St. John oil suit blames lost wetlands for increased flood risk

Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, which represents many of the small energy firms that operate in coastal Louisiana, reiterated his group’s opposition to this and other parish damage suits.

This is just more of the same from the same small group of trial lawyers,” Briggs said. “We know the biggest challenges facing this state now is loss of employment, particularly in the oil and gas industry. Now is the time to call on our state leaders to push back against theses frivolous and fallacious lawsuits and restore confidence in those companies wanting to invest in Louisiana.”

In some cases, the St. John suit says, the wastes could include naturally occurring radioactive material that can be released from a well while drilling or during production. These include radium 226 and radium 228…


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Trump To Order Review Of Offshore Drilling Bans

U.S. President Donald Trump on April 28 will order a review of offshore areas currently off-limits to oil and gas drilling to determine which might be reopened, in his administration’s latest move to expand domestic energy production.

The order could lead to a reversal of bans on drilling across swathes of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans and the Gulf of Mexico that former President Barack Obama’s administration sought to protect from development.

“It is better to produce energy here than be held hostage by foreign entities,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters on April 27 in a briefing about the executive order, which will be called the America-First Offshore Energy Strategy…


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OPEC, Non-OPEC Ministers Urges for 100% Implementation of Oil Cut Deal Terms

The JMMC, the joint committee of ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers, said on Friday that it was content with the progress made with the implementation of the Vienna agreement on reduction of oil output, and has urged the participating countries to push for 100 percent fulfillment of all obligations.

“The JMMC expressed its satisfaction with the progress made towards full conformity with the voluntary production adjustments and encouraged all participating countries to press on towards 100 percent conformity,” the committee said.

According to the committee, both the OPEC member-states and the non-OPEC countries reached a 98 percent level of achievement of all obligations in March, which was a 4 percent increase in comparison with the results from February…


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Russia reaches almost full compliance with oil output cuts

Russia’s oil production cuts have reached almost 300,000 barrels per day, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday, in line with its pledge to curtail output as part of a global pact. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, along with Russia and other leading non-OPEC producers, pledged to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2017 to shrink bloated inventories and support prices. Novak said that on average, Russian oil production declined by 254,000 bpd from April 1-26 compared with the reference level of October.

“There will be a cut by 300,000 by the end of the month,” he said.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, who has been on tour to the energy-rich ex-Soviet countries of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, said on Friday that Russia’s contribution to the output pact in April was good…


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Oil Prices Rebound in Asia After Latest Bout of Selling

Oil prices rebounded amid some bargain-hunting after a fresh slide overnight to one-month settlement lows.

Futures have steadily risen in Asian trading Friday, with global benchmark Brent erasing the decline logged overseas Thursday. June Brent on London’s ICE Futures exchange was recently up 0.8% to $51.83 a barrel while light, sweet crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 1.1% to $49.49 in the Globex electronic session after falling 1.3% a day earlier.

Pressuring the market anew Thursday was continued doubts about whether ongoing production cuts led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are enough to eliminate the ongoing glut of oil in global stockpiles…


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World Bank Maintains Oil Price Forecast At $55

In its latest Commodity Markets Outlook, the World Bank maintained its Q1 forecast for oil prices at $55 a barrel, saying, however, that overall energy prices will increase 26 percent in 2017.

The WB is overall optimistic for oil, expecting supply to tighten in the current quarter as OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts start to affect global supply. In that, the institution differs from some energy analysts who are markedly bearish on oil prices.

Based on this optimism, the World Bank expects crude prices to reach $60 a barrel next year – the price level that Middle Eastern producers would like to see sooner rather than later. Oil is unlikely to go much higher than this, however, the WB argues, shale output increases will limit the upward potential of prices…


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Turkish cenbank revises down oil price assumptions to $55 from $57

Turkey’s central bank has revised down assumptions for crude oil prices to $55 from $57 but is maintaining its annual food inflation forecast for 2017 at 9 percent, Central Bank Governor Murat Cetinkaya said on Friday.

Food inflation will fall to 7 percent in 2018, he said.

Speaking at a quarterly presentation, Cetinkaya said the bank would not give early reaction to changes in inflation. He described current monetary policy as tight, and said it would be tightened further if necessary…


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Oil rebounds from one-month low on hopes for output cut extension

Oil prices rebounded on Friday after dropping to a one-month low the previous day, prompting investors to buy at cheaper levels ahead of a May OPEC meeting at which producers could extend output cuts.

Optimism is rising about the prospect of a year-long production curb deal, with most analysts polled by Reuters expecting the accord between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers, struck at the end of last year, to be extended to the end of the year.

“OPEC … effectively said the production cut will be extended, meeting the reality of the restart of a big Libyan oilfield and the continued expansion of U.S. shale oil,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at brokerage AxiTrader…


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Exxon profits surge amid higher oil prices

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s profit more than doubled in the first quarter, as its oil-production business swung back from a loss amid rising crude prices, the company said Friday.

The Irving, Texas-based oil company made $4 billion, or 95 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared to $1.8 billion, or 43 cents a share, in the same three-month period last year. Its revenue climbed to $63.3 billion to $48.7 billion.

It spent about $4.2 billion in capital expenditures, down from $5.1 billion the same time last year. Its shareholder dividends cost $3.1 billion. Exxon pumped 4.2 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, down 4 percent from a year ago…


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House Democrats left wanting more details from Republicans on state budget

Just days after opposition from Republicans doomed a key piece of the governor’s budget-solving strategy, House Democrats say they are still waiting for a credible budget plan from the chamber’s GOP leadership.

Two House Republican leaders briefed Democrats Thursday on their ideas to head off next year’s “fiscal cliff,” when $1.3 billion in temporary taxes expire in the state’s $9.5 billion portion of the budget, but members walked away uninspired.

“I didn’t hear a plan,” state Rep. Andy Anders, D-Vidalia, said after the meeting…


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