Storage

Oil Sands Producers Can Live with Albertas New Carbon Taxes

If business is good at anything, it is pragmatism. Take a hostile takeover for example. After weeks or months of trading insults and accusations in and out of the media, a deal is struck and the warring CEO’s shake hands and call the final deal a stroke of genius. Whatever they may really feel, they put the past behind them and move forward, ostensibly in the best interests of shareholders. After all, it’s just business.

World News: Cross-border Project Expected to Produce 40,000 Bopd

Chevron Corporation’s subsidiary, Chevron Overseas (Congo) Limited, has begun oil and gas production from the Lianzi Field, located in a unitized offshore zone between the Republic of Congo and the Republic of Angola. Located 65 miles offshore in 3,000 feet of water, Lianzi is Chevron’s first operated asset in the Congo and the first cross-border oil development project offshore Central Africa. The project is expected to produce an average of 40,000 bopd.

Report: Oil Bust Kills 19 Million Barrels Per Day of Future Oil Production

The collapse in oil prices have led to severe cuts in spending and investment from oil producers, and a new report by Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. finds the combined cuts will lead to a daily 19 million barrels of potential future oil production taken off the table. The report said oil companies have either canceled or suspended final investment decisions on 150 oil projects, which account for about 125 billion barrels of oil.

NGSAs 2015-2016 Winter Outlook for Natural Gas

Strong natural gas production and storage inventories approaching a new record have positioned the nation’s gas industry well to meet winter demand, the Natural Gas Supply Association (NGSA) said in its 15th annual Winter Outlook assessment of the natural gas market.

Start-Up Oilfield Services Firm Rubicon Nets $300 Million Equity Line

Rubicon Oilfield International, a start-up oilfield services company, announced Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm, agreed to a line-of-equity investment of up to $300 million in the company. Houston-based Rubicon’s strategy is to build a global enterprise in the oilfield products and equipment sector through acquisitions and organic re-investment. The company said it will acquire, integrate and enhance small and medium-sized businesses in the upstream oilfield technology sector, focusing on proprietary downhole tools, products and technologies.

House Backs Sweeping Energy Bill to Boost Oil, Natural Gas

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defying a White House veto threat, the Republican-controlled House on Thursday approved a sweeping bill to boost U.S. energy production, lift a four-decade ban on crude oil exports and modernize the aging electric grid. The first major energy legislation in nearly a decade, the bill would also speed natural gas exports and hasten approval of natural gas pipelines across public lands. It also would advance cross-border projects such as the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which lingered for more than seven years before being rejected last month by President Barack Obama.

Paris Climate Talks Point to Boon for Energy Storage

As the world leaders come together in Paris to tackle the hot issue of climate change, there is one market that not only remains crucial for growth of renewable energy sources; but also remains the most talked about market in the global investment circles: the energy storage market.

Manslaughter Charges Dropped for BP Supervisors in Oil Spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Justice Department launched a sweeping and costly criminal investigation after BP's rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and caused the nation's worst offshore oil disaster. For roughly two years, a task force of FBI agents and prosecutors occupied an entire floor of a high-rise building across from the federal courthouse in New Orleans.

Data Shows Most Crude Produced in Lower 48 Light Oils

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data show that for the first nine months of 2015, most (50.8%) of the crude oil produced in the Lower 48 states were light oils with an API gravity above 40 degrees. The largest share of production was in the 40.1 to 45 degree API gravity range.

In the News: Duke Energy to Acquire Piedmont Natural Gas for $6.7 Billion

Duke Energy Corp. announced Oct. 26 it will acquire Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. for $4.9 billion in cash. Duke will also assume $1.8 billion in Piedmont existing net debt. Piedmont began operations in 1951 in Charlotte, NC and is primarily engaged in distributing natural gas to over 1 million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Duke and Piedmont are key partners in the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline that will be the first major natural gas pipeline serving eastern North Carolina.

Oil and Gas Research Eyeing Future, Bridging Gaps

In the gridlock of first-quarter 2015 earnings conference calls last spring, Doug Suttles, CEO at Alberta-based Encana Corp., talked bullishly about the Canadian energy company’s production growth prospects. This while in the midst of reporting a $1.7 billion loss for the quarter tied to a $1.2 billion impairment charge brought on by last year’s global oil price crash and another $500 million of red ink coming from a foreign exchange loss. Regardless, Suttles couldn’t have been more upbeat when he talked to analysts in mid-May.

South Dakota Regulators Grant Dakota Access Pipeline Permit

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota regulators approved a construction permit Monday for a pipeline that will cross through the state as it carries North Dakota oil to Illinois. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 to approve the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, and construction on the roughly 270-mile leg could begin early next year.

EPA Boosts Amount of Ethanol in Gasoline Supply

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is boosting the amount of corn-based ethanol and other renewable fuels in the U.S. gasoline supply despite sustained opposition by an unusual alliance of oil companies, environmentalists and some GOP presidential candidates. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Monday issued a final rule designed to increase production of ethanol to be blended with gasoline through 2016, a decision that could reverberate in Iowa's crucial presidential caucuses.

Kinder Morgan, Brookfield Buying Majority Interest in NGPL

Kinder Morgan and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners agreed to jointly acquire, from Myria Holdings, the 53% equity interest in Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America (NGPL) not already owned by them for $242 million. KMI will pay $136 million and increase its ownership interest from 20% to 50%, while Brookfield will pay $106 million, increasing its ownership from 27% to 50%. The transaction values NGPL at a total enterprise value of $3.4 billion, including existing debt.

U.S. Oil, Natural Gas Reserves Both Increase in 2014

U.S. crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves increased by 9% to 39.9 billion barrels, and natural gas proved reserves increased by 10% to 389 Tcf in 2014, according to Energy Information Administration's (EIA) U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Proved Reserves report. U.S. crude oil and lease condensate proved reserves reached the highest level since 1972, and natural gas proved reserves surpassed last year's record level.

Passenger Travel Accounts for Most of World Transportation Energy Use

The transportation of people and goods accounts for about 25% of all energy consumption in the world. Passenger transportation, in particular light-duty vehicles, accounts for most transportation energy consumption – light-duty vehicles alone consume more than all freight modes of transportation, such as heavy trucks, marine, and rail.

Energy Storage Tech Starting To Compete With Grid

Critics of renewable energy always cite the fact that the sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow. As such, the intermittency of renewable energy needs to be backed up by baseload power, which would need to come from natural gas, coal, or nuclear power. The key to resolving the intermittency problem is energy storage, but batteries have thus far been too expensive to offer a viable solution. But that is quickly changing.

Joint Venture to Build NGL Processing Plant, Pipelines

Two Houston-based oil and gas companies have formed a $240 million joint venture to build a NGL processing plant and pipelines in La Salle County, TX on the western edge of the Eagle Ford Shale.

US to Cancel Lease on Land Sacred to Blackfoot Indian Tribes

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Interior Department plans to cancel a long-suspended oil and gas drilling lease near Glacier National Park that's on land considered sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada, according to court documents filed Monday. Tribal leaders said such a move would make up for a wrong done to them in 1982, when the government issued the lease without consulting the tribes.

Numbers Show Oil Price Rebound Not Imminent, but Underway

Oil markets will remain depressed through the fourth quarter of this year as oil storage levels continue to rise around the world. The closely watched Energy Information Administration (EIA) figures detailing weekly gains in inventory levels in the United States are just one piece of the puzzle.

Despite Economy, Texas Prepares More Students for Oil Jobs

HOUSTON (AP) — The oil industry is mired in its latest bust, with thousands of jobs evaporating like flares flaming out over natural gas wells. But in Texas, education officials are preparing more young people for the oil patch, showing the state's unshakeable commitment to the energy sector despite the employment uncertainties.

Cyprus: Energy Deal Boosts Plans to Export Gas to Egypt

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A move by British oil and gas company BG International to buy a stake in Cyprus' offshore mineral deposits is an important step forward for the country's plans to supply Egypt with natural gas, the east Mediterranean island's energy minister said Monday. Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said U.S. company Noble Energy has cut a deal with BG International for a 35% stake in an area, or block, where a field estimated to contain more than 4 Tcf of gas has been found.

What Paris Attacks Mean for Commodities Prices

The Paris tragedy clearly showed the world that the war on terror has gone global. If that had not already been made clear by terror bombings in Baghdad, Beirut, and the Russian airliner in recent weeks, it was hammered home by Paris. Israeli media reports that no western intelligence picked up any signs of the attack plan. The grim message to the world: It could happen anywhere. For any that still needed to be convinced, the attack also revealed that the greatest threat to the west comes from radical Islam, not from Iran, Russia or China.

Manslaughter Charges Filed in 2012 Black Elk Platform Blast

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal grand jury indicted two companies on involuntary manslaughter charges and three people face charges in a deadly 2012 explosion on an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the Justice Department said Thursday. The explosion and fire started during welding work on a platform owned by Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC, killing three workers and injuring several others. In lawsuits and a federal report, the company and its contractors have been accused of failing to follow proper safety practices and rushing work.

TransCanadas New Contracts Lead to $570 Million NGTL System Expansion

In the aftermath of the Keystone XL decision, TransCanada announced its subsidiary, NOVA Gas Transmission (NGTL) has signed contracts for 2.7 Bcf/d of new firm natural gas transportation service that will require a $570 million system expansion for 2018. Significant growth in unconventional natural gas supplies in northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia are the primary driver for these new contracts, coupled with continued growth in market demand, the company said.

Pilgrim Pipeline Submits Use and Occupancy Permit Application in New York

Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings announced it has filed a use and occupancy permit application in New York to construct the Pilgrim Pipeline. The proposed 178-mile pipeline project consists of two separate, parallel underground lines running between supply and distribution terminals in Albany and Linden, New Jersey.

EPA Intends Tougher Downwind Air-Pollution Rule in 23 States

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency proposed tougher new limits on Tuesday on smokestack emissions from nearly two dozen states that burden downwind areas with air pollution from power plants they can't control. At the same time, the EPA moved to remove two states — South Carolina and Florida — from the "good neighbor" rules, saying they don't contribute significant amounts of smog to other states. The EPA proposal came as Republicans in Congress moved to block President Barack Obama's plan to force steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants.

Why French Military Action In Syria Doesnt Affect Oil Prices

The horrific attacks in Paris prompted a swift response from French President Francois Hollande, as he dispatched an aircraft carrier to the Eastern Mediterranean a day after airstrikes hit the key city ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. The United States responded with airstrikes on Monday, November 16, targeting hundreds of trucks that the U.S. military believes are used for smuggling oil. <em>The New York Times </em>reported that 116 trucks were destroyed in American airstrikes by A-10 planes and AC-130 gunships in eastern Syria.

New Classifications of Natural Gas Storage Regions Begin this Week

Natural gas storage levels have been high recently, reaching a record 3,978 Tcf as of Nov. 6. In an effort to better illustrate regional storage trends, EIA will publish weekly data divided into five regions, rather than the current three, beginning with the Nov. 19 report.

Iran to Boost Oil Exports after Sanctions Lifted

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran says it will export an additional 500,000 bpd in a bid to reclaim its market share after sanctions are lifted under a landmark nuclear deal. Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters the increase is part of Iran's plan to double its crude oil exports as sanctions are lifted, which officials expect to happen in early 2016. OPEC member Iran currently exports 1.3 MMbpd and hopes to get back to its pre-sanctions level of 2.2 MMbpd, last reached in 2012.