Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and the state's other members of Congress are again fighting to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and natural gas development. The lawmakers are sponsoring legislation that would open 2,000 acres of refuge land for oil and gas companies to build drilling pads, roads and pipelines while banning infrastructure in certain areas to protect caribou.
US oil and natural gas companies are considering what position to take on President Donald Trump's proposed border adjustment tax, which would leave companies unable to deduct import costs while making their foreign revenue and profits no longer subject to taxation. The proposal could help refiners that export fuel products and don't rely on imported crude, while some drillers say the tax would raise US crude prices.
US crude oil supplies climbed modestly by 600,000 barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration, but oil prices were little swayed as a 2.6-million-barrel drop in gasoline inventories and a 4.9-million-barrel plunge in distillates supplies counteracted the gains.
The Canadian Competition Bureau has approved the $28 billion merger of Enbridge and Spectra Energy, which is now expected to close on Monday. Enbridge President and CEO Al Monaco will head the combined entity.
The US will likely continue to rely on foreign heavy crude even if it achieves energy independence because many US refiners can't process the light crude produced in this country, said BP General Manager of Global Energy Markets Mark Finley. According to Finley, energy independence means the US would become a net exporter of oil, which could happen by 2023.
Apache President and CEO John Christmann said the Alpine High oil and natural gas field increased in scope and scale since its September discovery and has great potential despite smaller-than-expected early production results. Christmann blamed the weak performance in the area on the lack of equipment and infrastructure.
ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Darren Woods argued in favor of a revenue-neutral carbon tax in his first blog post since taking the reins at the oil major. He wrote that a carbon tax "would promote greater energy efficiency and the use of today's lower-carbon options, avoid further burdening the economy, and also provide incentives for markets to develop additional low-carbon energy solutions for the future."
Companies can save money by using multi-phase pump tie-backs and new seafloor boosting technology in deepwater oilfield development. Tie-backs, which involve the connection of risers to the platform, improve recovery and flow rates, and new methods are being developed to simplify and reduce the cost of seafloor pumps.
Texas-based Noble Energy and three other developers of the Leviathan natural gas field off the coast of Israel will spend $3.75 billion on the first phase of the project. Work at the field, 100 kilometers west of Haifa, will be completed in less than three years, making gas available to Israel by the end of 2019, according to a development plan.
European companies familiar with Brazil's regulations and deepwater geology have a strong chance of gaining oilfield blocks in Brazil later this year when the country opens up pre-salt areas along the east coast. The region, which produces about 1.3 million barrels of crude a day, is expected to yield more than 2 million barrels a day by 2023, giving companies a strong return on their investment and potentially boosting Brazil's economy.
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