Energy

Sunday, 06/18/2017

If you missed the Golden State Warriors’ NBA Championship win last week, or an unbelievable putt at the U.S. Open this weekend you can always see it on ESPN’s SportsCenter. But what if you missed the most recent RBN School of Energy? Well, you’re in luck — we’re now offering 11 hours of video from SOE, which unlike other natural gas, crude oil or NGL conferences covers all three markets with hands-on course work. In each of the seven streaming-video modules, we drill down on an important aspect of the markets, explain how it works and provide spreadsheet models accompanied with instructional videos. Fair warning: Today’s blog is an unabashed advertorial.

Monday, 10/24/2016

For the past month, WTI crude oil prices have averaged $49/bbl, trading within a relatively narrow $7/bbl range. Two years ago, this price would have been devastating for producers, but not so in late 2016.  The crude directed rig count is up by 127 since May, +11 just last week. U.S. crude production is down about 1.2 MMb/d since April 2015, but over the past three months has stabilized at 8.5 MMb/d. On the gas side, since the second quarter of 2016 a combination of lower natural gas production and higher demand (from the power, industrial and export sectors) has worked off a big inventory surplus. Consequently, U.S. natural gas prices are up more than 70% since March, even considering the big price drop over the past week. NGL prices are at the highest value relative to crude for any October since 2012. Is this it?  Is this what a Shale Era recovery looks like?  In today’s blog, we consider a possible road map for the next couple of years. Warning, we have also included a short infomercial for RBN’s School of Energy next week in Houston.

Monday, 08/29/2016

U.S. crude oil prices languish below $50/bbl, but the oil-directed rig count is up by 90, an increase of almost 30% over the past 12 weeks.   Natural gas production is down less than 1% from the all-time high hit back in February even though the price of natural gas remains below $3/MMbtu.  The price spread between U.S. propane and international markets is far below a level that should justify exports, but LPG exports to overseas markets continue at astronomical levels –– approaching 700 Mb/d, most of which is propane. What’s wrong with this picture?  Why does it seem that relationships between energy production, demand and prices have broken down, or at least have undergone some fundamental shift?  That is what our upcoming School of Energy Fall 2016 is all about.    Warning: Today’s blog includes a commercial for our upcoming Houston conference, scheduled for November 2 and 3 at The Houstonian Hotel.

Monday, 06/13/2016

Crude oil and natural gas prices are back from the abyss, but does that mean the long awaited recovery is underway?  Maybe so.  But maybe not.  Energy markets are fickle, driven by a chain of interactions where one market event triggers another, and then another.  Rusty Braziel’s best-selling book, The Domino Effect, explores 30 such market events, which are represented by dominoes – hence the title of the book.  More dominoes are falling now and still more will fall in years to come.  This book explains the interconnectedness of energy markets through an analysis of energy market fundamentals: prices, flows, infrastructure, value, and economics. And good news for fans of audio books: The Domino Effect is now available on Amazon in Audible format.   Today’s blog, an advertorial for the audio book, highlights what The Domino Effect has to say about what’s going on now.

Monday, 11/09/2015

Did you miss our School of Energy a few weeks back in Houston? Not a problem! The entire School of Energy conference is now available online in streaming video format. The conference video, presentation slides and spreadsheet models are available for purchase as individual Modules or as a full conference package. It’s the next best thing to being there!  School of Energy is unlike other natural gas, NGL or crude oil conferences.  It combines all three!  And the curriculum includes a comprehensive analysis of current energy markets and in-depth instruction on how to use RBN spreadsheet models covering everything from production economics to gas processing.  We walk through key developments for each of the three hydrocarbons including the increasingly important links between them.  Fair warning – today’s blog is a blatant advertorial. 

Tuesday, 10/13/2015

In a $38 Billion transaction announced September 28, 2015, Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) agreed to gobble up The Williams Companies in a deal expected to close during the first half of 2016. The combination of these two companies creates a U.S. midstream giant that will own infrastructure including gas pipelines carrying as much as 45% of U.S. Lower 48 dry gas production, processing capacity producing16% of domestic natural gas liquids (NGL’s) and crude oil pipelines in the Permian, Eagle Ford and Bakken. Today we take a look at the liquids infrastructure assets in this giant deal and provide a download of RBN’s maps of the infrastructure involved.

Wednesday, 10/07/2015

For nearly two months -- Since late July -- WTI crude oil prices have averaged $45/bbl, never once closing above the $50/bbl mark.  Over the same period, the natural gas price at Henry Hub has averaged $2.70/MMbtu and now languishes $.20/MMbtu lower.  Is this a time to be wallowing in misery and self-pity?  Absolutely not!!  This is the time for midstreamers and producers to reposition their businesses with a laser-like focus on the opportunities that low prices have served up.  There are bargains out there in the oil (and gas) patch.  If producers are in the right locations, with drilling costs much lower than last year, there is good money to be made.  And likewise, opportunities abound for midstreamers to pick up assets at very attractive prices to get that production to market.  But to execute such a strategy, you must have a rock-solid understanding of what is really going on in today’s markets for crude oil, NGLs and natural gas.  Our goal for the upcoming State of the Energy Markets Conference scheduled for October 28, 2015 in Denver, CO is just exactly that - to give you a rock-solid market knowledge based on hard data and thorough analysis.  Today’s blog is an advertorial for the conference.

Sunday, 09/20/2015

Another round of big changes are coming to the markets for natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and crude oil. The surging production growth that has characterized these markets has slowed and in some basins is starting to fall as the mass exodus of drilling rigs begins to take its toll on shale production.  But what about all that infrastructure that has been and continues to be built?  Billions of dollars are going into pipelines, processing plants, petrochemical plants, terminals, storage, etc. based on a much higher production growth scenario than now seems likely.  Where are the opportunities in this new energy market reality? The answer depends on a discernable pattern of events tied to production volumes, infrastructure capacity, commodity flows and project expenditures. Those are the themes of our latest State of the Energy Markets Conference scheduled for October 28, 2015 in Denver, CO as well as the subject of today’s blog – also an advertorial for the conference.

Tuesday, 08/25/2015

There are only three more days to take advantage of the Early Bird Rate for RBN’s next School of Energy, and there are three more reasons to attend!  We have finalized the agenda for the first day we are calling Pre-School International Energy Day, with three additional experts joining us to discuss international destination markets for U.S. crude oil, gas, and NGLs, including the regulatory issues involved and the latest developments concerning Federal approval of full-blown crude oil exports.  The full three day School of Energy is scheduled for September 28, 29 and 30.  As we’ve said many times before, this is nothing like other conferences! The course work is hands-on. In each module we’ll drill down on an important aspect of the market, explain how it works, download a spreadsheet model and learn how to use it.   Be forewarned - today’s blog is a commercial for our upcoming Houston conference.

Wednesday, 08/05/2015

It’s that time again!   Vacation is behind us and it’s time to gather the school supplies and get ready for class.  Of course, we are not talking about high school or college.  If you want to know about energy markets, the campus is the Houstonian in Houston and the class is RBN’s School of Energy, scheduled for September 28, 29 and 30.  This is nothing like other natural gas, crude oil or NGL conferences! The course work is hands-on. In each module we’ll drill down on an important aspect of the market, explain how it works, download a spreadsheet model and learn how to use it. You walk out the door with the how-to Powerpoints and the Excel models on your hard drive.  Warning today’s blog is a blatant commercial for our upcoming Houston conference.    But we hope you will read on, because we have a very special addition this time – a full day dedicated to the export markets. 

Thursday, 07/02/2015

Big changes are coming to the markets for natural gas, NGLs and crude oil. Even though production volumes are holding their own – despite 60% fewer rigs running, the days of month-after-month record increases in production are behind us, at least for a while.  But what about all that infrastructure that has been and continues to be built?  Billions of dollars are going into pipelines, processing plants, petrochemical plants, terminals, storage, etc. based on a much higher production growth scenario than now looks likely.  So what happens next?  That issue is the theme of a new RBN conference scheduled for July 23rd in New York City called State of the Energy Markets, and is the subject of today’s blog – also an advertorial for the conference.

Sunday, 06/07/2015

Expectations for continuing rampant production growth for natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs) and crude oil have evaporated in the heat of the price melt-down. Volumes may be holding their own, even with 60% less rigs running, but the days of month-after-month record increases in production are behind us, at least for a while. But what about all that infrastructure that has been and continues to be built? Billions of dollars are going into pipelines, processing plants, petrochemical plants, terminals, storage, etc. based on a much higher production growth scenario than now looks likely. So what happens next? That issue is the theme of a new RBN conference scheduled for July 23rd in New York City called State of the Energy Markets, and is the subject of today’s blog – also an advertorial for the conference.

Sunday, 05/31/2015

Did you miss our School of Energy this past March in Calgary?   Not a problem!  We videoed the whole conference and today we are making School of Energy available online, in streaming video format.  The conference video, presentation slides and spreadsheet models are available in segments, or as a full conference package.

Thursday, 05/28/2015

In just a few months’ time, it’s become easier to get regulatory approval to use unmanned aerial systems—more commonly known as drones—and the number of ways drones can be employed by the oil and gas sector has grown substantially. In fact, drones are getting involved in just about everything: geologic mapping, site surveying, methane detection, pipeline inspection—you name it. Today, we explore how drone use in the energy sector is quickly morphing from geeky to mainstream.

Sunday, 01/04/2015

Welcome to 2015!  No, the last few months of 2014 were not a dream – or nightmare, depending on your perspective.  Crude oil prices really did come crashing to earth, sucking down NGL prices in the process.  And natural gas prices followed, falling to $3/MMbtu last week.  Price relationships are out the window, as are drilling budgets.  Over the next few months, these markets will be going through some of the most dynamic changes in years, with unpredictable consequences.  Unpredictable?  Nah.  No mere market turmoil will dissuade RBN from sticking our collective necks out a third year in a row to peer once more into the crystal ball.   Today we wrap up RBNs Top Ten Energy Prognostications for 2015 – Year of the Goat – #5 to #1.