BAGHDAD (AP) — Kurdish security forces took over two major oil fields outside the disputed northern city of Kirkuk before dawn Friday and said they would use some of the production for domestic purposes, further widening a split with the central government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The takeover of the Bai Hassan and Kirkuk oil fields were the latest land grabs by Kurds, who have responded to the Sunni militant insurgency that has overrun large parts of Iraq by seizing territory of their own, effectively expanding the Kurdish autonomous zone in the north. Those moves have infuriated al-Maliki's government while stoking independence sentiment among the Kurds.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Federal prosecutors are appealing a judge's decision to grant a new trial to a former BP engineer convicted of obstructing justice in an investigation of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The notice of appeal in the case of Kurt Mix was filed Friday in U.S. District Court, where Mix was tried, and at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Ponemon Institute found that only 17 percent of security executives at energy and manufacturing firms surveyed have deployed key cybersecurity initiatives, despite the fact that most of the companies have experienced a compromise in the past year, FuelFix reports.
ALEXANDER, N.D. (AP) — A lightning strike sparked a fire and explosion that destroyed the third North Dakota saltwater disposal facility in recent weeks, sending thick black smoke billowing into the sky and leaving the smell of oil in the air.
As the Gulf of Mexico sees increased offshore oil and gas activity four years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the Interior Department’s top offshore safety regulator says drilling safety culture is improving.
However, there are still challenges to be overcome as the industry and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement move ahead with new regulatory systems, agency director Brian Salerno said Sunday.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the lack of stabilization equipment in North Dakota Bakken Shale facilities means the crude oil produced there is more prone to explosion, a serious problem facing federal regulators as they look to make crude-by-rail transport safer.
One year after a deadly oil train derailment and explosion killed 47 in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, residents are anticipating that crude-by-rail will return to the town as other shipping fails to produce enough business, The Wall Street Journal reports.
BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic militants seized an eastern Syrian oil field near Iraq and inched closer to the Turkish border on Friday as they try to consolidate their control of an area along the length of the Euphrates river stretching through Syria and Iraq.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that fighters from the Islamic State group seized the al-Tanak oil field early Friday. Another group, the activist collective of Deir el-Zour, also reported the seizure.
The field is in the eastern Syrian province of Deir el-Zour, near Iraq, and it followed the Islamic State group's seizure of Syria's largest oil field on Thursday. Both oil fields were taken from other rebel groups.
LAC-MEGANTIC, Quebec (AP) — Backhoes and bulldozers are still digging out oil-seeped soil and pavement in the center of this lakeside Quebec town. Where the post office, public library and restaurants once stood, there is only the clanging of machinery kicking up dust over the emptiness.
It is the daily soundtrack of a town fighting to rise up from one of the worst railway disasters in North American history.
A year has passed since a runaway oil train slid quietly down a hill in the middle of the night and derailed in a series of explosions that obliterated a large swath of downtown Lac-Megantic, killing 47 people. Paved roads and new buildings remain a long way off in the fenced-off disaster zone. The damage to the surrounding river system hasn't been fully made public, and the environmental cleanup alone will cost at least $200 million.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. safety officials say the dangers posed by a sharp spike in oil shipments by rail in North America extend beyond shipments from the booming Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana, and include oil from elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada.
Acting National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Chris Hart says all crude shipments are flammable and can damage the environment — not just the Bakken shipments involved in a series of fiery accidents.
He cited recent accidents in Mississippi, Minnesota, New Brunswick and Pennsylvania that involved oil shipments from Canada, and said they exemplify "the risks to communities and for the environment for accidents involving non-Bakken crude oil."
In an abrupt move, Scott O’Malia, a Republican on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has tendered his resignation to President Obama effective Aug. 8, after spending more than four years as a CFTC regulator, Platts reports.
The replacement for the departing Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe at EPA could come from the ranks of the agency’s regional administrators, according to E&E, with enforcement chief Cynthia Giles another possibility.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was talking about infrastructure challenges in the age of drilling in the Bakken and Marcellus Shale, while he was being questioned about the role of renewable and sustainable energy over the long term, during a session at Carnegie Mellon University Monday that was linked to the Obama administration's Quadrennial Energy Review, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Apache should stick to drilling in the U.S. and sell off its international operations, as it’s lagging behind companies that operate exclusively in American shale, according to a letter sent Monday by activist investor and hedge fund Jana Partners LLC, which owns at least a billion dollar stake in the company, The Wall Street Journal reports.
An experiment in carbon capture technology at a Saskatchewan power plant will have to be replicated many times if the fight to rein in greenhouse gas emissions is to gain any traction, The New York Times reports.
An analysis by the group Media Matters found more air time on Sunday talk shows was devoted to climate change issues during the first half of this year than in the last four combined, The Hill reports.
Conservationdrones.org is working to boost the use of the small unmanned craft for conservation purposes around the world, from monitoring illegal fishing in Belize to keeping track of seabird populations in Australia to studying caribou in Greenland, The New York Times reports.