Trying to phase out old DOT-111 tank cars within two years, as proposed in new Department of Transportation regulations, could trigger a shortage and hurt oil and ethanol production, industry officials warned, Platts reports.
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Officials need to improve communication with residents of North Dakota's booming oil patch during potentially dangerous situations, an emergency manager and residents said, after an oil field service supply facility storing toxic chemicals exploded this week and authorities failed to alert the public for more than six hours.
"They should have done more," Aaron Volesky, a resident of Williston, North Dakota said of the slow release of information. No one was injured or killed in the explosion and fire, which started about midnight Monday and raged most of Tuesday. Flights to and from the town of 20,000 people were canceled for several hours Tuesday as a plume of smoke shot hundreds of feet into the air.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to a series of fiery train crashes, the government proposed rules Wednesday that would phase out tens of thousands of older tank cars that carry increasing quantities of crude oil and other highly flammable liquids through America's towns and cities.
But many details were put off until later as regulators struggle to balance safety against the economic benefits of a fracking boom that has sharply increased U.S. oil production. Among the issues: What type of tank cars will replace those being phased out, how fast will they be allowed to travel and what kind of braking systems will they need?
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Wednesday will announce new rules covering oil train safety, sources told The Wall Street Journal, which says the plan has railroads concerned about possible speed restrictions and oil companies worried about limits on tank car volumes.
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A once-massive blaze at an oil supply and logistics company that housed flammable chemicals in Williston, North Dakota, has been extinguished, according to the town's fire department.
Most firefighters returned from the facility belonging to Red River Supply late Tuesday, though one truck remained early Wednesday to monitor hot spots, said fire department shift captain Steven Kerzmann.
"The fire is out, but you've got some smoldering embers that might pop up here and there," he said.
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Three massive fires since the beginning of June have highlighted the threat lightning poses in the North Dakota oil patch, and in each case it was tanks that store the toxic saltwater associated with drilling — not the oil wells or drilling rigs — that were to blame.
The lightning-sparked fires destroyed the groups of silo-like storage tanks at the three locations, which are among more than 440 sites in North Dakota where so-called saltwater is stored before being pumped into permanent disposal sites miles underground. In each case, the fires burned for days, spewing noxious black smoke into the air and literally salting the earth.
An industry proposal to phase out old oil-carrying would aim to replace cars within three years of the program taking effect, a timetable that relies on swift development of the new cars, FuelFix reports.
By pushing for international agreement on a climate accord – which would "name and shame" violators rather than prosecute them – President Obama hopes to come up with a global deal on the issue that would avoid him having to present a legally binding treaty for Senate ratification, The New York Times reports.
$1.4 million will settle federal claims stemming from a crude oil spill from a pipeline operated by an Exxon Mobil subsidiary in Louisiana back in 2012, an amount the company has agreed to pay, The Hill reports.
A greater-than-expected decline in crude stockpiles reported by the Energy Information Administration Wednesday helped push oil prices up. U.S. benchmark crude gained 15 cents to $94.01 a barrel after settling 51 cents higher on the Nymex Tuesday, while in London Brent crude for October delivery rose 21 cents to $102.71, Reuters reports.
Texas lawmakers examined the impact of the oil boom in a hearing Tuesday, where the Texas Oil & Gas Association said it has brought the state $48 billion in wage payments and $11 billion in royalties a year, the Houston Chronicle reports.
High returns from fossil fuel investments make it difficult for the divestment movement to attract support, although dumping coal stocks may be a more attractive proposition than turning away from oil and gas companies, says a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, according to National Journal.
In a change of plans, Duke Energy said at a Florida Public Service Commission hearing Tuesday it would buy an existing natural gas-fired plant from Calpine Finance Construction Co. instead of building one of its own, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, must pay the husband of a suicide victim in the region $470,000, under a ruling from a Japanese court, The Washington Post reports.
Although leaders in Moscow and Kiev spoke of “positive” results from Tuesday’s talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko, there appeared to be no letup in fighting Wednesday, Bloomberg reports.