U.S. GAS PRICING GOES GLOBAL
The U.S. is emerging as a price-setter for natural gas sales from Mozambique to Japan, as volumes extracted by shale drillers go global, write Alison Sider and Christopher Matthews.
The volume of Henry Hub natural gas futures traded outside of typical U.S. trading hours rose 31% in the first half of 2017, compared with the same period in 2016—a sign that international traders are paying more attention to the benchmark.
It signals a major shift for natural gas markets, which until recently remained largely regional, with most prices linked to oil.
BLACKSTONE DOUBLES DOWN ON NATURAL GAS
Blackstone Group LP is betting big on natural gas.
The New York private-equity firm has struck a deal to buy Harvest Fund Advisers LLC, which has more than $10 billion in assets under management and focuses on midstream energy assets. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
It builds on a roughly $7 billion position Blackstone holds in natural gas through investments in drilling fields, pipelines and a gas export terminal, as the company bets it can profit from rising production, even if prices remain under pressure.
HACKETT PLANS BIG SPENDING IN OKLAHOMA
Anadarko Petroleum Corp.’s former chief executive, Jim Hackett, has a new gig and he’s planning on spending big.
The oilman has laid out plans to increase drilling in the Stack shale play in Oklahoma over the next 18 months and spend heavily on infrastructure, writes Lynn Cook.
Mr. Hackett’s Silver Run Acquisition Corp. II, which is backed by Riverstone Holdings LLC, is buying two companies with experience in the region. Once the acquisition is complete, the new combined entity will have a market capitalization of $3.8 billion.
Oil prices edged higher Friday morning, helped by continued, if moderate, investor optimism over a drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Investors were responding to fresh data this week from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that showed crude inventories had been reduced by 9 million barrels last week, bringing the total drawdown since March to 69 million barrels.
“Prices should be $10 higher given where the fundamentals are,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects, an energy market research consultancy.
But Ms. Sen said prices were being held back by investor concern over still-rising U.S production. She said the market was overly focused on the EIA’s concurrent announcement that U.S. output had increased by 79,000 barrels a day, to 9.502 million barrels a day, during the week ended Aug. 11.