Pipeline leaks thousands of gallons of oil in Ohio

CINCINNATI (AP) — A cleanup effort is underway in a southwest Ohio nature preserve where thousands of gallons of crude oil leaked from an interstate pipeline.

Federal and state environmental officials and local authorities and an environmental cleanup contractor were on the scene Tuesday after the leak in the Oak Glen Nature Preserve. Workers are vacuuming oil from a wetlands area. Authorities say the oil pipeline was shut off and the spill has been contained.

The leak occurred near the Great Miami River, but Cincinnati water officials say it won't affect the public water supply.


North Dakota regulator: oil company could be fined

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A Colorado oil company probably will be sanctioned for not heeding a warning to properly secure a North Dakota well that was swamped by floodwaters and spilled oil near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers, a state health official said Monday.

Environmental geologist Kris Roberts said potential fines or other actions were "likely" against Denver-based Zavanna LLC, after up to 1,400 gallons of oil spilled from its well site into floodwaters in the area southwest of Williston.


Oil mars Ala. swamp months after crude train crash

ALICEVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Environmental regulators promised an aggressive cleanup after a tanker train hauling 2.9 million gallons of crude oil derailed and burned in a west Alabama swamp in early November amid a string of North American oil train crashes.

So why is dark, smelly crude oil still oozing into the water four months later?

The isolated wetland smelled like a garage when a reporter from The Associated Press visited last week, and the charred skeletons of burned trees rose out of water covered with an iridescent sheen and swirling, weathered oil. A snake and a few minnows were some of the few signs of life.


Contracts ban lifting is big step for BP: Analysts

The New York Times

The government decision to allow BP to resume bidding on new federal contracts is a major step on the road to the company's return to normal, although analysts caution the significant impact will take a while to be felt, boosting investor confidence, The New York Times reports.


Scientists to use sub to examine sea floor near blown Macondo well

The Times-Picayune

Four years after the Macondo well blew out and sank the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, a team of scientists will be using the Alvin submersible to examine the sea floor for any lingering effects of the oil and gas, The Times-Picayune reports.


Jindal wants to steer BP money to 'rainy day' fund in La.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration wants to use Gulf oil spill recovery money to help refill the Louisiana's "rainy day" fund and settle a lawsuit claiming the state needs to return roughly $300 million to the fund.

The proposal is tucked into a budget bill by Rep. Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro, filed this week for consideration by lawmakers. It would steer dollars that BP PLC is expected to pay for the state's claims of economic damage caused by the massive 2010 spill.

Those claims are the subject of ongoing federal litigation, and it's unclear when any of the money might be available to the state.


At hearing, lawyer argues for overturning ex-BP engineer's conviction

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The lawyer for a BP engineer found guilty of obstructing an investigation into the 2010 Gulf oil spill urged a judge to throw out the conviction Thursday, arguing the evidence was insufficient and the jury forewoman heard statements outside of the trial that influenced the panel's decision.

Kurt Mix's attorney Joan McPhee said the forewoman in Mix's December trial told a then-deadlocked jury that she had heard statements that affirmed her view that Mix was guilty. She overheard on an elevator that people in addition to Mix were facing trial.


Hearing set in ex-BP engineer's obstruction case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former BP engineer is returning to federal court as he seeks to undo his obstruction of justice conviction in the government's investigation of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.

Kurt Mix was found guilty in December of one count of obstructing justice for deleting a string of text messages in what prosecutors say was an effort to hamper the government's criminal investigation of the deadly 2010 explosion and spill.

In a Thursday hearing, his lawyers will ask a judge to consider motions to either declare Mix not guilty or grant him a new trial.


Barbier says no to BP request for spill payment halt


U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier issued a three-sentence ruling Tuesday rejecting BP's request to temporarily halt payments from its $9.2 billion Gulf spill settlement, Bloomberg reports.


ND officials: Cache of illegal oil field waste found

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Officials in North Dakota are reporting what may be the state's biggest incident of illegal dumping of radioactive oil filter socks, the nets that strain liquids in the oil production process.

State Waste Management Director Scott Radig said hundreds of the tubular filters were discovered last week in an abandoned building in Noonan, a town of about 200 people in northwestern North Dakota. Radig, who viewed pictures of the scene, said it's likely to be more than twice as large as the state's next-largest dumping incident found last month in McKenzie County.

"It appears, unfortunately, to be the biggest one we've found," Radig said. "And it appears to have been there for quite some time."


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