Oil & Gas
Top stories summarized by our editors
1/17/2020

The inventory of drilled but uncompleted wells across US oilfields declined by 10% to 7,574 between May and November 2019, the steepest drop since 2016, providing fresh evidence of a shale slowdown. Reduced shale activity threatens to hurt oilfield services companies unless they swiftly turn their focus to other markets.

1/17/2020

US refiners, including Phillips 66 and Valero, are poised to receive 2.4 million short tons of high-sulfur fuel oil this month, mainly from Russia and the Baltic states, for processing into gasoline, diesel and gasoil. HSFO serves as a substitute for Venezuelan and Iranian crude oil barrels that have been removed from the global market by US sanctions.

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Reuters
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Valero
1/17/2020

A 25% tariff on US liquefied natural gas will continue to discourage Chinese buyers from substantially increasing purchases of the fuel despite the Chinese government's pledge to boost purchases of US energy by $52.4 billion. "We expect the Chinese government to remove, reduce or approve tariff exemption before incremental LNG imports from the US can be meaningful," said IHS Markit's Jenny Yang.

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Reuters
1/17/2020

The oil and natural gas industry is prioritizing climate action and actively working to curb emissions through innovation and technology, said Texas Oil and Gas Association President Todd Staples. One industry initiative, the American Petroleum Institute's Environmental Partnership, already has 70 members who are collaborating to reduce the industry's environmental footprint and championing responsible production, Staples added.

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Todd Staples, Staples
1/17/2020

The meteorite that struck Earth about 66 million years ago was likely the driving factor behind the extinction of the dinosaurs rather than extreme volcanic activity, according to a study published in Science. Researchers examined deep sediments in the North Atlantic to create global temperature data and found that temperatures around the world at the time of the extinction were lower than if volcanoes had been a primary factor.

1/17/2020

Ice, depressions and dark troughs reflecting strong storms are visible in a new image captured by the Mars Express space probe's High Resolution Stereo Camera, or HRSC. "The strength of HRSC is to perform high resolution digital terrain models of the martian surface in order to provide topographic context for the geoscientific evaluation of surface processes in space and time," says researcher Ralf Jaumann.

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Universe Today
1/17/2020

Daily Norwegian oil production increased last month to the highest level since January 2011, according to data released today by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. Output reached 1.76 million barrels per day, in part due to production at the Johan Sverdrup field, which began operating in October.

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Reuters
1/17/2020

Eni and Total each won rights to operate blocks in the Namibe basin off Angola's coast in a bidding round that ended in November, while Angolan state oil company Sonangol won a 35% interest in a third offshore block, Angola's petroleum regulator said Thursday. The blocks are in areas not yet producing oil or natural gas.

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Reuters
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Sonangol
1/17/2020

Scientists examined trees around the Irazu and Turrialba volcanoes in Costa Rica to learn how high carbon dioxide levels affect tropical forests. Researchers determined the trees absorb volcanic CO2 at the same rate they're exposed to it and say analyzing surviving trees after eruptions also could offer clues about volcanoes' eruption patterns.

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Eos
1/16/2020

An unexpected spike in risky corporate bond purchases has created an opportunity for low-rated energy companies to refinance existing debt and avoid defaults. Last week, investors bought $6 billion worth of bonds from seven energy firms with speculative-grade ratings, the largest amount in more than five years.