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Congress Set to Pass Bill Approving Keystone XL Pipeline

February 11, 2015 10:11 am | by DINA CAPPIELLO, Associated Press | News | Comments

The House is expected to pass the bill easily Wednesday afternoon, capping weeks of debate over one of Republicans' top priorities — a bill authorizing the construction of the much-delayed pipeline. Yet support in both the Senate and House has not been enough to override a veto.

Contamination Still High Near ND Spill, Dropping Downstream

February 11, 2015 10:00 am | by MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press | News | Comments

High contamination levels persist along a North Dakota creek more than a month after a massive wastewater spill was found in the state's oil patch, but levels have dropped considerably in larger rivers downstream, according to documents released by the state Tuesday.

Neighboring States Clash On EPA Coal Energy Regulation

February 10, 2015 12:40 pm | by Bridget Bergin, Associate Editor, Manufacturing.net | News | Comments

Montana and Wyoming, despite having a similar relationship to the coal energy industry, are planning to approach the Clean Power Act from two opposite directions. According to Benjamin Storrow of the Casper Star-Tribune, the EPA’s plan would require both states to meet a carbon reduction target—21 percent for Montana and 19 percent for Wyoming.

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China Finds Huge Natural Gas Field In South China Sea

February 10, 2015 12:34 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

China said its recent gas discovery in the politically volatile South China Sea could yield 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas, underlining Beijing's determination to extract resources from waters claimed by several nations. The Lingshui 17-2 gas field was discovered 150 kilometers south of China's southernmost island of Hainan...

BP Head Predicts 'Years' Of Low Oil Prices

February 10, 2015 10:37 am | by Sam Neylon, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

Last week BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley weighed in on one of the most important — and heated — discussions facing manufacturers today: the direction of oil prices. Dudley announced dour confidence that crude prices would stay below $100 for a “long time.”

California Pledges Changes in Protecting Underground Water

February 10, 2015 10:18 am | by ELLEN KNICKMEYER, Associated Press | News | Comments

The deadline is part of a broad plan the state sent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week for bringing state regulation of oil and gas operations back into compliance with federal safe-drinking water requirements. State authorities made the plan public Monday.

Algeria Shale Gas Protesters Vow Escalation

February 10, 2015 10:13 am | by KARIM KEBIR, Associated Press | News | Comments

Protesters against Algeria's plans to exploit its massive shale gas reserves said Monday they will carry their demonstrations to the actual desert drilling sites after the state oil company said exploration would continue. Since the beginning of the year, there have been demonstrations across Algeria...

Haitian Protesters March to Demand Lower Gasoline Prices

February 9, 2015 10:05 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

At least 6,000 protesters marched through Haiti's capital Saturday to demand lower gas prices and the ouster of President Michel Martelly. The protest in Port-au-Prince remained peaceful overall although police briefly threw tear gas and dispersed a crowd that had thrown trash and tires in the street to block traffic.

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California Formally Opens Large Solar Plant

February 9, 2015 10:02 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

California is rushing to expand its use of solar power to meet the renewable energy requirements, and one of the nation's largest solar projects will be dedicated Monday in the Riverside County desert. U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is scheduled to join federal and local officials to formally open the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, which is expected to produce enough power for about 160,000 homes.

New Sanctions Proposed for Islamic State Group Oil Trading

February 9, 2015 9:57 am | by EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Russian-sponsored resolution, obtained Friday by The Associated Press, would also require all 193 U.N. member states to take "appropriate steps" to prevent the trade in antiquities and other items of historical, cultural, rare scientific and religious importance illegally removed from Syria.

Steelworkers to Expand Strike to Two BP Refineries in Midwest

February 9, 2015 9:30 am | by DAVID KOENIG, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

The first nationwide strike at U.S. oil refineries since 1980 is spreading to two BP plants in the Midwest. The United Steelworkers union has notified BP Plc. that workers at refineries in Ohio and Indiana will strike late Saturday night, joining a walkout that began this week at nine other refineries.

US Gas Prices Jump 13 Cents a Gallon; Could go Higher

February 9, 2015 9:24 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The average price of a regular gallon of gas jumped 13 cents in the past two weeks to $2.20, ending a sustained drop. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that a rebound in the price of crude oil caused the run-up at the pump. However, the price is $1.10 below...

Shell Set to Use Crane Ship Named After Nazi

February 6, 2015 5:21 pm | by Sam Neylon, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The ship is named after convicted Nazi war criminal Pieter Schelte Heerema — which has prompted a chorus of outrage among the Jewish community and others. Shell said that it supports a change in the name, but that the ship’s owner — Swiss-based group Allseas Group SA — has refused.

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Fracking Puts California Governor, Environmentalists at Odds

February 6, 2015 10:59 am | by JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press | Articles | Comments

In the 1970s, the environmental movement had no bigger political hero than California Gov. Jerry Brown. He cracked down on polluters, ended tax breaks for oil companies and promoted solar energy. Forty years later, in his second go-around as governor, conservationists are among his harshest critics.

Texas Startup Plans $2B La. Natural Gas Liquification Plant

February 6, 2015 10:47 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The news came six days after the collapse in world oil prices prompted Sasol, of South Africa, to announce a delay in final investment plans for a $14 billion plant in the same area to convert natural gas to diesel and other liquid fuels.

Japan Readies First Robot to Probe Melted Fukushima Reactor

February 6, 2015 9:41 am | by MIKI TODA, Associated Press | News | Comments

Assessing the damage inside the reactors is a crucial step in the decommissioning of the plant, which was badly damaged by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Use of a remote-controlled robot is essential because no humans can go close to the reactor chambers because of their fatally high radiation levels.

Ca. Allows Oilfield Dumping Into Drinking Water

February 5, 2015 5:19 pm | by Associated Press | Videos | Comments

State records show that California's oil and gas regulators improperly allowed oil companies to inject drilling fluids into federally-protected water aquifers more than 2,500 times. The oil industry says the permits were valid and that the scrutiny comes from heightened sensitivity to wastewater issues. 

The Wild World of Predicting Oil Prices

February 5, 2015 3:32 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Videos | Comments

Oil prices yo-yoed this week, giving analysts whip lash as they hurried to decide what it all means, and forecast what the future holds. On Wednesday the price of a barrel had fallen to about $48, but by Thursday was back up to $52. And as quickly as some were to determine that prices were rallying, other chimed in to point out that it likely won’t last.

North Dakota Oil Industry Avoids Layoffs

February 5, 2015 11:43 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The months-long slide in crude oil prices has resulted in thousands of layoffs in Texas, the nation's top oil-producing state. In second-place North Dakota, however, the burgeoning shale oil and natural gas sector will apparently be spared mass job cuts in the short term.

Washington Lawmakers Pushing Electric Car Ownership

February 5, 2015 9:28 am | by DERRICK NUNNALLY, Associated Press | News | Comments

Even with gas prices hovering around $2 per gallon, Washington state lawmakers are considering a raft of bills to encourage more drivers to turn to electric cars in the name of reducing pollution. Plug-in-and-charge automobiles are gaining popularity in the state. Washington records show there were nearly 12,000 registered electric cars by the end of last year.

Spain Nuclear Plant Shuts Down Amid Gale-Force Winds

February 4, 2015 9:30 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

The Nuclear Security Council said in a statement that the Vandellos II plant in northeastern Spain shut down automatically at 3 p.m. (1400 gmt) Tuesday after there was electricity line disruption. The council said the incident represented no threat to workers at the plant, the public or the environment.

Burning Oilfields After Fighting in Iraq

February 3, 2015 5:19 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | Videos | Comments

After a dramatic weekend of clashes between Islamic State (ISIS) fighters and Kurdish forces, an oilfield in Iraq has been left burning and damaged. As of Monday, service from the oilfield was still halted, potentially putting a dent in revenue from the country’s key export.

More Oil Industry Layoffs Hit Texas

February 3, 2015 3:14 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The rapid increase in domestic oil production in recent years helped fuel a banner year for Texas' economy in 2014. As the price of oil has plummeted to less than half its summer value, however, the industry continues to bear the brunt of job cuts.  

Report: Offshoring, Federal Policy Haven Taken Toll on U.S. Industry

February 3, 2015 10:50 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The report, titled "America’s Advanced Industries: What They Are, Where They Are, and Why They Matter," analyzed 50 high-technology industries, from aerospace to foundries to pharmaceuticals. Those sectors employed more than 12 million Americans directly and more than one-quarter of all U.S. jobs when indirect positions were factored in.

Obama's Budget Includes Billions For Coal States

February 3, 2015 10:34 am | by ADAM BEAM, Associated Press | News | Comments

The new Republican-controlled Congress appeared skeptical of the president's outreach to the heart of the nation's coal country, with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announcing Monday that he would personally oversee the budget of Obama's Environmental Protection Agency.

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