• December 22, 2017

    December 22, 2017

    22nd December 2017

    Happy Holidays ... The Monitor will return on January 12, 2018.

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Onshore drilling activity increased slightly, up 1 this week, at 910. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total increased by 2. US rigs targeting oil was flat, with the total holding at 747. US operators continue to show patience as crude prices continue to hold below US$60 (WTI) per barrel; rig direction for 2018 could be decided in Texas ... keep an ardent eye on Texas onshore rig growth!

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  • December 15, 2017

    December 15, 2017

    15th December 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Onshore drilling activity remained flat, bringing to a halt a five-week upward trend, at 909.  Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total decreased by 2. US rigs targeting oil dropped by 4, with the total standing at 747. US operators continue to show patience as crude prices continue to hold below US$60 (WTI) per barrel.

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  • December 8, 2017

    December 8, 2017

    8th December 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Onshore drilling increased activity five weeks running, with the addition of 1 rig to 909. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total increased by 5. US rigs targeting oil is up 2, with the total standing at 751. US operators continue to show patience and are keeping a keen eye on their balance sheets as crude prices hold just below US$60 (WTI) per barrel.

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  • December 1, 2017

    December 1, 2017

    1st December 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Onshore drilling increased activity four weeks running with the addition of 8 rigs (4 targeting gas) to 908. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total increased by 5. US rigs targeting oil is up 2, with the total standing at 749.

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  • November 17. 2017

    November 17. 2017

    17th November 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Onshore drilling increased activity with an addition of 5 rigs (all targeting gas) to 893. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total increased by 4. US rigs targeting oil was flat, with the total standing at 738.

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  • November 10. 2017

    November 10. 2017

    10th November 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    The downward trend in onshore drilling rig activity reversed with an addition of 9 to 888. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total increased by 6; bringing to an end a 22-week flat growth period. US rigs targeting oil increased by 8, with the total now at 738.

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  • November 3, 2017

    November 3, 2017

    3rd November 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    The downward trend in onshore drilling rig activity continues with a drop of 9 to 879. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the rig total was flat, a pattern of stalled growth now extended to 22 weeks. Rigs targeting oil decreased by 8, with the total now at 729 indicating US onshore operators are showing patience and keeping a keen eye on their balance sheets.

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  • October 27, 2017

    October 27, 2017

    27th October 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    The downward trend in onshore drilling rig activity continues with a drop of 4 to 888. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the rig total dropped to 488, a pattern of stalled growth now extended to 21 weeks.  This reflects the consequence of oil field cost pressures broadly tracking the modest increases in WTI crude prices. Rigs targeting oil increased by 1, with the total now at 737.

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  • October 20, 2017

    October 20, 2017

    20th October 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers decreased onshore rigs by 15 (8 targeting gas), total stands at 892. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total dropped to 489, rig growth has stalled in the major oil basins reflecting crude prices hovering just above US$50 WTI level. Rigs targeting oil decreased by 7, total stands at 736.

    EIA’s data continues to indicate that oil supplies are tightening and that higher prices are likely in 2018 and this could spur the return of growth to US onshore rigs targeting oil. Rig count typically follow changes in the WTI price with an approximate four-month lag. However, rigs targeting oil are declining and this could be a result of “end of year” cash flow constraints. 

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  • October 13, 2017

    October 13, 2017

    13th October 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers decreased onshore rigs by 6, total stands at 907. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total dropped to 493; rig growth has stalled in the major oil basins reflecting crude prices hovering at the US$50 WTI level. Rigs targeting oil decreased by 5, total stands at 743.

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  • October 6, 2017

    October 6, 2017

    6th October 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers decreased onshore rigs by 3, total stands at 913. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total remained flat four weeks running at 495; rig growth remains weak in the major oil basins reflecting crude prices hovering at the US$50 WTI level. Rigs targeting oil decreased by 2, total stands at 748.

    Are investors taking aim at US shale producers, pushing them to stop spending billions on new wells and instead use increase cash flow on dividends and stock buybacks? This shift could dampen spending on increase rigs and impact US production growth; however, it could help the OPEC strategy to constrain crude supply.

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  • September 29, 2017

    September 29, 2017

    29th September 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers increased onshore rigs by 3, total stands at 916. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total remained flat at 495, rig growth remains weak in the major oil basins reflecting crude prices hovering around US$50 WTI. Rigs targeting oil increased by 6 reversing a six week declining trend. Recent demand numbers and the jump above US$50WTI on market tightness offers some light on the horizon for rig growth.

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  • September 22, 2017

    September 22, 2017

    22nd September 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers deceased onshore rigs by 2, total stands at 913. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total remained flat at 495, rig growth remains weak in the major oil basins with crude prices at US$50 WTI. Rigs targeting oil have decline for six weeks running and this trend could continue into the fourth quarter.

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  • September 15, 2017

    September 15, 2017

    15th September 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers deceased onshore rigs by 8, total stands at 915. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the oil rig total decreased to 495 (down 5), rig growth remains weak in the major oil basins with crude prices at US$50 WTI. Crude prices could rise on expectations of the market rebalancing; however, the extent of any price rally will be determined by the US shale oil rig response. As prices rise, US onshore drillers should respond to fill the supply gap.

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  • September 8, 2017

    September 8, 2017

    8th September 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers hold onshore rigs flat at 923.  Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the rig total increased to 500 (up 3). Growth remains weak in the major oil basins with crude prices holding below US$50 WTI. Hurricane Harvey had little to no impact on US rig activities; the US Gulf Coast refinery utilization took the brunt of the storm.

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  • September 1, 2017 ... Post Harvey

    September 1, 2017 ... Post Harvey

    1st September 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Despite Hurricane Harvey, drillers increased onshore rigs by 3 this week reversing a three-week decline and bringing the total to 923. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the rig total increased to 497(up 2).  However, growth remains weak in the major oil basins which continue to tread water with crude prices holding below US$50 WTI.

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  • August 25, 2017

    August 25, 2017

    25th August 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers decreased onshore rigs for the third week running, down 7 this week, bringing the total to 920. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the rig total decreased to 495. Growth has stopped in the major oil basins and continues to show signs of weakening with crude prices holding below US$50 WTI.

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  • August 18, 2017

    August 18, 2017

    18th August 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers decreased onshore rigs by 1 this week, bringing the total to 927. Across the three major unconventional oil basins, the rig total decreased to 496, the past 10-week average was at 497. Rig growth in the major oil basins has stagnated with crude prices below US$50 WTI.

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  • August 11, 2017

    August 11, 2017

    11th August 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers decreased onshore rigs by 6 this week, bringing the total to 928 and links with reductions in capital spending for the second half of 2017. Taken together, the indications are that the average breakeven price is close to US$50 WTI, plus or minus a few dollars per barrel.

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  • August 4, 2017

    August 4, 2017

    4th August 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers increased onshore rigs by 3 this week, bringing the total to 934. Total (including GOM) oil and gas rigs declined by 4 this week. Gulf of Mexico released 7 rigs, bringing the offshore total to 17. With crude prices below US$50 WTI, US operators continue to show signs of decelerating their drilling activities.  

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  • July 28, 2017

    July 28, 2017

    28th July 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers increased onshore rigs by 8 (6 targeting gas) this week, bringing the total to 931. More evidence is emerging that indicates the US oil shale drilling boom could be slowing; ConocoPhillips, Anadarko Petroleum, Hess Corp. and others announced cuts this week to their 2017 capital spending plans which supports the slower growth in oil rigs over the last 6 weeks. 

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  • July 21, 2017

    July 21, 2017

    21st July 2017

    Oil Drilling Activity

    Drillers decreased onshore rigs by 4 this week, bringing the total down to 924, only the second time this year that drillers have reduced onshore rig count. Weak crude prices continue to push US shale producers to reassess drilling capital; however, this could be a signal that producers are turning their focus (capital) to drilled but uncompleted inventory. The estimated number of uncompleted wells in the Permian has risen by more than 1,000 since June 2016. In most other shale basins, the estimated number of uncompleted wells has been stable. There are now almost 2,250 uncompleted wells in the Permian Basin.  

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  • Float like a Butterfly

    Float like a Butterfly

    14th July 2017

    Onshore Rig Update, the Key Driver for US Oil Production

    Drillers increased onshore rigs by 1 this week, bringing the total to 928, which is a significant slowdown when compared to the 12 (7 targeting oil) rigs added last week and closer to two weeks ago where the count dropped by 2. The continued weakness in crude prices is forcing US shale producers to reassess the timing of future capital expenditures while continuing to hope for higher prices. 

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  • Who gets trumped?

    Who gets trumped?

    7th July 2017

    Onshore Rig Update, the Key Driver for US Oil Production

    Drillers increased onshore rigs by 12 this week (includes 4 Alaska and 5 gas target rigs), bringing the total to 927. Onshore rigs now stand 510 above the same period a year ago, 412 of which are targeting oil.  However, despite the increase overall, rigs in the three major unconventional oil basins declined with the Permian down 1, and the Eagle Ford and Williston flat. These three major basins contribute around 50% of US oil production and 90% of US unconventional oil production.  

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  • Price Balances Markets

    Price Balances Markets

    30th June 2017

    Oil prices staged a modest recovery this week, with WTI improving six days in a row, its longest upward trend in two months.  This coincided with drillers taking a pause with onshore rigs staying flat at 915, after 23 straight weeks of increases. Onshore rigs now stand 507 above the same period a year ago, 415 of which are targeting oil.

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  • Defying Gravity?

    Defying Gravity?

    23rd June 2017

    Oil prices suffered again this week with WTI hitting a 10-month low (US$42.13 per barrel) while drillers continued their advance, adding 7 onshore rigs bring the total to 915 and increasing activity for a 23rd week in a row.  Onshore rigs now stand 518 rigs above the same period a year ago, 428 targeting oil. 

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  • Oil at Seven-Month Low while LNG Vessels Hit Record High

    Oil at Seven-Month Low while LNG Vessels Hit Record High

    16th June 2017

    While oil price suffered this week (WTI down to under US$45 per barrel, and Brent around US$47), drillers continued their upward march adding 6 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 22th week in a row and bringing the total to 908. Onshore rigs now stand 510 rigs above the same period a year ago, 410 of this targeting oil. 

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  • Rigs Up, Oil Down while Poland Imports US LNG

    Rigs Up, Oil Down while Poland Imports US LNG

    9th June 2017

    Drillers added 13 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 21th week in a row and bringing the total to 902. Onshore rigs now stand 514 rigs above the same period a year ago, 413 of these targeting oil; in stark contrast, offshore rigs stand 1 rig above the same period last year.

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  • Independent Operators Returning; Deepwater Drilling Rebound Spotty

    Independent Operators Returning; Deepwater Drilling Rebound Spotty

    2nd June 2017

    Drillers added 8 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 20th week in a row and bringing the total to 889. Onshore rigs now stand 507 rigs above the same period a year ago.  

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  • US Production Growth Continues; LNG Exports to Help Balance US Trade

    US Production Growth Continues; LNG Exports to Help Balance US Trade

    26th May 2017

    Drillers added 7 onshore rigs (5 targeting gas), increasing activity for an 18th week in a row and bringing the total to 881. Onshore rigs now stand 507 rigs above the same period a year ago.  

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  • OPEC and Russia Ponder their Next Move; Gas Needs a Bigger Slice

    OPEC and Russia Ponder their Next Move; Gas Needs a Bigger Slice

    19th May 2017

    Drillers added 14 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 17th week in a row and bringing the total to 878. Onshore rigs now stand at 497 rigs above the same period a year ago.  

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  • A Bottomless Pit?

    A Bottomless Pit?

    12th May 2017

    Drillers added 7 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 17th week in a row and bringing the total to 860. Onshore rigs now stand 478 rigs above the same period a year ago. US shale producers are boosting their drilling budgets, with much of the spending flowing into the Permian Basin

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  • Oil Market Déjà Vu

    Oil Market Déjà Vu

    5th May 2017

    Drillers added 4 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 16th week in a row and bringing the total to 853. Onshore rigs now stand 465 rigs above the same period a year ago. 

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  • We have a Problem!

    We have a Problem!

    28th April 2017

    Drillers added 15 onshore rigs (9 targeting oil), increasing activity for a 15th week in a row, bringing the total to 849. This extends the recovery into a 12th month as operators continue to boost spending on new onshore production. Onshore rigs now stand 458 rigs, ~120% above the same period a year ago, with Eagle Ford adding ~20% over the past 4 weeks.

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  • A One-Two Punch Knockout!

    A One-Two Punch Knockout!

    21st April 2017

    Drillers added 11 onshore rigs (only 5 targeting oil), increasing activity for a 14th week in a row, bringing the total to 834. This extends the recovery into an 11th month as operators, following crude price expectation, continue to boost spending on new production. Onshore rigs now stand at 110% above the same period a year ago.

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  • Oil Price Impacts Canada

    Oil Price Impacts Canada

    17th April 2017

    Drillers added 10 onshore rigs, increasing activity for a 13th week in a row, bringing the total to 823. This extends the recovery into an 11th month as operators, following crude price, boost spending on new production.  

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  • Pricing Momentum

    Pricing Momentum

    7th April 2017

    Up 15 this week, the onshore rig count continues its seemingly relentless march forward, now totaling 813 - almost double from the 414 a year ago.  Despite the increase in shale oil drilling activities, US onshore rigs are still down over a 1,000 from their peak in November 2014.

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  • 90% Up, More Than 1,000 Down … But Only 600 To Go !

    90% Up, More Than 1,000 Down … But Only 600 To Go !

    31st March 2017

    The US onshore rig count continued its relentless upward (so far) march, adding 11 this week, now totaling 798 and approximately 90% above the 420 a year ago.  While positive for activity, and the highest since the end of 3Q 2015, it is still more than 1,000 rigs down from the heady days of 2013-2014.  However, not only will that peak never be achieved again, it is not necessary.  Since the crash the industry is getting about 30% more production per rig employed.  So, 800 is really closer to 1,200.  Thus only 600 more to go ... 

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  • Upwards and Onwards

    Upwards and Onwards

    27th March 2017

    Déjà vu; up 22 this week, the onshore rig count has now gained 53 rigs in the first three weeks of March, bringing the total to 787 - 82% up from last year’s 432.  This is the 37th increase in 39 weeks.  It appears that shale producers are committed to increasing US crude production across all major basins. 

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  • Fortitude!

    Fortitude!

    17th March 2017

    Up 22 this week, the onshore rig count marches forward, now totaling 765 - approximately 72% more than the 446 a year ago.  This is the 36th increase in 38 weeks. US drillers average a weekly gain of ~7.5 rigs, doubling (up 315) the total oil rigs over the past 42 weeks.

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  • Fundamentals are Improving?

    Fundamentals are Improving?

    10th March 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to move upward, 9 this week and posting its 18th increase in 19 weeks. This brings the total to 743, approximately 65% above the 450 a year ago. US drillers have added a total of 301 oil rigs in 38 of the past 41 weeks, averaging a weekly gain of ~7.3 rigs. But, the rate of climb for oil rigs is beginning to slow.

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  • Price or Market Share

    Price or Market Share

    3rd March 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, albeit just barely, up 1 this week and posting its 17th increase in 18 weeks. This brings the total to 734, approximately 60% above the 463 a year ago. US drillers have added a total of 293 oil rigs in 37 of the past 40 weeks, averaging a weekly gain of ~7.3 rigs.

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  • An Age of Abundance

    An Age of Abundance

    24th February 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, albeit only just, up 3 this week and posting its 16th increase in 17 weeks. This brings the total to 733, approximately 60% above the 473 a year ago. US drillers have added a total of 286 oil rigs in 36 of the past 39 weeks.

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  • Record US Crude Oil Inventories

    Record US Crude Oil Inventories

    17th February 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, up 13 this week, posting its 15th increase in 16 weeks. This brings the total to 730, approximately 50% (243) above the 487 a year ago. US drillers have added a total of 279 oil rigs in 35 of the past 39 weeks.

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  • Despite Large Stock Build, Prices Hold

    Despite Large Stock Build, Prices Hold

    10th February 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, up 12 this week, posting its 14th increase in 15 weeks; this brings the total to 717; onshore rigs are 203 (~40%) above the 514 a year ago.

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  • LNG by Rail? Crude Price Contango to End?

    LNG by Rail? Crude Price Contango to End?

    3rd February 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, up 16 this week, posting its 13th increase in 14 weeks; this brings the total to 707; onshore rigs are 162 (~30%) above the 545 a year ago.

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  • No Free Lunches

    No Free Lunches

    27th January 2017

    The onshore rig count continued to rise, up 17 this week, posting its 12th increase in 13 weeks; this brings the total to 691, a hundred (~17%) above the 591 a year ago. Shale oil, which is driven by market forces, continues to respond to market price signals. Given the weekly rig count data trend (up), US shale oil explorers expect oil prices to remain firm at current levels.  

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  • Traditional Pillars of Gas Demand Fading Rapidly

    Traditional Pillars of Gas Demand Fading Rapidly

    20th January 2017

    The onshore rig count reversed and swelled 36 this week, the largest weekly increase since mid-2011. This brings the total to 670, sixty three (~10%) above the 607 a year ago. US shale drilling is coming back; production has increased 460,000 barrels per day, 5.4%, in the last six months after falling 600,000 barrels per day in the first half of last year.  

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  • Rigs down – jam now expected tomorrow ?

    Rigs down – jam now expected tomorrow ?

    13th January 2017

    Cold weather/maintenance supporting gas pricing

    The onshore rig count decreased 7 this week bringing the total down to 634, but still ten above the 624 a year ago.  After ten straight weeks of adding onshore rigs, operators could be taking a breather and hoping that the OPEC production cut agreement will sustain and perhaps grow further recent price rises, providing better returns tomorrow. With a WTI price perhaps above US$55 being required to provide the cash flow for additional incremental rigs above today’s level, a key indicator to watch will be operators’ 2017 capital budget forecasts.   

    Meanwhile, the EIA raised their short term (Q1 17) gas forecast to US$3.65 amid continued volatility in the NYMEX strip.

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  • Ship Shape in 2017:  Older LNG carriers to the rescue

    Ship Shape in 2017:  Older LNG carriers to the rescue

    6th January 2017

    2017 brings with it both challenges and opportunities for the natural gas sector, which was summarized in December.  In short, GCA expects that the global gas market, of which North America is now a fully paid up member, will be driven by three main factors this year which will significantly influence every gas related investment decision, whether it be drilling in the Haynesville or building a Methanol plant in Africa.  These reflect the impact on prices of the current over-supply situation, the emergence of new thinking, players and opportunities in the LNG market (buyers and producers), and a spike in the conversion of older LNG carriers into regas (and power generating) units.

    Onshore in the US, the rig count increased 6 this week bringing the total to 641, four above the 637 a year ago.  This represents an average gain of 2% per week over the past ten weeks, a trend that should continue with WTI above US$50 per barrel.  

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