A judge has allowed Slawson Exploration to resume drilling for oil near Lake Sakakawea and the Van Hook recreation area in North Dakota. A tribal nation argued that its law requires the wells to be farther away from the lake, but the judge said Slawson can continue drilling its 11-well pad at least until an Aug. 29 hearing.
Scientists have gained a better understanding of how friction changes during an earthquake and affects the level of shaking. Researchers, who simulated an earthquake in a California Institute of Technology lab, found slip velocity -- the speed of the sliding fault -- is a major factor.
Oil and natural gas companies, including Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and Anadarko Petroleum, submitted $121 million in high bids on Wednesday at a lease sale for 90 blocks covering 508,096 acres in the US Gulf of Mexico. The solid auction results suggest the offshore industry is making a tentative comeback as producers learn to survive in a low-price environment.
A trade group representing US manufacturers on Wednesday sent a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry asking him to place a moratorium on approvals for liquefied natural gas projects planning to export LNG to countries that don't have a free trade agreement with the US. The Industrial Energy Consumers Alliance is concerned the LNG export boom would drain America's natural gas reserves in about 30 years.
Growth in US natural gas demand could weaken soon, partly because prices are unlikely to decline much further and because there's no "new large domestic demand center entering the picture in the next 5 years," according to a Deloitte report. In its base-case scenario, Deloitte expects US industrial gas demand to climb from 21 billion cubic feet per day to 23 billion cubic feet per day over the next five years.
US crude stockpiles posted a decline of 8.9 million barrels for the week ended Aug. 11, the seventh consecutive week of inventory declines, according to the Energy Information Administration. Gasoline supplies remained flat, while distillate inventories added 700,000 barrels.
The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Monday overturned a 2015 federal order that required ExxonMobil to revise its pipeline-safety procedures in the wake of the Pegasus pipeline oil spill in Arkansas and also voided the better part of a $2.63 million fine. "The fact that the Mayflower release occurred, while regrettable, does not necessarily mean that [ExxonMobil] failed to abide by the pipeline integrity regulations in considering the appropriate risk factors," the court ruled.
Investors gave Silver Run Acquisition Corp. II CEO Jim Hackett a $1 billion blank check with a single objective -- finding yield. On Wednesday he announced the company will buy Oklahoma City shale drilling company Alta Mesa Holdings and pipeline operator Kingfisher Midstream.
A group of 118 lawmakers, led House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke calling for expanded offshore oil and natural gas drilling under a new leasing plan. "There is demonstrated interest in the leasing and development of previously excluded areas and we must consider these areas for development to optimize our nation's resource potential," the letter said.
Scientists have determined that supervolcanoes are a source for lithium, which is used in the manufacture of rechargeable batteries. Studying craters left by massive US volcanoes millions of years ago, researchers found lithium trapped in crystals in volcanic magma.