December Contents

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Although commodity price environments call to mind images of a ship in choppy waters, U.S. independents have skillful “sea legs.” They are adept at navigating the industry’s changing tides. AOGR’s December issue opens with the Natural Gas Supply Association’s analysis of wintertime natural gas markets. In December’s Finance And A&D special report, a trio of experts consider some of the factors influencing the smartest ways to raise capital. Meanwhile, with new hires entering the oil and gas sector at a brisk clip, December’s Well Control Insurance section provides a timely examination of risk management. The issue’s special reports on Stimulation and Completions raise the curtain on creative solutions that are helping operators treat wells more efficiently, and how service companies are deploying frac spreads with more power and fewer emissions. Industry news includes a closer look at the Biden administration’s proposed methane regulation, Congress’ passage of an infrastructure bill and discussions about a spending bill, both of which contain measures specific to U.S. oil and gas producers. Cover design by Amanda DeMoss. Issue photography by Jim Blecha and courtesy of Liberty Oilfield Services. Happy Holidays!


  • COVER STORY: The lingering glow of an extended autumn stretched far beyond the official start of the heating season on Nov. 1 to cast unseasonable warmth in virtually all areas of the country until an early December clipper provided a reminder that Mother Nature isn’t always predictable. Although the unusually mild beginning to winter has loosened the tightness in the U.S. natural gas market that propelled Henry Hub prices to their highest seasonal levels in a decade late last summer, gas still was trading considerably higher in early December than last year. As the Natural Gas Supply Association’s Winter Outlook details, the underlying market fundamentals were aligned at the onset of the heating season to put upward pressure on prices. How the rest of the winter will play out is anyone’s guess. Will other market demand factors prevail once the fall-like temperatures finally yield to winter cold? Stay tuned. | by David Attwood


  • Capital Providers Offer Range of Options for Oil and Gas Financing | Special Q&A With Jason Reimbold, Stuart Rexrode and Rene McKale
    As capital markets continue to evolve, so do the best strategies for funding activity. To shed light on capital market trends and financing options, AOGR sits down with experts on energy banking, unitranche financing, and the outlook for acquisition and divestiture activity.



  • Wireline-Deployed Acid Improves Frac Efficiency, Reduces Costs in Niobrara | by Matt Schwartz, Kye Yocham and Daniel Allison
    A field trial in the Niobrara shows how much time pressure pumpers can save by deploying new technologies that allow post-perforation damage to be cleaned up with the wireline and bottomhole assembly still in the hole.
  • Practical Innovations Ease Fracturing | by Colter Cookson
    By rethinking everything involved in completions, from how to boost pump performance to lowering frac pad emissions, operators and service companies are pushing safety, cost and environmental metrics to new heights.


  • Executive Branch: White House says it will release 50 million barrels from SPR; Agencies propose new definition of WOTUS; Gulf lease sale attracts more interest and bids; Industry advocates question move to withdraw federal lands near Chaco Canyon; BLM says leasing EAs must weigh GHGs; Oil and gas groups blast DOI leasing report; EPA signals plan for stricter ozone NAAQS; USA and EU strike opaque steel deal; USA agrees to stop funding foreign fossil fuel plants; DOE funds CCS projects
  • Industry Leaders: OOGA’s Hammond moving to pro-gas TEA
  • Mergers, Acquisitions: Continental buys some Permian assets from Pioneer; Bonanza Creek, Extraction and Crestone Peak rebrand combined company as Civitas; Southwestern Energy obtains GEP Haynesville; Brazos makes Delaware Basin buy and launches Midland Basin venture; Peregrine buys royalty interests in Green River Basin
  • Federal Regulations: EPA proposes methane regulations for Biden’s trip to Glasgow; Industry groups raise questions about NSPS
  • Federal Legislation: Infrastructure bill passes with orphan well language; Senate will decide fate of spending bill


  • Tech Connections
  • Washington Watch