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IADD June LuncheonStaying Ahead of the Curve

 HOUSTON — Pumping a barrel of oil out of the Eagle Ford Shale could get $10 to $15 cheaper by summer 2016 as service companies cut costs and operators tune up their wells, analysts say.

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Saudi Arabia expanded its share of China’s oil market last month, outpacing rival producers as they compete to meet record demand from the world’s biggest energy consumer.

China’s imports from the Middle East producer jumped 37 percent from a year earlier to the highest level since July 2013, according to customs data. The world’s biggest crude exporter was the No. 1 supplier to the Asian nation, accounting for 17.4 percent of its overseas purchases, up from 15.1 percent in March. The next three largest sellers — Russia, Iran and Angola — lost market share. 

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U.S. Rig Count is down 3 rigs from last week to 885, with oil rigs down 1 to 659, gas rigs down 1 to 222, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 4.

U.S. Rig Count is down 972 rigs from last year at 1857, with oil rigs down 869, gas rigs down 103, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 4.

The U.S. Offshore rig count is 29, down 5 rigs from last week, and down 31 rigs year over year. 

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 With petroleum prices down 50 percent over the past year, many analysts and pundits are predicting the end of America’s shale oil boom. Recent headlines include: “Oil Price Fall Forces North Dakota to Consider Austerity” (New York Times); “Oil Price Drop Hurts Spending on Business Investments” (Wall Street Journal); “The American Oil Boom Won’t Last Long at $65 per Barrel” (Bloomberg Business); and “The Shale Oil Revolution Is in Danger” (Fortune).

High prices, shale skeptics argue, created a bubble of activity in unsustainably expensive shale fields. As shale-related businesses contract, consolidate, and adjust to the new price regime, a major shale bust is inevitable, they add, with ghost towns littering idle fields from Texas to North Dakota.

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Apache Corp. (APA) is reloaded and ready for what lies ahead, said Faron Thibodeaux, vice president of the company's Permian Basin region.

The Houston company projects its 2015 capex in North America will be about $2.1- to $2.3 billion with "a lion’s share" for the Permian Basin, Thibodeaux told attendees at Hart Energy's DUG Permian conference on May 20.

"We’re just not emphasizing the Permian at Apache, we’ve emphasized it and will continue to grow it in the future," he said.

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 IVAN MARTEN: The low-oil-price environment that has prevailed in recent months has presented significant short-term challenges, including squeezed margins and collapsing activity levels, to producers of U.S. shale oil. We believe, however, that an extended period of low oil prices might actually help reset the industry, in terms of the characteristics and pace of its growth, for the better and place it on a more sustainable development path for the medium term. We see four reasons to believe that this could be the case.

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HOUSTON – Adapting the technology that powered the shale oil boom in Texas to the deserts of Saudi Arabia and elsewhere could produce 141 billion barrels of crude, research firm IHS said Thursday.

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, alongside other technological breakthroughs in recent years, could pump that much oil out of 170 older, largely unproductive fields around the world, from the Middle East to Latin America to Russia. 

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The Great Crew Change used to be a phenomenon that everyone in the oil and gas industry could easily describe. When it was referenced, people knew it referred to the large age gap in the oil & gas workforce, where most engineers and geoscientists were either over 55 or under 35. Seems simple enough, right? 

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U.S. Rig Count is down 6 rigs from last week to 888, with oil rigs down 8 to 660, gas rigs up 2 to 223, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 5.

U.S. Rig Count is down 973 rigs from last year at 1861, with oil rigs down 871, gas rigs down 103, and miscellaneous rigs up 1. 

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The price of U.S. crude oil continued to rise to more than $61 a barrel on Wednesday morning after a federal report showed that American oil inventories dipped again last week.

U.S. crude inventories declined by 2.2 million barrels from the week prior, which had seen a dip of nearly 4 million barrels. U.S. refinery inputs last week also decreased an average of 379,000 barrels a day from the previous week, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration update. Refineries operated at more than 91 percent capacity last week.

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