TransCanada will proceed with the Keystone XL pipeline after an open season attracted about 500,000 barrels per day of firm, 20-year commitments. The company hopes to begin construction in 2019, but the project still faces at least one major challenge in Nebraska, where a state regulator approved an alternative route for the pipeline in November, making the company vulnerable to legal action from opponents and landowners.
The combination of the tax bill, strong gasoline and diesel demand and higher oil prices gave US refiners a boost at the end of 2017, with margins expected to stay healthy through the first half of 2018. However, US refiners are facing increasing competition from China and Saudi Arabia while record-high refinery run rates could cause another glut of products.
With more than 20 new frac sand mines planned for the Permian Basin this year, Texas sand threatens to take away as much as 50% of Wisconsin's market share because it's cheaper, easier to mine and more accessible to shale drillers. However, some oil and natural gas companies still prefer to pay more for Wisconsin sand, as its higher quality allows producers to drill deeper and extend the life span of oil wells.
US crude stockpiles fell by 6.9 million barrels last week, beating analyst expectations for a 425,000-barrel drop, according to the Energy Information Administration. Gasoline supplies were up by 3.6 million barrels, while distillates plunged by 3.9 million barrels.
Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, both R-Utah, and John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, both R-Wyo., put forward legislation to streamline federal oil and natural gas permitting by giving states more control over oil and gas development on federal lands within their own boundaries.
Southeastern Oklahoma's Arkoma Stack is a very promising play and is one of the best economically in North America, said Nathaniel Harding, co-founder and president of Antioch Energy. About 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent have been produced out of the Arkoma Basin in the past 100 years, Harding said.
The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway granted consent to Statoil to explore in the North Sea. The 37-day exploration period begins in February.
More money is needed to hire additional geologists to study the possibility of glacial deep-seated landslides on the State Route 530 corridor in Washington state, said Hilary Franz, the state public lands commissioner. A landslide in Oso, Wash., nearly four years ago killed 41 people.
BP has signed a memorandum of understanding with Iraq to develop oilfields in the northern province of Kirkuk. BP's studies are expected to increase oil production to 750,000 barrels a day.
A new gas play found by GeoPark in southern Chile's Fell block will provide additional low-cost production in the area, GeoPark officials said in a statement. The well was drilled to a total depth of 1,115 meters.
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