Last updateWed, 21 Mar 2018 8pm


U.S. Poised to Overtake Russia as Biggest Oil Producer

“U.S. shale growth is very strong, the pace is very strong ... The United States will become the No.1 oil producer sometime very soon,” International Energy Agency (IEA) executive director Fatih Birol told Reuters. If it doesn’t happen this year then definitely in 2019, he added.

In terms of important developments outside of the U.S., Birol said that “Canada, especially the oil sands, and Brazilian offshore projects. These are the two major (non-U.S.) drivers.” 

Tight Oil Remains Leading Source of Future U.S. Crude Production

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that U.S. tight oil production will generally increase through the early 2040s, when it will surpass 8.2 million barrels per day (b/d) and account for nearly 70% of total U.S. production. Tight oil production made up 54% of the U.S total in 2017. Development of tight oil resources is more sensitive than nontight oil to different assumptions of future crude oil prices, drilling technology, and resource availability, but tight oil remains the largest source of U.S. crude oil production.

Recent growth in U.S. crude oil production has been driven by the development of tight oil resources, primarily in the Permian Basin. Three major tight oil plays in the Permian Basin—the Spraberry, Bone Spring, and Wolfcamp—accounted for 36% of U.S. tight oil production in 2017. Production from these three plays is projected to increase and to account for 43% of cumulative tight oil production through 2050. 

Total Forms $1.7B Petrochemical Joint Venture

Total S.A., Borealis AG and NOVA Chemicals have announced that affiliates of the three companies have signed definitive agreements to form a joint venture in petrochemicals on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The joint venture will commence subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals.

The joint venture will include an under-construction ethane steam cracker in Port Arthur, TX; Total’s existing polyethylene facility in Bayport, TX; and a new Borstar polyethylene unit at Total’s Bayport site, following a decision on the outcome of an acceptable EPC contract. 

U.S. Refiners Increasingly Turning to Export Markets

“U.S. gasoline consumption has leveled off as the stimulus provided by low and falling oil prices between 2014 and 2016 has faded, so refiners are increasingly turning to diesel and customers in emerging markets,” Reuters  reports.

“In geographical terms, the fastest growth in consumption will come from outside the United States and the other advanced industrial economies. Developing economies accounted for most of the growth in oil consumption between 2004 and 2014 but were hit hard by the slump in commodity prices during 2015 and 2016.” 

$900M Power Plant Planned for Indiana

Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana is proposing to install an additional 50 megawatts (MW) of universal solar and build an 800 to 900-MW natural gas-fired generation facility in addition to other critical investments that will significantly change the way the company generates power for the region.

The estimated $900-million natural gas facility, the cost for which includes the natural gas pipeline needed to serve it, would be constructed at the current site of the A.B. Brown power plant in Posey County, IN. The solar array will be located in Vectren’s electric service area in southwestern Indiana and will consist of more than 150,000 solar panels on nearly 300 acres. 



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