Crude oil jumps as Trump hints at Russian-Saudi oil deal | US energy M&A activity subdued in Q1 | OTC conference scrapped due to coronavirus
April 3, 2020
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President Donald Trump said Thursday that Russia and Saudi Arabia could soon announce a deal to curb their oil production by 10 million barrels per day, or about 45% of their combined output. News of the potential end to the oil price war caused US oil prices to jump 35% and settle at a 25% increase, the largest single-day rise since 1983.
Full Story: BNN Bloomberg (Canada) (4/2),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/2) 
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Industry News
Dealmaking activity in the US exploration and production sector took a hit as oil prices plummeted, with only $770 million worth of deals struck in the first quarter of 2020, or about 10% of the average quarterly activity in the past decade, according to Enverus. "As painful as the downturn is, this may finally push the industry into healthy consolidation that leaves us with larger, more efficient, and better capitalized operators when the recovery starts," said Enverus analyst Andrew Dittmar.
Full Story: Forbes (4/2) 
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The Offshore Technology Conference, which attracts tens of thousands of participants to Houston each year, will no longer take place in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers initially planned to reschedule the event for August or September instead of May.
Full Story: Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (4/2) 
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Cheniere Energy is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to place into service its roughly 1.4-billion-cubic-foot-per-day Midcontinent Supply Header Interstate Pipeline by April 17. The pipeline stretches from Oklahoma's Anadarko Basin to the US Gulf Coast, where Cheniere has two liquefied natural gas export facilities.
Full Story: S&P Global Platts (free registration) (4/1) 
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Exploration & Production
Plummeting oil prices are forcing US hydraulic-fracturing companies to cancel contracts and cease operations. The oil and natural gas producers shut down roughly 31 fleets last week, contributing to a 40% drop in operations compared to a year ago, according to data company Primary Vision.
Full Story: Reuters (4/2) 
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Policy Watch
The Energy Department on Thursday unveiled plans to lease an initial 30 million barrels of storage in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to US oil producers, with potential to free an additional 47 million barrels of space. "Filling the SPR with crude oil, produced by American companies that are facing catastrophic losses and increased financial hardship, is a logical action for the federal government to take as we work to overcome the economic disruptions caused by COVID-19 and intentional, global oil market disruptions," said Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.
Full Story: The Hill (4/2) 
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The Oklahoma Energy Producers Alliance wrote a letter this week asking the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to implement production cuts in response to price weakness and "stop authorizing, permitting and approving the drilling of wells which result in 'economic waste.' "
Full Story: Reuters (4/2) 
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Special from the Shale SmartBrief
Private equity-backed energy companies are hedging aggressively in an effort to soften the blow of oil price volatility during the coronavirus pandemic, says Quantum Energy Partners CEO Wil VanLoh. Separately, a survey conducted by Enverus found that independent oil firms have the most hedges in place and that about 2.5 million barrels per day of US oil output is hedged above $50 per barrel.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (3/31),  Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (4/1) 
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API Update
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