The US oil rig count fell by seven to 522 in the week ended Jan. 13, marking only the second week of declines in the past seven months, according to Baker Hughes. However, analysts expect oil companies to resume adding rigs soon, a recovery seen lasting into 2018.
The US wind industry employed 101,738 people in 2016, an increase of 32% compared to 2015, according to the Energy Department. The report said the nation's energy sector employs a total of 6.4 million people, accounting for almost 5% of the US' total workforce.
The Transco natural gas pipeline system, the largest in the US, transported a record volume of 13.7 million dekatherms of natural gas from Texas to the East Coast on Jan. 8 and also set a new three-day record from Jan. 7 to 9 as cold weather led to an increase in demand, said pipeline operator Williams.
The Energy Information Administration last week reported an increase in US oil production of 176,000 barrels per day from the previous week, the biggest jump since May 2015, and it expects to see 9.22 million barrels per day of US oil production by December, up 320,000 barrels year-over-year. This suggests that US shale is rebounding faster than expected, jeopardizing OPEC's plan to ease the oil supply glut and boost oil prices by cutting oil production.
ConocoPhillips has announced the discovery of as much as 300 million barrels of oil in the northeast part of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, which could become a multibillion-dollar project generating up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day once it's operational. Production could begin in 2023.
ExxonMobil is reportedly planning to conduct an overhaul of the hydrocracker and a gasoline producing unit at its Baytown, Texas, refinery in March. Sources say the company will shut down the 90,000 barrel-per-day gasoline-producing Fluidic Catalytic Cracking Unit 2 and the 25,000 barrel-per-day Hydrocracking Unit 1, while the 125,000 barrel-per-day FCCU 1 will remain operational.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration on Friday published a new set of rules designed to improve the safety of oil and refined products pipelines across the US. The regulations, expected to go into effect in six months, require pipeline operators to install leak-detection systems and perform more frequent and rigorous inspections.
Democratic former New Jersey Govs. Brendan Byrne and Jim Florio and Republican former Govs. Christine Todd Whitman and Tom Kean have urged the New Jersey Pinelands Commission to block a planned natural gas pipeline crossing the vulnerable Pinelands region that would fuel a power plant in Cape May County. The four said "the development is materially unchanged" from 2014, when the proposal was rejected.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said the oil sands industry needs to be phased out as part of Canada's shift away from fossil fuels. Trudeau's comments drew strong criticism from Alberta politicians and social media users, who pointed out that the oil sands industry provides hundreds of thousands of jobs and is a major wealth generator for Canadians.
The Maryland Public Service Commission should approve Deepwater Wind's request to secure offshore renewable energy credits for a proposed 120-megawatt offshore wind farm off the coast of the state, according to the Maryland Energy Administration. The agency argues that the state would benefit from having two qualifying offshore wind energy deployment areas, which would increase competition and potentially drive down costs.
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