The Denver-based Colorado Petroleum Council applauded the state senate’s passage on Apr. 24 of a bill modifying laws governing establishment of oil and gas well drilling units.
Four congressional Democrats, including the ranking minority members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee, urged US Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke to delay a federal offshore oil and gas lease sale in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska.
The outlook for global independent exploration and production firms remains positive, buoyed by strong earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), expected to reach 18-22% higher in 2018, according to Moody’s Investors Service in a recent report.
US crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 2.2 million bbl for the week ended Apr. 20, according to US Energy Information Administration data.
Crude oil prices for June delivery briefly broke above $69/bbl on the New York market and $75/bbl in London during Apr. 24 trading, but both benchmarks closed lower. Oil traders suggest possible renewal of US sanctions against Iran could disrupt world oil flow.
Liquid pipeline incidents affecting the public or the environment have fallen 19% in the last 5 years, the Association of Oil Pipelines and American Petroleum Institute jointly said in their 2018 Pipeline Safety Excellence Report.
Shell Offshore Inc. will construct and fabricate a simplified host design and subsea infrastructure for Vito, a deepwater development covering four blocks in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico. The development will consist of eight subsea wells with deep (18,000 ft) in-well gas lift and is expected to begin production in 2021.
In another sign of deterioration of Venezuela’s oil and natural gas industry, Halliburton Co. is writing down its remaining investment in the economically distressed member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Saskatchewan’s government has joined Alberta in implicitly threatening to restrict energy movement to British Columbia, raising stakes in a dispute over expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline system.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC has signed an agreement to sell its downstream business in Argentina—including the 100,000-b/d Buenos Aires refinery—to Raizen Group, Sao Paulo, for $950 million in cash proceeds.
Brent crude oil rose above $75/bbl on the London market during Apr. 24 trading, its highest since 2014. The Apr. 23 settlement for Brent’s June contract was $74.71/bbl. Analysts attributed rising oil prices to uncertainty about possible sanctions against Iran.
Dave Pursell, senior vice-president, planning and market fundamentals at Apache Corp., will assume responsibility for the corporate reservoir engineering department after the retirement Aug. 1 of Kregg Olson, executive vice-president, corporate reservoir engineering.
Crude oil for June delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled at $68.40/bbl on Apr. 20 while Brent crude oil for June settled slightly above $74/bbl. But oil prices retreated during Apr. 23 trading on a strengthening US dollar.
Differences in terminology and oversight approaches have created marked gaps in government regulation of growing unconventional oil and gas activity in the US, a research team of four graduate students at Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies reported on Apr. 19. The discrepancies potentially could cause problems for work crews and nearby communities’ water supplies, they warned.
US President Donald Trump fired a broadside at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries for trying to raise crude oil prices in an Apr. 20 early-morning Tweet. “Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!” his tweet read.
US petroleum demand reached 20.6 million b/d in March—the highest level since 2007, according to the latest monthly statistics of the American Petroleum Institute. To satisfy demand, US refineries utilized 91.5% of their capacity—a record for the month of March—and processed 17 million b/d of oil and natural gas liquids.
US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Minority Member Maria E. Cantwell (D-Wash.), joined by 15 other Democrats and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), introduced legislation to codify two offshore safety and environmental rules the US Department of the Interior finalized in 2016 following the 2010 Macondo deepwater well blowout and subsequent crude oil spill.
Japanese combine Mitsui & Co. has extended the offer period until May 2 for its unconditional recommended cash takeover offer for Sydney-based AWE Ltd.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. has let a contract to Fluor Corp. to provide engineering and procurement on the operator’s South Texas Asset Repositioning (STAR) program for its now 571,000-b/d Galveston Bay refinery in Texas City, Tex.
Canyon Creek Energy-Arkoma LLC (CCEA), Tulsa, plans to drill 18 wells in 2018 targeting the Woodford shale and Mayes shale in various locations throughout the Arkoma basin of southeastern Oklahoma as part of a joint development agreement with Pivotal Petroleum Partners II LP.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission began the first examination of its process for reviewing and authorizing interstate natural gas pipelines under Section 7 of the Natural Gas Act since it was adopted in September 1999.
The US Bureau of Land Management reported it will begin a 60-day public scoping period to assist in preparing an environmental impact statement for oil and gas leasing on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain.
US greenhouse gas emissions reached 6,511.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CDE) in 2016, about 2.4% higher than in 1990 but 126.8 million tonnes CDE, or 1.9%, less than in 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency said on Apr. 18 in its latest annual US greenhouse gas inventory.
Sanjay Kumar Moitra has been named director (onshore) of state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp. of India.
Frontera Resources Corp. has confirmed the presence of 78.8 m of combined pay interval in three target zones with the Dino-2 well, the second of a three-well campaign, at the company’s Taribani complex on the Block 12 license in Georgia.
US light, sweet crude oil prices for May and June jumped by nearly $2/bbl on the New York market Apr. 18 to settle above $68/bbl while Brent for June delivery gained about the same in London to settle above $73/bbl.
Elk Petroleum Ltd. said enhanced oil recovery flooding has started at Grieve field’s carbon dioxide EOR project near Casper, Wyo. Initially water is being produced, which will be followed by oil production that is anticipated to ramp up to about 2,100 b/d by Dec. 31.
Interpose Holdings Ltd. (formerly Sunbird Energy Ltd.), Perth, has agreed to acquire 80% interest and operatorship of the onshore Cabora Bassa basin project in Zimbabwe via the acquisition of 100% of fellow Perth firm Invictus Energy Resources Pty. Ltd.
Looking to expand in the natural gas-electricity value chain, French major Total SA has agreed to acquire a 74.33% stake in French utility Direct Energie (DE) for $1.7 billion. The move will make Total the second-largest power supplier in France, after EdF.
The US Department of the Interior will not lower royalty rates for future offshore oil and gas sales at this time due to the success of President Donald Trump’s energy strategy, Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke said.
Crude oil prices rose across world markets Apr. 17 as investors suggested that ongoing geopolitical risks could disrupt oil supplies in an increasingly tight market. The US government was scheduled to release its weekly oil and products inventory on Apr. 18.
US crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased 1.1 million bbl for the week ended Apr. 13, according to US Energy Information Administration data.
Upstream companies are optimistic about oil prices in 2018, but financial health remains more of a priority than growth, according to Wood Mackenzie’s recently released second annual State of the Upstream Industry survey. The survey found that the industry believes oil prices will average above $60/bbl this year, rising further through to 2021. More than 75% think prices will rise above $75/bbl in 2021.
Chinese shale gas production is expected to reach 17 billion cu m (bcm) in 2020. While almost double last year’s production of 9 bcm, China will still miss its 2020 30-bcm production target by a considerable margin, according to Wood Mackenzie.
The Northern Territory’s government has lifted its ban on hydraulic fracturing of onshore gas prospects following the report of the independent scientific inquiry released last month.
Vermilion Energy Inc. has agreed to acquire Spartan Energy Corp., which produces oil and natural gas in southeastern Saskatchewan, in a stock deal worth $1.4 billion (Can.). Both companies are based in Calgary.
The government of Alberta is moving toward restriction of energy movement to British Columbia in an escalating interprovincial conflict over expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline system.
Crude prices climbed to more than 3-year highs for the week ended Apr. 13 before US-led air strikes on Syria, but oil prices dropped by more than $1/bbl in both London and New York Apr. 16.
Massachusetts Atty. Gen. Maura T. Healey (D) has authority under state law to investigate whether ExxonMobil Corp. suppressed information related to global climate change, the Bay State’s highest court ruled on Apr. 13.
Enterprise Products Partners LP reported that its 416-mile Midland-to-Sealy pipeline is in full service with an expanded capacity of 540,000 b/d and capable of transporting batched grades of crude oil and condensate.
ConocoPhillips upped its five-well drilling campaign to a sixth with the 2018 Winter exploration and appraisal program on Alaska’s wester North Slope at the Willow discovery. Discovered in January 2017, the Tinmiaq 2 and 6 were drilled in early 2016 and encountered 72 ft and 42 ft of net pay, respectively.
Contango Oil & Gas expects to complete two wells in June from a common pad in its Delaware basin acreage in Pecos County, Tex.
Chevron Australia has reported the start of Stage 2 of the Gorgon LNG project off Western Australia. The $5.1-billion (Aus.) program will include 11 new wells—7 in Gorgon field 150 km north of Onslow and 4 in Janz-Io field another 70 km offshore. There also will be new subsea installations and pipelaying work.
The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers believes a transition from the federal Renewable Fuel Standard to a fuel-neutral, 95-RON octane performance standard could better address the needs of consumers and other stakeholders, AFPM Pres. Chet Thompson told a US House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee.
Brent crude oil for June delivery continued to rise, keeping above $72/bbl in London while US light, sweet crude oil also gained, staying above $67/bbl on the New York market.
Pittsburgh-based Mountain Valley Pipeline proposed a 70-mile extension of the interstate natural gas pipeline to central North Carolina. The MVP Gateway Project would receive gas from the main pipeline in Pittsylvania County, Va., and ship it to Rockingham and Alamance counties, officials said.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s first-quarter energy survey showed moderately accelerated growth in energy activity in the Tenth District.
With crude oil markets expected to tighten, commercial stocks of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will possibly have reached or even fallen below the 5-year average target when such data are available in the next month or so. This is according to the International Energy Agency’s monthly Oil Market Report for April.
On Apr. 6, Breitburn Energy Partners, Los Angeles, emerged from Chapter 11 as Maverick Natural Resources LLC, a portfolio company majority owned and controlled by funds and accounts managed by EIG Global Energy Partners.
Presidents of the four national oil and gas trade associations that comprise the Natural Gas Council jointly asked the Trump administration to address problems with the implementation of Clean Water Act Section 401, which they said some states are using to stop interstate pipeline construction.
US President Donald Trump called for raising the ethanol blend limit in gasoline sold in the US to 15% year-round.
Angola is trying to streamline oil and gas administration, reports Maja Bovcon, senior Africa analyst at Verisk Maplecroft.
Brent crude oil for June delivery briefly fell slightly on Apr. 12 but remained just above $72/bbl in London while US light, sweet crude oil reached above $67/bbl on the New York market.
BP PLC and Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore broad areas of cooperation.
The New Zealand government has made the surprise announcement that it will not grant any new permits for offshore oil and gas exploration.
Oil Search Ltd., Sydney and Port Moresby, has reported a tripling of 1C gross contingent natural gas resources in P’nyang gas field in retention lease PRL3 in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea.
Brent crude oil for June delivery briefly reached above $73/bbl on Apr. 11 before dropping to settle just above $72/bbl on the London market while US light, sweet crude oil reached above $67/bbl before dropping to settle just above $66.80/bbl on the New York market.
Preliminary upstream budgets from the top 40 US onshore producers show a 9% rise this year, according to an updated Barclays’ E&P spending survey. This is well below Barclays’ previous estimate of an increase of 21% for North America E&P spending in last December’s survey.
Global oil consumption will rise by 1.8 million b/d in both 2018 and 2019, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook. And although the forecast was revised higher from EIA’s previous STEO, which pegged a 1.7 million-b/d rise for both 2018 and 2019, a slowdown in global trade could affect oil demand and presents downside risks to worldwide oil consumption, EIA said.
Stopping crude oil and product thefts may not seem to be a high priority in fighting global maritime crime, but they need to be addressed more aggressively because they can finance narcotic smuggling, human trafficking, and other destructive criminal enterprises, speakers agreed during an Apr. 10 Atlantic Council discussion.
Apparent German support for the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline across the Baltic Sea is wavering. Chancellor Angela Merkel said after meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that the pipeline cannot advance unless Ukraine retains a role as a transit country for Russian natural gas bound for Europe.
A company spokesperson has confirmed that ConocoPhillips is cutting 450 jobs across its UK operations between this October and April 2020.
Supplies of Canadian oil sands heavy crude are increasingly being refined on the US Gulf Coast (USGC) and could top 1.2 million b/d—a full one third of the region’s heavy oil refining market—by 2020, according to an IHS Markit report. Current runs of Canadian crude in the USGC market are estimated to already be more than 800,000 b/d, the information services firm said.
US crude oil inventories, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 3.3 million bbl for the week ended Apr. 6, according to US Energy Information Administration data.
Total E&P USA Inc., alone and in a combine with Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC, led successful bidders for Gulf of Mexico properties sold at auction in the bankruptcy of Cobalt International Energy Inc., according to a court filing. Successful bids totaled $577.9 million.
Brent crude oil for June delivery jumped by more than $2/bbl to settle above $71/bbl on Apr. 10. It was the front-month’s highest closing price since December 2014, which analysts attributed to rising tensions about a possible military strike against Syria and a weakening US dollar.
Lilis Energy Inc. Executive Chairman Ronald D. Ormand has been appointed chief executive officer in addition to chairman of the company. James W. Denny III has been appointed executive vice-president of production and operations.
Oil prices rose by more than $1/bbl on both New York and London markets on Apr. 9, and analysts attributed the rally to fears about trade wars and to favorable crude market fundamentals.
AWE Ltd., Sydney, has farmed out its New Zealand onshore Taranaki basin permit PEP 55768, which includes the forthcoming Kohatukai-1 wildcat. The permit is southeast of New Plymouth in a prolific gas-producing region.
Brazos Midstream Holdings and its financial sponsor Old Ironsides Energy have entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Delaware basin subsidiary companies to North Haven Infrastructure Partners II, an investment fund managed by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure and related funds for $1.75 billion in cash.
New York Atty. Gen. Eric T. Schneiderman and other Democrat attorneys general from 13 more states, as well as the District of Columbia’s independent AG and the City of Chicago’s corporation council, sued US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator E. Scott Pruitt for allegedly refusing to control methane emissions from existing oil and gas operations under the Clean Air Act.
Oil prices fell by more than $1/bbl on both New York and London markets on Apr. 6, which analysts attributed to lower equity values and concerns about a US-China trade war.
The light, sweet crude oil price for May increased on the New York market Apr. 5 as reports that the US would be willing to negotiate a trade resolution with China helped ease market fears of a trade war between the countries.
Linn Energy Inc., Houston, has closed on the sale of certain Uinta basin assets to Silverpeak, a New York-based investment management firm, for $132 million. The sale, though not the buyer, was disclosed by Linn in January.
OMV AG expects to sign by the end of April documents for its acquisition of a 20% interest in the concession for Satah Al Razboot (SARB) and Umm Lulu oil fields offshore Abu Dhabi.
Japan combine Mitsui & Co has declared its takeover bid for Sydney-based AWE Ltd. to now be unconditional following the acquisition of 51.89% of AWE’s shares.
A federal bankruptcy court in Delaware approved an agreement in which the US Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency relieved Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining & Marketing LLC of some of its federal biofuel quota obligations from 2016 through this year’s first quarter to keep PES’s two refineries open and operating.
The light, sweet crude oil price for May declined slightly on the New York market Apr. 4 as traders and analysts monitored ongoing US-Chinese trade tensions, but crude prices started gaining upward momentum after a weekly government report showed US crude supplies fell.