US crude stockpiles added 1.4 million barrels last week, slightly below analyst expectations for a 1.6-million-barrel jump, the Energy Information Administration reported. Gasoline inventories increased by 1.8 million barrels, while distillate supplies slid by 1 million barrels.
Approach Resources has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is considering strategic options, including a restructuring of its balance sheet or a sale. Approach has operations in the Midland portion of the Permian Basin, with 2018 production averaging 11.2 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Petrofac has purchased W&W Energy Services in a deal that gives the oilfield services giant an entry-level position in the Permian Basin. "Given the Permian's increasing production volumes, infrastructure support requirements and the rising activity of major operators, this acquisition provides a platform to grow EPS," Perofac's John Pearson said.
The Trump administration's regulatory priorities for fiscal 2020 will include amending Arctic drilling rules, authorizing LNG-by-rail, adopting final biofuel blending volumes and overhauling oil spill response rules and pipeline standards.
Johns Hopkins University researchers are using the International Space Station to test a radiation shield made of fungus-grown melanin embedded in plastic polymers, which could be used to protect humans and equipment in space. Researchers say the material could also be used by "healthcare providers and patients during radiation imaging, radiation therapy and similar procedures."
Exelon plans to buy French utility Electricite de France's 49.99% stake in the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland, as well as both the R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant and Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station in New York. The acquisition is expected to take at least one to two years and will give Exelon full ownership of the facilities.
A leaky pipe valve that was dripping radioactive coolant water at the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant in South Carolina has been fixed. The leak prompted the facility's shut-down in early November, but Dominion Energy spokesman Ken Holt said no radioactive water escaped the reactor's containment building.
The National Nuclear Security Administration has reached a settlement agreement with three firms involved with the cancelled Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The NNSA says the $186 million settlement allows the agency to "fully focus on our proposal to repurpose MOX for plutonium pit production."
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing the University of Missouri's demolition plan for its radiation-contaminated Pickard Hall, an approval process that could take from 12 to 24 months. The NRC is most concerned with limiting radiation exposure during the demolition to "adequately protect the public health and safety and the environment," said NRC's Region 3 senior decommissioning inspector Michael LaFranzo.
After hearing two hours of testimony, Williams County, N.D., Commissioners are putting off making a decision on whether to allow Secure Energy Services to use a landfill to dispose of oilfield waste containing Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material. A motion to issue the permit was tabled until the commissioners review a law firm's recommendations.
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