Energy traders think U.S. shale production is here to stay

European energy trading houses such as Trafigura Group Pte., Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. and Vitol Group have invested in U.S. infrastructure and struck supply deals to secure flows of shale oil and natural gas, according to Bloomberg. The news service says the agreements show the traders “see long-term opportunities in an industry that has already upended global energy flows, particularly since the United States lifted a four-decade old ban on exports at the end of 2015.” For more, read the full story.

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IEA says U.S. to challenge Australia, Qatar as top natural gas exporter

A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) says the United States is ready to challenge Australia and Qatar as the world's largest exporter of natural gas. According to CNBC, the report says the United States will challenge those two countries as the top gas exporter by 2022. For more, read the full story.

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With export ban lifted, U.S. now shipping oil to dozens of countries

The New York Times reports that “in a twist that would have been unthinkable only two years ago,” an oil tanker arriving in China today may be carrying crude oil that left the port in Corpus Christi, Texas instead of Saudi Arabia. The newspaper says a rise in shipments of U.S. oil to dozens of countries after the end to a long-running export ban is “the latest chapter in a remarkable turnaround for the American oil and gas industry.” Oil exports grew slowly through most of 2016, according to the Times, but there has been a surge this year that reached 1.3 million barrels a day, or roughly 15% of domestic production. For more, read the full story.

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Ineos to expand European ‘cracker’ plants that use U.S. shale gas

The BBC reports that Ineos plans to build a new European petrochemical production plant and boost capacity at its ethane “cracker” plants in Scotland and Norway. The news network says the projects include a new propylene production unit, with sites in Belgium among locations being considered. Ineos will also increase the ethylene capacity of its crackers at Grangemouth, Scotland, and Rafnes, Norway that rely on U.S. shale gas being shipped to Europe. For more, read the full story.

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Poland receives first shipment of LNG from U.S.

The first tanker with liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States recently arrived in Poland as part of a regional effort to cut energy dependence on Russia, reports the Associated Press. The news service says the delivery marked the first shipment of U.S. natural gas to eastern and northern Europe, which are building a network of energy sources and transportation sites that include Poland’s first LNG terminal in Swinoujscie on the Baltic Sea. For more, read the full story.

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BP shifts to natural gas as part of ‘low-carbon’ strategy

British oil company BP continues to shift toward natural gas, announcing three agreements to boost gas production as part of a strategy to move to a “low-carbon future,” reports FuelFix.com. The energy site says the new projects include an initiative near Trinidad and Tobago (off the northern coast of South America) to unlock about 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in place there. FuelFix says BP Deputy CEO Lamar McKay “extolled the importance of the shift” to a low-carbon future that includes the expansion of natural gas production and renewable energy. For more, read the full story.

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Saudi company plans to spend billions on U.S. refinery, petrochemical projects

Saudi Arabia’s Motiva Enterprises plans to spend billions of dollars to expand its Port Arthur Refinery in Texas and grow in the petrochemical and refining sectors, FuelFix.com reports. The news site says Motiva, which finalized its separation from Royal Dutch Shell in May 2017, plans to spend nearly $18 billion in the United States, largely along the Gulf Coast, within the next five years. The Motiva growth is part of an overall Saudi strategy to diversify the nation's global footprint, according to FuelFix. For more, read the full story.

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OPEC, allies agree to extend oil production cuts into 2018

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies have extended oil production cuts for nine more months after last year’s agreement failed to eliminate a global oil glut or achieve a sustained price recovery, Bloomberg reports. OPEC, Russia and other non-members have agreed to prolong their production accord through March 2018, the news service says. Resurgent production from U.S. shale plays has meant oil inventories remain well above the level targeted by OPEC earlier this year, according to Bloomberg. For more, read the full story.

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U.S., Saudi companies sign $50 billion in energy agreements

U.S. and Saudi Arabia companies have signed more than $50 billion in energy investment agreements, including a deal between Exxon Mobil and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. to build a $20 billion chemical complex along the U.S. Gulf Coast, reports the Washington Examiner. According to the newspaper, Exxon said its "Growing the Gulf" initiative will include 11 major chemical, refining, lubricant and liquefied natural gas projects made possible by an abundance of low-cost U.S. natural gas. For more, read the full story.

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Canadian company considers purchase of Marcellus natural gas assets

Pieridae Energy Ltd., the company behind a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on Canada's east coast, is looking to buy gas-producing assets in western Canada or the Marcellus shale play, Reuters reports. Pieridae’s chief executive, Alfred Sorensen, told Reuters that the Calgary-based company wants to buy about 200 million cubic feet a day of natural gas production to supply its proposed terminal and would consider purchasing a company or just its gas-producing assets. For more, read the full story.

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