Iraq’s oil ministry says it plans to start legal proceedings at the Court of Piraeus in Greece against the shipping firm Marine Management Services, or MMS, whose tankers have transported crude produced independently by the Kurdistan Regional Government, Platts reports.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP acted "recklessly" and bears most of the responsibility for the nation's worst offshore oil spill, a federal judge concluded Thursday, exposing the energy giant to roughly $18 billion in additional penalties.
BP's market value plummeted by $7 billion after the ruling as its shares suffered their worst percentage decline in almost three years. By Thursday afternoon, company shares had fallen almost 6 percent to $45.05.
BP PLC, which vowed to appeal, already agreed to pay billions in criminal fines and compensation to people and businesses affected by the disaster. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's ruling that BP acted with "gross negligence" deals instead with civil responsibilities, and could nearly quadruple what the London-based company has to pay in fines for polluting the Gulf of Mexico.
The judge held a non-jury trial last year to apportion blame for the Macondo well spill, which killed 11 men on the Deepwater Horizon rig and spewed oil for 87 days in 2010.
He ruled that BP bears 67 percent of the blame, Swiss-based drilling rig owner Transocean Ltd. bears 30 percent, and Houston-based cement contractor Halliburton Energy Services is responsible for 3 percent.
Oil edged lower Thursday morning following Wednesday’s strong rebound, after word that the American Petroleum Institute reported an increase in gasoline and distillate stocks last week. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery was 42 cents lower to $95.12 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude dropped 20 cents to $101.57, Bloomberg reports.
Buckeye Partners LP’s $860 million deal to take on an 80 percent interest in Trafigura AG’s facilities to handle condensate in the Eagle Ford Shale – as well as company executives’ discussion of building another splitter -- reflects the wider industry’s increasing interest in the lightly processed product, FuelFix reports.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The parts of the political base holding up President Nicolas Maduro appear to each have won a slice of power with a Cabinet shuffle that breaks up the control one man held over Venezuela's oil and economy.
After months of foreshadowing a big announcement, Maduro gave a sweeping presentation late Tuesday in which he sidelined his most powerful minister, Rafael Ramirez, divvying out his authority to appointees favored by different sectors in the coalition government.
Ramirez, a fixture of the South American country's 15-year socialist revolution, leaves his multiple roles of oil minister, president of the state-run oil giant PDVSA and top economic adviser. His departure strengthens the wing with close ties to Maduro's mentor, Hugo Chavez: Asdrubal Chavez, an engineer and cousin of the late president, steps in as oil minister; the populist leader's son-in-law, Jorge Arreaza, keeps his appointed role as vice president.
Word of a report from the American Petroleum Institute that U.S. crude inventories fell last week sent oil prices higher Wednesday, alongside hopes for an easing in the Ukraine crisis. West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery came close to recovering its Tuesday losses, gaining $2.66, or 2.9 percent, to a settlement of $95.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while in London Brent crude jumped $2.43 to $102.77, Bloomberg reports.
Oil prices bounced back after plunging Tuesday, but the upside was kept in check by substantial supplies and continuing demand concerns. U.S. benchmark crude for October delivery was 89 cents higher Wednesday morning in electronic trading on the Nymex, to $93.77 a barrel, while in London Brent crude gained $1.08 to $101.42, Reuters reports.
An electrical panel malfunction that led to a toxic gas emission from a Valero refinery in Texas City early Sunday won’t signal a repeat of wider problems that plagued the facility in 2011, officials told FuelFix.
The Senate has voted to end debate on the nominations of Jeffery M. Baran and Stephen G. Burns to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with a final confirmation vote expected Tuesday afternoon, The Hill reports.
A study being published Tuesday in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America makes specific links between wastewater injection and earthquakes in the area of the Raton Basin using seismic monitors and fluid-injection data, The Wall Street Journal reports.
A combination of growing supply from Libya at a time when statistics are indicating weaker demand from the world’s big economies was continuing to pressure oil prices Tuesday. U.S. benchmark crude for October delivery was 22 cents lower to $92.70 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London November Brent dropped 8 cents to $97.80, Reuters reports.
Under terms of its initial public offering announced Monday, Vantage Energy -– an oil and gas company operating in the Barnett and Marcellus Shale plays -– hopes to sell 23,550,000 at $24 to $27 a share, the Denver Business Journal reports.
The California Independent System Operator has directed its participants to limit maintenance in the Southern California region, as well as marshalling extra electricity generation throughout the state in response to additional demand caused by this week’s heat wave, Platts reports.
Two Nevada fire chiefs say they are concerned that smart meters may have been responsible for nine recent fires over the past two years, even though NV Energy has installed 1.1 million of them, The Associated Press reports.
A proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency to collect fines and other debts by garnishing people’s wages would be blocked under legislation introduced by Sens. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and John Thune, R-S.D., The Hill reports.
A patch of algae bloom in the north Atlantic converted 24,000 tons of CO2, nearly two thirds of it in a week, before it was killed by a virus that then helped it sink to the ocean floor, according to researchers – including some from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute -- who published their findings in Current Biology, E&E reports.
Data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies released Monday showed that 2014 saw the warmest August since records began 130 years ago, although director Gavin Schmidt said statistically the difference is slight and the significance is to be found in long-term trends, The Weather Channel reports.