Oil and natural gas pipeline companies organized as master limited partnerships will no longer benefit from an income-tax allowance that permitted them to recover income-tax costs twice, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled Thursday. Shares of several companies plunged in the wake of the FERC decision, which essentially threatens the survival of many MLPs.
Aker BP plans to start full digital operations at its Ivar Aasen field in the North Sea off the coast of Norway on June 1. The company will use virtual reality techniques, platform sensors, interactive 3D models, artificial intelligence and cloud-based data that can be accessed on tablets and mobile phones.
Oil and natural gas exploration and production in the North Sea is undergoing a recovery, although companies are taking a cautious approach, analysts say. Companies have reduced operational costs, UK production is expected to increase to its highest level since 2010, two major fields are due to start up this year and significant exploration wells are planned at West of Shetland.
Cyprus on Thursday said Eni will continue natural gas exploration in six areas off the island's coast regardless of opposition from Turkey, which says it will block drilling there without the involvement of Turkish Cypriots. Italy-based Eni has contracts with Cyprus, which contends it has a sovereign right to look for and produce hydrocarbons.
Norway-based Statoil wants to drill three wells in the Barents Sea off Norway's coast during the second and third quarters of the year. The oil and natural gas company has applied for permits to drill wells at the Korpfjell Deep and Gjokaasen prospects near the maritime border with Russia and at the Intrepid Eagle prospect.
Austria-based OMV will buy Shell's 48% interest in the Pohokura natural gas field and 83.75% interest in the Maui gas field, both in New Zealand. In another deal with Shell, OMV will increase its stake in a Great South basin exploration block.
Australian National University researchers have gained new insight into tectonic plate movement. Their study, which measured the rigidity of synthetic material similar to rocks from the upper mantle, shows that hard minerals deep inside the Earth can alter their shape and flow like thick fluids, affecting the speed of seismic waves.
US energy infrastructure developers including Arb Midstream plan to apply for exemptions from the Trump administration's steel and aluminum tariffs after the Commerce Department publishes a blueprint for companies seeking exclusions. However, Texas attorney Nicolas McTyre warned that the pace and cost of development of pipeline projects could be affected even with exemptions.
Higher oil prices and investor pressure have prompted US oil majors to accelerate stock buybacks, with 11 companies announcing share repurchase programs worth billions of dollars since the start of the year. Hess and Devon Energy plan to spend $1 billion each to repurchase shares, while Anadarko is increasing its $2.5 billion share buyback program by $500 million.
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling that New York state waived its authority to block Millennium's Valley Lateral natural gas pipeline project when it took too long to review the company's request for a water-quality certification. The court decision clears the path for construction to move forward.