In the June Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that rising global production of petroleum and other liquid fuels (driven by OPEC, Russia, and the United States) will limit price increases for global crude oil benchmarks Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI). EIA forecasts production... Read more →


In 2020, net petroleum imports (total imports minus exports) were negative for the first time since the US Energy Information Administration began tracking them—i.e., the United States exported more petroleum than it imported. This includes crude oil and petroleum products. Net imports peaked in 2005 at 12.5 million barrels per... Read more →


Each year, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) posts the Annual Crude Average carbon intensity for crude oil delivered to California refineries. In 2020, although the volume of crude supplied to refineries dropped to 476,730,992 barrels from 584,313,143 the year before, the average carbon intensity (CI) rose to 13.41 gCO2e/MJ... Read more →


ExxonMobil announced an oil discovery at the Uaru-2 well in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana (earlier post). Uaru-2 will add to the previously announced gross discovered recoverable resource estimate for the block, which is currently estimated to be approximately 9 billion oil-equivalent barrels. Drilling at Uaru-2 encountered approximately 120 feet... Read more →


California Governor Gavin Newsom has directed the Department of Conservation’s Geologic Energy Management (CalGEM) Division to initiate regulatory action to end the issuance of new permits for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) by January 2024. Additionally, Governor Newsom requested that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) analyze pathways to phase out oil... Read more →


Researchers find abundance of oil-eating bacteria in northeast Atlantic

A team of scientists from Heriot-Watt University has found the waters in the Faroe-Shetland Channel (FSC) are teeming with oil-eating bacteria. The FSC is a deepwater sub-Arctic region where the oil and gas industry has been active for the last 40 years. An open-access paper on the research was published in... Read more →


US crude oil production averaged 11.3 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2020, down 935,000 b/d (8%) from the record annual average high of 12.2 million b/d in 2019, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The 2020 decrease in production was the largest annual decline in the EIA’s... Read more →


IBM announced that bp has joined the IBM Quantum Network to advance the use of quantum computing in the energy industry. IBM Quantum is an industry-first initiative to build universal quantum systems for business and science applications. By joining the IBM Quantum Network as an Industry Partner, bp will have... Read more →


IHS Markit: GM announcement latest sign that peak gasoline demand from light vehicles has already come and gone

The recent announcement by GM that it aspires to phase out sales of oil-powered light vehicles (LVs) by 2035 (earlier post)—part of a broader proposal to make the automaker a net-zero-carbon company—is a prominent signpost that oil demand from LVs has already peaked, according to a new analysis by Jim... Read more →


Shell outlines steps to net-zero business by 2050; to cut production of traditional fuels 55% by 2030

Global oil and gas major Shell has outlined how it will achieve its target to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society’s progress towards achieving net zero. This target covers the emissions from its operations and the emissions from the use of all the energy... Read more →


Equinor Energy & Mitsubishi Heavy to collaborate on low-carbon technology to reduce carbon footprint of oil & gas operations

Norway-based energy company Equinor Energy and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a low-carbon technology collaboration. The non-exclusive cooperation agreement will see both companies develop and use technology to reduce the carbon footprint of oil & gas operations. In particular, the companies will look at... Read more →


By making use of a previously undesired side effect in oil recovery, researchers at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) have developed a method that yields up to 20% more heavy oil than traditional methods. A paper on the work is published in the ACS journal Energy & Fuels.... Read more →


BASF now has the worldwide distribution rights for RheoFalt smart additives to modify asphalt and bitumen manufactured by the Netherlands-based company Ventraco. Excluded from the agreement are Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands, where Ventraco will continue to supply the products. RheoFalt HP-AM, a powerful rejuvenator, enables 100% recycling of old... Read more →


ExxonMobil has made its final investment decision to proceed with the Payara field offshore development in Guyana after receiving government approvals. Payara is the third project in the Stabroek Block and is expected to produce up to 220,000 barrels of oil per day after startup in 2024, using the Prosperity... Read more →


Nearly half—48%—of rail tank cars carrying Class 3 flammable liquids in 2019 in the US met the new safety requirements, up from 33% in 2018, according to Fleet Composition of Rail Tank Cars Carrying Flammable Liquids: 2020 Report released today by the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.... Read more →


EPA denying petitions for small refinery RFS exemptions for past compliance years

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is denying petitions for small refinery exemptions for past compliance years, the so-called “gap-filling” petitions for the 2011-18 compliance years. In total, the agency had received 68 retroactive exemption requests from petroleum refiners seeking to skirt obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS); the... Read more →


Snam and Saipem sign MoU to work together on green hydrogen development and CO2 capture

Italy-based Snam, a leading energy infrastructure operator, and Saipem, an Italian multinational oilfield services company, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to start working together to define and to develop initiatives for green hydrogen production and transport, and for carbon dioxide capture, transport and reuse or storage (CCS and CCU).... Read more →


by Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com. Big Oil has frequently been chided for merely trying to burnish its green credentials, and so far, it has done little to convince us that it is truly moving forward to greenness. Despite the much-vaunted megatrend involving the global electrification drive and shift to renewable... Read more →


Diakont part of ARPA-E program REPAIR program for pipelines

Diakont is part of a team that was awarded $5 million in funding from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA-E) Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement (REPAIR) program (earlier post) to develop new technologies for rehabilitating legacy cast iron and bare steel natural gas distribution... Read more →


Phillips 66, a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company, plans to reconfigure its San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, California, to produce renewable fuels. The plant would no longer produce fuels from crude oil, but instead would make fuels from used cooking oil, fats, greases and soybean oils. The Phillips 66... Read more →


IHS Markit says outlook for crude oil prices strengthens through 2021

Oil markets have returned to relatively stable ground with Brent prices within a narrow $40-$45 per barrel range and could conclusively pass the $50 per barrel mark in the second half of 2021, according to Roger Diwan and the IHS Markit Energy Advisory Service. The IHS Markit Brent price outlook... Read more →


Researchers from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel have found that considerable quantities of the greenhouse gas methane escape uncontrolled into the water from abandoned oil and gas wells in the North Sea. The work, published in the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, confirms earlier studies based... Read more →


Scientists from ExxonMobil, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Imperial College of London have published in the journal Science joint research on potential breakthroughs in a new membrane technology that could reduce emissions and energy intensity associated with refining crude oil. Laboratory tests indicate the patent-pending membrane could be used... Read more →


When processing petroleum, refineries can produce products in varying amounts to meet regional demands. The International Energy Agency’s Monthly Oil Statistics shows that there are differences in refinery output throughout the world. In the Americas, gasoline accounted for just above 40% of the products refined from petroleum in 2019, while... Read more →


Total US petroleum exports have been increasing over the last 10 years, reaching an all-time high of 8.5 million barrels per day (mmbd) in 2019. The United States exported 1.2 mmbd of petroleum to Mexico in 2019, which was 14% of total US petroleum exports, according to the US Energy... Read more →


Pursuant to section 95489(c)(3)(B) of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) Regulation, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Officer has posted the final 2017 Crude Average Carbon Intensity calculation: 12.52 CI (gCO2e/MJ). The 2019 CI is up from 2018 (12.35) and from 2017 (11.93); volume delivered to California refineries... Read more →


A Northwestern Engineering-led team has developed a highly porous smart sponge that selectively soaks up oil in water. With an ability to absorb more than 30 times its weight in oil, the sponge could be used to clean up oil spills inexpensively and efficiently without harming marine life. After squeezing... Read more →


IHS Markit: US oil producers to halt 1.75 MMb/d per day of production; Canada to cut 0.5 MMb/d

Due to the collapse in oil prices, IHS Markit expects US producers are in the process of curtailing about 1.75 million barrels per day (MMb/d) of existing production by early June due to operating cash losses, lack of demand and storage capacity, and an unwillingness to sell resources at the... Read more →


Global Clean Energy Holdings, Inc., through a subsidiary, has purchased Alon Bakersfield Properties, Inc., a subsidiary of Delek US Holdings, Inc. and the owner of the Alon Bakersfield Refinery. The total cash consideration paid to Delek US Holdings for the purchase was $40 million. Alon Bakersfield Refinery is an existing... Read more →


IHS Markit: global oil production now expected to be cut by as much as 17 MMb/d in Q2 2020; the Great Shut-In

The second quarter of 2020 will see the largest volume of liquids production cuts, including shut-in production, in the history of the oil industry, according to IHS Markit. IHS Markit now expects much as 17 MMb/d total liquids output (which includes nearly 14 MMb/d of crude oil production) to be... Read more →


Berkeley Law’s CLEE report provides policy options for phasing out oil and gas production in California

Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE) released a new report “Legal Grounds: Law and Policy Options to Facilitate a Phase-Out of Fossil Fuel Production in California.” The report analyzes steps California leaders could pursue on state- and privately-owned lands to achieve this reduction. California is the... Read more →


OPEC-Plus agrees to cut oil production 9.7M barrels per day for May and June

OPEC-Plus, a group of 23 oil-producing countries that includes Russia, agreed on Sunday to reduce output by 9.7 million barrels per day for May and June. The agreement also calls for OPEC-Plus members to keep oil production reduced from the current level by 6 million barrels per day through April... Read more →


IHS Markit: oil price collapse will change trajectory of North American gas supply

The trajectory of North American gas supply is set to change radically as a result of the fall in oil prices that has occurred due to COVID-19 and the breakdown in production cooperation between OPEC and Russia, according to IHS Markit. Prior to the global pandemic, languishing North America gas... Read more →


Brazil-based oil company Petrobras will direct part of the processing capacity of its high-performance computers (HPC) to contribute to the Folding@home Project effort on studying the coronavirus behavior in the human body and how the disease progresses, from the interaction of viral proteins, making way for for the development of... Read more →


BASF launched Fourtune—a new Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) catalyst product for gasoil feedstock. Fourtune is the latest product based on BASF’s Multiple Framework Topology (MFT) technology. It has been optimized to deliver superior butylene over propylene selectivity while maintaining catalyst activity and performance. MFT technology decouples catalyst acid site density... Read more →


ExxonMobil evaluating significant near-term capital and operating expense reductions; COVID-19

ExxonMobil is looking to reduce spending significantly as a result of market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and commodity price decreases. Based on this unprecedented environment, we are evaluating all appropriate steps to significantly reduce capital and operating expenses in the near term. We will outline plans when they... Read more →


Global oil demand is expected to decline in 2020 as the impact of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads around the world, constricting travel and broader economic activity, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) latest oil market forecast. The situation remains fluid, creating an extraordinary degree of uncertainty over what... Read more →


The majority (69%) of primary energy imported into the United States in 2018 was crude oil, with petroleum products and natural gas also having significant shares, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Small amounts of biofuels, electricity, and coal were also imported. Exports of primary energy from the... Read more →


In 1982 there were over 250 operating crude oil refineries in the United States; that number declined to 132 by 2019, according to data from the US Department of Energy (DOE). Meanwhile, the total distillation capacity of all refineries combined increased from a low of 14.4 million barrels per calendar... Read more →


ExxonMobil announced an oil discovery offshore Guyana at the Mako-1 well southeast of the Liza field, marking the 15th discovery on the Stabroek Block. Mako-1 encountered approximately 164 feet (50 meters) of a high-quality oil bearing sandstone reservoir. Mako-1, drilled in 5,315 feet (1,620 meters) of water, is located approximately... Read more →


ExxonMobil has started oil production from the Liza field offshore Guyana ahead of schedule and less than five years after the first discovery of hydrocarbons, which is well ahead of the industry average for deepwater developments. The Liza Phase 1 development is approximately 190 kilometers offshore in water depths of... Read more →


Chevron Corporation has sanctioned the Anchor project in the US Gulf of Mexico (GOM). This marks the industry’s first deepwater high-pressure development to achieve a final investment decision. Delivery of the new technology, which is capable of handling pressures of 20,000 psi, also enables access to other high-pressure resource opportunities... Read more →


Annual petroleum production in the United States doubled from 6.8 million barrels per day (mmbd) in 2008 to 15.3 mmbd in 2018, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). Record levels of production began when the 11.8 mmbd in 2014 topped the previous high of 11.3 mmbd from 1970.... Read more →


Researchers from the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven National Laboratory and users from ExxonMobil have developed a new approach to identifying atoms that are neither carbon nor hydrogen within a specific type of molecule in crude oil. The team used non-contact atomic force microscopy (nc–AFM), a process in which... Read more →


Government of Alberta takes steps to encourage investment in new conventional oil wells

The Government of Alberta, Canada, is now allowing curtailed operators to drill new conventional oil wells without being restricted by production limits. Existing producing wells will remain under curtailment. The government said that this measure will drive positive investment, lead to increased drilling activity, and support economic growth in communities... Read more →


IHS Markit: US oil production growth heading for a major slowdown, as capital discipline and weak prices play out

US shale production—the chief source of rapid growth that made the United States the world’s largest oil producer—is slowing down fast, says a new report by IHS Markit. The new IHS Markit outlook for oil market fundamentals for 2019-2021 expects total US production growth to be 440,000 barrels per day... Read more →


Equinor and the Johan Sverdrup partnership consisting of Lundin Norway, Petoro, Aker BP and Total, have started production from the giant field in the North Sea, more than two months ahead of and NOK 40 billion (US4.4 billion) below the original estimates in the Plan for development and operation. Johan... Read more →


Conventional oil and gas discoveries during the past three years are at the lowest levels in seven decades and a significant rebound is not expected, according to a new report by global business information provider IHS Markit. The low levels in discoveries come as a result of a pullback during... Read more →


Drones strike Saudi Aramco Abqaiq and Khurais sites; temporary production suspension of 5.7M barrels per day

Drones attacked two key Saudi Aramco sites in Saudi Arabia—the Abqaiq processing plant and the Khurais oil field—on Saturday; Houthi rebels claimed credit for the strikes. Saudi Aramco emergency crews contained the fires at the plants; the company announced the production suspension of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per... Read more →