Last updateWed, 21 Mar 2018 8pm


Interior Dept. Speeds Up Process to Lease Federal Land

In an attempt to “simplify and streamline” the process, “the U.S. Department of the Interior this week quietly removed Obama-era reforms to the leasing of federal land for oil and gas drilling,” Reuters  reports.

This just-released memo removes any reforms “aimed at including input from environmentalists and local tourist industry groups in the process of leasing federal land for drilling, which the oil and gas industry said was time-consuming and redundant.” 

Oil & Gas Lease Sales Generated $360 Million in 2017

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) state offices in 2017 generated nearly $360 million from oil and gas lease sales, an 86% increase over the previous year's results of $192.5 million. Among these sales, which together were the highest in nearly a decade, rights to a total of 949 parcels, covering 792,823 acres, were sold.

BLM New Mexico had the largest sale of the year, generating approximately $130.9 million in bonus bids on Sept. 7, while a BLM Wyoming sale on Feb. 7, generated $128.9 in total bonus bids. In 2017, the BLM conducted 28 lease sales around the nation. 

North Texas Water Reservoir Receives Permit

A permit has been issued for the long-awaited Lower Bois d’Arc Reservoir (LBCR). The permit was required under the federal Clean Water Act. The North Texas Municipal Water District has been working for over 15 years with federal, state and local officials on planning for the new lake.

Construction, estimated to cost more than $1.2 billion, is planned to begin this spring with completion in 2022. The Texas Water Development Board has already approved the money in low-interest funding for the project through the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) program, which is anticipated to save North Texas Municipal Water District and ratepayers nearly $200 million in financing costs. 

Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Comeback Set for 2018

The U.S. deepwater Gulf of Mexico sector has struggled since crude dropped in late 2014. However, as costs finally settle at a bottom and operators set a new standard for operational efficiency, 2018 might just be a turning point for the sector, according to Wood Mackenzie.

According to the insight, production of oil and gas in deepwater Gulf of Mexico is expected to reach an all-time record high in 2018 with 1,935 kboe/d forecasted (80% oil); surpassing the previous record in 2009 by nearly 10% and representing 13% growth year over year. 

China Passes S. Korea as No. 2 LNG Importer

“China imported 38.1 million tons of LNG in 2017, according to customs data released Tuesday. That’s more than the 37.6 million tons that South Korea imported last year, according to customs data that country released last week. In 2016, South Korea imported 33.5 million tons to China’s 26.1 million,” Bloomberg  reports.

“China could overtake Japan as the world’s No. 1 LNG importer as soon as 2025, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecasts.” 



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