OIL PRICES FALL TO NEW 2017 LOWS
Oil prices on Tuesday fell to a new low this year, as investors remain skeptical about major oil producers’ efforts to buoy the market by withholding petroleum supplies, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil prices, fell 1.7% to $46.16 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, the benchmark for U.S. oil prices, West Texas Intermediate futures, was trading down 1.8% at $43.40 a barrel.
BIG OIL STEPS UP SUPPORT FOR CARBON TAX
Oil firms are jumping on the bandwagon to tax carbon emissions and slow climate change, reports Timothy Puko.
“Exxon Mobil Corp., BP PLC and General Motors Co. are among almost a dozen companies joining the Climate Leadership Council, a new organization that advocates replacing many environmental regulations with a simplified tax on businesses that release carbon into the atmosphere,” the Journal reports.
Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods used his first blog post in that role this February to say a “revenue-neutral carbon tax” would be a “sensible approach” to cutting carbon emissions.
Some members of the group have criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, a deal aimed at lowering global carbon emissions.
EQT, RICE ENERGY IN $6.7 BILLION NATURAL-GAS DEAL
EQT Corp. is set to buy Rice Energy Inc. for $6.7 billion in deal that’s expected to create the country’s biggest natural-gas producer, report Dana Mattioli and Erin Ailworth.
“EQT said the deal was driven by the opportunity to drill longer horizontal wells by adding Rice’s acreage to its own footprint. Rice’s pipeline assets will also allow EQT to get more of its natural gas to markets including the Gulf and to benefit from benchmark pricing at Henry Hub in Louisiana,” the Journal reports.
The companies are expected to have a combined output of over 3.5 billion cubic feet a day of natural gas, according to analysts.
The EQT, Rice deal is part of a string of mergers as natural gas producers cope with low oil and gas prices. Prolific oil drilling in the U.S. has unlocked a vast amount of natural gas that has depressed gas prices by 60% since June 2014.
UKRAINE STATE ENERGY CHIEF PRAISES SENATE MEASURE ON RUSSIA PIPELINE
A Ukraine official heaped praise on the U.S. Senate’s decision to target a Russian gas pipeline to Germany in sanctions legislation last week, reports Paul Sonne.
“Andriy Kobolyev, chief executive of Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz, said the Nord Stream 2 project—which would double the existing capacity of a natural gas link that runs from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea—goes against both U.S. and Ukrainian interests,” the Journal reports.
The Senate’s actions have previously drawn criticism from Austria and Germany as the sanctions could disrupt the construction of the pipeline which aims to boost Moscow’s gas exports to Europe.