Safety

Oil

Lightning a threat to ND saltwater disposal sites

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.

Oil

Reports: Fighting at Tripoli airport continues despite truce

Source: 
AFP

Witnesses and an airport official tell AFP that two powerful militia groups continued fighting at an airport in Tripoli, Libya despite a truce agreement signed hours before.

Oil

Tripoli airport fighting calmed by cease-fire: Reports

Source: 
International Business Times

Two rival militias battling over Tripoli's airport reportedly have reached a cease-fire agreement, International Business Times reports.

Oil

Proposal to update railcars would take years to implement

Source: 
FuelFix

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.

Oil

Refining industry not on board with railcar proposal

Source: 
Reuters

Though the American Petroleum Institute and the Association of American Railroads agreed to a deal to phase out old crude-carrying train cars in exchange for safer ones, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers isn't on board, saying their members own many of the tank cars affected, Reuters reports.

Oil

Groups seek ban of oil in older railroad tank cars

SEATTLE (AP) — Two environmental groups are asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to immediately ban shipments of volatile crude oil in older railroad tank cars, citing recent explosive oil train wrecks and the department's own findings that those accidents pose an "imminent hazard."

The petition filed Tuesday by the Sierra Club and ForestEthics seeks an emergency order within 30 days to prohibit crude from the Northern Plains' Bakken region and elsewhere from being carried in the older tank cars, known as DOT-111s.

Oil

Energy, rail industry reach agreement for sturdier tanker cars

Source: 
Reuters

The American Petroleum Institute and the Association of American Railroads have reached an agreement to make thicker tanker cars for shipping oil and schedule plans for retiring older cars; if the agreement is endorsed by the Transportation Department, it will become a key component of a larger rail safety overhaul, Reuters reports.

Oil

Influence game: Shaping railroad safety rules

WASHINGTON (AP) — A string of fiery train derailments across the country has triggered a high-stakes but behind-the-scenes campaign to shape how the government responds to calls for tighter safety rules.

Billions of dollars are riding on how these rules are written, and lobbyists from the railroads, tank car manufacturers and the oil, ethanol and chemical industries have met 13 times since March with officials at the White House and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Near spill, reservation wrestles with oil's impact

MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) — Growing up, Ruth Anna Buffalo would follow the dirt track behind her house into the rugged North Dakota badlands, swimming in creeks picketed with beaver dams, finding artifacts and climbing bluffs overlooking Lake Sakakawea. For the young, the lake and the land around it were a wonderland.

Buffalo's grandfather, though, looked at the lake with pained eyes. Created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' building of the Garrison Dam in the 1940s and '50s, it flooded out a significant portion of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation and swallowed his town of Elbowoods. Families were forced to leave their homes for higher ground.

Oil

Iraqi Kurds take over 2 northern oil fields

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.

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