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US to announce release of 15M barrels of oil from strategic reserve

US will release 15M barrels of oil

The U.S. will release 15 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserve, Biden administration officials plan to announce Wednesday.

The 15 million barrels are the final tranche of a disbursement of 180 million announced in March and come as energy prices threaten to rise again less than a month before Election Day.

Rising prices have emerged as a drag on Democrats as polls show the economy is one of the issues most top of mind for voters as they head to the ballot box. Early voting began in some states this week.

The sale comes after OPEC+ announced a production cut of 2 million barrels of oil per day earlier in October. Oil prices had dipped as low as $75 per barrel in September before rebounding after the OPEC announcement to more than $90. West Texas Intermediate crude is now at $83 per barrel.

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Research shows oil field flaring emits nearly five times more methane than expected

A new report says oil and gas emits five times more methan than expected

Flares, or fires lit at oil and gas wells to burn off excess gas that cannot be transported and sold, are a common sight at oil fields around the world. Some are even visible from space.

But a new study published in the journal Science Thursday found that the process is not eliminating nearly as much methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide, as assumed.

"Our findings indicate that flaring is responsible for five times more methane entering the atmosphere than we previously thought," says Genevieve Plant, lead author and assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan.

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Seismologists suspect explosions damaged undersea pipelines that carry Russian gas

Nord Stream pipeline leaks were caused by explosions

Two undersea leaks that began in the Russian-owned Nord Stream gas pipelines on Monday were likely caused by powerful underwater explosions, according to Swedish and Danish seismographic data.

It is "very clear from the seismic record that these are blasts," Björn Lund‬, director of the Swedish National Seismic Network at Uppsala University told NPR in a phone interview. "These are not earthquakes; they are not landslides underwater."

German and Danish officials said both the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines showed sudden losses of pressure late Monday, which they said could only be caused by a leak from large holes in the pipelines.

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Russian gas pipeline leaks caused by blast the size of earthquake

Gas pipeline leaks caused by explosion

Explosions rattled the Baltic Sea before unusual leaks were discovered on two natural gas pipelines running underwater from Russia to Germany, seismologists said Tuesday. Some European leaders and experts are pointing to possible sabotage during an energy standoff with Russia provoked by the war in Ukraine.

The three leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which are filled with natural gas but not delivering the fuel to Europe, overshadowed the inauguration of a long-awaited pipeline that will bring Norwegian gas to Poland to bolster the continent’s energy independence from Moscow.

The first explosion was recorded early Monday southeast of the Danish island of Bornholm, said Bjorn Lund, a seismologist with Uppsala University who is part of Sweden’s national seismic network. A second, stronger blast northeast of the island that night was equivalent to a magnitude-2.3 earthquake. Seismic stations in Norway and Finland also registered the explosions.

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Criticism intensifies after big oil admits ‘gaslighting’ public over green aims

Big oil gaslights public

Criticism in the US of the oil industry’s obfuscation over the climate crisis is intensifying after internal documents showed companies attempted to distance themselves from agreed climate goals, admitted “gaslighting” the public over purported efforts to go green, and even wished critical activists be infested by bedbugs.

The communications were unveiled as part of a congressional hearing held in Washington DC, where an investigation into the role of fossil fuels in driving the climate crisis produced documents obtained from the oil giants ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BP.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they wish bedbugs on you, then you win,” said Varshini Prakash, executive director of Sunrise. The organization accused Shell of a “legacy of violence and of ignoring the wellbeing of communities across the globe”.

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Drone strikes knock out half of Saudi oil capacity, 5 million barrels a day

Saudis shut down half of oil output after attackDrone strikes on Saudi Arabian oil facilities have disrupted about half of the kingdom's oil capacity, or 5% of the daily global oil supply, people with knowledge of Saudi's oil operations told CNN Business.
Yemen's Houthi rebels on Saturday took responsibility for the attacks, saying 10 drones targeted state-owned Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency.
Five million barrels per day of crude production have been impacted after fires raged at the sites, one of them the world's largest oil production facility, people with knowledge of the kingdom's operations said. The latest OPEC figures from August 2019 put the total Saudi production at 9.8 million barrels per day.

Wholesale energy prices dip below zero because of California’s solar power

Solar power in CaliforniaSolar power shines bright in California, and wholesale energy prices prove it. Last winter and early spring’s dependence on solar drove wholesale energy prices to negative prices, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Solar power in the California Independent System Operator accounted for nearly 40% of net grid power for three hours on March 11, 2017, the administration reports —a major first.

These figures don’t translate for the consumer into retail prices, which are based on averages. But the move will likely cause energy companies to pay more attention to green energy options.

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