The price of Brent crude oil reached above $70/bbl early this week, the first time since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ “market share” ministerial meeting in December 2014. The factors affecting this upward movement include the possible unravelling of the Iran nuclear deal and recent demonstrations in the country, disruption to Libya’s oil industry, and closure of the Forties pipeline system.
Light, sweet crude oil for February delivery fell slightly on the New York market after swinging between a high of $64.35/bbl and a low of $63.47/bbl during the Jan. 18 trading session. Brent edged down a few cents, settling above $69/bbl.
Lance Robertson has joined Endeavor Energy Resources LP, Midland, as chief operating officer and senior vice-president of development.
Five Republican US senators introduced legislation aimed at reforming federal onshore oil and gas policies by giving states authority to manage permitting and regulatory responsibilities on federal land within their borders.
A coalition of natural gas pipeline opponents suggested eight reforms to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s project review process in response to FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre’s December 2017 announcement that the process will be reexamined as part of an overall fresh look at the commission’s operations.
A militant group whose attacks slashed Nigerian oil production in 2016 has repeated a threat it made last November to renew and expand the violence. On its web site, the group, Niger Delta Avengers, said deepwater production equipment would be targeted.
American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard reported that he will step down in August after 10 years when his contract expires and not make another long-term commitment to the nation’s largest oil and gas trade association. Until that time, he will continue as API’s president and assist in the search for his successor, he said.
Crude oil benchmarks gained modestly on the New York and London markets Jan. 17 on news of possible world oil supply risks due to political uncertainty. Analysts said crude prices held steady pending release of a monthly report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
US commercial crude inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, declined 6.9 million bbl during the week ended Jan. 12 compared with the previous week’s total, the US Energy Information Administration said in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report.
Leading Democrats on the US House Natural Resources Committee raised financial and legal questions about EnergyNet, an Amarillo, Tex., transaction service that manages the US Bureau of Land Management’s online oil and gas leasing program.
Matt Gallagher, president and chief operating officer of Parsley Energy Inc., Austin, will become chief executive officer in January 2019 under a plan announced earlier this month.
Vermilion Energy Inc. has agreed to acquire a private Saskatchewan company with light-oil production in the Sinclair and Fertile areas straddling the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border.
The February light, sweet crude oil price dropped moderately on the New York market Jan. 16 but still settled above $63.70/bbl while the March Brent crude oil price dropped more than $1 on the London market.
A US withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement could create an additional delay for projects seeking to export US natural gas to Mexico, dealing an unnecessary blow to the Trump administration’s goal of establishing US energy dominance, an American Petroleum Institute official warned during a Jan. 16 discussion at the Heritage Foundation.
Linn Energy Inc., Houston, signed an agreement to sell its interest in properties in Altamont Bluebell field in the Uinta basin to an undisclosed buyer for $132 million.
EXCO Resources Inc., Dallas, has filed petitions for a court-supervised reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in the Southern District of Texas and is in discussions with its creditors regarding the terms of a financial restructuring plan. The company will explore alternatives, including a sale of assets under Section 363 of the bankruptcy code.
Brent crude oil for March delivery settled above $70/bbl on the London market Jan. 15 for the first time since December 2014. Analysts attributed rising oil prices in a weakening US dollar.
Shell Midstream Partners LP reported that after working 38 years with Royal Dutch Shell PLC, John Hollowell will retire as president and chief executive officer of general partner Shell Midstream Partners GP LLC, effective Mar. 31.
Ineos Oil & Gas has organized its holdings into six business units. The division of chemical giant Ineos, London, has grown rapidly through acquisitions in the North Sea and UK onshore since 2015.
Brent crude oil for March delivery traded as high as $70.05/bbl on the London market Jan. 12 before retreating to settle at about $69.90/bbl while light, sweet crude prices in New York settled just above $64/bbl.
Two leading Democrats on the US House Natural Resources Committee questioned the US Bureau of Land Management’s Dec. 29, 2017, rescission of its 2015 hydraulic fracturing regulation because the agency’s justification varied dramatically from one it reached in 2012 when it explained why the rule was needed.
SandRidge Energy Inc., Oklahoma City, has canceled its agreement to acquire Bonanza Creek Energy Inc., Denver. The cash-and-stock deal had an implied value of $746 million.
US light, sweet crude oil and natural gas futures both traded higher on the New York market Jan. 11 after the US Energy Information Administration reported weekly drops in both crude oil supplies and underground gas storage levels.
Relative price stability bodes well for oil and gas deal-making in 2018 and the Permian basin is expected to continue as the lead target for merger and acquisition activity. Barring a geopolitical event, oil prices are expected to remain on the high end of the $55-65/bbl range, and price stability is as important to deal-making as a high oil price, said a panel of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher oil and gas and M&A attorneys in a Jan. 10 webcast.
Natural gas in underground storage across the Lower 48 was 2.767 tcf for the week ended Jan. 5, down 359 bcf from the previous week, the US Energy Information Administration estimated.
Total US crude oil production is expected to average 10.3 million b/d in 2018, up 1 million b/d from 2017. If achieved, forecast 2018 production would be the highest annual average recorded in US history, passing the 1970 record of 9.6 million b/d, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.
The US House Natural Resources Committee approved a measure that aims to streamline offshore oil and gas producers’ applications for incidental harassment authorizations not directly related to exploration and production. H.R. 3133 passed by voice vote on Jan. 10 after two amendments proposed by Democrats on the committee were defeated.
Light, sweet crude prices approached 3-year highs on Jan. 10 pending a US decision on whether to extend temporary waivers on sanctions against Iran. Oil prices rose in early Jan. 11 trading on the New York market.
US Chamber of Commerce Pres. Thomas J. Donohue said oil and gas pipelines and electricity transmission systems must be included as he listed US infrastructure improvements as a top priority in 2018 in his annual State of American Business address on Jan. 10.
Scotland’s ban on hydraulic fracturing has come under legal attack. Ineos Shale said it is seeking judicial review of the government’s decision in October to extend indefinitely a moratorium in place since 2015.
The light, sweet crude price for February delivery climbed more than $1 to settle above $62.90/bbl on the New York market Jan. 9 while Brent’s March contract rose more than $1 to settle above $68.80/bbl in London.
US commercial crude oil inventories, which exclude the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased 4.9 million bbl during the week ended Jan. 5 from the previous week. The latest estimate is 419.5 million bbl, which puts oil in storage in the middle of the average range for this time of year, the US Energy Information Administration said.
The administration of Donald Trump and the 115th Congress—having concluded 2017 by passing and enacting the first substantial federal tax reforms in decades—should turn their attention now to regulatory reforms and improvements to infrastructure that include new oil and gas pipelines, American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard said.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has terminated a proceeding on Jan. 8 that considered US Energy Sec. Rick Perry’s Sept. 29 proposal on electric power grid pricing and resilience. It directed regional operators to provide information on whether they and FERC need to take additional action to make power grids more resilient instead.
Christina Verchere has joined OMV AG as president of the executive board and chief executive officer of the company’s Southeast European oil and gas subsidiary, OMV Petrom SA, Bucharest.
Light, sweet crude prices rose modestly Jan. 8 but settled for a second consecutive day below $62/bbl on the New York market while market participants await a decision on possible US sanctions against Iran.
Lucid Energy Group agreed to sell Lucid Energy Group II to a joint venture controlled by Riverstone Global Energy & Power Fund VI, an investment fund managed by Riverstone Holdings, and investment funds managed by the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs Group for $1.6 billion in cash.
ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) and partners will receive exploratory rights to a block off Israel in what looks like a swerve by India away from Iran.
Clayton A. Carrell joined Southwestern Energy Co., Houston, last month as executive vice-president and chief operating officer.
Lloyd W. “Billy” Helms Jr. has been promoted to chief operating officer of EOG Resources Inc. An EOG employee for 36 years, Helms most recently was executive vice-president, exploration and production.
Light, sweet crude prices dropped modestly to settle below $62/bbl on the New York market Jan. 5, but US crude futures still gained for the week for a third consecutive week.
Two environmental groups have lost a court fight against Arctic oil and gas licenses off Norway that they called the first lawsuit claiming governmental violation of the Paris climate accord.
Brent crude oil prices reached a 3-year high on the London market Jan. 4, which analysts attributed to declining US crude supplies and possible risk to world oil supplies caused by protests in Iran.
The US Department of the Interior issued a draft proposed 2019-24 US Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing program which would make more than 90% of the nation’s federal offshore acreage available and schedule the largest number of lease sales there in history. The current 2017-22 program enacted late in the Obama administration put 94% of the OCS off-limits to oil and gas activity, DOI officials noted.
US commercial crude oil inventories, which exclude the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased by 7.4 million bbl during the week ended Dec. 29 from the previous week.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has called for international, multi-institutional research, observation, and analysis of the Gulf of Mexico’s loop current system (LCS).
BP, Eni, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Shell, Statoil, Total, and Wintershall have committed to further reduce methane emissions from natural gas operations.
Qatar Petroleum has completed the merger of Qatargas and RasGas Co. Ltd., its LNG subsidiaries.
Light, sweet crude oil on the New York market and Brent crude oil on the London market both fell slightly on Jan. 2, but both benchmarks rose in early Jan. 3 trading upon reports of antigovernment protests in Iran.
Jason Wiun and Jaret Sprott have been promoted to senior vice-president and chief operating officer, Wiun for pipelines and Sprott for facilities, at Pembina Pipeline Corp., Calgary.
Donnie Moore has joined Gulfport Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, as chief operating officer.
Michael J. Garberding has been named president and chief executive officer of EnLink Midstream LLC and EnLink Midstream Partners, Dallas.
State-owned PT Pertamina (Persero) has become operator of the Offshore Mahakam Block off Indonesia after ownership reverted to the government when the production-sharing contract expired at the end of 2017.
The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement proposes to revise offshore production safety requirements in ways it says will lighten the oil and gas industry’s regulatory load.
US oil and gas operators can worry less about federal prosecution for accidentally killing migratory birds under a new opinion from the Department of the Interior Solicitor’s office.
Ineos has completed mechanical repair of the hairline crack in its 575,000-b/d Forties crude oil pipeline system in the UK and lifted restrictions on oil and gas flow from the North Sea fields it serves.
US Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke issued an updated resource assessment showing that the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, Western Beaufort Sea, adjacent Alaska state and Native lands, and state waters might contain 17.6 billion bbl of crude oil and more than 50 tcf of natural gas.
A federal appeals court ordered the US Environmental Protection agency to file a status report by Jan. 12 on when it expects to establish air quality designations under the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for US areas not yet designated.
Despite the Asia-Pacific region’s strong potential demand, Latin America is becoming a steadily growing market for US LNG exports, speakers at a Washington conference indicated.
Seventeen environmental organizations have sued in US District Court for Northern California to compel the US Bureau of Land Management to implement its oil and gas 2016 methane venting and flaring rule. Their Dec. 19 action challenges BLM’s decision earlier in December to delay most of the regulation’s compliance deadlines until Jan. 29, 2019, while the agency reviews it further.
The French legislature has passed the ban on oil and gas exploration and production announced earlier this year.
Crude oil prices rose modestly on both the New York and London markets Dec. 19 pending release of the US government’s weekly inventory report on crude oil and product supplies. The US Energy Information Administration said commercial crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased 6.5 million bbl for the week ended Dec. 15 from the previous week.
The Nebraska Public Service Commission unanimously denied TransCanada Corp.’s petition for reconsideration of the PSC’s earlier approval of a mainline alternative for the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline through the Cornhusker State.
The draft final scientific report on the impact of hydraulic fracturing in unconventional shale reservoirs in Australia’s Northern Territory, released for public viewing last week, has reached an overall conclusion that the challenges and risks associated with any onshore shale gas industry in the NT are manageable as long as a number of regulations and standards are implemented and strictly enforced.
Tim McKay has been promoted to president of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Calgary. He succeeds Steve Laut, who will become executive vice-chairman and remain on the management committee.
US-Mexico energy relationships are sufficiently strong to withstand uncertainties ranging from the North American Free Trade Agreement’s renegotiations to Mexico’s upcoming presidential election, speakers agreed at a Dec. 15 conference sponsored by the Institute of the Americas.
Oil prices fell on the New York market Dec. 18 but rose modestly in London. Analysts attributed the light, sweet crude price drop to news that a planned oil workers strike in Nigeria was called off.
Russia and Iran are bolstering energy cooperation. Officials of state-owned Gazprom have signed agreements with counterparts at several Iranian entities envisioning cooperation in a range of operations.
Four members asked leaders of the full US Senate and the Finance Committee to include a carbon capture and storage credit in a yearend tax extenders package. “Federal investment in CCS technologies is a critical component of our national energy and emissions reduction policies and has the potential to be an economic boon for US companies and researchers,” the senators said in their Dec. 14 letter.
The US Army Corps of Engineers’ New Orleans District issued a permit to Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC to construct a 162-mile underground extension of an existing crude oil pipeline from Lake Charles, La., to the St. James marine terminal hub.