Oil, gas industry prepare for hurricane season | EIA: US crude inventories fall for 3rd consecutive week | Water permit denied for N.C. gas pipeline
August 13, 2020
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Oil, gas industry prepare for hurricane season
(Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images)
Oil and natural gas companies are getting ready for hurricane season by conducting virtual drills, tracking storm formation, reviewing flood maps and using drones and other technologies, industry groups said. "Our infrastructure is exposed to these storms, especially in the offshore, but operators have taken tremendous steps over the years to improve not only their ability to withstand storms but also how they're able to recover when impacts do occur," said American Petroleum Institute Manager of Operations, Security and Emergency Response Policy Suzanne Lemieux.
Full Story: S&P Global Platts (free registration) (8/12) 
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Industry News
US crude stockpiles slumped for a third week in a row last week, by 4.5 million barrels per day, roughly in line with analyst forecasts, according to the Energy Information Administration. Gasoline and distillate inventories also declined by 700,000 barrels and 2.3 million barrels, respectively.
Full Story: MarketWatch (tiered subscription model) (8/12) 
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The MVP Southgate gas pipeline in North Carolina, which is related to the troubled Mountain Valley Pipeline, has been denied a key permit. The North Carolina Division of Water Resources cited uncertainty over the master project, making permission for MVP Southgate "inconsistent with principles of minimization."
Full Story: The News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.) (8/11) 
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In an effort to cut costs by about a third, Tellurian has dropped plans for three of four pipelines it had proposed to build during the first phase of its Driftwood LNG export project in Louisiana. Phase one of the project will now include only the terminal and the 4-billion-cubic-foot-per-day Driftwood pipeline, although the three deferred pipeline projects could be revived if market conditions improve.
Full Story: S&P Global Platts (free registration) (8/12) 
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Exploration & Production
Southwestern Energy plans to purchase rival Montage Resources in an all-stock deal that will expand Southwestern's Marcellus Shale position to more than 786,000 acres. Montage shareholders will get 1.8656 shares of Southwestern stock for each share of Montage stock, which puts the value of the deal at around $210 million based on current stock prices.
Full Story: Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (8/12) 
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Refining & Marketing
Oil refiners in the western US are looking to tap into the growing market for biofuels and are taking advantage of tax credits to convert their refineries into renewable diesel plants. Phillips 66 on Wednesday announced plans to retool its 120,000 barrel-per-day Rodeo refinery near San Francisco into a renewable diesel plant, following similar recent announcements by Marathon Petroleum and HollyFrontier.
Full Story: Yahoo/Bloomberg (8/12) 
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Policy Watch
The White House Office of Management and Budget has finished reviewing a pair of final rules that would roll back an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler is expected to sign the bills and unveil the final language this week.
Full Story: E&E News (subscription required) (8/11) 
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Special from the Shale SmartBrief
Improved efficiency has allowed Permian Basin shale producers to reduce well costs by roughly one-fifth since last year, which could result in higher well productivity as drillers double down on their most lucrative properties, according to Macquarie Group analysts. However, greater efficiency could squeeze oil prices because it signals to the market that drillers can keep pumping oil even if prices are below $40 per barrel, the analysts warned.
Full Story: Yahoo/Bloomberg (8/10) 
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API Update
EVENT | 15th Annual API Cybersecurity Conference, November 10-12, API Virtual Event Platform
This conference is organized by API to provide an opportunity to network with cybersecurity professionals, and to candidly discuss challenges and share solutions. These sessions, essential to cybersecurity, are chosen and presented by recognized experts in the field. Conference topics now include pandemic and oil markets lessons learned. See the program details for the virtual conference features and benefits.

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API eLearning Training Course | WorkSafe Contractor Safety Program
The "new" API WorkSafe Contractor Safety Program focuses on key points from the second edition of API Recommended Practice 1646, Safe Work Practices for Contractors Working at Retail Petroleum/Convenience Facilities. This interactive training program includes 14 modules designed to provide general awareness of safety issues and minimum procedures associated with maintenance and construction work at retail petroleum and convenience facilities. Contractors who complete the training and pass the final assessments will receive their API WorkSafe qualification certificate. Now available in Spanish. To learn more, visit www.apilearning.org.
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