Monday's eruption of the Mount Sinabung volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra destroyed the mountain peak's 1.6-million-cubic-meter lava dome, images from Indonesia's Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation show. The eruption blasted ash 5 kilometers high and up to 4.9 kilometers down the mountain.
Four small earthquakes shook the San Francisco Bay Area near Danville, Calif., on Tuesday, a day after two other small temblors hit the same region. A magnitude 2.8 quake occurred northwest of Diablo around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, followed by three quakes with magnitudes ranging from 2.6 to 3 in Diablo and Danville three hours later.
Scientists have discovered signs of instability in what are considered to be stable interior tectonic plates in South America and Africa. Researchers analyzed structures beneath stable rock deposits known as cratons, finding a reduction in density and areas of high topography.
A stronger price environment has prompted the likes of Pioneer Natural Resources and Anadarko Petroleum to ramp up share buybacks, marking a turnaround from the past three years when oil and natural gas producers sold more than $60 billion worth of new stock. Shares of some producers are down to multiyear lows, making it the right time for companies to buy back their stock.
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port says that it has finished loading the first very large crude carrier with US crude oil for export and that the supertanker is heading to China. LOOP's ability to directly load supertankers could spur foreign demand for US crude, thanks to lower shipping costs.
Declining US crude stockpiles and the enhancement of America's oil export capabilities have pushed West Texas Intermediate above Dubai crude for the first time since 2016, trading at a premium of 36 cents per barrel on Monday. "Sentiment for US crude has improved in part from LOOP's very large crude carrier export capability, but fundamentally, falling Cushing stocks remains the main support for higher WTI prices," FGE analyst Den Syahril said.
Paleontologists in Utah are suing the Trump administration for shrinking the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to expand energy development, arguing that more oil and natural gas drilling threatens future dinosaur fossil discoveries. An Interior Department spokeswoman said "most of the areas that are known to have the highest concentration of paleontological resources are still contained within the monument boundaries."
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may reconsider its approach to natural gas pipeline permitting when the projects in question would primarily serve foreign markets. Pipelines carrying products bound for export may no longer be deemed to be in the public interest, which means the commission may force companies to pay landowners more money for their land while mounting pipeline opposition may make it more difficult for operators to have their permits approved.
Natural gas discoveries in the Black Sea could help Romania's annual production nearly double to up to 20 billion cubic meters by 2025, the country's head of the National Agency for Mineral Resources said today. Black Sea Oil & Gas and a joint venture between OMV Petrom and ExxonMobil could start producing gas in the Black Sea by 2021.
Newfoundland and Labrador plans to step up the use of seismic data and tie-back technology as part of a 12-year plan to get more oil and natural gas from offshore sites. The Canadian province, which wants to double production to more than 650,000 barrels daily by 2030, aims to drill 100 new exploration wells and bring discoveries to production within 10 years.