South Korea is set to receive liquefied natural gas from the US for the first time as part of a 20-year sales and purchase agreement between US LNG exporter Cheniere Energy and Korea Gas that began over the weekend. Under the deal, signed in January 2012, Cheniere will supply about 10% of South Korea's total yearly demand.
Cheniere Energy unveiled plans to expand its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana with the acquisitions of additional acres and build more, potentially smaller liquefied natural gas plants even though the global market is awash in supply. "Our goal is to leverage the existing infrastructure to build whatever the next round requires," Cheniere Director, President and CEO Jack Fusco said.
The port of Corpus Christi in Texas is on track to become the primary exporting hub in the US as crude exporters increasingly favor it as an alternative to the congested Houston Ship Channel. Corpus Christi is in the midst of an expansion that could eventually increase its daily crude export capacity from 960,000 barrels now to 2.8 million barrels, which compares with Houston's current 1.7-million-barrel export capacity.
Oil prices rose for the fourth consecutive day on Tuesday fueled by expectations that US crude stockpiles likely dropped by 2.25 million barrels last week. August West Texas Intermediate gained 56 cents to trade at $43.94 per barrel while Brent for August delivery rose 64 cents to $46.47.
The Texas Legislature has increased the Texas Railroad Commission's biennial budget from $176.5 million to $256.1 million, most of which will benefit the agency's well-plugging, oilfield cleanup and pipeline safety programs. The funding boost comes after years of underfunding and a shortage of inspectors responsible for monitoring wells.
BP is investing tens of billions of dollars in deepwater projects in the US Gulf of Mexico, hoping to eventually reduce the costs of offshore oil production by 50% or more at a time when competitors shun offshore investments. BP says its $9 billion Mad Dog Phase 2 would turn a profit even with $40-a-barrel oil, in stark contrast with the $100-per-barrel minimum oil price BP needed for new Gulf projects in 2013.
A University of Alberta study has found that hydraulic fracturing and saltwater disposal in North America have little to no impact on seismic events. Geophysicist Mirko van der Baan, who led the study, says the majority of fracking operations are "perfectly safe," although unanswered questions remain, such as why seismicity changes in some areas because of fracking operations.
Australia will invest about $15.2 million in Pilbara Minerals' Pilgangoora lithium mine in Western Australia, the government said. The mining project, which will produce lithium concentrate for batteries, is the first to be financially supported by the government.
Statoil plans to invest about $135 million per year to develop the Johan Castberg oilfield in the Barents Sea in Norway. The Norwegian company says the project will help the port city of Hammerfest economically.
India has given environmental approval to Oil and Natural Gas' plan to drill five oil and natural gas exploration wells in the Krishna Godavari Basin in Andhra Pradesh. The state-owned Indian company, which has discovered 65 hydrocarbon fields in the KG Basin over the past 35 years, will drill wells on blocks in West Godavari, Bantumilli extension, Suryaraopeta, Mahadevapatnam and Mandapeta.
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