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.
Sample natural gas production from the East Texas part of the Haynesville Shale has risen around 55% since January to a record 2.5 billion cubic feet per day in October, putting it on track to surpass 3 billion cubic feet per day by the end of 2019. Surging investment from oil majors BP and ExxonMobil, which control 13 of the basin's 21 rigs, could make the East Texas Haynesville more competitive.
The Permian Basin drilling boom has given rise to a new, lighter variety of crude called West Texas Intermediate Light, which has an API gravity of 45-50 degrees, compared with 38-42 degrees for WTI Midland. Producers began selling the new crude grade in September, and initial volumes were estimated at 100,000 barrels per day, said sources familiar with the matter.
Wind blowing across Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf causes vibrations that could indicate cracks and melting, helping scientists track climate change's effects, a study says. Researchers, who buried seismometers under the snow to record acoustics and vibrations, say humming patterns change as storms modify snow dunes and surface texture.
The natural gas production boom led to almost $60 billion in savings for Texas consumers between 2006 and 2016, reports the Consumer Energy Alliance. Moreover, the Texas oil and natural gas industry added roughly $3 billion to state coffers in fiscal 2017.