By JOHN P. TRETBAR
The Kansas Corporation Commission reports 132 new intent-to-drill notices on file last month across the state, bringing the year-end total to 1,292. That’s more than double the 560 filed last year, but still well short of prior years. The KCC reports four new intents in Barton County, one in Ellis County and three in Russell County. County totals for the year also show growth over 2020. Barton County added 37 new notices last year, compared to just 16 the year before. Ellis County was up from 16 in 2020 to 29 last year. Russell County was up from six to 18 new intent notices, and Stafford County notched 28, compared to just 12 the year before.
The Rig Count in Kansas for the first week of the new year was down slightly. Independent Oil & Gas Service reports 17 active rigs in eastern Kansas, which is unchanged from last week, and 25 west of Wichita, which is down one. Drilling was underway on one well in Russell County, they’re about to spud two more in Barton County, and drilling was expected to resume on one lease in Stafford County.
Baker Hughes reported 586 active drilling rigs nationwide at the end of the year. The totals are unchanged but state counts show Texas was down two while New Mexico and Oklahoma were each up one.
Independent Oil and Gas Service reports 19 completed wells last week, eleven in eastern Kansas and eight west of Wichita, including one new completions in Barton County. There are 23 new drilling permits across Kansas, with 14 east of Wichita and nine in Western Kansas, with one in Barton County.
The government said crude-oil production in the US for the week through December 31st was down from the week before by about about 90,000 barrels per day to just under 11.8 million barrels per day. Output is up more than 700,000 barrels per day over last year at this time.
The Energy Information Administration says US crude-oil inventories last week dropped to 417.9 million barrels on December 31st, down 2.1 million barrels from the week before. Stockpiles are about 8% below the five year average. EIA said gasoline inventories increased by ten million barrels, but are about four percent below the five-year seasonal average. Imports were down 900,000 barrels to nearly six million barrels per day. The four week average for imports is up 17% over the same four weeks last year.
Gasoline prices rose slightly over the holidays. Triple-A says the national average pump price for a gallon of regular is just over three twenty-nine a gallon. That’s up a penny a gallon from a week ago, but nearly seven cents lower than a month ago. The average in Kansas held steady at two ninety-six per gallon. It’s going for two ninety-four across Great Bend. We spotted anywhere from two eighty-one to two eighty-nine in Hays. The cost of a 15-gallon fill-up is down about a dollar on the week.
Oil-by-rail traffic was up from the week before but down from a year ago. The Association of American Railroads reported 9,006 tanker cars hauling petroleum for the week through January first, up 301 cars from the week before but down 12.2% from a year earlier. Canadian traffic was down 2,000 carloads from a week ago, and down more than 16% from a year ago. AAR says monthly US oil-by-rail tallies were down ten percent in December compared to a year ago. Total rail traffic was down about three percent for the month.
Having called “a dirge for the merger,” the pipeline company must “…pay the piper.” That colorful turn of phrase from a judge in Delaware finalized a very expensive ruling for oil pipeline giant Energy Transfer LP. The company must pay $410 million for scuttling a $33 billion merger with rival Williams Companies over a tax flaw in the deal. According to reporting from Bloomberg last week, Energy Transfer is required to pay what’s called a break-up fee under the terms of the merger agreement. The 95-page ruling from Delaware Chancery Court Judge Sam Glasscock III ends a more than five-year dispute over the deal.