ExxonMobil and Algeria's government-owned Sonatrach have suspended negotiations to develop a natural gas field in the country's southwest Ahnet Basin because of protests over Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, sources say. Sonatrach CEO Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, who was appointed by Bouteflika in 2017 and has improved the country's international reputation with oil companies, likely would lose his job if Bouteflika resigns under pressure from protesters, sources say.
Scientists who used a supercomputer to simulate New Zealand's 2016 Kaikoura earthquake found that the faults slipped slowly as ruptures started on land and spread into the ocean, causing a tsunami. The simulation, which indicated that a weak initial force caused the complex ruptures, reproduced rock fracturing and seismic waves.
A high-powered telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert acted like a seismograph in January during a magnitude 6.7 earthquake centered 90 kilometers away. The telescope, which was photographing satellites, recorded stars as streaks during the quake.
The Colombian government sidelined two hydraulic fracturing projects proposed by ConocoPhillips and Canacol Energy in northern Cesar province. One project failed to meet prerequisites and the other posed potential water-protection problems, but the companies could seek to restart the licensing process later, a source said.
Offshore seismic activity near Madagascar last year that began in May and peaked with a mid-November rumble may have been caused by a massive amount of magma moving under the seafloor, scientists say. The episode could be the largest volcanic event ever recorded in the sea, although researchers are unsure as to whether the activity involved an eruption or merely the shifting of magma.
A Sudanese oil official says an Egyptian auction for oil and natural gas blocks that began March 10 in the Red Sea's Halayeb Triangle is illegal because the exploration sites are in Sudan's territory. Sudan has claimed the triangle since the 1950s, but Egypt controls the area and also claims it.
The American Chemistry Council's formaldehyde arm "fully supports a risk review of the uses of formaldehyde chemistry by means of transparent science-based standards," said executive Kimberly Wise White, following the substance's high-priority designation under the Toxic Substances Control Act. "[The Environmental Protection Agency's] evaluation ... will ensure regulatory decisions about the safe use of formaldehyde are consistent with real-world circumstances and are protective of human health and our environment," she says.
The industry is taking steps to reduce plastic waste, partly through investments in chemical recycling solutions, and must continue to do so, said DowDuPont's Jim Fitterling and LyondellBasell's Bob Patel during IHS Markit's World Petrochemical Conference this week. "If we can do chemical recycling back to feedstocks and back to plastics versus the alternatives -- another oil and gas well -- that opens up a whole range of impacts on climate possibilities that people haven't thought about," Fitterling said.
Oil market volatility, the increased risk of recession and trade concerns such as the dispute between the US and China are creating challenges for the global chemical industry amid increased competition, according to this ICIS analysis. More than 4 million metric tons of new ethylene capacity is expected to come online in the US this year, which could further complicate the global landscape, the report says, citing American Chemistry Council data.
Arkema will inaugurate its new Kepstan-brand polyetherketoneketone resin facility in Mobile, Ala., on Monday. The material can be used in aerospace, 3D printing and the oil and gas sector.