US crude stockpiles shrunk by 5 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 13, exceeding analysts' forecast for a 900,000-barrel drop, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Gasoline and distillates inventories rose by 9.8 million barrels and 1.2 million barrels, respectively.
The world's biggest oil companies, including ExxonMobil, BP and Noble Energy, accelerated investments in the past couple of months, striking a total of 11 deals for oil and natural gas fields worth a combined $31 billion in December alone, triple the amount recorded in November, according to consultancy Energy Market Square. The trend will likely persist into 2017 as oil prices rise and the oil supply glut eases.
Denver-based Jagged Peak Energy has launched an initial public offering -- this year's first in the upstream sector -- with an eye to raising up to $791 million of gross proceeds, or $421 million of net proceeds. The company operates more than 68,000 acres in the Permian's Delaware Basin, with a daily output of 6,600 barrels of oil.
NextDecade has entered into a lease agreement with the state of Texas and Texas City for 1,000 acres of land that could become the site of a potential liquefied natural gas export facility. "The US is the most competitive source of LNG in the world, and NextDecade is looking forward to bringing new supply to the global marketplace from the heart of the global energy industry," said NextDecade Chairwoman and CEO Kathleen Eisbrenner.
Plains All American Pipeline will boost the capacity of its Cactus oil pipeline from McCamey to Gardendale, Texas, to about 390,000 barrels per day, with completion expected in the third quarter of 2017. The 310-mile, 20-inch pipeline moves Permian oil to Corpus Christi refineries and ports.
The incoming administration will likely reduce biofuels blending mandates but fail in its attempt to radically overhaul US energy and environmental policy, said Jacob Dweck, an energy law attorney at Sutherland. Dweck sees no "fundamental redirection" of the fossil fuel industry because major changes such as lifting limits on Arctic and Atlantic oil drilling would require the approval of Congress.
A group of Montana landowners and environmentalists on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in state court in Lewis and Clark County against a 2011 state rule that exempts oil and natural gas companies from disclosing the ingredients of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Attorneys for the plaintiffs say the rule is a violation of the Montana Constitution.
London-based firm Cyborg Nest has developed technology that allows humans to orient themselves in the same innate way that animals such as birds and dogs do. The device, called North Sense, works by permanently attaching to the body through connectors and piercings and vibrating internally when it points toward magnetic north.
UK mining startup Cornish Lithium has received the rights from two other firms and a private estate to explore a 15-mile area for the mineral. If successful, the endeavor could reactivate both the local and national economy, said Cornish Lithium CEO Jeremy Wrathall.
Researchers from the University of California at Irvine have used data from NASA's Operation IceBridge missions from 2009 to 2014 and bed topography maps and ice thickness measurements from before the projects to uncover deep seafloor valleys under West Antarctic glaciers in the Amundsen Sea. The valleys were created by the back-and-forth movement of the glaciers throughout the Earth's colder eras, researchers found.
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