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."
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.
Another federal agency has spoken out against the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS –- the Small Business Administration wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and a top official with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers saying it’s worried about the economic impact of the regulation, The Hill reports.
Problems encountered by West Texas Guar Inc., which operated a processing facility to extract a thickening agent from the legume guar, has cost investors and farmers millions of dollars, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Following six months of negotiations with its suppliers, Baker Hughes says starting Wednesday it will list all of the individual chemicals it uses for fracking on the industry website FracFocus, although it won’t provide information about the proportions used in its cocktails, FuelFix reports.
Enbridge Inc. anticipates it will receive approval from the State Department in mid-2015 to push capacity on its cross-border Alberta Clipper pipeline up to 800,000 barrels a day, a top executive told investors in Toronto Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Pipeline operator Enterprise Products Partners says it’s acquiring Oiltanking Partners in a two-step, $5.8 billion dollar deal that will strengthen its midstream business, The Wall Street Journal reports, noting that the move will leave Enterprise well positioned if the U.S. shifts its ban on crude exports.
An unexpected report of lower crude stockpiles last week pushed oil up Wednesday, while an announcement from Saudi Arabia of a drop in its official price fuelled bearish sentiment. U.S. benchmark crude gained 43 cents to settle at $90.73 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude finished down 51 cents to $94.16, Reuters reports.
A judge’s decision that Broomfield’s fracking ban doesn’t apply to Sovereign Operating Co. because of an earlier memorandum of understanding between the company and the community is a “victory for certainty and clarity,” the Colorado Oil & Gas Association said, according to the Denver Business Journal.
Virginia will appoint an energy efficiency officer to cut power consumption in state facilities by 15 percent over the next two years, according to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s extensive four year plan released Wednesday, the Daily Press reports.
Mike Bloomquist, the lead counsel for the GOP majority on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is leaving to work for lobbying firm Kountoupes Denham, with panel chair Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., thanking him for his contributions, The Hill reports.
“The Polar Vortex Review,” a report from the North American Electric Reliability Corp., found that last winter’s extreme cold triggered multiple equipment failures at generating stations, at one point forcing the shutdown of more than 17,700 megawatts of capacity, according to E&E.