Japanese scientists have found an underwater petit-spot volcano near Japan's Marcus Island. The volcano, which sits near the base of tectonic plates, is about 457 meters high and may have last erupted less than three million years ago, researchers say.
Scientists say they've calculated how fast the North Atlantic Igneous Province's formation led to greenhouse gas emissions about 55 million years ago, contributing to a 100,000-year global-warming period. According to their model, magma rose quickly to the surface and heated organic material, releasing methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Europe received 33 of the 67 cargoes US liquefied natural gas export facilities shipped in November, while the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas got 26 and eight cargoes, respectively. European countries, including the UK, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland, are expected to remain major buyers of US LNG in 2020.
The Louisiana chapter of the Audubon Society told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a letter that the proposed Commonwealth LNG export project could damage the habitat of the black rail, a rare marsh bird expected to be declared an endangered species next year. The environmental group asked the FERC to consider alternative locations for the project, saying, "Typical wetland mitigation plans would not necessarily resolve the impacts to this imperiled bird, not this specific type of wetland habitat."
US crude stockpiles shed 4.9 million barrels last week, exceeding analyst expectations for a 700,000-barrel decline, according to the Energy Information Administration. However, gasoline and distillate supplies gained 3.4 million and 3.1 million barrels, respectively.
The midstream sector is starting to feel the pinch of the slump that has been plaguing the natural gas industry in recent years, leaving pipeline firms with too much spare capacity as drilling slows. As gas producers struggle with low prices and mounting debt, Kyle Mork, president and CEO of Greylock Energy, urges pipeline operators to be more flexible and open to renegotiating agreements to prevent broken contracts.
A Texas company's contract was unexpectedly canceled last week on the Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia. Bob McKibbon, a spokesman for Trinity Energy Services, confirmed the contract was canceled but said the company has received "not much detail" on the reason.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is preventing Katharine MacGregor's nomination for the role of deputy Interior secretary from advancing until concerns over the Interior Department's plans to expand offshore drilling are addressed. "When it comes to offshore drilling and exploration, the Florida delegation is united in opposition to allowing our shores to be subjected to new leases," Rubio spokesman Nick Iacovella said.
Low natural gas prices and high debt are taking a heavy toll on Appalachian drillers despite surging gas production, with five of seven companies analyzed in an Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis report operating on negative cash flow in the third quarter. "Even though Appalachian gas companies have proven that they can produce abundant supplies of gas, their financial struggles show that the business case for fracking remains unproven," the IEEFA said.
The Energy Information Administration has released updated maps and geologic information for the Bone Spring formation in the Delaware Basin. Thanks to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the number of wells in the Bone Spring formation increased from 436 in 2005 to 4,338 in mid-2019, while oil production per well skyrocketed from 67 barrels per day to 770 bpd over the same period.