EPA denies request for dredging extension
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has turned down Enbridge Inc.’s request for an extension to complete dredging of Michigan’s Kalamazoo River to clean up after a July 2010 oil pipeline spill.
Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge made the request earlier this month for the EPA to extend its deadline past Dec. 31. The pipeline company had said the request was due in part to opposition by some area residents over the two chosen dredge pad sites surrounding Morrow Lake in Kalamazoo County’s Comstock Township.
The EPA said Enbridge’s request was premature. The pipeline runs from Sarnia, Ontario, to Griffith, Ind.
Petroleos Mexicanos to explore shale gas
Mexico’s state-owned oil company says it will form a new entity to explore and produce shale gas and deep-water oil in U.S. territory.
The plan will help Petroleos Mexicanos, known as Pemex, acquire drilling techniques it now lacks for complicated terrain in Mexico, chief executive Emilio Lozoya said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Mexico’s oil production has dropped by about one-quarter over the past decade.
Pemex has so far been unable to exploit its shale and deep-water reserves, and the Mexican constitution limits its ability to hire outside expertise in Mexico. The government has proposed allowing Pemex to enter profit-sharing contracts with private companies and let outside companies refine and transport oil inside the country.
That would require politically controversial changes to the constitution, which states that Mexico’s oil belongs to the state.
PetroChina’s profit increases to $11B
State-owned PetroChina’s half-year profit rose to nearly $11 billion as Asia’s biggest oil producer increased output of crude and natural gas.
The company said its results also were helped by smaller losses at its refining and chemicals business after China reformed price controls to allow domestic fuel prices to more closely follow international prices. PetroChina said its January-June profit rose 5.6 percent from a year earlier to 65.5 billion yuan ($10.7 billion). Revenue rose 5.2 percent to 1.1 trillion yuan. Crude output grew 2.6 percent to 464.2 million barrels, and natural-gas production rose 8.1 percent to 1.4 trillion cubic feet.
Statoil sales stakes in North Sea oil fields
Norway’s Statoil says it has sold stakes in four North Sea oil fields for $2.6 billion. The deal is part of long-term plans to shift its focus toward more profitable — but capital-intensive — fields elsewhere on the Norwegian continental shelf.
Statoil says it will retain a majority interest of 51 percent in the Gullfaks and Gudrun fields after selling stakes of 19 percent and 24 percent, respectively, to the Austrian oil and gas company OMV.
Statoil says it also is selling OMV its 30 percent stake in the Rosebank field and 5.9 percent interest in Schiehallion as part of the deal.
The company said it will be able to redeploy a total of $7 billion in cash for investment in more profitable oil fields.
Midstates Petroleum to add 130 employees
Midstates Petroleum Inc. plans to hire about 130 people by the end of the year to work in the Mississippi Lime oil fields in northern Oklahoma, company officials said.
The Houston-based company expanded into Oklahoma this year when it acquired assets from Tulsa-based Eagle Energy LLC and Panther Energy.
Midstates Chief Operating Officer Steve Pugh said in August that the company expects to have about 100 employees in Tulsa by the end of the year, along with about 30 employees in the field. Midstates Petroleum says the company will extend employment offers to 64 employees who worked at Panther Energy.