The MVP Southgate gas pipeline in North Carolina, which is related to the troubled Mountain Valley Pipeline, has been denied a key permit. The North Carolina Division of Water Resources cited uncertainty over the master project, making permission for MVP Southgate "inconsistent with principles of minimization."
In an effort to cut costs by about a third, Tellurian has dropped plans for three of four pipelines it had proposed to build during the first phase of its Driftwood LNG export project in Louisiana. Phase one of the project will now include only the terminal and the 4-billion-cubic-foot-per-day Driftwood pipeline, although the three deferred pipeline projects could be revived if market conditions improve.
Southwestern Energy plans to purchase rival Montage Resources in an all-stock deal that will expand Southwestern's Marcellus Shale position to more than 786,000 acres. Montage shareholders will get 1.8656 shares of Southwestern stock for each share of Montage stock, which puts the value of the deal at around $210 million based on current stock prices.
Oil refiners in the western US are looking to tap into the growing market for biofuels and are taking advantage of tax credits to convert their refineries into renewable diesel plants. Phillips 66 on Wednesday announced plans to retool its 120,000 barrel-per-day Rodeo refinery near San Francisco into a renewable diesel plant, following similar recent announcements by Marathon Petroleum and HollyFrontier.
The natural gas-rich Haynesville Shale is starting to show signs of life as Henry Hub prices continue to rise after gaining 19% in the past month, breaking the $2 per million British Thermal Units threshold. The rig count in the basin firmed up at 33 units on average, well drilling and completions remained stable in May and June, and production declines are slowing, setting the stage for a modest jump in output in the coming months, according to Platts Analytics.
Occidental Petroleum plans to operate a single rig in the Permian Basin in the second half of the year, while ExxonMobil and Chevron will likely have only 14 rigs combined by year's end, compared with around 70 a year ago. Oxy President and CEO Vicki Hollub said the company's priority will be to shore up its balance sheet and bring its break-even price below $40 per barrel.
Kinder Morgan has secured two permits from the Hays County Commissioners Court that give it permission to bury the 42-inch Permian Highway Pipeline beneath three roadways. The pipeline faces stiff opposition from environmental groups and landowners in Texas' Hill Country, but Kinder Morgan CEO Steve Kean said affected landowners received generous compensation and the company is committed to restoring the land and protecting endangered species habitat.
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has proposed a series of amendments to the rules governing underground disposal wells that would streamline wastewater management for the oil and natural gas industry and regulators, and reduce the use of injection wells. The new rules would also change the definitions of class two disposal wells and water retention pits.
The US exported an average of 3.1 billion cubic feet per day in July, down from a record 8 Bcf/d in January, but volumes are expected to rebound to pre-pandemic levels by November and stay strong through winter, the Energy Information Administration said. US LNG capacity utilization this summer is expected to average only 35%, compared with more than 90% during the past two summers.
Scientists say they're concerned a series of small earthquakes Monday at California's Salton Sea could trigger a bigger quake along the San Andreas fault. The largest of the quakes had a magnitude of 4.6 and occurred under the southeastern part of the sea, but researchers point out similar swarms in 2001, 2009 and 2016 did not lead to a larger temblor.