Coast Guard investigating oil slick off California coast

GOLETA, Calif. (AP) — A large oil slick mysteriously appeared Wednesday off the Southern California coast about a dozen miles from where a broken pipeline spilled thousands of gallons of crude into the ocean in May.

The sheen was initially reported as about 50 feet to 60 feet wide about 1,000 yards off the Santa Barbara County city of Goleta, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Andrea Anderson. But county fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said it was "very large" and its current size would be determined when a Coast Guard helicopter arrived to fly over it.

Judge: BP payouts to local entities to start soon for spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge says BP will begin paying up to $1 billion in settlements to compensate local governments across the Gulf Coast for lost tax revenue and other economic damages they blame on the company's 2010 oil spill.

An order issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said all of the payments to local governments must be made within 30 days.

China accepts group's case against ConocoPhillips, CNOOC

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese court says it has accepted a case brought by a social organization against oil giants ConocoPhillips China and China National Offshore Oil Corp. over oil spills in northern China in 2011.

It is the first case brought by a social organization over maritime pollution since China changed its law to allow registered non-government organizations who have been dealing with environmental issues for at least five years to sue heavy polluters.


Re-trial date to be set next week for ex-BP engineer

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former BP engineer who won a new trial in a criminal case arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is expected to learn the date of that trial next week.

Federal prosecutors accused Kurt Mix of deleting text messages about the amount of oil flowing from BP's Macondo well after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Mix was acquitted on one criminal count in 2013. But he was convicted on an obstruction of justice charge.


Pope should stop LA oil operation: Residents

Los Angeles Times

Residents are appealing to Pope Francis to intervene to stop AllenCo Energy Inc. from restarting an oil operation on church land in a south L.A. neighborhood, where people had become ill from noxious fumes, the Los Angeles Times reports.


Months to find spill cause in Alberta, says Nexen exec


Nexen Senior Vice President Ron Bailey says it will likely take the company months to find out exactly why a leaking pipeline spilled more than 31,500 barrels of emulsion in northern Alberta, Reuters reports.

Officials: Oil train didn't speed before Montana derailment

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A train that derailed and spilled 35,000 gallons of oil in northeastern Montana was traveling within authorized speed limits, federal officials said Monday as they continued to probe the accident's cause.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway train loaded with crude from North Dakota was traveling 44 miles per hour before Thursday's wreck, U.S. Federal Railroad Administration spokesman Matthew Lehner said.


Crowds jam California beach reopened after spill

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — The last of several Southern California beaches soiled by last spring's massive oil spill reopened Friday to enthusiastic crowds that quickly jammed its campgrounds to capacity.

Refugio State Beach opened to day visitors at 8 a.m. and began letting overnight campers in at noon, said Eric Hjelstrom, the beach's section superintendent. By early afternoon, its 60 camping spaces were taken.


Gulf oil wells lingering with temporary seals

Five years after the Obama administration promised to move swiftly to permanently plug unused oil and gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico, even more shafts are lingering for longer periods with only temporary sealing, an investigation by The Associated Press shows.

It is not clear how many incompletely sealed wells may have leaked — they generally are not monitored as carefully as active wells — but they contain fewer barriers to pent-up petroleum and rupture more easily. The threat to the environment increases with time.


35,000 gallons of oil spills after Montana train derailment

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Three tank cars leaked an estimated 35,000 gallons of oil after a train hauling crude from North Dakota derailed in rural northeastern Montana, the latest in a series of wrecks raising concerns across the U.S. and Canada, authorities said Friday.

No one was reported injured in the accident Thursday night that temporarily led to the evacuation of some homes and followed recent oil train crashes including a 2013 derailment in Quebec that exploded and killed 47 people.


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