Natural Gas


Myanmar awards 20 oil exploration blocks

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Major oil companies including Total, Chevron, Woodside Energy and Shell have won bids for offshore oil and gas exploration blocks off Myanmar's western and southern coasts, the country's Energy Ministry said Wednesday.

An announcement on the ministry's website said 13 oil companies won bids to explore in 10 shallow water blocks and 10 deep water blocks in the Gulf of Martaban and Tanintharyi, off the western state of Rakhine.


Houston bayou's evolution into busy port ongoing

HOUSTON (AP) — A century ago, the Houston Ship Channel was nothing more than a bayou meandering into the Gulf of Mexico. Today, massive ocean-going vessels carrying thousands of containers zip in and out of the channel, where a barge collided with a ship over the weekend, spilling 170,000 gallons of gooey tar-like oil into the water.

Though the cause of Saturday's crash is still under investigation, the increase in ship congestion highlights the need for more maintenance, dredging, high-tech navigation systems and other improvements to ensure safe travel through the narrow waterway. Add to this a domestic oil boom, exports of liquid natural gas, the expected expansion of the Panama Canal and the whiff of possible trade relations with Cuba and the growth takes on broad economic and safety implications.

Office of Sen. Mary Landrieu

Landrieu gets mixed reception from fellow Democrats on gas exports

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Mary Landrieu on Tuesday used her first hearing in the post to firmly side with advocates for exports of U.S. energy, which she said will create jobs and undermine Russian President Vladimir Putin's control of natural gas supplies to Europe.

But she also encountered Democratic resistance to unlimited exports, which senators said could undercut new manufacturing and raise prices.

Parnell signs order establishing advisory board for LNG project

UNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sean Parnell has signed an administrative order creating a municipal advisory board to weigh in on issues related to the liquefied natural gas project.

Mayors sought assurances they would have a voice on terms affecting local communities, including proposed payments in lieu of taxes. They also expressed concern about ensuring existing oil and gas properties, such as the trans-Alaska pipeline system, from which communities derive taxes currently, are not affected.

Italy's Eni optimistic about Libyan gas supplies

MILAN (AP) — The CEO of Italian energy company Eni says he's optimistic that Italy has a secure gas supply from Libya in case imports from Russia are hurt by sanctions. But the amounts, analysts warn, are dwarfed by the size of Russian supplies.

Italy and other European countries are assessing their energy supplies amid concerns that imports from Russia might be pinched in the case sanctions between Moscow and Western powers are escalated. For Italy, Libya has been a key source of gas, but the country's production has not recovered fully since its civil war in 2011 due to continuing security issues.

Houston Ship Channel shutdown points to need for diversity


With U.S. natural gas liquids exports effectively halted by the spill in the Houston Ship Channel, observers are pointing to the need to find other ports that can handle some of the traffic, Bloomberg reports.

Pa. fracking activist wants back on driller's land

A high-profile anti-fracking activist who often gives tours of natural gas drilling sites in northeastern Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region asked a judge Monday for relief from an order barring her from stepping foot on more than 300 square miles of land owned or leased by one of the state's leading natural gas drillers.

Vera Scroggins said the injunction, in place since October, has effectively prevented her from traveling to her favorite grocery store, eye doctor, hospital, restaurants, businesses and friends' homes because all of them have leased land to Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.

Freeport LNG photo

DOE says House gas exports bill leaves out public

An Energy Department official has cautioned lawmakers that a natural gas exports bill backed by House Republicans would effectively end the public's input into decisions about how much U.S. liquefied natural gas gets sent overseas.

In prepared remarks for a hearing Tuesday before a House subcommittee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas Paula Gant said the bill would immediately approve an additional 26.6 billion cubic feet per day of LNG exports to non-free trade agreement countries, about triple the amount already authorized by the department.


As Obama rallies Europe, DOE approves more natural gas exports

Advocates for expanded natural gas exports cheered the Energy Department's approval on Monday of the planned Jordan Cove terminal in Coos Bay, Ore., but those who have urged caution warned of possible domestic price impacts.

The department approved the export of up to 800 million cubic feet per day in liquefied natural gas from the terminal to nations without a free trade agreement with the U.S. The approval came the same day President Barack Obama met with European leaders to discuss the Ukraine crisis, and a day before hearings planned in the House and Senate in support of greater gas exports.


Oil rises slightly as Gulf waterway closes

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil edged higher Monday as traders waited to see how long a key transit route in the Gulf would be closed following an oil spill there.

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery rose 14 cents to close at $99.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, slipped 11 cents to $106.81 a barrel in London.

On Saturday, a barge carrying about 900,000 gallons of heavy oil collided with a ship in the Houston Ship Channel, spilling as much as 168,000 gallons into one of the world's busiest waterways. More than 80 ships have been forced to wait to enter or leave the bay.


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