Noble shelves midstream IPO amid equity slump

NobleEnergyLogoBy Robert Grattan – November 20, 2015 – FuelFix

HOUSTON — About one week after outlining the final details of its $237 million-plus midstream initial public offering, oil and gas producer Noble Energy has put the financing deal on indefinite hold.

Noble Energy said late Thursday it won’t follow through with the offering of Noble Midstream Partners LP, a master limited partnership it created to hold its midstream assets primarily in Colorado. The postponement is a surprising reversal from last week, when the Houston-based producer said it hoped to raise at least $237.5 million by selling investors 12.5 million shares priced between $19 and $21.

Not raising the money may not affect Noble Energy’s core business of drilling in U.S. shale and in offshore fields across the globe. But it does raise questions about how Noble will replace the funds it hoped to raise through the offering and about how the independent driller plans to monetize the network of infrastructure assets it has built over the years.

Noble said in a news release that it canceled the offering due to “unfavorable equity market conditions.” The company declined to comment further.

The unfavorable conditions likely include a slide in equity prices among the companies, known in the industry as midstream,  that transport and process oil and gas. The Alerian MLP Index, a broad gauge of the 50 largest master limited partnerships in the sector, has fallen by nearly 40 percent over the past year as investors have fled.

This sharp drop has made selling stock to raise money so expensive that even some of the largest, most financially stable midstream companies in North America no longer consider it worth their while.

Noble Energy didn’t say it would abandon the plan to market shares in its partnership, but didn’t present a timeline for an eventual offering either.

Continue reading story at FuelFix

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New Colorado oil, gas rules could affect very few sites

By Dan Elliott, Associated Press – November 16, 2015

DENVER (AP) — New rules intended to ease tensions over oil and gas drilling near Colorado communities might have only limited impact, affecting as few as 1 percent of future sites, an analysis by state regulators shows.

The two proposed rules would give local governments a consulting role when energy companies want to put big facilities near homes, schools and businesses. Regulators would have more authority over such facilities, which would include sites with multiple wells or storage tanks.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which regulates drilling, drew up the proposals and will hold hearings on them Monday and Tuesday in Denver.

The rules were designed to address conflicts that arise when Colorado’s growing cities and oilfields expand into each other. Residents complain of around-the-clock noise and lights from nearby drilling rigs, and they worry about spills and air pollution. Continue reading “New Colorado oil, gas rules could affect very few sites” »

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Anadarko in the News

Slide from Anadarko Investor Presentation - Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2015 Global Energy Conference

Slide from Anadarko Investor Presentation – Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2015 Global Energy Conference

November 10, 2015

At the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2015 Global Energy Conference on Nov 10, 2015, Anadarko presented their corporate results and guidance to date.  Anadarko’s Niobrara assets in the Wattenberg field was referred to as “World Class” in the company’s presentation.

Currently the company is estimating 1.5 BBOE in their Wattenberg field leasehold with the potential of  500 MMBOE upside potential with downspacing. Andadarko has increased net sales of oil in Wattenberg from 55 Mboe/d in 2009 to 200-225 Mboe/d in 2015.  The company is plans to operate 7 drill rigs and drill up to 360 wells in 2015.  Up to 120 well completions will be deferred.

On this date, Anadarko is also rumored to interested in acquiring  Apache Corporation: see article Darn, It’s Anadarko

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Oil explorers prepare for another year of stubbornly low prices

Anadarko_logoBracing for the worst, producers including Anadarko are shoring up the balance sheet with cuts in capital expenditures

By Joe Carroll – Bloomberg News – October 28, 2015

The three biggest U.S. oil explorers to post earnings so far are bracing for another year of deep spending cuts as the slump in energy markets shows no signs of abating.

Hess Corp, Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the largest producer in Colorado, reported third-quarter losses as free-falling crude and natural gas prices choked cash flow, halted drilling projects and exacted billions of dollars in writedowns as once- prized oil fields dwindled in value.

For the $1.9 trillion-a-year oil industry, the bad news is just beginning. ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. crude producer, is expected to post its first third-quarter loss in more than a decade on Thursday. The Houston-based company’s bigger rivals, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., follow with their earnings the next day.

Oil executives are halting expensive projects that won’t bring returns for years and shunning peripheral opportunities seen as too much of a gamble after crude’s fall to $45 a barrel.

“We don’t think it makes sense to accelerate production in this environment,” Hess CEO John Hess said during a conference call with investors and analysts Wednesday.

Continue reading story at The Denver Post

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Encana to sell Denver Julesburg basin assets for $900 mln

encana_logoOct 8, 2015(Reuters) – Encana Corp said it would sell its Denver Julesburg basin assets in Colorado for $900 million, the latest divestitures by the Canadian oil and gas producer as it focuses on its high-value gas liquids and oil properties.

The company will sell all of its Denver Julesburg acreage comprising 51,000 net acres to a joint venture owned by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and real estate manager Broe Group, Encana said on Thursday.

The assets produced an average of 52 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and 14,800 barrels per day of crude oil and natural gas liquids, Encana said.


Continue reading article at Reuters News

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Facing tougher ozone limits, Colorado leaders want EPA to consider state’s ‘unique’ challenges

USEPAColorado will make recommendations to the EPA in 2016 about how the new standard will affect the state.

One good thing about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new ozone standard is that the new, 70 parts per billion limit won’t make Colorado’s ongoing struggle with ozone any bigger geographically.

“We don’t expect that the non-attainment areas will expand geographically,” said Will Allison, the director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s air pollution control division.

But state officials do have concerns about the new standard’s impact on the state, and they will be talking to the EPA about issues unique to Colorado and other western states, such as the fact that the Rocky Mountains can act as a trap for air pollution flowing across the Pacific Ocean from Asia, Allison said.

The state’s high altitude and pattern of lightning storms also contribute to ozone levels — but there’s very little Colorado officials can do to interfere with Mother Nature.

“We’re starting out at a higher level [for ozone] than many parts of the country,” Allison said.

“There are interstate and international issues and we don’t have the ability or obligation to address things that we can’t control, whether it’s Mother Nature or emissions from sources outside the state,” he said.

Those natural challenges pose a problem for companies trying to operate under stiffer air quality regulations, said Dan Haley, president and CEO of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association.

Continue reading article at The Denver Business Journal


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U.S. drilling states, including Colorado, guided on handling quakes

Earthquake Fault Diagram - Courtesy USGS

Earthquake Fault Diagram – Courtesy USGS

New report describes, among other things, public-relations strategies for dealing with earthquakes related to fracking

By Julie Carr Smyth – The Associated Press – September 28, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A group of U.S. drilling states, seismologists, academics and industry experts issued guidance Monday in a frank new report on handling human-induced earthquakes caused by hydraulic fracturing or the disposal of fracking wastewater.

The 150-page report, produced by the StatesFirst initiative, represents perhaps the most candid discussion on the topic since tremors across the mid-continent — including in Oklahoma, Texas,Colorado and Ohio — began being linked to fracking and deep-injection wastewater disposal around 2009.

It includes descriptions of how states handled various seismic incidents around the country, including their public relations strategies, and matter-of-factly references links between fracking or deep-injection wastewater disposal and earthquakes. Previously, public admissions had been fuzzy in some cases.

The group stopped short of suggesting model regulations, however.

That’s because each state’s laws and geography are unique, Ohio Oil & Gas Chief Rick Simmers, who co-chaired the effort, told The Associated Press. The report says “a one-size-fits-all approach would not be an effective tool for state regulators.”

Simmers said the report is in the form of a primer, providing states with up-to-date scientific and technical data, case studies and several suggested approaches for detecting and managing the quakes.

Continue reading story at The Denver Post

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Interior Department decides fate of greater sage-grouse

Greater Sage Grouse - image Credit - Wikepedia

Greater Sage Grouse – Image Credit – Wikepedia

The U.S. Department of the Interior said Tuesday that the greater sage-grouse, the subject of study and lawsuits for years, should not be listed as an endangered species “because of an unprecedented effort by dozens of partners across 11 western states,” the department said Tuesday.

The news was issued on the department’s website. A press conference about the announcement is expected this morning at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Commerce City.

Colorado and other western states have spent years working to protect the greater sage-grouse, a chicken-sized bird whose shrinking population numbers have led the federal government to consider listing it as an “endangered” species.

Listing the species as “endangered” would have lead to tighter restrictions on how land where the bird lives could be used — endangering multibillion-dollar oil and gas and agriculture operations.

Continue reading story at The Denver Business Journal

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