, taking note of his insightful quote, when he said, “Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been”.Read more
Significantly reduced cash flow for companies in 2015 means that reprioritizing spending is inevitable. In the short term there is not always the flexibility to make decisions based solely on fundamentals, and so the first impacts may well include projects that in the long run remain viable. As a high cost environment, the deep water Gulf of Mexico (GOM) would appear to be vulnerable and, indeed, cuts should be expected there.
However, economic analysis carried out by Gaffney, Cline & Associates (GCA) suggests that good projects in that environment can still be viable down to US$60 per barrel. Further, economic rationality would suggest that where the opportunity exists, onshore shale spending would be a better short-term target for capital deferral because operating flexibility allows any adjustments made there to be reversed in equally quick order. That is not the case in the deep water GOM where it is tomorrow’s expected price that is the key driver, and where deferral now may mean missing out on gains later.Read more
This is the third in a series of energy business insights commissioned by GCA from independent author and energy finance expert Barry Aling. In it he looks at the post 1970s history of oil price and the drivers behind it and examines in detail the relative pressures and trends in supply and demand that shape the oil price trend and in particular those that are driving the recent large shifts in pricing across the world. With the landscape of supply and demand history established, Barry takes a look forward towards long term trends and the changing role of OPEC producers and examines what the future might hold for the OPEC partnership, US Shale oil and the forward price of oil.
Barry Aling is a director of City of London Investment Group plc. During his 40-year career he has worked extensively in international capital markets, including Phillips & Drew, W.I. Carr and Swiss Bank Corporation and is a former director of Gaffney Cline & Associates and Asset Management Investment Company plc. The views expressed here are entirely his own.Read more
Over the last ten years, shale gas production has emerged as the dominant force in gas supply in the US and Canada, fuelling an LNG export boom and a renaissance in the petrochemical sector, heavy engineering and manufacturing, creating thousands of jobs and driving a measurable contribution to the recovery in the US economy. Furthermore, increases in both shale gas and the related tight oil boom are bringing a new degree of energy independence to the US. Not surprisingly, other countries with similar access to tight gas reservoirs are asking themselves whether this is a uniquely North American phenomenon or the start of a wider democratization of natural gas, offering a global vision of low cost, reliable energy for centuries ahead. This article examines the non-technical drivers that have facilitated the success of the shale gas sector, and begins to examine whether these same ingredients can develop sufficiently in the emerging shale gas regions in Europe and elsewhere.Read more
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