US crude oil stockpiles increased for a second consecutive week last week, adding 4.7 million barrels, compared with analyst forecasts for a 2 million-barrel decline, the Energy Information Administration reported. Meanwhile, gasoline and distillate supplies jumped by 3.7 million barrels and 800,000 barrels, respectively.
Hess has emerged as the top-performing US oil stock of 2019, surging roughly 64% to date this year and trading above $66 on Tuesday. The company's portfolio includes assets in offshore Guyana as well as in North Dakota, where it's using a new hydraulic fracturing technique that could increase the value of its Bakken Shale acreage by approximately $1 billion. However, the company doesn't have any Permian Basin assets, an increasingly rare move.
Sempra Energy has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a 15-month extension until Sept. 19, 2020, to fully place into service the $10 billion Cameron LNG export facility in Louisiana. The project was supposed to be completed next month, but the second and third trains will only be ready for service in the first and second quarters of next year.
Two lease sales offering almost 10 million offshore and onshore acres in southern Alaska, including the Cook Inlet area, attracted only three bids as regional gas market conditions remained challenging. The next Alaska lease sales, scheduled for Dec. 11, will offer tracts onshore in the North Slope and offshore in the Beaufort Sea.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., is seeking an explanation as to why the Environmental Protection Agency has expanded the biofuel waiver program for oil refiners and has asked the EPA's Office of Inspector General to launch a probe into the matter. "Recent document disclosures reveal that the EPA misled Members of Congress, industry and the public in regard to the agency's motivations and justifications for its SRE policy," Duckworth wrote in a letter, adding that this "may indicate improper motives and conflicts of interest."
Russia's Gazprom says it has found nearly 18 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in two fields in the Kara Sea. The Dinkov field contains 13.7 Tcf of recoverable reserves, while the Nyarmeyskoye field contains 4.2 Tcf, the company says.
Occidental Petroleum has teamed up with Carbon Engineering to build the world's largest direct air capture plant in the Permian Basin to suck carbon dioxide from the air and use it to boost oil extraction from older fields. The plant will run on natural gas and renewable energy and should be completed in 2023.
Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration says it has signed a concession agreement with Pakistan for the Makhad oil block in Punjab province. Subsidiary Kirthar Pakistan plans to obtain seismic data and drill an exploration well, KUFPEC says.
Average daily Russian oil output during the first 21 days of May dropped to the lowest level since last June, industry sources say. The shutdown of a pipeline to Europe due to contaminated oil is contributing to the decline in production, which went from 11.23 million barrels per day in April to 11.147 million bpd this month.
Norway's Petroleum Directorate says oil output dropped 8.8% in April compared with the same month a year ago, while natural gas production increased 1.7%. Norwegian oil production, affected in part by field problems, was 0.6% below the directorate's forecasts, while gas production exceeded predictions by 1.7%.
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