Good news and bad news. That summarizes the most-read stories on Eagle Ford Texas this week.
The top headlines featured million-dollar business deals and a brighter outlook for natural gas producers. However, several major energy companies downsized in an attempt to cut costs and streamline business.
5. Consumption will drive natural gas prices up: EIA
Natural gas prices are expected to rise, according to the EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook report.
The average natural gas spot price at the benchmark Henry Hub for December 2015 was $1.93 per million British thermal units. That’s the lowest monthly average since March 1999.
In the January report, the Nymex futures strip averaged $2.50/MMBtu for 2016 and $2.80/MMBtu for 2017. The Nymex futures strip represents the price of natural gas for delivery at each contract month.
4. Houston’s FMC Technologies signs $180 million deal
Houston-based FMC Technologies signed an agreement with Woodside for the design, manufacture and supply of subsea production systems for the Greater Western Flank Phase 2 Project as part of the North West Shelf Project in Western Australia.
The $180 million contract includes subsea production trees, wellheads, manifolds, subsea and topside controls and flowline connection systems.
3. Five oilfield jobs still in demand in 2016
Extended periods of plummeting oil prices have had a noticeable effect on the oil industry, with many oil companies decommissioning multiple rigs during 2015. While the oil industry is no longer being referred to as “booming” by most media outlets, it is not going away completely, and many oilfield jobs are still in demand. As current workers retire and leave the industry, job openings will continue to open up for new applicants and current workers who want to rise up through the ranks. These five oilfield jobs are still in demand in 2016, and will continue to be in demand as long as oil companies continue operating.
2. Layoffs to hit 10K in Shell-BG Group merger
Royal Dutch Shell and BG Group will continue layoffs this year. The companies estimate a total of 10,000 employees and direct contractors will be let go, dating back to last year.
The cuts come as the companies slash operating costs and try to extract synergies from their upcoming merger.
In a preliminary four-quarter earnings report, Shell announced it reduced operating costs by $4 billion last year and expects to trim another $3 billion in costs this year.
1. Spate of layoffs sweeps energy industry
A sustained downturn led to thousands of layoffs this week as companies struggle to weather the prolonged energy market slump.
Falling oil prices forced many producers to cut costs and streamline business. The International Energy Agency said oil prices may fall further this year due to low demand and an oversupply of crude.
Find more energy news at Eagle Ford Texas.