An Oil Refinery Ablaze In Jiujiang

A fire at the Motiva refinery – the largest in the US – took more than half its capacity offline for at least two weeks. “The fires come on top of a nagging vibration problem with a key pipe in the plant’s biggest crude distillation unit, or CDU, that is expected to keep it running well below capacity for more than a year.” Motiva is owned 50-50 by Shell and Saudi Aramco. [Reuters]

Marathon and Cobalt announced yesterday morning that they had found natural gas at a deepwater well offshore Gabon. “Shares of both companies fell on the news, as investors were hoping for black gold, in big numbers, because of the premium oil brings.” France’s Total operates the well with a 42.5% stake. [Fuel Fix]

Large international oil companies are slowing land purchases in US shale plays, which could spell trouble for smaller companies, especially heavily indebted ones. “The deal-making slump, which may last for years, threatens to slow oil and gas production growth as companies that built up debt during the rush for shale acreage can’t depend on asset sales to fund drilling programs.” [Bloomberg]