Update From Texas


...Between Power Outages; 2.16.20




There are hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil production per day shut-in all across Texas and its getting worse by the minute. Remember, almost all oil wells make some form of water and associated gas and neither of those by-products fair well when it gets as cold as it has been in Texas the past week. Stuff freezes, then breaks; we do not design surface facilities with below zero temperatures in mind. Its going to take many, many weeks for production to come back on line and be able to be processed downstream.

Texas is a conservative Republican state, as I am a conservative Republican, and everyone, sadly, tends to vote their jobs; few people IN the oil business can think past next week anymore with regard to conservation measures and long term reservoir management. So, the oil and gas industry elects people who feel the same way they do and its always balls to the wall; get it all, now, while the gettin' is good. Problems get dealt with after they occur.


Case in point? Remember two years ago when the three, elected Railroad Commissioners voted against proration measures to reduce output and raise prices...in the name of free enterprise. Prices got worse, not better, and only partially because of COVID we now find the Texas shale oil sector in the worse financial shape its ever been. If it were not for OPEC + taking oil off the world market to control the price, Texas would be giving its oil resources away, once again.

Regulatory oversight, or under-sight, brings a bad subject; gas flaring. The past few days if you wanted to be able to see in the dark, and stay warm in Texas the very best place you could have been was under one of thousands of gas flares in the Eagle Ford shale play or in the Permian Basin. Over a BCF of gas per day has been wasted, pissed off like it was nothing, in these two shale plays for years now. I don't believe I am exaggerating that volume of gas, I believe we are being lied to and the volumes are much higher than we are being told. I've seen it; its awful. And what difference does it make as to what percentage of total gas is flared; that's a stupid argument. That wasted natural gas could be keeping a lot of people warm right now and could have been helping Texas generate more electricity for our grid, and to export to other grids. Instead that flared gas is wasted, gone forever.


The vast majority of oil wells on artificial lift require electricity and all of Texas is now on rolling brownouts, or blackouts; power goes down for hours and then comes up for minutes. It is impossible to keep warm fluids moving thru above ground storage and separation systems, thru gathering lines, etc. in this scenario and that increases the likelihood of major freezes and breakage in the oilfields across Texas. Even gas well heads freeze.


Think about this: its fairly easy and economical for the shale oil industry to self-generate its own electricity to run its own rod-lift and ESP-lift wells and reduce the demand on our States electricity grid. There are now over 4o,000 shale oil wells in Texas pulling electricity from other outside sources in the grid. That is electricity that might have kept people warm! Electricity use in the vast Permian Basin was a problem in 2018; what's been done about it since then? Nothing. Flaring gas has exponentially exploded since 2018 : https://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/2018/10/01/west-texas-electricity-grid-is-buckling-under-the-pressure-of-permian-basin-power-usage/

And don't forget why Texas flares all that associated gas to begin with. So it can export the very last of our oil resources to foreign countries...like China, an adversary, and the Texas shale sector can pay interest on its massive long term debt. Approximately 75-80% of all unconventional shale oil produced in Texas...gets exported.


Private enterprise will always do what is in its financial best interest; always. Its up to regulators and policy makers to stop exporting our natural resources, extracted on credit and sold below costs, to control output, prevent economic waste and advance conservation measures. They have failed quite miserably at all the above. Governor Abbott closed the barn door Thursday afternoon, after the horses all froze to death on Monday, by ceasing natural gas exports until Sunday. Whoop.


So, if you want a little glimpse into a future world where oil and gas is scarce, or hard and expensive to get out of the ground, or a world where pro-oil regulators are mindset on depleting our resources as fast as possible to make a buck, or get a vote, a world where anti-oil idiots demand primary reliance on alternative sources like wind turbines, or solar panels with no back-up plan... come to Texas right now. We're the leading "energy" state in the entire country, right? America's power provider! The entire world can depend on Texas' "unlimited natural resources" and because of Texas... "conserving oil in America is no longer economically imperative." [1]


Conservation and the prevention of natural resource waste IS pretty damn "imperative" if you don't want to freeze your ass off.



This fella looks like I feel toward the stupid Texas shale oil sector's relentless flaring of associated gas and the people that allow that to happen.




[1] President D. Trump, 2018; https://www.oilystuffblog.com/single-post/2018/08/20/for-america-conserving-oil-is-no-longer-economically-imperative