Limited supply coupled with strong demand from refiners including Marathon Petroleum and Valero Energy have pushed prices for US Gulf Coast heavy sour crudes such as Heavy Louisiana Sweet to their highest levels in three months, traders say. "Saudi imports are down, pushing up HLS and Mars relative to lighter crude because Gulf Coast refiners need heavier barrels," said Sandy Fielden, Morningstar's oil and products research director.
US benchmark Henry Hub natural gas spot prices may average $2.89 per million British thermal units in 2019 and $2.92/MMBtu in 2020, down from $3.15/MMBtu in 2018, the Energy Information Administration projects. The Appalachian Basin, Permian Basin and Haynesville Shale will continue to fuel record dry gas production, the EIA added, with expected output levels of 90.2 billion cubic feet per day in 2019 and 92.2 bcfd in 2020, up from 83.3 bcfd in 2018.
Kinder Morgan is "actively" considering an expansion of the 84,000-barrel-a-day, 500-plus-miles-long Double H pipeline from the Bakken Shale to Guernsey, Wyo., to take advantage of rising regional oil production, CEO Steven Kean said. Bakken Shale output surpassed 1.3 million barrels per day in September and could reach 1.4 million bpd in April.
Artificial intelligence has become an integral part of Royal Dutch Shell's business strategy, helping it streamline operations, improve safety and efficiency, and transition to a greener future, writes Bernard Marr. Shell is implementing AI tech such as reinforcement learning at each step of the oil and gas supply chain, seeking reduced gas extraction costs, better response to shifting power demand and fewer service station hazards.
Several House Democrats, including Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., urged the Interior Department to drop plans to bring back dozens of furloughed employees to work on offshore oil and natural gas drilling efforts. The Democrats called the move "outrageous" and "farcical," in addition to questioning its legality.
China National Offshore Oil Corp. says it will invest at a record level to double oil and natural gas exploration projects and proven reserves by the middle of the next decade. The state-owned offshore explorer, likely to release details Wednesday, will probably boost its gas reserves, but it may have a difficult time reaching its oil target, consultancy Wood Mackenzie says.
Oil production at the Arctic Wisting discovery off the Norwegian coast may start within 10 years, an OMV senior executive says. The Austrian company and its partners plan to initially invest between $4.7 billion and $5.9 billion to develop the Barents Sea field, which is farther north than any other Norwegian discovery.
Indonesian-owned Pertamina, which intends to operate the country's Rokan oil block on Sumatra after Chevron's contract ends in 2021, says that it expects to sign a production-sharing agreement this month. The 6,000-square-kilometer block, which includes 96 fields, produced 209,400 oil barrels per day in 2018, down 6% from the previous year.
Bureau Veritas says it will provide inspection services for Neptune Energy's $1.2 billion Fenja oil and natural gas project off Norway's coast in the Norwegian Sea over the course of a four-year contract. Neptune, which operates Fenja and has a 30% stake in it, estimates the field contains 100 million oil equivalent barrels and expects to start producing oil there in 2021.
Microbes have been found living under extreme conditions inside crystals deep in the ocean off the western coast of Japan, according to findings presented at the American Geophysical Union conference last month. The crystals contained grains of dolomite, within which the microbes were detected.
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