Daily Reports

News From The Oil Patch 7/27/2015

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Baker Hughes reported an increase in its weekly count of active drilling rigs in the US.  There were 876 across the country, up 19 from last week. There were 200 in Canada, up eight, and eleven in Kansas, unchanged.  Independent Oil & Gas Service reported 18 active rigs east of Wichita and 32 in Western Kansas.  Independent listed 120 inactive rigs across Kansas, 12 of them shut down awaiting drilling contracts, and 108 listed as stacked.  There were two rigs actively drilling in Ellis County, two in Barton County and one in Stafford County. One rig is moving into a drilling site in Ellis County, and another was relocating in Barton County.
 
There were 54 drilling permits issued last week for new locations across Kansas, and just 1,410 so far this year.  There were 24 east of Wichita, and 30 in western Kansas, including two in Barton County, two in Ellis County and one in Russell County.
 
Independent Oil & Gas Service reported 24 new well completions statewide.  That 2,655 completions so far this year.  There were two in eastern Kansas, one in Barton County, and out of the 22 completions west of Wichita last week, eight were dry holes.
 
The Kansas Geological Society recognized and named four new oil and gas fields in Kansas, making the total so far this year 62 new fields, down 15 from the same period last year.  They were located in Cheyenne, Logan, Pawnee and Rooks counties.
 
Independent oil and gas ranked to top operators and top drillings in Kansas for the first half of the year.  Sandridge led the top operators list drilling 19 new horizontal wells.  They were followed by Merit Energy, Palomino Petroleum and Murfin Drilling, all using conventional vertial drilling.  Tapstone Energy reported 123 horizontal wells through June. WW Drilling was the top drilliner in the state with 82 wells under its belt during the first two quarters. They were followed by Murfin Drilling, Discovery Drilling, Lariat Services and Duke Drilling.
 
The Kansas Geological Survey reports first-quarter Kansas oil production of 12.1 million barrels.  If that holds up for the year, total production for 2015 would total 48.4 million barrels, less than last year, but more than any other year since at lest 1995. There were just 45,932 active wells, compared to more than 53,000 at the end of last year.  Harper County was the top producer with 946,646 barrels of crude oil produced in the first three months of 2015.  Ellis County had produced more than 774-thousand barrels.  Barton County output was 522-thousand barrels.    Russell County production was nearly 482-thousand barrels, and Stafford County output was just over 320-thousand barrels.
 
Utility regulators in North Dakota say a Texas company appears to have adequately addressed some of the biggest environmental issues facing its $3.8 billion pipeline from western North Dakota to Illinois. North Dakota's Public Service Commission held an informal work session on Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access project, the biggest-capacity pipeline proposed to date to move North Dakota crude across South Dakota and Iowa on its way to Illinois, where crude would be shipped to Midwest and Gulf Coast refineries.
 
Nebraska landowners challenging the law that allowed the new route for the Keystone Pipeline expansion get their day in court.  The company says 90% of the landowners in Nebraska have agreed to easements needed to build it.  On Monday, a hearing was scheduled for opponents who challenged the law.  Over the weekend, it came to light that the judge hearing the suit was part of an investment club that bought and sold shares in TransCanada, the company that operates the pipeline.
 
Lawmakers in Stillwater approved new rules this week for oil and gas drilling within the city to the disappointment of industry representatives.  The vice president of regulatory affairs at the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association says the city council's approval on Monday of a new ordinance is "essentially a ban" on oil and gas drilling in the city.  The measure applies only to new wells. It imposes a 660-foot setback from the property line of "protected use" properties, which includes homes, churches, parks and schools.  The ordinance also sets noise limits, requiring that ambient noise from drilling operations at the setback boundary be limited to 69 decibels, which is about the same noise level as a vacuum cleaner.  The limits approved by city leaders appears to fall within the restrictions allowed under a new state law.  That law prevents cities and counties from banning specific oil and gas operations, including drilling, fracking, water disposal, recovery operations and pipeline infrastructure.
 
The government gives Royal Dutch Shell a green light to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska.  For now, the company is only allowed to drill "top holes" to a depth of about 1300 feet.  Shell will need to file new paperwork for drilling to the deeper pay zones in the play once it has a ship cvapable of capping the well within 24 hours.  Shell will need to get permission for deeper drilling once it has a vessel capable of deploying a “capping stack,” a safety device for preventing oil spills.  
 
The oil and gas industry in Oklahoma is on the offensive about the growing regulations of saltwater disposal there.  The Daily Oklahoman quotes industry representatives saying a moratorium on wastewater injection wells could create economic and environmental problems throughout the state. Energy In Depth, a project of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, released a report explaining why "banning wastewater injections is not an effective solution for Oklahoma's earthquakes."  IPAA warns that a moratorium effectively would ban drilling throughout the area, including wells not linked to the earthquakes.
 
Should the government sell oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to fund unrelated programs? Lawmakers are hoping to fund everything from the highway trust fund to government drug approvals and research funding.  But both proposals have drawn opposition. The Senate Energy Committee chairman, the U.S. energy secretary and oil industry analysts all criticize the move as shortsighted. According to the Wall Street Journal, the reserve is close to its 713.5-million-barrel capacity.

News From The Oil Patch 7/20/2015

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Baker Hughes reported 857 active drilling rigs across the US Friday, down six from a week earlier. There were 192 in Canada, up 23.  The company reported eleven active rigs in Kansas, up one. The broad count from Independent Oil & Gas Service showed 21 active rigs east of Wichita, up two, and 35 in western Kansas, down four.  There was one rig drilling in Barton and one in Ellis County.  Three more rigs are moving into sites in Ellis, Stafford and Barton counties.
 
There were 34 drilling permits issued across Kansas last week, for a year-to-date total of 1,356. There were 13 east of Wichita and 21 in western Kansas, includingt two in Barton County, one in Ellis County and two in Stafford County.
 
Independent Oil & Gas Service reports 53 newly completed wells last week statewide.  That's 2,631 so far this year.  Of the 32 west of Wichita, five were dry holes.  There was one completion each in Barton, Ellis and Russell counties.  There were 21 completions reported in eastern Kansas.
 
Last month Independent Oil & Gas Service reported 115 completions west of Wichita, and of those 22 were dry holes.  That makes 1,108 completions in the western half of the state for the first six months of the year, and 260 or 23 percent of those didn't pay off. 
 
The operator of the Keystone pipeline is taking bids to move more oil through the existing line, but a spokesman says that has nothing to do with the delayed expansion of the project.  TransCanada spokesman Mark Cooper said the overall capacity of the original Keystone pipeline hasn’t changed, and they never operate at capacity.  But Cooper says technological advances allow for an increase of daily volume, and they're hoping to book an additional 10 to 15,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
 
Delays in passenger and commodity rail traffic have eased across the Upper Midwest in part because weak oil prices have prompted a drilling slowdown in North Dakota.  Recent track upgrades, a new pipeline and a new refinery in North Dakota reduced the number of oil trains using those rail lines.
 
Iraqi Kurdistan is bypassing the government in Baghdad and independently selling all the crude oil exported from the region for the first time as they take greater control of their own affairs.  The Kurds are shipping as much as 600,000 barrels of oil a day from their fields and haven’t sold any oil through the national marketing agency since June. In another step toward financial independence, the Kurdish parliament has approved a plan to sell as much as $5 billion in bonds to pay for infrastructure projects.
 
Seventy-seven years after Mexico seized foreign energy assets within its borders, the nation is trying to entice renewed foreign investment.  Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total all opted out of the first-ever Gulf lease sale in Mexico, a group of shallow-water oil blocks.  Only one of Mexico’s first five oil blocks received a qualifying bid.
 
Suncor Energy, Canada's largest oil and gas producer, is looking to replace high-pressure steam with radio waves to extract bitumen from oil sands. The technology could help the industry reduce costs, greenhouse gas emissions and water usage. The process consists of heating bitumen with radio wave energy coming from a surface generator.   The initial physical testing began in 2012, and full scale reservoir testing is set to begin.  That phase of the project will last about two years.
 
Earthquakes greater than magnitude 3.0 have rattled the State of Oklahoma ten times since July 10, so they are now expanding restrictions on saltwater disposal.  This time around they're placing limits on the depth of those disposal wells.  On Friday the Oklahoma Corporation Commission issued a new rule expanding the "areas of interest" worst hit by quakes.  They also added restrictions for 211 disposal wells in those areas.  In 21 of the state's 77 counties, operators must show they rae no injrecting water below specific depths, which the experts say is particularly likely to cause the temblors.  In March the OCC limited injection volumes in 347 disposal wells, and now those operators must also dispose of the brine at shallower depths.
 
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is trying to make its oil production estimates faster and more accurate. According to the Houston Chronicle, that will mean going around Texas’ top industry regulator and straight to the producers to get the numbers.  EIA says using producer submissions to state regulators, which the feds say leaves out some reports that are incomplete or which contain errors.  The difference may seem small, but it isn't. The state regulator, the Texas Railroad Commission, reported 2.3 million barrels per day of Texas production in March, but the EIA says the actual total is more like 3.78 million barrels.  Those missing barrels are eventually added to the state totals, but sometimes that can take months.

News From The Oil Patch 7/13/2015

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Baker Hughes reported the third consecutive weekly increase in the company's US drilling rig count, up one Friday to 863.  The count in Canada was up 30 rigs at 169.  In Kansas, the company reports ten rigs actively drilling, down two.  The broad count from Independent Oil & Gas shows 19 active rigs east of Wichita, down two, and 39 in western Kansas, unchanged.  There were 45 rigs listed as pending their next location assignment, and 124 inactive rigs that were shutdown or stacked.  There were two rigs actively drilling in Ellis County, two in Barton County, and one was rigging up in Stafford County.
 
There were 34 new drilling permits filed through the first six months of this year in Barton County, 15 in Ellis County, eight in Russell County and 17 in Stafford County.  For the first six months of the year, there were 1,260 new drilling permits filed across the state.  By way of comparison, the total at the end of June of last year was 3,801 new permits filed. 
 
There were 73 well completions reported through June in Barton County, 36 in Ellis County, 30 in Russell County and 35 in Stafford County.  So, halfway through 2015 and we can report 2,492 well completions, compared to 3,058 by the end of June last year.   
 
To start the third quarter, there were 62 new drilling permits issued across Kansas last week.  There were 40 east of Wichita and 22 in western Kansas, including three in Barton County.   
 
Independent Oil & Gas Service reported 16 newly completed wells across the state last week, nine in eastern Kansas and seven west of Wichita, including two dry holes.
 
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 government now says US output peaked in April, at 9.7 million barrels per day, or about 300,000 barrels more than previously estimated. EIA says oil production will average 9.5 million barrels this year and just 9.3 million barrels per day next year.  In its short-term outlook, the agency predicted Brent crude prices would average $60/bbl this year, and rise to $67/bbl next year, with WTI about five dollars cheaper.
 
The federal government and Gulf Coast states announced the largest environmental settlement ever, an $18.7 billion deal with BP that resolves years of litigation over the Gulf oil spill.  The settlement announcement came as a US judge was preparing to rule on how much the company owed in federal Clean Water Act penalties for its role in the spill.  According to an outline filed in federal court, the settlement would also resolve the states' natural resources damage claims and settle economic claims involving state and local governments in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
 
Oil production in North Dakota topped 1.2 million barrels per day in May, for only the second time in the state's history.  That news comes despite a drop in the active rig count.  The state's Department of Mineral Resources reported total production for the month of 37.2 million barrels.  Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms said although the number of drilling rigs operating in the state is down to its lowest level in nearly six years, the rigs that remain are twice as efficient as they were two years ago.
 
Two subsidiaries of Chesapeake Energy are selling oil and gas properties to a Colorado-based producer for $840 million, one of the largest asset acquisitions in the patch this year: 250,000 net acres in western Oklahoma near the Texas Panhandle, about 1,500 wells already pumping oil and gas at abpit 21,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day.  The purchase more than doubles FourPoint Energy’s footprint over the western portion of the Anadarko Basin. 
 
A trade group in Oklahoma is forming two new committees to look at pipeline issues as well as health and safety concerns.  The Oklahoma Oil & Gas Association's Midstream Committee will meet Aug. 20. It will include member company lobbyists, technical and legal experts who will discuss legislation and regulations relating to pipelines, gathering and processing and storage.  The Health & Safety Committee met Thursday to discuss organizational issues and share information about best practices to address concerns about tank gauging and other potentially hazardous activities.
 
The US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena to US Secretary of State John Kerry for reports, recommendations, letters, and comments that the State Department received from federal agencies regarding the Keystone XL pipeline’s cross-border permit application.  The committee's chairman, Republican Jason Chaffetz of Utah, says the State Department has not been cooperative in the committee’s efforts to conduct oversight of the Keystone XL permitting process.  And he says Foggy Bottom has shown an unwillingness to recognize the committee’s legitimate interest in getting the information.

News From The Oil Patch 7/1/2015

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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.

News From The Oil Patch 6/24/2015

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Scientists at Stanford say that "de-watering" oil wells in the Mississippian Lime Play, and disposing of that water in the Arbuckle formation, should be stopped. The research suggests that this is the actual triggering mechanism responsible for the recent spike of earthquakes.  Lead author Rall Walsh says his study focused on three areas of Oklahoma, but he says its likely also true in Kansas. "The geology doesn't end at the political border, and the oil and gas production doesn't end at the political border." The study asserts that more than 95% of the wastewater injected where the earthquakes happened was "produced water," and not, as some have suggested, flowback from hydraulic fracturing completion activity.  "The hydraulic fracturing wells are not the problem," he says,"the saltwater disposal wells, we think, are making the earthquake problem." 
 
The Kansas Corporation Commission felt strongly enough about disposal wells in March to dramatically step down saltwater disposal in areas of Harper and Sumner counties where they've also seen a spike in seismic activity.  Rex Buchanan of the Kansas Geological Survey says the area saw a dramatic drop in the number of earthquakes by April, but he says it's too early to draw any conclusions from that. He and his team plan to make direct comparisons of that area and areas of northern Oklahoma where producers are going after the same oil play without the restrictions on saltwater disposal.
 
Mr Buchanan says some of the disposal wells in the area went beyond the Arbuckle formation into the Pre-Cambrian basement rock below.  Operators have been ordered to seal off those wells with concrete to ensure the wastewater remains in the Arbuckle.
 
With its main pipeline shut down, its storage options exhausted, and local officials rejecting an emergency proposal for an expedited trucking permit, Exxon Mobil has shut down oil production at its three platforms of the coast of Santa Barbara County, California.  The LA Times reports the company had hoped to avoid a shutdown by using a fleet of trucks, making as many as 192 trips per day to roll the oil to nearby refineries.  A month after the Plains All American Pipeline burst, Exxon Mobil shut down its Heritage, Harmony and Hondo offshore platforms. 
 
US Senator Lisa Murkowski says the new sanctions deal would let Iran export its oil to markets that we prevent our own energy companies from accessing. The Alaska Republican  says any deal that lifts the sanctions on Iran would place American companies at a disadvantage unless we also lift the ban on US oil exports.  Also this week, a senate report released earlier this month has laid out the regulatory basis for other nations to request exemptions from U.S. oil export restrictions.
 
The House Ethics committee has voted to extend its review of several Texas lawmakers and others who attended a 2013 conference in Azerbaijan funded by the that country's state-run oil company SOCAR. The decision is the first formal acknowledgement of the probe by the Ethics Committee and the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which completed its report on the trip last month.
 
The number of active drilling rigs in North Dakota hit its lowest point in more than five years on Friday. Lynn Helms of the state's Mineral Resources Department says the count on Friday was 79, a drop of 21 since March and the lowest since 2009.  By Tuesday it had dropped another two rigs.
 
Baker Hughes reported 857 active drilling rigs across the US Friday (6/19), down two for the week. There were 136 in Canada, up nine.  The company's count in Kansas was unchanged at 13. Independent Oil & Gas reports 19 active rigs in eastern Kansas, up five, and 32 west of Wichita, down four.  There were 51 listed as Pending and a total of 123 rigs shutdown or stacked.  There were two reported active rigs in Barton County. 
 
The Nomenclature Committee recognized and named 13 new oil and gas fields in Kansas at a meeting June 17th.  There have been 58 newly named fields so far this year, about nine slower than last year's pace.  There were five new pay sources identified within established fields including one in Stafford County. 
 
Independent Oil & Gas Service reports 44 well completions across Kansas last week, bring the total for 2015 to 2,424 completions.  There were 32 east of Wichita and 12 in western Kansas, including six dry holes.
 
There were 62 drilling permits issued for new locations across Kansas, for a year-to-date total of 1,176.  There were 33 in eastern Kansas, and 29 new permits west of Wichita, including seven in Ellis County and one in Stafford County.

News From The Oil Patch 6/15/2015

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The US last year became the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas.  That's according to the new Statistical Review of World Energy from BP.  The shale boom contributed to record average crude-oil production of 1.6 million barrels per day. Add that to the increase in natural gas output and the US passes Russia as the top producer of the hydrocarbons combined.
 
Baker Hughes reported its 26th consecutive drop in active rig counts nationwide.  Friday's count was 859, down 9 for the week.  Canada had 127, up 11, and the number of rigs actively drilling for oil and gas in Kansas was down one to 13.  There were 121 stacked, idle or shutdown rigs across Kansas last week, compared to 78 inactive rigs a year ago at this time.  Independent Oil & Gas reports 14 active rigs east of Wichita, unchanged, and 36 in western Kansas, which is an increase of five over last week's count.  There are two rotary rigs actively drilling in Ellis County this week and two in Barton County.
 
There were 45 drilling permits issued for new locations last week across Kansas, bringing the total so far this year to 1,114.  There were 20 new permits filed in eastern Kansas and 25 west of Wichita, including one in Barton County and three in Ellis County.
 
For the month of May there were just 178 new permits, compared to 801 in May of last year.
 
Independent Oil & Gas Service reports 45 new well completions last week statewide, which makes 2,380 so far this year.  Two of those commpletions were in Barton County.  There were 27 west of Wichita all told, including five dry holes, and 18 east of Wichita.
 
There were 371 completions statewide in May, as compared to 746 in May of 2014.
 
So far this year Kansas operators have completed 1,323 oil wells.  That's down 13.3% from 2014.  Just 79 of the well completions statewide so far this year are listed as natural gas wells, which is down more than 23% from last year at this time.
 
The state of North Dakota announced monthly oil production of 1.2 million barrels in April, down 1.8% according to the Grand Forks Herald. Natural gas flaring in the state dropped from 19 percent to 18 percent.  The North Dakota rig counts, which were showing signs of life earlier this week, dropped dramatically Friday to 76 rigs, the lowest since December 2009.   
 
Mexico’s national oil company PeMex announced discovery of significant oil fields in the shallow waters of the southern Gulf of Mexico.  They expect a fairly quick ramp up to an estimated 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day.  CEO Emilio Lozoya said production could begin in 16 months and reach a stable output within 20 months.   Total proven, probable and possible reserves of the fields could be as high as 350 million barrels of crude-oil equivalent.
 
A new law in Idaho allows a state commission to intervene when a minority of mineral rights holders block an oil or gas play.  A Texas oil company puts the new law to its first test in a dispute with rights holders that's holding up plays in western Idaho. Under the new law, when 55 percent of mineral rights owners in a unit support drilling, they can ask the state to integrate other rights holders who refuse to participate.  The state's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission selected its chairman, Chris Beck, to preside over procedural matters involving  Alta Mesa Holdings fight in Payette County.
 
The Port of Corpus Christi is still planning for a long-term energy boom, even after last year’s collapse in oil prices.  According to the Wall Street Journal Logistics Report traffic through the port is still booming and a flurry of construction by energy companies continues.  Executive Director John LaRue says there are some $30 billion in construction projects underway.
 
Just a month after announcing plans to shut its Denver office, Texas-based Pioneer Natural Resources offered for sale some 640,000 acres of mineral rights it holds in eastern Colorado. According to the Denver Business Journal, the leases are in what has been considered an exploration area lately, where companies sought to match the successes that new technology has brought to producers in northern Colorado.
 
Production was expected to resume this week at two major Canadian oil sands operations shut down by a wildfire in northern Alberta.  The Wall Street Journal says the fire burned for more than two weeks, and shut-in nearly 10% of Canada's oil sands output, roughly 233,000 barrels per day. Canadian Natural Resources expects to resume full production later this week at its Primrose and Kirby South operations.  Cenovus began ramping up production over the weekend at the Foster Creek site.
 
A firm in North Dakota hopes to make good use of the broken bits of solid material removed from the boreholes of the state's oil wells.  Currently the so-called "drill cuttings" go to landfills or are buried on private land.  But a company called Nuverra Environmental Solutions hopes reuse the material to build roads.  The company says the process could benefit a lot of folks, reducing truck miles, eliminating the solidification process, reducing the number of people at the well site, and reducing the amount of equipment needed at the well head. North Dakota's Health Department will oversee the project.