RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Oil was to have been Brazil's "passport to the future," but the grand dreams tied to state company Petrobras have been brought to a screeching halt not only by falling crude prices, but by a crisis of its own making.
An expanding investigation into a kickback scandal at Brazil's largest company is rippling through the industry, suspending contracts, cutting off credit supplies and forcing layoffs at shipyards and other firms that had been gearing up for the anticipated oil boom.
The slide in crude prices was continuing to affect drilling rigs this week, with the U.S. oil rig count falling 64 to 922 and the total oil and gas count standing at 1,192, around 38 percent less than in September, FuelFix reports.
A group of Senate Republicans from coastal states this week slammed an Obama administration proposal to reconsider how revenues from offshore Gulf Coast energy development should be allocated, pledging to block the policy and advance their own revenue sharing agenda for energy producing states.
In a March 4 letter to the President Obama, made public Friday, the group said the proposed 2016 Interior Department budget would “deprive” Gulf Coast states of revenue pledged under the 2006 Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, known as GOMESA.
More than 3,000 wells across the country have been drilled but not tapped, as companies like Apache Corp. and EOG Resources Inc. wait for the prices of crude to rise before pulling it out of the ground, Bloomberg reports.
FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Norwegian oil company that illegally operated a well on federal property in North Dakota has agreed to pay a nearly $2 million settlement to avoid legal action, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Authorities say the well was drilled about two weeks after Statoil Oil & Gas Services Inc. acquired Brigham Oil & Gas L.P., which had originally planned the facility. The company later discovered that the well drilled into unleased federally owned minerals.
The Obama administration is considering a request from Shell and other companies to stop the clock on their 10-year leases to drill in the Arctic, and a decision on the suspensions will be resolved “relatively soon,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday, FuelFix reports.
Oil companies from China, Norway, Austria and Dubai – as well as Houston’s Occidental Petroleum – are withdrawing staff and winding down operations in Yemen as unrest in the country escalates, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The Oklahoma Geological Survey, which has been reluctant to draw direct connections between oil drilling in the state and the dramatic rise in earthquakes there, has faced "intense personal interest" from the state seismologist's boss, University of Oklahoma President David Boren, and the oil industry, according to E&E.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has announced that oil and gas exploration leases for tracts in the western Gulf of Mexico –- some 4,000 blocks over 21 million acres -– will be sold in New Orleans in August, The Associated Press reports.
The stocks of U.S. petroleum products increased last week, the Energy Information Administration reported, although the million barrel rise in crude stocks was less than analysts’ expected, while the jump in gasoline stocks exceeded predictions, according to Reuters.
Earthjustice filed court papers Tuesday on behalf of several environmental and health groups seeking to intervene to defend the Environmental Protection Agency’s lower ozone limits from a lawsuit brought by coal company Murray Energy, The Hill reports.
State Department climate envoy Todd Stern told a news conference that he’s thinking about the upside, not the downside, heading into a critical global conference on climate change policy that starts Monday, National Journal reports.
The plan for coal producer Walter Energy to emerge from bankruptcy is being fought by unions and the firm’s retired workers in Alabama, but a court Tuesday approved the company’s move to auction off assets, Reuters reports.
Acting to lower its credit rating for Pemex, Moody’s Investors Service pointed to the firm’s increasing debt and declining earnings, although Mexico’s national oil company responded by saying the move brings the agency in line with other ratings firms, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The White House and the billionaire conservative Koch brothers have been allies recently in moves to liberalize the nation’s criminal justice laws, but they are disagreeing over one measure that would require proof of suspects knowingly engaging in unlawful conduct, The New York Times reports, noting that such a move is alarming environmentalists.
According to a report released this week by the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, weather-related disasters have caused more than 600,000 deaths and trillions of dollars in damages over the past 20 years, The New York Times reports.
A market-based approach for cutting vehicles’ greenhouse gas emissions—which could include mileage-based driver fees or emissions trading—is the goal as Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia announced an agreement to work together on the issue, Reuters reports.