Australia's Northern Territory has ended a three-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing exploration, approving Origin Energy's plans for a test well near Daly Waters and Santos' proposal for seismic testing and engineering work north of Elliott. Resources Minister Paul Kirby said the companies will face strict environmental regulations as they work on the onshore shale gas projects, which could resume within days.
"Threats lurking below the surface" could slow the growth of the US shale industry, which needs to focus on improving capital efficiency and finding better ways to deal with natural gas byproduct that is now flared or vented, writes Canary CEO Dan Eberhart. With future demand uncertain and environmental concerns gaining currency, "flaring and methane emissions could become shale's Achilles' heel," he writes.
Permafrost in the Canadian Arctic is melting about seven decades sooner than had been predicted, forging landscapes dotted by ponds and uneven ground, researchers have found. Scientists, who collected data between 2003 and 2016, say higher summer temperatures and the lack of insulating vegetation are contributing to the accelerated melting.
The Delaware River Basin Commission has approved plans to build a $96 million tanker loading facility in New Jersey that will be used in part to export liquid natural gas produced at Pennsylvania shale wells. The commission said its review was limited to the impact of construction and dredging, rejecting environmentalists' argument that the project should be delayed until its overall impact is assessed.
Crude prices jumped Thursday after reports of attacks on oil tankers suggested a threat to supply, rebounding from price drops based on increasing US stockpiles. "This could be the catalyst that takes oil out of the bear market that it has been in (in) recent weeks," said Nitesh Shah, research director at investment fund manager WisdomTree.
Two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were reportedly attacked amid growing tensions between the US and Iran, which is accused of being involved in the attacks. The US Navy said it was assisting the two vessels, including the Marshall Islands-flagged crude oil tanker MT Front Altair, which was "on fire and adrift."
The Energy Department reported that crude oil inventories increased by 2.2 million barrels last week, a smaller increase than the American Petroleum Institute's 4.8-million-barrel projection. The Energy Information Administration separately reported that US crude oil imports and exports both decreased last week compared with the previous week.
Low natural gas prices have boosted gas-fired power generation in the Midwest while coal use has dropped. Utilities could switch from coal to gas even more during the summer months, analysts predict.
Mirabito Natural Gas has launched a program to offset the carbon emissions of its Florida customers. The commercial supplier will give customers carbon offsets, providing indexed, fixed and capped rate options.
North Korea has imported more petroleum than it is permitted to under United Nations sanctions, the US and its allies wrote in a letter to an UN Security Council committee. The allies accuse North Korea of using illegal ship-to-ship transfers to evade restrictions.