S&P Global Platts is considering updating its Brent benchmark price assessment, currently backed by five North Sea crude grades, to include oil delivered to the Dutch city of Rotterdam. The agency also proposed incorporating grades from outside the North Sea region, naming WTI Midland, CPC Blend, Qua Iboe and Forcados as potential options.
US crude production climbed to a record 10.8 million barrels per day in the past two months, but petroleum exports plunged by 1.3 million barrels per day since June while net imports jumped over 56% to 4.54 million barrels per day in August, reports the American Petroleum Institute. "While the picture is still a bit muddied, it seems to be getting clearer -- the trade war appears to be limiting [US] access to crude export markets," says Dean Foreman, API chief economist.
A State Department environmental review found that implementing an alternate route for the Keystone XL pipeline would not harm natural or human environments significantly. "Prompt cleanup response would likely be capable of remediating the contaminated soils before the hazardous release reaches groundwater depth," the report said.
WildHorse Resource Development is bolstering its Texas shale footprint with the $43 million acquisition of about 20,000 acres in the Eagle Ford and Austin Chalk plays and the lease of some 11,000 acres in the vicinity. WildHorse also unveiled plans to build a $75 million sand mine in Burleson County, Texas, which is expected to open early next year and help the company save nearly $500,000 on each constructed well.
The number of US oil and natural gas rigs declined by two last week, hitting 1,053 despite a six-rig gain in Texas, reports Baker Hughes. Alaska, Ohio and Oklahoma all posted significant losses.
The Environmental Protection Agency has launched a data portal that enumerates small-refinery exemptions to the Renewable Fuel Standard, average weekly renewable identification number trading prices and weekly RIN transaction volumes. "Increasing transparency will improve implementation of the RFS and provide stakeholders and the regulated community the certainty and clarity they need to make important business and compliance decisions," said EPA acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
The Nevada Geodetic Laboratory provides GPS data from over 17,000 stations worldwide to help scientists monitor earthquakes, volcanoes, mountains, glaciers and other geophysical changes. The lab allows users to click through an interactive map to find stations and desired data.
Total has discovered natural gas at the Glendronach prospect off the Shetland Islands' North Sea coast. Total drilled a well 4,312 meters deep at the prospect, which could contain 28 billion cubic meters of recoverable resources.
Transocean will use a semisubmersible rig designed for difficult offshore environments to drill six wells on the Norwegian Continental Shelf for Equinor. The Transocean Norge, under construction by Sembcorp Marine's Jurong Shipyard in Singapore and scheduled for delivery early in 2019, can operate in harsh waters up to 3,048 meters deep.
Verus Petroleum has signed a $400 million agreement to acquire London-based oil and natural gas company Cieco Exploration & Production, including the company's oilfield interests off the UK's coast and interests in a pipeline system and an oil terminal. The acquisition, which requires regulatory approvals, is expected to be finished in the fourth quarter.
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