More Government News

ETHYL PLANS TO REFILE ON HITEC 3000

Ethyl Corp. has withdrawn its application for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval of its HITEC 3000 gasoline additive but plans to reapply. Ethyl said certain issues raised during EPA's review of the application could not be resolved before a Nov. 5 deadline. Discrepancies between Ethyl and EPA test data could not be explained in the 180 day review period. The company planned to meet with EPA to define areas where the agency needs more data.

U.S. BRIEFS

GRACE PETROLEUM CORP., Oklahoma City, agreed to extend its Michigan exploration joint venture with Wolverine Gas & Oil Co. Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., through 1993. Grace also acquired Wolverine's working interests in 27 gas wells and eight stripper wells in 12 Michigan fields, along with its interests in two pipelines and a gas processing plant serving those fields,

BONNER & MOORE SEES SHORT SUPPLIES OF U.S. REFORMULATED GASOLINE

U.S. refiners aren't likely to revamp processing units quickly enough to meet projected demand for reformulated gasoline. An inadequate supply of oxygenates, mainly methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), will cause the Environmental Protection Agency to delay or relax oxygenate levels spelled out in amendments to the Clean Air Act (CAA), says a report by Bonner & Moore Associates, Houston. President Bush signed the amendments into law Nov. 15.

WATCHING WASHINGTON PROSPECTS FOR THE NES

with Patrick Crow These are crucial days for shaping of the Department of Energy's National Energy Strategy. DOE is trying to finish work on the NES and send it to President Bush by mid-December. The White House's Economic Policy Council has been reviewing recommendations and options in the plan, which has gone through several drafts and long interagency debate. DOE originally wanted to get the NES on Bush's desk by Dec. 1 so his policy decisions could be reflected in the fiscal

OGJ NEWSLETTER

World oil markets have settled into a relative calm that probably won't be broken short of shooting in the Persian Gulf or a long, severe cold snap. Market fundamentals are sufficiently bearish that even Saddam's plan to double Iraqi occupation forces in Kuwait sent U.S. futures prices up only $1.72, with Nymex crude for December delivery closing Nov. 19 at $31.50/bbl, down 37 on the week and $4 from November's high to date. Brent for 15 day delivery rose only 55 in relaxed trading

OGJ NEWSLETTER

Are increased production and falling demand continuing to build pressure for an oil price collapse in 1991? Oil prices are unlikely to average more than $26/bbl by fourth quarter 1991 regardless of the situation in the Persian Gulf, contends the Center for Global Energy Studies, London. Its scenarios for oil prices: A settlement spurs a drop to $13/bbl in fourth quarter 1991 from $29/bbl in the first quarter, a stalemate to $20 from $33, and a short but destructive war to $26 from $71.

WATCHING WASHINGTON MIDDLE EAST WAR AND OIL

with Patrick Crow The Bush administration's resolve to get Iraq to give up Kuwait has increased the prospects for war in the Middle East early next year. And that has some lawmakers in Washington concerned about the prospects for energy supplies early next year. Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.), House energy committee chairman, and Phil Sharp (D-Ind.), energy and power subcommittee chairman, recently warned President Bush the nation may be unprepared for war in terms of energy.

BEAUFORT SALE DUE TO COVER 3,894 TRACTS

The U.S. government's Beaufort Sea lease sale next April will offer 3,894 blocks covering 21 million acres. The sale, No. 124, will feature tracts 3-140 miles off Alaska in 6-3,280 ft of waters. Most are in less than 300 ft of water. Leases will be for 10 years with one-eighth royalty. MMS will not offer 1 million acres near Point Barrow that are in the spring lead area, the first open water to be exposed by receding ice. Migratory bowhead whales use those waters, which were not offered

EPA MODERATES STORM WATER DISCHARGE RULES

The Environmental Protection Agency has exempted most U.S. oil and gas producers from new regulations governing storm water discharges. EPA's final rule allows oil and gas operators to obtain a storm water runoff permit for well sites unless they have had a release of oil or hazardous substances into storm water within the past 3 years. Separately, EPA proposed to toughen its water pollution control rules for offshore drilling and production operations. It will accept comments before

ARGUELLO TO GET 1991 START-UP, 20,000 B/D CAP

Chevron Corp. and partners have given a green light to a midyear 1991 start-up of giant Point Arguello oil field off California despite their inability to win a tanker permit to move the oil to Los Angeles. Instead, 20,000 b/d of Point Arguello crude will move via onshore pipeline to California refineries outside the Los Angeles area.

DOE SEEKING PUBLIC INPUT ON NEW USES FOR NIPER CENTER

The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking new ways to use the National Institute for Petroleum and Energy Research (Niper) in Bartlesville, Okla. DOE is asking the public for comments by Dec. 15 on ways to change or expand use of Niper, its principal petroleum research laboratory. The complex employs 200 persons. DOE said future uses of the facility do not have to be limited to oil and gas research.

U.S. BRIEFS

WESTERN GAS PROCESSORS LTD Denver, signed a letter of intent to buy Amoco Production Co.'s 49 MMcfd Edgewood gas processing plant and related production about 35 miles northwest of Tyler, Tex., for $36 million. Closing, expected by Feb. 1, 1991, depends on satisfactory outcome of an environmental audit under way. Western also signed a contract with Dallas Production Inc., Dallas, to gather and process its gas near the plant.

OGJ NEWSLETTER

Glimmers of peace in the Persian Gulf and softening market fundamentals have sent oil prices to their lowest level in more than 3 months. Bearish factors include Iraq's agreement to hold high level diplomatic talks with the U.S., reports Iraq might release all foreign hostages and Saddam might withdraw from Kuwait if he can keep Rumaila oil field, and a growing consensus that oil supply/demand will balance in the fourth quarter and beyond.

CBLS CAN EVALUATE CEMENT INTEGRITY BETWEEN TWO CASING STRINGS

P.E. Pilkington Conoco Inc. Houston Evaluating cement between two strings of casing can be a problem. The signal from the outer string of casing can interfere with amplitude measurement if the inner string is not centralized. Interference can also occur if a wide amplitude gate is used and when the annular clearance is small. The interpreter must be aware of the outer string and how it affects the log; otherwise, the log can be misinterpreted.

THE PERISHABILITY OF LEADERSHIP

As U.S. gasoline consumers begin to feel what budget balancing is all about, oil producers and refiners should note a lesson manifest in recent events on two sides of the Atlantic: the perishability of national leadership. On one side, Margaret Thatcher lost her job as British prime minister because her Conservative colleagues, in numbers still uncertain, feared they could not win the next general election with her as party leader. Why?

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