Dealmaking activity in the US exploration and production sector took a hit as oil prices plummeted, with only $770 million worth of deals struck in the first quarter of 2020, or about 10% of the average quarterly activity in the past decade, according to Enverus. "As painful as the downturn is, this may finally push the industry into healthy consolidation that leaves us with larger, more efficient, and better capitalized operators when the recovery starts," said Enverus analyst Andrew Dittmar.
The Offshore Technology Conference, which attracts tens of thousands of participants to Houston each year, will no longer take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers initially planned to reschedule the event for August or September instead of May.
Cheniere Energy is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to place into service its roughly 1.4-billion-cubic-foot-per-day Midcontinent Supply Header Interstate Pipeline by April 17. The pipeline stretches from Oklahoma's Anadarko Basin to the US Gulf Coast, where Cheniere has two liquefied natural gas export facilities.
The Energy Department on Thursday unveiled plans to lease an initial 30 million barrels of storage in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to US oil producers, with potential to free an additional 47 million barrels of space. "Filling the SPR with crude oil, produced by American companies that are facing catastrophic losses and increased financial hardship, is a logical action for the federal government to take as we work to overcome the economic disruptions caused by COVID-19 and intentional, global oil market disruptions," said Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.
The Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance wrote a letter this week asking the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to implement production cuts in response to price weakness and "stop authorizing, permitting and approving the drilling of wells which result in 'economic waste.' "
Apache and Total say they've made a second oil discovery off Suriname's coast. The companies, which drilled the well to a depth of 1,000 meters in a 566,560-hectare block, say they've identified sites for two more exploration wells in the area.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp. has started producing natural gas from a deepwater well in the Krishna Godavari Basin off India's coast, says McDermott International, which provided subsea production systems and installed umbilicals, risers and flowlines for the Bay of Bengal project. The companies brought the well to production in less than 14 months, says Ian Prescott, McDermott's Asia Pacific senior vice president.
Brazil has suspended the country's 17th oil and natural gas auction for exploration and production rights because of the coronavirus pandemic. The National Energy Policy Council will create a new schedule for the auction process later, oil and gas regulator ANP says.
A study that found bacteria living in the cracks of ancient volcanic rock under the South Pacific's seafloor may help scientists search for life on Mars, which contains similar rocks. Bacteria get into the cracks while clay minerals provide organic matter to help the bacteria survive, according to the findings by University of Tokyo researcher Yohey Suzuki and his colleagues.
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations says 728 earthquake aftershocks -- two reaching a magnitude of 4.6 -- have occurred in Utah since a magnitude 5.7 quake occurred March 18 near Magna. Meanwhile, geologists say the Utah temblor and a magnitude 6.5 quake that shook Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday had no connection to Yellowstone National Park, which sits on a volcanic hot spot and is about 483 kilometers east of Boise.
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