U.S. gasoline prices could increase further before the summer driving season because of the Environmental Protection Agency's ethanol mandate, two Republican senators said. Under the policy, refiners would be tasked to purchase credits from renewable fuel producers to meet federal biofuel targets. "We ask that you utilize any and all existing regulatory authority and flexibility to address the issue of rising [Renewable Identification Number] costs and alleviate the threat of increased consumer fuel costs," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Gina McCarthy, the nominee for EPA administrator.
Several analysts believe Anadarko Petroleum's Shenandoah field in the Gulf of Mexico contains larger reserves than the company's estimate of more than 300 million barrels of oil. They cited the results of the Shenandoah-2 appraisal well, which found over 1,000 feet of net oil pay. "The deepwater Gulf of Mexico is witnessing an astonishing run of discoveries and hydrocarbon augmentation," according to Simmons & Co. International.
BP didn't participate in the federal government's energy lease sale covering tracts in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday. The decision indicates that the company doesn't believe it can resolve a contract suspension within the time frame for the review of bids and the awarding of leases, some say. "We hope we can reach a reasonable resolution with regulators so that America's top energy investor over the past five years can once again enter into new contracts with the U.S. government," BP spokesman Geoff Morrell said.
The federal government received $1.6 billion in its recent drilling lease sale covering the central Gulf of Mexico. The auction is one of the highest grossing in the central Gulf since the start of area-wide leasing, according to Bureau of Ocean Energy Management officials. "It serves as a reminder that the Gulf of Mexico, and, in particular, the deepwater Gulf, will continue to play a major role in future energy development in the country," said BOEM Director Tommy Beaudreau.
It is too soon to tell whether XTO Energy will proceed with drilling at a site near the Elkhorn Ranch in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, the company said. "Reports that we are drilling or intending to drill on a site adjacent to the Elkhorn Ranch were premature," said Jeff Neau, a spokesman for XTO. "We've closely examined a number of issues concerning this particular site and have shared our concerns with the U.S. Forest Service throughout our discussions."