British Petroleum (BP) announced this week that they are selling their Alaska operations to Hilcorp Energy Co. for $5.6 billion dollars, ending their six-decade existence in “The Land of the Midnight Sun.” The sale to Hilcorp Energy Co includes BP’s stake in the Prudhoe Bay oil field, the Point Thomson gas field and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The deal makes Hilcorp Energy Co. the second largest Alaska producer, between leader ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil. The proposed deal is subject to state and federal regulatory approval but the deal is expected to be finalized in 2020, according to BP.
Halliburton Co. announced this week that it has cut eight percent of its North American workforce as a response to a slump in demand for hydraulic fracturing and have removed unused fracking equipment in the United States and Canada. The Houston-based contractor and world’s biggest provider of fracking equipment made the decision to downsize personnel after its revenue fell thirteen percent in the second quarter of this year. Halliburton has 60,000 employees worldwide and although an official number of jobs to be cut was not announced, it will most definitely affect their employees in the natural gas shale field.
Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc (PES) announced Wednesday that they are shutting down operations within the next month after the explosion and fire that occurred in the early morning of June 21. The refinery is the oldest and largest on the East Coast of the United States that once produced 335,000 barrels-per-day. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but the aftermath of the explosion is being felt immediately, in not only the local region but also the entire eastern seaboard.
President Trump stated Thursday night that the United States would begin a series of escalating tariffs on all Mexican imports beginning June 10th, unless Mexico and United States lawmakers take immediate steps to stop the flow of illegal immigration into the United States. The tariffs on imports would start at 5% in June and increase to 15% by August 1st, then to 20% by September 1st and then raised to 25% by October 1st.
On May 2nd, the United States’ waiver period that granted eight nations to continue importing Iranian oil without penalty has ended. The countries who granted extensions that ended are China, India, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. As of today, only Italy, Taiwan and Greece have halted their purchases of Iranian produced oil. The United States now faces the dilemma of either granting further extensions to the waiver thus backing down from their threats, or risk creating further global tension by sanctioning the countries that continue to do business with Iran.