Chevron to increase investments on shale, World's largest alpha olefins unit starts up in La, US Government shutdown breaks record

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Chevron to increase investments on Shale

Chevron will spend about $9 billion to $10 billion a year on “short-cycle investments” through 2022, primarily focused on the Permian Basin, the world’s biggest shale oil region, the company said in a presentation on its website on January 11.

The major oil companies were slow to join the U.S. shale boom, focusing on major offshore projects while watching independent wildcatters work out the technology before dipping their toes in. But now they’re investing heavily, attracted by the ability to ramp up production quickly and potentially reduce it if oil prices crash.

That’s a particularly useful trait when the future of oil and gas consumption is unclear, with electric vehicle usage growing and governments clamping down on greenhouse gas emissions.

“Most of our assets are competitive when tested against aggressive scenarios” such as the International Energy Agency’s sustainable development model, Chevron said. “Our portfolio is resilient and flexible.”

Other major oil companies like Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell are now significant contributors to the shale boom after building up their positions in recent years.

Shell began production at new US alpha olefins unit

Shell has started production at its fourth alpha olefins unit at its Geismar, U.S., complex, bringing total production of the material at the site to 1.3 million tonnes/year, the largest site in the world.

The new unit is part of Shell’s push to integrate the refining and chemicals side of its business.

US Government shutdown breaks record, impacts economy

A partial U.S. government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border entered its 26th day on Wednesday January 15, making it the longest shuttering of federal agencies in U.S. history.

The closure, which began on Dec. 22, broke a decades-old record by a 1995-1996 shutdown under former President Bill Clinton that lasted 21 days.

Roughly 800,000 federal workers did not receive paychecks that would have gone out on Friday January 11.

Economists now put the risk of a U.S. recession at the highest in more than six years amid mounting dangers from financial markets, a trade war with China and the federal-government shutdown.