Last updateFri, 19 Apr 2019 3pm


U.S. Rig Count Drops Below 1,000

US drilling activity continued to plummet the week ended Apr. 17—down 30 rigs to 975 working, compared with 1,743 drilling during the same period a year ago, said Baker Hughes Inc.

It marks the first time since the end of April 2003 that fewer than 1,000 rotary rigs were working in the US and its waters, and it is the lowest rig count since the week ended Apr. 2, 2003, when 972 rigs were drilling.

Source: Oil & Gas Journal

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EPA Considers Higher Ethanol Mix

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has opened the door to allowing higher mixes of ethanol in gasoline, a potential boon to farmers and the struggling ethanol industry, but opposed by auto makers whose consumer warranties typically are tied to the current EPA standard.

The agency Thursday said it is seeking comment on whether to allow ordinary gasoline to consist of as much as 15% ethanol, an additive that has been heavily promoted by farm states. For decades, the EPA has allowed gasoline to include up to 10% ethanol.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Drug Makers Look to Biotech

Large pharmaceutical companies flush with cash expect an uptick in acquisitions of small and midsize drug companies, but executives say they're not going on reckless shopping sprees.

Deal hunters for Merck & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. told biotechnology executives and venture-capitalists at a conference earlier this month they envision an acceleration of acquisitions partly because valuations in the biotechnology sector have declined. But they emphasized that they will be disciplined.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Stimulus May Drive Inflation of Raw Materials

Federal stimulus dollars are rolling out to transportation, water infrastructure and other public works projects to help boost the sagging construction sector. But the $787 billion package also is expected to boost demand for raw materials such as concrete, asphalt, copper, cement and steel — and, consequently, drive up their prices.

Source: Phoenix Business Journal

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Shell, China Oil Cos May Make Joint Iraq Oilfield Bid

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is in advanced talks with China's two biggest state-owned oil companies on a possible joint bid to develop the Kirkuk oil field in northern Iraq, a person familiar with the situation said.


Shell, China National Petroleum Corp., the parent of Hong Kong-listed PetroChina Co., and China Petrochemical Corp., the parent of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., have yet to decide on equity stakes in the consortium, said the person, declining to be named.


Source: Wall Street Journal


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