The US Office of Natural Resources Revenue has postponed the Jan. 1 effective date for its new final rule covering oil and gas as well as coal valuation on public and Indian tribal land after several petitioners legally challenged it in US District Court for Wyoming on Dec. 29, 2016, the agency announced.
PJSC Gazprom Neft earned 200.1 billion rubles in net profits in 2016—a 82.5% increase over 2015. Oil-equivalent production increased 8.2% to 86.2 million tonnes. Factors attributing to this boost in earnings include production increases at Novoportovskoye and Prirazlomnoye fields and the commissioning of the East Messoyakhskoye field in September 2016.
Rosneft reported a decline net income in 2016 to 181 billion rubles compared with 355 billion rubles in 2015. Fourth-quarter net income of 52 billion rubles, however, doubled third-quarter net income of 26 billion.
A multistate working group convened by two western governors urged the Trump administration and the 115th Congress to make carbon dioxide pipelines a priority within a more-ambitious US infrastructure agenda.
Four national oil and gas associations have formed a pipeline steel team in response to US President Donald J. Trump’s Jan. 24 Executive Memorandum specifying that US-manufactured materials will be used in all new construction as well as repairs, retrofits, and expansions to the maximum extent possible.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Argentina’s YPF SA have signed preliminary terms and conditions of an agreement to develop a shale gas pilot project in the Vaca Muerta shale of Neuquen province.
BW Energy Gabon Pte. Ltd.’s plan to start oil production from the Dussafu production-sharing contract offshore Gabon next year has advanced with the firming of two deals to acquire interests totaling 91.67%.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for April settled well above $54/bbl on Feb. 23 after a weekly inventory showed US oil supplies rose less than analysts had anticipated. Analysts attributed the smaller-than-expected increase to a lower volume of imported crude oil.
New pipeline-incident reporting by the Alberta government has evoked clarification from a company portrayed unfavorably in one of its operator comparisons.
The Colorado Petroleum Council’s executive director called on the US Senate to revoke the US Bureau of Land Management’s methane waste rule under the Congressional Review Act because it potentially would overlap regulations that exist already in many states and create more problems than it would solve. The US House has voted to nullify the rule already, Tracee Bentley noted.
US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 600,000 bbl during the week ended Feb. 17 from the previous week’s total, according to US Energy Information Administration data.
Eric Hathon has joined Cairn Energy PLC, Edinburgh, as director of exploration.
Segun Omidele has resigned as chief executive officer of Erin Energy Corp., and Jean-Michel Malek will assume the role on an interim basis effective Feb. 22.
Light, sweet oil prices for April delivery dropped back under $54/bbl on Feb. 22 but rallied again in early Feb. 23 trading before release of the oil and product inventory report from the US Energy Information Administration. The US Feb. 20 Presidents Day holiday delayed the report a day later than usual.
Moody’s expects global LNG prices to remain low beyond 2020 as a wave of fresh supply comes online while demand from the world’s largest importers is weakening. Global oversupply will peak at about 55 million tonnes/year in 2019, according to the rating agency’s report, “Global Liquefied Natural Gas Industry: Market Imbalance Will Continue Beyond 2020, Keeping a Lid On Prices.”
The American Petroleum Institute would support a decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency to not change the obligation point for compliance with the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) because API believes that making the change would create more problems than it would solve, an API official said on Feb. 22.
Key Petroleum Ltd., Perth, has acquired 100% ownership of three exploration permits in the Cooper and Eromanga basins of southwestern Queensland from Drillsearch Energy Pty. Ltd., a subsidiary of Adelaide-based Beach Energy Ltd.
US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told the agency’s employees that he would try to listen to them and use what they have learned to help EPA regulate fairly and predictability, respect the rule of law, and treat states and their agencies more like partners and less like adversaries.
The Saudi government has opened bidder qualification in its push for renewable energy in electric power generation.
Light, sweet oil prices for March settled above $54/bbl on the New York market Feb. 21 and the Brent contract for April settled above $56.60/bbl on the London market. Crude oil prices rallied as trading resumed in New York after the Feb. 20 US Presidents Day holiday.
Meridian Energy Group Inc., Belfield, ND, entered into memoranda of understanding with local and regional petroleum product distribution firms that have agreed to purchase and distribute as much as 268 million gal/year of refined products from Meridian’s two-phased grassroots 55,000-b/sd high-conversion Davis refinery to be built in the heart of southwestern North Dakota’s Bakken shale region, near Belfield, in Billings County, ND.
Oil prices gained on New York and London markets Feb. 21, which analysts attributed to growing optimism that world oil supply will tighten as major producers appeared to have largely complied in January with their promised production cuts.
South Coast Air Quality Management District and Torrance Refining Co. LLC (TORC), a subsidiary of PBF Energy Inc., Parsippany, NJ, are investigating the cause of a weekend fire at TORC’s 155,000-b/d refinery in Torrance, Calif.
Joseph A. Mills has been chosen by Tulsa-based Samson Resources Corp.’s second-lien creditor group as Samson’s president and chief executive officer, effective when the company’s global settlement joint plan of reorganization becomes effective.
Global demand for natural gas is expected to increase 2%/year between 2015 and 2030, with LNG demand expected to rise at twice that rate at 4-5%/year, according to Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s first LNG Outlook.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) has awarded China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) 8% interest in Abu Dhabi’s onshore oil concession in exchange for a signup bonus of $1.77 billion.
Canada’s National Energy Board is planning for a public hearing this spring regarding the Wyndwood Pipeline expansion project in northeastern British Columbia. The meeting’s date and location have not been set.
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced that it will withdraw sole liability orders it issued to US Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas lease and grant holders in December to give the new administration time to review the complex financial assurance program.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for March and April delivery edged upward a few cents on the New York market Feb. 17. Analysts said a higher weekly US rig count and concerns about rising US production dampened oil-price momentum.
So much for political neutrality of the federal bureaucracy.
International news for oil and gas professionals
The US Senate confirmed Oklahoma Atty. Gen. Scott Pruitt’s (R) nomination to be US Environmental Protection Agency administrator by 52 to 46 votes on Feb. 17. The action quickly followed a rejection by 51 to 47 votes of Democrats’ call for a delay to review more than 2,500 letters and e-mails Oklahoma County Court Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons ordered Pruitt’s office to release a day earlier.
Louis Belanger has joined privately held Upstream Exploration LLC, Metarie, La., as vice-president of engineering.
Crude oil futures settlements were mixed Feb. 16 with US light, sweet crude oil price climbing slightly on the New York market while Brent crude oil prices fell on the London market.
Recovery seems to be gathering momentum in global oil and gas markets, driven more by improved production practices and technology than by gradually rising prices, speakers said during a Feb. 16 discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The Alberta Energy Regulator has suspended licenses of Lexin Resources Ltd., a natural gas producer and processor based in Calgary, citing concerns that include the company’s handling of sour gas.
The government of India has awarded 31 contracts in an offering of revenue-sharing licenses designed to stimulate development of small discoveries.
Allen Parks has joined Seaport Global Securities LLC’s investment banking division as managing director of oil field services.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for March delivery declined slightly on Feb. 15 to settle above $53/bbl despite a hike in the US oil inventory. Analysts said oil prices held steady because of growing optimism that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was complying with production cuts.
Private Malaysian oil and gas company Tamarind Management Sdn. Bhd. has completed its buyout of interest holders in Tui oil fields offshore New Zealand’s north island. Tamarind now has 100% ownership of the field.
US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 9.5 million bbl during the week ended Feb. 10 compared with the previous week’s total, the US Energy Information Administration reported.
Shareholders of InterOil Corp. have overwhelmingly approved the transaction for sale of the company to ExxonMobil Corp. at a special meeting this week.
US President Donald J. Trump signed the congressional resolution (CR) to rescind the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s requirement that publicly traded US oil and gas and other extractive industry companies disclose payments made to foreign governments.
Crude oil prices gained modestly Feb. 14 on the New York and London markets upon assurances that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries largely is complying with production cuts. Light, sweet crude prices fell on the New York market Feb. 15 awaiting the weekly US oil and products inventory.
Colorado Atty. Gen. Cynthia H. Coffman (R) sued Boulder County over an oil and gas moratorium it has kept in place despite the state Supreme Court’s May 2016 ruling that such local bans are preempted if they conflict with the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Act.
Noble Energy Inc., Houston, has set its organic capital expenditures for 2017 at $2.3-2.6 billion, compared with $1.3 billion in 2016.
Micheal G. Dunn has been named executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Williams Cos. Inc., effective Feb. 27. He will report to Alan Armstrong, president and chief executive officer.
Oklahoma City independent Chesapeake Energy Corp. reported a budget with plans for total capital expenditures to range $1.9-2.5 billion, including capitalized interest, for 2017. This compares with $1.65-1.75 billion budgeted for 2016.
While US President Donald J. Trump’s executive orders dealing with proposed crude-oil pipelines clearly were favorable, they also will require companies in the oil and gas industry to make new contacts with departments and agencies that were not required previously, an American Petroleum Institute official suggested.
Environmental and other impacts would be negligible if Enbridge Energy LP is allowed to ship more crude oil across the US-Canadian border in a pipeline that has the capacity to handle the additional volumes already, the US Department of State said in a draft supplemental environmental impact statement on Feb. 10.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for March dropped by nearly a $1 to settle under $53/bbl on the New York market Feb. 13 while Brent crude oil prices dropped slightly more than $1 to settle at under $56/bbl on the London market.
Plains All American Pipeline LP and Noble Midstream Partners LP have agreed to form a 50-50 joint venture to acquire Advantage Pipeline LLC, which owns a 70-mile, 16-in. crude oil pipeline in the southern Delaware basin.
Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. and US-based General Electric International Inc. are discussing a proposed investment by GE in NNPC’s program to modernize and expand Nigeria’s three state-owned refineries run by subsidiaries Port Harcourt Refining Co Ltd. (PHRC), Warri Refining & Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (WRPC), and Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (KRPC).
Lundin Petroleum AB, Stockholm, plans to spin off properties in Malaysia, France, and the Netherlands and to focus on offshore Norway.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for March settled at $53.86/bbl on the New York market Feb. 10, up 86Â¢ after the International Energy Agency said world crude supply dropped by 1.5 million b/d in January from December.
International news for oil and gas professionals
About 1.7% of the methane in the US natural gas supply chain is emitted between extraction and delivery, according to a 2-year study by analysts at the US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for March delivery settled at $53/bbl on the New York market Feb. 9, up 66Â¢ for the trading session. It was the highest settlement price since Feb. 6 as the front-month contract has hovered in the $52-53/bbl range all week so far.
Total SA in 2017 expects to spend $16-17 billion including resource acquisitions, down from the $20.53 billion spent in 2016 and $28.033 billion spent in 2014.
EQT Production Co., a subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp., has won a bankruptcy auction to acquire 53,400 core net Marcellus acres, including drilling rights on 44,100 net acres in the Utica, from Stone Energy Corp., Lafayette, La., for $527 million.
MOL Group has received six licenses in Hungary’s 4th bid round, doubling its exploration acreage in the country.
Two US senators introduced separate bills aimed at restricting federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing in onshore oil and gas activities. Both measures were referred to the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where they may be combined before being considered.
Parsley Energy Inc., Austin, has agreed to acquire undeveloped acreage and producing oil and gas properties in Permian’s Midland basin from recently formed Double Eagle Energy Permian LLC for $2.8 billion.
The Dakota Access crude oil pipeline project’s sponsor reported that it received the final easement necessary to complete the project from the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE). “With this action, Dakota Access now has received all federal authorizations necessary to proceed expeditiously to complete construction of the pipeline,” Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP said on Feb. 8.
Light, sweet crude oil prices gained modestly to close slightly above $52.30/bbl on the New York market Feb. 8 despite a build in weekly US oil inventories. Analysts noted oil prices still drew support from a drop in US gasoline inventories.
Beginning with the February Short-Term Energy Outlook, the US Energy Information Administration incorporated significant upward revisions to historical liquid fuel consumption from 2013-14, with the largest changes occurring in China and other nonmembers of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The US House of Representatives passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution on Feb. 7 that expressed disapproval of the US Bureau of Land Management’s 2016 regulations changing its land use planning procedures by 234 to 186 votes. Four Democrats voted with Republicans in support of the measure, and four Republicans voted with Democrats against it.
Global oil and gas mergers and acquisitions activity rose in 2016 against weak commodities, with deal count and deal values higher than 2015 levels, according to a recent report from Deloitte.
The US Department of the Army announced it has completed a presidential-directed review of the remaining easement request for the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline, and has notified Congress that it intends to grant an easement for a right-of-way across government land at Lake Oahe in North Dakota.
Crude oil stockpiles in the US posted big gains during the week ended Feb. 3 in their fifth consecutive weekly increase.
Light, sweet crude oil prices dropped more than 80Â¢/bbl on the New York market Feb. 7 for a second consecutive day and prices continued to drop in early Feb. 8 trading in advance of the weekly US oil and products inventory report from the US Energy Information Administration.
Horizon Oil Ltd., Sydney, has expanded its portfolio interests in western Papua New Guinea with the acquisition of Eaglewood Energy BVI, originally a Canadian entity that was acquired for $28 million (Aus.) in 2014 by Perth-based private independent Transform Exploration Pty. Ltd.
Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association Pres. Dan Weaver said that Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) proposal to include a 6.5% natural gas severance tax in the Keystone State’s fiscal 2017-18 budget ignores a fundamental reality.
The Sri Lankan government is inviting expressions of interest for appraisal and development of natural gas on offshore Block M2 in the Mannar basin.
BP PLC reported plans in 2017 to spend $16-17 billion, which is equal if not slightly more than the $16 billion the firm spent in 2016.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection opened a 45-day public comment period on Feb. 4 on two general permits and revisions to an air quality permit exemption for reducing methane and other pollutants at well sites and compressor stations associated with natural gas drilling and transportation. Comments will be accepted until Mar. 21, it said.
Light, sweet crude oil prices dropped more than 80Â¢/bbl on the New York market Feb. 6 as market participants adjusted to a rising US rig count and its possible consequences on production cuts being made by other major producers in efforts to drain massive oil inventories worldwide.
MPLX LP wholly owned subsidiary MarkWest Energy Partners LP and Antero Midstream Partners LP have formed a strategic joint venture to support development of Marcellus shale acreage in the rich-gas corridor of West Virginia.
Members of the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative (NEORI) coalition asked US House Ways and Means Committee leaders to include a provision to extend and strengthen the Section 45Q Tax Credit for Carbon Dioxide Sequestration as part of any comprehensive tax reform package that the 115th Congress considers.