Energy Exports: Slow and Steady will Win the Race


The Commerce Department’s recent decision to allow two U.S.-based companies to export processed condensate is seen by some as a precursor to a complete overhaul of the crude oil export ban that has been in place for decades.
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Energy Realities


It is a reality that our world continues to demand and use more and more resources. Global population has increased to 7 billion with projections of 9 billion in just a few years. We have learned that economic and social stability relies on having a sufficient supply of at least three critically important resources: food, water and energy. Shortage of even one of these and a country is subject to buying (importing) on the open market. Can anyone imagine the U.S. having to buy food and/or water? But yet, we have become all to accustomed to being a nation that buys energy to help meet our expectations as a world economic leader and powerful international ally.
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Taking the “Dirty” Out of Oil Spills


Spills and leaching are unfortunate realities for the oil and gas industry. Some estimates put the volume of crude oil spilled per year in the hundreds of millions of gallons. Most of this spilled oil is not the result of large events, but is the sum of many small events.   Advances in technology, of course, have lessened the frequency, scale, and overall impact of spills, but we still have much room for improvement.
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Integration Central to Improving Capital Efficiency in Shale Operations


Shale Markets Present a Key Financial Challenge

Shale gas production has positively transformed the US natural gas supply markets over the past decade. Billions of dollars in capital continue to be deployed by oil majors to tap domestic shale resources. The success has spawned some challenges as well – A supply glut has led to depressed natural gas prices while the oilfield services (OFS) market, limited on materials (e.g. rigs) and skilled labor, remains resilient. Deployed capital demands financial returns and prevailing “stagflation” type conditions must be overcome to achieve it.
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When did Free Money get so Damn Expensive?


One of the many consequences of the 2008 financial crisis is the unprecedented intervention by the Fed and the Treasury resulting in historically low interest rates on government debt. By cutting interest rates to near zero, both the ECB and the Fed have created a huge pool of liquidity that has benefitted borrowers at the top of the food chain but has done little for smaller enterprises that now can only borrow at exceptionally high rates. The rates on small enterprise loans are now routinely in the mid-teens, with a range from 13 to 18 percent quite common. In addition to high interest, it is now commonplace for lenders to demand cashless warrants, royalties, and first position security interests. Even with these onerous terms, it is still difficult to access funds since most lenders are unwilling to lend below $25 million. In the energy sector, many are unwilling to consider anything below $50 million. Smaller lending entities have grown dramatically over the past three to five years and now find themselves competing for larger loans from a short list of potential borrowers. Oil and gas companies in the Niobrara, Permian Basin, Eagleford and Bakkan have been net beneficiaries, while many small and mid-sized conventional players have been left out in the cold.
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