WASHINGTON (AP) — Islamic State militants, who once relied on wealthy Persian Gulf donors for money, have become a self-sustaining financial juggernaut, earning more than $3 million a day from oil smuggling, human trafficking, theft and extortion, according to U.S. intelligence officials and private experts.
The extremist group's resources exceed that "of any other terrorist group in history," said a U.S. intelligence official who, like others interviewed, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss classified assessments. Such riches are one reason that American officials are so concerned about the group even while acknowledging they have no evidence it is plotting attacks against the United States.
The case laid out Tuesday by former Obama administration economic adviser Lawrence Summers for the lifting of the U.S. ban on crude oil exports had a familiar ring to it.
Summers, at the Brookings Institution, said the U.S. should reap the benefits of other countries becoming dependent on our oil boom, rather than leaving the market to OPEC nations. And he sees a chance to extend American influence through crude exports, as well as those of liquefied natural gas.
Fighting in Tripoli may have been escalating, but in the east of Libya, the key oil port of Es Sider is once again getting a flow of crude from oilfields after exports there resumed last week following a one-year hiatus, an official told The Wall Street Journal.
Mexican oil production could increase by as much as 75 percent over the next 25 years as a result of its move to open up the country’s energy industry to private investment, according to a prediction from the Energy Information Administration, The Hill reports.
CAIRO (AP) — Libya's largest export terminal begun loading a tanker Wednesday destined for Italy, its first shipment after a yearlong blockade over disputes between the central government, rebels and protesters, the country's oil corporation said.
The National Oil Corp. said on its website the tanker has been loading 600,000 barrels since early Wednesday. The central government had resolved a dispute last month with militias in the country's east that had caused exports from two of the country's oil ports to stop for almost a year.
As the U.S. launched air strikes on Islamic State militants in northern Iraq, two companies with Kurdish production – Afren and Oryx Petroleum – said they were cutting back in oilfields near fighting, while Genel said it was reducing personnel in the region, Reuters reports.
Weaker-than-expected demand in the U.S. has caused OPEC to trim its yearly forecast for a second straight month -- to 1.1 million barrels of oil a day -- although its production levels increased in July despite fighting in Iraq and Libya, Reuters reports.
Despite increasing violence in parts of Libya including the capital, a tanker has arrived in Brega and should leave next week bound for Genoa loaded with 750,000 barrels of crude, the port said on its Facebook page, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Agreements the White House has secured with major companies -- ranging from Coca-Cola to DuPont -- to limit and phase out their use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, will save the equivalent of 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2025, The New York Times reports.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported that electrical usage peaked at nearly 6,400 megawatts Tuesday, straining the region’s power grid, as a relentless heat wave continued to grip, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Libya’s move to shut its Shahara oilfield after a rocket attack on a linked refinery sent oil prices higher again Wednesday. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery was up 2 cents to $94.90 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London November Brent gained 45 cents to $99.50, Bloomberg reports.
Shell envisions years worth of exploratory Arctic drilling, with up to six wells on separate blocks in the Chukchi Sea, according to the company’s blueprint released to the public by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, FuelFix reports.
Two members of the California Energy Commission have recommended that the first phase of the Palen Solar Electric Generating System be approved despite continuing concerns of environmentalists worried about the project’s impact on the Joshua Tree National Park and the welfare of migrating birds, E&E reports.
After the Bureau of Land Management rejected his request to put a hold on leasing coal rights on federal land, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., says he will craft legislation to halt further leases until reforms to the program are initiated, The Hill reports.
Motivated by the shale gas boom, Texas A&M, which already has a campus in the Gulf state of Qatar, has gotten approval from authorities there to add a Gas and Fuels Research Center, with the goal of pressing ahead with new technologies for gas extraction, FuelFix reports.
Taking advantage of cheap natural gas prices, operations like NG Advantage LLC offer clients the option of converting to natural gas heating without pipelines, by bringing the fuel to them in big rigs in a "virtual pipeline," E&E reports.