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."
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Dozens of mile-long trains loaded with crude are leaving western North Dakota each week, with most shipments going through the state's most populous county while en route to refineries across the country.
The U.S. Department of Transportation ordered railroads last month to give state officials specifics on oil train routes and volumes so emergency responders can better prepare for accidents. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said a pattern of fiery accidents involving trains carrying crude from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana had created an "imminent hazard" to public safety.
Washington has posted on its Emergency Management Division website information on oil trains transiting the state, reporting that BNSF alone sends up to 19 shipments a week carrying at least 1 million gallons of crude, according to Platts.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana officials said Wednesday they intend to release details next week on the frequency of oil trains passing through the state, despite efforts by railroads to keep the information from the public after a string of fiery accidents raised safety concerns.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx last month ordered railroads to provide specifics on oil-train routes, crude volumes and other information to state emergency officials. The order was meant to guard against further accidents.
NEW CASTLE, Colo. (AP) — Four in 10 new oil and gas wells near national forests and fragile watersheds or otherwise identified as higher pollution risks escape federal inspection, unchecked by an agency struggling to keep pace with America's drilling boom, according to an Associated Press review that shows wide state-by-state disparities in safety checks.
Roughly half or more of wells on federal and Indian lands weren't checked in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, despite potential harm that has led to efforts in some communities to ban new drilling.
In New Castle, a tiny Colorado River valley community, homeowners expressed chagrin at the large number of uninspected wells, many on federal land, that dot the steep hillsides and rocky landscape. Like elsewhere in the West, water is a precious commodity in this Colorado town, and some residents worry about the potential health hazards of any leaks from wells and drilling.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating Wednesday’s crash of a helicopter approaching an oil platform south of Houma, La., in which Westwind Helicopters said two men were killed, the Houston Chronicle reports.
A report from California's government says the state's agencies are ill-prepared to oversee inspections and respond to emergencies related to a current surge in oil shipments by rail, Bloomberg reports.
Environmental Protection Agency proposals to limit carbon emissions from power plants envision generating more electricity from natural gas, but to do so would require substantial improvements in infrastructure like pipelines, according to Oglethorpe Power CEO Mike Smith, Platts reports.
An effort to repeal a change in Alaska’s oil taxes -- which got companies off the hook for big surcharges -- has gone down to a narrow defeat, according to unofficial results from the state Division of Elections, Reuters reports, noting that official results won’t be posted until Sept. 2.
Oil prices have resumed slipping on strong supplies and data showing slowing Chinese factory output in August, a warning of lower demand. U.S. benchmark crude stood around 70 cents down at $92.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude dropped 90 cents to $101.38, Reuters reports.
Energy-rich states led the country in economic expansion in the last quarter of 2013, with North Dakota and Wyoming topping the list with an 8.4 percent growth rate, followed by West Virginia and Louisiana, according to data published Wednesday by the Commerce Department, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Ethanol production increased 6,000 barrels a day in the week ending Aug. 15 to 937,000 barrels a day, pushing stocks in the country up to 8.251 million barrels, according to Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday, Platts reports.
Estimates of a bird burning to death every two minutes at the Ivanpah solar project are inflated, according to a spokesman for NRG Energy, which operates the facility built by BrightSource Energy and says 321 birds died there in the first half of the year, Bloomberg reports.
Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla. and the target of ads by Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate group for his positions, attended a brief meeting with scientists this week who explained their views about the threat posed by global warming, the Orlando Sentinel reports.