Seattle mayor: Port needs new permit for Arctic oil fleet

SEATTLE (AP) — Weeks before a 400-foot oil-drilling rig is expected in Seattle, the city's mayor Ed Murray said Monday the Port of Seattle can't host Royal Dutch Shell offshore Arctic fleet until it gets a new land-use permit.

Shell has been planning to base its fleet — including a drill rig and two tug boats — at the port's Terminal 5 across from downtown Seattle for six months each year, when they're not being used in the Arctic. Environmentalists have already sued over the plan, saying the port broke state law in February when it signed a two-year lease with Foss Maritime, whose client is Shell.


U.S. sees fewest oil rigs in operation in almost five years


Twenty-four oil rigs went offline this week, FuelFix reports, dropping the total number of oil rigs in service in the U.S. to 679 - the lowest number since October 2010.


BHP Biliton and Barbados in new oil exploration deal

The Associated Press

BHP Biliton plans to explore almost 2,000 square miles off the coast of Barbados under a new oil deal, The Associated Press reports.


Shell, Greenpeace spar over Arctic drilling safety zones

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Attorneys for Royal Dutch Shell PLC presented testimony to a federal court judge Tuesday that the company needs safety zones around its Arctic drill fleet to prevent Greenpeace USA activists from endangering company workers and themselves.

An attorney for Greenpeace told U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason that Shell's request would usurp the maritime authority Congress gave to the Coast Guard and harm free speech rights of Greenpeace activists, who have the right to approach Shell vessels to draw attention to harmful drilling in the Arctic.


Rig count should steady in May: Morgan Stanley


The decline in rig count that followed the drop in oil prices should start reversing next month, according to a forecast from Morgan Stanley, Bloomberg reports.


Groups want review of Shell's Arctic regulatory filings

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two groups petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday for an investigation of Royal Dutch Shell PLC and what the groups call misstatements in regulatory filings regarding the risk of a catastrophic oil spill from Arctic offshore drilling.

The petition was filed Monday by Oceana and the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School.


Oil, gas, power, prices: Big themes from energy meeting

HOUSTON (AP) _€” In the year since the energy industry last gathered in for its big annual confab in Houston, prices for oil and natural gas took a dive that few, if anyone, saw coming.

A chastened parade of energy executives, analysts, academics and government officials from several countries delivered speeches and participated in panels as part of IHS's CERAWeek energy conference, worrying over prices and making a profit, and speculating on what it could all mean for economies and consumers around the world.


US oil and natural gas rig count drops by 22 to 932

Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 22 this week to 932 amid depressed oil prices.

Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 703 rigs were seeking oil and 225 explored for natural gas. Four were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago, 1,861 rigs were active.


Smithsonian series chronicles lives of oil patch residents

A documentary chronicling the lives of residents and workers in the oil-rich region of North Dakota and Montana that has created a modern-day gold rush will start airing Sunday on the Smithsonian Channel.

The six-episode "Boomtowners" is the latest television project aimed at capturing the complexities of life in the Bakken shale region that has attracted thousands of workers from around the country and their families as they seek high-paying jobs in the oil fields. The series focuses on several people including a judge whose caseload has soared, a Phoenix-native trucker who hauls oil across the region, and an oil field worker who's a street preacher on his days off.

BOEM Photo.

Interior drilling plan takes new fire from both sides

In the latest back-and-forth over the Interior Department’s proposal for offshore oil and gas development, a coalition of 163 Republican lawmakers urged the federal government to expand its horizons and open more waters to development, a day after Democrats pressed for more restrictions offshore.

Sending a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Thursday, the GOP group -- led by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and House Natural Resources Chair Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah -- took issue with the department’s draft five-year plan for offshore oil and gas development from 2017 to 2022.


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