pump jack

A pump jack operates in Williams County.

The price for a barrel of Brent Crude hit $80.69 on Tuesday and continued to hang in the mid 70s on Wednesday, amid rising demand and tight supply. That’s the highest prices have been for three years.

The price could be headed much higher. Some analysts, among them Goldman Sachs, are predicting $90 oil by year-end. That reflects a $10 increase in its forecast.

Hurricane Ida is among factors contributing to tight supply of available fuel. The storm that swept through the Gulf of Mexico in early September knocked out platforms and damaged processing hubs, shutting in offshore production for several weeks.

OPEC+ is expected to meet next week to discuss its output. National media have reported the entity is likely to stick to its existing deal to add 400,000 barrels per day to its output in November.

Liberty announces 24-hour continuous pumping time

Liberty Oilfield Services is touting a new company milestone, 24 hours of continuous plug and perf pumping time for Kaiser-Francis Oil Company, in the Permian Basin.

Eliminating non-productive downtime and non-pumping time has been a holy grail for the oil and gas industry. The achievement was the result of the company’s Operations 1440 initiative, begun in early 2021 to improve throughput on location.

“From the beginning, Liberty has focused on safety and technology to become more agile and efficient. Efficiency is a win-win-win, resulting in reduced cost for our customers, lower environmental impact and increased profitability for Liberty,” said CEO, Chris Wright. “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of what is possible with Operation 1440. Liberty frac and wireline crews worked in concert with Downing to safely achieve the momentous goal of eliminating downtime and continuously pumping all 1,440 minutes in the day. I am proud of the Liberty team for reaching new heights during an unconventional time in the oil and gas cycle.”

The process used real-time data tracking, predictive analytics, and logistics integration, as well as real-time well swap automation with Downings Freedom Series system. The Downing Freedom Series iControl instantaneously transitions from well to another, opening the second well while subsequently shutting int he first well, all while pumping, eliminating time between statges.

Liberty frack and wireline crews were able to work in tandem to eliminate non-productive downtime on location, and respond dynamically to above-ground equipment maintenance, subsurface design changes, and other logistical considerations.

“Kaiser-Francis is excited about the accomplishment of 24 hours of continuous pumping. It is a significant milestone that was made possible by the commitment of Liberty and Downing both to advance the technology, and to work together on location in the field,” said Tom Redman, Chief Operating Officer, Kaiser-Francis Oil Company.

Downing’s parent company is SEF Energy.

“We are proud to partner with Liberty. Achieving 1440 has been a shared goal, and hitting this milestone is a testament to the incredible people involved in this project,” SEF Energy CEO Zac Graves said. “We look forward to continuing to set the standard in terms of safety and efficiency in well completions.”

Royalties reversal

The Department of the Interior has announced it will calculate royalties for oil and gas produced on federal lands the way it was done before the Trump administration changed it, during the waning days of his administration.

The Valuation Reform and Civil Penalty rule was finalized less than a week before President Joe Biden’s inauguration. The change is estimated to generate $64 million more in annual mineral royalties.

Exxon working on differentiated natural gas

Exxon Mobile is betting that in an ESG world a natural gas product that is produced with fewer emissions can sell for a premium, and it’s testing the concept on about 10 percent of is production in the Permian Basin.

Exxon will use cutting edge technology to monitor 250 million cubic feet per day of natural gas production at its Poker Lake facility for methane emissions, and will then sell the product as differentiated gas.

The test project will help the company gauge the market’s interest in differentiated gas, but could ultimately be expanded to other Basins.

Exxon is working on the project with MiQ, an independent non-profit, to develop a framework in which an independent auditor will access a company’s operations at the facility or platform level and assign it a grade that is related to the methane intensity of the natural gas produced. The grade will include evaluation of technology deployment for leak detection and repair as well as emissions mitigation practices.

Exxon had announced a goal of reducing its methane emissions by 15 percent by year-end 2020, compared to 2016 levels.

Reaching that goal involved 23,00 0methane leak surveys across 9,500 sites. The company is now working on reducing its upstream methane intensity by half by 2025, as compared to 2016 levels.

Meetings & Public comment periods

Midwest AgEnergy Blue Flint Ethanol air pollution control permit to construct (PSD-Minor) — ends Oct. 30. Online at https://deq.nd.gov/AQ/PublicCom.aspx#BFEP.

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