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Dallas Fed Survey Finds Mixed Results

By Alex Mills

Even though crude oil and natural gas production in the U.S. is on a record-setting pace, a majority of the oil companies that participated in a recent survey see positive and negative economic factors impacting future business activity.

The Dallas Fed Energy Survey’s business activity index released this week surveyed 147 oil and gas companies during Sept. 13-21 that revealed the industry continues to witness rising operating costs, but crude oil and natural gas prices are beginning to reverse many negative opinions.

“Firms reported rising costs for an 11th consecutive quarter,” according to the Dallas Fed. “Among oilfield services firms, the input cost index remained positive but declined from 41.2 to 33.4. Among E&P firms, the finding and development costs index edged up from 14.9 to 18.3. Additionally, the lease operating expenses index was essentially unchanged at 25.6.”

While drilling activity has declined during the past year, crude oil prices are up.

Drilling activity is down 20% since September 2022, according to the Baker Hughes Rotary Rig Count. The U.S. rig count…

Texas Regulator Assesses More Than $1.5 Million in Fines Against Oil, Gas Operators: RRC

September 22, 2023 — The Railroad Commission of Texas assessed $1,632,973 in fines involving 417 enforcement dockets against operators and businesses at the Commissioners’ Conference on Tuesday.

The Commission has primary oversight and enforcement of the state’s oil and gas industry and intrastate pipeline safety.

Twenty-two dockets involved $639,355 in penalties after operators failed to appear at Commission enforcement proceedings….

Relationship Between Saudi Arabia and U.S. Becomes Cold

By Alex Mills

Saudi Arabia’s decision to reduce its oil supply has played a significant role in firming oil prices globally, and it has been in direct conflict with the wishes of President Joe Biden.

Biden has publicly stated – some even considered it a demand – that oil supplies should increase in an effort to soften prices. He even went to Saudi Arabia, a long-standing friend of the U.S. and a leading oil producing country, last year to make his case for lower oil prices.

However, his trip was a dismal failure and relations between the two countries continue to erode.

Saudi Arabia decreased – not increased – oil production twice this year: once in the spring for 1.6 million barrels per day and another 1 million barrels per day in the summer.

The disagreement over oil production is just one aspect of the changes in relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia….

Sage Geosystems’ Landmark Full-scale Commercial Pilot: Press Release

Sage Geosystems Inc. (Sage), a geothermal baseload and energy storage company, today announced groundbreaking results and data from their full-scale commercial pilot confirming the performance of its energy storage system that can provide short- or long-duration storage (EarthStore™). Further, the results show Sage’s technology is cost-competitive with lithium-ion batteries, pumped storage hydropower, and natural gas peaker plants. Sage will present their energy storage pilot results tomorrow at the PIVOT 2023 conference.

Landmark Results

Short- and Long-Duration Storage. The field results from 2022/2023 and extensive data analysis performed in 2023 confirmed Sage can provide 18 hours or more of storage capacity to effectively generate baseload energy 24/7 when paired with solar or wind generation. The field results also demonstrated that Sage can alternatively provide high-powered, short-duration power (load-following) during peak demand. Both storage intervals, long- and short-duration, enhance grid reliability with stable power output. In addition, the heat from the formation expands the fluid downhole and improves round trip efficiency (RTE).

The Sage data sets were obtained by pumping in and flowing back water from their well to gauge capacity and power duration. No induced seismicity was measured either during fracturing or subsequent pumping operations.

Sage’s energy storage design is ready to scale and is not geographically limited. In addition, it can be used in newly drilled wells and in existing oil and gas wells. The flexibility of their storage for both short- and long-durations can provide optimally timed flows to move energy from a time of day (or week or longer) where the demand is low to another time when the demand is high.

Cost Competitive LCOS (Levelized Cost of Storage). Of even more significance, the results showed, based on LCOS, that Sage’s energy storage can provide power at a cost that is lower than lithium-ion battery storage and traditional pumped storage hydro. It also is competitive with natural gas peaker plants, providing a cleaner option for providing ancillary services…

UT Austin Has New Energy Partnership, New Appointments for Michael Webber, Gene Shepherd

September 19, 2023 — The University of Texas at Austin is joining with the Cockrell School of Engineering to partner with the Kay Bailey Hutchison Energy Center to focus on energy security to form what the partnership calls “a preeminent center for studying and applying energy technology.

“Through the new partnership, the center will be able to expand its curriculum and offer a more robust variety of student programs and events.”

In addition, UT announced the appointment of Michael Webber, professor of mechanical engineering, as the center’s new engineering academic director. An internationally reknowned energy expert, Webber holds the John J. McKetta Centennial Energy Chair in Engineering and teaches and conducts research on the convergence of engineering, policy and commercialization.

Gene Shepherd, founder and CEO of VTX Energy Partners LLC, is the center’s new engineering co-chair. A member of the center’s executive council and of Cockrell’s Engineering Advisory …

Oil Stocks at ‘Uncomfortably Low Levels’

By Alex Mills

The Biden administration threw up another road block in the future of oil production in the U.S. this week when it canceled oil leases in the Arctic National Petroleum Reserve.

The cancellation follows a host of recently released negative proposals, rulemakings and actions aimed at making life more difficult for American oil and natural gas producers.

The Interior Department is canceling leases sold in a January 2021 auction of parcels in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s Coastal Plain that was mandated by Congress in 2017 to offset revenues lost because of a tax reduction.

Congress also passed legislation last year urging the approval of similar lease sale, the ConocoPhillips Willow project, in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

The Interior Department received criticism from lawmakers in Washington who said the administration has unfairly targeted future domestic oil production while criticizing domestic producers for rising prices.

Critics also point out that the administration released an estimated 180 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last year in an effort to manipulate crude oil markets downward. Oil prices did decline for a few months, but they are rising again approaching $90 per barrel. The Energy Information Administration forecast this week oil prices will continue to rise as supply will not be able to keep pace with demand.

The release of the oil from …

U.S. ethane production established a new record in April 2023: EIA

monthly U.S. ethane production

Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Supply Monthly

September 13, 2023 — From the US Energy Information Administration:

U.S. ethane production reached a new monthly record of 2.7 million barrels per day (b/d) in April 2023, continuing the upward trend that started in 2013, according to data from our Petroleum Supply Monthly. Increased natural gas and ethane production in the Permian Basin, which spans Texas and New Mexico, drove the national increase.

U.S. ethane production rose because of increased natural gas production. Ethane, which serves mainly as a petrochemical feedstock, is recovered along with other natural gas plant liquids (NGPLs) at natural gas processing plants as raw natural gas from wells is processed to meet natural gas pipeline specifications. Marketed natural gas production, in which we include both dry natural gas and NGPLs before they are separated out, also set records this year. For the first half of the year (1H23), U.S. marketed natural gas production averaged 111 billion cubic feet per day, a record high.

Ethane production in the Texas Inland region and New Mexico areas that include the Permian Basin accounted for 60% of U.S. ethane production during 1H23, slightly higher than the 58% share in 1H22. Ethane production in these two districts averaged 1.5 million b/d in 1H23, a 10.3% (0.1 million b/d) increase from 1H22. Ethane production during 1H23 in other U.S. refining districts…

UH Researchers Charting a Sustainable Course In Oceanic Carbon Capture

September 12, 2023 — As researchers around the world race against time to develop new strategies and technologies to fight climate change, a team of scientists at the University of Houston is exploring one possible way to directly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the environment: Negative emissions technologies (NETs).

Mim Rahimi, assistant professor of environmental engineering at UH’s Cullen College of Engineering is leading the development of an emerging NET called electrochemical direct ocean capture (eDOC), which helps the ocean cleanse itself of harmful carbon dioxide. The concept is detailed in a paper published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.

“Electrochemical direct ocean capture amplifies the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon, sidestepping the expensive sorption process typical in many current strategies,” Rahimi said. “The promise of eDOC is undeniable, but scaling it, optimizing costs and achieving peak efficiency remain challenges we’re actively addressing.”

Earth’s carbon dioxide is stored in the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere…

Texas Drilling Permit and Completion Statistics for August 2023

September 11, 2023 — The Railroad Commission of Texas issued a total of 820 original drilling permits in August 2023. The total includes 710 to drill new oil or gas wells, 8 to re-enter plugged wellbores and 92 for re-completions of existing wellbores.

The breakdown of well types for total original drilling permits in August 2023 is:  162 oil, 55 gas, 560 oil and gas, 30 injection, and 13 other permits.

In August 2023, Commission staff processed 876 oil, 264 gas and 399 injection completions for new drills, re-entries….

ERCOT Issues Wednesday Evening Conservation Appeal

September 6, 2023 — ERCOT has issued a Conservation Appeal for today, September 6, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Due to continued high temperatures, high demand, low wind, and declining solar power generation this evening, operating reserves are expected to be low into the evening hours.

This Conservation Appeal is part of ERCOT’s Texas Advisory and Notification System (TXANS), alerting the public of grid conditions.

ERCOT is not in emergency operations, and controlled outages are not needed at this time. Texans can monitor current and extended grid conditions, along with other dashboards, on the ERCOT website here….

Tellurian Has Agreement With Baker Hughes for Driftwood LNG Project Equipment

September 6, 2023 — Houston-based Tellurian Inc. announced Wednesday an agreement with Baker Hughes to supply eight main refrigerant compression packages for Phase 1 of the Driftwood LNG project.

The agreement secures a delivery schedule for the eight LM6000PF+ gas turbines, main refrigerant compressors and control units required for Phase 1.

Tellurian said the action increases Driftwood’s ability to “achieve…

Record Energy Production Forecast for U.S.

By Alex Mills

Production of crude oil, natural gas, wind, and solar are expected to set new records in the United States this year, and preliminary numbers indicate each sector is on course.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) at the Department of Energy released data this week showing U.S. crude oil production averaged 12.5 million barrels per day (b/d) from January to July compared to 11.9 million b/d during the same period last year, the previous record. Add in natural gas liquids for total field production of 18.7 million b/d compared to 17.5 in 2022.

Dry natural gas production from January to May rose to average 15,462 billion cubic feet surpassing the previous record of 14,494 billion cubic feet during the same period in 2022.

Crude oil and natural gas have been net exporters since 2019, meaning the U.S has exported more product than it has imported.

LNG exports from facilities based in Texas and Louisiana continue to grow.

Global liquefied natural gas (LNG) import capacity is set to expand by 16%, or 23 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), by the end of 2024 compared with 2022, according to EIA. In the first seven months of 2023, three countries—Germany, the Philippines, and Vietnam—began importing LNG for the first time. By the end of next year, EIA expects Antigua, Australia, Cyprus, and Nicaragua to start importing LNG.

“Over the past 10 years (2013–22), global LNG import capacity—called regasification capacity—has grown by 49% (45.8 Bcf/d) to reach 140.0 Bcf/d across 48 countries,” EIA stated. “By the end of 2024, we expect 55 countries to have LNG regasification terminals with a combined capacity of 163 Bcf/d.”

So far this year, fossil fuels account for 79% of the energy mix compared to 13% for renewables and 8% for nuclear.

Wind became the largest energy source in the renewable category in 2019 outpacing hydro-electric power, and it has been growing each year. Wind consumption in the U.S. during the first five months was 1,772 trillion British thermal units (Btu) compared to 962 trillion Btu for hydro-electric. Solar consumption was 826 trillion Btu compared to 743 during the same period in 2022….

API Accuses Biden Administration of Illegally Reducing Size of Offshore Lease Sale

August 29, 2023 — The American Petroleum Institute (API) is accusing the Joe Biden administration of using illegal means to target US energy workers, security and operators by cutting back the availability of acreage to be included in an upcoming offshore lease sale.

The administration has removed over 6 million acres that were planned to be part of offshore Lease Sale 261, despite the intentions of Congress in mandating the sale, the lobby group said on Tuesday.

“Congress’ directive is clear in the Inflation Reduction Act that the Department of the Interior must hold offshore Lease Sale 261 in the Gulf of Mexico in order to help…

2 Mile Radius Evacuated After Marathon Petroleum Naphtha Leak & Fire

Update Sunday: Crews have been working to suppress flareups as a fire at a Louisiana oil refinery continued to burn along the banks of the Mississippi River, while residents worried about health effects from fumes and smoke, AP reported

August 25, 2023 — The smoke plume is spectacular but Marathon Petroleum says a fire accompanying a naphtha spill at its refinery in Garyville LA has been confined by firefighters to company property about 35 miles northwest of New Orleans.

As a precaution, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for those residing or working within two miles of the refinery, WDSU-TV reported.

One nearby resident said the fire seemed to have started about 7:30 this morning.

No injuries have been reported; air monitoring is underway, but “no off-site impacts have been detected,” the company said.


Commercial Energy Use Increased in Texas & 7 Other States In 2021 Over Pre-pandemic Levels: EIA

percent change in commercial end-use energy consumption

Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, State Energy Data System

More energy was consumed in the commercial sectors of eight U.S. states in 2021 than in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The increases in commercial sector end-use energy consumption in those states bucked the national trend, in which total commercial energy use decreased by 3% in 2021 compared with 2019, according to our State Energy Data System.

Our commercial sector data include energy consumption by governments, businesses, and religious organizations. Most energy use…

The TER 2nd Quarter 2023 Texas Energy Companies Earnings Roundup

Compare results from nearly 100 Texas companies

This Texas Energy Report database is published each quarter and is updated as earnings are released throughout the reporting period.

Click on the name of the company for more information about the quarterly earnings report, usually from the company’s own press release



American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) reported second-quarter 2023 earnings, prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), of $521 million or $1.01 per share, compared with GAAP earnings of $525 million or $1.02 per share in second-quarter 2022. Operating earnings for second-quarter 2023 were $582 million or $1.13 per share, compared with operating earnings of $618 million or $1.20 per share in second-quarter 2022.

Operating earnings is a non-GAAP measure representing GAAP earnings excluding special items. The difference between 2023 GAAP and operating earnings for the quarter was largely due to the mark-to-market impact of economic hedging activities and recent legislation in Texas regarding recovery of certain employee incentives. A full reconciliation of GAAP earnings to operating earnings for the quarter and year-to-date is included in the tables at the end of this news release.



Amplify Energy

  • Achieved average total production of 21.2 Mboepd, up approximately 9% compared to the previous quarter
  • Generated net cash provided by operating activities of $4.9 million and net income of $9.8 million
  • Delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $17.6 million
  • Generated $6.1 million of free cash flow
  • Reaffirmed our full-year 2023 guidance
  • Entered into a new revolving credit facility with an initial borrowing base of $150 million and elected commitments of $135 million
  • As of July 31, 2023, net debt was $113 million, consisting of $120 million outstanding under the revolving credit facility and $7 million of cash on hand
  • Net Debt to Last Twelve Months (“LTM”) Adjusted EBITDA of 1.2x1
    (1)  Net debt as of July 31, 2023, and LTM Adjusted EBITDA as of the second quarter of 2023




Reported second-quarter 2023 adjusted earnings of 85 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 66 cents. The outperformance primarily reflects lower operating expenses and strong production.

However, the bottom line dropped from the year-ago adjusted figure of $2.37 due to significantly lower oil prices.

Revenues of $2 billion missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.8 billion and were down 35.7% from the year-ago quarter’s sales.



Archrock Inc.

  • Revenue for the second quarter of 2023 was $247.5 million compared to $215.8 million in the second quarter of 2022.
  • Net income for the second quarter of 2023 was $24.7 million compared to $16.7 million in the second quarter of 2022.
  • Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP measure defined below) for the second quarter of 2023 was $112.8 million compared to $99.5 million in the second quarter of 2022.
  • Declared a quarterly dividend of $0.155 per common share for the second quarter of 2023, an increase of 3.3% compared to the prior quarter, resulting in dividend coverage of 2.1x.
  • Repurchased 222,250 common shares at an average price of $9.33 per share for an aggregate of $2.1 million.
  • Achieved record period-end utilization of 95% for the second quarter of 2023 compared to 87% in the second quarter of 2022.
  • Raised 2023 Adjusted EBITDA guidance to a…

RRC Submits Comments on Proposed EPA Rules that Could Stifle Reliable Energy to Protect Texans

August 15 — The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) submitted joint comments opposing the EPA’s proposed rule that would add regulations to fossil fuel-fired electric generating units in attempts to decrease carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The likely outcome of this rule could result in the elimination of coal-fired units and a reduced ability to operate natural-gas fired power plants, which are critical for electricity supply in a state experiencing a booming population like Texas.

The comments also detail the unrealistic assumptions and artificially high metrics EPA used to estimate the climate benefits of the rule. Additionally, the supplemental costs involved, along with the additional infrastructure that would be necessary to implement the proposed requirements, would impose unreasonable costs in comparison to the anticipated benefits, all while placing reliable fuel supply for the electric…

RRC Accepting Applications for Texas Hydrogen Production Council Membership

August 14, 2023 — The Railroad Commission of Texas is accepting applications for membership on the Texas Hydrogen Production Policy Council (Council), which was created in House Bill 2847 passed by the 88th Legislature (Regular Session). The deadline to submit applications is Tuesday, September 5, 2023.

The Council’s duties include, but are not limited to:

  • studying the development of hydrogen industries in Texas;
  • monitoring regional efforts for the application and development of a regional clean hydrogen hub authorized under the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act;
  • developing a state plan for hydrogen production oversight by the RRC; and
  • making recommendations to the Legislature on legislative changes needed for the oversight and regulation of production, pipeline transportation, and storage of hydrogen.

The bill requires the RRC to appoint no more than 11 members to the Council, with at least three, but not more than five, representatives from the hydrogen industry. The chair of the Council will be the Chairman of the RRC or…