The day after the Coast Guard issued critical findings on the grounding of Shell's floating drill rig in Alaska 15 months ago, the Interior Department's chief offshore safety officer on Friday pledged to hold the company and others to a tough standard for any future Arctic exploration.
At a House appropriations hearing, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Director Brian Salerno stressed that after the grounding of the Kulluk vessel, the department ordered drillers to submit audited integrated operations plans. He said any such plan by Shell will face heavy scrutiny.
"We will go over this with a fine tooth comb, because we do not want a repeat of that lack of internal coordination within their organization that contributed to this event," Salerno said of Shell.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Poor risk assessment and management were among factors that led to the grounding of a Shell oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Alaska in 2012, the Coast Guard said in a report released Thursday.
The report also says Alaska's tax laws influenced the decision to tow the Kulluk to Seattle for maintenance. Royal Dutch Shell PLC believed the drill vessel would have qualified as taxable property on Jan. 1, 2013, if it was still in Alaska waters.
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Oil production in North Dakota and Montana's Bakken and Three Forks formations will average 1.1 million barrels per day this year, according to estimates announced Wednesday by a research firm.
Wood Mackenzie anticipates that oil production in the North Dakota and Montana sections of the Bakken and Three Forks formations will grow to 1.7 million barrels per day in 2020.
"We're very confident on the future of the Bakken," said Jonathan Garrett, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie. He added that the expected lifetime of a Bakken well is 25 years to 30 years.
Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico's state-owned oil company, said its crude output was down to 2.47 million barrels a day in March, the lowest in nearly 20 years, Bloomberg reports, noting that the country hopes energy reform, which opens up the sector to private investment, will turn things around.
The Wall Street Journal explores the reasons why the project to develop the Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan is years late and at least $30 million over budget, but concludes that it is possible to get the crude flowing and have it be profitable.
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Major oil companies including Total, Chevron, Woodside Energy and Shell have won bids for offshore oil and gas exploration blocks off Myanmar's western and southern coasts, the country's Energy Ministry said Wednesday.
An announcement on the ministry's website said 13 oil companies won bids to explore in 10 shallow water blocks and 10 deep water blocks in the Gulf of Martaban and Tanintharyi, off the western state of Rakhine.
Brent crude for December extended its rebound to rise 34 cents to $86.16 a barrel as Goldman Sachs speculated that the recent steep drop in price was excessive. West Texas Intermediate gained 5 cents to settle at $82.75 a barrel, Bloomberg reports.
Officials from several OPEC members outside the Persian Gulf are calling for a reduction in production in response to falling oil prices, as Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states seek to keep the ceiling high, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the global economy could collapse if the price of oil stays near $80 a barrel for an extended period but downplayed arguments that low prices will significantly devalue Russia's currency, Business Insider reports.
As global oil prices trend downward, 80 of the oil industry's largest crude oil tankers are headed for Chinese ports, marking the largest number of shipments in nine months and indicating China may be boosting purchases, Bloomberg reports.
An Environmental Protection Agency study has found that neonicotinoid pesticides, linked to the death of bees and other insect pollinators, have had little effect to boost the size of soybean yields, The Globe and Mail reports.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz praised Abengoa's new plant-waste biofuels plant in Kansas as the future of the ethanol production, as it doesn't force competition between ethanol producers and food suppliers, The Associated Press reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a greenhouse gas permit for Natgasoline's proposed methanol plant in Beaumont, Texas, ending the final regulatory hurdle for the project that could cost as much as $1.8 billion, the Beaumont Enterprise reports.
Entergy officials estimated that the cost to decommission the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant will be $1.24 billion, and the company has about half the needed value in its decommission fund, The Associated Press reports.