The oil and gas activity here in Montana, North Dakota, and other parts of the US is certainly making members of the OPEC cartel nervous. This, as billions of dollars in infrastructure are slated for the Bakken oil region, while environmentalists sue to stop oil drilling in Montana. All that and more is included below.
Front page of Monday’s Wall Street Journal: “OPEC Cartel Divided Over US Shale Boom“
OPEC members gathering on Friday in Vienna will confront a disagreement over the impact of rising U.S. shale-oil production, with the most vulnerable countries arguing that the group should prepare for production cuts to prop up prices if they fall any lower.
The U.S. and Canada are set to produce about 21% more oil by 2018 than from this year, according to data from the International Energy Agency.
As U.S. production has grown, exports to the U.S. from three of OPEC’s African members, Nigeria, Algeria and Angola, have fallen to their lowest levels in decades, dropping 41% in 2012 from 2011, largely because of shale oil, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. In contrast, Saudi shipments of oil to the U.S. increased 14% in 2012. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said recently that the rise of unconventional energy sources doesn’t threaten his country’s dominant role in world oil supply because demand also is increasing.
From The Big Sky Business Journal’s “Hot Sheet”
Oilfield infrastructure demand in the next five years in North Dakota and Montana is expected to soar to several billion dollars based on an average yearly 225-rig drilling program that would double the production to 1.6 million barrels a day by 2017.
Justin Kringstad, director of the ND Pipeline authority estimates between $5 billion and $10 billion will be spent on natural gas pipelines, compressor stations and processing plants over the next decade. He estimates at least 30,000 miles of gathering lines are needed.
AP: Judge to settle oil leasing dispute in Montana
A federal judge will decide if almost 80,000 acres of oil and gas leases in Montana should be canceled after environmentalists sued over climate change worries.
And, from RigZone.com:
The Western Energy Alliance (WEA), American Petroleum Institute and Montana Petroleum Association hope to see the dismissal of a second lawsuit filed by environmental groups to halt Montana oil and gas leasing activity.
The environmental groups initially sued BLM in 2008 to halt oil and gas leasing in Montana, arguing that Montana BLM had not adequately analyzed the impact of oil and gas leasing on climate change, Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of Government & Public Affairs for WEA, told Rigzone.