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Quantum Energy Inc., Tempe, Ariz., and a joint-venture partner Native Son Holdings LLC (NSH), The Woodlands, Tex., have filed a minor-source air quality construction permit application with the North Dakota Health Department’s division of air quality (DAQ) for construction of the partnership’s proposed 40,000-b/d refinery in Berthold, ND.

Posted: July 30, 2015, 8:28 pm

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has entered a deal to sell nearly all of its interest in Japanese refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu KK to Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. as part of the company’s ongoing strategy to reduce its downstream refining assets. As part of the agreement, Idemitsu Kosan will buy Shell’s 33.24% majority interest in Showa Shell Sekiyu for about $1.4 billion, Shell said on July 30.

Posted: July 30, 2015, 8:18 pm

The US Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on Fidelity Exploration & Production Co.’s proposed oil and gas project 17 miles northwest of Moab, Utah.

Posted: July 30, 2015, 8:10 pm

The US Bureau of Land Management released a draft environmental assessment for Noble Energy Inc.’s proposal to develop as many as 89 oil wells in Colorado’s Denver-Julesburg basin. The 7,986-acre project area is in a part of the D-J basin where oil and gas have been developed over several decades, it noted.

Posted: July 30, 2015, 8:07 pm

The US should better prepare itself to use its new energy abundance as a geopolitical tool by jettisoning obsolete policies and broadening access for potential overseas customers, two US Senators recommended.

Posted: July 30, 2015, 5:20 pm

Vermillion Energy Inc. has signed a farm-in agreement providing access to a nearly contiguous land block in the North German basin.

Posted: July 30, 2015, 4:40 pm

PA Resources Tunisia has submitted Tunisian authorities a plan of development for Zarat field that outlines a multiphase joint venture between PA Resources and L’Entreprise Tunisienne d’Activites Petrolieres (ETAP).

Posted: July 30, 2015, 4:34 pm

DNO ASA, Oslo, said oil production from Tawke field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq continues despite shutdown of the pipeline that carries Iraqi crude from Kirkuk to Ceyhan, Turkey, on the Mediterranean.

Posted: July 30, 2015, 4:29 pm

OAO Rosneft and ExxonMobil Corp. filed joint bids to participate in the fifth licensing round organized by Mozambique’s Institute of National Petroleum.

Posted: July 30, 2015, 4:24 pm

Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. said it will purchase one third of the voting rights of Showa Shell Sekiyu, Tokyo, from subsidiaries of Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

Posted: July 30, 2015, 3:32 pm

Gulfport Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, reported its second-quarter Utica shale production in Ohio accounted for 97% of its overall net production compared with 79% a year earlier.

Posted: July 30, 2015, 3:24 pm

The price for light, sweet crude oil for September delivery rose modestly on the New York market July 29 after a weekly US Energy Information Administration showed an estimated decline in crude oil supplies.

Posted: July 30, 2015, 3:08 pm

The Texas Petro Index (TPI) for June indicates that crude oil and natural gas production and jobs estimates in the Lone Star State increased from May despite the unfavorable economic climate.

Posted: July 29, 2015, 7:53 pm

Sunbird Energy Ltd., Perth, has received a nonbinding takeover proposal from South African company Glendal Power & Industries.

Posted: July 29, 2015, 5:18 pm

The early-2014 rupture of a natural gas pipeline south of Winnipeg, Man., resulted from a fracture at a crack that formed in the pipe wall during construction but remained stable more than 50 years, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Posted: July 29, 2015, 5:07 pm

The price for light, sweet crude oil for September delivery rose modestly July 28 but still settled just below $48/bbl on the New York market as analysts awaited the US weekly government report on crude oil and product supplies.

Posted: July 29, 2015, 5:01 pm

A proposal to sell 101 million bbl of crude oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve from fiscal 2018 to 2025 is an incredibly bad idea, US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) has repeatedly said the past few days.

Posted: July 29, 2015, 5:00 pm

The drive to remove the 40-year-old ban on exporting US-produced crude oil is gaining momentum as more members of Congress recognize the action’s obvious energy, economic, and security benefits, American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard said.

Posted: July 29, 2015, 4:56 pm

SSE E&P UK Ltd. has agreed to acquire 20% interest in Laggan, Tormore, Edradour, and Glenlivet fields in the West of Shetland area from Total SA for $876 million.

Posted: July 29, 2015, 3:06 pm

Congressional committee debate over the 40-year ban on exporting US-produced crude oil continued to break largely along party lines as the US Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held its first hearing in years on the subject. Republicans on the committee called for the ban’s removal. Democrats generally opposed that idea, their positions ranging from quiet concern to loud skepticism.

Posted: July 28, 2015, 9:49 pm

Canada’s National Energy Board has approved an application by Orca LNG Ltd., Cypress, Tex., for a 25-year natural gas export license (OGJ Online, July 16, 2015).

Posted: July 28, 2015, 6:08 pm

The UK government has awarded 41 licenses for exploration and production in the second tranche of the 28th Offshore Licensing Round.

Posted: July 28, 2015, 6:00 pm

Walter Energy Inc., Birmingham, Ala., and its US subsidiaries filed for restructuring under Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US Northern District Court of Alabama.

Posted: July 28, 2015, 5:51 pm

Light, sweet crude oil futures prices fell July 27 to settle at less than $48/bbl on the New York market while Brent prices on the London market plunged more than $1 to below $54/bbl. Both marked their lowest settlements since March.

Posted: July 28, 2015, 3:38 pm

Ending the decades-old ban on exporting US-produced crude oil would raise prices by $3/bbl and increase product prices, a study commissioned by Consumers and Refiners United for Domestic Energy (CRUDE) concluded.

Posted: July 27, 2015, 9:49 pm

Encana Corp., Calgary, reported a $1.3 billion impairment charge for the second quarter, which executives said reflected a decline in oil and natural gas reserves values because of lower commodity prices. Overall Encana reported a second-quarter loss of $1.6 billion.

Posted: July 27, 2015, 4:43 pm

An apparently disappointing first round of bids for oil and gas exploration rights revealed problems that require attention if Mexico’s dramatic energy policy reforms are to succeed, witnesses told a US House Foreign Affairs Committee subcommittee (OGJ Online, July 16, 2015).

Posted: July 27, 2015, 4:08 pm

ConocoPhillips reported plans to further reduce its capital expenditures for deepwater exploration, with the "most significant reductions" coming from its operated program in the Gulf of Mexico. The company did not specify by how much capex would be reduced, however.

Posted: July 27, 2015, 3:38 pm

MPLX LP, a Findlay, Ohio-based master limited partnership (MLP) formed by Marathon Petroleum Corp. in 2012, and Denver-based MarkWest Energy Partners LP have agreed to a unit-for-unit merger deal in which MarkWest will become a wholly owned subsidiary of MPLX.

Posted: July 27, 2015, 3:33 pm

The US Environmental Protection Agency needs to improve its oversight of hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels and address any compliance issues, EPA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) said.

Posted: July 27, 2015, 3:17 pm

Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality's Petroleum Pipeline Task Force issued a report that recommended that heavy crude and oil sands be kept out of an Enbridge Inc. pipeline that crosses the Mackinac Straits between Lakes Huron and Michigan.

Posted: July 27, 2015, 3:09 pm

A comprehensive study of US natural gas transmission and storage operations found total methane emissions from 2,292 on-site measurements, additional emissions data from 677 facilities, and activity data from 922 facilities were 27% lower than emissions for the industry in the US Environmental Protection Agency's 2012 Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

Posted: July 27, 2015, 3:04 pm

Panelists commented on future recovery of oil prices and the growth of unconventional drilling, then took questions from an overflow audience during the opening plenary session of the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) in San Antonio July 20.

Posted: July 27, 2015, 3:02 pm

Operators should resist the impulse to pull back on investments in technology despite a down oil market, said Claudia J. Hackbarth, manager, unconventional gas and tight oil research and development, Shell International E&P Inc. during a July 20 luncheon speech at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) in San Antonio. "Innovation is needed now more than ever."

Posted: July 27, 2015, 3:01 pm

Where there's oil, there's also a good chance some level of corruption exists. Such is the case, especially, when you combine poverty and an abundance of one of the world's most precious resources.

Posted: July 27, 2015, 2:52 pm

Light, sweet crude oil futures prices fell modestly July 24 to remain under $49/bbl on the New York market after Baker Hughes Inc. reported the US rig count jumped, and most of the gain came from onshore rigs.

Posted: July 27, 2015, 2:19 pm

International news for oil and gas professionals

Posted: July 27, 2015, 5:00 am

The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed a voluntary methane reduction program for the natural gas industry that would allow companies to make commitments and track their progress. Comments on the proposed program, which would build on progress EPA has achieved in its Natural Gas STAR Program in the last 20 years, will be accepted through Sept. 1.

Posted: July 24, 2015, 8:08 pm

Workers at beleaguered Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) staged a 24-hr strike across Brazil to protest plans by the state-owned company to liquidate assets for debt service, according to news reports.

Posted: July 24, 2015, 5:42 pm

Light, sweet crude oil futures prices settled under $49/bbl July 23 on the New York market, which means US prices have slid more than 20% since their 2015 highs set in June.

Posted: July 24, 2015, 5:00 pm

EQT Corp., Pittsburgh, said a deep, dry gas Utica well averaged 72.9 MMcfd with an average flowing casing pressure of 8,641 psi during a 24-hr deliverability test. The well was completed using a 18-stage fracturing job and a 3,221-ft lateral.

Posted: July 24, 2015, 4:42 pm

US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) introduced legislation that would end the ban on US crude oil exports, and establish federal Outer Continental Shelf revenue sharing for southern Mid-Atlantic and additional Gulf Coast states as well as Alaska.

Posted: July 24, 2015, 4:21 pm

Oil & Gas UK has released updated guidelines for abandonment of wells, including cost estimates.

Posted: July 23, 2015, 9:07 pm

Light, sweet crude oil futures prices plunged lower to settle below $50/bbl on the New York market on July 22.

Posted: July 23, 2015, 5:13 pm

US Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Tex.) said it would be geopolitically, economically, and strategically absurd for the US to maintain outmoded oil and gas export restrictions while permitting Iran to increase its sales to foreign customers under the recently concluded nuclear arms limitation agreement.

Posted: July 23, 2015, 3:48 pm

Iran’s resumption of oil and gas exports, once sanctions are lifted under the recently negotiated nuclear limits agreement, probably won’t flood global markets initially, the chief executive officer of Crescent Petroleum forecasts.

Posted: July 22, 2015, 8:31 pm

The United Arab Emirates is moving prices of gasoline and diesel toward deregulation effective Aug. 1.

Posted: July 22, 2015, 7:20 pm

Light, sweet crude oil prices settled modestly above $50/bbl on the New York market on July 21, gaining support from a stronger dollar and from expectations by analysts and traders that the weekly US government crude oil inventory would decline although it actually increased.

Posted: July 22, 2015, 3:39 pm

The US Bureau of Land Management has extended the comment period for a preliminary environmental assessment (EA) of a proposed oil and gas project near Somerset, Colo., until Aug. 4, BLM’s Uncompahgre Field Office in Montrose, Colo., announced.

Posted: July 21, 2015, 8:38 pm

A comprehensive study of US natural gas transmission and storage operations found total methane emissions from 2,292 on-site measurements, additional emissions data from 677 facilities, and activity data from 922 facilities were 27% lower than emissions for the industry in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

Posted: July 21, 2015, 8:19 pm

Light, sweet crude oil prices briefly dropped below $50/bbl on the New York market on July 20 for the first time since April but regained some support to settle at $50.15/bbl—the lowest settlement since Apr. 2.

Posted: July 21, 2015, 2:56 pm

Provincial premiers in Canada have proposed a national energy strategy with actions targeting “sustainability and conservation,” “technology and innovation,” and “delivering energy to people.”

Posted: July 20, 2015, 9:48 pm

The US Environmental Protection Agency needs to improve its oversight of hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels and address any compliance issues, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said. The agency also needs to take further steps in its May 2014 plan to determine whether a federal requirement to publicly disclose frac fluid ingredients is necessary, OIG said in a July 16 report.

Posted: July 20, 2015, 8:32 pm

Operators should resist the impulse to pull back on investments in technology despite a down oil market, said Claudia J. Hackbarth, manager, unconventional gas and tight oil research and development, Shell International E&P Inc. during a July 20 luncheon speech at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) in San Antonio. “Innovation is needed now more than ever.”

Posted: July 20, 2015, 7:45 pm

Utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) conversion of solar energy into electricity soon will be competitive with generation fueled by natural gas, predicts energy analyst Leonardo Maugeri.

Posted: July 20, 2015, 3:46 pm

Light, sweet crude oil prices settled nearly flat on the New York market on July 17 after a volatile trading session that started with prices going down until Baker Hughes Inc. reported a decline in the weekly rig count.

Posted: July 20, 2015, 2:52 pm

International news for oil and gas professionals

Posted: July 20, 2015, 5:00 am

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan did not mince words on July 7 when he described problems the Obama administration sees in the US House's fiscal 2017 US Department of the Interior appropriations bill.

Posted: July 17, 2015, 8:35 pm

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a final rule to establish the process for evaluating state excavation damage prevention programs and enforcing federal standards in states where such requirements are inadequate or do not exist.

Posted: July 17, 2015, 8:33 pm

Members of a US House Energy and Commerce subcommittee asked US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Interim Executive Director Stacy Cummings why several significant provisions of a federal pipeline safety law passed in 2011 have yet to be implemented.

Posted: July 17, 2015, 8:32 pm

The US Bureau of Land Management proposed regulations to ensure more accurate measurement, accountability, and royalty payments for oil and gas production from onshore federal and Indian oil and gas leases.

Posted: July 17, 2015, 8:27 pm

Advocates called for removing the US ban on exports of domestically produced crude oil in the wake of the July 14 international nuclear weapons agreement with Iran that also would lift sanctions on that country's crude sales.

Posted: July 17, 2015, 8:11 pm

Rural US communities generally have benefited from the nation's crude oil production renaissance, and potentially could be helped more if restrictions on exports of crude were eliminated, witnesses told a US House Agriculture Committee hearing on July 8.

Posted: July 17, 2015, 8:08 pm

A US House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on legislation to repeal the ban on exporting US-produced crude oil quickly broke along party lines.

Posted: July 17, 2015, 8:06 pm

Warning about the cost of regulation is easier than proving it retrospectively. Individuals or industries know what they spend to function under a given regulation, but they usually can only guess about what they would have spent over the same time under a softer alternative or with no regulation at all.

Posted: July 17, 2015, 7:38 pm

Regulators in Australia and Timor-Leste have now formally terminated Timor Gap production-sharing contract JPDA 06-103, which leaves Australian companies Pan Pacific Petroleum NL (PPP), Sydney, and Oilex Ltd., Perth, in breach of their obligations and facing a possible financial liability.

Posted: July 17, 2015, 4:25 pm

Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) reported that a Nexen Energy ULC pipeline has leaked 5,000 cu m of emulsion—a mixture of bitumen, produced water, and sand—according to Nexen’s initial estimates.

Posted: July 17, 2015, 4:00 pm

Light, sweet crude oil prices for August delivery dropped modestly to settle at just under $51/bbl on the New York July 16, but Brent crude oil August prices rose on the London market on reports of a power outage at the UK North Sea Buzzard oil field.

Posted: July 17, 2015, 2:30 pm

Total US petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, increased 4.2% from June 2014 to average 19.6 million b/d last month. In the second quarter, demand gained 3.7% compared with the same period last year.

Posted: July 16, 2015, 9:34 pm

ConocoPhillips reported plans to further reduce its capital expenditures for deepwater exploration, with the “most significant reductions” coming from its operated program in the Gulf of Mexico. The company did not specify by how much capex would be decreased, however.

Posted: July 16, 2015, 9:13 pm

Silt, which is increasingly filling US waterways and ports, potentially could limit US LNG exports if it is not dredged soon, a top US Department of Energy official warned.

Posted: July 16, 2015, 8:27 pm

Recent actions of two exploration and production companies have pushed the trailing 12-month energy default rate among issuers of high-yield bonds tracked by Fitch Ratings to 2.6%, well above the long-term average of 1.9%.

Posted: July 16, 2015, 6:10 pm

Emirates National Oil Co. Ltd. (ENOC), Dubai, will lower target oil production from the Cheleken area offshore Turkmenistan after acquiring full control of Dragon Oil PLC as it expands into upstream oil and gas operations.

Posted: July 16, 2015, 5:45 pm

Kinder Morgan Inc., Houston, has reached a deal with Royal Dutch Shell PLC to purchase 100% of Shell’s equity interest in Elba Liquefaction Co. LLC (ELC).

Posted: July 16, 2015, 5:06 pm

Genesis Energy LP has agreed to buy the Gulf of Mexico pipelines and services business of Enterprise Products Partners LP for $1.5 billion cash.

Posted: July 16, 2015, 4:51 pm

Two of 14 shallow-water blocks received successful bids on July 15 in Mexico’s historic Round One offering of exploration and production rights (OGJ Online, Dec. 19, 2014). A joint venture of Talos Energy LLC, Houston; Sierra Oil & Gas, Mexico City; and Premier Oil PLC, London, submitted both bids.

Posted: July 16, 2015, 4:23 pm

Canada needs to connect to global LNG markets to avoid a decade of decline in natural gas production, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).

Posted: July 16, 2015, 4:01 pm

Light, sweet crude oil prices dropped more than $1/bbl on the New York and London markets July 15, dipping to their lowest settlement since early April on concerns about Iranian oil eventually adding to an already oversupplied world oil market.

Posted: July 16, 2015, 3:27 pm

Kinder Morgan Inc., Houston, has commissioned the second of two splitters at the company’s new petroleum condensate processing facility located near its Galena Park terminal along the Houston Ship Channel.

Posted: July 15, 2015, 9:17 pm

Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality’s Petroleum Pipeline Task Force issued a report that recommended that heavy crude and oil sands be kept out of an Enbridge Inc. pipeline that crosses the Mackinac Straits between Lakes Huron and Michigan.

Posted: July 15, 2015, 8:39 pm

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a corrective action order directing Plains All American Pipeline LP to keep a southern Illinois crude oil pipeline and pumping station out of operation following a 100-bbl leak on July 10.

Posted: July 15, 2015, 7:28 pm

Advocates called for removing the US ban on exports of domestically produced crude oil in the wake of the July 14 international nuclear weapons agreement with Iran that also would lift sanctions on that country’s crude sales.

Posted: July 15, 2015, 4:47 pm

Oil and gas operators remain able to raise capital despite falling crude oil prices and, for many, deteriorating financial conditions, according to analysts at Moody’s Investors Service.

Posted: July 15, 2015, 4:20 pm

Light, sweet crude oil prices settled higher on the New York market July 14 following overnight news that Iran reached a tentative agreement with international powers regarding its nuclear program, although that agreement has yet to be officially approved.

Posted: July 15, 2015, 4:14 pm

WPX Energy Inc. agreed to buy privately held RKI Exploration & Production LLC of Oklahoma City for $2.35 billion in a move intended to help WPX produce more oil as the Tulsa independent shifts its focus from natural gas to oil.

Posted: July 15, 2015, 3:07 pm

Members of a US House Energy and Commerce subcommittee asked US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Interim Executive Director Stacy Cummings why several significant provisions of a federal pipeline safety law passed in 2011 have yet to be implemented (OGJ Online, Sept. 21, 2011).

Posted: July 14, 2015, 9:04 pm

Target-level production of crude oil by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries would balance the oil market in 2016, according to three key monitoring agencies.

Posted: July 14, 2015, 5:40 pm

Crude oil futures prices alternated between gains and losses in July 13 trading before settling lower on both the New York and London markets on uncertainty about the outcome of Iran’s talks with international powers regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

Posted: July 14, 2015, 4:11 pm

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a final rule to establish the process for evaluating state excavation damage prevention programs and enforcing federal standards in states where such requirements are inadequate or do not exist.

Posted: July 14, 2015, 2:50 pm

Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc. reached a timing agreement with the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division to extend DOJ’s review of Halliburton’s proposed acquisition of Baker Hughes.

Posted: July 13, 2015, 7:52 pm

Understanding how crude oil production in US key states has been affected by recent changes in crude oil prices and drilling activity is of great importance. Unfortunately, state-level production data published by the US Energy Information Administration and state agencies can differ, as EIA’s estimates anticipate and account for expected revisions to data collected by the states.

Posted: July 13, 2015, 5:13 pm

OAO Rosneft has entered a preliminary agreement to purchase as much as 49% interest in Essar Energy PLC subsidiary Essar Oil Ltd., including its 20 million-tonne/year Vadinar refinery in Gujarat, India.

Posted: July 13, 2015, 4:57 pm

MPLX LP, a Findlay, Ohio-based master limited partnership (MLP) formed by Marathon Petroleum Corp. in 2012, and Denver-based MarkWest Energy Partners LP have agreed to a unit-for-unit merger deal in which MarkWest will become a wholly owned subsidiary of MPLX. The deal, valued at $15.8 billion in stock and cash excluding debt, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Posted: July 13, 2015, 4:52 pm

Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP) said it has completed the purchase of EFS Midstream LLC from Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Reliance Holding USA Inc.

Posted: July 13, 2015, 4:02 pm

The US Bureau of Land Management proposed regulations to ensure more accurate measurement, accountability, and royalty payments for oil and gas production from onshore federal and Indian oil and gas leases.

Posted: July 13, 2015, 3:16 pm

The Western Australian government and the Woodside Petroleum Ltd.-led Browse joint venture have finally come to an agreement over the supply of gas from the Browse gas fields for the domestic market.

Posted: July 13, 2015, 2:39 pm

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead (R) will focus primarily on the Endangered Species Act as the 2016 Western Governors' Association Chairman's Initiative, he announced at the group's annual meeting on June 26.

Posted: July 13, 2015, 2:33 pm

US light, sweet crude oil prices settled down slightly July 10 on the New York market, ending a week in which the front-month contract saw its biggest single-week drop since March, which analysts attributed largely to uncertainties about Greece’s debt and talks regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

Posted: July 13, 2015, 2:32 pm

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations.

Posted: July 13, 2015, 2:31 pm

The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the trade association is equally working on challenges involving rail and maritime transportation, said Robin Rorick, API midstream and industry operations director.

Posted: July 13, 2015, 2:29 pm
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