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Trump administration to give green light to Keystone XL pipeline - LA Times

Reviving a big oil project which environmentalists had hoped was dead and buried, the Trump administration plans to announce Friday that it has issued a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The project, which would ship 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada's tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries, had been rejected by the Obama administration last year, a move heralded by climate activists. The rejection came just before the former president signed an international agreement on global warming in Paris.

But Trump vowed to undo the previous administration’s work on climate change. He announced soon after taking office that he would seek to restart the pipeline project, a clear signal that he would move aggressively to promote oil development.

via www.latimes.com


This Texas oilfield is messing with OPEC

The Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico has emerged as the new poster boy of the U.S. shale oil revolution. Land prices in the Permian have skyrocketed, drilling activity has tripled since last year and production there is poised to soar despite cheap oil prices.

Some are even predicting this hotbed of shale activity could eventually surpass the colossal Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oilfield.

via money.cnn.com


Rule On Fracking On Public Land Is Halted

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is rolling back an Obama administration rule requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.

The administration said in court papers Wednesday that it is withdrawing from a lawsuit challenging the Obama-era rule and will begin a new rule-making process later this year.

The Interior Department issued the rule in March 2015, the first major federal regulation of fracking, the controversial drilling technique that has sparked an ongoing boom in natural gas production but raised widespread concerns about possible groundwater contamination and even earthquakes.

The rule has been on hold since last year after a judge in Wyoming ruled that federal regulators lack congressional authority to set rules for fracking.

A spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke confirmed the administration’s intent to submit a new rule but did not add further comment late Wednesday.

Zinke took office March 1 and has promised to review a slew of department rules and policies.

via www.theintelligencer.net


Trump to Roll back Disclosure Rule for Fracking on Public Land

The Trump administration is rolling back an Obama administration rule requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.

The administration said in court papers Wednesday that it is withdrawing from a lawsuit challenging the Obama-era rule and will begin a new rule-making process later this year.

The Interior Department issued the rule in March 2015, the first major federal regulation of fracking, the controversial drilling technique that has sparked an ongoing boom in natural gas production but raised widespread concerns about possible groundwater contamination and even earthquakes.

The rule has been on hold since last year after a judge in Wyoming ruled that federal regulators lack congressional authority to set rules for fracking.

A spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke confirmed the administration's intent to submit a new rule but did not add further comment late Wednesday. Zinke took office March 1 and has promised to review a slew of department rules and policies.

via fortune.com


Is America Too Good At Fracking?

The U.S. is producing natural gas so efficiently it’s almost counterproductive to the industry.

Investors are worried what the future holds for the natural gas market. Contracts for natural gas futures are down 25 percent in the last 10 weeks after rising 60 percent last year largely on worries production is outpacing demand.

New natural gas power plants and liquid natural gas (LNG) export terminals would reduce the gas glut, but hydraulic fracturing is increasing production faster than demand.

“Investors right now across the board just hate natural gas,” Pearce Hammond, an analyst at the financial firm Simmons & Co. International, told The Wall Street Journal.

via dailycaller.com


OPEC unity breaking down amid 'perfect storm,' says Helima Croft

Crude market sentiment is under pressure as OPEC sends mixed messages about its deal to cut oil output, according to Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached a historic accord with 11 other exporters late last year to reduce total production by 1.8 million barrels a day in a bid to reduce brimming stockpiles of crude.

That lifted oil prices firmly above $50 a barrel until last week, when the cartel's united front began to fracture at CERAWeek by IHS Markit, one of the world's most closely watched energy industry conferences, Croft said on Monday.

"What had been sort of working against the sell-off had been OPEC having very strong message discipline. For most of the year, they just kept coming out and saying, 'We've got this. Compliance is great,' and then it starts to break down at CERAWeek," she told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Monday.

via www.cnbc.com


U.S. shale plots production growth despite OPEC's warning

HOUSTON (Reuters) - U.S. shale oil producers are plotting ambitious production growth outside the red-hot Permian Basin in Texas, widening a resurgence that could confound OPEC's strategy to tighten global supplies.

As shale firms rebound from a two-year price war with OPEC, many are planning to expand production in North Dakota, Oklahoma and other shale regions.

The Permian - America's largest oilfield - has already seen output jump in the past six months.

via whtc.com


US Oil Rebound Hits Roadblock, Lack of Truckers

Five years ago, the thought of $55-a-barrel oil would have given Piotr Galitzine heartburn. Now it’s keeping one of his steel-pipe shops in Houston open 24/7 and fueling a flurry of orders.

It’s stoking business for National Oilwell Varco Inc., too, with the oilfield-equipment giant for the first time in better than a decade selling more land-based than offshore gear. And it’s got Perry Taylor on the hunt for truckers to haul fracking sand. Even at $80,000 a year, jobs are hard to fill. “It’s tough,” said the CEO of Agility Energy Inc. “We’ve got commitments that are very difficult to keep right now because we can’t get the drivers.”

via www.ttnews.com


As the Bakken heats up again, Williston prepares for more growth

Even as the bottom fell out of the Bakken boom, Shawn Wenko saw good news in the economic statistics for Williston, America’s fastest growing small city during the oil days.

True, more than 6,000 jobs had vanished along with the high oil prices in October 2014. That’s when overproduction put more crude on the world’s plate than it could possibly consume. The housing shortage, which had oilmen living in camper trailer villages and shipping container man camps, disappeared. The vacancy rate for apartments swelled to 40 percent. Restaurants experienced a 30 percent drop in business.

via billingsgazette.com