US court reaffirms BP is liable in Gulf oil spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court panel has reaffirmed its ruling that BP is liable for federal Clean Water Act damages stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the latest loss for the oil giant as it fights court decisions that could ultimately bring $18 billion in penalties.

The three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments that there were errors in its June 4 ruling on BP's Clean Water Act liability. The ruling released Wednesday night is not the final say from the court. BP and its minority partner in the Macondo well, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., have a request pending for the full 15-member court to reconsider the issue.

Shell photo

New Alaska offshore impact statement could end drilling suspension

The Interior Department on Friday issued its latest environmental impact statement that seeks to end the years-long legal battle over a $2.7 billion Alaska offshore oil lease sale.

If the statement is finalized, it would end a suspension of activity on the leases and open the door to Shell to possibly resume exploration in the Chukchi Sea as soon as next summer.


Petroleum vapor little-known oilfield danger


Petroleum vapor was the culprit in the deaths of four oilfield workers in recent years, according to an E&E investigation which looked at data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, autopsy results and court filings in addition to conducting interviews.

Iraq imposes curfew in Ramadi, fearing militants

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi officials in the western Anbar province say a curfew has been imposed in the provincial capital Ramadi over fears that the Islamic State group might try to advance on the city.

Sabah Karhout, the chairman of the Anbar provincial council, says the curfew began at midnight Friday as part of an effort to limit movement in and out of the city.


Oil spill plaintiff lawyers: keep claims chief

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A move by oil giant BP to have a court fire the administrator of a damage claims settlement arising from the 2010 BP oil spill was opposed Wednesday by the administrator as well as by lawyers for Gulf Coast interests claiming harm from the disaster.

BP had filed a federal court motion in September saying Patrick Juneau should be removed. Among the reasons: They said Juneau once represented Louisiana in talks setting up the claims process and had pushed for favorable terms for those with claims. According to BP's motion, Juneau worked for the state from July 2010 until July 21, 2011.


Railroads gather steel, lumber companies in fight against oil rules


U.S. railroad companies have recruited lumber and steel manufacturers in their fight against proposed rules that would require trains carrying crude oil to travel at slower speeds, arguing the rule would trickle down and hurt other industries, Bloomberg reports.


BP looks to keep lawsuit dead despite unearthed compliance report


BP looked to dismiss a recently discovered Interior Department inspector general report detailing a debate over potential compliance issues at a Gulf of Mexico offshore drilling platform, as a contractor and environmental group used the report to urge a federal judge to reopen a $256 billion safety case against the company, FuelFix reports.


Canadian Pacific made merger offer to CSX

The New York Times

As the energy boom continues to boost demand for crude-by-rail shipping, Canadian Pacific Railway recently proposed a merger with CSX to create a freight company worth more than $60 billion, sources told The New York Times, though CSX hasn't embraced the idea in early discussions.


Pipeline spills 42K gallons of brine in North Dakota

The Associated Press

A pipeline leak in North Dakota spilled an estimated 42,000 of saltwater from oil production into a tributary of Lake Sakakawea, though state officials said the incident would not threaten drinking water, The Associated Press reports.


Refinery switching to newer rail cars for crude

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A refinery in northwest Washington state says it will no longer accept any volatile North Dakota crude oil unless it arrives on newer-model tank cars.

By the first week of October, the BP Cherry Point facility had stopped using pre-2011 standard tank cars, known as DOT-111 cars, for the shipments, The Bellingham Herald reported.


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