Oil Prices Reach a Two-year High on Steady Recovery

Oil prices advanced to a fresh two-year high Friday. Light, sweet crude for December delivery gained 6 cents to $54.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent, the global benchmark, rose 22 cents to $60.84 a barrel. After the oil price collapse of 2014, major oil and natural gas corporations had to take significant cost reduction measures. According to a research report by PWC Global, oil and gas companies slashed capital expenditures by about 40 percent between 2014 and 2016. In 2016 and this year as well, OPEC has been working on deals with its members to cut production in attempts to stabilize the market’s demand and supply equilibrium. The recent oil price gains are expected to remain in place. Renaissance Oil Corp. (OTC: RNSFF), Abraxas Petroleum Corporation (NASDAQ: AXAS), Baytex Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTE), EP Energy Corporation (NYSE: EPE), Approach Resources Inc. (NASDAQ: AREX).

PWC emphasizes that there are several positive industry forecasts to support this expectation: According to Barclays’s latest E&P Spending Survey, oil and gas industry capital expenditures are expected to increase by as much as 7 percent in 2017. In addition, global rig counts, particularly in the U.S. have been on the rise since the middle of 2016 according to Baker Hughes. The research by PWC indicates the importance of regions outside of OPEC. “A great deal of the activity in the oil and gas sector is focused on OPEC countries and the U.S., but other regions may also play a key role in the coming years. For instance, in Latin America, the investment environment is improving. Some domestic oil and gas industries are on the upswing, creating jobs. A prime illustration is Mexico, where energy reform is opening the door for non-traditional operators to establish a presence in the country.”

Renaissance Oil Corp. (OTCQB: RNSFF) is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol ‘ROE’. Just earlier today the company announced breaking news that, “In conjunction with its partner Lukoil, the Company has progressed the field evaluation program to production for the Amatitlán block in Veracruz, Mexico.”

Renaissance has now:

– Completed the third workover of a scheduled six well workover program with the fractured recompletion of a lower zone in the Chicontepec formation in a previously non-producing well;

– Gross production from the three workovers has stabilized at approximately 110 bbls/d of 38° API light oil;

– Gross cost for the three workovers is estimated at C$650,000, or under C$6,000 per producing barrel;

– The workover rig has now been redeployed to the fourth location, with expected completion of the operation by mid-November; and

– Drilling rig crews and equipment have now received all required certifications and expected to be moved to the first drilling location in the coming weeks, subject to finalizing drilling permits.

“In keeping with the committed work program, Renaissance and Lukoil are efficiently reestablishing production on Amatitlan through light and heavy workovers and are rig ready to commence drilling the shallower Chicontepec and deeper Upper Jurassic Shales”, stated Craig Steinke, Chief Executive Officer of Renaissance.

Abraxas Petroleum Corporation (NASDAQ: AXAS) is a San Antonio-based crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company with operations across the Rocky Mountain, Permian Basin and South Texas regions of the United States. Abraxas Petroleum Corporation announced on July 14th, the signing of an agreement to acquire 853 net Delaware Basin Bone Spring/Wolfcamp acres and provided a divestiture update. Bob Watson, President and CEO of Abraxas, commented, “We are pleased to announce another meaningful increase in our core Delaware Basin Bone Spring/Wolfcamp position to 8,497(2) net acres. This transaction meaningfully increases our core operated position in and around Caprito. We continue to search for similar transactions to further expand our position in the basin. Importantly, this transaction was accomplished while preserving our balance sheet via an asset swap and use of equity. Our divestitures in the Powder River Basin and Cayanosa Draw mark an important shift for Abraxas as we continue to focus on our high quality unconventional asset base in the Permian Basin, Williston Basin and in South Texas.”

Baytex Energy Corp. (NYSE: BTE) is engaged in the acquisition, development and production of crude oil and natural gas in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and in the Eagle Ford in the United States. Baytex Energy reported on August 1st, its operating and financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017 (all amounts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted). Generated production of 72,812 boe/d (79% oil and NGL) during Q2/2017, an increase of 5% from Q1/2017 and 12% from Q4/2016. “Driven by excellent capital efficiencies across our portfolio, we have been able to substantially grow production largely within funds from operations during the first half of the year at US$50/bbl oil prices. This is due to some of the strongest well results we have seen to-date in the Eagle Ford and a safe and highly efficient start-up of our development program in Canada. Our team is pushing to reposition the business for success at these low commodity prices with production currently above the high end of guidance and capital expenditures tracking toward the low end of guidance,” commented Ed LaFehr, President and Chief Executive Officer.

EP Energy Corporation (NYSE: EPE) has a significant reserve base, multi-year drilling opportunities, and a strategic presence in a number of the country’s leading unconventional resource areas in North America. EP Energy and Tesoro Corporation announced on May 24th, the formation of a drilling joint venture, through respective subsidiaries, to fund oil and natural gas development in EP Energy’s Altamont program located in the Uinta Basin of Utah. Additionally, EP Energy and Tesoro signed a multi-year Crude Oil Supply Agreement for yellow and black waxy crude oil to supply Tesoro’s Salt Lake City Refinery. “In the Altamont field we have a deep inventory of high-return drilling opportunities. This joint venture will enable us to significantly increase the well-level returns and capital efficiency of our program,” said Brent Smolik, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of EP Energy Corporation. “We plan to keep two rigs active in the Uinta Basin and look forward to building a long-term relationship with Tesoro, an in-basin refinery partner.”

Approach Resources Inc. (NASDAQ: AREX) is an independent energy company focused on the exploration, development, production and acquisition of unconventional oil and gas reserves in the Midland Basin of the greater Permian Basin in West Texas. On November 1st, Approach Resources reported third quarter 2017 financial and operational results and a bolt-on acquisition. Ross Craft, Approach’s Chairman and CEO, commented, “Results for this quarter highlight our relentless focus on operational efficiency, cost controls and capital discipline. Our infrastructure system provided operational flexibility in the face of Hurricane Harvey and the results of our optimized completions are driving strong well performance. Due to our continued focus on cash operating expenses and improved realized prices, EBITDAX is up 7% over prior quarter and unhedged cash margin per Boe has increased 13% quarter over quarter and from the prior period last year.”

SOURCE: PR Newswire


Compiled and Published by GIB KNIGHT

Gib Knight is a private oil and gas investor and consultant, providing clients advanced analytics and building innovative visual business intelligence solutions to visualize the results, across a broad spectrum of regulatory filings and production data in Oklahoma and Texas. He is the founder of, an online resource designed for mineral owners in Oklahoma.


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