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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Shell to Slash Investment After Oil Price Drop Hurts Profit

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

With Lower Oil Prices, Sasol Delays Plan For Louisiana Plant

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

FACT CHECK: Both Sides in Keystone XL Debate Bend Facts

January 28, 2015 4:58 pm | by DINA CAPPIELLO, Associated Press | Articles | Comments

Critics claim it will disastrously increase the pollution blamed for global warming and put communities along its 1,179-mile route at risk for a damaging spill, all for oil and products that will be exported anyway. Which is it? A check of some of the claims about the pipeline as a bill approving it heads toward likely passage...

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

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

Utility Changes Seek to Decrease Hawaii's Reliance on Petroleum

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

Comment Sought on Pipeline Surveys in Monongahela Forest

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

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

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

White House Plan Would Open Atlantic Coast to Drilling

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

Deal Requires Firms to Justify Fracking Trade-Secret Claim

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