Media Coverage of UTEW17

“Innovation In The Texas Oilfield: Cutting Use Of Fresh Water In Fracking Operations”

NPR’s Texas Standard
Lorne Matalon
March 13, 2017

“Third Annual UT Energy Week Explores New Technologies, Emerging Trends, Research Findings”

UT Austin press release
Feb. 7, 2017
Story focused on UTEW in general

“Renewables pose challenges for utilities, oil and gas industry”

San Antonio Express-News
Rye Druzin
Feb. 8, 2017

“3rd annual UT Energy Week sheds light on the future of the field”

Natalie Ferrari
Feb. 8, 2017

“Longhorn Energy Club connects UT to the energy sector”

Daily Texan
Freya Preimesberger
Feb. 9, 2017

“UT Energy Week features open mic on Trump’s energy policy”

Daily Texan
Laura Zhang
Feb. 9, 2017

“UT Energy Week holds panel, talks power outages”

Daily Texan
Annie Zhang
Feb. 9, 2017

“Energy companies prepare for end of oil’s monopoly over transportation”

Houston Chronicle
Chris Tomlinson
Feb. 9, 2017

“UT Concludes Successful Energy Week Conference”

Texas Electric News
Margarita Fournier
Feb. 13, 2016
Story focused on UTEW in general

“LNG exports seen balancing US supply, demand”

Platts S&P Global / Gas Daily*
Harry Weber
Feb. 8, 2017

* LNG exports seen balancing US supply, demand

By Harry Weber

Platts S&P Global / Gas Daily
Feb. 8, 2017

US exporters of LNG will be among the largest consumers of the robust shale output that is expected over the next few years, helping balance supply and demand as players focus more than ever before on controlling costs, industry executives and economists said Tuesday.

That dynamic is being driven by the sheer volume of supply that can produced domestically fairly cheaply thanks to unconventional drilling in shale basins, Corey Grindal, vice president of supply at Cheniere Energy, said during a presentation at an energy conference at the University of Texas in Austin.

“When you start breaking down demand in the US, other than just building power plants out the wazoo to burn natural gas, there’s no way to consume all that gas that’s going to be produced,” Grindal said.

Houston-based Cheniere became the first US exporter of LNG produced from shale gas when it launched its initial cargo in February 2016. It has now shipped 76 cargoes totaling 242.9 Bcf of gas, with an average volume of 3.19 Bcf, data compiled by Platts Analytics’ Bentek Energy show. More than a dozen other developers are currently building or planning LNG export terminals along the Gulf, Atlantic and Pacific coasts. That development, if it fully comes to fruition, would mean a consistent need for feedgas for years to come.

Underserved basins getting attention

While much of the focus in recent US gas exploration has been in only a handful of basins, including the Permian in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico and the Marcellus in the Northeast, independent exploration firms are supporting output gains by seizing opportunities in less active plays such as the Piceance in Colorado. Among those firms: Denver-based Ursa Resources and Houston-based Phoenix Natural Resources, which both have been raising money to venture into underserved production areas.

Last July, at a time when drilling activity in the Piceance Basin had slowed to a crawl, Ursa, which is backed by a private equity commitment from Denham Capital, announced plans to drill more than 50 wells in the play. The key to making such investments work is cutting drilling costs and using new technologies to improve efficiency, CEO Steve Skinner said at the conference. Now, Ursa is on a “pathway to triple production over the next two years,” Skinner said.

Phoenix Natural Resources also sees more potential from lifting shale gas from plays that have not gotten as much attention, CEO Russell Parker said.

“It comes down to a fundamental understanding of the rock and then being flexible in what you do,” Parker said at the conference. “The amount of dollars chasing properties right now is gargantuan.”

Cost control in focus for producers

At the same time, producers have become much more focused on controlling spending, amid the volatility in commodity prices in recent years. That has been especially true with the growth of unconventional drilling, which includes shale output.

“Everything is about cost of supply,” said Marianne Kah, chief economist at ConocoPhillips. “We only do the things that survive at a very low cost, or break even at a very low cost.”

Regulatory considerations are also driving the gas industry moves. In particular, coal-to-gas switching should continue even if President Donald Trump relaxes regulations to make coal more attractive, because gas is expected to remain in the $2-$4/MMBtu range over the near- to medium-term, said Michael Webber, deputy director of the UT Energy Institute. That should boost production growth further.

“Natural gas is cheap and easy,” Webber said. “I don’t see natural gas prices rising dramatically the next few years.”

The one wild card that could change that dynamic, especially for exports of natural gas via pipeline to Mexico and LNG via tankers to Europe and Asia, are tariffs, Webber said.

“If we start slapping tariffs on people, they will impose tariffs on us,” he said.