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Shell Says it Will Drill Off Alaska if it Can Get Permits

January 30, 2015 | by DAN JOLING, Associated Press | Comments

Royal Dutch Shell PLC will move forward with drilling off Alaska's northwest coast if it can obtain permits it needs and drill safely, its chief executive officer said Thursday. Speaking in London on the company's fourth-quarter earnings, Ben van Beurden said Shell will move forward with its plan to use two drill vessels in the Chukchi Sea, subject to getting permits and legal clearance.

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Report: Governments Should Phase Out Emphasis on Bioenergy

January 29, 2015 4:58 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | Comments

A report released by a global research group recommends that governments cease most attempts to bolster bioenergy production, arguing they "undercut efforts to combat climate change and to achieve a sustainable food future."

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Shell to Slash Investment After Oil Price Drop Hurts Profit

January 29, 2015 10:41 am | by DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press | Comments

In a sign of the impact on the oil sector of the slump in energy prices, Royal Dutch Shell Plc said Thursday it plans to cut spending by $15 billion over the next three years amid a drop in earnings. Shell is the first major energy company to report earnings, so its quarterly update is watched for hints on the performance of the wider industry.

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With Lower Oil Prices, Sasol Delays Plan For Louisiana Plant

January 29, 2015 10:32 am | by Associated Press | Comments

Amid falling oil prices, a South Africa-based energy company is delaying final plans for a $14 billion gas-to-liquid plant in Louisiana. Sasol made the announcement Wednesday in a news release about its plans to conserve cash in response to lower world oil prices.

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Train Derails, Spilling Hazardous Chemicals

January 29, 2015 9:32 am | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Comments

Hydrochloric acid and diesel fuel were spilled from an overturned train in Allendale County, South Carolina. The spill happened around 2:20 a.m. on Tuesday when a train traveling from Savannah to Atlanta reportedly took a wrong turn, derailed and crashed into stationary rail cars.  

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Hess Corp. Plans 18 Percent Cut in Bakken Spending This Year

January 28, 2015 4:44 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Hess announced this week that it plans to spend $1.8 billion in the Bakken, down from $2.2 billion in 2014. Hess President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Hill said the company will also have fewer drilling rigs and will complete fewer operating wells.

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Drink Up: Study Says Compound in Beer Can Ward Off Alzheimer's

January 28, 2015 4:39 pm | by Kari Imberg, Associate Editor, Food Manufacturing | Comments

There seem to constantly be new studies coming out about the health benefits of wine. But what about beer? Scientists reported in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that a compound from hops could protect brain cells from damage. Cheers!

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UCI Chemists Discover a Way to Unboil an Egg

January 28, 2015 2:23 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.info | Comments

This isn't just a case of nifty science. In fact, the research wasn’t as much about processing the egg, as it was about demonstrating the power of the process itself. According to the researchers, the discovery could transform pharmaceutical and food manufacturing.

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Industry Groups, Companies Criticize Proposed EPA Chemical Rule

January 28, 2015 12:21 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Comments

Numerous industry groups and manufacturers and have taken issue with a proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the use of 15 chemicals. The groups argued those chemicals have been used by manufacturers for decades and remain in production currently, and therefore cannot be subject to a new EPA significant new use rule, or SNUR.

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Utility Changes Seek to Decrease Hawaii's Reliance on Petroleum

January 28, 2015 12:16 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Comments

Oil accounts for a tiny fraction of electricity for the U.S. as a whole, but it powered more than 70 percent of Hawaii's electrical needs as of late 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration — and all of it had to cross an ocean to get there.

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Comment Sought on Pipeline Surveys in Monongahela Forest

January 28, 2015 12:06 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

Federal officials are seeking the public's input on whether surveys for a proposed natural gas pipeline should be allowed in the Monongahela National Forest. The proposed 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline would run through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. Its path includes about 17 miles through the national forest in...

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EPA Permit Paves Way For $500M Power Plant in South Texas

January 28, 2015 12:02 pm | by Associated Press | Comments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that the greenhouse gas permit was granted for the Tenaska Brownsville Generating Plant in Brownsville. A Tenaska spokeswoman says a few construction permits and approvals related to interconnections are still required.

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White House Plan Would Open Atlantic Coast to Drilling

January 28, 2015 9:18 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Comments

The proposal, announced by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, would also include leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Alaskan coast, though the administration also called for protecting potential drilling sites within that state's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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Supreme Court Rejects Lifetime Health Benefits For Chem Plant Employees

January 27, 2015 2:31 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.info | Comments

The unanimous ruling from the high court represents a victory for M&G Polymers USA, which first sought to require retiree contributions to health coverage in 2006 after purchasing the plant six years earlier. It also tightens the standard for collective bargaining agreements that do not specify terms for lifetime benefits.

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Deal Requires Firms to Justify Fracking Trade-Secret Claim

January 27, 2015 2:22 pm | by MEAD GRUVER, Associated Press | Comments

A legal settlement will require petroleum companies to provide justification when they claim the ingredients in the chemical products they pump underground during hydraulic fracturing in Wyoming are trade secrets that must be shielded from public disclosure.

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DuPont Profit Rises, But Strong Dollar Cuts Into Sales

January 27, 2015 2:18 pm | by RANDALL CHASE, AP Business Writer | Comments

Changes to DuPont's portfolio and improved productivity boosted fourth-quarter earnings and helped to offset the negative impact of a stronger dollar. The company, based in Wilmington, Delaware, boosted its estimated costs savings from operational redesigns by $300 million, to at least $1.3 billion by 2017.

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