US crude stockpiles surged by 10.3 million barrels last week, exceeding analyst expectations for a 2.3 million-barrel increase, according to the Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, gasoline and distillate inventories were down by 1.4 million barrels and 3.6 million barrels, respectively.
Oil giants including ExxonMobil and Chevron are leveraging their size and resources to gain a leading position in the US shale boom, outpacing smaller producers in terms of production growth thanks to their ability to more easily overcome pipeline bottlenecks, labor shortages and market volatility. Uday Turaga, CEO of ADI Analytics, says "scale is so important in shale" because it can enable companies to "drive down costs from suppliers, secure pipeline access more quickly and get better contracts."
Crude imports along the US Gulf Coast declined from 2.71 million barrels per day in September to an average of 2.35 million bpd in October, the lowest level in over a year, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. US crude output climbed to a record 11.7 million bpd last week, reports the Energy Information Administration, while crude oil exports from Gulf Coast ports increased in October to 1.9 million bpd, a five-month high.
Pioneer Natural Resources is shutting down its sand mine in Brady, Texas, and will start sourcing sand from third-party mines in West Texas' Permian Basin in a move expected to save the company about $400,000 per well. Ohio-based Covia announced its own plans to close sand operations near Brady, although it has recently opened two mines in the Permian.
Kinder Morgan's proposed Gulf liquefied natural gas export project in Mississippi would have some adverse environmental impacts, but they could be mitigated through certain measures, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in a draft environmental report. The Gulf LNG project would include two liquefaction trains, each with a capacity of 5.75 million metric tons per year.
Alaska's North Slope and Beaufort Sea annual oil and natural gas lease sales on Thursday attracted $28.1 million worth of winning bids, with the North Slope accounting for about $27.3 million, the third-largest amount in 20 years. Companies including Repsol and new player Lagniappe Alaska bid on 141 tracts covering roughly 243,950 acres.
Oil companies will invest about $380 million in five offshore Mexican hydrocarbon projects approved Thursday by the country's National Hydrocarbons Commission. A Talos Energy-led alliance will drill at least one well in January in Area 7 adjacent to its Zama discovery and invest about $251 million in the block; Lukoil will drill a well late next year and invest almost $72 million in its Area 12 block; Eni will drill a well in its Area 10 block and invest $5 million in its Area 14 block; and Repsol will work at its Area 11 block, the commission said.
Aker BP will start using an onshore control room staff next year to remotely operate the Ivar Aasen oil platform in the Norwegian North Sea. The switch, which Aker BP says is a first in Norway, will likely save money and is part of the company's digital and data-integration efforts.
A lack of sea ice along Alaska's northern coast is causing a yearlong delay in Hilcorp Energy's construction of a temporary island, which the company needs before it can drill for oil in shallow water. The Beaufort Sea project involves laying gravel and concrete over ice that forms each winter and connects to the coast, but increasing warmth has reduced the amount of suitable seasonal ice.
The $1.6 billion Karish and Tanin natural gas development off Israel's coast is expected to begin production during 2021's first quarter, operator Energean Oil & Gas said Thursday. The company, which says the development is on schedule, will start cutting steel on the project's floating, production, storage and offloading vessel Nov. 26.
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