US gasoline prices heading into Memorial Day weekend average $2.40/gal, up 10Â¢ from last year’s average, the US Energy Information Administration reported.
Oil and gas producers in Canada face new controls on methane emissions under regulations proposed May 25 by the federal government.
Buru Energy Ltd., Perth, has moved to a 100% interest in Ungani oil field in the onshore Canning basin of Broome in Western Australia following a transformational deal with its joint venture partners Diamond Resources (Fitzroy) Pty. Ltd. and Diamond Resources (Canning) Pty. Ltd. Both Diamond companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of Mitsubishi Corp.
Penn West Petroleum Ltd., Calgary, is proposing a name change to Obsidian Energy Ltd. following a major restructuring and renovation effort.
Kinder Morgan Inc. will make a final investment decision for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) crude oil pipeline in conjunction with indirect subsidiary Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd. (KML), conditional on successful completion of an initial public offering of KML stock to take place not later than May 31.
Joseph Gatto Jr. will assume the role of chief executive officer at Callon Petroleum Co., Natchez, Miss., after the sudden passing on May 24 of Fred Callon. L. Richard Flury will become nonexecutive chairman.
Oil prices on the New York and London markets dropped about $2.50/bbl after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and major non-OPEC producers extended an existing agreement on production targets through first-quarter 2018.
Vladimir Putin’s regime is using Gazprom, Russia’s national natural gas company, to fund aggression ranging from bribery of other countries’ officials and undermining their regulatory efforts to planting false news reports aimed at disrupting their elections, an Atlantic Council issue brief has charged.
A balanced global crude oil market likely will remain elusive into 2018 because so many underlying dynamics have changed in the last 10 years, a leading analyst said. The outlook is worse for LNG because markets are saturated, prices are depressed, and economics are unfavorable, Fereidun Fesharaki, founder and chairman of FGE Consulting Group, observed on May 23.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and a group of non-OPEC countries, including Russia, agreed to extend existing production targets to Apr. 1, 2018, in efforts to reduce world oil inventories and stabilize oil prices.
Light, sweet crude oil dropped slightly but stayed fairly flat in May 24 trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange settling above $51.30/bbl pending a May 25 meeting of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna.
Linn Energy Inc., Houston, has agreed to sell its interest in properties in the San Joaquin basin of California to an undisclosed buyer for $263 million.
Ineos AG has agreed to acquire DONG Energy AS’s oil and gas business for an unconditional payment of $1.05 billion plus contingent payments of $150 million related to the Fredericia stabilization plant and as much as $100 million subject to development of Rosebank field.
US crude oil stockpiles declined for a seventh straight week last week, continuing to provide some relief to the flooded oil market.
Majorities of voters in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina support approval and construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and similar projects, telephone surveys commissioned by the Consumer Energy Alliance indicated. Most respondents also consider pipelines the safest way to transport natural gas, and back construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, CEA officials said as the group released the results on May 22.
Light, sweet crude oil climbed modestly on the New York Mercantile Exchange May 23 with the July contract settling at nearly $51.50/bbl. Analysts attributed the gain to growing confidence that major producers will extend production targets into next year to support oil prices and reduce inventories.
The White House proposed selling nearly half the crude oil in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve over 10 years beginning in fiscal 2018 as part of the proposed federal budget it released on May 23.
Domination of the Chinese oil and gas business by state-owned companies will be weakened under reforms announced by the State Council (cabinet).
New York Atty. Gen. Eric T. Schneiderman (D) and five other states’ attorneys general asked the federal government to require crude oil being shipped by rail to have a less than 9 psi volatility limit.
EOG Resources Inc., Houston, and global alternative asset manager Carlyle Group LP have formed a combine for development of EOG’s oil and gas assets in Ellis County, Okla.
Light, sweet crude oil climbed modestly on the New York Mercantile Exchange May 22 with the June contract settling well above $50/bbl and the July contract settling above $51/bbl. It was the second consecutive day the front-contract contract settled above $50/bbl.
A provision in a new economic cooperation agreement with China clarified its status as an importer of US LNG that does not have a free-trade agreement with the US. The provision in the May 11 US-China Economic Cooperation 100-Day Plan stated that China would be treated “no less favorably than other non-FTA trade partners with regard to LNG export authorizations.”
Saudi Aramco has signed deals totaling a reported $50 billion with various US firms that will pave the way for the state-run firm to “enhance its business synergy with the US as well as attract investments from its US counterparts to the kingdom.”
Former Louisiana state official Scott A. Angelle has been named director of the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, effective May 23.
WildHorse Resource Development Corp. (WRD), Houston, has agreed to acquire 111,000 net acres and associated production from Anadarko Petroleum Corp., The Woodlands, Tex., and affiliates of New York City private equity firm KKR & Co. LP for $625 million.
The federal oil and gas permitting processes for interstate pipelines drew mixed reviews on May 3 as witnesses and members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Energy Subcommittee discussed whether they need to be reformed or are operating as intended.
The American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers each asked the US Environmental Protection Agency to review the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and reconsider ground-level ozone limits.
The front-month contract for light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained nearly $1 to settle above $50/bbl May 19 pending the outcome of a May 25 meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna.
International news for oil and gas professionals
Origin Energy Ltd., Sydney, has completed its program of shedding noncore assets with the sale of the Darling Downs natural gas pipeline in southeast Queensland to Jemena Gas Pipelines Holdings for $392 million (Aus.).
New Zealand Oil & Gas Ltd. (NZOG) has bought back into Kupe oil and gas field in the offshore Taranaki basin offshore New Zealand’s North Island. NZOG paid a lower price than it sold to Genesis Energy Ltd. in November 2016.
The Alberta government is seeking legislative approval to lend the Orphan Well Association (OWA) $235 million (Can.) to accelerate work on oil and gas wells with defunct or insolvent owners.
Officials from the Oil Spill Commission Action (OSCA) project, a continuation of the presidential commission that investigated the 2010 Macondo deepwater oil well blowout and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, expressed their opposition to US President Donald Trump’s plans to open Atlantic and Arctic offshore areas to oil and gas leasing.
The front-month contract for light, sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped back up above $50/bbl during May 19 trading for the first time in more than 3 weeks as prices headed toward a second straight week of gains.
According to data from the American Petroleum Institute, total US petroleum deliveries in April averaged 19.6 million b/d, up 1.7% from April 2016. These were the highest April deliveries in 9 years.
The Appalachian region potentially could become a major US petrochemical and plastic resin manufacturing center similar to the Gulf Coast, the American Chemistry Council said in a May 18 report.
The American Petroleum Institute has asked US Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke to instruct the Bureau of Land Management to defer compliance dates under its methane emissions control rule for 2 years. “We make this request in view of directives in recent presidential and secretarial orders that may lead to changes to or withdrawal of the final rule,” API Pres. Jack N. Gerard told Zinke in a May 16 letter.
The reduction of coal use in China doesn’t benefit the country’s oil consumption, but does encourage its gas demand and LNG imports, according to a recent research note from Facts Global Energy (FGE).
Houston private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners has agreed to acquire a holding company that owns 50% of CONE Gathering LLC and 21.7 million common and subordinated limited partnership units from Noble Energy Inc., Houston, for $765 million.
Light, sweet crude oil for June delivery settled above $49/bbl May 17 after a weekly government report showed a decline in US oil production as well as a drop in the US oil supplies. The inventory dropped less than analysts had expected.
South America’s energy potential should not be neglected despite serious problems in Venezuela and corruption investigations in Brazil, witnesses told the US House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Western Hemisphere Subcommittee on May 17.
US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, dropped 1.8 million bbl during the week ended May 12 compared with the previous week’s total, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Petroleum Status Report.
Privately held Vesta Energy Corp., Calgary, will accelerate development of light-oil properties in the shallow Joffre Duvernay shale oil play of central Alberta with proceeds of an equity financing round.
Light, sweet crude oil for June delivery fell slightly May 16 to settle above $48.60/bbl pending the release of the weekly US oil and product inventory by the US Energy Information Administration on May 17.
Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) has added the proposed sale of subsidiary Pasadena Refining Systems Inc.’s (PRSI) 100,000-b/d refinery in Pasadena, Tex., to a revised divestments portfolio recently approved by the company’s executive board following a mid-March decision on the divestment plan from Brazil’s Federal Court of Accounts, or Tribunal de Contas da Uniao (TCU).
The rebalancing of the world’s oil market is effectively here, and, in the short term at least, is accelerating, the International Energy Agency said in its latest monthly oil market report (MOMR), which was published 9 days before members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries were scheduled to meet in Vienna.
Chisholm Energy Holdings LLC, a Fort Worth startup backed by a $500-million line-of-equity from private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, has acquired acreage in Eddy and Lea counties of New Mexico from an undisclosed private seller.
Light, sweet crude oil for June delivery and Brent crude for July delivery both jumped by about $1/bbl May 15 after Saudi Arabia and Russia oil officials jointly supported extending production-cut targets into 2018.
Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have completed their previously announced transaction to divide up assets, liabilities, and businesses of their US-based refining and marketing joint venture Motiva Enterprises LLC.
Light, sweet crude oil for June delivery settled up a penny on the New York market May 12 but the near-month contract failed to close at or above $48/bbl any day last week after having dipped to close below $46/bbl on May 9.
International news for oil and gas professionals
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered Rover Pipeline LLC to not begin new horizontal directional drilling (HDD) as it constructs the natural gas transmission project across Ohio.
Thai company PTTEP has reacted quickly to Indonesia’s move to seek $2 billion in civil damages against it relating to the 2009 Montara oil spill in the Timor Sea. The company has decided to suspend all new investment in Indonesia until the issue becomes clear and a conclusion is reached.
Prospects for the reunification of Cyprus, which improved last month with the resumption of negotiations between Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders after a 54-day break, have dimmed again.
Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., will spend about $4 billion over the next 5 years to expand its US petrochemicals manufacturing business as part the company’s next phase of comprehensive investments in projects designed to take advantage of low-cost US shale gas feedstock.
Exploration and production firms that acquired Permian basin acreage in the land grab of 2016 are now faced with maintaining premium valuations while meeting high-growth expectations in a rising cost environment, according to research by IHS Markit.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp., The Woodlands, Tex., has named Daniel E. Brown executive vice-president, international and deepwater operations, and Bradley J. Holly executive vice-president, US onshore exploration and production. Darrell E. Hollek, formerly executive vice-president, operations, will serve as a senior adviser until his retirement later this year.
US and Brent crude oil benchmarks gained moderately on May 11 and continued rising in early May 12 trading, which analysts attributed to a weekly US government report showing the biggest draw to US oil inventories so far this year.
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will resume consideration of applications from six offshore geophysical contractors seeking permission to conduct geological and geophysical surveys along the US Atlantic Continental Shelf, the Department of the Interior announced.
US oil production has gained significant momentum and downside risk of US oil production in the short term is limited, even if oil prices collapse to $40/bbl or even $30/bbl, according to Rystad Energy, a Norway-based industry consultant.
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi has deployed military troops to protect his country’s oil and gas fields from protests thought to be aimed at disrupting production.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has withdrawn the proposed modifications to the Jones Act that it announced in January.
Brent crude oil prices for July and August contracts settled above $50/bbl on the London market May 10 while light, sweet crude oil prices for June and July delivery rallied by more than $1/bbl to close above $47/bbl in New York.
Indonesia has filed its long-threatened lawsuit seeking $2 billion in damages associated with the 2009 oil spill in Montara field in the Timor Sea. The civil suit has been filed in a court in Jakarta against Thai company PTTEP and its Australian subsidiary PTTEP Australasia alleging the spill caused environmental damage in Indonesian waters during the 10 weeks of the spill following the blowout of a development well in the field.
The Russian government wrongly forced the defunct oil giant Yukos into bankruptcy with excessive taxation in 2006, a Dutch appeals court has ruled. In a dispute over assets once held by a Dutch subsidiary, Yukos Finance BV, the Amsterdam Appeals Court said an administrator appointed to sell Yukos shares lacked authority to do so.
ExxonMobil Corp. unit Esso Exploration & Production Guyana Ltd. has let an engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) contract to Saipem SPA for the Liza project 120 miles offshore Guyana in 1,800 m of water.
Light, sweet crude oil prices closed lower on May 9, which traders attributed to rising US oil production and uncertainty about what action the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will take regarding a proposed extension of its production-cut agreement.
In its May Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the US Energy Information Administration projects that the world’s oil market this year and next will have more supply growth compared with the April STEO, resulting in a lower forecast of crude oil prices in the coming months.
The White House has issued formal guidance for federal departments and agency to review and possibly revise their energy regulations under a Mar. 28 executive order aimed at promoting energy independence and economic growth. The May 8 guidance outlines considerations and lists deadlines to be met.
US President Donald Trump has nominated Neil Chatterjee, currently energy policy advisor to US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Robert F. Powelson, who chairs Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission, as Federal Energy Regulatory Commission members on May 8.
The light, sweet crude oil price for June delivery rose modestly to close above $46/bbl on the New York market May 8 while the Brent crude oil contract for July also rose slightly to close above $49/bbl on what analysts called rising confidence that major producers likely will extend production-cut targets.
A multistate group of oil and gas regulators released a 130-page report about underground natural gas storage that aims to be a resource and address risk management, state permitting, well drilling and construction, well integrity, reservoir integrity, monitoring, emergency response planning, and other issues.
A continued government role in oil and gas research and development drew bipartisan support at a May 3 hearing of the US House Science, Space, and Technology subcommittee. But Democrats and Republicans disagreed about the scope and direction of US Department of Energy programs that they were defending.
US President Donald Trump's Jan. 24 order that the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines be built "using materials and equipment produced in the United States" was clumsy on its surface.
Crude oil prices gained modestly on markets in New York and London on May 5 after having dropped sharply the previous day and for the week overall, dipping to the lowest level since November 2016. Analysts blamed the price drop on concerns about lingering world oil oversupply.
Thunder Creek Gas Services LLC, a subsidiary of Meritage Midstream Services II LLC, has acquired midstream assets in the southern portion of Wyoming’s Powder River basin from Devon Energy Production Co. LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Devon Energy Corp.