Nevertheless, our outlook has called for natural gas to remain volatile but range-bound, as spikes toward $3 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) will sow the seeds of their destruction by incentivizing production growth and prompt electric utilities to switch from gas to coal. Conversely, moves below $2 per mmBtu will encourage demand and prompt exploration and production companies to slow their drilling and completion activity.
Every earnings season, companies in the oil-field services industry highlight emerging technologies that can help upstream operators to improve their well productivity, boost operational efficiency and reduce per-barrel production costs. The current trends and new techniques are perhaps more important than ever given current prices.
The breakdown in oil prices dominated financial headlines over the past week. WTI had ranged between $50.50 and $51.50 per barrel for much of 2017 until the commodity tumbled through this floor, the psychologically important price of $50 per barrel and the 200-day moving average of $48.67 per barrel. What happened?
US propane production from gas-processing plants surged 15.6 percent last year to 823 million barrels, a new record.
And this explosive growth looks set to continue over the next three years. The Energy Information Administration’s most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook implies that propane output from US gas-processing plants will grow 21.8 percent over the next three years and exceed 1 billion barrels in 2016.
Mergers are the past, present and future of the US utility industry. Since the days of Bell and Edison, heat, water, electricity and communication companies have found that they can lower costs and improve operational efficiency by adding scale.
Rising domestic energy production gives the US a tremendous competitive advantage over developed economies such as Germany and Japan, as well as rapidly growing emerging markets such as China and India.
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