Two shale basins in Texas were responsible for much of the growth the US experienced in proved oil reserves last year, according to an Energy Information Administration report. The US showed a 9% increase in proved oil reserves in 2014, with total reserves reaching their highest mark in more than 30 years.
Tuesday saw oil prices reach a two-week high, spurred in part by tensions in the Middle East. Gasoline futures rose by 6%, and West Texas Intermediate futures increased by 2.7%. There was a 2.6 million barrel US crude build last week, according to the American Petroleum Institute.
Phillips 66 has added protocols for crude oil tank inspections, earthquake alert monitoring and possible pauses in operations after tremors following rising seismic activity near Cushing, Okla. Phillips' "seismic response protocol was developed as part of our enhanced geohazard program, which addresses geotechnical, hydrotechnical and seismic hazards," the company said.
The proposed Northeast Energy Direct pipeline would be a "transformative project for the northeast United States," said Kimberly Watson, Kinder Morgan's president for east region natural gas pipelines. Watson noted that customers in this area of the country pay high prices for natural gas and electricity. "These higher prices are due, in large part, to natural gas pipeline infrastructure that is insufficient to meet the winter heating demand of local distribution companies (LDCs) and electric generators," she said.
The proposed Bakken crude oil pipeline would go underneath the Mississippi River to cross from Iowa into Illinois, according to testimony given before the Iowa Utilities Board on Tuesday. Once completed, the pipeline would transport 450,000 barrels of crude oil from North Dakota each day, according to Charles Frey, vice president of engineering for Energy Transfer Partners. The board is considering whether to issue a state permit for the pipeline, which has an estimated cost of $3.8 billion.
A contract for engineering design and regulatory filing work on a new liquid natural gas facility in Louisiana has been awarded to Houston-based KBR. KBR has showed an increased focus on natural gas as oilfield activity has declined.
Oil producers are continuing to push for an end to the long-standing ban on US crude oil exports. "We're looking for a vehicle to put this on between now and the end of the year," said Louis Finkel, executive vice president for government affairs for the American Petroleum Institute. "We're agnostic about what the vehicle is; that is for the wisdom of congressional leadership to determine."
US gas and oil reserves increased to record levels last year, according to data from the Energy Information Administration, reflecting how the boom of the last 10 years has reshaped the energy industry. Natural gas reserves increased by 34.8 trillion cubic feet and oil reserves increased by 3.4 billion barrels to the highest levels since 1972, the EIA said.
FlexGen, a Houston-based startup, has developed a system that converts hybrid energy from a variety of sources through generators, saving oil companies fuel and maintenance costs, the firm says. Three companies are using the technology on seven wells, and nine major independent shale producers have signed contracts for 60 more rigs, FlexGen CEO Josh Prueher said.
The 400-mile journey made by Anadarko's Heidelberg truss spar last summer from Ingleside, Texas, to the Gulf of Mexico has been captured on video. The company released the video of the spar's trip to Anadarko's Green Canyon block on Monday. The Heidelberg truss spar will begin pulling oil next spring.
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