Austria-based OMV will buy Shell's 48% interest in the Pohokura natural gas field and 83.75% interest in the Maui gas field, both in New Zealand. In another deal with Shell, OMV will increase its stake in a Great South basin exploration block.
Australian National University researchers have gained new insight into tectonic plate movement. Their study, which measured the rigidity of synthetic material similar to rocks from the upper mantle, shows that hard minerals deep inside the Earth can alter their shape and flow like thick fluids, affecting the speed of seismic waves.
US energy infrastructure developers including Arb Midstream plan to apply for exemptions from the Trump administration's steel and aluminum tariffs after the Commerce Department publishes a blueprint for companies seeking exclusions. However, Texas attorney Nicolas McTyre warned that the pace and cost of development of pipeline projects could be affected even with exemptions.
Higher oil prices and investor pressure have prompted US oil majors to accelerate stock buybacks, with 11 companies announcing share repurchase programs worth billions of dollars since the start of the year. Hess and Devon Energy plan to spend $1 billion each to repurchase shares, while Anadarko is increasing its $2.5 billion share buyback program by $500 million.
The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday upheld a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling that New York state waived its authority to block Millennium's Valley Lateral natural gas pipeline project when it took too long to review the company's request for a water-quality certification. The court decision clears the path for construction to move forward.
US crude stockpiles climbed by 5 million barrels last week, compared with analyst expectations for a 2.5-million-barrel build, according to the Energy Information Administration. However, the increase was offset by a 6.3-million-barrel fall in gasoline supplies and a 4.4-million-barrel decline in distillate inventories.
The Bureau of Land Management will start the environmental review process of oil and natural gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge later this month, with an eye to completing the environmental impact statement by early 2019.
Ecuador is opening up five areas in three provinces to oil and natural gas development. The country is seeking over $750 million in investments in those areas, which are controlled by state-operated Petroamazonas.
Natural gas production in the Haynesville Shale is slowly returning to its heyday level of more than 10 million cubic feet per day, hitting 8.3 million cubic feet per day in March, according to the Energy Information Administration. This rebound is made possible by enhanced completion designs and innovative production management strategies, such as choke management and slickwater fractures.
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is facing a backlog of roughly 10,000 applications for oil and natural gas drilling permits, which could take five years to review. To ease the logjam, the regulator is planning new rules that would expedite applications for wells that are ready to be drilled and limit permit validity to two years after the commission assigns the well an identification number.