Tag: brief

U.S. oil drillers cut rigs for third week in a row: Baker Hughes

23 Sep 2017   USA

U.S. energy firms cut the number of oil rigs operating for a third week in a row as a 14-month drilling recovery stalled as companies pared back on spending plans when crude prices were softer. Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to September 22, bringing the total count down to 744, the least since June, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. That put the rig count on track for a second month of losses in a row and also its biggest monthly decline since May 2016. It was also on track for its first reduction in rigs over a three-month period since the second quarter of 2016. The rig count, an early indicator of future […]

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs for 3rd Week in a Row -Baker Hughes

23 Sep 2017   USA

Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Sept. 22, bringing the total count down to 744. Sept 22 (Reuters) – U.S. energy firms cut the number of oil rigs operating for a third week in a row as a 14-month drilling recovery stalled as companies pared back on spending plans when crude prices were softer. Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Sept. 22, bringing the total count down to 744, the least since June, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. That put the rig count on track for a second month of losses in a row and also its biggest monthly decline since May 2016. It was also on track for its first reduction in rigs over a three-month period since the second quarter of 2016. The rig count, an early indicator of future […]

Colorado Landfills Contain Radioactive Substances From Oil Sector

23 Sep 2017   Shale Oil, USA

Landfills in Colorado have begun to fill their space with low-level radioactive substances from oil and gas activities, state health officials have said , according to the local news site the Daily Camera. After a series of meetings with local officials, state authorities have concluded that unknown amounts of radioactive material have been stored at landfills throughout the state. Local authorities are currently trying to prohibit the practice altogether by strengthening their oversight mechanisms. “There is some of it that is just going to solid waste landfills…It is probably, mostly, staying in state,” the state health agency’s director Gary Baughman said during the Wednesday meeting. So far, no “imminent” threats to public health have been detected, though landfill operators will continue to monitor water flowing out of the fills for radioactive qualities. Technologically advanced naturally occurring radioactive materials, or TENORM, have been a concern for health officials for a […]

The Math on E&P Stocks Doesn’t Add Up

23 Sep 2017   Shale Oil

CEOs and boards are focusing on the wrong metrics. But if they change their ways, the opportunity could be great. This opinion piece presents the opinions of the author. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Rigzone. In my over twenty years of being in the investment business, I have seen many companies and industries lose their focus and discipline for a variety of reasons. Today, the exploration and production (E&P) sector fits squarely into that category. The compensation plans laid out by E&P corporate boards encourage these companies to grow production at almost any cost — which builds the personal net worth of the CEOs, but does nothing for the shareholders for whom they are legally fiduciaries. There are actions that boards and CEOs can take to rectify this situation, however. In my view, such changes could present a unique opportunity for the E&P sector to generate […]

Both sides claim win with fracking ruling

23 Sep 2017   Shale Oil

 Both sides in the debate over hydraulic fracturing claimed victory with a federal appeals court in Denver ruling on federal powers. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s ruling on overreach challenges against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which wanted regulatory oversight from the states. Environmental groups said the ruling meant regulations developed under former President Barack Obama would now take effect. “The 10th Circuit vacated the lower court’s ruling, which means the rule will now take effect,” Michael Freeman , an attorney for Earthjustice, said in a statement . “These are long-overdue protections for our public lands, water and public health.” While appeals were pending, however, U.S. President Donald Trump took office and […]

U.S. heating oil market looks tight this winter

23 Sep 2017   USA

 U.S. stocks of distillate fuel oil, which have been trending downwards all year, now look tight following disruption to major refineries caused by Hurricane Harvey. The position is a marked turnaround from the start of the year, when distillate stocks were at record levels following the second warm winter in a row and a prolonged slowdown in freight movements since 2015 ( tmsnrt.rs/2xXkH9p ). Distillate fuel oil is used mostly for high-horsepower diesel engines used in trucks, trains, barges and pipelines as well as some industrial engines, so demand is closely linked to manufacturing activity and freight movements. Distillates are still used as heating oil for some homes, schools and commercial buildings, especially in the Northeast, though this source of seasonal demand has become less important in recent […]

Germany gets economic lift with wind energy

23 Sep 2017   Germany, Wind

With the start of construction of a new wind farm off the coast of Germany, officials said the nation’s economy was supported through low-carbon efforts. German energy company E.ON, with support from Norway’s Statoil, hosted a ceremony to mark the start of construction for the Arkona offshore wind farm, which formally started in late August. Christian Pegel, a regional Germany energy minister, said the wind project represented an important economic milestone because of its new job creation potential. “The Arkona offshore wind project is a key investment in the expansion of wind power,” he said in a statement . E.ON laid the first of the 60 foundations for the wind farm in national waters of the Baltic Sea in late August . Foundations […]

Norway’s Statoil says it reached emissions goals early

23 Sep 2017   Climate, Norway

After reaching its climate targets ahead of schedule, Norwegian energy company Statoil said it was raising the bar for cutting its emissions. The Norwegian energy company, one of the more robust producers in the world, said it reached its target of cutting 1.2 million tons worth of emissions of carbon dioxide from its portfolio three years ahead of schedule. “We aim to reduce CO2 emissions from the NCS by another 2 million ton by 2030,” Arne Sigve Nylund, an executive vice president for development and production, said in a statement . “This work starts now.” In 2015, the company joined nine of the world’s largest oil and gas companies in pledging to play a constructive role in reducing the intensity of global […]

Exclusive: VW moves to secure cobalt supplies in shift to electric cars

Germany’s Volkswagen ( VOWG_p.DE ) is moving to secure long-term supplies of cobalt, a vital component of rechargeable batteries, as the group accelerates its ambitious shift to electric cars. Cobalt industry sources told Reuters that VW, the world’s largest automaker, has asked producers to submit proposals on supplying the material for up to 10 years from 2019. Volkswagen, which decided on the strategic shift to electric vehicles (EVs) after it was engulfed in the “dieselgate” scandal, plans to invest more than 20 billion euros ($24 billion) in zero-emission vehicles by 2030 to challenge pioneer Tesla ( TSLA.O ) in creating a mass market. The company, which aims to make up to three million EVs a year by 2025, wants all the cobalt tender […]

Natural Gas Settles Lower on Larger-Than-Expected Inventory Build

22 Sep 2017   Prices

Natural gas prices fell for the third straight session Thursday, as inventories grew more than expected for the second straight week. Futures for October delivery fell 14.8 cents, or 4.8%, to $2.946 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices extended losses after the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration report showed that inventories grew by 97 billion cubic feet in the week ended Sept. 15, more than the 89 bcf expected by analysts and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. Although warmer-than-expected temperatures have supported natural gas prices in the past few weeks, a second substantial inventory build weighed on market sentiment, analysts said. Some attributed the increase to power outages related to recent hurricanes. “We are now looking at one of the largest builds of the season,” said Teri Viswanath, managing director of natural gas at PIRA Energy Group. “The market is certainly […]

Japan fires up biomass energy, but fuel shortage looms

22 Sep 2017   Biofuels, Japan

As the sun sets on Japan’s solar energy boom, companies and investors are rushing into wood-burning biomass projects to lock in still-high government subsidies. More than 800 projects have already won government approval, offering 12.4 gigawatts (GW) of capacity — equal to 12 nuclear power stations and nearly double Japan’s 2030 target for biomass in its basic energy policy. The sheer number of projects has raised questions about how they will all find sufficient fuel, mostly shipped in from countries like Canada and Vietnam, while some experts question the environmental credentials of such large-scale plants. The projects approved to date that use general wood fuel would need the equivalent of up to 60 million tonnes of wood pellets, compared with […]

Japan court rules Tepco liable over Fukushima: media

22 Sep 2017   Japan, Nuclear

A court in Japan on Friday ordered Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) to pay compensation to a group of former Fukushima residents, the second such ruling following the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster, Japanese media reported. However, the ruling by the Chiba district court, east of Tokyo, did not find the government liable for compensation, in contrast to a March ruling in another court that ordered both the government and Tepco to pay compensation to a separate group of evacuees. Tepco is facing mounting legal claims over the disaster, with about 12,000 former Fukushima residents filing about 30 similar class action lawsuits seeking compensation, media reports said. In the Chiba case, a group […]

Chevron terminates Gulf of Mexico rig contract early

22 Sep 2017   Offshore, USA

A subsidiary of Chevron terminated a contract for a rig working in deep U.S. waters in the Gulf of Mexico nearly a year early, Transocean announced. “A subsidiary of Chevron elected to exercise its contractual option to terminate the drilling contract for the ultra-deepwater drillship Discoverer Clear Leader, effective November 2017, prior to its expiration in October 2018,” the company said in a statement . The rig was last listed in Transocean’s fleet status report as deployed in the Gulf of Mexico at a day rate of $575,000, an increase of 1 percent from the previous rate to lease the rig each day. Transocean said it would realize a lump-sum $148 million for contract termination […]

Makers of Fuel-Guzzling Big Rigs Try to Go Green

22 Sep 2017   Transportation

Freightliner says its new Cascadia truck gets 8% better fuel efficiency through such things as hubcap covers and door seals that cut down on wind resistance. The average big rig travels less than 7 miles on a gallon of diesel fuel, making it one of the least-efficient vehicles on the road. Truck manufacturers want to change that. Spurred by new pollution regulations and sluggish demand, truck makers including Navistar International Corp. NAV 0.32% , Daimler AG DMLRY 0.49% , Paccar Inc. PCAR -0.18% and Volvo VOLVB 1.94% AB, along with engine manufacturer Cummins Inc., CMI -0.44% are rethinking everything from engine design to the shape of the trailer to bump up fuel efficiency. Even small gains can have a big environmental impact. Each year in the U.S., roughly 1.7 million tractor-trailer trucks consume about 26 billion gallons of diesel. Getting an extra mile a gallon would equal removing more […]

Mercedes-Benz invests $1bn to make electric cars in US

22 Sep 2017   Electric Cars

Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler is investing $1bn to produce electric cars in the US for the first time as it steps up its challenge to its leading rivals by establishing manufacturing bases to build new technology vehicles across three continents. The German group said it will invest the money to prepare its manufacturing plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for producing electric cars, meaning it will have production locations for EVs and batteries in Europe, China and now the US. The US plant will manufacture sport utility vehicles for the company’s EQ brand — a line-up of electric-only cars set to compete with new rivals such as Tesla and old foes such as BMW and Audi, which are also preparing ambitious shifts into battery-powered vehicles.  The investment is expected to create more than 600 jobs in the region, adding to the 3,700 strong workforce that created more than 310,000 vehicles last year. Mercedes’ first EQ series model, the EQC, will go into production in 2019 in Bremen, Germany. Its first electric SUV will be produced at the start of the next decade, and by 2022 the brand pledges that the “entire portfolio of Mercedes” will include at least one electrified model, including pure EV, hybrid and “mild hybrid” 48-volt vehicles.  Markus Schäfer, Mercedes’ head of production, said the three locations mean the company and its global network is “ready for the era of electric vehicles”.

How Electric Cars Can Create the Biggest Disruption Since iPhone

22 Sep 2017   Electric Cars

Combination of self-driving, on-demand tech could boost growth Big Oil may take a hit as people choose new ways to travel It’s 10 years since Apple Inc. unleashed a surge of innovation that upended the mobile phone industry. Electric cars, with a little help from ride-hailing and self-driving technology, could be about to pull the same trick on Big Oil. The rise of Tesla Inc. and its rivals could be turbo charged by complementary services from Uber Technologies Inc. and Alphabet Inc. ’s Waymo unit, just as the iPhone rode the app economy and fast mobile internet to decimate mobile phone giants like Nokia Oyj . The culmination of these technologies — autonomous electric cars available on demand — could transform how people travel and confound predictions that battery-powered vehicles will have a limited impact on oil demand in the coming decades. “Electric cars on their own may not […]

Is Big Oil Going Green?

Oil supermajors rank among the biggest polluters in the world—a hardly surprising fact. In recent years, however, Big Oil has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, in what may come as a surprising fact about the dirtiest industry globally. The world’s five largest oil firms—ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and Total—cut their combined emissions by 13 percent, starting from 2010 and ending in 2015, the latest year with available comprehensive data, a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) released this week showed. BP cut its pollution the most, by 25.5 percent, while the largest polluter among listed companies—Exxon—reduced its emissions by 14 percent. The oil supermajors—excluding Chevron, which only started reporting emissions in 2012—reduced their combined greenhouse gas emissions by 56.7 million tons between 2010 and 2015, according to the BNEF report. The emissions reduction this decade is in stark contrast with the trends in previous decades, when […]

Thirst for oil returns in wealthy nations

A decade’s worth of efforts to cut oil consumption in industrialized countries is at risk of being reversed, as low fuel prices boost demand and send motorists flocking back to larger gas-guzzling cars. Figures from the International Energy Agency and other forecasters show OECD oil demand, which declined between 2005 and 2014, has been growing rapidly for the last three years after oil prices crashed from above $100 a barrel to about $55 today. If the trend continues, roughly 62 per cent of the reduction in OECD oil consumption since 2008 will have been reversed by the end of next year, despite governments targeting fuel efficiency, alleviating air pollution and cutting reliance on foreign crude. Robust oil use in the developed world, which for years had been expected to decline, just as emerging markets consume more, has cast uncertainty around when global demand will peak. Some energy companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, had warned this could happen as soon as next decade. “This period of lower oil prices has slowed the energy transition, no doubt about it,” said Cuneyt Kazokoglu, head of oil demand at energy consultancy FGE.

Will The White House Prevent Rosneft From Buying Citgo?

21 Sep 2017   Russia, USA, Venezuela

Senators have pressed the Trump Administration to review the chances of Russia’s Rosneft acquiring Venezuela’s PDVSA and its U.S. business, Citgo. Marco Rubio and Bob Menendez believe a change in the ownership of Citgo’s assets would constitute a security risk, Reuters reported . In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Republican and Democratic senators wrote that “ Given Venezuela’s increasingly dire economic and humanitarian situation, we are seriously concerned with a possible acquisition by Rosneft of PDVSA and Citgo .” Mnuchin is the chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. The CFIUS is responsible for studying the national security implications of potential foreign acquisitions in the country. The possibility of Russia’s biggest oil company taking over Citgo first surfaced early this year, as PDVSA’s troubles with falling production and lower oil revenues deepened, bringing it closer to a default on pending debts. Rosneft […]

California cities sue big oil firms over climate change

California cities San Francisco and Oakland filed separate lawsuits against five oil companies on Wednesday seeking billions of dollars to protect against rising sea levels they blamed on climate change, according to public documents. The lawsuits, filed in state courts in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, alleged Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell, created a public nuisance and asked for funds to finance infrastructure to deal with rising sea levels. According to a press release by San Francisco city officials, the lawsuits mirror 1980s-era lawsuits against tobacco companies. They allege the oil giants “knowingly and recklessly created an ongoing public nuisance that is causing harm now and in the future risks catastrophic harm to human life and property.” “Chevron […]

Russian oil company says it sent the U.S. its largest ever oil shipment

21 Sep 2017   Russia, USA

In its largest maritime shipment to date, a Russian oil company said it dispatched nearly 2 million barrels of oil from an Iraqi oil field to the United States. Russian oil company Gazprom Neft , which operates the Badra field in southern Iraq, said the 1.78 million barrels dispatched to the United States on the New Solution tanker represents the largest maritime shipment ever to a foreign country from its Iraqi subsidiary. The company said it was, however, the second batch of oil from the Iraqi field sent to the United States, but this was the largest. The 12 shipments before these were sent to European and Asia-Pacific markets. The U.S. balance between supply and demand […]

Reducing power diversity will damage US economy: IHS Markit

20 Sep 2017   USA

A diverse energy mix including coal and nuclear power is a key requirement for US electricity generation if the country is to maintain a cost-effective power supply, IHS Markit said Tuesday. The analytical firm warned Tuesday “policy-driven market distortions” are creating a less efficient power supply that could cost the US economy 0.8% of gross domestic product and 1 million jobs. The current diversified nature of the electricity supply lowers production costs by $114 billion a year and cuts retail prices by 27%, IHS Markit said in a report. However, the current direction of investment suggests “some US power systems will have no meaningful contributions from coal or nuclear resources and a smaller contribution from hydroelectric resources.” Article continues below… Platts Megawatt Daily provides you with timely and relevant North American electric power information. This market report is a valuable asset for any player in electric power and will […]

UK oil and gas reserves will expire in 10 years

20 Sep 2017   United Kingdom

The UK’s oil industry could be entering its final decade of production, according to new research. A study of output from offshore fields estimates about 10% of the nation’s original recoverable oil and gas remains. If the predictions are correct, the UK would soon have to import all the oil and gas it needs, scientists have warned. Academics behind the work are now urging the UK Government to use more renewable energy sources, particularly offshore wind and advanced solar energy technologies. Professor Roy Thompson from the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, who led the study, said: “The UK urgently needs a bold energy transition plan, instead of trusting to dwindling fossil fuel reserves and possible fracking. “We must act now and drive the necessary shift to a clean economy with integration between energy systems. “There needs to be greater emphasis on renewables, energy storage and improved insulation and […]

LNG facility in Lithuania to open by year’s end

20 Sep 2017   Lithuania

A state-owned port operator in Lithuania said it started work on a reloading station for support for maritime needs for liquefied natural gas. Klaipėdos nafta said it started work on an LNG reloading station after commissioning cargo delivered by a bunkering vessel owned by a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell. Bunkering is the ship-to-ship transfer of fuel. With international regulations calling for fewer emissions in the transportation sector, LNG serves a unique niche for maritime transport. Mindaugas Jusius, the managing director for the Lithuanian company, said the commissioning lets it test the entire LNG logistics chain at the Klaipėda seaport on the Baltic Sea, the northernmost port of its kind in Europe. “Such testing of the process for the first […]

French company Total steps into solar energy market

20 Sep 2017   France, Solar

In an announcement ahead of the French president’s speech before the U.N. General Assembly, Total said it took a greater stake in a renewable power company. The French supermajor said Tuesday it made a $284.7 million investment to take an indirect 23 percent stake in renewable power company EREN RE. Total said could eventually take the company over completely within the next five years. “EREN RE’s momentum will allow us to accelerate our growth in solar energy and move us into the wind power market,” Philippe Sauquet, the president in charge of gas, renewables and power for Total, said in a statement . “The agreement with EREN RE is a major step towards our objective of […]

Born to Drive project investigating self-delivering cars

20 Sep 2017   Electric Cars

About 80 million vehicles are produced around the world every year, but the logistics for transport from the factory to the end customer are extensive, costly and completely manual. A new vehicle is moved up to 30 times manually before it reaches the end customer. The Swedish research project Born to Drive has now developed a new software solution that lets the vehicles move themselves. The system was developed by Semcon in collaboration with seven other companies; a prototype is already up and running. We are seeing autonomous technology starting to become a reality in more and more industries. The technology is now ready to move from vision to practical application. The transformation […]

The World’s Largest Offshore Oil Field Is Back In Action

19 Sep 2017   Kazakhstan

Without much international fanfare, the world’s largest offshore oil field and the largest discovered in the last 40 years, Kazakhstan’s Kashagan Field, is on the verge of finally moving beyond the manifold impediments that hindered its development. Discovered in 2000, the 13 Bbbl field (38 Bbbl of oil in place) was set to begin producing in 2005, however, the first start took place only in 2013 . The joy lasted for a mere three months, then a pipeline leak on one of the artificially created islands led to a three-year production hiatus. Yet last autumn, Kashagan was producing oil again. In the absence of any further disturbances, it’s set to gradually ramp up to join the world’s Top-3 highest producing oil fields by 2035. Much of Kashagan’s past problems boil down to the technicalities of the oil field itself. It’s located in a climatically volatile region where temperatures range […]

Nigerian Workers Stop Oil Product Loading As Union Goes On Strike

19 Sep 2017   Nigeria

Oil workers in Nigeria stopped on Monday the loading of oil products, natural gas, and aviation fuel as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) joined an indefinite nationwide strike of its current affiliate United Labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC), demanding better conditions and pay as well as recognition of the ULC. Electricity union workers have also joined in the strike. The ULC is a breakaway union from the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). ULC split from the NLC last year over power struggles, and the NUPENG oil and gas workers’ union is now affiliated with the ULC. The ULC demands to be recognized and registered as a union. It also demands that roads to oil facilities be repaired and army personnel withdrawn from security duties at the oil infrastructure installations. The government, on the other hand, says the strike is illegal. The NLC, from which ULC […]

Forget Oil, Water Is New Ticket for Pipeline Growth in Texas

19 Sep 2017   Pipelines

The torrent of dirty water coming out of almost every American oil well is the next big bet for a former fund manager for billionaire Paul Allen. Getting rid of wastewater from onshore wells has become an increasingly costly problem for oil producers as U.S. crude output surged in recent years, especially in the new shale fields from Texas to North Dakota. Drillers typically get about seven barrels of water for every one of oil, and some struggle to deal with the overflow that is mostly sent by truck to disposal sites miles away. David Capobianco, a former managing director for Allen’s Vulcan Capital, is trying to change that by building pipelines to get wastewater out. His newly formed WaterBridge Resources LLC aims to be a water-management company for oilfields. The firm is considering a public share listing within a year to 18 months, taking advantage of […]

Reserves vs Valuations: Exxon’s Permian Predicament

19 Sep 2017   Shale Oil

The world’s largest listed oil firm, ExxonMobil, has been lagging behind other supermajors in reserve replacement ratio—a key metric in the industry that shows the amount of proved reserves a company adds to its reserve base during the year relative to the amount of oil and gas it produced. For Exxon, one of the quickest ways to add reserves is to buy a Permian-focused driller, which would be immediately accretive to reserves. However, in order for such a deal to be soundly justified financially, Exxon might need to find enough cost cuts to justify paying a premium for a potential target, says Reuters Breakingviews’ columnist Lauren Silva Laughlin . In January this year, Exxon bought companies owned by the Bass family in a deal that more than doubled the oil giant’s Permian Basin resources to 6 billion barrels of oil equivalent, after adding an estimated resource of 3.4 billion […]

Dubai awards $3.9 billion solar energy contract to Shanghai Electric, ACWA Power

18 Sep 2017   Solar

Dubai’s state energy utility awarded a $3.9 billion contract to build and run a 700 megawatt solar power plant to a consortium comprising Shanghai Electric and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, the government said on Saturday. The project will feature a 260-metre (850-foot) tower receiving focused sunlight, the world’s tallest such tower, the government said. The consortium bid to supply electricity to Dubai for 7.3 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour. The first stage of the project is due to be commissioned in late 2020. It is part of the Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Solar Park, a vast complex which is projected to generate 1,000MW by 2020 and 5,000MW by 2030. The government aims to use the solar park and other energy sources to increase the share of clean energy in Dubai’s power output to 7 percent by 2020, 25 percent by 2030 and 75 percent by 2050. […]

Mexico’s 2018 Election Could Derail Its Oil Boom

18 Sep 2017   Mexico

Three years ago, Mexico opened its energy sector to private investments in a landmark energy reform that ended more than seven decades of monopoly of its state firm, Pemex. Now Mexico has begun liberalizing gasoline prices as well. After an initially slow start to attracting foreign investment, Mexico’s offshore oil auctions have recently started paying off, after an alliance (including foreign firms) announced a “world class discovery” estimated to hold more than 1 billion barrels of oil in place—one of the major global discoveries in the past five years. In addition, supermajors Exxon, Chevron, and BP are opening or plan to open their first service stations to tap into the Mexican refined products market. Shell is the latest of Big Oil that entered the retail market, pledging US$1 billion in investment over the next 10 years. Things are currently looking up for foreign investments in Mexico’s energy sector, but […]

North Korea fuel prices soar after U.N. sanctions capping supply

18 Sep 2017   North Korea

(Reuters) – Gasoline and diesel prices rose sharply in North Korea after its sixth nuclear test and as the U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions capping fuel supply, market data analyzed by Reuters on Monday showed. The Security Council unanimously passed a resolution on Sept. 11 banning exports of condensates and natural gas liquids to the North and capping the annual supply of refined petroleum products at two million barrels and crude at its current levels. The price of gasoline sold by private dealers in the capital Pyongyang and northern border cities of Sinuiju and Hyesan spiked to $2.51 per kg as of Sept. 13, up 45.1 percent from $1.73 per kg on Sept. 5, according to Reuters analysis of data compiled by the Daily NK website. The website is run by North Korean defectors who collect prices via phone calls with traders in the North. Diesel prices also […]

Protesters set to rally against Australia’s biggest coal project

18 Sep 2017   Australia

Environmental activists are due to start a week of protests on Sunday against a major coal mining project they say will damage Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and contribute to global warming. The A$16.5 billion ($13.20 billion) project has been delayed for more than five years by court challenges from environmentalists and indigenous groups concerned about reef damage, climate change, and the impact on native land and water supply. The challenges failed and a workers’ camp opened in August to begin building the project’s $3.2 billion first stage. The “Frontline Action on Coal” and the “Reef Defenders” groups are to start their protests at Bowen, in the Whitsunday region of Queensland where the reef is situated. Paul Jukes, a Whitsunday farmer and tourism operator, told Reuters by telephone that the demonstrations would start with a march but could extend to direct action such as activists locking themselves […]

Big Oil Becomes Greener With Cuts to Greenhouse Gas Pollution

Oil majors reduced emissions by 13% in past five years Emissions at non-energy companies fell while revenue climbed It’s no secret that oil majors are among the biggest corporate emitters of pollution. What may be surprising is that they’re reducing their greenhouse-gas footprints every year, actively participating in a trend that’s swept up most corporate behemoths. Sixty-two of the world’s 100 largest companies consistently cut their emissions on an annual basis between 2010 and 2015, with an overall 12 percent decline during that period, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance released ahead of its conference in London on Monday. The findings suggest the most polluting industries had started fighting climate change before President Donald Trump took office and signaled he’d back out of U.S. participation in the Paris accord on limiting fossil fuel emissions. Now, as European officials say the White House may water down its […]

Tillerson says U.S. could stay in Paris climate accord

18 Sep 2017   Climate, USA

The United States could remain in the Paris climate accord under the right conditions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday. President Donald Trump was willing to work with partners in the Paris agreement if the United States could construct a set of terms that are fair and balanced for Americans, Tillerson said on the CBS “Face The Nation” program. “The president said he is open to finding those conditions where we can remain engaged with others on what we all agree is still a challenging issue,” Tillerson said. Trump administration officials said the United States would not pull out of the agreement and had offered to re-engage in the deal, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. U.S. officials attended a meeting on Saturday of ministers from more than 30 of the nations that signed the climate-change agreement. Trump announced in June that he […]

South Korea To Begin Phasing Out Nuclear Plants

16 Sep 2017   Nuclear, South Korea

South Korea is eyeing independence from nuclear energy, to be implemented gradually over the next six decades, as it seeks to switch to safer clean energy sources. The country’s Trade, Industry, and Energy Minister Paik Un-gyu said at a conference in Seoul today that “There is a need to move away from the energy scheme of the past, which focused on promoting nuclear power plants.” So far, as part of this shift away from nuclear power and into renewables, the government shut down a nuclear power plant built in the 1970s and temporarily suspended the construction of two new ones. There are 24 nuclear reactors in operation across the country and another four under construction. The phase-out of nuclear power generation capacity was a pledge that South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in made before the elections. Last month, the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy outlined the main policy points […]

China’s CNOOC Begins Oil Partner Hunt in Mexico Deep Waters

16 Sep 2017   China, Mexico

Cnooc Ltd. is searching for partners to develop oil prospects deep into the Gulf of Mexico as the Chinese giant extends its global reach. After bidding alone for exploration rights in Mexico’s first-ever deep-water auction in 2016, Cnooc is seeking deals known as farmouts, a common type of joint venture where a stake in an oil prospect is exchanged for help with drilling and production. The company has yet to choose partners, a Beijing-based spokeswoman for Cnooc said Friday. China, the world’s biggest oil consumer after the U.S., has sought a foothold in crude production everywhere from Africa to Canada as it looks to ensure supplies to its fast-growing economy. Several Latin American countries like Venezuela and Brazil have taken advantage of China’s thirst […]

Natgas pipeline builders hail U.S. okay of blocked New York project

16 Sep 2017   Pipelines

Energy traders and natural gas pipeline companies on Friday hailed a U.S. federal regulator’s decision to overturn New York’s denial of a water permit for building the Millennium Pipeline in the state. People in the industry expressed hope that the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would be willing to override state decisions to block other pipelines, including Williams Cos Inc’s Constitution and National Fuel Gas Co’s Northern Access pipelines from Pennsylvania. These could also be approved if similar waivers are granted by FERC. FERC, which is in charge of U.S. energy regulation, now has three members, after two new commissioners were appointed by President Donald Trump. Environmental groups and other opponents of fracking blasted the decision, saying it violated the state’s authority. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation said it was reviewing whether to appeal FERC’s decision, “and will consider all legal options to protect public […]

Trans Mountain oil pipeline in Canada short on safeguards

16 Sep 2017   Canada, Pipelines

The parties behind the Trans Mountain oil pipeline to Canada’s western coast haven’t yet completed what they need to for the environment, a regulator found. The National Energy Board approved of Kinder Morgan ‘s plans to triple the capacity of the network to around 890,000 barrels of oil per day in November, though vetting is still under way for some aspects. The project is part of a national effort to tap into markets outside North America as nearly all of Canada’s oil exports go to the United States. The NEB said it completed a pre-construction audit and found planners haven’t yet laid out plans regarding safety and environmental protection during the build process. “This pre-construction audit is one of […]

Trump administration working toward renewed drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – The Washington Post

16 Sep 2017   Arctic

The Trump administration is quietly moving to allow energy exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the first time in more than 30 years, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, with a draft rule that would lay the groundwork for drilling.  Congress has sole authority to determine whether oil and gas drilling can take place within the refuge’s 19.6 million acres. But seismic studies represent a necessary first step, and Interior Department officials are modifying a 1980s regulation to permit them.  The effort represents a twist in a political fight that has raged for decades. The remote and vast habitat, which serves as the main calving ground for one of North America’s last large caribou herds and a stop for migrating birds from six continents, has served as a rallying cry for environmentalists and some of Alaska’s native tribes. But state politicians and many Republicans in Washington have pressed to extract the billions of barrels of oil lying beneath the refuge’s coastal plain.

U.S. Oil Rig Count Continues To Collapse

16 Sep 2017   Shale Oil, USA

The total oil and gas rig count in the United States now stands at 936 rigs, up 430 rigs from the year prior, with the number of oil rigs in the United States decreasing by 7 this week and the number of gas rigs decreasing by 1. Canada, meanwhile, added 10 oil rigs for the week ending September 15. Oil rigs in the United States now number 749—333 rigs above this time last year. Although the number of oil rigs are still up significantly year on year, the increases slowed in the second quarter, and have reversed in the third. The first quarter 2017 saw 137 oil rigs added in the United States, while the second quarter 2017 saw 97 rigs added. In stark contrast, the third quarter, for which there are still two weeks to go, has seen the total number of rigs decrease by 7. The spot […]

U.S. Diesel, Heating Oil Inventories At Historical Low

16 Sep 2017   Oil Supply, USA

Even before Hurricane Harvey shut down more than 20 percent of U.S. refining capacity, U.S. diesel, jet fuel, and heating oil stocks had dropped during the summer months, for the first time since record keeping began in 1982, a Reuters analysis of EIA data showed on Friday. Distillate inventories dropped by 2.2 percent between June and September, the first ever fall in that period since 1982. To compare, distillate stocks have typically increased by an average 10 percent since 2000 during the summer months, because that’s when refiners consciously build distillate inventories to prepare for increased fall and winter demand for heating oil and harvesting. But this year, thanks to a surprisingly high summer demand of diesel, jet fuel, and heating oil, those stocks did something unprecedented—they dropped. Part of the demand was due to U.S. exports of those products, especially to Latin America. Currently, U.S. distillate stocks are […]

US Haynesville gas production hits 4-year high – Natural Gas

16 Sep 2017   Shale Gas

Natural gas producers in the US Southeast are beginning to yield dividends from a bid to reverse declining production in one of the region’s seemingly forgotten shale plays. Recent data from the Haynesville of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas show production there at its highest since mid-2013. As output continues to rebound from a record low in August 2016, production from the Haynesville is already up by nearly 15%, Platts Analytics data shows.  That spectacular turnaround comes amid a rapid expansion in drilling activity which has rivaled that of even the Utica or the Marcellus. In just 12 months, rig count in the Haynesville has more than tripled.

Leaseholders’ renewed devotion to the play comes in spite of relatively weak internal rates of return or IRRs there, which have averaged just 11% over the last year. Those returns have paled in comparison to Appalachian plays where IRRs averaged roughly 14%, in both the Utica and the Marcellus, according to data from Platts Well Economics Analyzer.  But with export demand from the Gulf Coast and Texas expected to grow by nearly 7.5 Bcf/d through 2020, a bid to grow production in the Haynesville could be longer-term play by producers seeking access to neighboring markets that are soon likely to trade at a premium.

Perry Highlights Need for Oil Reserve in Rebuke of Trump’s Plan

16 Sep 2017   USA

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma demonstrate the importance of keeping the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said, in a not-so-subtle rebuke to President Donald Trump. “This is a good example of why we need an SPR,” Perry said at a press conference Friday morning. The reserve, run by the federal government, is a stockpile that can hold more than 700 million barrels of crude. Trump’s budget proposal this year called for selling half the reserve, saying it was no longer useful in a time of U.S. oil surpluses. Perry made his disagreement with the president’s position clear. “I didn’t write that budget,” he said at the press conference, held with other federal officials to discuss the state of government assistance to Florida after Hurricane Irma. After […]

First-ever U.S. coal shipment arrives in Ukraine

16 Sep 2017   Ukraine

The first batch of U.S. coal sent to Ukraine could open additional doors for bilateral energy trade, the Ukrainian minister of infrastructure said. Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said Friday that, after declaring a state of emergency because of coal blockades in eastern Ukraine, his country was supported with the arrival of U.S. coal. “My dream is that other ships coming from United States would bring Tesla cars and other electric cars , and we would supply electrical batteries and high-tech components to the USA, then this cooperation will be even stronger and more promising,” he said in a statement . U.S. Cabinet officials, the U.S. envoy to Ukraine and representatives from […]

Scientists warning of sand scarcity

16 Sep 2017   Economy

f you’re looking for a way to express something that’s staggeringly hard to count, you won’t find a more reliable metaphor than grains of sand. There is indeed quite a bit of it – about 7.5 quintillion grains on Earth’s beaches and deserts, according to one estimate. But if you think that this would be sufficient to supply an ever-expanding global economy with all the concrete, asphalt, glass, and semiconductors it could possibly desire, think again. Our consumption of sand is outpacing our understanding of the economics and environmental impacts of extracting, transporting, and consuming it, finds research published last Thursday in the journal Science. Out of the complexity of the global sand trade has emerged something of a butterfly effect, in which an economic decision in one place can wreak social and environmental havoc on the other side of the world. Using a holistic, interdisciplinary approach called telecoupling, […]

India Plans Larger Oil Auctions as Modi Pursues Import Cuts

15 Sep 2017   India

“We want to create a lot of E&P companies in India,” said the head of the country’s oil regulator. (Bloomberg) — India will offer larger areas with higher oil and natural gas reserves in the next auction of discovered fields later this year as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government seeks to curtail rising crude oil imports. “The next round would be meatier, bigger and players can expect even better fields,” Atanu Chakraborty, head of oil regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, said in an interview. “The reserves are twice of that we offered in the first auction round, on a very conservative estimate.” India last year offered 67 small oil and gas fields holding about 625 million barrels of reserves in its first auction in six years allowing new entrants such as drugmakers and engineering companies to try their hand at boosting local production. The government also relaxed rules by […]

Brazil’s Pre-Salt Areas Attract 17 Major Oil Bidders

15 Sep 2017   Brazil

As many as 17 companies have registered to bid next month in two rounds of exploration license awards in Brazil’s pre-salt layer, Brazilian Oil and Gas Secretary Marcio Felix said on the sidelines of an event on Thursday. Brazil is eager to award new exploration licenses in the most promising blocks in its pre-salt layer as it tries to boost its economy and attract more foreign investment. Before Felix gave the exact number of the different bidders in the two rounds, the country’s oil and gas regulator ANP had previously said that 10 firms had expressed interest to take part in the second round, with 15 companies registering to bid in the third round. Now the exact number is known—17—and all are major oil firms, Reuters quoted Felix as saying. Interest in pre-salt areas by majors has grown since Brazil removed in October last year the requirement by law […]

Alberta Banking On An Oil Sands Boom

15 Sep 2017   Canada

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley cut the ribbon that marked the official opening of an oil sands expansion project near Fort McMurray on Wednesday. The new project is expected to produce 20,000 bpd of oil by mid-2018, thanks to a US$1.64 billion (2 billion Canadian dollars) investment. Japan Petroleum Exploration Co (Japex) and Nexen Energy ULC—a wholly owned subsidiary of China’s CNOOC— started last month the production of ultra-heavy crude oil from the Hangingstone Oil Sands Project. Japex and Nexen launched production using the Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) method, at a current bitumen production rate of 1,000 bpd. After wells get switched to full production mode, the companies expect production volume at the Hangingstone project to reach 20,000 bpd by the second half of 2018. Japex’s subsidiary, Japan Canada Oil Sands Limited (Jacos), holds a 75- percent interest in the project and is its operator, while Nexen owns the other […]