Chevron, the US energy company, will carry out oil exploration off the Liberian coast later this year, giving the west African country the possible chance to join its neighbours as an oil-producing nation. Read more
Jim Mulva, chief executive of ConocoPhillips, has been in a hurry to establish his legacy. In the beginning, it was going to be as the head of one of the world’s biggest international oil and gas companies. And he got there, boosting Conoco into 5th place, in terms of production. But then the economic downturn hit, and the weaknesses in his grow-through-acquisition strategy were exposed. Conoco was forced to slash capital spending, lay off staff and sell billions of dollars in assets.
The big question for months has been what would happen if there was a significant spill in the deepwaters outside of the Gulf of Mexico. Following BP’s Macondo disaster, the industry worked together to build two spill response systems for this area. But nobody said what would happen if a deepwater disaster unfolded in the waters offshore Ghana or Brazil.
There is no doubt it is hard to feel sorry for Big Oil. It pulls in billions of dollars in profits whenever oil prices go up, and yet higher oil prices result in higher petrol prices for the public. So whenever these companies are doing well, the public is doing worse. And that, inevitably, leads to talk about punitive taxes (or at least a loss of tax breaks) for the oil industry.
The oil and gas industry has been afraid there might be repercussions from the recent investigation that found Macondo’s blowout preventer failed to close because a section of drill pipe had buckled during the accident and blocked efforts to seal it off. Read more
It’s been a long dirty fight, and it’s not over yet.
A judge in the rough-and-ready Ecuadorean border town of Lago Agrio may have ruled that Chevron should pay up to $8.6bn in damages for soil and water pollution and the creation of a local health service, but the cash will not be flowing anytime soon. Read more
[Michael Bromwich] When Michael Bromwich, head of permitting for the Gulf of Mexico (pictured), comes to Texas oil country on Friday, the message the industry hopes to deliver is that deepwater drilling will continue – with or without the US. Read more
At Chevron’s last shareholder meeting, five people were arrested. The company has for years now been having a hard time with protestors – particularly about a lawsuit about environmental damage allegedly left in Ecuador by one of the companies it acquired. And certainly the arrests of those who the company says were troublemakers at the meeting must have been a welcome turn of events for Chevron. Read more
A group of US investors have filed shareholder resolutions with nine oil and gas companies, pressing them to disclose plans for managing risks associated with the technology being used to extract gas from shale rock. Read more
The majors have a history of selling what they believe are their “cast offs” to the small, independent oil and gas producers because they see little value in them. When they all left the US for global markets, writing the US off as “mature” back in the 1970s, the independents picked up the pieces and carried on. Read more