The Case for Offshore Steam

When we talk to folk in the industry, about our plans to steam the Pilot, Elke & Narwhal fields in the middle of the Central North Sea, sometimes we get a pretty sceptical reaction, sometimes we don’t. I prefer it when we get to talk positively about the potential of steaming offshore reservoirs, but not everyone has an open mind. You see, that’s not how the industry develops heavy oil in the North Sea. How to develop North Sea heavy oil was all worked out in the early nineties by the people who put together the development plans for Alba, Captain, Harding & Gryphon, the last wave of heavy oil developments in the UKCS.

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How the Debt Monster Ate Their Company

Or should I say, might eat their company. To say that the company has been eaten would involve making a prediction about the future and I steadfastly refuse to make predictions about what another company might do and what might happen to their share price. So this is all just analysis of what has already happened and what has already happened is that the debt monster has nearly eaten Xcite, or more precisely, Xcite's shareholders.

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Not a single FDP so far

Crikey, we are half way through May, that's half way through the second quarter of 2016, and so far this year there hasn't been a single new field development plan approved by the OGA. In fact there hasn't been an FDP approved since Scolty & Crathes in October last year, over six months ago. Don't blame the OGA, they can't approve what hasn't been submitted. It is all of us, in the oil and gas industry, who haven't managed to get a project ready enough to make that formal FDP submission.

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Revising the Past – US Oil Production Data

As I have said before the US Energy Information Agency (the EIA) has a thankless task, compiling data from thousands of oilfields and operators to come up with an estimate of how much oil the USA actually produces. Some data is timely and accurate, Alaska is a case in point, some, not so much. So every month as well as giving us a new estimate for the month just passed, we get revisions of the historic data. 

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USA 2015 to 2017: Mr. Brown's Production Forecast

After following the weekly production statistics avidly for some months and initially being smugly pleased by the data saying exactly what I wanted to hear, I then became completely befuddled by the data saying the opposite. I had almost reached the conclusion that the weekly production data wasn't worth paying attention to.

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The Oil Market Has Lost its Mind, Literally Lost its Mind

We are in the midst of a rout and the oil market has literally lost its mind. There is no logic or sense in the market whatsoever. I am not talking about the price someone will bid to buy a barrel of oil today. There is no rational floor to the price for a barrel of oil that is being delivered right now. No where the oil market has lost its mind is in the price of the long dated barrel. 

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HMRC: Don't Milk Economic Recovery in the UK, Maximise it

Just before Christmas I thought Santa Claus had arrived early. There was a bulletin published by HMRC with updates on the rules for how the investment allowances on supplementary corporation tax would be calculated. I unwrapped the present carefully, hopeful that the folks at the Treasury had read the letter I had sent up the chimney to them.

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EIA How Great Are Those Forecasts

Friends, Oilmen, Economists, I come not to bury Sieminski but to praise him. In case you don't know (I confess I didn't) Adam Sieminski is the Administrator of the US Energy Information Administration, or the EIA. He, or more likely someone in his organisation, publishes a monthly forecast of oil production for the USA. It is called the Short Term Energy Outlook and in this post I am going to take a look at some of those forecasts over the past few years to see how Adam and his team have done.

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US Shale Decline Well Established

The EIA has just published its latest update to the Drilling Productivity Report (DPR), and soon we will get their update to the Short Term Energy Outlook. These are the two documents in which the EIA take a stab at estimating where US production is going, as opposed to where it has been. Weakness in the Chinese economy has hung like a pall on the oil market since the turn of the year and there is nothing putting a floor under the oil price just yet, but to my eyes the decline of US shale production is now well established and that will eventually feed through into some support for the oil price.

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