ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, Equinor and Total are among the companies planning to participate in an auction Friday for four offshore oil blocks in the Santos and Campos basins in Brazil. Aggressive bids are likely because the industry is concerned the government could dismantle favorable auction policies after the upcoming presidential election.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has accepted Australia-based Byron Energy's bids for three Gulf of Mexico leases. The leases cover a field that produced 96 million barrels of oil and 107 billion cubic feet of natural gas before ending production in 2009.
US shale production should grow at a strong clip in the next several years, hitting 13.4 million barrels per day in 2023 before topping out at 14.3 million barrels per day between 2027 and 2028, according to OPEC's long-term world oil outlook. "The US remains by far the most important source of medium-term supply growth, contributing ... two-thirds of new supply, driven by surging tight oil output," reports OPEC.
The Bakken Shale in North Dakota could hold 30 billion to 40 billion barrels of recoverable oil, significantly more than the Energy Department's most recent estimate of 7.6 billion barrels, according to Continental Resources President Jack Stark. Technological advancements and operational improvements helped Bakken operators boost recovery rates from 3-5% to 8-12%, with formation production hitting a high of 1.273 million barrels per day earlier this year, according to North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness.
A pipeline capacity shortage has created a light oil glut in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, putting downward pressure on prices and preventing Canadian shale drillers from fully profiting from the oil price rally. However, Tom Whalen, CEO of the Petroleum Services Association of Canada, says producers expect oil prices to rise in the longer term.
Chevron, PTT Exploration and Production and their partners submitted bids today for the Gulf of Thailand's Bongkot and Erawan natural gas fields, which together produce 2.1 billion cubic feet of gas per day. Thailand, which will approve concession winners in December, says France's Total submitted no bids despite having a 33.3% stake in the Bongkot field.
An eruption of southern Iceland's Katla volcano, which is releasing more carbon dioxide than previously estimated, could create an ash cloud that would disrupt world air travel, scientists say. The volcano is overdue for an eruption and is about 25 kilometers from the smaller Eyjafjallajokull volcano that disrupted air travel eight years ago after spewing massive amounts of ash into the atmosphere.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency must implement the Obama-era Risk Management Plan rule. In May, the agency proposed a repeal of a number of the chemical plant regulation's most significant terms.
The China-US trade war and the North American Free Trade Agreement talks are creating uncertainty and counteracting the benefits of the tax code overhaul and deregulation, says American Chemistry Council Chief Economist Kevin Swift. The loss of NAFTA, he adds, would put $85 billion worth of planned chemical investments at risk.
Plastics can make powerful sustainability contributions, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste and energy usage, says the American Chemistry Council's Keith Christman, following the release of a study showing that plastics curb solid waste generation. The ACC has introduced a tool to help quantify plastic-packaging benefits.