March 2024, Vol. 251, No. 3

Global News

Global News March 2024

ConocoPhillips Grants Final Approval for Willow Oil Project

U.S. oil giant ConocoPhillips gave the financial greenlight to its $8 billion Willow oil and gas drilling project in Alaska.

(Photo: ConocoPhillips)

“With this project authorization, we've begun winter construction,” CEO Ryan Lance said. 

Environmental and indigenous groups in November asked a federal court in Alaska to temporarily bar ConocoPhillips from going forward with construction of the project in the state's Arctic, arguing a stay is necessary to stop imminent cultural and environmental harms. 

The Willow project area holds an estimated 600 million barrels of oil, and ConocoPhillips has said the project will produce up to 180,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak. 

The project development has been backed by Alaskan officials, who are hoping it will help offset oil production declines in a state whose economy relies heavily on the oil and gas industry. 

Exxon Gaining 1.2 mtpa of LNG from Mexico Pacific 

ExxonMobil LNG Asia Pacific signed a contract to buy an additional 1.2 mtpa of LNG for Mexico Pacific, the company said. 

The supply, from a proposed third train at Mexico Pacific’s Saguaro Energia project on the west coast of Mexico, will be purchased on a free-on-board basis over a 20-year term, Mexico Pacific said. 

With the agreement, Mexico Pacific has reached the sales required to make a final investment decision later this year on the third train, CEO Ivan Van der Walt said in a release to the media. 

The $15 billion Saguaro Energia project designed to ship 15 mtpa of LNG from the Permian Basin in the United States to Asia.

U.S. Proposes Fee on Methane from Big Oil, Gas Producers 

The United States put forward a fee requirement on emissions of methane from large oil and gas producers as required under the 2022 climate law.

The fee, proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, applies to large oil and gas facilities that report methane emissions of more than 25,000 mtpa of carbon dioxide equivalent. 

As directed by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the fee starts at $900 per ton in 2024, increases to $1,200 for 2025 and $1,500 for 2026 and beyond, the EPA said. It only applies to the emissions that exceed the specified levels. 

Over time, fewer facilities will face the charge as they reduce their emissions and become eligible for compliance exemptions, the EPA said, adding it act as a backstop to wider regulations on the greenhouse gas from energy operations. 

“Today’s proposal, when finalized, will support a complementary set of technology standards and historic resources from the Inflation Reduction Act, to incentivize industry innovation and prompt action,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a media release. 

In December, the EPA finalized a wider rule on methane from oil and gas operations at the COP28 climate talks in Dubai, which bans routine flaring of natural gas produced by newly drilled oil wells. 

Talos Acquire QuarterNorth Energy for $1.29 Billion 

Talos Energy will boost its presence in Mexico through the purchase of $1.29 acquire of privately held QuarterNorth Energy in a cash-and-stock deal transaction. 

QuarterNorth, an exploration and production company with ownership in six major fields, will add about 30,000 MMboe/d) for the full current year and about 69 MMboe in proved reserves.

“(Low decline rate) requires a little lower reinvestment rate particularly for next year, maybe even into 2025 and that’s going to generate a lot of free cash flow,” said Talos CEO Timothy S. Duncan, during a conference call. 

Talos was one of only a few companies that made significant finds in the offshore oil and gas exploration areas of Mexico last year. Several companies, including Chevron and Repsol ceased looking after disappointing results.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of the current year. 

Blinken Pushes Bosnian Lawmakers to Pass Gas Pipeline Law  

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken Bosnian lawmakers to approve legislation that would allow construction of a natural gas pipeline with Croatia, as an alternative to relying on gas from Russia. 

In a letter to Bosnia's Foreign Minister Elvedin Konakovic, published by news provider, Blinken called on and end what he called official obstruction “on this matter.” 

Bosnia relies solely on Russian gas supplies, which it is shipped via Serbia through the TurkStream pipeline.

The project to build the South Interconnection Gas Pipeline, bringing natural gas to Bosnia from an LNG terminal on the Croatian island of Krk, was approved two years ago in the lower house, but has been blocked in the upper house. 

“We urge the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina House of Peoples to pass the law on the Southern interconnection,” Blinken’s letter said. 

Flowmeter Market Grow on Strength of Expansion

A new research study found that the worldwide ultrasonic flowmeter market has been driven to new levels of growth by the oil and gas industry. 

The World Market for Ultrasonic Flowmeters, 7th Edition, conducted by Flow Research, showed that the worldwide ultrasonic market totaled $900 million in forecast a 6.9% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $1.26 billion by 2027. 

“Ultrasonic flowmeters will play a pivotal role in flow measurement as the world transitions away from fossil fuels,” according to Jesse Yoder, president of Flow Research.

The oil and gas industry is by far the largest consumer of ultrasonic flowmeters, the research showed, accounting for as much as 60% of the meter’s growth rate. Upstream applications make up a significant portion of these revenues, although midstream and downstream applications are also significant, Yoder added. 

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