The Hayward Fault below the California cities of Oakland and Berkeley could cause a magnitude 7.0 earthquake at any given time, causing catastrophic damage, a US Geological Survey report says. The fault's last major quake was 150 years ago.
West Texas Intermediate crude settled 2.9% higher at $68.47 on Wednesday, the highest level since Dec. 1, 2014, while Brent crude ended the session up 2.7% at $73.48 per barrel, its strongest close since Nov. 26, 2014. The rally was supported by a better-than-expected US crude inventory report as well as sustained geopolitical tensions.
The Permian Basin's relentless growth is at risk of slowing as pipeline bottlenecks and shortages of materials and workers drive investors away from the region. The Permian Basin is one of the main drivers of global oil production, with output expected to top 4 million barrels per day within two years, but the play's recent challenges could force Permian producers to sell their oil at significant discounts and contribute to an increase in market volatility.
Private equity firms have recently accelerated investments in Houston's energy sector through oil asset acquisitions and new office openings in moves that illustrate the growing role private equity is playing in the US oil patch. This week, private equity player Ares Management teamed up with ARM Energy Holdings to develop Houston-based Salt Creek Midstream, Castle Harlan launched Titan Production Equipment after acquiring Exterran's production equipment manufacturing assets in North America, and New York-based Orion Energy Partners announced the opening of a Houston office.
US liquefied natural gas export terminals could see natural gas supply climb to 14.7 billion cubic feet per day within 10 years, helping increase exports to nearly 23 billion cubic feet per day after 2040 under the most conservative estimates, according to a report by consultancy ICF. The US exports 4 billion cubic feet of LNG per day, but that volume could more than double to almost 10 billion cubic feet per day next year.
US crude stockpiles declined by 1.1 million barrels last week, versus expectations for a 625,000-barrel increase, according to the Energy Information Administration. Gasoline and distillate supplies also fell by 3 million barrels and 3.1 million barrels, respectively.
Scientists have installed two sub-seafloor earthquake observatories off the coast of Gisborne, New Zealand, to study slow-slip quakes. The equipment will monitor rocks and sediment around the fault for signs of stress buildup or release, and one of the observatories will measure changes in the fault zone.
An earthquake centered near Kaki, Iran, about 100 kilometers east of the country's Bushehr nuclear power plant, shook parts of Iran, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait today, but no damage was immediately reported. The magnitude 5.5 quake occurred at a depth of 10 kilometers, the US Geological Survey said.
As land acquisition opportunities dry up in the Permian Basin, the land rush may be replaced by a wave of consolidations that will likely force small and mid-sized producers out of the region, according to analysts. Raymond James analyst John Freeman expects the number of Permian producers to drop by 50% in the next five years as big players such as Chevron, Concho Resources and Pioneer Natural Resources could seek to expand their Permian positions by acquiring smaller rivals so they can drill more and longer laterals, increase productivity and become more efficient.