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General Interest

A federal government agency's scientists usually don't feel compelled to more fully explain the basis for their decisions.

Posted: September 1, 2014, 8:46 am

The leader in a new measure of regulatory activism is-can anyone guess? While suspense builds, a description of the tracking mechanism is in order.

Posted: September 1, 2014, 8:30 am

The combined earnings of the OGJ150 group declined 3.03% during 2013 to $88.1 billion. The group's revenues for the year were also down 7.32% from a year earlier to $944.9 billion.

Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am

Listing the greater sage grouse as an endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act would discourage effective local and state conservation efforts while stifling economic growth and job creation, the Western Energy Alliance said in a new public education campaign.

Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am

Oil & Gas Journal's survey of the 100 leading oil and gas producing firms based outside the US reveals that 2013 net income and revenues fell modestly from 2012 results in most regions except Canada.

Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am

Optimism in the UK's offshore oil and gas industry continues to wane, according the second-quarter Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) Business Sentiment Index (BSI), released Aug. 6.

Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am

Natural gas plays an important role in China's economic development and energy structure. Proved reserves exceed 600 billion cu m/year (bcm/year), and production has topped 100 bcm/year, ranking China's output the 7th highest in the world.

Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am

American Midstream Partners LP (AMP) has opted to use, and has received approval of, its right-of-first-offer to acquire the Gonzales County, Tex., full-well-stream gathering system from an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners LLC for total consideration not to exceed $110 million.

Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am

This article introduces a methodology for reservoir characterization, geological modelling, and well-performance prediction. The methodology integrates petrophysical and pressure-transient data to build a detailed geological reservoir model (RM) with anisotropy.

Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am

Spot prices of Brent crude oil averaged $107/bbl in July, marking the 13th consecutive month in which the average price has ranged $107-112/bbl.

Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am

The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final permit to Formosa Plastics Corp. (FPC) to proceed with the third major expansion of its petrochemical complex in Point Comfort, Tex. (OGJ Online, June 3, 2013).

Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am

Utah's crude oil transportation options-which include Tesoro Refining & Marketing Co. LLC's proposed Uinta Express Pipeline-typify the broader US challenge in several ways.

Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am

State-owned Petrovietnam has completed the second planned maintenance turnaround since 2011 at its 140,000-b/d Dung Quat refinery in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam (OGJ Online, May 20, 2014).

Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am
Posted: September 1, 2014, 5:00 am

Shell Offshore Inc. submitted revisions to its previously approved Chukchi Sea exploration plan on Aug. 28, a spokesman for the company confirmed. The step was necessary to preserve the option to drill its Chukchi Sea leases in 2015, but should not be seen as a final decision to drill next summer, he told OGJ in an Aug. 29 e-mail.

Posted: August 29, 2014, 7:50 pm

The US Bureau of Land Management’s California state office announced a comprehensive strategy for its oil and gas program in the state after receiving an independent review of well stimulation technologies it asked the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) to conduct in September 2013.

Posted: August 29, 2014, 5:56 pm

Crude oil futures prices trended upwards Aug. 28, ending the day’s trading session higher, while the ICE contract for Brent retreated.

Posted: August 29, 2014, 4:29 pm

US retail prices for regular gasoline averaged $3.45/gal on Aug. 25, which was lowest price on a Monday preceding the Labor Day holiday in the US since 2010, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. The average price at the pump is now 25¢/gal lower than it was at the end of June.

Posted: August 29, 2014, 4:03 pm

India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. will invest $864.5 million to enhance natural gas and condensate production from its Tapti Daman block in the Arabian Sea.

Posted: August 29, 2014, 3:58 pm

Nexen Energy ULC contributed 36.3 million boe during this year’s first half to CNOOC Ltd.’s total net oil and gas production of 211.6 million boe, a 6.8% year-over-year increase, the company reported. In comparison, Nexen produced 24.8 million boe in its first few months under CNOOC control during last year’s first half.

Posted: August 29, 2014, 2:28 pm

The California Senate passed a bill aimed at curbing methane emissions from intrastate natural gas pipelines and local distribution systems. SB 1371, which was approved by 23 to 11 votes on Aug. 27, passed the state’s Assembly a day earlier by 57 to 20 votes. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for final action.

Posted: August 28, 2014, 4:13 pm

A cyclical downturn in offshore drilling might provide an opportunity for driller contractors having financial flexibility to buy their peers at favorable prices, Fitch Ratings of Chicago said in a recent research note, adding that master limited partnerships (MLPs) in particular can provide financial flexibility.

Posted: August 28, 2014, 3:46 pm

Crude oil prices rose slightly on the New York and London markets Aug. 27 as international oil traders watched what appears to be an escalating conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Posted: August 28, 2014, 3:33 pm

European refining is pivotal in “a second wave of structural changes” pummeling West African (WAF) crude oil prices in response to growing production of light oil in North America, notes a report from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, London.

Posted: August 27, 2014, 10:02 pm

Norway holds 10 billion boe of discovered but undeveloped natural resources, of which 60% could be commercialized and potentially add $106 billion to the country’s revenues, Wood Mackenzie reported in its latest upstream estimates released Aug. 26 at the Offshore Northern Seas conference in Stavanger.

Posted: August 27, 2014, 5:40 pm

India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd. has named Narendra Verma its managing director. Verma’s previous positions include director of exploration of Maharatna ONGC and director of exploration for ONGC Videsh.

Posted: August 27, 2014, 5:33 pm

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has submitted an Oil Sands Conservation Act application with Alberta Energy Regulator for its Grouse steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) project.

Posted: August 27, 2014, 4:05 pm

Crude oil prices rose modestly on the New York market Aug. 26 ahead of the weekly government oil inventory report while analysts correctly anticipated a drop in US oil and product supplies although the statistics showed a bigger decline than expected.

Posted: August 27, 2014, 3:29 pm

Exxon Pipeline Co. agreed to pay more than $1.4 million to resolve federal charges that a 2012 spill from the company’s North Line near Torbert, La., violated the Clean Water Act, the US Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency jointly announced.

Posted: August 27, 2014, 2:56 pm

Parsley Energy Inc., Midland, Tex., has agreed to buy from “multiple sellers” undeveloped and productive acreage in Reagan County, Tex., for a total of about $252 million.

Posted: August 26, 2014, 3:26 pm

Crude oil futures prices slipped modestly on the New York market Aug. 25, and analysts said traders expected a weekly government oil report scheduled for release Aug. 27 to show a gain in supplies at the hub at Cushing, Okla.

Posted: August 26, 2014, 2:56 pm

The US Environmental Protection Agency has extended the public comment period by 60 days for its proposed rule that would force petroleum refiners to implement additional controls on toxic air emissions from their refineries.

Posted: August 25, 2014, 9:17 pm

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has agreed to two separate transactions in which it will exit its Pinedale and Haynesville onshore gas assets in exchange for $2.1 billion in cash and acreage in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions.

Posted: August 25, 2014, 8:58 pm

Ships and a World War II-era German U-boat sunk in the Gulf of Mexico continue to make news decades after their discoveries by oil and gas companies conducting seafloor surveys.

Posted: August 25, 2014, 8:55 pm

Outcomes in two areas of critical uncertainty can mean a difference in Canadian bitumen production in 2030 of 1.7-1.8 million b/d, according to a study published by the Canadian Energy Research Institute.

Posted: August 25, 2014, 6:11 pm

Crude oil futures prices closed out the week ended Aug. 22 modestly lower after staging a bit of a recovery midweek (OGJ Online, Aug. 22, 2014).

Posted: August 25, 2014, 5:17 pm

Chile’s Empresa Nacional del Petroleo (Enap) has halted partial operations at its 104,000-b/d Aconcagua refinery at Concon, Chile, following an Aug. 23 earthquake in the Valparaiso region along the country’s Pacific coast, the state-owned company said.

Posted: August 25, 2014, 4:45 pm

Canada’s National Energy Board will hear the viewpoint of Aboriginal groups on the Trans Mountain expansion project on Aug. 25 in Edmonton, the first of four scheduled hearings through Nov. 28.

Posted: August 22, 2014, 5:29 pm

Crude oil futures prices continued to gain traction after falling steeply earlier this week.

Posted: August 22, 2014, 4:36 pm

Tesco Corp., Houston, has named Fernando R. Assing, currently executive vice-president and chief operating officer, as the company’s next president and chief executive officer. Assing will succeed Julio M. Quintana, who will retire Jan. 1, 2015.

Posted: August 22, 2014, 3:32 pm

Karen Agustiawan, president director of PT Pertamina, has officially confirmed her plan to resign, ending her tenure effective Oct. 1.

Posted: August 21, 2014, 5:52 pm

Spot prices of Brent crude oil averaged $107/bbl in July, marking the 13th consecutive month in which the average price has ranged $107-112/bbl. Compared with the volatility seen as recently as 2 years ago when Brent spot prices ranged as high as $125/bbl in March 2012 to as low as $95/bbl in June 2012, this price stability has been remarkable, according to the US Energy information Administration.

Posted: August 21, 2014, 5:23 pm

Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) reported it is establishing affiliates to provide drilling, logistics, and electricity services as part of its corporate restructuring in response to Mexico’s sweeping energy reform that ended Pemex’s monopoly on oil and gas activities.

Posted: August 21, 2014, 4:20 pm

The crude oil price rebounded by more than $1/bbl on the New York market Aug. 20 to settle above $96/bbl after a weekly government report showed a larger-than-expected fall in the US crude oil inventory.

Posted: August 21, 2014, 3:39 pm

Gulf of Mexico western planning area Lease Sale 238 drew 93 bids from 14 companies over 81 blocks covering 433,823 acres, totaling $109,951,644 in apparent high bids, reported the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which held the event on Aug. 20 in New Orleans.

Posted: August 20, 2014, 5:52 pm

A multitude of factors led to July 6 derailment of a runaway train in Lac Megantic, Que., carrying 72 carloads of Bakken crude oil bound for Irving Oil Ltd.’s refinery in Saint John, NB, according to an investigation report released Aug. 19 by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB).

Posted: August 20, 2014, 5:35 pm

The US Coast Guard proposed higher offshore oil spill liability limits under the 1990 Oil Pollution Act to reflect significant increases in the Consumer Price Index.

Posted: August 20, 2014, 5:10 pm

BP PLC has appointed David Lawler as chief executive officer of its Houston-based US Lower 48 onshore business that’s slated to formally become a separate entity in early 2015.

Posted: August 20, 2014, 4:15 pm

The front-month crude oil price dropped nearly $2/bbl on the New York market Aug. 19 to settle at less than $95/bbl while the natural gas price for September rose on weather forecasts calling for hotter temperatures, meaning more gas-fired electric power demand.

Posted: August 20, 2014, 2:59 pm

The US Coast Guard issued an interim offshore supply vessel (OSV) size limit rule after a 2010 law removed the previous statutory limit. The regulation became effective upon its publication in the Aug. 18 Federal Register. Comments on it will be accepted until Nov. 17.

Posted: August 20, 2014, 2:55 pm

Addressing emissions and odors, Alberta Energy Regulator says it has strengthened requirements to capture casing and tank top gas from heavy oil and bitumen operations in the Peace River region.

Posted: August 19, 2014, 4:00 pm

Alberta Energy Regulator reports that BlackPearl Resources Inc., Calgary, has filed an Oil Sands Conservation Act application for the Blackrod commercial steam-assisted gravity drainage project.

Posted: August 19, 2014, 3:39 pm

Oil prices slid on the New York market Aug. 18 while oil prices on the London market slumped to the lowest level since June 25, 2013, after Iraqi and Kurdish forces recaptured a dam from Islamic insurgents, reducing concerns about any immediate disruption to Iraqi oil production.

Posted: August 19, 2014, 2:51 pm

The two American Petroleum Institute officials had discussed concerns they had about possible new restrictions emerging at the US Environmental Protection Agency while Congress was in its August recess.

Posted: August 18, 2014, 9:58 pm

The US House of Representatives passed a bill that would reform the Endangered Species Act for the first time in 26 years.

Posted: August 18, 2014, 9:56 pm

The American Petroleum Institute once again has called on the US Environmental Protection Agency to transcend its pattern of missing self-pronounced deadlines and to finalize requirements under the federal 2014 Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) as soon as possible.

Posted: August 18, 2014, 9:54 pm

Although oil and gas producers have been fracturing wells for decades, the completion routine now is the target of uncompromising environmental opposition claiming it threatens underground sources of drinking water.

Posted: August 18, 2014, 9:47 pm

Loose pipe fittings are to blame for a sulfuric acid release that seriously injured two workers in early February at the alkylation unit of Tesoro Corp.’s 161,000-b/d Golden Eagle refinery near Martinez, Calif., according to an Aug. 15 report released by the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB).

Posted: August 18, 2014, 7:11 pm

China more than tripled natural gas production since 2003, producing 3.8 tcf in 2012, and the government is targeting production to reach about 5.5 tcf/year of gas by the end of 2015, according to a recent analysis from the US Energy Information Administration.

Posted: August 18, 2014, 5:16 pm

The New York Mercantile Exchange September crude oil contract closed the week ended Aug. 15 higher, climbing $1.77 to close at $97.35/bbl. The October contract also gained, rising $1.24 to $95.32/bbl.

Posted: August 18, 2014, 5:02 pm

Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) faces the task of determining areas where it wants to bring in partners under the sweeping energy reform that President Enrique Pena Nieto signed into law to open Mexico’s oil and gas exploration and production to private and foreign companies for the first time since 1938.

Posted: August 18, 2014, 4:28 pm

The US Department of Energy finalized reforms it proposed on May 29 to its process for determining whether planned LNG export projects are in the national interest.

Posted: August 15, 2014, 9:03 pm

Futures prices for West Texas Intermediate crude fell again Aug. 14, heading for the fourth weekly decline in a row, noted analysts with Raymond James & Associates Inc. WTI crude prices fell, RJA analysts said, “amid a growing market sense that supply is expanding as global demand slows.”

Posted: August 15, 2014, 4:25 pm

The US Environmental Protection Agency has extended the public comment period by 60 days for its proposed rule that would force petroleum refiners to implement additional controls on toxic air emissions from their refineries.

Posted: August 14, 2014, 5:48 pm

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has agreed to two separate transactions in which it will exit its Pinedale and Haynesville onshore gas assets in exchange for $2.1 billion in cash and acreage in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions.

Posted: August 14, 2014, 5:17 pm

Rex Energy Corp., State College, Pa., has agreed to acquire 100% interest in 208,000 gross acres prospective for the Marcellus, Upper Devonian-Burkett, and Utica shales in Pennsylvania and Ohio from Swepi LP, an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, for $120 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in September.

Posted: August 14, 2014, 5:14 pm

Oil prices rose modestly on the New York market Aug. 13 while oil prices ended a 3-day losing streak on the London market by rallying more than $1/bbl.

Posted: August 14, 2014, 3:23 pm

American Energy Partners LP has hired Jeffrey L. Mobley to serve as senior vice-president, major acquisitions.

Posted: August 13, 2014, 7:28 pm

Oil and gas operations have historically been regulated mainly at the state level, though the expansion of hydraulic fracturing activities has brought with it an expansion in the number and sources of regulations facing operators.

Posted: August 13, 2014, 7:26 pm
Posted: August 13, 2014, 7:22 pm

Chesapeake Energy Corp., operator of the largest acreage position in the Utica shale, has this year set an ambitious development program that calls for doubling production from the play to more than 100,000 boe/d.

Posted: August 13, 2014, 7:20 pm

Marathon Oil Corp. is seeking to reduce the environmental impact of operations in the Bakken shale by reducing the amount of water used during hydraulic fracturing and testing wastewater recycling techniques.

Posted: August 13, 2014, 7:18 pm

For Mexico, constitutional reform was just the first step in the long process of opening up its energy industry to outside investment.

Posted: August 13, 2014, 7:15 pm

In the August issue of its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the US Energy Information Administration maintains its 2014 US liquid fuels consumption forecast at 18.88 million b/d as projected in July compared with 18.89 million b/d in 2013. The 2015 consumption is set at 18.98 million b/d, 30,000 b/d higher than projected in last month’s STEO.

Posted: August 13, 2014, 5:14 pm
Posted: August 13, 2014, 5:13 pm

Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. took a leap forward on plans to increase oil production with its $3.1 billion purchase of assets in the Eagle Ford shale.

Posted: August 13, 2014, 5:08 pm
Posted: August 13, 2014, 5:06 pm
Posted: August 13, 2014, 5:04 pm

Development of the Eagle Ford shale has transformed rural DeWitt County, Tex., into one of the top oil and gas producing counties in Texas, bringing with it a welcome economic stimulus.

Posted: August 13, 2014, 4:53 pm

The American Petroleum Institute once again has called on the US Environmental Protection Agency to transcend its pattern of missing self-pronounced deadlines and to finalize requirements under the federal 2014 Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) as soon as possible.

Posted: August 13, 2014, 4:41 pm

Oil prices settled about 70¢ lower on the New York market Aug. 12 while oil prices on the London market plunged more than $1 to their lowest level since early July 2013 following a report from the International Energy Agency, which lowered its oil demand forecast.

Posted: August 13, 2014, 4:34 pm

The Obama administration should consider all parts of the US Outer Continental Shelf for leasing in the 2017-22 OCS program it has begun to prepare so future national energy policy options can be maximized, the American Petroleum Institute and 10 other oil and gas trade associations jointly said.

Posted: August 13, 2014, 4:25 pm

The global oil demand growth forecast for 2014 has been curtailed since last month’s report to a more modest 1 million b/d, according to the International Energy Agency’s most recent Oil Market Report.

Posted: August 12, 2014, 5:20 pm

Total natural gas production in Ohio’s Utica region—which includes production from the Utica and Point Pleasant formations as well as legacy production from conventional reservoirs—is expected to increase to 1.3 bcfd in September from just 155 MMcfd in January 2012, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Drilling Productivity Report (DPR).

Posted: August 12, 2014, 5:14 pm

Data are now available that underpin a major natural gas infrastructure study the INGAA Foundation Inc. released in March, the foundation and ICF International, which prepared the study, jointly announced on Aug. 11.

Posted: August 12, 2014, 4:08 pm

Oil prices rose modestly on the New York market Aug. 11 while analysts awaited the Aug. 12 release of monthly reports from the International Energy Agency and US Energy Information Administration.

Posted: August 12, 2014, 2:39 pm

Green Dragon Gas Ltd. has entered into a cooperation agreement with China National Petroleum Corp. relating to the Chengzhuang block, a 67-sq-km area included within the Shizhuang South production-sharing contract.

Posted: August 11, 2014, 9:21 pm

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) urged the US Department of the Interior to raise the 12.5% royalty rate oil and gas producers pay for production from onshore federal lands.

Posted: August 11, 2014, 9:07 pm

Brightoil Petroleum Ltd. has closed on its acquisition of interest in two oil producing blocks in Bohai Bay from Anadarko China Holdings 2 Co. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., for $1.046 billion.

Posted: August 11, 2014, 8:36 pm

Crude oil futures prices ended last week on an upswing, continuing to make gains on geopolitical news of ongoing conflict in Iraq and elsewhere.

Posted: August 11, 2014, 4:56 pm

Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMEP), Kinder Morgan Management LLC (KMR), and El Paso Pipeline Partners LP reported that KMI will acquire all of the outstanding equity securities of KMEP, KMR and El Paso, creating a single publicly traded security, KMI. The total purchase price of the transaction was $71 billion: $40 billion KMI equity, $4 billion cash, and $27 billion assumed debt.

Posted: August 11, 2014, 3:59 pm

Chris Finlayson has been named InterOil Corp. chairman-designate. He succeeds Gaylen Byker, who announced at the company’s annual meeting in June that he would retire after 17 years on the board.

Posted: August 11, 2014, 3:50 pm

The US oil and gas industry experienced a substantial rise in mergers and acquisitions during the second quarter, according to a quarterly report by PwC US Energy Practice.

Posted: August 11, 2014, 2:52 pm

Refiners and other obligated parties under the federal Renewable Fuels Standard won't be required to file 2013 reports until after 2014 quotas for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel have been announced, the US Environmental Protection Agency said.

Posted: August 11, 2014, 2:40 pm

The US Department of Energy announced an initiative to reduce methane emissions from natural gas systems nationwide following a series of roundtables with stakeholders.

Posted: August 11, 2014, 2:35 pm

Witnesses and committee members argued over the extent of oil and gas drilling permit delays at US Bureau of Land Management field offices.

Posted: August 11, 2014, 2:32 pm

International news for oil and gas professionals

Posted: August 11, 2014, 2:27 pm

Twenty-one Republican US senators, led by Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Minority Member Lisa Murkowski (Alas.), asked US Sec. of the Interior Sally Jewell to consider opening more of the US Outer Continental Shelf to oil and gas exploration and production in the next 5-year program.

Posted: August 8, 2014, 9:03 pm

The rapid shale gas development in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale formation has presented both challenges and opportunities to local governments and communities. In particular, concerns that local governments might be entering a “boom and bust” cycle—similar to previous resource extraction experiences in Pennsylvania’s history—are on the rise.

Posted: August 8, 2014, 8:38 pm

American Midstream Partners LP (AMP) has opted to use, and has received approval of, its right-of-first-offer to acquire the Gonzales County, Tex., full-well-stream gathering system from an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners LLC for total consideration not to exceed $110 million. The deal is expected to close late this year or in early 2015.

Posted: August 8, 2014, 8:13 pm
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