May 17, 2020

Crude Oil Reserves Show Record Growth in U.S.

Admin
2 min
Crude oil industrial zone
Crude oil reserve additions in 2011 set a record increase in the United States for the second year in a row, according toU.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas...

Crude oil reserve additions in 2011 set a record increase in the United States for the second year in a row, according to U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves, 2011, released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Natural gas proved reserves rose also, but by less than 2010's record increase. Nevertheless, natural gas reserve additions in 2011 rank as the second largest annual increase since 1977.

"Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in shale and other tight rock formations continued to increase oil and natural gas reserves," said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski. "Higher oil prices helped drive record increases in crude oil reserves, while natural gas reserves grew strongly despite slightly lower natural gas prices in 2011."

Proved oil reserves, including both crude oil and lease condensate, increased by 15 percent in 2011 to 29.0 billion barrels, marking the third consecutive annual increase and the highest volume of proved reserves since 1985. Proved reserves in tight oil plays accounted for 3.6 billion barrels (13 percent) of total proved reserves of crude oil and lease condensate in 2011.

Texas recorded the largest volumetric increase in proved oil reserves among individual states, largely because of continuing development in the Permian and Western Gulf basins, while North Dakota had the second largest increase, driven by development activity in the Bakken formation in the Williston Basin.

Natural gas proved reserves, estimated as wet gas that includes natural gas liquids, increased by almost 10 percent in 2010 to 348.8 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), the 13th consecutive annual increase.

Pennsylvania's proved natural gas reserves, which more than doubled in 2010, rose an additional 90 percent in 2011, contributing 41 percent of the overall U.S. increase. Combined, Texas and Pennsylvania added 73 percent of the net increase in U.S. proved wet natural gas reserves in 2011. Proved reserves in shale gas plays accounted for 131.6 trillion cubic feet (38 percent) of total proved reserves of wet natural gas in 2011.

Proved reserves are those volumes of oil and natural gas that geological and engineering data demonstrate with reasonable certainty to be recoverable in future years from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions. EIA's estimates of proved reserves are based on an annual survey of about 1,100 domestic oil and gas well operators.

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Jul 26, 2021

Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April

Ofwat
Utilities
water
prices
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Ofwat confirms levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue

Retailers can recover a portion of excess bad debt by temporarily increasing prices from April 2022, according to an Ofwat statement.

The regulator confirmed its view that levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue, thereby allowing "a temporary increase" in the maximum prices. Adjustments to price caps will apply for a minimum of two years to reduce the step changes in price that customers might experience.

Measures introduced since March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 could lead to retailers facing higher levels of customer bad debt. Retailers’ abilities to respond to this are expected to be constrained by Ofwat strengthening protections for non-household customers during Covid-19 and the presence of price caps.  

In April last year, Ofwat committed to provide additional regulatory protection if bad debt costs across the market exceeded 2% of non-household revenue. 

Georgina Mills, Business Retail Market Director at Ofwat said: “These decisions aim to protect the interests of non-household customers in the short and longer term, including from the risk of systemic Retailer failure as the business retail market continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19. By implementing market-wide adjustments to price caps, we aim to minimise any additional costs for customers in the shorter term by promoting efficiency and supporting competition.”  

There are also three areas where Ofwat has not reached definitive conclusions and is seeking further evidence and views from stakeholders:   

  1. Pooling excess bad debt costs – Ofwat proposes that the recovery of excess bad debt costs is pooled across all non-household customers, via a uniform uplift to price caps. 
  2. Keeping open the option of not pursuing a true up – For example if outturn bad debt costs are not materially higher than the 2% threshold. 
  3. Undertaking the true up – If a 'true up' is required, Ofwat has set out how it expects this to work in practice. 

Further consultation on the proposed adjustments to REC price caps can be expected by December.

Anita Dougall, CEO and Founding Partner at Sagacity, said Ofwat’s decision comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s price cap rise in April.

"While it’s great that regulators are helping the industry deal with bad debt in the wake of the pandemic, raising prices only treats the symptoms. Instead, water companies should head upstream, using customer data to identify and rectify the causes of bad debt, stop it at source and help prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.

"While recouping costs is a must, water companies shouldn’t just rely on the regulator. Data can help companies segment customers, identify and assist customers that are struggling financially, avoiding penalising the entire customer in tackling the cause of the issue."

United Utilities picks up pipeline award

A race-against-time plumbing job to connect four huge water pipes into the large Haweswater Aqueduct in Cumbria saw United Utilities awarded Utility Project of the Year by Pipeline Industries Guild.

The Hallbank project, near Kendal, was completed within a tight eight-day deadline, in a storm and during the second COVID lockdown last November – and with three hours to spare. Principal construction manager John Dawson said the project helped boost the resilience of water supplies across the North West.

“I think what made us stand out was the scale, the use of future technology and the fact that we were really just one team, working collaboratively for a common goal," he said.

Camus Energy secures $16m funding

Camus Energy, which provides advanced grid management technology, has secured $16 million in a Series A round, led by Park West Asset Management and joined by Congruent VenturesWave Capital and other investors, including an investor-owned utility. Camus will leverage the operating capital to expand its grid management software platform to meet growing demand from utilities across North America.

As local utilities look to save money and increase their use of clean energy by tapping into low-cost and low-carbon local resources, Camus' grid management platform provides connectivity between the utility's operations team, its grid-connected equipment and customer devices.

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