Investors and banks have indicated they are cutting back on investing and lending money to the booming shale market. Financial firm’s site the reason for the funding cutback is shale companies are producing less than forecasted and their reserves are less than anticipated. Shale producers receive funding based on the value of reserves, which are held for collateral. The pullback in cashflow will result in severe disruption in operations for small and midsize shale producers and many will be forced to close. The tightening in lending matches the overall current oil and gas market. The drilling rig count is down nationwide, service and equipment companies that supply operators are resizing their operation, and demand has not moved as indicated in the stagnant price per barrel.
We’ll take the bad with some good news. Let’s note that the hottest drilling region is still the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico. The prolific shale play will continue to thrive despite the cyclical nature of the business. Even better, offshore spending is heating up. The Gulf of Mexico has several large projects planned or due online within the next two years. Leading the pack is BP’s Argos platform, part of the $9 billion Mad Dog Phase 2; the platform is being built in South Korea and will arrive in late 2020. Chevron announced a $5.7 billion Anchor project, the first ultra-high-pressure development in the Gulf. Shell is in the lead as well with the Appomattox platform coming online this year. There are several smaller companies such as LLOG taking advantage of new technology to expand current fields through tiebacks. To top it off, the midstream sector is doing extremely well.
This year will be full of quick turnarounds, mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, expanded pipelines and a steady stream of new technology. With all of the ups and downs coming our way, in all, America’s energy independence is important.
Happy New Year!
The publisher of Oilman Magazine, Emmanuel Sullivan is a technical writer who has built up his profile in the oil and gas industry. He lives and works in Houston, where he publishes Oilman on a bimonthly basis, distributing his magazine to energy thought leaders and professionals throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. At a time when technology is rapidly changing, he provides an invaluable service to oil and gas engineers and managers, offering them both broad and specific looks at the topics that affect their livelihoods. Sullivan earned his BA in Communications at Thomas Edison State University and his MA in Professional Writing at Chatham University.
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.