US producers idled five oil rigs and deployed two new natural gas rigs last week, bringing the total US rig count down by three to 936 units, according to Baker Hughes. Six oil rigs were added in the Permian Basin, while the Eagle Ford and Barnett shale plays lost three and two rigs, respectively.
The International Energy Agency expects "explosive" growth in US oil production this year while oil prices remain high, putting the country on track to top Saudi Arabia and approach Russia as the world's No. 1 crude producer. The IEA said non-OPEC oil production should increase by 1.7 million barrels per day in 2018 -- the largest rise since the peak of the first shale boom -- driven by the US, Canada and Brazil.
Alaskan oil producers shouldn't count on oil prices staying high for too long and instead should focus on becoming more efficient and competitive to survive the shifting energy landscape, BP Alaska President Janet Weiss said at an industry conference. "When you look at the fundamentals -- and you take a look at supply and demand out in time and what is going on with renewables and what is going on with electric cars -- and yes, there's a demand for oil, but there's a whole lot more of it out there," Weiss said, adding that she believes oil prices will stabilize around $50 per barrel for the long haul.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency last week urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to order Energy Transfer Partners to stop drilling work on the Rover natural gas pipeline after finding out that 146,000 gallons of drilling fluid leaked near the Tuscarawas River.
Philadelphia Energy Solutions, owner of the biggest refinery on the US East Coast, announced in an internal memo that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it secured $260 million in new financing. The company, which owns the Girard Point and Point Breeze refineries, partly blames the Renewable Fuel Standard for its financial woes, as the program forced it to spend more than $800 million since 2012 to buy renewable fuel credits to comply with the law.
A map of 26 ancient underwater volcanoes long hidden near Australia has been produced using 3D seismic reflection. "The technology we have used is similar in many ways to what is used to produce ultrasound images of babies, but for the Earth," said Nick Schofield, author of the study published in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.
Mexico's Jan. 31 auction for licenses to explore oil and natural gas fields in 29 deepwater blocks in the Gulf of Mexico could attract billions of dollars in investments from companies seeking access to the region. The auction is the largest since Mexico ended the monopoly by state oil company Pemex, which has done little drilling in deep water because it lacks the money and technology.
The Mount Mayon volcano in the Philippines exploded today, sending lava, ash and smoke into the air and forcing residents to return to emergency shelters. Authorities, who say a violent eruption may occur within days, expanded the danger zone to 8 kilometers from the crater.
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake in the Gulf of California shook northern Mexico on Friday, the US Geological Survey said. No damage was reported from the quake, which was centered 77 kilometers north-northeast of Baja California Sur's town of Loreto.
Houston-based oilfield services company Schlumberger will drop its land and marine seismic acquisition business as the downturn in the seismic data industry enters a sixth year, CEO Paal Kibsgaard said. Schlumberger's WesternGeco, which provides seismic acquisition services, reported $1.6 billion in revenue in last year's fourth quarter, down 2% from the same quarter in 2016.
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