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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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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.

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.

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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.

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.

Texas Company Postpones Northeast Nebraska Plant Project

February 5, 2015 11:31 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A Texas-based company that makes piping and casing for oil and gas drilling has postponed plans to build a manufacturing plant in northeast Nebraska. Tejas Tubular Products President Maximo Tejeda told the Norfolk Daily News that he remains committed to building a mill next to Nucor Steel in Norfolk.

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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.

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.  

BP Reports Loss of $4.4 Billion in 4th Quarter of 2014

February 3, 2015 10:26 am | by DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press | News | Comments

The net income figure includes a $5 billion writedown on the value of BP's inventories, after the price of Brent crude, the benchmark for North Sea oil, dropped almost 50 percent last year. BP posted a profit of $1.04 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

State Drilling Panel Weighs Disclosure of Fracking Chemicals

February 3, 2015 9:13 am | by DAN ELLIOTT, Associated Press | News | Comments

Gov. John Hickenlooper's task force on oil and gas discussed proposals Monday that would force energy companies to disclose all the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing and give local governments more of a say on where wells can be drilled.

Photo of The Day: Coal Ash Sludge

February 2, 2015 5:05 pm | by Meagan Parrish, Editor, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The toxic sludge created by a coal ash spill in the eastern U.S. may have settled to the river’s floor — but the debate about how much the company responsible for the spill should now pay is just heating up. A year ago, the collapse of an old drainage pipe owned by Duke Energy Eden triggered the third largest coal ash spill in U.S. history.

Strikes Begin At Oil Refineries; Prices Rally

February 2, 2015 4:32 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

The strike is the largest at refineries in more than three decades, though the workers in question represent just a fraction of the roughly 30,000 USW members working at 63 refineries and plants, which account for about two-thirds of the nation's refining capacity.

US Manufacturers Taking a Hit From Strong Dollar

February 2, 2015 10:05 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

Several trends have weighed on U.S. factories in recent months. Overseas economies are weak. And the dollar has risen steadily in value as the U.S. economy's strength has attracted international investors. Both trends have weighed on American firms' export sales.

Pipeline Expansion Through Wisconsin Would be Larger Than Keystone

January 30, 2015 10:54 am | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | News | Comments

While the proposed Keystone pipeline continues to pit environmental and business interests in Washington against each other, a Canadian energy distributor hopes to dramatically expand a pipeline carrying crude oil across Wisconsin — increasing its capacity far beyond Keystone.

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

January 30, 2015 10:39 am | by DAN JOLING, Associated Press | News | 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.

Report: Governments Should Phase Out Emphasis on Bioenergy

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

Pipeline Ruptures Plague Oil and Gas Industry

January 29, 2015 2:20 pm | by Andy Szal, Chem.Info | Articles | Comments

It's been a rough start to 2015 for safety concerns at pipelines transporting oil, natural gas or their byproducts throughout the country. This week, a pipe in West Virginia became at least the fifth to rupture so far this year, exacerbating concerns about structural weaknesses and lax oversight in the industry.

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