Tracking accidental close calls offshore needs industry cooperation


The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has meetings set with oil industry leaders later in April, to try and persuade them to provide information about close calls and near misses in offshore drilling and transportation, FuelFix reports.


DOT charges industry is hampering oil train safety

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. transportation officials rebuked the oil industry Friday for not giving up information regulators say they need to gauge the danger of moving crude by rail, after several accidents highlighted the explosive properties of fuel from the booming oil shale fields on the Northern Plains.

Department of Transportation officials told The Associated Press they have received only limited data on the characteristics of oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana, despite requests lodged by Secretary Antony Foxx more than two months ago.


NY, fed agencies do 2nd oil train inspection blitz

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State and federal inspectors have completed a second round of safety checks of train tracks and oil tanker cars in an effort to prevent disastrous derailments and spills of volatile crude from North Dakota's Bakken region.

The inspection blitz, which generally found only minor and easily correctable defects, is part of a proactive safety effort launched in January after several severe accidents across the U.S. and Canada, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.


NY asks Global for more info about Hudson River plans

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State regulators are seeking more information from a Massachusetts company that plans to expand its Hudson River facilities routing rail shipments of North Dakota crude oil to coastal refineries.

The Department of Environmental Conservation sent letters to Global Partners, based in Waltham, Mass., on Monday. The agency requested more information about emergency response plans, community impact, overall operations and other aspects of a rail terminal planned in New Windsor, just north of West Point.


Coast Guard aims to reopen Houston shipping channel

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — The Coast Guard aimed to reopen one of the nation's busiest seaports Monday, two days after a collision between a barge and a ship spilled as much as 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil to spill into the waters south of Houston.

Officials believe most of the oil that spilled Saturday is drifting out of the Houston Ship Channel into the Gulf of Mexico, which should limit the impact on bird habitats around Galveston Bay as well as beaches and fisheries important to tourists.

The closure stranded some 80 barges on either side of the channel. But the Coast Guard hoped to reopen it to some traffic later in the day, allowing those vessels to enter or leave the bay.


EPA says Ohio oil leak at 20K gallons

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal environmental officials now estimate more than 20,000 gallons of crude oil — double the initial estimates — leaked from a pipeline into a nature preserve in southwest Ohio.

Meanwhile, Sunoco Logistics said Monday that the pipeline has been repaired and re-opened. Sunoco shut off the stretch of Mid-Valley Pipeline from Hebron, Ky., to Lima, Ohio, early March 18 after a leak was confirmed.

Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields said under a federally approved plan, a specially engineered clamp was placed on the 20-inch diameter pipeline, which had a 5-inch crack that leaked oil. The clamp was tested before oil flow resumed Sunday evening.


Libya releases crew of renegade oil tanker

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — A Libyan investigator says the crew of a renegade oil tanker seized by the U.S. Navy and handed over to Tripoli has been released and will be deported.

Al-Sadik al-Sour, the head investigator for Libya's prosecutor general, did not give the nationality of the 21 crew members. He said they were referred to border police Monday to send them out of the country.

Three eastern Libya militia members who were aboard the vessel remain in custody.


Researchers say Gulf spill caused heart defects in tuna


A study published by the National Academy of Sciences linked oil spilled during the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster with significant long-term impact on tuna populations, some of which are now suffering from heart defects, FuelFix reports.


Report on Quebec oil train derailment submitted to prosecutors


Quebec's law enforcement has submitted to provincial prosecutors their report on the July oil train derailment in Lac-Megantic that killed 47 people, which they expect will lead to criminal charges against the train's owners, Bloomberg reports.


Crews repairing pipeline that leaked oil in Ohio

CINCINNATI (AP) — Repairs have begun on a pipeline that leaked more than 10,000 gallons of crude oil into a suburban nature preserve.

Officials said Sunday that repairs approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation are underway on the pipeline that leaked in the Oak Glen Nature Preserve in suburban Cincinnati. A Colerain Township fire department release says more than 31,000 gallons of combined water and oil have been recovered in cleanup of the contaminated area.

The leak discovered March 17 came from a 5-inch crack in the pipeline. Federal investigators are trying to determine what caused the crack.


Subscribe to Safety