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  1. Western Gulf of Mexico lease sale activity continues to dwindle

    Results published by the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) indicate a new low in industry interest for western Gulf of Mexico lease sales. Just three firms submitted 24 bids on 24 blocks in Lease Sale 248 on Aug. 24, BOEM reported from the event in New Orleans. Bids totaled $18 million. As with last year’s western gulf sale, Australia’s BHP Billiton Petroleum (Deepwater) Inc., a BHP Billiton Ltd. company, was the most active firm, submitting 12 bids totaling just fewer than $10 million. Its highest bid was $1.1 million on Alaminos Canyon Block 127, but most of its bids were in the East Breaks area. BP PLC subsidiary BP Exploration & Production Inc., the most active firm in the western gulf sale of 2 years ago, accounted for 10 bids in this year’s sale totaling $6.3 million. All of its bids were in the Garden Breaks area. The single highest bid came from ExxonMobil Corp. , which targeted East Breaks Block 590 at $1.12 million. The sole US firm to participate in the sale, ExxonMobil placed just two bids overall, both in the East Breaks area, totaling $1.8 million. Fourteen bids sought 7-year lease terms while the remaining 10 sought 5-year terms. Fourteen bids targeted blocks in 400-800 m of water while the rest targeted those in 800-1,600 m of water. Drawing the fewest bids and lowest sum of high bids since regional sales began in 1983, Lease Sale 248 offered 4,399 tracts covering 23.8 million acres located 9-250 nautical miles offshore in 3,340 m of water. Bids tapering off BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper attributed the light activity in the Aug. 24 sale to “today’s market conditions and industry’s current development strategy.” Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), reiterated the results “are indicative of the current market conditions and regulatory environment.” In a separate statement released on Aug. 23, Luthi noted Mexico’s possible role in the sale. “With the recent changes in Mexican law, our neighbor to the south is eager to attract US companies into their portion of the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “The continuing onslaught of ever-changing US regulatory policies may tilt companies towards investing more in Mexican waters and thus dampen interest in this sale.” Last year’s western gulf Lease Sale 246, the previous low point in activity, ended with 5 firms submitting 33 bids on 33 tracts, totaling $22.7 million in apparent high bids ( OGJ Online, Aug. 19, 2015 ). It offered about 4,000 tracts on 22 million acres. Held during a month in which the Brent crude oil spot price averaged above $100/bbl, western gulf Lease Sale 238 in 2014 saw 14 firms place 93 bids on 81 tracts, with a sum of apparent high bids at $110 million ( OGJ Online, Aug. 20, 2014 ). It offered about 4,000 tracts covering 21.6 million acres. Lease Sale 248 is the 11 th gulf sale and the final one for the western planning area under the Obama administration’s Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing program for 2012-17. The first 10 sales in the current 5-year program offered more than 60 million acres and netted nearly $3 billion. Contact Matt Zborowski at matthewz@ogjonline.com .

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 24 Aug 2016

  2. North Carolina has more PURPA-qualifying solar power facilities than any other state

    North Carolina surpassed states with more favorable solar power resources to become the state with the second-highest amount of installed utility-scale solar PV capacity owned by independent power producers in 2015, behind only California.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 23 Aug 2016

  3. North Carolina Surpasses Other Solar-Favorable States With 2015 Installed Capacity

    North Carolina has the second-highest amount of installed utility-scale solar photovoltaic owned by independent power producers in 2015.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 26 Aug 2016

  4. A jolt to the system: Rate making in an era of disruptive change

    Technological innovation, consumer empowerment and federal environmental mandates are transforming the electric grid

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 21 Jul 2016

  1. PHMSA proposes new hazardous liquids pipeline safety regulations

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 2 Oct 2015

  2. Senate Democrats unveil clean energy bill

    Schumer takes shot at GOP's 'drill baby, drill' refrain

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 23 Sep 2015

  3. Idaho Cuts Solar and Wind Contracts to Two Years

    At the end of August, in a surprise decision; Idaho's PUC ruled in favor of Idaho's investor-owned utilities, and new contracts will be for two years only.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 22 Sep 2015

  4. Idaho Power contests proposed central Idaho solar power projects

    The Idaho Public Utilities Commission last week opened a case concerning Site Based Energy's solar power project near Bellevue and is taking public comments through Aug. 14. 

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 3 Aug 2015

  5. Power news: Idaho Power submits 20-year plan to Idaho and Oregon

    The company predicts an increase from 516,000 power customers to 711,000 in 20 years. 

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 9 Jul 2015

  6. Interconnections and smart grid vital for flexible Europe power system says report

    The role of interconnectors and smart grid technology in delivering a flexible power system in Europe has been highlighted in a new report.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 27 Jan 2015

  7. Solar power heating up in Idaho

    The Idaho Public Utilities Commission in the last several months has approved agreements with 13 solar power projects

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 20 Jan 2015

  8. Market Research: US energy regulation is not repeating itself, just changing its color

    When charting important U.S. energy market developments from the Progressive Era to present, it becomes clear that the boom and bust cycles that have characterized industry developments have had deleterious effects.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 30 Sep 2014

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