India will introduce a database of sedimentary basins and begin an open acreage licensing policy Wednesday that lets investors bid on oil and natural gas exploration blocks of their choice year-round. The policy, which is built on revenue sharing and aims to make it easier for explorers to do business, lets drillers extract conventional and unconventional hydrocarbons from a block with one license.
Noise from airguns used for finding oil reserves under the ocean kills microscopic zooplankton in the water, scientists say. Researchers monitored zooplankton before and after an airgun blast and discovered the burst killed two-thirds of them within a 2-kilometer-wide area, possibly because the sound waves damaged zooplankton "hairs" that sense the environment.
Scientists who measure the seismic and elastic properties of the Earth's crust say the research offers information about mineral composition and the crust's deformation process. Researchers use seismic waves, ultrasonic waves and an optical technique to measure the elasticity in crust, rocks and minerals.
US crude inventories posted a decline of 2.5 million barrels in the week ended Friday, beating analysts' forecast for a 2-million-barrel drop, according to the Energy Information Administration. Gasoline supplies plunged by 600,000 barrels, while distillate stocks climbed by 1.1 million barrels.
Tropical Storm Cindy has forced Gulf of Mexico energy companies to shut 17% of oil production while vessel offloadings at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port marine terminal have been put on hold. Shipping activity in the Gulf is expected to be the most affected by the storm, whereas natural gas production operations will remain largely intact.
Oil prices will likely continue to fall in the coming period, setting the stage for a limited rally once the US rig count stabilizes, which should happen within the next four weeks, writes John Kemp. Until stabilization occurs, oil traders will likely continue to act as a drag on oil prices in an attempt to force US shale drillers to slow down drilling activity, Kemp writes.
Noble Midstream Partners has agreed to boost its stakes in two midstream firms operating in the Delaware Basin and the Denver-Julesburg Basin in a $270 million deal with Noble Energy. Upon completion of the deal, Noble Midstream will be the sole owner of Colorado River DevCo and will also hold 40% of Blanco River DevCo, up from 25%.
US District Judge James Boasberg on Wednesday scheduled a series of hearings through the summer to determine whether the Dakota Access Pipeline should be shut down while the US Army Corps of Engineers more thoroughly reviews the project. A lawyer for the US Army Corps gave no time frame for completing the additional environmental review.
Oil's plunge into bear market territory is helping investors differentiate between healthy shale drillers and the weak ones. Producers with solid finances will likely continue to ramp up production and turn the low oil prices into an opportunity to scoop up cheaper acreage while weak, indebted producers will be forced to scale back activity.
The value of mergers and acquisitions in the US exploration and production sector declined from about $23 billion in the first quarter to less than $15 billion in the second quarter, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. "Management teams are taking a more conservative view on M&A activity and that will extend through the end of 2017," Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Vincent Piazza said, citing uncertainty over the future of oil prices as one of the reasons.