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General Interest

US President Barack Obama has withdrawn 40,300 sq miles of the Outer Continental Shelf off western Alaska from oil and gas leasing.

Posted: December 9, 2016, 10:00 pm

US President-elect Donald J. Trump reportedly plans to nominate Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who is vice-chair of his transition team, as Secretary of the Interior. She first was elected to serve her eastern Washington district in 2004, sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and chairs the House Republican Conference.

Posted: December 9, 2016, 9:55 pm

Santos Ltd., Adelaide, has flagged its controversial coal seam gas (CSG) project in New South Wales and its Asian business for potential sale as part of its planned disposal of noncore assets into a separate business to cut costs and ease debt.

Posted: December 9, 2016, 7:45 pm

Lakes Oil Ltd. of Melbourne is suing the government of Victoria for $2.7 billion (Aus.) in damages following the state’s ban on onshore gas exploration. The writ was filed in the Supreme Court.

Posted: December 9, 2016, 6:01 pm

Global oil and gas exploration should return to profitability in 2017 after 5 years of only single-digit returns, research and consulting firm Wood Mackenzie Ltd. says in a report.

Posted: December 9, 2016, 5:46 pm

Glencore PLC and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund plan to buy a 19.5% interest in Rosneft for €10.2 billion.

Posted: December 9, 2016, 5:42 pm

Cenovus Energy Inc., Calgary, in 2017 plans to invest $1.2-1.4 billion, a 24% increase compared with the firm’s forecast capital spending for 2016.

Posted: December 9, 2016, 5:31 pm

Alaska’s three-member congressional delegation—US Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young—reiterated their strong opposition to US President Barack Obama’s possibly withdrawing more of the state’s offshore acreage from future oil and gas leasing under Section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).

Posted: December 9, 2016, 4:38 pm

The US light, sweet crude oil futures contract for January delivery jumped by about $1 to settle at nearly $51/bbl on the New York market Dec. 8. Analysts said oil prices appeared to be holding fairly steady in early Dec. 9 trading pending a Dec. 10 meeting of producers.

Posted: December 9, 2016, 3:58 pm

The National Association of Manufacturers called for more research and development to improve energy efficiency, reduced regulatory barriers to energy development and transportation, and maintenance of a reliable electrical grid in energy policy recommendations it submitted to US President-elect Donald J. Trump’s incoming administration on Dec. 8.

Posted: December 8, 2016, 9:01 pm

US Senate and House Republicans anticipate working well with President-elect Donald J. Trump’s administration to reverse energy and environmental policies and regulations they believe were imposed unconstitutionally during Barack Obama’s presidency and earlier, four GOP federal lawmakers said on Dec. 8.

Posted: December 8, 2016, 8:55 pm

Chevron Corp. has cut its planned capital and exploratory investment program for 2017 by 15% from this year and 42% from 2015 to $19.8 billion, which includes $4.7 billion of planned affiliate expenditures.

Posted: December 8, 2016, 4:24 pm

International oil and gas agreements by members of the European Union will be subject to European Commission preview under rules agreed Dec. 7 by the European Parliament, Council, and Commission.

Posted: December 8, 2016, 4:17 pm

The US light, sweet crude oil futures contract for January was down by more than $1 to settle below $50/bbl on the New York market. Traders attributed falling prices to what they called growing skepticism that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries actually will cut production levels.

Posted: December 8, 2016, 4:11 pm

President-elect Donald J. Trump has appointed E. Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general, as the next US Environmental Protection Agency administrator. He was one of 27 states’ AGs who sued in federal court earlier in 2016 to overturn the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan.

Posted: December 7, 2016, 10:21 pm

The UK government is offering 14 offshore blocks for licensing in a supplementary round following the closing last month of its 29th licensing round.

Posted: December 7, 2016, 6:47 pm

US Sen. Maria E. Cantwell (D-Wash.) expressed concern over a possible crude-oil spill in waters between her state and British Columbia after Canada’s federal government approved Kinder Morgan Canada’s proposed pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, BC, near Vancouver.

Posted: December 7, 2016, 6:18 pm

Royal Dutch Shell PLC confirmed it has signed a memorandum of understanding with state-owned National Iranian Oil Co. “to further explore areas of potential cooperation” but Shell declined to discuss likely fields or possible investment levels.

Posted: December 7, 2016, 6:15 pm

Gulfport Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, signed a definitive agreement with an unnamed third party to acquire 12,600 net undeveloped acres in northern Monroe County, Ohio, for $87 million.

Posted: December 7, 2016, 5:24 pm

Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) reported signing two agreements with Shell Venezuela at Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

Posted: December 7, 2016, 4:24 pm

US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, fell 2.4 million bbl during the week ended Dec. 2 compared with the previous week’s total, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Petroleum Status Report.

Posted: December 7, 2016, 4:20 pm

Energean Oil & Gas, Athens, has received Israeli government approval to acquire 100% interests in offshore Karish and Tanin natural gas fields and expects to start production in 2020.

Posted: December 7, 2016, 3:57 pm

The US light, sweet crude oil futures contract for January delivery dropped 86¢ to settle below $51/bbl in New York while the Brent crude oil price for February dropped about $1 to settle below $54/bbl on the London market on Dec. 6.

Posted: December 7, 2016, 3:51 pm

The US Department of Energy has approved Magnolia LNG LLC’s application to export LNG to countries that do not have a free-trade agreement with the US, DOE’s Fossil Energy Office said in a Dec. 6 Federal Register notice.

Posted: December 6, 2016, 10:36 pm

Chesapeake Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, has agreed to sell some of its acreage and producing properties in the Haynesville shale of northern Louisiana for $450 million.

Posted: December 6, 2016, 5:46 pm

Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Tokyo, has agreed to acquire a 20% interest in four Mississippi Canyon blocks in the Gulf of Mexico from Shell Offshore Inc.

Posted: December 6, 2016, 4:42 pm

Sydney-based Origin Energy Ltd. has announced plans to sell it’s $1.8-billion conventional upstream oil and gas assets so that it can focus on the wholesale and retail energy markets as well as its LNG business in Queensland.

Posted: December 6, 2016, 3:58 pm

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s incoming administration almost certainly will get a dramatically different world energy assessment than President-elect Barack Obama’s did 8 years earlier, the US Department of State’s special envoy for energy resources expects.

Posted: December 6, 2016, 3:52 pm

Crude oil prices reached their highest levels in more than a year during Dec. 6 trading with the light, sweet crude oil contract for January settling at nearly $52/bbl while Brent crude oil for February closed at nearly $55/bbl on the London market.

Posted: December 6, 2016, 3:44 pm

The final phase of Mexico’s first oil and gas bid round featured the awarding of eight of 10 deepwater blocks in the Gulf of Mexico to a variety of global operators. But a busy Dec. 5 began with Petroleos Mexicanos SA’s first farmout to the private sector since the country began energy reform in 2013.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 11:11 pm

Improved understanding of the predominant organofacies through the past ~500 million years and the number of source rocks preserved in the geologic record will lead to better estimates of paleo-organic matter storage. 

Posted: December 5, 2016, 8:19 pm

Samples collected from the Kirthar fold belt area near BHP Billiton Ltd.'s Rehmat gas field in the Dadu district near Sindh, Pakistan (Fig. 1), will provide new direction in the development of tight-gas reserves in Pakistan.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 7:50 pm

A provision that was passed as part of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act in 1996 could help Republicans in Congress and the White House keep at least some of their campaign promises to reduce federal regulations in 2017.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 6:43 pm

US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy delivered a perplexing morsel in her victory speech at the National Press Club Nov. 21, less than 2 weeks after American voters expressed contrary judgment.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 6:41 pm

Neil Duffin has been appointed by ExxonMobil Corp. as president of ExxonMobil Production Co. He also has been elected as a vice-president of the corporation.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 6:20 pm

The overall US drilling rig count increased by 5 to 593 during a week ended Nov. 23 that was shortened by the Thanksgiving Day holiday, according to Baker Hughes Inc. data.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 6:08 pm

Ambitious reforms across state-owned Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) have improved the operations and the outlook there since the company became embroiled in a bribery scandal in 2007, said its president and chief executive officer.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 6:04 pm

Limits on supply of advanced biofuels will keep the US from meeting statutory requirements of the controversial Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), concludes a study by the Government Accountability Office.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 6:02 pm

Centennial Resource Development Inc., Denver, has agreed to acquire 100% of the leasehold interests and related upstream assets in Reeves County, Tex., owned by Silverback Exploration LLC, San Antonio, for $855 million.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 5:58 pm

Prospects for a joint US House-Senate conference to send compromise energy-reform legislation to the White House before yearend are growing dim because so many significant disagreements have remained unresolved, a House Natural Resources Committee official said.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 5:57 pm

The US Environmental Protection Agency announced final renewable fuel quotas for 2017 that increased volume requirements from 2016 levels under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 5:55 pm

Renewable identification numbers (RINs), part of the US government's program to force the use of renewable fuels, have become a multibillion-dollar burden on refiners and tax on US consumers. In 2016, US refiners paid about $2.2 billion for RIN credits.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 5:46 pm

Cedigaz’s Natural Gas in the World 2016 report confirms the provisional estimates published early May, showing a moderate natural gas demand growth in 2015 for the third year in a row.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 5:27 pm

The US Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access crude oil pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, Army Asst. Sec. for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy announced on Dec. 4. American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard immediately called on President-elect Donald J. Trump to approve the project when he takes office in January.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 5:00 pm

Crude oil prices on the New York market gained for a third consecutive day Dec. 2, still drawing support from news that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to reduce cartel production by roughly 1.2 million b/d if some non-OPEC countries cut by 600,000 b/d.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 4:08 pm

Now, for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, comes the hard part.

Posted: December 5, 2016, 6:47 am
Posted: December 5, 2016, 6:00 am

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries took a good first step when its members agreed to limit production and exports at its recent meeting, a former Saudi Arabian petroleum minister said. But the cartel probably won’t exert the kind of global market influence it did in the 1970s and ’80s because unconventional production has established a strong, lasting position, Ali Ibrahim Al-Naimi and two oil industry executives agreed.

Posted: December 2, 2016, 8:50 pm

The Nov. 30 agreement by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to collectively cut production delivered a jolt of excitement amongst traders and resulted in an accompanying spike in crude oil prices during the week ended Dec. 2.

Posted: December 2, 2016, 4:33 pm

Clay Neff has been named president of Chevron Africa & Latin America Exploration & Production.

Posted: December 2, 2016, 4:28 pm

A US Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee divided over two reports the Government Accountability Office issued 2 days earlier about the US biofuels industry’s ability to produce enough supplies to meet future Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) quotas and to reach the RFS’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals.

Posted: December 2, 2016, 4:14 pm

The US Bureau of Land Management has issued an updated land-use planning rule aimed at making the process more accessible to the public, more responsive to the changing conditions on the public lands, and more efficient.

Posted: December 1, 2016, 9:41 pm

The Western Energy Alliance has named Kathleen Sgamma, who has served as the organization’s vice-president of government and public affairs for several years, as its president. She succeeds Tim Wigley, who has served as the Denver-based independent oil and gas producers’ organization’s president since 2012.

Posted: December 1, 2016, 8:09 pm

Venezuela on Dec. 5 reportedly will sign an agreement with neighboring Trinidad and Tobago to supply the Caribbean twin-island nation with as much as 500 MMcfd of natural gas from its fields in the Mariscal Sucre region.

Posted: December 1, 2016, 6:15 pm

A near 2-year-long contraction of the Texas oil and gas industry economy now dwindles as higher wellhead prices have revived the state’s drilling and permitting activity.

Posted: December 1, 2016, 6:10 pm

LNG subsidiaries of Sempra Energy, San Diego, have filed applications with the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seeking authorization to site, construct, and operate the proposed Port Arthur LNG liquefaction facility along the Sabine-Neches Waterway in Southeast Texas.

Posted: December 1, 2016, 5:44 pm

The Australian government has announced a review of the country’s petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) to be led by former Treasury official Mike Callaghan.

Posted: December 1, 2016, 5:04 pm

US and London crude oil benchmarks both soared by more than $4/bbl on the New York and London markets Nov. 30 after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announced an agreement for the cartel to reduce production to 32.5 million b/d effective next year.

Posted: December 1, 2016, 4:01 pm

Centrica PLC has submitted the plan for development and operation (PDO) for Oda oil field in the North Sea to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Posted: November 30, 2016, 9:53 pm

The US Fish & Wildlife Service announced that it completed an initial review of a fresh petition to list the lesser prairie chicken as an endangered species, and found sufficient evidence that the petition may be warranted. This will trigger a thorough status review, the US Department of the Interior agency said on Nov. 29.

Posted: November 30, 2016, 6:25 pm

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to cut their production levels by slightly more than 1 million b/d effective Jan. 1, 2017, to 32.5 million b/d from the cartel’s October production of 33.6 million b/d.

Posted: November 30, 2016, 6:02 pm

Canada’s federal government approved construction of two crude oil export pipelines on Nov. 29 while rejecting a third project. Kinder Morgan Canada’s Trans-Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) from Alberta to Burnaby, BC, near Vancouver, and Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement south into US markets received green lights. Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to a British Columbia coastal site farther north did not.

Posted: November 30, 2016, 5:56 pm

Oil field services firm Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI), Houston private equity firm CSL Capital Management LLC, and West Street Energy Partners LP (WSEP), a fund managed by the merchant banking division of Goldman Sachs, have agreed to form a pure-play North American land pressure pumping company.

Posted: November 30, 2016, 5:19 pm

Prospects for a joint US House-Senate conference to send compromise energy-reform legislation to the White House before yearend are growing dim because so many significant disagreements have remained unresolved, a House Natural Resources Committee official said.

Posted: November 30, 2016, 5:12 pm

US commercial crude oil inventories, excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased 900,000 bbl during the week ended Nov. 25 from the previous week’s total, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report.

Posted: November 30, 2016, 4:58 pm

The light, sweet crude oil price for January delivery fell steeply to settle just above $45/bbl on the New York market Nov. 29, but the benchmark rose in early trading Nov. 30 as the much-anticipated meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries got under way in Vienna.

Posted: November 30, 2016, 4:00 pm

The US Fish & Wildlife Service announced that it intends to prepare a draft environmental impact statement for proposed issuance of an incidental take permit (ITP) for the draft Oil & Gas Coalition Multi-State Habitat Conservation Plan that nine producers are developing for parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Posted: November 29, 2016, 9:52 pm

Resurgent militancy has cost Nigeria more than 130 million bbl of crude oil since January, according to an official of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry as reported in the Nigerian press.

Posted: November 29, 2016, 7:12 pm

Limits on supply of advanced biofuels will keep the US from meeting statutory requirements of the controversial Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), concludes a study by the Government Accountability Office.

Posted: November 29, 2016, 7:00 pm

The Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy and Energean Oil & Gas SA have agreed to the conversion of the West Katakolon exploration license to a 25-year exploitation license effective immediately.

Posted: November 29, 2016, 5:49 pm

The US Bureau of Land Management’s Rawlins, Wyo., field office announced that it will host the 2016 annual meeting of the Atlantic Rim natural gas development review team on Dec. 10 in that southern Wyoming community.

Posted: November 29, 2016, 3:45 pm

The light, sweet crude oil price on the New York market and Brent crude oil price on the London market each gained about $1/bbl for January delivery on Nov. 28 in volatile trading ahead of the Nov. 30 meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna. 

Posted: November 29, 2016, 3:26 pm

Today’s low natural gas prices and abundant supplies do not reflect inherent inflexibilities in global LNG markets, according to the International Energy Agency’s first Global Gas Security Review.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 10:19 pm

Earl Reynolds has been named chief executive officer of Chaparral Energy LLC. He’ll succeed the retiring Mark A. Fischer, who has served in the role since the firm’s inception in 1988.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 9:21 pm

Beach Energy Ltd. has named a chief operating officer and a group executive of exploration and development.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 9:16 pm

Production from the Maari oil production platform offshore Taranaki basin in New Zealand has been halted after a 1.4-m crack was found in one of the 12 horizontal struts.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 6:17 pm

A fire broke out Nov. 22 at ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Co.’s Baton Rouge, La., refinery, injuring 6 people, but was quickly contained. Four of those injured were in critical condition and hospitalized. The 502,500-b/d facility resumed normal operations later that day, except in a compressor where the fire occurred, according to reports.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 5:54 pm

Ambitious reforms across state-owned Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) have improved the operations and the outlook there since the company became embroiled in a bribery scandal in 2007, said its president and chief executive officer. Petrobras officials and employees, however, will have to continue working hard if they expect to meet more ambitious goals set by the company’s leaders, Pedro Parente said.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 5:36 pm

BP PLC will gain a stake in the supergiant Zohr natural gas field offshore Egypt and has taken interests two North Sea exploration prospects.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 5:24 pm

Centennial Resource Development Inc., Denver, has agreed to acquire 100% of the leasehold interests and related upstream assets in Reeves County, Tex., owned by Silverback Exploration LLC, San Antonio, for $855 million.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 5:16 pm

US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) and Ranking Minority Member Maria A. Cantwell (D-Wash.) submitted a somewhat revised version of their federal energy policy reform legislation to the conference with their US House counterparts on Nov. 25 that would restore many provisions the House energy leaders proposed deleting a week earlier.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 4:50 pm

Light, sweet crude oil prices on the New York market for January delivery fell $1.90 on Nov. 25 to settle at about $46/bbl, ending the week down by 30¢. The US benchmark crude price has dropped in 4 of the last 5 weeks. Prices continued the downward trend in early Nov. 28 trading.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 4:26 pm

International news for oil and gas professionals

Posted: November 28, 2016, 6:00 am

During his campaign, US President-elect Donald Trump called climate change "a hoax" and promised to cancel the Paris agreement of 2015. Parties to the agreement now insist that he renege, saying US credibility is at stake.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 6:00 am

The US Department of the Interior released a proposed final program (PFP) for the 2017-22 US Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing that removed all tracts offshore Alaska. National oil and gas associations, other business organizations, and members of Alaska's government immediately criticized the Nov. 18 action.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 6:00 am

Spartan Energy Corp. has agreed to acquire all of the southeast Saskatchewan assets belonging to fellow Calgary firm ARC Resources Ltd. for $700 million in cash.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 6:00 am

The US Environmental Protection Agency's original conclusions that no studies or data have indicated a widespread, systematic effect on drinking water resources as result of hydraulic fracturing are correct, a study commissioned the American Petroleum Institute found. 

Posted: November 28, 2016, 6:00 am

Tesoro Corp., San Antonio, has entered into a definitive agreement valued at more than $6 billion to acquire fellow US independent refiner and marketer Western Refining Inc., which owns and operates three refineries in Texas, New Mexico, and Minnesota.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 6:00 am

The US Bureau of Land Management will cancel 25 federal oil and gas leases in western Colorado's Thompson Divide area, add stipulations and conditions for others that are not producing, and make no or minor adjustments to leases that are producing under a Nov. 17 record of decision.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 6:00 am

American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard expressed hope that energy will provide a basis for bipartisan cooperation when the Trump administration and 115th Congress assume power in January 2017.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 6:00 am

Transitions of presidential administrations from one political party to another can be bumpy at best for energy policies. This one is shaping up to be out-and-out war for the next couple of months, and possibly beyond.

Posted: November 28, 2016, 4:35 am

The US Environmental Protection Agency announced final renewable fuel quotas for 2017 that increased volume requirements from 2016 levels under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. The American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers each criticized the Nov. 23 move, and called on Congress again to substantially reform or repeal the RFS.

Posted: November 23, 2016, 5:58 pm

Spain’s Compania Espanola de Petroleos SA (CEPSA) and Algeria’s Sonatrach have signed an agreement that will have particular relevance to oil field contracts in Algeria. CEPSA has maintained its exploration and production activities in that country for the past 30 years “without interruption,” the company said.

Posted: November 23, 2016, 5:53 pm

Oil-sands investment can grow in Alberta despite the Canadian government’s carbon-pricing plan announced last month, according to a TD Bank economist.

Posted: November 23, 2016, 5:49 pm

US regular-grade gasoline prices averaged $2.16/gal, just 6¢ higher than a year ago, and the second-lowest heading into a Thanksgiving holiday since 2008, when the national regular gasoline price averaged $1.89/gal on the Monday ahead of the holiday.

Posted: November 23, 2016, 5:38 pm

Crude oil prices on the New York market on Nov. 22 relinquished some of the gains—and some of the accompanying optimism for an output limit from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries—that came during the previous two trading sessions. The downward trend continued early Nov. 23 on a strengthening dollar.

Posted: November 23, 2016, 5:01 pm

Statoil ASA reported completion of a transaction that gives it a 66% stake and operatorship in the BM-S-8 license in the Santos basin offshore Brazil.

Posted: November 23, 2016, 4:31 pm

Tesoro Logistics LP has made $1.1 billion-worth in assets acquisitions in an effort to expand is midstream portfolio.

Posted: November 22, 2016, 5:55 pm

The Victorian government has introduced legislation into parliament to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing for coal seam gas and tight oil and gas resources throughout the state. The government also has moved to extend the moratorium on conventional onshore gas exploration and development until mid-2020 saying it will take time to study the economic and environmental impacts.

Posted: November 22, 2016, 4:50 pm

Confidence expressed by the oil ministers of Iraq and Iran on the likelihood of a deal to limit oil production among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resulted in big crude oil-price gains on the New York and London markets on Nov. 21.

Posted: November 22, 2016, 4:41 pm
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