Price of oil hits $70 a barrel, up nearly 50% since June

The New York Times reports that prices for Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, have risen nearly 50% since June 2018 and briefly passed $70 a barrel in Asian trading on January 16. The newspaper says the price hike comes during a period of political tension in Iran, a cold winter in the United States, a year of oil production cuts, a decline in oil stockpiles and “a buoyant global economy that has bolstered demand, meaning prices could go higher still.” For more, read the full story.


West Virginia official optimistic about construction of energy projects by Chinese company

West Virginia Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher says construction could begin this year in connection with a Chinese company’s $83.7 billion investment agreement to help develop the state’s energy and petrochemical industries, reports WV News. “In the three visits we’ve had (to China), there’s been a great sense of urgency (on the part of the Chinese),” Thrasher recently told state legislators when asked what activity may be seen in the next 12 to 24 months. In November 2017, Thrasher signed a memorandum of understanding with China Energy Investment Corp., which wants to take advantage of West Virginia’s supplies of Marcellus and Utica shale gas. For more, read the full story.

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Moody’s says oil and natural gas to continue recovery in 2018

Oil & Gas Journal reports that a new forecast by Moody’s Investors Service predicts the oil and natural gas industry will continue its slow recovery in 2018 “as upstream companies increase production, helping the midstream and services businesses as well.” Moody’s says excess supply will continue to dampen oil prices in the coming year, while natural gas prices will benefit from higher demand although price gains will still be limited. For more, read the full story.

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Proposed Mediterranean pipeline would move natural gas to Europe

A potential undersea pipeline carrying natural gas from large deposits in the eastern Mediterranean Sea near Cypress to Europe is "very realistic" and could help secure the continent's energy future, reports the Associated Press. Citing comments by Israeli Energy Yuval Steinitz, the news service says a study on the EastMed Pipeline project shows the pipeline is feasible even though it presents technical challenges due to the depths involved. Steinitz said the estimated $7.36 billion pipeline could take six to seven years to build. For more, read the full story.


Dominion does final testing before opening LNG export plant

Dominion Energy has introduced feed gas for testing the company’s new $4 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Cove Point, Maryland, reports Marcellus Drilling News. The testing is the final step before the plant goes online later this month. LNG from the Marcellus and Utica shale plays will be shipped from Cove Point to Japan and India, according to the news site. Click here to read more.

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West Virginia governor: China company ‘deathly serious’ about $83.7 investment plan

Although short on specifics during a recent press conference, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice was enthusiastic about a plan by China Energy Investment Corp. to invest $83.7 billion in natural gas and petrochemical projects in the state, reports the Wheeling Intelligencer/News-Register. "China wouldn’t be sending 28 people [to West Virginia] if they weren’t deathly serious about the whole thing,” Justice said. “They are traveling around the state and looking at sites and doing all kinds of different work. It’s more money than anybody can even imagine.” For more, read the full story.

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West Virginia listed in top 10 for oil and gas investment climate

The Fraser Institute's new survey of petroleum industry executives and managers lists West Virginia as one of the 10 most attractive jurisdictions for oil and natural gas investment worldwide. The survey by the Canadian think tank looked at barriers such as high tax rates, regulatory obligations and uncertainty over environmental regulations to investments in oil and gas exploration and production facilities. Joining West Virginia in the global top 10 were Oklahoma, North Dakota, Newfoundland, Labrador, Kansas, Saskatchewan, Norway, Wyoming and South Australia.

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Energy companies commit to reducing methane emissions

Eight companies -- BP, Eni, ExxonMobil, Repsol, Shell, Statoil, Total and Wintershall -- have committed to reduce methane emissions from the natural gas assets they operate around the world, including in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays, PennEnergy reports. The news site says the commitment was made as part of wider efforts by the global energy industry “to ensure that natural gas continues to play a critical role in helping meet future energy demand while addressing climate change.” For more, read the full story.

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Canadian company commissions facilities to boost access to Appalachian natural gas

Union Gas has commissioned its $622.5 million natural gas pipeline expansion and compression facilities in southwestern Ontario, Canada to increase access to gas from the Appalachian basin, reports Daily Commercial News. The news site says the facilities include additional compressors and related station facilities at the Dawn, Lobo and Bright compressor stations. They will move natural gas through the Dawn-Parkway System, which links markets in eastern Canada and the northeast United States with the Dawn Hub. For more, read the full story.

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Chinese natural gas projects expected to focus on Ohio River basin

Much of the development from an $83.7 billion deal with a Chinese company to invest in West Virginia's natural gas and chemical industries is expected to take place along the Ohio River basin, reports the Wheeling Intelligencer/News-Register. The newspaper says that while state officials did not release specifics about sites under consideration, West Virginia Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher has said a natural gas-fired power plant in Brooke County could be among the first projects funded. "The bulk of that [investment] activity will be in the Ohio River basin," Thrasher said, adding that is where the resources and sites for development are. For more, read the full story.

Global, West Virginia
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