Want to ban fracking? Be ready to pay up under Colorado Legislature bill

Hydraulic Fracturing Illustration - Idealized

Hydraulic Fracturing Illustration – Idealized

 – Reporter – Denver Business Journal – December 19, 2014

Counties that enact a ban on fracking would have to compensate the owners of mineral rights under a bill Rep. Perry Buck, R-Windsor, plans to introduce during the 2015 legislative session.

Senator-elect Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, will sponsor the bill in the Senate, Buck said.

“It’s only fair, if you have an asset like mineral rights, that you’re allowed to receive the value for it,” Buck said.

Last summer, Sonnenberg, as a state Representative, backed a ballot proposal called Initiative 121 along with Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch. The initiative called for barring cities and counties that banned fracking from receiving state severance-tax funds.

The proposal was among four pulled from the ballot in August as part of a deal between Gov. John Hickenlooper and Boulder’s U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D).

Buck’s bill may have a tough slog in Colorado’s House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Democrats by a 34-31 margin. Republicans will have a one-seat majority in the Senate, where there is an 18-17 split with the Democrats.

Continue reading story at The Denver Business Journal

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Encana to boost capital spending next year

encana_logoBucking the industry trend to cut capital spending due to recent oil price declines,  Encana Corporation will be increasing its capital expenditure budget for 2015 in unconventional shale oil.

The company announced a highly focused 2015 capital program of between $2.7 billion and $2.9 billion, with approximately 80 percent directed to four of its highest margin growth plays; the Montney, Duvernay, Eagle Ford and Permian.

The company also plans to spend capital in the DJ Basin, San Juan and Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS): These three assets underline the flexibility of Encana’s portfolio and represent further high-quality investment opportunities. Collectively, the company plans to invest approximately $350 million to $450 million in these assets in 2015 with combined total liquids production expected to be between 25,000 and 28,000 bbls/d.

Read the complete news release on Encana’s 2015 Capital Program

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Colorado county commissioners say they have enough local control over oil and gas

Oil Tank Battery in Weld County Colorado with protective liner

Oil Tank Battery in Weld County

 – Reporter – Denver Business Journal

A “significant majority” of Colorado’s county commissioners assembled at a statewide meeting in early December approved a resolution saying local governments have sufficient authority to regulate, and collaborate with, the state’s oil and gas industry.

That’s according to John “Chip” Taylor, executive director of Colorado Counties Inc. (CCI), a Denver-based nonprofit representing county officials.

The Dec. 2 vote at CCI’s meeting was by voice, and while there was opposition to the resolution, a “significant majority” of commissioners approved the resolution, Taylor said.

The resolution was submitted for a vote by commissioners from 21 of Colorado’s 64 counties, including the Front Range counties of Arapahoe, Douglas, El Paso, and Weld.

The resolution “is a general expression about the fact that we do try to work with industry, we do have some authority, and that the current legal framework gives county governments authority to enter into memorandums of understanding and manage oil and gas development in unincorporated areas,” Taylor said Tuesday.

How much local control city and county officials have over oil and gas operations within their jurisdictions has been a flash point in Colorado politics during the last few years, as rising oil prices have fueled a boom in oil production — mostly from new wells drilled into the Denver-Julesburg Basin, an area that sprawls north and east of Denver into Nebraska and Wyoming.

Continue reading story at The Denver Business Journal

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Low prices don’t slow Weld oil/gas operators

Horizontal Drilling Rig in Weld County Colorado - Credit Niobrara News

Horizontal Drilling Rig in Weld County Colorado – Credit Niobrara News

Area ‘continues to be economic and profitable’

By Vince Winkel – Times-Call staff writer – December 13, 2014

Last week, the benchmark U.S. oil price tumbled below $60 a barrel for the first time in five years.

That slide, which was helped along by the OPEC decision last month to maintain its production levels and refuse production cuts, has thrilled consumers at the gas pump. The price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline in the U.S. has plunged to $2.76 from $3.27 a year ago, according to AAA. In Longmont, motorists can find unleaded as low as $2.49 a gallon. This week, it is expected to be even lower.

But on the industry side, the price slide has raised concerns. Headlines have primarily predicted doom and gloom:

•”The American oil boom won’t last long at $65 per barrel” (BusinessWeek);

•”Will falling oil prices curb America’s shale boom?” (The Economist);

•”Falling Oil Prices Make Fracking Less Lucrative” (NPR).

Those headlines don’t look good, but energy experts and oil producers in Colorado haven’t started panicking. Continue reading “Low prices don’t slow Weld oil/gas operators” »

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Oil Breaks $60 Threshold for First Time in 5 Years

DJ Basin Oil Drilling Rig - Image Credit - Encana Inc.

DJ Basin Oil Drilling Rig – Image Credit – Encana Inc.

December. 11, 2014

HOUSTON — The American benchmark price for crude oil broke the symbolically important $60 a barrel mark on Thursday for the first time in over five years, underscoring a remarkable drop of over 40 percent since early June.

It was accompanied by another steep decline in gasoline prices, with the AAA motor club reporting that the national average for a gallon of regular gas on Thursday fell to $2.62, nearly two cents below the day before. After dropping nearly a penny a day over the last month, the average price for a gallon of regular is about 64 cents lower than a year ago. Continue reading “Oil Breaks $60 Threshold for First Time in 5 Years” »

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PRESS RELEASE: NARO Colorado Fights for Property Rights at Rifle CO Oil and Gas Task Force Meeting

NARO_Colorado_LogoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Association of Royalty Owners’ Colorado Chapter Fights for Mineral Interest and Royalty Owners at Colorado Oil and Gas Task Force Meeting in Rifle. Board member Roy Savage testifies to the success of cooperation between land owners, mineral owners, and producers

RIFLE, Colo. (December 10, 2014) – Today, National Association of Royalty Owners Colorado Chapter board member Roy Savage offered testimony to the Colorado Oil and Gas Task Force outlining how stakeholders have worked together to work out conflicts between land owners, mineral owners, producers, and municipalities in energy development. Savage’s testimony was part of a panel titled “Mineral owners and takings issues”. Continue reading “PRESS RELEASE: NARO Colorado Fights for Property Rights at Rifle CO Oil and Gas Task Force Meeting” »

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ConocoPhillips plans to spend less in 2015 as crude slides

ConocoPhillipsBY SWETHA GOPINATH – Reuters – December 8, 2014

(Reuters) – ConocoPhillips said its 2015 capital budget would be 20 percent, or about $3 billion, lower than this year’s, the biggest spending cut by a U.S. oil and gas producer in dollar terms as oil prices hit five-year lows.

Shares of the company, which set a budget of $13.5 billion for 2015, fell as much as 3.5 percent to $65.50 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.

ConocoPhillips said it would “defer significant investment” on less developed projects in the Montney and Duvernay fields in Canada, the Permian Basin in Texas and the Niobrara shale field, which extends over Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas.

“The announced budget is well below our expectations of $15 billion,” Simmons & Co analysts wrote in a note.

ConocoPhillips, which is focusing on the Eagle Ford shale in Texas and North Dakota’s Bakken shale, said it would also spend less on major projects, many of which are nearing completion.

Continue reading rest of the story at Reuters

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Extraction Oil & Gas profits from small holdings big players ignored

Extraction_Oil_Gas_logoBy Mark Jaffe – The Denver Post, December 7, 2014

Colorado’s Niobrara shale is dominated by a few large oil and gas companies, but 28-year-old Matt Owens had an idea of how to navigate around the big boys.

Owens took the idea to his old Highlands Ranch neighbor Mark Erickson, and Denver-based Extraction Oil & Gas LLC was born.

“It started out at the beginning with a very modest strategy,” said Erickson, 54, the company’s CEO. “The idea was a cleanup, ground-floor strategy of leasing what hadn’t been taken by anyone else.” Continue reading “Extraction Oil & Gas profits from small holdings big players ignored” »

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