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Chinese regulators approve Sinopec’s plan for grassroots refinery

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has approved Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp. (Sinopec), to proceed with its plans to build a grassroots refinery in Caofeidian Industrial Zone, Tangshan, Hebei Province, China.

BOEM schedules public meetings about draft proposed 5-year OCS plan

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold the first of 20 public meetings in Washington on Feb. 9 to receive public comments on potential environmental impacts of the draft proposed 2017-22 5-year US Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The US Department of the Interior and BOEM released the draft on Jan. 27.

Union strike ongoing at US refineries as negotiations continue

A strike by union workers at nine US refining and petrochemical production plants remains under way as the United Steelworkers Union (USW) continue to negotiate collective bargaining agreements over pay, benefits, and health and safety standards with oil companies.

PwC: Low oil prices might drive surge in restructuring in 2015

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the oil and gas industry hit 10-year highs in terms of deal value and volume in 2014, according to a report from PwC US.

US Senate passes bill approving Keystone XL pipeline project

The US Senate has passed a bill approving construction of the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline by a 62-36 vote after 3 weeks of debate. Nine Democrats joined 53 Republicans in the affirmative.

DOI's 2017-22 draft proposed OCS program includes Mid-Atlantic sale

The US Department of the Interior released a draft proposed 2017-22 Outer Continental Shelf management program that included 14 potential oil and gas lease sales in 8 planning areas, including one off South and Mid-Atlantic coastal states.

The budget vision

Just because the budget proposed for fiscal 2016 by President Barack Obama mimics six predecessors in its treatment of oil and gas and again has no hope for congressional approval, the document merits concern.

NCOC lets $1.8-billion pipeline contract for Kashagan field

North Caspian Operating Co. (NCOC) has let a $1.8-billion engineering and construction contract to ERSAI Caspian Contractor LLC, a subsidiary of Saipem SPA, for two 95-km, 28-in. pipelines to serve the Kashagan field project in the Kazakh section of the Caspian Sea.

AOPL releases 2015 safety performance and strategic planning report

The Association of Oil Pipe Lines is committed to further improvements despite a 99.99% safe petroleum liquids delivery rate, AOPL Pres. and Chief Executive officer Andrew J. Black said as the organization released the 2015 API-AOPL Annual Liquids Pipeline Safety Performance Report & Strategic Plan on Feb. 5.

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil price bounces back up somewhat

Crude oil prices on the New York market bounced up $2/bbl to settle slightly above $50/bbl Feb. 5. The positive momentum continued during early Jan. 6 trading in what has proved to be a turbulent week for oil prices.

Congressional Republicans renew bid to halt sue-and-settle maneuvers

Calling it an affront to regulatory accountability that results in unchecked compliance burdens, US Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and US Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) reintroduced bills to keep federal agencies from privately negotiating consent decrees or settlements of legal actions without including potentially affected parties.

Oil-price collapse may aggravate producing nations’ other problems

The recent global crude-oil price plunge could be aggravating underlying problems in Mexico, Colombia, and other Western Hemisphere producing nations, speakers suggested during a Feb. 4 discussion at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Goodlatte reintroduces bills to repeal, reform RFS

Calling it “a true ‘kitchen table’ issue,” US Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) reintroduced a pair of bills to address problems in the federal Renewable Fuels Standard. HR 703 would eliminate the RFS outright, while HR 704 would end the RFS’s corn-based ethanol quotas and bar the US Environmental Protection Agency administrator from approving introduction of gasoline with more than 10% ethanol.

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil drops, ending 4-day rally

Crude oil prices dropped on the New York market Feb. 4 to settle below $50/bbl and to end a 4-day rally after a weekly government report showed oil and product supplies climbed more than analysts had expected.

Alberta’s premier seeks more North American energy integration

Better policy integration and cooperation will be needed for Canada, Mexico, and the US to fully realize the North American energy renaissance’s potential, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice said. Unfortunately, trends are leading more toward fragmentation and confrontation, he warned.

Market Connections

Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) (http://www.qatar.tamu.edu/) invites applications for the position of Chair of the Petroleum Engineering Program at the rank of associate or full professor, with an anticipated starting date of July 1, 2015. Texas A&M at Qatar is a partnership with Qatar Foundation, and it is based in a state-of-the-art, 595,000 square foot building that was completed in 2007.

Chair of the Petroleum Engineering Program

Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) (http://www.qatar.tamu.edu/) invites applications for the position of Chair of the Petroleum Engineering ...
Novus International, Inc., a $1B+ privately held company, is a global leader in developing animal health and nutrition solutions. The Novus corporate mission is to help feed the world affordable, wholesome food by supplying superior goods and services to the leading commercial food producers worldwide. The company owns the world's largest methionine plant located at Chocolate Bayou, Texas and is in the early stages of building another plant at a site on the gulf coast of Texas or Louisiana.

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