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BP Approves Thunder Horse Expansion in Gulf

BP has sanctioned development of the Thunder Horse South Expansion Phase 2 project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The project will further boost output at one of the largest oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico and marks BP’s latest major investment in the U.S. offshore region.

The project is expected to add an estimated 50,000 gross barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) of production at its peak at the existing Thunder Horse platform, with first oil expected in 2021.

This upstream major project will add two new subsea production units roughly two miles to the south of the existing Thunder Horse platform with two new production wells in the near term. Eventually eight wells will be drilled as part of the overall development.


ExxonMobil Investing $2 Billion in Baytown Expansion

ExxonMobil will proceed with a $2 billion investment to expand its Baytown, TX chemical plant. The Baytown expansion is in addition to the company’s 2017 Growing the Gulf initiative, which outlined plans to build and expand manufacturing facilities along the U.S. Gulf Coast, creating more than 45,000 high-paying jobs across the region.

Feds Roll Back Blowout Preventer, Well Control Regulations

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has released the final improved Blowout Preventer Systems and Well Control regulations. The final revised rule leaves 274 out of 342 original Well Control Rule provisions – approximately 80% – unchanged. Sixty-eight provisions were identified as appropriate for revision, and 33 provisions were added to improve operations on the outer Continental Shelf.

Public Lands Hit Record Oil & Gas Revenues

Fiscal year 2018 was a record year for onshore oil and gas revenues on public lands due in large part to more streamlined permitting timelines and abundant acreage for lease as was highlighted in statistics released by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In 2018, the U.S. hit all-time highs for federal oil production on federal land, 214,144,945 barrels produced onshore, with the smallest footprint of acreage under lease (25,552,475 acres) since BLM started collecting comparable data in 1985 (120,686,611 acres).

U.S. Exporting a Record Volume of Ethanol

The U.S. exported 112,000 barrels per day (b/d) of fuel ethanol in 2018, surpassing the record high of 91,000 b/d set in 2017. At the same time, U.S. imports of fuel ethanol decreased about 30% in 2018 to less than 4,000 b/d, which resulted in the U.S. exporting more fuel ethanol than it imported for the ninth year in a row.

U.S. fuel ethanol exports grew nearly 25% in 2018 even though the number of export destinations decreased by half, down to 17 destinations in 2018. About half of all ethanol was shipped to Brazil or Canada, which increased annual U.S. fuel ethanol receipts (or imports) by 20% and 7%, respectively.

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