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10 Big Stories in Oil & Gas – 1H 2015 Wrap-Up


As we approach the midpoint of 2015, I thought it would be a good exercise to revisit some of the top oil & gas stories of the year so far, and see how the industry is faring.

Big on the Blog

Traffic is usually the big data point on the web. As much as I think my post Oil Futures: Reducing Risk in a Volatile Market is the best thing since sliced bread (and many people do read it – and spend time doing so), traffic is the easiest data point to grok. Here are a few of the largest traffic generators on our blog.

  1. The biggest post on the blog was the first quarterly examination of Oilfield Service providers plans: Halliburton, Baker Hughes and the Short Term Outlook. I tried at the time to unpack and explore some of the statements they were making about the technology they would rely on to help them survive the daunting 30% cost reduction most operators were demanding, as well as the overall slow-down in fracking caused by the accumulation of Drilled/Uncompleted wells. Since then there have been a few more rounds of layoffs, although with some smaller operators deciding that $60 oil is worth gearing back up, we should see some more activity for OFS soon. The second quarter post, Halliburton and Schlumberger – Looking Ahead, continued where that post left of, with additional discussion about Drilled but Uncompleted (DUC) wells and the potential impact that could have when oil price reaches whatever target operators have in mind.

50 barrel of oil lead oil & gas

    1. In the second slot popularity wise is Len Tesoro’s think-piece 50 Dollars for a Barrel of Oil – So What Now? In the piece he named a few highly levered operators that might be targeted for M&A, and they haven’t been acquired yet, but industry is still speculating that a period of M&A is waiting in the wings.
    2. The Big Crew Change infographic post from January  is predictably amongst our top trafficked posts. The issue is still out there of course, but technology and training are getting better all the time.


Big on the top 10

Folks who subscribe to the Drillinginfo blog also receive a weekly top 10 email. Mostly the focus is on a local play-by-play level, but of course – the bigger articles get more attention, and here’s a few of the hot button topics amongst top 10 readers.

      1. Paul Burka’s Texas Monthly piece from January Three Reasons Not to Panic About Oil Prices holds true today.
      2. Schlumberger CEO Paul Kibsgaard, at the Howard Weil Energy Conference said ‘Oil Price Decline Not Due To Overcapacity.’ Instead, he indicates it’s all about market share.
      3. It’s always good to take the opportunity to regather your forces and refocus your activity; from the WSJ: Four Reasons Low Oil Prices Actually Help U.S. Shale Producers.
      4. This fantastic piece from Jim Krane and Mark Agerton at the Baker Institute in Foreign Affairs proved as interesting to you all as it was to us — The U.S. Shale Boom Takes a Break: Life as the World’s Swing Producer.

Personal favorite oil & gas stories

      1. Welcome To Cowboyistan: Fracking King Harold Hamm’s Plan For U.S. Domination Of Global Oil. Bold and audacious. As Big Data, Manufacturing Efficiencies, and Bankers’ Bottom lines take over the industry, it’s important to remember that big ideas fuel innovation and progress. (By the time this posts, I will have just watched Harold deliver a plenary keynote at the EIA conference in Washington DC!)
      2. The Shell Game: Is China’s Smog Problem the Hidden Ball? In which I figure it all out, and share it with you.royal dutch shell oil & gas
      3. The Drillinginfo Index launched. A critical tool for tracking rig activity, uncovering changes in drilling and production, and how the determined trends could affect various U.S. markets, the Drillinginfo Index empowers investors, analysts, business owners, operators, policy makers, state and county authorities with the most up-to-date insights about U.S. E&P new drilling operations – greatly enhancing short-term forecasting models.

Your Turn

What do you think? What is your big news story for the first half of 2015? Leave a comment below.

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Eric Roach

Eric Roach is the editor of Drillinginfo's blog, which was selected as the Top Oil & Gas Industry Blog based on visibility, engagement and relevance. He also prepares a weekly newsletter of top industry news for blog subscribers, and would be grateful if you would subscribe and tell your friends. (There's a box on the upper right of the page where you can subscribe).