Hurricane’s impact shows importance of U.S. Gulf as energy hub

A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) argues that the effects of Hurricane Harvey shutting down the Texas oil refining industry for several weeks “could soon all but evaporate the world's glut of gasoline and other fuels,” according to the Houston Chronicle. The Paris-based agency said the hurricane episode shows how important the Gulf Coast has become to global markets as a trading center that exports 4 million barrels of petroleum products a day. "The rise of the Gulf Coast as a major energy hub means that, in some respects, it can be compared to the Strait of Hormuz in that normal operations are too important to fail," IEA said. For more, read the full story.

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U.S. shale gas puts pressure on Canadian producers

Cheap and plentiful natural gas from U.S. shale plays is putting pressure on western Canadian gas producers in U.S. and eastern Canada markets, reports E&P. The magazine says the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ expectation is that natural gas exports to the United States will decline perhaps to about half of their current levels by the end of the next decade. The problem for Canadian producers is that shipping gas on TransCanada pipelines to eastern markets often costs as much as the price of the commodity itself, giving U.S. shale producers an advantage because of their proximity to market demand. For more, read the full story.

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China to develop two new shale gas fields

China plans to develop two new shale gas fields in the southern part of the country and open tenders for more oil and natural gas exploration blocks, according to Reuters. Government officials said China plans to start commercial production of shale gas in the city of Anye in Guizhou province and Yichang in Hubei province. Reuters also notes that China's efforts to “unlock its potentially massive shale gas resources have been stymied by the cost of drilling and geological complexity, with only a handful of discoveries now in commercial operations.” For more, read the full story.

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Bricker wins ILTA “Innovative Project of the Year” for pipeline project involvement

Bricker & Eckler shone at the 2017 International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) national conference, winning the top prize in one category of the Distinguished Peer Awards, “Innovative Project of the Year – External/Client-Facing Category,” for the firm’s development of a unique technology solution on behalf of an energy client. Read more >>

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U.S. company signs deal to develop LNG terminal in Ireland

Texas-based NextDecade has signed an agreement with the Port of Cork to develop a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Ireland that would use a dockside regasification process, reports the Houston Chronicle. The newspaper says NextDecade is planning to build a major LNG export terminal near Brownsville, Texas that would ship LNG sourced from Texas shale gas to Ireland. For more, read the full story.

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U.S., British companies to develop ethylene export terminal in Texas

Enterprise Products Partners LP and London-based Navigator Holdings Ltd. plan to create a 50-50 joint venture to develop an ethylene marine export terminal on the Houston Ship Channel, reports the Houston Business Journal. The newspaper says the proposed terminal would be built at Houston-based Enterprise’s Morgan’s Point complex, where the company already has the world’s largest ethane export terminal. Enterprise would manage construction, operations and commercial activities at the new terminal, while Navigator's fleet of 14 vessels would deliver the ethylene to customers, according to the Business Journal. For more, read the full story.

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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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