North American exploration and production companies plan to invest about as much money in offshore as in onshore in 2017, suggesting that offshore projects are able to compete with shale again, according to Rystad Energy analysts. Companies will invest about $70 billion each in shale and offshore this year, compared with $160 billion in onshore spending and just $95 billion in offshore investments in 2014.
The number of US oil rigs increased by six to 597 in the week ended Friday, up from 413 rigs a year ago. The oil rig count surged by 281 in the past 38 weeks, marking the strongest recovery since the 2014 oil price crash.
Production from US shale and tight oil formations will top out in 2026 as oil reserves start depleting and well productivity declines, according to the Energy Department. Production will begin to drop in the Eagle Ford first after 2020 and the Bakken will start declining after 2030, while production in the Permian Basin will remain strong through 2040.
Matador Resources and private equity firm Five Point Capital Partners have formed a 51-49 joint venture named San Mateo Midstream, which will operate and expand Matador's Delaware Basin midstream assets in New Mexico's Eddy County and Texas' Loving County. The two companies plan to invest $150 million in the joint venture.
Increased drilling activity and pricier oilfield services will drive up break-even prices for US shale producers for the first time since 2012 this year, data from Rystad Energy suggest. The break-even production cost will average $36.50 per barrel in 2017, up $1.60 from last year.
Authorities reported an explosion and fire at the Torrance refinery near Los Angeles on Saturday, the exact same date as a similar incident two years ago at the same plant that injured four workers and caused extensive damage. It's unknown what caused the latest fire.
The Senate approved Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Friday as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in a largely party-line 52-46 vote. The confirmation comes in spite of Democratic efforts to delay the vote pending the release of thousands of emails between Pruitt and fossil fuel companies.
A NASA team practiced for a Mars exploration mission at Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in September, conducting field sampling, using hand-held devices to determine rock composition and simulating communications. The team of 65 scientists, engineers and astronauts also set up a mission control at Kilauea Military Camp near the volcano, whose landscape offers conditions similar to those on Mars.
Seven oilfields in Iraq's central and southern regions will provide an additional 10 billion barrels of oil, said Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi. The discovery brings total proven oil reserves to 153 billion barrels in the country, which relies on oil revenues for 95% of its budget.
German oil and natural gas producer Wintershall will join several other companies in using AGR's well data management and analysis software, which provides well data to improve drilling management and optimize well performance. Wintershall will use the iQ software at the Maria field development in the Norwegian Sea.
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