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MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price for August briefly dips below $50/bbl

Light, sweet crude oil prices briefly dropped below $50/bbl on the New York market on July 20 for the first time since April but regained some support to settle at $50.15/bbl—the lowest settlement since Apr. 2.

Canadian provincial premiers propose national energy strategy

Provincial premiers in Canada have proposed a national energy strategy with actions targeting “sustainability and conservation,” “technology and innovation,” and “delivering energy to people.”

EPA needs to improve oversight of fracing with diesel, OIG report says

The US Environmental Protection Agency needs to improve its oversight of hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels and address any compliance issues, EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said. The agency also needs to take further steps in its May 2014 plan to determine whether a federal requirement to publicly disclose frac fluid ingredients is necessary, OIG said in a July 16 report.

URTeC: Shell’s Hackbarth says unconventional innovation begins with data

Operators should resist the impulse to pull back on investments in technology despite a down oil market, said Claudia J. Hackbarth, manager, unconventional gas and tight oil research and development, Shell International E&P Inc. during a July 20 luncheon speech at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) in San Antonio. “Innovation is needed now more than ever.”

PV seen gaining on gas-fueled electricity

Utility-scale photovoltaic (PV) conversion of solar energy into electricity soon will be competitive with generation fueled by natural gas, predicts energy analyst Leonardo Maugeri.

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices settle nearly flat on lower rig count

Light, sweet crude oil prices settled nearly flat on the New York market on July 17 after a volatile trading session that started with prices going down until Baker Hughes Inc. reported a decline in the weekly rig count.

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International news for oil and gas professionals

Watching Government: DOI, EPA budget battles

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan did not mince words on July 7 when he described problems the Obama administration sees in the US House's fiscal 2017 US Department of the Interior appropriations bill.

PHMSA issues state pipeline excavation damage prevention programs rule

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a final rule to establish the process for evaluating state excavation damage prevention programs and enforcing federal standards in states where such requirements are inadequate or do not exist.

US House panel grills PHMSA's interim chief over pipeline safety delays

Members of a US House Energy and Commerce subcommittee asked US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Interim Executive Director Stacy Cummings why several significant provisions of a federal pipeline safety law passed in 2011 have yet to be implemented.

BLM proposes updates to its oil, gas measurement requirements

The US Bureau of Land Management proposed regulations to ensure more accurate measurement, accountability, and royalty payments for oil and gas production from onshore federal and Indian oil and gas leases.

Advocates urge US to end its crude export ban in Iran agreement's wake

Advocates called for removing the US ban on exports of domestically produced crude oil in the wake of the July 14 international nuclear weapons agreement with Iran that also would lift sanctions on that country's crude sales.

Ending crude export ban would help rural US areas, House panel told

Rural US communities generally have benefited from the nation's crude oil production renaissance, and potentially could be helped more if restrictions on exports of crude were eliminated, witnesses told a US House Agriculture Committee hearing on July 8.

House panel's oil export ban hearing weighs urgency against caution

A US House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on legislation to repeal the ban on exporting US-produced crude oil quickly broke along party lines.

Cost retrospection

Warning about the cost of regulation is easier than proving it retrospectively. Individuals or industries know what they spend to function under a given regulation, but they usually can only guess about what they would have spent over the same time under a softer alternative or with no regulation at all.

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