From the Permian to the Williston, the season has bare-knuckled down to wreak January havoc on wells, gas flows, LNG exports, processing plants, gathering systems, and refineries. Over the last week, the Arctic brute has gone so far as to send natural gas demand into satellite space, jolting gas prices with a temporary spike while taking 10 MMbbls of crude off the market.
Reese Energy Consulting today is following the latest news from the deep freeze this month, walloping two of the nation’s largest oil and gas basins. With below-zero lows in 11 out of 19 days, Midland, Texas, took one to the solar plexus with temps that froze water at wellheads, forced shut-ins, and paralyzed vacuum trucks from hauling off wastewater due to icy roads. Permian pipelines flowing gas bound for Gulf Coast LNG export terminals said, “I don’t think so, bro,” sending volumes instead to domestic markets.
The Permian accounts for a loss of 6 MMbbls this month. But never fear, Texas is well into recovery mode with a forecast high of 61º come Thursday.
Recovery in the N.D., Bakken, however, is a whole other kettle of Northern Pike where it’s colder than a well-digger’s arse in the Klondike. Here, shut-in output is already close to 3.5 MMbbls in January and expected to rise. Production has literally been cut in half after reporting 1.3 MMBPD in November. Weather forecast for Thursday? A near tropical 28º. God speed, folks.