Commissioner Wayne Christian was unanimously elected chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission.
Anadarko Petroleum has formally sanctioned its Mozambican LNG project, Mozambique LNG. Anadarko is developing Mozambique’s first onshore LNG facility, initially consisting of two LNG trains with a total nameplate capacity of 12.88 million tonnes/year. Feed gas comes from Golfinho-Atum field in Offshore Area 1 where Anadarko and its partners have discovered 75 tcf of recoverable natural gas resources.
A federal court’s March decision that vacated the US Office of Natural Resources Revenue’s repeal of its consolidated federal oil and gas and federal and Indian oil and gas effectively reinstated the 2016 requirements, ONRR advised federal leaseholders. Accordingly, the leaseholders should recalculate royalties under the 2016 rule for production since Jan. 1, 2017, it said in a June 13 notice.
PTT Exploration & Production Co. has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of Partex Holding from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation of Portugal for as much as $622 million. The deal, expected to close by yearend, will boost the Thai company’s net-interest production by 16,000 b/d of oil and reserves by 65 million boe of oil and gas.
ConocoPhillips Alaska reported it will acquire 11 tracts covering 21,000 acres in the western Alaska North Slope, which includes the 2012 Nuna oil discovery, from Caelus Natural Resources Alaska. Nuna lies east of the Colville River and 5 miles southwest of Oooguruk oil field where, in January, Caelus agreed to sell a 70% interest to Eni.
Josh J. Roberts has been promoted to chief operating officer of Stakeholder Midstream. Roberts is responsible for the management and oversight of Stakeholder’s engineering and operations functions. Since joining Stakeholder in 2015, Roberts has been responsible for the design and construction of the San Andres Crude Gathering System and the Campo Viejo Gas Gathering System.
Lime Rock Resources has agreed to acquire from BP America Production certain oil and natural gas properties in Cleveland and McClain counties, Okla. The properties lie 50 miles east of Lime Rock’s existing Norge unit operations that it acquired in 2014.
Brent oil prices fell on the London market by more than $1/bbl for August and September delivery while light, sweet crude oil in New York for July delivery settled under $52/bbl on concerns of the possibility of oil shipment disruptions through the Middle East. The price drops came amid talk of a possible military confrontation in the Persian Gulf and disruptions to tankers moving through the Strait of Hormuz.
India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. reported moving a record-high 35 offshore drilling rigs to new locations ahead of the Indian monsoon season. Aqualis Offshore said it assisted with many of the moves.
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) unanimously approved construction of a second dock and associated storage that would add LNG and other energy products to the proposed Gibbstown Logistics Center in southern New Jersey. The commission’s June 12 action followed a June 6 public hearing and a 15-day comment period.
Brent oil prices rose moderately on the London market June 14 with the August contract closing slightly above $62/bbl while light, sweet crude prices in New York held fairly flat, again settling above $52/bbl.
The US drilling rig count fell 6 units, reaching 969 rigs working for the week ended June 14, according to Baker Hughes data. The count is down 90 units from the 1,059 rigs working this time a year ago.
Rising natural gas production in Argentina coupled with competitive global LNG transportation costs are expected to position the country as an emerging source of gas supply to Asia during peak demand periods, recent research from Wood Mackenzie shows.
In its latest monthly Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency cut its forecast for global demand growth in 2019 for a second consecutive month. It is now projected at 1.2 million b/d, reduced from 1.3 million b/d in the previous report and 1.4 million b/d in the April report.
Husky Oil Operations entered guilty pleas June 12 on federal and provincial charges related to a 2016 oil spill in Saskatchewan and will pay fines totaling $3.82 million. Husky was fined $2.5 million under the federal Fisheries Act and $200,000 for a violation of the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act. It was fined $800,000 under the Saskatchewan Environmental Management and Protection Act and assessed a 40% victim impact surcharge of $320,000.
Oil futures rallied on the New York and London markets June 13 following attacks on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz although crude settlements failed to completely recover from the previous trading session losses of more than $2/bbl.
Poor barrier management combined with underbalanced operations performed without proper planning, procedures, or needed equipment to make an Oklahoma natural gas well blow out and catch fire on Jan. 22, 2018, killing five workers in the driller’s cabin on the rig floor, a US Chemical Safety Board investigation concluded.
US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler extended temporary emergency fuel waivers on June 12 for Allegheny County, Pa. The waivers were due to expire on June 17.
Callon Petroleum Co., Natchez, Miss., has closed on the sale of noncore assets in the southern Midland basin to Sequitur Permian LLC for net cash proceeds of $245 million. Proceeds do not include potential contingent consideration payments of up to $60 million based on West Texas Intermediate average annual pricing over 3 years.
Industry groups warned of further damage to Canadian oil and gas investment after federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna rejected most amendments made in the Senate to a bill overhauling environmental review of energy projects.
SABIC and ExxonMobil are proceeding with their previously announced plan to build the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, a 1.8 million-tonne/year ethane cracker currently planned for construction in San Patricio County, Tex. The ExxonMobil-SABIC joint venture has received final environmental regulatory approval to proceed with construction of the GCGV project, which will include an ethane steam cracker, two polyethylene units, and a monoethylene glycol unit.
Light, sweet crude oil prices for July and August dropped steeply by more than $2 on July 12 to settle below $52/bbl on the New York market while Brent crude oil also dipped by more than $2 in London to settle under $60/bbl.
Flaring of natural gas rose 3% year-to-year in 2018 to an estimated 145 billion cu m, the World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership disclosed on June 12. The growth was associated with increased US crude oil production, although US flaring intensity—the volume of gas flared per barrel of produced oil—remained low at 2.2 cu m, it said.
Citing a “growing mismatch” between hope and action, BP executives released the company’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy featuring slow progress on climate change and rapid growth in energy demand and emissions of carbon dioxide. The report also noted that the US recorded the largest-ever annual production increases by any country for oil and natural gas, “the vast majority” coming from onshore shale plays.
The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers asked a federal appeals court to review the US Environmental Protection Agency’s authorization for gasoline with 15% ethanol (E15) to be sold year-round in the US. AFPM submitted its petition June 11 to US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia.
Petrobras has signed a commitment agreement with Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense consolidating an understanding between the parties on the operator’s previously announced plan to divest its Brazilian refining assets.
US crude oil inventories for the week ended June 7, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased 2.2 million bbl from the previous week, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. Separately, the American Petroleum Institute said its own estimates showed US crude inventories increased 4.9 million bbl for the week.
Crude oil prices gained slightly to hold fairly flat on markets in New York and London June 11. Analysts note that prices are down 20% from April based on concerns about slowing oil demand coupled with rising US production.
PBF Energy subsidiary PBF Holding Co. has entered an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell to purchase Shell subsidiary Equilon Enterprises’s (dba Shell Oil Products US) 157,000-b/d dual-coking refinery and integrated logistics assets at Martinez, Calif., for $0.9-1 billion plus the value of hydrocarbon inventory, crude oil supply, and product offtake agreements, and other adjustments.
Brent crude oil spot prices are expected to average $67/bbl this year, which is $3/bbl lower than forecast last month in the US Energy Information Administration’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. In this month’s STEO, EIA reports expecting Brent to remain at $67/bbl in 2020. EIA’s lower Brent price path for this year reflects rising uncertainty about global oil demand growth.
The UK has made major progress in reducing emissions, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest country review. “The United Kingdom has shown real results in terms of boosting investment in renewables, reducing emissions, and maintaining energy security,” said Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director. “It now faces the challenge of continuing its transition while ensuring the resilience of its energy system.”
Brent crude oil for August delivery dropped by $1 to dip below $63/bbl on June 10 while light, sweet crude oil prices for July and August delivery also dropped moderately but both settled above $53/bbl. Ole Hansen of Saxo Bank said, “Crude oil began the week on the defensive with continued focus on the risk to global growth and demand.” He also noted rising weekly US crude oil inventories.
Phillips 66 has formed two separate 50-50 joint ventures to build pipelines that will transport crude oil from the Rockies and Bakken production areas to Cushing, Okla. and from Cushing and the Permian basin in West Texas to the Gulf Coast.
The US Environmental Protection Agency issued new guidance on states’ certification authority under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. The guidance provides recommendations to clarify and streamline the certification process and to promote greater investment in and certainty for national infrastructure projects while continuing to protect local water quality, EPA said.
Devon Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, has set a methane-intensity rate target for its US oil and natural gas production operations of 0.28% or lower by 2025. In 2018, Devon’s methane-intensity rate was estimated at 0.32%, which is pending US Environmental Protection Agency review and third-party verification.
Hartree Cardinal Gas, a subsidiary of Hartree Bulk Storage, has agreed to acquire from Martin Midstream Partners its membership interests in Arcadia Gas Storage, Cadeville Gas Storage, Monroe Gas Storage, and Perryville Gas Storage for $215 million in cash.
Comstock Resources has agreed to acquire privately held, Haynesville-focused Covey Park Energy in a $2.2-billion cash and stock deal. The deal, which includes the assumption of Covey Park’s outstanding debt and the retirement of its $1.1 billion in existing preferred units, expands Comstock’s position in the Haynesville natural gas basin.
Light, sweet crude oil on the New York market and Brent crude oil prices in London gained for a second consecutive trading session June 7. Each of the two oil benchmarks rallied to settle more than $1/bbl higher compared with the previous settlement.
The US drilling rig count fell 9 units, reaching 975 rigs working for the week ended June 7, according to Baker Hughes data. The count is down 87 units from the 1,062 rigs working this time a year ago.
A June 6 ruling by Brazil’s Supreme Court allows Petrobras to proceed with its $8.6 billion sale of a 90% interest in the Transportadora Associada de Gas SA natural gas pipeline to a combine of Engie and Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec.
The international rig count for May reached 1,126, up 64 units from 1,062 in April and up 159 units from 967 in May 2018, according to Baker Hughes data. The international offshore rig count for May was 240, down 11 units from 251 in April and up 42 units from 198 in May 2018.
CNOOC Ltd. and its subsidiary CEPR Ltd. have signed an agreement with Novatek and Ekropromstroy LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of JSC Novatek, to acquire a 10% equity interest in Arctic LNG 2 LLC.
PGNiG Upstream Norway said it will acquire Total E&P Norge’s 22.2% interest in King Lear gas and condensate field under development in the Ekofisk area of the Norwegian North Sea.
Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources has revoked five oil mining leases and one oil prospecting license. It cited “noncompliance with statutory regulatory obligations” and said it was acting under a “presidential directive on recovery of legacy debts.”
Light, sweet oil for July gained 91Â¢ on the New York market June 6 to settle at $52.59/bbl while the Brent contract for August climbed by $1.04 to settle at $61.67/bbl in London, which analysts attributed to progress in US-Mexico talks about border security. US President Donald Trump said, “Progress was made,” but he also said Mexico needs to do more to stop US tariffs from being imposed on $350 billion of US imports from Mexico.
New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection rejected three land use permit applications for Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Co.’s (Transco) proposed interstate natural gas pipeline across the state on June 5. It also kept the door open for the Williams Cos. subsidiary to reapply for the permits.
Serafino Iacono has been named interim chief executive officer of CruzSur Energy Corp., Vancouver, BC, after the resignations of several top company executives.
Joe Daches, president and chief financial officer of Lilis Energy Inc., Houston, has been named interim chief executive officer following announcement of the retirement of Chairman and CEO Ron Ormand.
Gazprom Neft and Royal Dutch Shell PLC have agreed to form a joint venture for development of oil and gas fields in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug of northwestern Russia.
Light, sweet oil for July fell $1.80 in New York June 5 to settle under $52/bbl while the Brent contract for August dropped $1.34 to settle under $61/bbl in London after a US government report showed US crude inventories at the highest since July 2017.
Angola’s new licensing agency will offer 10 oil and gas blocks in the first of several auctions it plans in a 6-year strategy. Paulino Jeronimo, chief executive officer of the National Agency of Petroleum, Gas, and Biofuels (ANPG) said at a conference in Luanda that tendering will begin in October.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers seeks federal support for a doubling over the next 4 years of now-slumping investment in Canada’s oil and gas industry. The group made conditions supporting such a recovery part of wish list for the next Canadian government. Elections are scheduled Oct. 21.
US crude oil inventories for the week ended May 31, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 6.8 million bbl from the previous week, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. Separately, the American Petroleum Institute said its own estimates showed US crude inventories increased by 3.6 million bbl for the week.
Canadian oil sands production growth is slowing, yet total production is expected to reach nearly 4 million b/d by 2030—nearly 1 million b/d more than current levels—according to a 10-year production forecast by IHS Markit. The business information provider expects average year-on-year supply additions will be less than 100,000 b/d in the coming decade. By contrast, growth over the current decade averaged additions of more than 150,000 b/d.
Dragon Oil, Dubai, has agreed to buy BP PLC’s producing and exploration concessions in Egypt, including the British company’s interest in Gulf of Suez Petroleum Co. The move is part of BP’s plan to divest more than $10 billion of assets globally over the next 2 years but does not indicate an exit from Egypt.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has let an engineering, procurement, and construction contract to CCS JV, a joint venture of McDermott International Inc., Saipem, and Chiyoda, for the Mozambique Area 1 LNG Development.
Light, sweet oil for July climbed modestly on the New York market to settle above $53/bbl June 4 while the Brent contract for August also gained to settle at nearly $62/bbl in London. Oil prices, along with other stocks and commodities, have been pressured downward recently by rising concerns that the world economy is slowing, which some analysts attribute at least in part to ongoing US-China trade tensions.
US Transportation Sec. Elaine L. Chao submitted a legislative proposal to Congress on June 3 that would reauthorize safety programs at the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) from fiscal 2020 through 2023. It also would strengthen criminal penalties for damaging or destroying a pipeline facility, which the Association of Oil Pipe Lines welcomed.
Total SA has agreed to take over Toshiba’s portfolio of LNG, including a 20-year tolling agreement for 2.2 million tonnes/year of LNG from Freeport LNG Train 3 in Texas and the corresponding gas transportation agreements on the pipelines feeding the terminal. Train 3 is expected to start commercial operations by second-quarter 2020.
Flaring and venting of natural gas in the Permian basin in Texas and New Mexico has reached an all-time record high in this year’s first quarter, averaging 661 MMcfd, according to research conducted by Rystad Energy. This widespread waste of a valuable commodity is the result of persistent infrastructure challenges, a lack of enough takeaway capacity, and an unexpected outage on a key pipeline in the area.
UK regulators will increase pressure on offshore operators and equipment owners to settle issues impeding progress toward the government’s goals of maximizing economic recovery. In a June 4 letter to license holders and infrastructure owners, Oil and Gas Authority Director of Regulation Tom Wheeler said OGA “will be more progressively more proactive in using [its] powers.”
Thirty companies, some of them in groups, have received offers for the award of 37 licenses covering 141 blocks in the UK’s 31st offshore licensing round. The frontier areas are in the Faroe-Shetland basin, Moray Firth, East Irish Sea, East Shetland Platform, Mid North Sea High, and English Channel.
W&T Offshore made an oil discovery with its Gladden Deep well on Mississippi Canyon 800 block in the US Gulf of Mexico, reported partner Kosmos Energy Ltd. of Dallas. Gladden Deep is a subsea tie back expected to be brought online through the existing Gladden pipeline to the Medusa spar in this year’s fourth quarter.
The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (WAEPA) has recommended environmental approval for the proposed natural gas pipeline interconnector between the Pluto and North West Shelf LNG plants on the Burrup Peninsula.
Light, sweet oil for July delivery dropped to settle below $53/bbl on the New York market June 3 while the Brent contract for July dropped to under $67/bbl in London. Oil prices continued falling in early trading June 4 on concerns about slowing oil demand. “Slowing economic activity now threatens to derail our base case of robust cyclical [oil] demand growth,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said in a research note.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. said on May 31 it had suspended about 65,000 b/d of crude oil production in response to wildfires in the Wabasca and Slave Lake areas of Alberta.
Herbert S. Vogel, executive vice-president of operations of SM Energy Co., Denver, has been promoted to chief operating officer.
US President Donald Trump announced that he would impose a 5-25% tariff on all Mexican goods. There are ways to avoid the tariff on imports of Mexican crude oil, but at this point it is unclear whether those will succeed, according to an analysis from Energy Security Analysis Inc. If not, ESAI says, some refiners will pay more, and some crude will head to Asia.
Front-month prices for light, sweet oil for July and August delivery fell more than $3 to settle below $54/bbl on the New York market May 31 while Brent prices for the August delivery contract also dropped more than $3 to below $62/bbl amid additional tariff concerns.
Total SA has started commercial operation of its second solar power plant in Japan, a 25-Mw unit at Miyako on Honshu Island.
Marathon Oil Corp. closed on the sale of its 15% participating interest in the Atrush block in Kurdistan, where first-quarter production averaged 2,400 net boe/d. The divestiture marks the company’s exit from the country.
The US drilling rig count gained a single rig to reach 984 rigs working for the week ended May 31, according to Baker Hughes data. The count is down 76 units from the 1,060 rigs working this time a year ago.
Russian production fell by 170,000 b/d from April to May as the disruption to oil exports caused output to fall to 60,000 b/d less than the production-cut commitment. The last hurdle is restoring 750,000 b/d via the northern leg of Druzhba.
A final rule signed May 31 by US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler that waives summertime Reid Vapor Pressure limits and allows year-round sales of gasoline with a 15% ethanol blend was met with disappointment by refiners and with delight by corn ethanol producers.
The US Environmental Protection Agency issued emergency fuel waivers for Allegheny County, Pa., to ensure that fuel supplies remain adequate following damage to a pipeline that supplies the area.
Light sweet crude prices on the New York market and Brent crude prices in London both fell by more than $2/bbl to settle lower May 30 following a smaller-than-expected decline in US crude supplies.
The government of the Philippines has lifted a 13-year-old ban on farmouts and farmins by the state oil company.
Pressure on this summer’s natural gas prices is likely to be neutral compared with last summer, despite expectations for record-setting summer demand, the Natural Gas Supply Association said in its 2019 Summer Outlook assessment. Gas production is expected to set an all-time record, making ample gas supplies available to meet the record demand, NGSA said.
Ithaca Energy, a subsidiary of Delek Group, will acquire Chevron North Sea Ltd. (CNSL) for $2 billion, adding 10 producing field interests to Ithaca’s existing portfolio, four of which relate to assets operated by Ithaca.
US crude oil inventories for the week ended May 24, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, decreased by 300,000 bbl from the previous week, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. The weekly inventory report was released a day later than usual because of the US Memorial Day holiday.
Light, sweet oil for July dropped to settle under $59/bbl on the New York market May 29 while Brent prices dropped to below $70/bbl for the July delivery contract, but the benchmarks did not plummet by more than $3/bbl as they did a few days earlier on geopolitical concerns.
The National Marine and Fisheries Service proposed authorizing incidental harassment approval (IHA) of marine mammals on May 28 during construction and operation of Hilcorp’s proposed Liberty Drilling and Production Island in Alaska. The proposed rule would establish a framework under the Marine Mammal Protection Act for 5 years. Comments will be accepted through June 28.
The US Department of Energy authorized additional exports of domestically produced natural gas from the Freeport LNG project on Quintana Island in Texas. The May 28 order said the project’s sponsors can export the equivalent of 262.8 bcfd of gas from the terminal’s proposed Train 4 to countries not having a free-trade agreement with the US where US laws or policies do not prohibit trade.
An Eni SPA subsidiary has farmed in to three blocks offshore Mozambique in an agreement with ExxonMobil Mozambique Exploration & Production Ltd., the operator.
US Interior Sec. David L. Bernhardt agreed to defer oil and gas leasing near Chaco Canyon in New Mexico following a visit with tribal leaders in the area, US Sen. Martin T. Heinrich (D-NM) reported.
Thirty-four Democrats on California’s congressional delegation, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala D. Harris, expressed their strong opposition to the US Bureau of Land Management’s plans to open more than 2 million acres of land in the state to new oil and gas development.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. will increase its crude oil production capacity by 128,300 b/d before royalties with the purchase of Devon Canada for $3.775 billion (Can.) cash. Devon Energy announced early this year its plan to shed Canadian operations and natural gas production to focus on US oil.
Oil prices climbed May 28 for a second trading session with light, sweet crude oil for both the July and August contracts settling above $59/bbl as traders returned after a long Memorial Day weekend.
The British Columbia Court of Appeal has ruled against provincial legislation that could have blocked expansion of the federally owned Trans Mountain Pipeline system. The legislation would have enabled the BC government to require a permit for the handling of heavy oil and thus to disallow the expansion project, which Premier John Horgan strongly opposes.
US Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) introduced legislation on May 23 that would require the US Department of Energy to establish a research, development, and demonstration program for carbon capture technologies at natural gas-fired power plants.
A consortium of 11 European stakeholders including ArcelorMittal, Axens, IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN), and Total SA, has launched a project to demonstrate an innovative process for capturing carbon dioxide from industrial activities. The so-named DMX project is part of a more comprehensive study dedicated to the development of the future European Dunkirk North Sea carbon capture and storage (CCS) cluster.
The US will need to equally address global climate change and other substantive trials if it expects to benefit from promising energy opportunities worldwide, speakers at the US Energy Association’s annual meeting and public policy forum generally agreed on May 23.
The light, sweet crude oil contract for July gained modestly to settle under $59/bbl on May 24, stabilizing after the biggest single-day drop of this year and ending a volatile week on the New York market. Brent crude also gained less than $1 to settle at under $69/bbl on May 24.
Canada has added 15 rigs for the week ended May 24, according to Baker Hughes data. With 78 rigs running, the count is slightly less than the 81 units drilling this week a year ago. The number of oil-directed rigs in Canada increased by 16, bringing the count to 38 rigs for the week. Gas-directed rigs were down a single unit to 40.
Oil and gas associations responded favorably to US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler’s May 13 memorandum stating that the agency should ensure its regulatory decisions are “rooted in sound, transparent, and consistent approaches to evaluating benefits and costs.”
While there hasn’t been a dramatic change for the energy industry in Mexico since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in 2018, progressive collaboration between the industry and country regulators is needed to fulfill the country’s hydrocarbon ambitions.
Light, sweet crude oil contracts for July and August plunged by more than $3.50/bbl on May 23, marking the sharpest single-session drop since Dec. 24, 2018, and the lowest settlement since Mar. 12. Brent crude oil prices also fell more than a $3/bbl on the London market with the July contract settling under $68/bbl. Analysts attributed the steep benchmark price drops on US-China trade relations as well as rising US oil supplies.
Renewed LPG demand growth in India and China will lead to growth of US exports later this year, according to ESAI Energy’s newly published Global NGL Outlook.
Oil futures dropped May 22 with light, sweet crude contracts for July and August settling down by more than $1.70/bbl each on the New York market, marking the biggest single-session loss in nearly 3 weeks.
US crude oil inventories for the week ended May 17, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 4.7 million bbl from the previous week, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration.