Recent studies of rocks collected by astronauts at craters on the moon have scientists questioning whether simultaneous strikes or one impact created the Imbrium Basin, as well as the timeline of the impact. "The tides are moving and people are now more and more convinced that the instability happened early," said David Nesvorny, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute.
Lower prices are contributing to a slowdown in oil and natural gas drilling that is expected to worsen this year, writes analyst John Kemp. However, some pressure could be taken off oil prices this year, potentially boosting revenues and profits for US shale firms if drilling remains subdued, Kemp writes.
Carbon dioxide emissions from US energy operations, including petroleum, natural gas and coal, dropped 2.1% in 2019 and are expected to fall by 2% and 1.5%, respectively, this year and next, according to the Energy Information Administration. The drop can be attributed to a decline in coal-fired generation in favor of gas-fired generation and increased renewable generation.
The second liquefaction train at the Freeport LNG export project on Quintana Island in Freeport, Texas, has entered commercial service with the commencement of BP's tolling agreement. The facility's third liquefaction train is expected to begin commercial operations in May.
Parsley Energy filed 12 applications for drilling permits with the Railroad Commission of Texas from Jan. 8 through Jan. 14, with plans to target the Permian Basin's Wolfcamp and Spraberry formations to depths of up to 15,000 feet. The company recently finalized its $2.3 billion acquisition of Jagged Peak Energy, boosting its Permian foothold to 266,000 acres.
US natural gas drillers are cutting jobs, writing down assets and tightening purse strings amid a global gas glut that has pushed prices below the profitability threshold. The Energy Information Administration expects dry gas production to increase again this year by 3% to 95 billion cubic feet a day, followed by a 600-million-cubic-feet decline next year that could provide some relief to producers.
Schlumberger Ltd. plans to reduce its exposure to US shale and halve its hydraulic fracturing fleet there in favor of international projects, where growth prospects are brighter, CEO Olivier Le Peuch said. "North America revenue of $2.5 billion...dropped 14% sequentially due to customer budget exhaustion and cash flow constraints," said Le Peuch, whose company logged more than $10 billion in net losses in 2019.
North Dakota oil drillers pumped 1.52 million barrels per day in November, marking a 0.2% drop from an October record, according to the state Department of Mineral Resources. However, natural gas output rose 2% to a fresh high of 3.13 billion cubic feet per day, 17% of which was flared.