A fire has been extinguished from a producing, unmanned platform in the Gulf of Mexico following damage that was possibly caused by a vessel, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reported on Jan. 23.
Total US petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, increased 5.1% last month from December 2013 to average nearly 20 million b/d, according to the American Petroleum Institute’s monthly statistics for December 2014. For the fourth quarter, total US petroleum deliveries gained 2.9% compared with the same period in 2013.
Most oil exporting countries will run fiscal deficits this year if the crude price averages $57/bbl as currently indicated by markets, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Madagascar Oil Ltd. has appointed Robert Estill as chief executive officer.
The US Senate voted to recommend that the House originate legislation that would make heavy crude oil moving through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline subject to the excise tax on other transported crudes that goes into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.
Oil prices dropped more than $1/bbl on the New York market Jan. 22 on a bigger-than-expected jump in US oil supplies, and traders on Jan. 23 said news of Saudi Arabia King Abdullah’s death brought uncertainty regarding future US-Saudi relations.
The recent “rapid” decline in world oil prices is the main reason given by Pengrowth Energy Corp., Calgary, for setting its 2015 capital budget at $200 million, 74% below its $770 million budget for 2014.
The oil-price collapse will facilitate increased global transaction activity in 2015 as companies revise and implement new strategies, according to a quarterly report on the industry published by Ernst & Young.
The US House of Representatives approved a bill aimed at reforming federal natural gas pipeline permit reviews by establishing stricter deadlines for other agencies to submit information to the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has cut its expectations for oil-production growth and said it expects sharply lower capital spending by the oil industry in western Canada this year.
Oil prices rose by more than $1/bbl on the New York market Jan. 21 while traders awaited a weekly government report on US oil and product inventories as well as the European Central Bank meeting where ECB announced an economic stimulus for Europe as had been expected.
Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) has agreed to acquire Hiland Partners from founder Harold Hamm and certain Hamm family trusts for $3 billion, including the assumption of debt. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.
US Sec. of the Treasury Jack Lew signaled the Obama administration’s fresh intention to seek repeal of federal tax provisions US oil and gas producers consider essential to their businesses as part of its comprehensive business tax-reform plan.
Australia’s BHP Billiton will reduce its US onshore rig presence from 26 to 16 by July in response to lower oil prices.
Crude oil prices fell on the New York and London markets Jan. 20 on concerns about abundant oil supplies given slowing demand and weak world economic growth.
US President Barack Obama briefly mentioned energy in his 2015 State of the Union address as he outlined economic improvements since the 2008-09 recession. He devoted more time to calling for meaningful steps to address global climate change as he listed challenges the country faces.
The Chevron Australia-led Gorgon LNG project offshore Western Australia has signed a binding sales and purchase agreement to supply 4.15 million tonnes/year of LNG to SK Group’s SK LNG Trading Pte. Ltd. of South Korea for 5 years starting in 2017.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final rule approving revisions to portions of California’s state implementation plan (SIP) that govern emissions of certain air pollutants from the state’s refineries.
Statoil ASA, Lundin Petroleum AB, and E.On E&P Norge AS headlined Norway’s Awards in Predefined Areas 2014 (APA 2014) licensing round for the North, Norwegian, and Barents seas.
LyondellBasell has expanded the roles of senior executives Timothy D. Roberts, Patrick D. Quarles, and Kevin W. Brown.
Reliance Industries Ltd., Mumbai, said it expects to sign a production-sharing contract (PSC) this quarter with Myanma Oil & Gas Enterprise (MOGE) for shallow-water Blocks M17 and M18 offshore Myanmar.
Wintershall Holding GMBH says natural gas production in Germany fell by about 6% in the past year, and controversy over shale gas and hydraulic fracturing is blocking conventional gas production.
Syncrude Canada Ltd. has filed applications with Alberta Energy Regulator for two extensions to the Mildred Lake oil sands production area.
US Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation to remove the corn ethanol mandate as a way to address problems with the federal Renewable Fuels Standard. They offered their measure as an amendment on Jan. 16 to the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline approval bill now before the Senate.
Apache Corp., Houston, has appointed John J. Christmann IV as its president and chief executive officer and named him to the company’s board. He takes over the role from G. Steven Farris, who is retiring. Both moves are effective Jan. 20.
Brent crude oil for March delivery settled below $49/bbl on the London market Jan. 19 while there was no official settle for US light, sweet crude oil prices because the market in New York was closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US.
American Energy Partners LP (AEP), Oklahoma City, has named David C. Shiels as chief executive officer of affiliate American Energy–Midstream LLC (AE-MidCo).
An explosion and subsequent fire at Petroleo Brasileiro SA’s (Petrobras) 323,000-b/d Landulpho Alves refinery (RLAM) in Sao Francisco do Conde, Bahia, Brazil, has left three union workers seriously injured.
Almost all hydraulic fracturing done in California happens in the southwest portion of the San Joaquin basin in Kerr County, said a scientific study released by the California Natural Resources Agency, the California Council on Science & Technology (CCST), and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Crude oil prices rallied by more than $2/bbl on the New York market Jan. 16, which analysts attributed to comments from the International Energy Agency in Paris about a possible oil price rebound later this year along with traders buying in advance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 19.
Nebraska's Supreme Court vacated a lower court's decision that legislation transferring authority to determine the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline's route across the state to the governor from the Public Service Commission was unconstitutional.
The Bipartisan Policy Center issued a report outlining 40 possible options for reforming the federal Renewable Fuels Standard in an effort to move discussion of the controversial program beyond simply preserving or scrapping it.
While the US dollar's value against other currencies influences the price of oil, the relationship is complicated.
International news for oil and gas professionals
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management increased the liability limit for oil-spill related damages from offshore operations to $134 million from $75 million. The change will go into effect in January 2015.
Crude oil prices below $50/bbl could force some producers to reduce capital expenditures if they go on for long, but are not likely to change US energy policies, according to US Sec. of Energy Ernest G. Moniz.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final greenhouse gas prevention of significant deterioration construction permit to Magellan Processing LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Magellan Midstream Partners LP, for a $400 million condensate splitter project to be located at the company's existing bulk petroleum storage terminal in Corpus Christi, Tex.
Global exploration and production spending is expected to decline at least 8.8% in 2015 vs. 2014, according to 225 companies surveyed in the Barclays E&P Spending Outlook.
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana ruled under Phase 2 of the MDL 2179 civil trial that 3.19 million bbl of oil were discharged into the Gulf of Mexico during the Macondo deepwater well incident in 2010. BP PLC previously was found negligent in the spill.
Americans turn loopy over gasoline. They throw tantrums when gasoline prices climb enough to hurt. If federal mandates accurately express their thinking about the fuel, they'd rather burn food. And when gasoline prices sink they become incoherent.
Mexico's energy reform has launched an ambitious process to end the long-standing state oil monopoly, holding the promise to increase oil production and bolster the overall economy.
The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed amendments to federal requirements covering responses to crude-oil spills. Comments will be accepted for 90 days following the proposal’s publication in the Federal Register.
RWE AG, Hamburg, and LetterOne Group, Luxembourg, have agreed to complete the sale of RWE Dea in its entirety by early March, at latest, for €5 billion based on current exchange rates.
Gazpromneft Sakhalin, a subsidiary of JSC Gazprom Neft, has been awarded subsoil-use rights to the Severo-Zapadniy block on the Pechora Sea shelf and the Heysovskiy block on the Barents Sea shelf.
Harvest Natural Resources Inc., Houston, is seeking international arbitration against Venezuela, alleging the country’s government has thwarted efforts to sell its interest there.
Crude oil prices fell by more than $2/bbl on the New York market Jan. 15 while Brent prices dropped by about $1/bbl after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries issued a monthly report in which OPEC reduced its 2015 estimated OPEC oil demand.
Range Resources Corp., Ft. Worth., has reduced its capital budget for 2015 to $870 million from the previously reported $1.3 billion, which already represented an 18% cut compared with the 2014 budget.
Eni SPA will resume exploration offshore Egypt under concession agreements based on production sharing it has signed covering two deepwater blocks offered in Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co.’s 2013 bid round.
The US crude export ban that was imposed in 1975 should be repealed 40 years later to ensure the US oil and gas renaissance continues, ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance said.
Reviewing assets in a declining oil-price environment, Tullow Oil PLC reported pretax write-offs totalling $2.7 billion.
The Obama administration set a new goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector from 2012 levels by 40–45% by 2025, and a set of actions to put the US on a path to achieve this goal. Trade associations across the industry reiterated earlier statements that regulations would try to solve problems which already are being addressed.
Mexico needs to expand its midstream and pipeline systems to handle anticipated future demand as the nation reforms its energy policy and opens oil and gas development to foreign investors, Georgina Kessel, Mexico’s former secretary of energy, told a Mayer Brown LLP breakfast in Houston on Jan. 14.
Crude oil prices rallied on the New York and London markets Jan. 14 rising more than $2/bbl, and US light, sweet crude oil prices settled higher than Brent crude oil prices, which has been rare in recent years.
Newfield Exploration Co., The Woodlands, Tex., has concluded its marketing process for its China business and now plans to retain the assets. The business will be reclassified for financial purposes as “continuing operations” in fourth-quarter 2014.
Houston independent Swift Energy Co. reported that Pres. Bruce H. Vincent has announced his retirement effective Feb. 15, along with his resignation as a board member. Vincent has served as president of Swift Energy since November 2004 and as a Swift energy director since May 2005, having first joined the company in 1990.
Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have canceled plans to proceed with development of the proposed Al Karaana petrochemicals complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City, north of Qatar.
Shell Refining Co. (FOM) Bhd. (SRC), a holding of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, is evaluating either the potential divestiture or closure of its 125,000-b/d Port Dickson, Malaysia, refinery.
Suncor Energy Inc., Calgary, is cutting $1 billion (Can.) from its 2015 capital spending program and reducing its workforce by 1,000 because of lower crude oil prices.
The slump in oil prices will have no impact on the economy of the United Arab Emirates, says the UAE’s energy minister.
Prices for US light, sweet crude oil fell modestly on the New York market Jan. 13, reaching the lowest front-month price since April 2009 while Brent crude oil for February delivery closed at less than $47/bbl—Brent’s lowest settlement since March 2009—on the London market on Jan. 13.
The American Petroleum Institute has formed a midstream department to address issues related to energy systems and the transportation of crude oil and natural gas.
In its most recent monthly Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the US Energy Information Administration reported it expects global oil inventories to continue to build in 2015, keeping downward pressure on oil prices.
A subsidiary of EnLink Midstream Partners LP has agreed to by LPC Crude Oil Marketing LLC, which has crude oil gathering, transportation, and marketing operations in the Permian basin. LPC purchases, transports, and sells about 60,000 b/d. The acquisition adds crude oil first purchasing and logistics to EnLink’s existing Permian natural gas gathering and processing services.
E.On E&P has acquired 22.5% interest in several licenses in Blocks 22/13b, 22/14d, 22/18b, and 22/19b covering the Manhattan prospect of the central UK North Sea.
Oil & Gas UK said falling oil prices are creating an urgent need for fundamental changes to the tax regime.
Jeffrey A. Fisher has been named chief executive officer of the newly formed American Energy Appalachia Holdings LLC (AEA), a unit of American Energy Partners LP (AEP).
Russian independent exploration and production company Urals Energy PCL, Nicosia, Cyprus, said a fire has led to suspended processing activities at subsidiary JSC Petrosakh’s 4,000-b/d refinery, located adjacent to Okruzhnoye field on the eastern coast of Sakhalin Island.
BlackPearl Resources Inc., Calgary, is reducing its 2015 capital budget to $31 million (Can.) from $80 million (Can.) “as a result of the continued deterioration in crude oil prices,” the firm said.
Crude oil futures prices for February delivery dropped more than $2/bbl on the New York market for the Jan. 12 settlement after Goldman Sachs lowered its oil-price forecasts.
Husky Energy Inc., Calgary, temporarily has shut down operations at its 160,000-b/d Lima, Ohio, refinery following an explosion and ensuing fire that hit one of the plant’s processing units over the weekend.
In response to lower oil prices, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Calgary, plans to cut 2015 capital spending to $6.2 billion (Can.) from its original budget of $8.6 billion (Can.).
Crude oil prices for February declined modestly on the New York market in Jan. 9 trading and settled above $48/bbl, which some analysts took as a sign that a dropping weekly rig count helped support oil prices.
US Sens. John A. Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the 114th Congress's first legislation aimed at increasing US exports of LNG.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto needs a warning about how the US treats friends nowadays. On the day of his chummy, Dec. 6, 2014, meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington, DC, the White House promised Obama would veto legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline border crossing.
California's Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the public agency responsible for regulating stationary sources of air pollution in the nine counties that surround San Francisco Bay, is moving forward with its plan to impose further emissions cuts on area refiners within the next 5 years.
US President Barack Obama placed Bristol Bay off-limits for future oil and gas leasing, extending a temporary withdrawal he imposed in 2010 that was due to expire in 2017.
In one of the busiest Decembers ever for oil and gas in the nation's capital, one word-infrastructure-kept popping up as a key challenge for 2015.
A National Research Council committee opened a second investigation of potential environmental consequences from diluted bitumen (dilbit) spills from pipelines.
Spending cuts announced so far by oil and gas companies will have a limited effect on oil supplies in a year beginning with oil price weakness and promising trouble for the producing and support industries, says a report from Moody's Investors Service.
Thirty-three years ago, nearly to the day, this editor walked into the Houston offices of Oil & Gas Journal to take a job no one had ever held before...nor would hold again.
The White House signaled that US President Barack Obama will not sign a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline if one reaches his desk at presstime last week.
The American Petroleum Institute broadened its fifth annual State of American Energy report as it included solar, nuclear, hydropower, wind, coal, geothermal, biomass, and energy efficiency as well as oil and gas.
The US House of Representatives majority has scheduled a Jan. 9 vote on a bill to approve the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project as OGJ went to press last week.
Iran is in the process of securing a credit line from China that would finance the rehabilitation and modernization of Iran’s 400,000-b/d Abadan refinery, the country’s oldest and largest crude oil processing complex.
Nebraska’s Supreme Court vacated a lower court’s decision that legislation transferring authority to determine the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline’s route across the state to the governor from the Public Service Commission was unconstitutional.
The government of Georgia is seeking investors to develop on a build, operate, and transfer basis what would be the country’s first refinery.
Global exploration and production spending is expected to decline at least 8.8% in 2015 vs. 2014, according to 225 companies surveyed in the Barclays E&P Spending Outlook. North American budgets, meanwhile, are expected to fall at least 14.1% with significant downside potential, Barclays said.
Regulations meant to trim the use of oil products in the US will distort fuel-market adjustments to falling oil prices by putting the burden on supply, warns Fitch Ratings, New York.
Crude oil futures prices for February delivery climbed modestly on the New York market in Jan. 8 trading, and crude oil prices are in contango, meaning the front-month contract costs less than the next month’s contract.
US Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) reintroduced legislation he offered in 2014 to help improve federal processing of applications to construct natural gas pipelines. The bill, HR 161, aims to overcome delays when other federal agencies fail to move quickly during the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s review process.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee marked up and approved Chair Lisa Murkowski’s bill approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The 13-9 vote sends the measure to the full Senate, which is expected to debate and vote on it next week.
Scotland, citing the plunge in oil prices, has called on the UK government to accelerate fiscal reforms aimed at encouraging investment in offshore oil and gas.
Global capital expenditures for oil and gas exploration and production projects are expected to drop 17% to $571 billion in 2015, according to Cowen and Co.’s annual study of 476 oil and gas companies’ E&P capex budgets. The study assumes an average West Texas Intermediate price of $70/bbl.
Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Co. of Nigeria Ltd. (SPDC), reported signing a Â£55-million settlement agreement with the Bodo community in respect of the two operational spills in 2008.
Swedish independent Lundin Petroleum AB has budgeted a total of $1.45 billion for development, appraisal, and exploration in 2015, marking a 31% decrease from its capital spending budget for last year.
American Energy–Utica LLC (AEU) and American Energy–Marcellus LLC (AEM), both affiliates of American Energy Partners LP (AELP), will merge in an all-stock transaction.
Crude oil prices below $50/bbl could force some producers to reduce capital expenditures if they go on for long, but are not likely to change US energy policies, according to US Sec. of Energy Ernest G. Moniz.
US light, sweet crude oil futures prices for February rebounded modestly on the New York market Jan. 7 after a weekly government report showed crude oil inventories dropped more than analysts had expected while supplies of diesel and gasoline gained.
Athabasca Oil Corp., Calgary, has promoted Rob Broen to president. Broen has been chief operating officer and retains that title. Tom Buchanan continues as chief executive officer and chairman.
US Sens. John A. Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the 114th Congress’s first legislation aimed at increasing US exports of LNG.