Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday unveiled seven policy initiatives meant to improve oil and natural gas safety in the wake of the deadly Firestone home explosion caused by an Anadarko Petroleum well on April 17. The proposed actions include setting up an industry fund to help plug the state's roughly 800 abandoned wells, adopting better flowline regulations and promoting the use of methane leak detection technology.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday overturned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval of the Southeast Market Pipelines Project after finding that the agency failed to adequately assess the project's climate change impacts. The court said that FERC's environmental impact statement "should have either given a quantitative estimate of the downstream greenhouse emissions that will result from burning the natural gas that the pipelines will transport or explained more specifically why it could not have done so."
US Gulf Coast refiners and offshore oil and natural gas producers are preparing for potential disruptions to operations as the remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey seem likely to reform into a Category 1 hurricane this week. The storm is expected to land east of the refining and export hub of Corpus Christi, Texas, and then move to western Louisiana.
Texas is confident that surging shale gas exports to Mexico will continue to serve as an economic catalyst for the state's economy even as President Donald Trump is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. "By 2019, US natural gas exports to Mexico will double, and that means more money for our schools, roads, hospitals and economy," said Ryan Sitton, a commissioner at the Texas Railroad Commission.
US crude inventories posted a decline of 3.6 million barrels in the week ended Friday, according to the American Petroleum Institute. However, gasoline inventories soared by 1.4 million barrels, while distillate supplies climbed by almost 2.1 million barrels.
Houston-based private equity firm Post Oak Energy Capital announced it's providing $100 million to a Sierra Resources subsidiary to target dry natural gas in the Eagle Ford Shale. "(Sierra) Management has an impressive track record of investing in and operating across a number of basins across the country and is well-positioned for success in the highly economic Eagle Ford Shale play," Post Oak Managing Director Frost Cochran said.
Researchers used computer simulations to look at the evolution of plate tectonics over the past 3 billion years. The study shows the Earth's earliest continental crust was destroyed 2 billion to 3 billion years ago, and today's silicon-rich crust developed from it.
Geologists are gathering information about potential for oil and natural gas reserves in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in response to a May order from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The US Geological Survey, which also will review the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, has collected samples from companies that drilled in the North Slope and will analyze oil, rock and seismic data.
The oil industry is turning to technology such as big data, analytics and the internet of things to improve operations, companies say. BP uses big data to determine which wells require attention and is having workers use safety goggles with sensor information, while Noble Energy has employees in a database room monitoring rigs in real time.
Data from Accumulate Energy Alaska's production test well this summer in Alaska's North Slope offer details about the oil formations there, the company says. Accumulate wants to drill more wells in the spring and hydraulically fracture them to explore oil deposits 64 kilometers to the south.
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