Last updateFri, 18 May 2018 4pm


U.S. Raises Crude Output Forecast for 2018-2019

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that U.S. crude oil production averaged 10.5 million barrels per day (b/d) in April, up 120,000 b/d from the March level. EIA projects that U.S. crude oil production will average 10.7 million b/d in 2018, up from 9.4 million b/d in 2017, and will average 11.9 million b/d in 2019, 0.4 million b/d higher than forecast in the April Short Term Energy Outlook. In the current outlook, EIA forecasts U.S. crude oil production will end 2019 at more than 12 million b/d. 

Congress Considering $2.4B Water Infrastructure Bill

This week, members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works introduced America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018. The $2.4 billion bipartisan legislation aims to support the nation’s economic competitiveness by increasing water storage, providing protection from dangerous floodwaters, deepening nationally significant ports and maintaining the navigability of inland waterways across the country. The legislation will also repair aging drinking water, wastewater and irrigation systems. 

Most New Electric Capacity in 2018 Natural Gas, Renewables

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects nearly 32 gigawatts (GW) of new electric generating capacity will come online in the U.S. in 2018, more than in any year over the past decade. Although renewables accounted for 98% of the 2 GW added so far this year (based on data for January and February), EIA expects about 21 GW of natural gas-fired generators will come online in 2018. If these generators come online based on their reported timelines, 2018 will be the first year since 2013 in which renewables did not make up a majority of added capacity.

The newly added generating capacity in January and February 2018 included 2,029 megawatts (MW) of renewables, 27 MW of fossil fueled generators, and 28 MW of other technologies, mostly consisting of energy storage batteries. In February 2018, for the first time in decades, all of the new generating capacity coming online within a month were non-fossil-fueled. 

Oil & Gas Sector: Inspection, Maintenance Spending Insufficient

New research from DNV GL reveals that 46% of senior professionals in the oil & gas sector believe there has been underinvestment in inspection and maintenance of infrastructure and equipment in recent years. Just a quarter (28%) said that they expect to increase spending on safety in 2018. 61% will maintain current budgets and 5% plan to cut investment.

While cost efficiency has been the top, or a high priority, for more than 82% of senior industry professionals since 2015, 40% of respondents believe digital tools and technologies have already improved safety over the past three years. 

SABIC and ExxonMobil Advance Gulf Coast Project

SABIC and ExxonMobil have created a new joint venture to advance development of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, a 1.8 million ton ethane cracker currently planned for construction in San Patricio County, TX. The facility will also include a monoethylene glycol unit and two polyethylene units.

Construction of the project, announced in 2016, is pending completion of the environmental permitting process. The plant is expected to be operational in the 2021-2022 timeframe. 



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