The Interior Department will expedite the permitting process in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge if lawmakers decide to open the area to oil and natural gas drilling, according to energy adviser Vincent DeVito. He also said the oil industry is showing interest in exploring the area.
Starting in 2018, the next wave of US crude exports could be shipped overseas from the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, which stands out thanks to its ability to accommodate direct loading of Very Large Crude Carriers. Exporting oil from LOOP would help accelerate export growth and reduce costs for shippers, but there would be one major challenge -- getting enough crude.
Shawn Reynolds, an energy investor and $4 billion fund manager at Van Eck Associates, expressed confidence that US shale players will achieve profitability as soon as they become more disciplined, prioritizing returns over production growth. "With shale, you have incredible visibility on growth, possibly the best visibility of any industry in the entire market, and lower risk," Reynolds said, adding that "the geological risk of shale is virtually basically null."
The Bureau of Land Management said it would delay an Obama-era rule placing restrictions on methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations on federal and tribal lands until Jan. 17, 2019. The rule will be suspended to "avoid imposing likely considerable and immediate compliance costs on operators for requirements that may be rescinded or significantly revised in the near future," the BLM said.
BP has plans to start five oil and natural gas projects next year, company executives said. They are the Atoll project off the coast of Egypt, Clair Ridge in the UK's North Sea, Constellation in the Gulf of Mexico, Shah Deniz Phase 2 off the coast of Azerbaijan and Giza-Fayoum West Nile Delta in Egypt.
Scientists examined seismic-velocity data from a network of high-sensitivity seismographs in Japan to gain a better understanding about the underground conditions before and after the 2016 earthquake and Mount Aso eruptions in Kyushu. Data showed velocity slowed during the earthquake, which was followed by a fault recovery, and the shaking and changes in velocity may have stirred up fluids under the volcano and caused a release of pressure, researchers said.
PetroChina has transferred oil and natural gas exploration rights to subsidiaries in an effort to increase new development in parts of China. The company transferred 16 blocks, including those in the Ordos, Sichuan and Qaidam basins in central and western China, to subsidiaries operating mature fields.
No companies expressed interest in joining with Mexico's Pemex to produce oil from a deepwater field, forcing the country's oil regulator to cancel the tender. The auction, which was scheduled for Jan. 31, would have found a partner for efforts at the Maximino-Nobilis area in the Gulf of Mexico near the US border.
Abu Dhabi National Oil is looking for companies interested in helping with the expansion of the Al-Dabbiya oilfield in a coastal area of Abu Dhabi. The company, which wants to add 15 wells at the field, has started a process to seek engineering, procurement and construction work.