News From The Oil Patch 7/1/2015

Baker Hughes on Friday (6/26) reported the first increase in its weekly US drilling rig count in 27 weeks.  The company says there were 859 drilling rigs across the country, two higher than the count last week.  In Canada, there were 135, down one. The Baker Hughes Count in Kansas was unchanged at 13. Independent Oil & Gas Service reports increases across the state, with 20 active rigs east of Wichita, up one, and 35 in western Kansas, up three for the week.  There were 42 rigs listed as pending their next location assignment, and 128 rigs that were stacked or shutdown.  There was one rig drilling Stafford County, one in Barton County and one rigging up to drill in Barton County.   
 
There were 38 drilling permits filed last week for new locations across Kansas, bringing the total so far this year to 1,214 new permits.  There were 13 in eastern Kansas and 25 west of Wichita including two in Barton County, one in Ellis County and one in Stafford County.
 
Independent Oil & Gas Service reports 68 completed wells last week statewide, or 2,492 completions so far this year.  There were 24 east of Wichita, and 44 in western Kansas including five dry holes.  There were two completions in Barton County last week and one in Ellis County.
 
Some interesting numbers coming our way from Bloomberg, which reports that Chevron is more sensitive to crude oil price fluctuations than its North American peers, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, because 67% of Chevron’s total output is crude, compared to 54% at Exxon and 48% at ConocoPhillips.  Thus for every one-dollar increse in the average quarterly price of London Brent crude, the company scoops up an additional 325 to $350 million in cash beyond certain expenses.  Thus, with just four trading days left in the quarter, Brent’s average is up about $8.40/bbl versus the first quarter—representing. That's about $2.8 billion in additional cash flow for the nations No. 2 oil company.
 
The US Supreme Court will not hear appeals from oil giants BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. over potential federal fines for their role in the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.   The companies had hoped to avoid historic civil penalties under the Clean Water Act, but the Supreme  Court declined the appeals without comment Monday.
 
A federal appeals court says a former BP engineer is entitled to a new trial on an obstruction of justice charge related to the investigation of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that Kurt Mix deserves a new trial because of jury misconduct in his earlier trial.  Prosecutors accused Mix of deleting text messages about the amount of oil flowing from BP PLC's Macondo well after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. He was convicted on one count in 2013. But the judge later ruled that a juror tainted deliberations by mentioning to a deadlocked jury that she had heard something outside the trial that affirmed her view of Mix's guilt.  Mix has pleaded not guilty.
 
The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected industry efforts to block lawsuits over earthquakes, ruling that homeowners who have sustained injuries or property damage can sue for damages in state trial courts.  Plaintiffs lawyers are hoping to get class-action status covering nine counties for damages relating to earthquakes in Prague, Oklahoma in November, 2011.  They're suing two Oklahoma companies, claiming their disposal wells are responsible for a quake that injured one of the plaintiffs. The Oklahoma Emergency Management Agency said six houses were destroyed and 172 others were damaged when three quakes of 5.0 magnitude or greater struck the Prague area from Nov. 5 to 8, 2011.  The closely-watched ruling opens the door for homeowners in a state racked by earthquakes to pursue oil and gas companies for temblor-related damage.