Scientists, after using temperature data to estimate the age of lunar craters, say the number of asteroids striking the moon and Earth doubled or tripled 290 million years ago. The researchers don't know why the number increased but speculate that an asteroid could have broken apart, creating multiple space rocks near Earth.
The International Energy Agency projects global oil demand will grow by 1.4 million barrels per day this year, up from 1.3 million bpd in 2018, but the outlook may change in light of slowing global economic activity. The IEA also said the oil market should regain balance in the first half of this year if OPEC producers stick to agreed-upon production cuts.
The International Maritime Organization's plan to limit the sulfur content in marine fuels starting within the next year is expected to increase the shipping industry's fuel costs by about $60 billion, a sum that will likely be passed on to consumers. Increased demand for low-sulfur marine fuels could also send diesel and jet fuel prices soaring, resulting in higher costs for trucking companies and airlines.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Deputy Secretary Nathaniel Davis extended motion to intervene status to Save RGV From LNG, enabling the anti-LNG group to fight the proposed Texas LNG project at the Port of Brownsville. FERC is due to publish a final environmental assessment for the 2 million-metric-tons-a-year project in March.
Digital data monitoring is especially promising for operators of oil and gas pipelines, where assets are physically spread out, not easily visible, used by a variety of customers and prone to communication problems. For example, one pipeline organization lost $1.9 million due to downtime when a programmable logic controller went down due to a slowly developing problem that could have been detected by a monitoring system.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission has changed the frequency and timing of vapor pressure testing for conditioned crude oil, but it is keeping vapor pressure limits at 13.7 pounds per square inch. Under the new rules, companies must conduct two vapor pressure tests annually instead of four -- one between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, and the second between Jan. 1 and March 31.
South Sudan, which is repairing and reopening oil wells damaged during the country's civil war, began pumping 15,000 additional barrels per day from its Unity fields on Monday, oil minister Ezekiel Lul Gatkuoth says. Operators producing at the Unity fields, which previously were providing 160,000 bpd, intend to increase by 70,000 bpd by 2020, Gatkuoth said.
French geoscience company CGG is gathering more seismic data from unexplored deepwater parts of Gabon's South Basin. Some data from the 9,800 kilometer-long 2D survey and a previous 25,000 square-kilometer 3D survey, which led to two oil discoveries, will be available before Gabon's June offshore licensing round, the company says.
The North American shale boom will cool off this year as drillers rein in spending amid lower prices, said Schlumberger CEO Paal Kibsgaard, who predicts "more moderate growth in US shale production in coming years." Kibsgaard expects shale drillers to focus on completions instead of drilling new wells.
Pending the Kurdistan Regional Government's approval, Genel Energy says it will acquire stakes in two Chevron-operated hydrocarbon blocks in the Iraqi region. The company intends to operate the Qara Dagh block and hold a 40% interest in it, as well as hold a 30% stake in the Sarta block license.
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