A federal court judge has ordered the US State Department to conduct a supplemental EIS for the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline to consider the Mainline Alternative route that Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved. But Judge Brian Morris, of US District Court for Montana’s Great Falls Division, did not vacate the presidential border-crossing permit that the project has received in his Aug. 15 decision.
Independent directors of Perth-based Tap Oil Ltd. have rejected an unsolicited indicative, conditional, and nonbinding takeover proposal from Thailand-based Northern Gulf Petroleum Holdings Ltd. that rivals the earlier offer from Singapore company Risco Energy Investments (SEA) Ltd. Both companies are existing shareholders of Tap Oil.
The ExxonMobil Corp.-led PNG-LNG project joint venture in Papua New Guinea has signed another midterm LNG sale and purchase agreement, this time with BP Singapore Pte. Ltd. for LNG supply starting this month. It is the second such agreement for the PNG-LNG project in four weeks.
The US drilling rig count remained unchanged at 1,057 units working for the week ended Aug. 17, according to Baker Hughes data. The count is up 111 units from this time a year ago when the count stood at 946.
The US Chemical Safety Board released a factual update on its ongoing investigation of the Jan. 22 blowout and fire at the Pryor Trust natural gas well in Pittsburg County, Okla., that killed 5 workers. CSB has determined the incident occurred shortly after drilling crew members tripped the drill pipe from the well, it said.
SDX Energy will connect its SD-3X appraisal well to infrastructure at South Disouq, Egypt, following a successful production test. The SDX-operated well flowed at a maximum rate of 16.1 MMscfd of conventional natural gas during an 8-hr clean up period and was then shut in for 8 hr, during which time no pressure decline was observed.
Maersk Drilling will become a stand-alone company next year as its parent company continues its exit from the oil and gas business. A.P. Moller-Maersk, Copenhagen, separated its transportation and energy businesses 2 years ago and cut energy investment.
The US Bureau of Land Management opened a 15-day public comment period on Aug. 10 for a proposed oil and gas lease sale of parcels in 20 Montana counties as well as 1 in western North Dakota. Comments will be accepted through Aug. 24, officials in the agency’s Billings, Mont., field office said.
Crude oil prices rose modestly on New York and London markets Aug. 16 while traders and investors remain watchful regarding US-China trade relations even though representatives from the two countries are expected to talk later this month.
Small refiner exemptions that the US Environmental Protection Agency issued to help the refiners meet renewable fuel quotas are only the latest sign that the federal Renewable Fuels Standard program is badly broken and needs to be repealed or dramatically reformed, an American Petroleum Institute official said as the agency sought comments while it prepares to propose 2019 renewable fuel quotas.
The light, sweet crude oil price for September fell more than $2/bbl on Aug. 15 while the Brent crude oil contract for October fell by $1.70/bbl, which analysts attributed to concerns about lower world oil demand if emerging market economies continue to slow.
The region-wide Gulf of Mexico lease sale, held Aug. 15 in New Orleans by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, generated $178.1 million in apparent high bids for 144 tracts. There were a total of 14,622 tracts offered in the gulf's federal waters.
Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc., Houston, has agreed to acquire certain Delaware basin properties from Devon Energy Corp. for $215 million in cash. The deal includes 10,600 gross acres—9,600 net with 90% operated—in Reeves and Ward counties, 94% of which is held by production.
Akshay Kumar Singh has joined Indian Oil Corp. as director (pipelines), responsible for the state-owned company’s 13,400-km network of crude oil, product, and natural gas lines.
In its second Permian-focused deal signing in a month, Diamondback Energy Inc., Midland, Tex., has agreed to acquire Energen Corp., Birmingham, Ala., in an all-stock transaction valued at $9.2 billion, including Energen’s net debt of $830 million.
Faroe Petroleum, Aberdeen, has farmed in to the Agar-Plantain exploration and appraisal well in the UK North Sea operated by Azinor Catalyst Ltd., acquiring a 25% interest from the operator.
US crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 6.8 million bbl for the week ended Aug. 10, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. At 414.2 million bbl, US crude oil inventories are about 1% above the 5-year average for this time of year, the Weekly Petroleum Status Report indicated.
Light, sweet crude oil prices fell on the New York market Aug. 14 to settle just above $67/bbl for September delivery after the American Petroleum Institute reported US crude inventories increased by 3.7 million bbl for the week ended Aug. 10. On Aug. 15, Commerzbank analysts issues a research note saying, “Oil prices are falling further this morning,” which they attributed to the API report.
Wilkie S. Colyer Jr., newly appointed as a director of Contango Oil & Gas Co., Houston, also becomes interim president and chief executive officer, succeeding Allan D. Keel, who has left the company.
The board of Australian gas pipeline company APA Group has unanimously recommended its shareholders vote for a $12.98-billion (Aus.) takeover offer from Hong Kong firm CK Infrastructure Holdings and Power Assets Holdings at a meeting scheduled for late November.
PC Senagal, a Petronas subsidiary, has agreed to acquire a 30% participating interest in the Rufisque Offshore Profond block in Senegal from Total E&P Senegal. Total remains operator with a 60% interest. Petrosen holds the other 10%.
Execution of upstream oil and gas projects is improving, says a new study by Wood Mackenzie. Midsize to large projects in growing numbers have been delivered on target during the past 12 months.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for September delivery dropped moderately on the New York market Aug. 13 while the Brent contract for October also fell in London after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said the cartel’s production rose in July.
The US Department of Energy issued a final rule aimed at expediting approval of small-scale natural gas exports.
Neptune Energy Group has agreed to acquire from Apache North Sea Ltd. (ANSL), a subsidiary of Apache Corp., Houston, certain development and exploration assets in the UK Central North Sea. The purchase price was undisclosed.
Leaders of countries with Caspian Sea coasts have signed an agreement on territorial claims under dispute since collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Clarification of at least some legal questions will ease impediments to oil and gas exploration and development and to pipeline construction.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for September delivery rose to close above $67.60/bbl on the New York market Aug. 10 while Brent crude for October also gained to close above $72.80/bbl. Analysts attributed the gains to the International Energy Agency’s oil demand growth forecast.
International news for oil and gas professionals
Tap Oil Ltd., Perth, entered into a binding implementation agreement with Singapore’s Risco Energy Investments (SEA) Ltd. following Risco’s announcement of an increased takeover offer to acquire all the ordinary fully paid Tap Oil shares on issue that Risco does not already own for 9.1Â¢ (Aus.)/share cash.
Diamondback Energy Inc. will acquire privately held Ajax Resources LLC, Houston, in a cash and stock deal valued at $1.25 billion, bringing its total leasehold interests to 230,000 net surface acres in the Permian basin.
Brent crude oil prices on London’s International Commodity Exchange fell in July on higher global output, while West Texas Intermediate crude prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose on strong US refining and exports. Both benchmarks are up 50% year-over-year. The Brent-WTI differential in July narrowed sharply vs. June.
The US drilling rig count jumped 13 to reach 1,057 units working for the week ended Aug. 10, according to Baker Hughes data. The count is up 90 units from this time a year ago when the count stood at 954.
The US Bureau of Land Management’s Bakersfield office reported it is seeking public input on potential impacts if hydraulic fracturing is allowed on federally managed land in the state. Comments must be received by Sept. 7.
ExxonMobil Corp. plans to support the proposed Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) Project, signing a letter of intent for subsidiary XTO Energy to contract for as much as 450,000 dekatherms/day of capacity on the pipeline.
The California Air Resources Board has reached a proposed agreement with SoCalGas aimed at fully mitigating natural gas released during a leak at the Aliso Canyon gas facility during October 2015-February 2016. Residents from the nearby Porter Ranch subdivision were evacuated as a result.
Crude oil benchmark prices were down slightly on New York and London futures markets Aug. 9, one day after the tumultuous $2/bbl-drop midweek. China’s declaration to impose additional tariffs of 25% on certain US imports spooked the market, but the exemption of crude oil helped steady prices Aug. 9.
NuVista Energy Ltd. has entered into an agreement with Cenovus Energy Inc., both of Calgary, to acquire Cenovus Pipestone Partnership, which holds the Pipestone and Wembley natural gas and liquids business in northwestern Alberta, for $625 million (Can.).
Derek Evans has been named president and chief executive officer of MEG Energy Corp.
Apache Corp. will contribute its midstream assets at Alpine High to Altus Midstream LP, a partnership jointly owned by Apache and Kayne Anderson Acquisition. At closing, KAAC will be renamed Altus Midstream Co., a C-corporation anchored by substantially all of Apache's gathering, processing, and transportation assets at Alpine High in the Delaware basin.
RockRose Energy has agreed to acquire Dana Petroleum (E&P)’s 20.43% interest in Central UK North Sea blocks encompassing Arran gas and condensate field for what it described as “nominal consideration.”
Robert J. McNally will become president and chief executive officer of EQT Corp. when the company completes the separation of its upstream and midstream businesses. Now chief financial officer, McNally will succeed David L. Porges, who has been interim president and CEO since the resignation in March of Steven Schlotterbeck.
Crude oil benchmark prices plunged by more than $2/bbl on New York and London futures markets Aug. 8 on investors’ concerns about an escalating US-China trade dispute. Officials in Washington, DC, and Beijing have been levying tariffs on one another’s imported products.
Riviera Resources Inc. is an independent reporting company following the completed spin-off from Linn Energy Inc. Riviera’s assets are in the Hugoton basin, East Texas, North Louisiana, Michigan and Illinois, the Uinta basin and Midcontinent regions. Riviera also owns Blue Mountain Midstream LLC, a midstream company centered in the core of the Merge play in the Anadarko basin.
US crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, declined by 1.4 million bbl for the week ended Aug. 3, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. At 407.4 million bbl, US crude oil inventories are about 1% below the 5-year average for this time of year, the Weekly Petroleum Status Report indicated.
Light, sweet crude oil prices rose slightly on the New York market Aug. 7 to settle above $68/bbl for October delivery while the Brent contract for October gained 90Â¢ to settle at $74.65/bbl.
The front-month futures price for Brent crude oil settled at $73.45/bbl on Aug. 2, a decrease of $3.85 from July 2. The front-month futures price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil for delivery at Cushing, Okla., decreased $4.98/bbl during the same period, settling at $68.96/bbl on Aug. 2.
Eni SPA and Snam4Mobility have signed a second contract implementing a framework contract signed in May for stations in Italy to refuel vehicles using compressed natural gas. The new contract is for 20 new CNG refueling stations. An earlier contract is for 14 such facilities, with openings due in the first quarter next year.
Continental Resources Inc., Oklahoma City, has formed a minerals subsidiary with Franco-Nevada Corp., Toronto, to acquire additional minerals in the SCOOP and STACK plays of Oklahoma, primarily in areas operated by Continental.
Bonanza Creek Energy Inc., Denver, has agreed to and has simultaneously closed on the sale of its operations in the US Midcontinent for $117 million in cash. The buyer was undisclosed.
Crude oil prices rose on the New York and London markets Aug. 6 as the US government moved forward on the first of two highly anticipated US sanction rounds on Iran. US President Donald Trump signed an executive order Aug. 5 restoring sanctions on Iran that prevent Iran’s government from buying US dollars. The order also bans purchases of Iran’s sovereign debt.
US natural gas systems clearly demonstrated their resilience during three recent major weather events, a study commissioned by the Natural Gas Council concluded.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has issued a stop-work order for the proposed Mountain Valley interstate natural gas pipeline. Opponents immediately said the Aug. 3 action was a major setback for the planned 303-mile system from West Virginia to southern Virginia, but the project’s sponsors noted on Aug. 6 the order itself indicated that it could be temporary.
Kosmos Energy Ltd., Dallas, has agreed to acquire Gulf of Mexico operator Deep Gulf Energy (DGE), Houston, from First Reserve and other shareholders for $1.225 billion comprised of $925 million in cash and $300 million in common shares.
Crude oil prices dropped slightly to end a volatile week on the New York and London markets on Aug. 3. Some unilateral US sanctions on Iran are scheduled to become effective Aug. 7, but this does not yet include oil.
Officials from three leading US groups that support increased exports of US LNG separately addressed concerns on Aug. 3 over the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s announcement that tariffs ranging 5-25% will be imposed on US LNG.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has decided to complete new background ozone formation limits on schedule in 2020 while revisiting questions about naturally occurring emissions threatening areas’ attainments and triggering penalties under the 2015 requirements. The National Association of Manufacturers was the strongest critic among US business organizations of the agency’s Aug. 2 decision.
In late July, Whiting Petroleum Corp., Denver, completed a $130-million acquisition of Williston basin properties, the company said as part of its second quarter operating and financial report.
Crude oil prices gained more than $1/bbl Aug. 2 to recoup the previous day’s losses on both the New York and London futures markets in a week marked by price volatility.
Pete Jones has joined Neptune Energy Group Holdings Ltd. as UK managing director, based in Aberdeen. He most recently has been managing director of Taqa Europe.
Lakes Oil NL, Melbourne, has made an off-market takeover offer to acquire all of the issued shares in Rawson Oil & Gas Ltd., Sydney. Lakes is offering 15 shares of its stock for every 1 share of Rawson, an offer that values Rawson at $3.75 million (Aus.).
Hunter Oil Corp., Houston, has agreed to sell substantially all of its oil and gas operations to Pacific Energy Development Corp., a Nevada corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of Pedevco Corp., Danville, Calif., for a rounded aggregate purchase price of $21.35 million.
ConocoPhillips has agreed to sell its interests in the Barnett shale play to Lime Rock Resources, Houston, for $230 million plus net customary adjustments. Production associated with the assets for the first half of the year averaged 9,000 boe/d, of which 55% was natural gas and 45% was natural gas liquids, ConocoPhillips said.
Light, sweet crude oil contracts for September and October deliveries dropped more than $1/bbl for the second consecutive day Aug. 1 on the New York market. Brent crude oil for October delivery dropped by more than $1.80/bbl to settle above $72/bbl in London.
Extra supplies from Mainland Europe and elsewhere helped the UK avert natural gas problems in March during an unusual cold snap, but there is no guarantee it would happen again as easily once the country leaves the European Union, an Aug. 1 report from the University of Warwick’s School of Business warned.
The US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John A. Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and three other Senate Republicans introduced legislation on July 31 to change requirements and establish limits for individual states under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.
In its recent 5-year Global Crude Oil Outlook, ESAI Energy projects healthy non-OPEC supply growth to 2023. The outlook highlights three trends that underscore the expectation that non-OPEC crude and condensate supply will increase by an average of 1 million b/d/year during 2019-23.
Further consolidating oil and gas interests in the state-owned oil company, Indonesia’s energy ministry announced Pertamina will replace Chevron Corp. as operator of the Rokan Block in Sumatra when the production-sharing contract expires in 2021. Chevron had asked for an extension of the PSC, in which it holds a 100% interest.
US crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, changed direction for the week ended July 27, increasing by 3.8 million bbl after a decline the previous week, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.
Light, sweet crude oil contracts dropped more than $1/bbl July 31 on the New York market, giving up the previous day’s gain. The American Petroleum Institute reported US crude oil inventories increased by 5.59 million bbl for the week ended July 27.
The US Overseas Private Investment Corp., the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and the Australian government have formed a trilateral partnership to invest in Indo-Pacific infrastructure projects. Officials from the three countries announced their plans on July 30 during the US Chamber of Commerce’s Indo-Pacific Business Forum.
The US Department of Energy issued a final rule aimed at expediting approval of small-scale natural gas exports. The July 26 Federal Register notice applied to gas and LNG exports to countries not having a free-trade agreement with the US of no more than 51.75 bcf/year, which qualify for a categorical exclusion under DOE’s National Environmental Policy Act regulations.
Northern Oil & Gas Inc., Minneapolis, has agreed to acquire Williston basin assets from W Energy Partners, a Crestview Partners portfolio company, for $100 million in cash and 56.37 million shares of Northern common stock. The acquisition, the company said, is the largest in its history.
Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Dallas, has agreed to sell its West Panhandle field assets in Texas for $201 million to an undisclosed buyer. The assets include all of PNR’s producing wells and the associated systems. Net production from the field averaged 6,000 boe/d during this year’s first quarter.
Light, sweet crude oil contracts gained more than $1/bbl July 30 on the New York market, which analysts attributed to concerns about risks to world oil supply, including crude exports from Iran and Venezuela.
Southcross Energy Partners LP has terminated its agreement to merge with American Midstream Partners LP citing AMP’s failure to achieve required conditions. In October 2017, AMP had proposed to merge Southcross Energy into a wholly owned subsidiary of AMP.
PentaNova Energy Corp., Vancouver, BC, will be renamed CruzSur Energy Corp. after a consolidation of its issued and outstanding share capital and reorganization of the board of directors.
Indian Oil Corp. has let a contract to Honeywell UOP to provide pressure-swing adsorption technology for supply of high-quality hydrogen at five refineries as part of the operator’s effort to produce clean-burning fuels complying with the Indian government’s strict Bharat Stage VI environmental standards.
In two separate midstream transactions, Williams Cos. Inc., Tulsa, has entered Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg (DJ) basin and exited Williams Partners LP from the Four Corners Area (FCA) in New Mexico and Colorado.
US Reps. Pete Olson (R-Tex.) and Gene Green (D-Tex.) introduced legislation that would help the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission offer higher salaries to specialized engineers who play critical roles in reviewing applications to construct LNG projects.