U.S. oil and natural gas could become targets in trade war with China

China’s tariffs in one corner of the energy market signal that U.S. oil and natural gas fields may become a target if a trade war escalates between the two countries, according to Bloomberg. The news service says petrochemicals and liquefied propane were among 106 U.S. products recently targeted for higher tariffs by the Chinese government, “indicating that the world’s biggest oil buyer is willing to use energy as a weapon to retaliate against planned American duties on its high-tech goods.” Bloomberg notes China is the biggest regional buyer of American oil and liquefied natural gas. For more, read the full story.

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Persian Gulf country reports major oil and gas discovery

Bahrain, the smallest energy producer in the Persian Gulf, has reported it has discovered its biggest oil and natural gas field since it started producing crude oil in 1932, according to Bloomberg. The news service says the shale oil and natural gas found in a deposit off the island state’s west coast “is understood to dwarf Bahrain’s current reserves.” For more, read the full story.


Statoil changes name to Equinor as part of strategy shift

Statoil ASA, Norway’s biggest petroleum company, will change its name to Equinor as it seeks to broaden its energy reach beyond oil and natural gas production, Bloomberg reports. The company, which has operations in Ohio’s Utica shale play, says the new name reflects the starting point for equality and equilibrium, and “nor” to signal its Norwegian origin. Bloomberg says the change comes as Statoil pursues a strategy that sets principles for the development of an energy portfolio that calls for 15% to 20% of its investments to be in “new energy solutions” by 2030. For more, read the full story.

Global, Ohio

U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods could hurt LNG exporters

New U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods could make it more difficult for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters to tap into China's booming energy market and get investors to put money into LNG projects, reports the Houston Chronicle. The newspaper says the Trump administration’s proposed policy, which calls for tariffs targeting roughly $60 billion in Chinese goods per year, “could exacerbate U.S. investors' anxiety over signing long-term LNG contracts with trading partners they already consider unreliable." For more, read the full story.

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South Korean company signs on as partner in Ohio ethane ‘cracker’ plant

South Korea-based Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd. has joined an effort to bring a $5 billion ethane “cracker” plant to Belmont County, Ohio, potentially making the project even bigger than had been proposed, reports Columbus Business First. The newspaper says Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical Public Company Ltd., the developer of the proposed cracker complex, announced March 12 that it has added Daelim Industrial as a partner on project. The companies are considering a plant that could produce 1.5 million metric tons of product a year -- 50% more than was originally anticipated -- resulting in a bigger capital investment and more jobs, according to Business First. For more, read the full story.

Global, Ohio

U.S. oil production expected to break record soon

U.S. oil production, led by record output in Texas, has averaged more than 10 million barrels a day for the first time since 1970 as “prices rose, drillers became more efficient and export markets grew,” according to the Houston Chronicle. The newspaper says the U.S. Department of Energy recently reported that domestic crude oil production reached 10.038 million barrels a day in November 2017, just below the record of 10.044 million barrels a day in November 1970. The Chronicle says the Energy Department and industry experts expect that production record to fall soon, enabling the United States to overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil producer by the end of 2019. For more, read the full story.

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Shell: $200 billion in investments needed to meet LNG demand

Reuters reports that Royal Dutch Shell estimates more than $200 billion of investments in liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects will be needed to meet increasing demand by 2030. The company said the LNG market is set to continue its rapid expansion into 2020 as facilities approved for construction in the first half of the decade come on line. In addition, Shell said a decline in spending in the LNG sector since 2014 due to weaker energy prices will create a supply gap from the mid-2020s unless new investments emerge. For more, read the full story.

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Mexico tops list for imports of U.S. liquefied natural gas

The federal Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy has released a new report that shows the number and volume of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from February 2016 through December 2017. The reports says Mexico was the top importer of U.S. LNG followed by South Korea, China, Japan and Chile. Click here to read the report.

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Canadian province to step up oil and natural gas development

The Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador has launched a 12-year plan to speed up and increase offshore oil and natural gas development while drawing global investment, reports the Canadian Press. The news service says the province will review regulations, enhance seismic data and advance cost-saving technology to extract more oil from existing sites, with a goal of doubling production by 2030. Newfoundland and Labrador also want to start commercial production of largely untapped natural gas reserves by 2030. For more, read the full story.


Shifting energy industry transforms geopolitics for Saudi Arabia

The New York Times reports that the changing nature of the energy industry, including the oil production boom in American shale fields, the persistence of lower crude prices and the rise of natural gas, has “transformed the geopolitical equation” for Saudi Arabia. The newspaper says the Saudis must compensate for their lost oil revenue, while the United States, China and Russia are “all circling in hopes of gaining a financial advantage.” The Times says Russia is moving to embrace Saudi Arabia for energy deals; China is seeking a stable flow of Saudi oil and investment dollars; and the United States is “willing to overlook those flirtations in the hope that Saudi Arabia will continue to be a strategic bulwark against Iran.” For more, read the full story.

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