Sheila McNulty

Jim Mulva, chief executive of ConocoPhillips, has been in a hurry to establish his legacy. In the beginning, it was going to be as the head of one of the world’s biggest international oil and gas companies. And he got there, boosting Conoco into 5th place, in terms of production. But then the economic downturn hit, and the weaknesses in his grow-through-acquisition strategy were exposed. Conoco was forced to slash capital spending, lay off staff and sell billions of dollars in assets.
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Sheila McNulty

Several years ago, analysts covering the oil industry were raising alarm bells about how the majors would be making money in the decades to come. With conventional oilfields maturing and no sign of the shale gas revolution at that point, there was pressure from shareholders for the majors to get into renewables. The majors responded by delving into projects to extract biofuels from chicken fat and soybeans. But that phase is over.

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Sheila McNulty

The weekend oil spill by ExxonMobil into Yellowstone River gives environmentalits more ammunition in their long-running battle against granting the oil industry increased access to US oil resources.

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Sheila McNulty

Alaska’s decision to host the largest oil and gas lease sale of any US state this year is good news for the oil and gas industry, which has been pressing for more access. And while the resulting exploration and production certainly will be good for the overall economy – creating jobs and boosting activity – it is a pity that it is not against a backdrop of better news on the environmental front.

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Sheila McNulty

The issue of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has taken on a life of its own. But with so much misinformation circulating, it is hard for the general public to know whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. The truth is – as with any polarizing issue – somewhere in the middle Read more

Sheila McNulty

While oil patches from the Bakken shale to the Eagle Ford have been getting a lot of attention in recent years, the oil industry has been increasingly focusing its attention on one of the oldest and richest oil-producing basins in the country – the Permian Basin. Permian formations have long trapped hydrocarbons in shale and other tight sands and rock in what was formerly the Permian Sea, an area of 110 degree heat desert that stretches 100,000 square miles across West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico.

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Sheila McNulty

The technological advances in the oil and gas patch just keep coming. While everyone has been scrambling to catch up with the shale gas revolution, the industry has been working on another potentially massive breakthrough in gas. This one is in producing gas that has long been stranded offshore in areas too far or too small to warrant a pipeline to shore.

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Sheila McNulty

As questions about hydraulic fracturing – fracking as it is known in the industry – continue to build, the oil and gas industry is finding investors asking for more transparency as to how companies are going to face the growing risks to production. Read more

Sheila McNulty

Controversy about importing fuel from Canada’s vast oil sands has been swirling for some time. It is an issue environmentalists seized on with great hopes when President Barack Obama came into office, given his pledges to work to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and the fact that oil from tar sands, as environmentalits refer to the source, has a higher carbon intensity than that from traditional crude.

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Sheila McNulty

The amount of private equity moving into the US oil and gas sector has risen dramatically over the past year, drawn by a long-term bet on rising commodity prices and heightened demand for energy infrastructure. This is according to PwC, the consultancy, which put out a report on US energy sector deals today.
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