SAO PAULO (AP) — Prosecutors investigating a sprawling kickback scheme at Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras filed charges Thursday against 35 people, including executives from some of the nation's biggest construction firms.
The formal charges cap a months-long investigation dubbed "Operation Car Wash," which is proving to be one of Brazil's biggest corruption schemes yet uncovered with authorizes saying they'll seek the return of nearly $400 million from the accused.
The hearing Thursday in the House Energy and Commerce Committee's energy panel could be seen seen as a major advance for oil companies seeking to repeal the U.S. crude export ban.
They got House Republians to at least take testimony on the ban. But the unease displayed by GOP lawmakers and energy-state Democrats, worried that lifting the ban might be seen by the public as a move that could also raise gasoline prices, was evident.
If oil producers are to win a repeal, they'll be in the unusual position of having to win over their traditional Republican allies and having to overcome qualms by some refiners. The industry has acknowledged there won't be a quick victory on the issue, and that was confirmed on Thursday.
Bear market pressures dragged oil prices lower Thursday, with oil settling under $60 a barrel for the first time in more than five years. U.S. benchmark crude lost 1.6 percent, or 99 cents to finish at $59.95 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent ended 56 cents lower at $63.68, Reuters reports.
Plummeting oil prices may add a little jingle in the pockets of holiday shoppers and travelers but are raising financial worries in some states that had been tapping into surging oil tax revenues to pay for roads and other government services.
With oil prices now around a five-year low, budget officials in about a half-dozen states already have begun paring back projections for a continued gusher of revenues. Spending cuts have started in some places, and more could be necessary if oil prices stay at lower levels.
Companies will be liable for $134 million in damages from any offshore oil spill, up from the previous limit of $75 million, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Thursday, The Hill reports.
TORONTO (AP) — Lawyers for a group of Ecuadoran villagers are asking Canada's high court on Thursday to grant their clients access to Canadian courts to enforce a US$9.5-billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Corp for rainforest damage.
Lawyers have fought in several countries over who's responsible for pollution in the rain forest. They are arguing that the case should be heard in Canada because Chevron has a Canadian subsidiary.
Short-covering and the expiration of the front month contract helped power oil prices to a huge gain Friday. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery shot up 5 percent, or $2.41, to settle at $56.52 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London February Brent finished $2.11 higher at $61.38, Reuters reports.
Oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday that 1,875 rigs were drilling for oil and gas in the U.S. this week, a drop of 18 and the second week in a row that the number has fallen, FuelFix reports.
Comparing present-day statistics with numbers during the oil bust in the mid-1980s has led JP Morgan Chase economist Michael Feroli to warn that Texas could slip into a regional recession next year, FuelFix reports.
Job losses in the power generation sector over the past three years topped 5,800, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration Friday, which said all parts of the industry were affected other than renewable energy, The Hill reports.
Avenue Capital, the hedge fund run by Marc Lasry that specializes in buying distressed companies’ debt, is raising $750 million for a fund that will focus on the energy sector, according to the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement Board, which confirms it has put in $200 million, the New York Post reports.
Tesla is testing the market for battery swaps: Near California supercharging stations where Model S owners can top up their batteries for free, the company is creating a facility where drivers can pay a cost equivalent to a tank of gasoline and get a fully-charged battery installed in three minutes, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The growth of global carbon emissions slowed in 2013 -– although the total of 35.3 billion tons did set a record -- and the rate of increase tailed off despite an uptick in economic activity, says a report from the European Commission’s Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research, or EDGAR, according to E&E.
INEOS hopes to get commercial shale gas production under way in Britain before the end of the decade, according to documents the government released Friday, which detailed the company’s presentation to the Department of Energy and Climate Change in February, Platts reports.