Scientists used seismic techniques to estimate how much of the seafloor at mid-ocean ridges is made up of non-melted material rising from the Earth's mantle. The ridges mostly are formed by magmatic material emerging from the gaps between tectonic plates, but researchers found that up to 25% of the seabed in the spreading center of the Caribbean's Cayman Trough is created without volcanism.
Continental Resources Chairman and CEO Harold Hamm believes US oil prices have more room to increase in the future, potentially crossing the $80-per-barrel mark. "We're not looking at $100 oil in the future, or probably $90 oil, but it certainly could be in the mid-$70s and low $80s," Hamm said in an interview.
Images from the Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii show blue flames coming from cracks in pavement, a result of the methane generated when lava burns trees and other plants, scientists say. The methane can make its way through cracks away from the lava and can potentially cause explosions.
US crude inventories posted an unexpected build of 5.8 million barrels last week, versus analyst expectations for a 1.7-million-barrel decline, according to the Energy Information Administration. Gasoline stocks increased by 1.9 million barrels, while distillate supplies dropped by 1 million barrels.
Chinese state oil giant Sinopec has bought a record 16 million barrels of US crude oil to load in June as part of China's effort to shrink its trade deficit with the US. The purchase, valued at about $1.1 billion at current oil prices, would significantly boost China's imports of US crude from the roughly 330,000-barrel-per-day average for the six months ending in February.
Multiple factors are holding down US oil prices and contributing to a widening spread between WTI and Brent, write Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Peter Pulikkan and Fernando Valle. The phenomenon can be attributed to strong shale output, tapped-out refining capacity and export growth that's not quite fast enough to keep up, they write.
Marathon Petroleum, the second-biggest US refiner, has reportedly applied for a hardship waiver asking the Environmental Protection Agency to exempt one of its facilities from complying with the Renewable Fuel Standard for the 2017 calendar year.
A court hearing on the Keystone XL oil pipeline is set for today in Montana, during which attorneys for the Trump administration are expected to argue in favor of the controversial project. "While the importance of climate change was considered, the interests of energy security and economic development outweighed those concerns," the attorneys said recently.
The drilling industry has made improvements to artificial lift technology, which increases pressure to bring oil to the surface. Among the changes are upgraded beam pumping units and new developments in coiled rods, linear lift units, long stroke units for deep horizontal wells, and automation.
Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra has halted plans to award five offshore oil blocks to Tullow Oil. The company was planning an initial investment of $200 million in the blocks, but Vizcarra argued that the previous administration negotiated the contracts without giving coastal communities enough time to express their opinions.