Energy quick reads

** The top five Western oil and gas firms – BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell and TotalEnergies – returned to shareholders over $111 billion in dividends and share repurchases in 2023, according to Reuters calculation.

** US oil output will expand by only 160,000 barrels per day this year, a dramatic slowdown from the 1.02 million bpd jump seen in 2023, the Energy Information Administration outlined this week.

** The U.S. Postal Service announced sweeping plans Tuesday to reduce greenhouse emissions by diverting more parcels from air to ground transportation, boosting the number of electric vehicles, cutting waste sent to landfills and making delivery routes more efficient.

** U.S. natural gas futures have collapsed about 22% so far in 2024, reaching a three-year low on Wednesday as near-record output and mostly mild weather this winter depress heating demand.


** ExxonMobil said it plans to explore for oil and gas in a disputed area off South America’s coast where the Venezuelan military had previously expelled two U.S. oil companies. The move could escalate tensions between Venezuela and neighboring Guyana, which awarded the exploration license.

** Scientists and engineers near the English city of Oxford have set a nuclear fusion energy record, they announced Thursday, bringing the clean, futuristic power source another step closer to reality.

** Countries should secure supplies of oil and gas by sourcing locally, the boss of energy giant Equinor has said. Anders Operdal told the BBC energy security should be top of the agenda after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine saw supplies disrupted and prices hiked.

** As Puerto Rico struggles with chronic power outages and a decaying electric grid, federal officials believe the U.S. territory can fully shift from fossil fuels to clean energy by 2050, according to a report Wednesday that has been two years in the making.

** -The world’s three biggest wind power groups – Siemens Energy, Orsted and Vestas – on Wednesday gave a sober view of the year ahead for an industry buffeted by project delays, equipment problems and inflation.