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2015-05-13 21:05:00



Overseas competitors who were caught off-guard initially by rising US unconventional crude oil production have increased their own outputs now and can be expected to try and keep prices low to protect their global market shares, speakers at a May 12 Atlantic Council discussion said. That could make marginal US unconventional properties uneconomic, but won't threaten the new US position as a major producing nation, they agreed.

"We're entering a phase when all the excess capacity will be resized to the new US world market share," said Subash Chandra, managing director and senior equity analyst at Guggenheim Partners. "I don't expect prices to go above $70-75/bbl. If it hits $90, US producers will start working full-out again."

"I don't think there will be a bust," said Russell Gold, a Wall Street Journal senior energy reporter. "This is an immature industry that's learning to drill bigger wells. But several management teams bought suboptimal rock in an effort to keep up. Several companies will be headed for fire sales before the end of the year, but the new US role as a major producer won't change."

Terry Engelder, a geosciences professor at Penn State University, meanwhile, noted, "There's been a lot of emphasis on heavy early production from many of these wells, but they also have good production later on. A lot of these wells wind up being refraced and have residual production that's more than expected."

'Brute force until now'

US production surged because each new barrel had a place in global markets until November, when overseas producers decided to increase their own output to protect their prices and market shares, Chandra said.

"Up until now," Chandra said, "this industry has spent 130% of cash flow, fully funded by Wall Street. Now, it's moving to spend cash flow and learn more about plays it already has. It's all been brute force up to now. There's more emphasis on refining the science and learning more about the rock it already has."

Gold said US producers had to learn from their mistakes, including measuring air and water quality before drilling, "because better data lead to better understanding," he said. States need to divide regulatory and leasing responsibilities as the US Department of the Interior did offshore following the 2010 Macondo deepwater well blowout and oil spill, he added. Well construction matters more than some producers thought, he said.

Engelder said, "The industry didn't understand that baselines need to be established in every well. In Pennsylvania, 40% of the water wells are privately owned. Also, when producers from out-of-state drilled their first deep gas wells, they didn't realize shallower soil was saturated with its own gas, which started to find its way into water supplies."

Gold said growing transportation of crude by rail from the Bakken shale to East Coast refineries configured to process it raised new safety questions, which in turn led to new US Department of Transportation regulations. "Extraordinarily powerful interests—the freight railroads, and the oil industry—are involved," he said.

But Chandra said producers also are committing to build new pipelines to their markets. "Some Bakken crude is marginal and won't be produced now that prices are low. Pipelines could be sufficient to handle what's left," he said.




2018, January, 22, 08:20:00


WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.

2018, January, 22, 08:15:00


WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.

2018, January, 22, 08:10:00


WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.

2018, January, 22, 08:05:00


PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.

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