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The Lead

Judge Denies Bid To Halt Illinois Fracking Rules

November 24, 2014 9:49 am | by Jim Suhr, Associated Press | News | Comments

A judge in southwestern Illinois has denied a bid by a landowners group to suspend the state's new rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to show they would suffer immediate harm if the fracking was to go forward.

Report: Bird Needs Buffer From Drilling

November 21, 2014 11:19 am | by Matthew Brown, Associated Press | News | Comments

A government study with significant implications for the U.S. energy industry says the breeding...

Solar Energy Co. SunEdison Buying Wind Power Co.

November 18, 2014 3:22 pm | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Solar energy company SunEdison is adding some wind-fueled power to its business with a deal...

Coal Residue Vaults Found In Upper Peninsula

November 18, 2014 11:11 am | by Ryan Jarvi, The Mining Journal (Marquette) | News | Comments

Two concrete vaults used to store tar residue and other impurities from a manufactured gas plant...

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Huge Solar Plant Lags In Early Production

November 18, 2014 10:40 am | by Michael R. Blood, Associated Press | News | Comments

The largest solar power plant of its type in the world — once promoted as a turning point in green energy — isn't producing as much energy as planned.                 

California Accuses BP Of Inflating Natural Gas Prices

November 17, 2014 9:57 am | by Ellen Knickmeyer, AP | News | Comments

BP and its traders routinely manipulated prices to overcharge California as much as $300 million when it sold natural gas to the state, California and a fired BP employee allege. The BP employee, who had helped administer $2 billion in exclusive gas contracts with California, filed the case as a whistleblower.

Halliburton Buying Baker Hughes For $34.6 Billion

November 17, 2014 8:57 am | News | Comments

Halliburton is buying rival oilfield services company Baker Hughes in a cash-and-stock deal worth $34.6 billion. The deal comes just days after talks had stalled and Halliburton prepared to go hostile with its takeover bid. The combined company would generate slightly larger revenue than Schlumberger Ltd., the world's biggest oil services company.

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29 Deaths Lead To Indictment Of "The Dark Lord Of Coal Country"

November 14, 2014 10:37 am | by John Raby and Allen G. Breed, AP | News | Comments

Don Blankenship has become the highest-ranking coal official to face federal charges in the nation's deadliest mine disaster in 40 years. A federal grand jury indicted the former Massey Energy CEO on numerous counts of conspiracy stemming from the April 2010 explosion that killed 29 men at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, West Virginia.

2015 Could See U.S. Produce Most Oil In Over 40 Years

November 13, 2014 1:34 pm | News | Comments

However, there is significant uncertainty over the crude oil price forecast because of the range of potential supply responses from OPEC, particularly Saudi Arabia, as U.S oil producers project higher production levels that would drive prices down.

Rail Shipments Of Oil And Petroleum Continue To Rise

November 13, 2014 1:25 pm | News | Comments

According to the Energy Information Administration, U.S. rail transport of crude oil and petroleum products had the second-biggest increase in carloadings through the first 10 months of this year. In response to shipper concerns over their slow movement, federal regulators are closely tracking service among major freight railroads.

U.S. Government: Get Used To Cheaper Gas

November 13, 2014 12:23 pm | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

Several factors are contributing to the Energy Department predicting that the average price of gasoline in the U.S. will be below $2.94 a gallon in 2015. If the sharply lower estimate holds true, U.S. consumers will save $61 billion on gas compared with this year.

Energy Company Fined For Uranium Spills

November 12, 2014 12:02 pm | by MEAD GRUVER, Associated Press | News | Comments

Over 20,000 gallons of uranium solution was spilled July 17 at the Nichols Ranch in-situ uranium mine. In-situ uranium mining involves pumping chemicals underground to release uranium into a solution that is pumped to the surface. No shafts or tunnels are dug underground.

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Louisiana Agency Looking To Sue Oil, Gas & Pipeline Companies

November 12, 2014 11:45 am | by Kevin McGill, AP | News | Comments

The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East sued the companies last year, arguing that coastal drilling and dredging has contributed to the loss of coastal wetlands that protect New Orleans from hurricanes.         

Fukushima Cleanup Harassed By Constant Flow Of Contaminated Water

November 12, 2014 11:39 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, AP | News | Comments

More than three years into the massive cleanup of Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, only a fraction of the workers are focused on dismantling broken reactors or removing radioactive fuel rods. Instead, most are devoted to the constantly increasing amount of contaminated water, which continues to grow due to groundwater entering the reactor buildings.

Court Reinstates Safety Whistleblower At Nuke Site

November 11, 2014 11:59 am | News | Comments

An appeals court reinstated a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington who claims he was fired by a subcontractor after raising safety issues at the nation's most polluted nuclear weapons production site.

Administrator Of Gulf Claims Survives BP's Attempt To Replace Him

November 11, 2014 11:47 am | by Kevin McGill, AP | News | Comments

BP lawyers had said Patrick Juneau should be removed for a variety of reasons, among them that he had a conflict of interest because he once represented Louisiana in talks setting up the claims process and had pushed for favorable terms for those with claims.

Shell Purchases Former Zinc Plant

November 10, 2014 11:24 am | News | Comments

Shell hasn't formally committed to building the plant, which would convert ethane from Marcellus Shale natural gas liquids into chemicals used to make plastics, tires and even antifreeze, so a timeline for the conversion and operational start remains undefined.

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Closed-Door Meeting Covers Carolina Coastal Drilling

November 10, 2014 11:19 am | by Michael Biesecker, AP | News | Comments

Officials from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia met privately with federal regulators and groups funded by oil and gas companies to discuss plans for drilling off the Atlantic coast. A coalition of environmental groups were not allowed inside the meeting.

North Dakota Refinery Production Green-Lighted

November 10, 2014 11:05 am | News | Comments

The refinery will help meet the need for diesel fuel in the booming western oil patch. About 90 people will work there full time, turning 20,000 barrels of crude from the rich Bakken and Three Forks formations in western North Dakota into 7,000 barrels of fuel each day.

Shell Takes On New Mexico County Over Country's First Drilling Ban

November 7, 2014 11:53 am | News | Comments

Attorneys for SWEPI, a subsidiary of Shell, said the measure effectively destroyed the value of the company's $1 million drilling leases. Mora County wants a trial so it can present evidence on why the commission adopted the ordinance - to protect its land and water.

Sunoco Investing $2.5 Billion In Gas Pipeline

November 7, 2014 11:32 am | News | Comments

The 350-mile Mariner East 2 pipeline would provide four times the capacity to move gas from Marcellus Shale drilling sites in western Pennsylvania to its Marcus Hook storage and distribution facility near Philadelphia.          

Despite Concerns, Stronger Regs Lead To Restarting Japanese Reactor

November 7, 2014 11:28 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, AP | News | Comments

On the same day three workers were injured at the most notorious nuclear reactor on the planet, approval was given by the Japanese government to restart a reactor in the country for the first time since the Fukushima meltdown. Proponents point to stronger regulatory action, but local concern persists.

GOP Eager To Move On Keystone XL

November 6, 2014 11:23 am | by Donna Cassata, AP | News | Comments

Republicans' resounding victory gives them an opportunity to push legislation that's been bottled up in the Democratic Senate, from targeting elements of President Barack Obama's healthcare law to constructing the Keystone XL oil pipeline to rolling back environmental regulations.

IHS: Mexican Reforms Could Attract Petrochemical Investment

November 5, 2014 2:37 pm | News | Comments

Recent changes to Mexico’s hydrocarbon laws are opening doors for private oil and gas investment, which is expected to secure more competitive feedstocks for expanded petrochemicals production. It will also allow for cheaper electricity, which will help improve the country’s competitiveness.

Colder Winter Leads To Higher CO2 Emissions Forecast

November 5, 2014 2:25 pm | News | Comments

Energy-related CO2 emissions can be driven by economic and efficiency trends and changes in the fuel mix, but weather fluctuations that drive the level of energy used for both heating and cooling is also a significant factor affecting variations in fossil fuel consumption and their resulting emissions.

Texas Leads Nation In New Oil & Natural Gas Jobs

November 5, 2014 1:51 pm | News | Comments

In the past decade, growth of jobs in oil and natural gas extraction, drilling, and support activities has outpaced the national average of private sector job gains. Additionally, average wages of oil and natural gas production jobs were $108,000 in 2013.

OPEC Shaken By Saudi Slashing Of Oil Prices

November 5, 2014 1:37 pm | by George Jahn, AP | News | Comments

The Saudis' move to cut prices to the U.S. - aimed at protecting their market share there - will exacerbate OPEC conflicts. Despite OPEC's credo of consensus and unity, the organization is de-facto controlled by its top producer. The prime motivator for the Saudis is to compete against U.S. shale oil.

Israel Supporting Offshore Oil And Gas Rights For Cyprus

November 5, 2014 1:22 pm | by Menelaos Hadjicostis, AP | News | Comments

Turkey doesn't recognize ethnically divided Cyprus as a sovereign state and strongly opposes its gas search, arguing that it ignores the rights of breakaway Turkish Cypriots to any mineral-generated wealth. Cyprus was split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup.

Freighter Freed After Running Aground Near Detroit

November 4, 2014 10:41 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

A freighter carrying coal has been freed after running aground in the Detroit River.                            

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