Monday, July 2, 2012

Natural Gas Liquids: Ethane Prices Collapse (what do the E&P's do now?) CHK; RRC; EOG; DVN

So where does Chesapeake go to fill their their cash-flow shortfall?
From Energy Bulletin:
According to the Energy Information Administration, in March the United States produced a "total oil supply" of 10.8 million barrels per day, which was 2.1 mb/d more than in January 2005. But if you just rely on those aggregate numbers, you'll miss some very important trends.

The EIA's definition of total oil supply represents the sum of a number of different components. The core is field production of crude oil and lease condensates, the latter being hydrocarbons that are a gas at reservoir temperatures and pressures but that can be separated into liquids at wellhead surface facilities. This core production is represented by the blue region in the graph below. Another category is the refinery processing gain, which results from the fact that the refined products occupy a larger volume than the original crude oil. These two components represented about 3/4 of the total in 2005, but account for only 40% of the 2.1 mb/d increase in the U.S. total supply figure since 2005. A bigger factor in the U.S. increase since 2005 has been natural gas plant liquids (hydrocarbons with a higher energy content than methane which can be separated out from methane at natural gas processing facilities) and other liquids (chiefly biofuels)....MUCH MORE
...No major companies have stopped drilling for natural-gas liquids altogether, but Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY) Chief Executive Stephen Chazen recently warned that the drop in prices was "troubling" and approaching levels where further production at those rates may not be economically viable.

"If the current low NGL prices continue, cutbacks in liquids-rich wells or gas-rich wells may be necessary," Mr. Chazen said in a call last month.

Price of ethane. Source: