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    Kansas-Less drilling equals fewer earthquakes, but Kansas scientists search for exactly why

    2015-08-05

    As oil drilling in Kansas has slowed since winter, so have the number and power of earthquakes emanating from Harper and Sumner counties.

    It’s no coincidence, say state geologists.

    There were 67 earthquakes with a magnitude of at least 3.0 in the last year, including a 4.9 in November, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Since April 1, there have been just 15 – and none in July.

    Oilfield companies cutting 276 more jobs in Texas

    2015-08-03

    National Oilwell Varco and Cal Dive International, two oil field service companies based in Houston, are cutting a combined 276 jobs in Texas this month, state regulators said Monday.

    Cal Dive, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March, told the Texas Workforce Commission it is closing two facilities, one in Houston and another in Port Arthur, and it will lose 126 employees.

    Cal Dive’s layoffs will begin August 31. Cal Dive’s business involved sending manned diving vessels to offshore oil-production sites to help with maintenance and inspection.

    Texas-Seadrill Platform Causes Stir Near Port Aransas

    2015-08-02

    An oil rig arrived earlier this week in Port Aransas, to the displeasure and excitement of those who live in the small island community.

    The sight of a rig heading out to the Gulf or back towards land for work is a normal, but not one that's parked so close to town.

    The West Sirius isn't needed for production right now, so the rig owned by Seadrill Partners will remain in storage on Harbor Island, just down the way from the Port Aransas ferries.

    Getting a Grip on Hand Protection in the Oil and Gas Industry

    2015-08-01

    Risks abound, but glove technologies are eliminating compromises between performance and protection.

    Even under the best of conditions, our hands take a beating. We bang our knuckles changing a light bulb, cut our fingers opening the mail, and suffer all sorts of breaks and sprains playing pickup basketball or rec league softball. Life is a domesticated war zone, and our hands are on the front lines.

    Nowhere is this more evident than the oil and gas industry, undeniably one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. The fatality rate is nearly eight times the national workplace average,(1) and injuries are commonplace not just at drilling sites, but across the industry—including midstream (transportation) and downstream (refining) environments.

    US Oil and Natural Gas Rig Count Down 2 to 874

    2015-08-01

    Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by two this week to 874.

    Iron Roughneck Impact Oilfield Gloves

    Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 664 rigs were seeking oil and 209 explored for natural gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 1,889 rigs were active.

    Texas-NOV permanently closing Willis plant

    2015-07-31

    Officials with Houston-based National Oilwell Varco announced this week they are closing their Willis plant permanently and laying off 150 employees.

    According to a letter to Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and Willis Mayor Leonard Reed, the company will close the location at 10586 Texas 75 N. over the next 30 weeks.

    “The result of this decision to cease current operations at the Willis facility will be permanent and is expected to be finalized between February 14 – February 28, 2016,” the letter states. “This will be a permanent shutdown of the Willis facility and the closure is expected to affect a total of approximately 150 employees.”

    NOV plans to buy rivals amid low prices

    2015-07-31

    National Oilwell Varco set a course Tuesday for more acquisitions amid the low oil prices that have cut into profits in the oil services industry.

    NOV Chairman and CEO Clay Williams said the company had already completed three deals this year, was nearing the completion of a half-dozen more and had reached out to others to explore larger deals. He didn't identify which companies NOV has set its sights on, but analysts suggested the Houston-based equipment manufacturer would be first in line to bid on the businesses shed if Baker Hughes and Halliburton complete their planned merger.

    Oil services giant Halliburton said in April it was planning to sell at least three businesses, including a drill bit manufacturing and a logging-while-drilling venture, in order to help its $34.6 billion merger with Baker Hughes get regulatory approval.

    Shell cuts 6500 jobs & investment by 20% over weak oil

    2015-07-31

    However, consumer groups said the scale of the increase in profits showed that British Gas was failing to pass on lower prices in energy markets to end users.

     Not all the job cuts will be in the UK, while around half are expected to be through redundancies. It had managed to squeeze out only $1 billion as revenue from this business unit as against the almost $4.7 billion it had called out in 2Q14. Still, this marked an improvement from first-quarter earnings of $3.25 billion and exceeded analysts’ projections for a drop to $3.18 billion. A spokesman said the cuts are not new, but an aggregate of those made over the past year.

    The UAE last week announced it would cut subsidies for domestic fuel consumption, a move other countries are expected to emulate to cut government spending at a time of lower oil prices. Costs will fall further in 2016 it says.

    Weatherford layoff target rises to 11,000

    2015-07-30

    Weatherford International boosted its headcount reduction target by 1,000 on Thursday to 11,000 positions.

    In its second quarter results, the Switzerland-based company confirmed it has successfully completed its previously announced headcount reduction target of 10,000 and has revised its target upwards to 11,000.

    The reductions will principally affect the company’s U.S. operations, with a focus on support positions.

    Wyoming-Oilfield job losses exceed projections

    2015-07-30

    Wyoming continues to shed oilfield jobs. State data shows employment in the oil patch was down 13 percent year over year in June, a loss of roughly 3,700 jobs. 

    The cuts come on the heels of reports that layoffs at service firms Halliburton and Baker Hughes have exceeded levels initially projected by the companies at the beginning of the year. 

    Houston-based Halliburton ended 2014 with 80,000 employees, according to financial filings. The company cut 16 percent of its global workforce over the first half of 2015, up from the 8 percent it projected in February. 

    Canada-Food bank usage up due to Alberta oilpatch slump

    2015-07-30

    Volunteers are busy filling shelves at the Taber Food Bank Society, trying to keep up with demand as the economy pushes more people through the doors.

    Kathy Boersma, who works at the food bank, said she has definitely seen an increase.

    Texas-Chevron to Lay Off 1,500 Workers Amidst Oil Price Slump

    2015-07-30

    Chevron Corp, the second-largest U.S. oil company, said on Tuesday it would lay off 1,500 employees, about 2 percent of its global work force, as it trims costs to offset declining crude prices.

    Nearly all of the layoffs will be in Texas, where the company has expanded in recent years to develop land in the Permian shale formation, and California, where Chevron is headquartered.

    Fifty international employees will be laid off and roughly 600 contractor positions will be canceled, the company said in a statement.

    Oklahoma- 2 Identified In Fatal Basic Energy Services Oilfield Accident, Cause Revealed

    2015-07-27

    Authorities have identified the victims of an oilfield incident that left one dead and one injured Thursday morning in Woods County.

    David Justin Turner was killed Thursday and Michael Brown was medi-flighted to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Both men were from Texas. Brown remains in serious condition, according to OU Medical Center.

     The call for the accident near County Road 470 on Comanche Road was received at 11:17 a.m. on Thursday, July 23.

    PTEN Still Not Calling Bottom, Sees More Rigs Falling

    2015-07-24

    A handful of onshore operators are reactivating rigs but others are planning to drop equipment, "collectively leading to a flat rig count" through the rest of the year, Patterson-UTI Energy Inc.'s management team said Thursday.

    "With the recent oil price declines and the reduced near-term optimism for natural gas, further rig count reductions are not out of the question," Chairman Mark Siegel said during a conference call to discuss second quarter results.

    The Houston-based drilling and pressure pumping contractor is one of the largest onshore oilfield service providers in the continental United States and Western Canada. About one-third of its equipment has been stacked for months, and there was no forecast on when that may change.

    Oklahoma-One dead, one injured in Woods County oilfield accident

    2015-07-24

    One person died and another was injured in an accident at an oilfield site near Dacoma in northwestern Oklahoma.

    The accident happened Thursday morning at a Midstates Petroleum Co. site in Woods County, said company spokesman Jason McGlynn.

    "Following the incident, the area was secured and a complete investigation of the incident is underway, but we do not have any further information at this time," McGlynn said Friday in an emailed statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the individuals involved and their families."

    Halliburton profits fall 93 percent amid downturn

    2015-07-20

    The president of Halliburton says oil drilling activity is “scraping along the bottom” at the moment and the company isn’t expecting a significant recovery until sometime in 2016.

    In a call with investors Monday, Halliburton President Jeff Miller said the company’s outlook hasn’t changed much over the past few weeks, though he acknowledged recent gains in the nation’s rig count “were erased” as oil prices have fallen from around $60 to $50 a barrel.

    “Scraping along the bottom means that we don’t anticipate dramatic change of any sort over the near term,” Miller said.

    Vancouver-Injured welder awarded $947,000-Jury agrees companies involved in oil rig share responsibility for collapse of unsecured scaffolding

    2015-07-17

    Jury agrees companies involved in oil rig share responsibility for collapse of unsecured scaffolding

    A Clark County jury on Monday awarded a welder who was seriously injured in a December 2010 oil rig construction accident nearly $1 million.

    Charles Pamplin was one of hundreds of workers hired to work on a BP oil rig that would be sent via ship to Alaska. The Houma, La., resident fell from unsecured scaffolding while working on the rig at the Thompson Metal Fab yard in Vancouver, shattering his left foot and heel. The injury left him with chronic pain and limited mobility, according to a PR Ink bulletin.

    California-Oil worker killed in fall

    2015-07-17

    Accident occurred Friday near Highway 43 and Panama Lane

    An oilfield worker was killed in a fall on an oil rig between Taft and Bakersfield Friday morning.

    Few details have been released yet, but Kern County Fire Capt. Tyler Townsend said the victim, identified only as a 34-year-old man, fell a distance of about 25 feet from a pumping unit near the intersection of Highway 43 (Enos Lane) and Panama Lane.

    Oklahoma-Two Seriously Injured In Enid Oilfield Accident

    2015-07-16

    Two men have been injured in an oilfield accident in Woods County.

    Charles Dobbs, a Midstates Petroleum consultant, and Wayne Loebig, of Felderhoff Drilling Company, were injured when they were struck by a pipe, according to an incident report from the Woods County Sheriff’s Office.

    At approximately 9:32 a.m. Tuesday, a deputy was dispatched to an oilfield location — Felderhoff Rig 24 — on County Road 470, about half a mile south of Garvin Road, between Alva and Dacoma, according to the report.

    US refinery crude use rises to weekly record as operating rates surge

    2015-07-16

    Refinery crude use increased to 16.8 million bpd, the highest level since EIA weekly records started in 1989. Plants operated at 95.3% of full capacity, the most since December.

    Oil fell after an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report showed inventories at the biggest US hub increased the most since April. Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for US benchmark oil futures, rose for a third week, the EIA said. While total US stockpiles declined, inventories were still more than 90 million bbl above the five-year average level. Oil’s rebound from a six-year low in March has faltered amid economic uncertainty in China and Greece and speculation that a global glut will persist. Rising Iranian crude exports under the terms of a nuclear deal reached Tuesday won’t occur until next year, according to banks including Goldman Sachs Group and Citigroup.

     “This is the third consecutive week that we saw a build at Cushing, and it’s a bearish number,” said Tariq Zahir, a New York-based commodity fund manager at Tyche Capital Advisors. “We had a crude draw. But overall we still have a lot of supplies here.”

    Shale Oil Output Heads for Record Drop After U.S. Drilling Swoon

    2015-07-14

    Shale fields that powered the U.S. energy renaissance will suffer the biggest drop in output since the boom began after companies pulled more than half their drilling rigs.

    Production from the prolific tight-rock formations such as the Eagle Ford in southern Texas will decline 91,000 barrels a day in August to 5.36 million, the Energy Information Administration said Monday. It’s the fourth month in a row production is expected to slide, after more than tripling from 2007.

    Why Saudi Arabia Makes So Much Money on Oil

    2015-07-14

    Hint: it has to do with how many new wells the kingdom has to drill each year compared to other oil producers.

    A lot of reasons have been given as to why Saudi Arabia is allowing the oil price to not only fall but remain weak. Some suggest it’s because it’s seeking to harm emerging rivals like the U.S. and Russia. Others have suggested that the move is because it wants to keep its regional rival Iran at bay. While both could be true, the reason Saudi Arabia isn’t worried about the oil price is because it doesn’t need a high oil price to justify the drilling costs needed to maintain or grow its production. This is due to the fact Saudi Arabia only needed to drill 399 new wells last year just to keep its daily production at 11.4 million barrels of oil. That’s a simply jaw-dropping number when we compare it to its two closest rivals, which are detailed on the following slide from a Schlumberger Limited  SLB 1.26% investor presentation.

    DELAY FOR THE HALLIBURTON-BAKER HUGHES MERGER

    2015-07-14

    Just as everybody was starting to wonder if the merger between the second and third largest oil field service companies in the United States was ever going to make it to the next step, Halliburton and Baker Hughes announced a delay in the process. The two companies are now giving antitrust regulators at the U.S. Department of Justice 90 extra days to look into the proposed merger.

    It wasn't exactly a shock when the $34.6 billion merger was announced last November. We'd known these types of mergers were likely to start happening since crude oil prices began to tumble in June 2014 in response to a glut of oil hitting the world market. It was a lone shareholder that actually pitched the idea of the merger to Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar in January 2014, according to Security and Exchange Commission filings on the deal. The agreement was approved by the shareholders of both companies in the spring but the deal still had to be cleared by the federal antitrust regulators before it could really move forward.

    Oklahoma-Driller pays more than $220,000 in OSHA fines

    2015-07-13

    A drilling company involved in an industrial accident that killed three and injured two more has paid $221,200 in penalties for safety violations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    Dan D Drilling was also placed on the OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

    Dan D Drilling Corporation faced penalties for safety violations discovered by OSHA while investigating a deadly fire in December on an oil rig in Coalgate, Oklahoma. Three men were killed and two more were injured when an open-flame heater sparked a fire on the rig, according to an OSHA investigation.

    For Jobless Texans, Cheap Oil Comes With A Hefty Price

    2015-07-09

    T.J. Arterberry sits on his front porch and watches his 2-year-old son, Trey. The boy had been searching for dead fish that washed up in the yard after rain flooded the creek near the house, and now he's thirsty and trying to take a bottle of wine out of an ice-filled, beat-up plastic bucket.

    "Not for you, bubba," Arterberry says, taking the bottle away before he returns to his phone, checking again for missed calls.

    It's early May, and he's been expecting a call from his boss at Energy Drilling Co., where he works as a directional driller. He finished a couple of jobs in Midland late last year then headed to a rig just outside of Laredo, where he spent the previous three months drilling multiple horizontal wells from one pad site. He finished the last well a few weeks ago, and he's not sure if he still has a job.

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