An intense monsoon during the Miocene period about 17 million years ago likely cut through a Chinese canyon and established the upper part of Southeast Asia's Mekong River, scientists say. International researchers, who reviewed previous studies, examined bedrock samples from the river canyon's walls and concluded synchronous downcutting occurred, rejecting theories that tectonics formed the landscape.
Big oil companies are experimenting with on-demand services as they explore innovative ways to market their products while keeping up with the energy sector's technological transformation. ExxonMobil has invested $4 million in on-demand fuel startup Yoshi, which operates in more than 20 US cities, while Royal Dutch Shell plans a Houston launch of its Shell TapUp fuel-delivery service, introduced last year in the Netherlands.
At least six states -- Oregon, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Maine, Washington and Maryland -- may be excluded from the Trump administration's final offshore drilling plan, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke indicated in comments to state officials. He said several of the states lacked significant oil resources.
Venture Global LNG has landed two 20-year contracts to deliver 2 million metric tons of US liquefied natural gas annually to Poland's state-run oil and natural gas company. Venture Global is developing two LNG export facilities in Louisiana, due to come online in 2022 and 2023.
The Energy Information Administration says US crude stockpiles rose by 6.5 million barrels last week -- the fourth consecutive increase -- surpassing analyst expectations for an increase of 1.88 million barrels. Gasoline and distillate inventories plunged by 2 million barrels and 800,000 barrels, respectively.
The Environmental Protection Agency intends to formally propose amendments to the nation's Renewable Fuel Standard by February and adopt the new rules by May, according to a filing with the Office of Management and Budget. The proposed changes include allowing year-round sales of 15% ethanol fuel blends, or E15, and restricting trading of Renewable Identification Numbers.
Italy-based Eni signed an agreement Wednesday to start looking for hydrocarbons in an unexplored deepwater area off Mozambique. Eni, operator of the Zambezi Basin block, has a 59.5% stake, while South Africa's Sasol has a 25.5% interest and the country of Mozambique itself holds the remaining stakes.
Geologists have found the rare microscopic mineral reidite in the 300-million-year-old Woodleigh meteorite crater in Western Australia, about 750 kilometers north of Perth. The mineral, previously found only in craters in the US, Britain, Canada, China and Germany, comes from zircon that experiences a high-pressure asteroid impact, says Aaron Cavosie, a Curtin University researcher.
Royal Dutch Shell will sell its shares in its Shell Olieog Gasudvinding Danmark upstream subsidiary, which has a 36.8% non-operating interest in the Danish Underground Consortium, to Norwegian Energy, or Noreco, for $1.9 billion. Under the transaction, expected to be completed next year, Noreco will take over Shell's role in the redevelopment of the Tyra natural gas field.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says US oil production could hit 14 million barrels per day by 2020 despite some structural and regulatory obstacles. "You look at the first day of the presidency, we were at 8.7 [million barrels per day] -- today we are the largest oil and gas producer on the face of the planet, rolling [out] 11.2 million barrels a day, on our way to 14," Zinke says.