US crude inventories slid by 3.8 million barrels last week, exceeding analyst expectations for a 2.3-million-barrel drop, the Energy Information Administration reported. Gasoline and distillate stockpiles also fell by 1.6 million barrels and 7.2 million barrels, respectively.
The number of applications to drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands spiked 8% in September to 1,213, driven by larger Texas operators such as Pioneer Natural Resources and EOG Resources, according to an analysis by Evercore ISI. Permitting activity also increased in New Mexico and Colorado last month, but permit applications so far this year are nevertheless down 68% from a year ago at 13,355, Evercore said.
Energy Transfer has received permission from the Illinois Commerce Commission to expand the Dakota Access oil pipeline's capacity from roughly 570,000 barrels per day to 1.1 million bpd. The ICC said the expansion project, expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2021, is in the interest of public security and convenience.
Oceaneering International has secured a contract with Petrobras to provide blowout preventer tethering services at up to seven wells off Brazil's coast. Oceaneering will provide data acquisition, riser analysis, suction piles and wellhead load relief tensioners, among other tethering technologies, the company says.
Canada-based Touchstone Exploration has found natural gas in an exploration well at the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago's Ortoire block. The discovery at the onshore Chinook-1 exploration well is the company's third at the block since it started drilling there in August 2019.
The Philippines has lifted its suspension of oil and natural gas exploration in the South China Sea despite territorial disputes with China and several other countries.
An oceanic plate's subduction angle and the amount of sediment in the subduction zone have a major effect on the magnitude of earthquakes, according to a study. Scientists, who used a two-dimensional numerical model to simulate subduction processes, say a flat slab angle and a low level of friction due to thick seafloor sediment could lead to major quakes with magnitudes greater than 8.5.
Nearly 75% of respondents to a survey conducted by the Haynes and Boone law firm expect borrowing bases for US oil and natural gas producers to decline by 10% to 20% this fall, forcing companies to self-fund or turn to alternative sources of capital. "Despite this improvement, many producers have limited availability under their borrowing bases and thus are not in a position to absorb even a minimal decrease," said Haynes and Boone's Kraig Grahmann.
US liquefied natural gas exports are picking up, supported by higher demand and prices in Asia and Europe, which could help create the conditions necessary for sanctioning of new projects in 2021. US LNG terminal utilization is expected to increase in the near term, but risk factors related to weather and demand may knock the recovery off course.
Henry Hub winter gas prices are on the rise, overcoming volatility in cash trading. Forwards traders anticipate an increase in LNG exports to coincide with a reduction in US production.