Scientists studying minerals trapped inside diamonds from a mine in South Africa traced the diamonds to separate volcanic events about 3 billion and 1.1 billion years ago. The findings, which could influence where miners look for diamonds, suggest certain types of volcanic activity may create the extremely hot conditions required to form diamonds.
Scientists aren't able to predict when an earthquake will occur or how big it will be, but a new study shows how warning systems could send information to areas once measurements of an earthquake begin. Researchers reviewed observations from areas close to and far away from earthquakes, giving them an idea how the magnitude may increase and decrease.
Three weeks after Hurricane Harvey, the US Gulf Coast refining complex is gradually recovering, with 15 out of 20 affected refineries having nearly fully resumed operations, according to IHS Markit. Some 1 million barrels of refining capacity remains offline, but "steady progress appears to have been made, and the four refineries in active restart may very well be operating normally by this weekend," IHS added.
US oil ended Wednesday's trading session above $50 per barrel for the first time since July, driven by refinery restarts and soaring global oil demand. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery rose 93 cents during the day to close at $50.41 per barrel, the highest level since May 24.
US crude stockpiles gained 4.6 million barrels in the week ended Friday, nearly double analysts' forecast of a 2.4-million-barrel increase, according to the Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, gasoline and distillate supplies dropped by 2.1 million barrels and 5.7 million barrels, respectively.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency wants to levy a $2.3 million fine on Energy Transfer Partners, more than double the amount initially sought in connection with several environmental violations that occurred during the construction of the $4.2 billion Rover Pipeline. Additionally, the agency has called on the state's attorney general to intervene in the dispute.
Sens. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and Angus King, I-Maine, have submitted a bill to accelerate and simplify the permitting process for interstate natural gas pipeline projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. "This bill brings all federal, state and local regulatory agencies to the table early on to coordinate participation -- resulting in a more collaborative and timely review process," Inhofe said.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has been sending more warning letters and notices of amendment to pipeline operators urging them to improve their safety procedures to prevent small violations. The agency sent 49 notices so far this year, up from an annual average of 41 between 2014 and 2016, targeting operators of hazardous liquid pipelines in particular.
Permian Basin production may peak at about 3.5 million barrels per day by 2021 and fall below 3 million barrels per day by 2030 if shale drillers fail to develop new technologies to help them overcome the play's geological limits, according to Wood Mackenzie. Tight well spacing and declining underground pressure due to the rapid surge in drilling and hydraulic fracturing are among the factors that threaten to cause Permian production to top out sooner than expected.
At least 450 older vertical wells in Kingfisher County, Okla., have sustained economic damage because of nearby horizontal wells and hydraulic fracturing, according to a report from the Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance. The report claims that horizontal wells have caused large-scale bashing at vertical wells, inflicting financial harm on producers and royalty owners.