Oil majors which rely on asset sales to boost their balance sheets, such as ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum, may be forced to find other sources of cash as plunging oil prices make their assets less appealing to potential buyers, according to Wood Mackenzie. Oil giants are marketing $25 billion worth of assets, with plans to put an additional $27 billion of holdings on the block.
A joint venture between Equinor, Repsol and Progress Resources has struck oil at the Monument exploration well in the US Gulf of Mexico, which was drilled to a total depth of 33,348 feet. "However, determining the full potential of the discovery will require further appraisal drilling," said Bjørn Inge Braathen, senior vice president of exploration in North America at Equinor.
Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette is confident that the Saudi-Russian oil price war will come to an end this week and believes the two sides will agree to a production cut that will account for 10% to 15% of global oil output.
The Railroad Commission of Texas received 137 drilling permit applications from 44 companies during the week ending March 31, a decline from 170 permits filed by 58 companies during the previous week. ExxonMobil led the pack with 22 permit filings, followed by Diamondback Energy and EOG Resources.
Flaring in the Permian Basin has declined from nearly 900 million cubic feet per day in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 700 Mcf/d in the first quarter of 2020, the lowest level since 2012, due to the coronavirus pandemic and oil price war, according to Rystad Energy. However, a separate report from environmental group Earthworks claims that the number of unlit flares has increased in the basin due to inadequate maintenance, along with fewer inspections and equipment shortages.
The New Mexico State Land Office has initiated an emergency rulemaking process to allow oil wells on state trust lands to shut production without facing penalties for at least 30 days, with the possibility to extend up the time frame to 120 days. The proposal is open for public comment until April 17.
California regulators on Friday granted 24 hydraulic fracturing permits to Aera Energy following a nine-month halt to all fracking permits. The state still has 282 fracking permits pending review.
American communities whose prosperity is closely linked to the oil and natural gas industry are bracing for a crisis that could prove more severe than previous ones as the coronavirus pandemic and oil price war combine to batter oil-reliant local economies. "The scale of this bust is historical, in terms of its scale and its speed," says Daniel Raimi of the think tank Resources for the Future.
A nuclear power plant contractor who tested positive for the coronavirus and seven asymptomatic people who came in contact with that person are in self-quarantine, according to Talen Energy, owner and operator of Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Pennsylvania. The plant says it is taking proactive health measures and that all relevant officials have been notified.
A worker at Georgia Power's Vogtle nuclear power plant project has tested positive for the coronavirus. Construction will continue with ramped-up safety and sanitation measures in place, the utility said.
- Page 1