Top officials from 13 US oil and gas associations and three non-energy national business groups called on US House leaders to support HR 702, a bill that would end the 40-year ban on exporting US-produced crude oil, when it comes to a floor vote on Oct. 9.
The US should resist congressional calls to sell part of its Strategic Petroleum Reserve to raise money for other federal programs, and concentrate instead on thoroughly analyzing where the SPR fits within dramatically different global markets than existed 40 years ago when it was established, witnesses told the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
US average home heating expenditures during the upcoming winter heating season (Oct. 1 through Mar. 31) will be lower than last winter, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Winter Fuels Outlook.
Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) reported further cuts to its capital budget, reducing planned spending for 2015 by $3 billion to $25 billion and by $8 billion to $19 billion for 2016. The company cited low crude oil prices and unfavorable exchange rates.
The board of Canadian Oil Sand Ltd. (COS) reported it will review the unsolicited takeover offer made Oct. 5 by Suncor Energy Inc., Calgary. Suncor’s offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of COS is valued at $4.3 billion (Can.).
Freeport-McMoRan Inc., Phoenix, is reviewing “strategic alternatives” for its oil and gas business, including its possible spinoff to shareholders, joint venture arrangements, and further spending reductions.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for November delivery rose on the New York market Oct. 5 as did Brent crude oil prices on the London market, which analysts largely attributed to cuts in US production capacity as indicated by a falling rig count.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court denied ExxonMobil Corp.’s appeal of a lower court’s $236 million award to the state in a lawsuit charging groundwater contamination from the company’s use of methyl tertiary butyl ether as a gasoline oxygenate additive in the 1980s.
Targa Resources Partners LP and Sanchez Energy Corp. have agreed to form joint ventures that will construct a 200-MMcfd cryogenic natural gas processing plant in La Salle County, Tex., and 45 miles of high-pressure gathering pipelines that will connect Sanchez Energy’s Catarina gathering system to the plant.
The US government as well as the governments of five states reached a proposed $20.8-billion settlement with BP PLC to resolve civil claims arising from the 2010 Macondo deepwater well blowout and subsequent crude oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the largest such settlement with a single entity in US history, the US Department of Justice said.
Statoil ASA has purchased a 24% interest in the license containing the UK section of transborder Alfa Sentral natural gas and condensate field in the North Sea and expects unitization negotiations to begin soon.
SandRidge Energy Inc., Oklahoma City, has agreed to acquire Pinon Gathering Co. LLC, Houston, from EIG Global Energy Partners for $48 million cash and $78 million of its 8.75% senior secured notes due 2020. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission outlined an expedited rulemaking schedule aimed at voting on a final rule by June 27, 2016, requiring US oil, gas, and mining companies to report payments made to foreign governments.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for November delivery regained some strength in late Oct. 2 trading, settling back above $45/bbl after Baker Hughes Inc. reported the number of active US drilling rigs dropped to the lowest level in years.
State air quality agencies apparently would appreciate better implementation direction from the US Environmental Protection Agency if it reduces allowable ground-level ozone limits from 75 ppb to a proposed 65-70 ppb range.
If the politics of climate change must begin and end with name-calling, a squabble about labels can seem serious.
Having moved from seismic exploration into other areas of geophysical research, the new president of the Society of Exploration Geophysics still helps to find oil.
The US Environmental Protection Agency required fenceline monitoring for the first time as it issued a final rule updating refinery emissions control requirements.
Highlights of a draft technical report on the importance of decision quality in multicompany upstream projects was presented to the Society of Petroleum Engineers' Annual Technology Conference & Expo (ATCE) in Houston.
A combination of resistivity and magnetic data provided valuable information for delineating volcanic vents and dikes, further defining geological contacts of volcanic tuff and solid basaltic rocks in the Austin area and throughout Texas.
North America has become a "global energy powerhouse" in the 20 years since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented, and the continent now has a "tremendous opportunity" to further leverage its position globally by improving efficiency, collaboration, and connectivity, a speaker noted at a Sept. 24 event hosted by the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC encountered oil and gas shows in its Burger J exploration well in Alaska's Chukchi Sea, but the results weren't "sufficient to warrant further exploration," the company reported on Sept. 28.
This is the final of three articles that present selections from the 2014 American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Q&A and Technology Forum.
The US House has passed, by a 233 to 170 vote, HR 348, which aims to streamline federal reviews of proposed oil and gas, highway, and other transportation projects.
Panelists at the opening general session of the Society of Petroleum Engineers' Annual Technology Conference & Expo (ATCE) were asked to discuss how the oil and gas industry will meet energy demand that is expected to rise 32% by 2040.
Successfully drilling horizontal coalbed methane wells depends on wellbore stability, which in turn depends on coal-seam thickness, seam depth, coal cohesion, overburden stress, wellbore length, reservoir pressure, and the drilling fluid used.
Recent exploration and renewed interest in the San Joaquin basin, and other California oil basins, has focused on unconventional shale plays, especially in the Monterey formation.
The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) fined ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. more than $2.6 million in connection with the 2013 rupture causing a crude-oil leak from its Pegasus Pipeline near Mayflower, Ark.
Under newly proposed hazardous liquid pipeline safety regulations, the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration would require pipelines to have leak-detection systems and timelines for inspecting affected segments following an extreme weather event or natural disaster, the US Department of Transportation agency said.
Wintershall Holding GMBH and OAO Gazprom have completed an equally valued assets swap whereby Wintershall takes 25.01% interest in two western Siberian blocks and Gazprom takes full stake in natural gas trading and storage businesses.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for November delivery declined to settle back under $45/bbl on the New York market Oct. 1 while analysts and traders appeared focused on forecasting how far US oil production might fall, and how the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will react.
The US Environmental Protection Agency announced that it will reduce allowable ground-level ozone limits to 70 ppb from the 75 ppb level it set in 2008. Oil and gas industry trade associations and other major business groups immediately said it went too far. Environmental and public health organizations claimed it did not go far enough.
Delek US Holdings Inc. has let a contract to ClearSign Combustion Corp., Seattle, to implement its Duplex combustion and emissions-control technology at the newly expanded 75,000-b/d refinery in Tyler, Tex.
Sponsors of US Senate and House bills to repeal the 40-year-old ban on exports of US-produced crude oil expect their measures to move ahead soon. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), said the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee planned to mark up her bill, S. 1372, on Oct. 1. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), meanwhile, said his measure, HR 702, could reach the House floor the following week.
The latest Texas Petro Index reflects the ongoing contraction of the upstream oil and gas economy in Texas, falling 10.7 points to 235.4 in August compared with July.
A federal court judge in Wyoming issued a preliminary injunction that will keep the US Bureau of Land Management from enforcing its hydraulic fracturing rule until legal challenges against it are resolved.
PBF Holding Co. LLC, a subsidiary of PBF Energy Inc., Parsippany, NJ, has entered an agreement to buy ExxonMobil Corp.’s 155,000-b/d refinery in Torrance, Calif., which has been shuttered since early this year following an explosion and ensuing fire that struck the plant in February.
Light, sweet crude oil prices declined slightly to settle at just above $45/bbl lower on the New York market Sept. 30 after weekly inventory statistics showed a build in US oil and product inventories.
Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) awarded three of five shallow-water blocks in its Round One second tender, a more successful auction than the first in July that received just 2 bids on 14 blocks. All five blocks are part of the Southeast basin in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Endangered Species Act works best when state governments and local stakeholders are heavily involved, witnesses testifying before a US Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee agreed. But they strongly differed on whether the 1973 law itself is still effective, or needs to be reformed.
The US Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on a proposed rule that would update and replace its regulations governing the measurement of oil produced from onshore federal and Indian leases.
Significant progress has been made in making US oil and gas pipelines safer and reducing the number of accidental releases, government and industry witnesses agreed at a US Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee hearing. But they also emphasized that more work needs to be done.
Crude oil prices rose 80Â¢/bbl on the New York Sept. 29 to settle slightly above $45/bbl as traders and analysts awaited the weekly government inventory report on crude oil and products, which showed an increase.
The US Environmental Protection Agency required fenceline monitoring for the first time as it issued a final rule updating refinery emissions control requirements. Refiners will be required to install the monitors to measure benzene at the edges of their plant sites to better protect and inform nearby communities, EPA said.
Highlights of a draft technical report on the importance of decision quality in multicompany upstream projects was presented to the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Annual Technology Conference & Expo (ATCE) in Houston. The goal of the report was to help operators work more seamlessly with joint-venture partners to mitigate cost overruns and schedule slippage by making better, quicker decisions that add more value.
The US House has passed, by a 233 to 170 vote, HR 348, which aims to streamline federal reviews of proposed oil and gas, highway, and other transportation projects. Republicans generally supported the bill, while Democrats largely opposed it. The House approved similar bills in the 112th and 113th Congresses. The White House has said President Barack Obama would veto the measure if it reaches his desk.
Officials from oil and natural gas producing states worked with scientists and industry advisors to compile a primer intended as a policy-guiding document to help states develop strategies to manage induced seismicity.
Crude oil prices fell more than $1/bbl on both the New York and London markets Sept. 28, which analysts and traders largely attributed to weakness in equities and commodities markets. Meanwhile, ample world oil supplies still exist even though US production has started to decline.
Eagle Ford production growth remains resilient because sweet spots continue to emerge across all active subplays despite an activity slowdown caused by low oil and gas prices, said a Wood Mackenzie Ltd. key play analysis.
Navitas Midstream Partners LLC of The Woodlands, Tex.,acquired natural gas gathering and processing assets serving Martin, Midland, and Glasscock counties in Texas from a subsidiary of DCP Midstream LLC of Denver for an undisclosed amount.
A federal court in Fargo, ND, temporarily blocked an Environmental Protection Agency rule intended to give the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers authority over smaller waterways, such as ditches and tributaries, that previously were under control of state regulators.
WPX Energy Inc. plans to sell its North Dakota gathering system for nearly $185 million to Ares EIF Group, a subsidiary of Ares Management LP. WPX of Tulsa continues selling assets to lower outstanding debt.
A Baltimore City Circuit Court ruled that the information railroads submit to the state about the volume and frequency of crude oil rail shipments is public and subject to disclosure under the Maryland Public Information Act.
Bakken crude-by-rail (CBR) volumes are down this year, and pipeline shipments are increasing as production levels off in the wake of last year's price crash.
Oil and gas exploration and production companies (producers) need lots of capital. Equity financing is often more expensive than the producer's managers desire.
Schlumberger Ltd. plans to acquire equipment manufacturer Cameron International Corp. for $14.8 billion, including debt and other costs.
The energy industry continues to undergo a seismic shift. While the ongoing revolution within the industry is still driven by development of unconventional oil and gas, the recent boom in production from shale has encountered a slight hiccup-primarily caused by the considerable dip in commodity pricing.
Independent producers face a dilemma when it comes to light, tight oil production because each new well means more output to sell, but those barrels also add to a growing US oil inventory, which puts downward pressure on commodity prices.
An elevated level of asset impairments during the first two quarters, coupled with a bleak crude oil price outlook, has put 2015 on track to experience the highest exploration and production asset impairments in a decade.
Appalachian basin shale gas resource estimates are growing. The Potential Gas Committee reported the Atlantic area is the richest US gas-resource area with an estimated 35% of total US gas resources that could be developed if needed.
Updated revisions to Pennsylvania's Chapter 78, which regulates oil and natural gas unconventional and conventional wells, were released during August by Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Quigley and Deputy Secretary Scott Perry.
MarkWest Energy Partners LP and the Energy & Minerals Group (EMG) agreed to develop a large-scale dry gas gathering system to expand Utica midstream operations, and the new gathering system was expected to be operational by Dec. 31.
A May 6 US Internal Revenue service proposed rulemaking on qualifying income from oil and gas and other publicly traded master limited partnerships would narrow the definition from what Congress originally intended, 23 of 24 Republican House Ways and Means Committee members warned.
EQT Corp., Pittsburgh, said a deep Utica dry gas well averaged 72.9 MMcfd with an average flowing casing pressure of 8,641 psi during a 24-hr test. The well was completed using a 18-stage fracturing job, all-ceramic proppant, and a 3,221-ft lateral.
India’s state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp. has issued a letter of award to Alphageo (India) Ltd. for a 2,010-sq-km 3D seismic acquisition in India’s Krishna-Godavari basin. The survey, says Alphageo, will serve as the country’s largest onshore seismic project to date.
Panelists at the opening general session of the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Annual Technology Conference & Expo (ATCE) were asked to discuss how the oil and gas industry will meet energy demand that is expected to rise 32% by 2040.
Energy Transfer Equity LP (ETE), Dallas, and Williams Cos. Inc., Tulsa, have agreed to merge in a deal valued at $37.7 billion, including the assumption of debt and other liabilities. Williams previously rejected an unsolicited all-equity acquisition proposal by ETE valued at $53.1 billion.
BG Group PLC has acquired three non-operated positions offshore Newfoundland from Repsol SA. The blocks lie about 200 km from St. John’s, Newf. The company’s equity stakes range from 10-25%.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) readopted a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) that requires a 10% reduction in transportation fuels’ carbon intensity by 2020.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC encountered oil and gas shows in its Burger J exploration well in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, but the results weren’t “sufficient to warrant further exploration,” the company reported on Sept. 28.
Kurmangazy Iskaziev has been appointed general director (chief executive officer) of Kazakhstan oil producer JSC KazMunaiGas Exploration Production (KMG EP). He had served as chief executive officer of JSC Embamunaigas, one of the core production assets of KMG EP.
The crude oil contract for November delivery gained modestly to close at lower than $46/bbl on the New York market Sept. 25, ending the week with an overall gain for a second consecutive week as statistics showed the US rig count continued to soften.
If high fuel prices are like a tax increase, shouldn't low fuel prices be receiving gushes of American welcome?
Mounting political unrest under an increasingly oppressive government is only one reason Venezuela is having more trouble coping with depressed crude oil prices than other major producing countries, speakers said at a Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy event in New York.
Newly announced minimum acceptable bids for the shallow-water development phase of Mexico's Round One are internationally competitive, according to analysis from research and consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie Ltd., which adds that two thirds of the qualified companies could place bids.
Fundamental business conditions for integrated oil and gas companies will worsen before signs of improvement appear late next year, according to a Moody's Investors Service assessment based on reduced expectations for crude oil and natural gas prices.
New US Environmental Protection Agency data, which show states and cities are having trouble meeting current ground-level ozone limits, cast doubt on their ability to meet stricter requirements the agency is considering, an American Petroleum Institute official said.
When he addressed the Business Roundtable on Sept. 15, US President Barack Obama acknowledged there could be problems for states and cities when the US Environmental Protection Agency issues possibly more stringent ozone rules on Oct. 1.
The White House believes a decision on whether to end a 40-year-old ban on exports of US-produced crude oil should come from the US Department of Commerce instead of the Oval Office, White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest said.
An unprecedented habitat conservation collaboration led the US Fish and Wildlife Service to not list the greater sage grouse as a threatened or endangered species.
Partnerships with pipeline owner-operators, state and local governments, and Congress will be critical as the US Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) strives to be a more effective regulator amid rapid change, its new administrator told a US Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee on Sept. 18.
Senate Democrats and former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton have joined US President Barack Obama's escalating campaign to sacrifice welfare from fossil energy to newly sanctified fear about climate change.
Amid the economic chaos of the past decade that has befallen Europe, Poland has managed a steady, uninterrupted climb.
International news for oil and gas professionals
The North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) gave the oil and gas industry 10 extra months to reduce the amount of associated natural gas flared at oil wells, citing industry’s comments that pipeline construction delays have made it all but impossible to meet existing targets.
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) called the state legislature into special session starting Oct. 24 to discuss natural gas pipeline issues. He asked lawmakers in his Sept. 24 proclamation to consider reinstating a tax on undeveloped Alaska North Slope gas reserves, and exercising the state’s option to acquire TransCanada Corp.’s interest in the Alaska LNG Project.
North America has become a “global energy powerhouse” in the 20 years since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was implemented, and the continent now has a “tremendous opportunity” to further leverage its position globally by improving efficiency, collaboration, and connectivity, a speaker noted at a Sept. 24 event hosted by the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston.
Venezuela has signed an agreement with neighboring Trinidad and Tobago to send its portion of the natural gas being developed and produced from giant Loran-Manatee field to the twin-island nation for processing as LNG. Loran-Manatee field lies along the two countries’ maritime border.
The crude oil contract for November delivery gained modestly to close at just under $45/bbl on the New York market Sept. 24 following a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in which she said the US economy was strong enough to support an interest-rate increase later this year.
The Ohio Supreme Court has cleared the way for Youngstown voters to vote again on a fracturing ban in November even though such an amendment, if approved, could be deemed unconstitutional by courts later.
The crude oil contract for November delivery dropped $1.88/bbl on the New York market Sept. 23 on reports of sluggish manufacturing statistics from China, a major oil consumer, and analysts said those reports contributed to volatility across commodity markets.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has submitted its assessment of Statoil ASA’s amended plan for development and operation (PDO) for Gullfaks field—involving Shetland-Lista Phase 1—in the Norwegian North Sea to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
Countries attempting to import more LNG could increase an already growing advantage over suppliers worldwide in the next few years, a market analyst suggested.
Public impressions of unconventional oil and gas production in general and hydraulic fracturing in particular suggest more work needs to be done to give people actual information that will help them make intelligent decisions, a speaker at a Sept. 22 RTI International event suggested.
Total SA plans to reduce its capital expenditures to $20-21 billion in 2016 from $23-24 billion in 2015 and a peak of $28 billion in 2013. The French multinational firm says it then will return to a “sustainable level” of $17-19 billion in 2017 and beyond.
Wexpro Co., a subsidiary of Questar Corp., Salt Lake City, has entered into a joint venture with Laramie Energy II LLC subsidiary Piceance Energy LLC to develop natural gas-producing assets in western Colorado’s Piceance basin.
Oil prices dropped less than $1/bbl on the New York market Sept. 22 as traders and analysts awaited the weekly US oil and product inventory report, which showed an overall decrease.