1. U.S. looking into the largest ever oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico.
The largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history will take place a little over a month from now for waters in the Gulf of Mexico. According to an announcement from the Trump Administration, the official date is on March 21st. It is part of President Donald Trump’s America First Offshore Energy Strategy, which promises to expand fossil fuel activity to lower imports and create jobs.
The draft program, which is set to replace President Barack Obama’s leasing plan through 2022 (which restricted drilling in the Arctic and other federal waters), realizes the White House’s promise to encourage the American fossil fuel sector, even as the international community is looking to move more toward renewable and alternative energies in the fight against climate change.
2. Saudi Arabia reveals it's in talks with 10 other nations on its nuclear energy ambitions, asks for fairness from the U.S.
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister requested the U.S. to give his country the same rights as other nuclear nations as it pushes to process its own nuclear fuel, saying that it's currently in talks with 10 other countries should America refuse.
Saudi Arabia plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 to 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. It has invited U.S. firms to take part in the program but acceptance from Washington requires a country to sign a peaceful nuclear cooperation pact. Known as a 123 agreement, it separates civil and military nuclear facilities and aims to block the steps from nuclear fuel production to potential bomb-making applications. Countries like India have already signed up to such agreements with the U.S.
3 India is on the rise for oil demand.
Traditionally, everyone has been fixated on China and the pace of its oil demand and imports growth, but lately, India has grabbed the global spotlight after its oil imports rose to record highs amid strong economic growth and fuel demand. Projections of India’s long-term energy and oil consumption are also optimistic, and India is already a major oil demand growth driver.
Recently in India, high refinery runs and expanding refining capacity pushed crude oil imports to a record 4.93 million bpd in January 2018, up by double digits compared to both December 2017 and January 2017, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research & Forecasts.