News from the oil patch, may 23 electricity videos for students

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Wichita oil man Wayne Woolsey and his wife Kay will give $10 million to Wichita State University to build a new home for the Barton School of Business, and another $2 million to support field camps and other programs in Petroleum Geology. The WSU Foundation says this is the single largest cash donation in university history. The Board of Regents approved naming the new building “Wayne and Kay Woolsey Hall.”

In its weekly rig count, Baker Hughes noted three more active rigs in New Mexico, two more in Texas, but noted that losses elsewhere held the total nationwide to 1,046, up one gas rig. Independent Oil & Gas Service reports the count was unchanged in eastern Kansas with 16 active rigs, and 25 active oil and gas drilling rigs west of Wichita, down one. Drilling is underway at one site in Russell County. Operators were moving in completion tools to five leases in Barton County and six in Ellis County.

Independent Oil & Gas Service reported just six new well completions across Kansas, three east and three west of Wichita, including one dry hole in Barton County, and one completion about to make the list in Ellis County. So far this year, operators in Kansas have reported 575 newly-completed wells.

With the explosive growth in the Permian Basin comes a huge windfall for the State of New Mexico. Land leases to the oil and gas industry generated more state income over the last year than in the last six. According to The Carlsbad Current Argus, this year’s oil and gas lease sales on State Trust land surpassed the one-year record in May. Fiscal year 2018 still has one monthly lease sale to go, and has already generated a record $102.2 million total for state coffers, according to the newspaper.

North Dakota’s top energy regulator blames the weather for a monthly drop in the state’s crude oil production to 1.16 million barrels per day in March. Director Lynn Helms of the Department of Natural Resources also said the state’s natural-gas flaring rate was unchanged from February to March: 258 million cubic feet per day of natural gas burned off at oil well sites. That’s an 89% capture percentage, which meets the current target. Lawmakers have established goals and offered incentives to increase the capture rates and reduce flaring in North Dakota.

The International Energy Agency opened discussions with major oil-producing nations about collapsing output from Venezuela, home to the world’s biggest petroleum reserves. President Nicolas Maduro’s victory in widely-criticized elections brought on more U.S. sanctions against the nation’s already-crippled energy industry. On Friday, two days before the Venezuelan election, the administration announced sanctions against a powerful governing party politician and his family. The Treasury Department also for the first time formally accused President Maduro of profiting from illegal narcotics shipments. And on Monday, the administration announced an executive order banning U.S. citizens from being involved in the sales of that country’s accounts receivables related to oil and other assets.

If European nations are to continue buying oil from Iran, they’ll need to consider how they’ll insure those oil tankers. By November, U.S. sanctions will likely prevent members of the International Group from insuring the global tanker fleet if they’re hauling cargo to or from Iran. In the past, some carriers and countries have set up their own sovereign insurance funds to cover shipments that run afoul of sanctions.

The production-cut deal between OPEC and its allies should hold in its current form until December 2018, but one analyst suggests the risk of compliance slippage has materially increased with our decision to withdraw from the nuclear accord with Iran. Ending sanctions waivers could help ease the addition of new cartel production next year, according to the Web site Rig Zone, citing analysis from BMI Research.

Russia’s Finance Ministry is predicting the country will post a budget surplus in 2018 for the first time in seven years, thanks to the oil-price rally and a five fold increase in oil and gas revenues. Oil and gas exports account for around 40 percent of Russia’s federal budget revenues.

A dramatic increase in natural gas production helped the US become a net exporter last year. Forbes reports US natural gas exports nearly quadrupled to almost 1.94 billion cubic feet per day. More than half of that went to Mexico, South Korea and China.

Bloomberg reports Europe will vie with China for U.S. Liquefied Natural Gas, as new export facilities come online here. Imports from the two are roughly equal now. But China is trying to replace its coal consumption, and Europe is hoping to replace its own declining domestic gas production. European imports climbed 20% last year, while China’s consumption jumped 42%.