BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Following a spate of explosive accidents involving North Dakota crude, the state began requiring companies on Wednesday to remove certain liquids and gases from oil before it's loaded onto rail cars — a move industry and state regulators believe will make for safer shipments.
The rules, developed over the past year, require all crude from the state's oil patch to be treated by heat or by pressure to reduce its volatility before being loaded onto train cars.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian authorities are evacuating residents of a village following an explosion at a Canadian-owned oil well. No injuries were reported.
A statement from the Calgary-based Bankers Petroleum Ltd. said an "uncontrolled leak of natural gas occurred during drilling operation" Wednesday in Marinze, 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of the capital Tirana.
Four Senate Democrats proposed Wednesday that many of the railroad cars that carry crude oil be taken out of service immediately, that new cars be required to have electronically-controlled pneumatic brakes, and that there be new rules requiring that crude be made less volatile before shipment.
The proposal would immediately pull about 37,000 tanker cars from service as a "market signal" to get safer tankers manufactured, the senators said. The oil and rail industries were quick to raise doubts about the proposal.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A proposed settlement fund for victims of a fiery oil train derailment that killed 47 people across the border in Quebec has grown to $270 million (U.S.) with a contribution from Irving Oil, a bankruptcy trustee said Monday.
A court filing Friday in Canada identified 22 parties who have agreed to contribute, including Irving, which previously balked but now says it's providing $60 million to the fund.
The fiery oil train derailment earlier this month in Galena, Illinois has triggered concerns among Chicago residents and officials about the safety of such trains rolling through the state’s largest city, the Chicagoist reports.
TORONTO (AP) — Canada needs to implement tougher standards for oil trains earlier than a 2025 target, the transportation safety board said Tuesday.
The government proposed tougher standards for tank cars this month in response to a string of fiery crashes. The new proposal would require the cars to have a layer of thermal protection and thicker steel walls. It said the new standards should be phased in by 2015.
The Obama administration may be backing away from its insistence that future coal-burning power plants use carbon capture technology, settling instead on a requirement for ultra-supercritical technology in the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, E&E reports.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers argued that the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Rule lacks a sound scientific basis in memos made public by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Thursday, The Hill reports.
The Department of Energy has agreed to rework its proposed efficiency standards for walk-in freezers and coolers, according to the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, which says it has reached a settlement with the DOE over the issue, The Hill reports.
Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. says some other Democrats may be willing to go along with him and Sen. Angus King, I-Me., in a willingness to support legislation lifting the ban on U.S. crude exports if it also backs renewable energy such as wind and solar, E&E reports.
Despite data from the Energy Information Administration showing that U.S. crude production peaked at almost 9.7 million barrels a day in March, news of an increase in oil rig count this week piled more pressure on prices. U.S. benchmark crude slumped $1.40, or 2.9 percent, to settle at $47.12 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London, Brent dropped $1.10 to $52.26, its lowest settlement since January, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Chevron is getting nearly a third more oil and gas from its wells in the Permian Basin, and is paying less for oilfield services as well—but even so, its second quarter profits dove 90 percent on lower crude prices, FuelFix reports.
Hess has increased its production forecast for its Bakken Shale operations to up to 110,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, despite the company dropping the number of rigs it’s operating in the play, Platts reports.
Many witnesses testifying at the first Interior Department hearing on the future of the federal coal program—which was attended by Secretary Sally Jewell—said they wanted to see higher royalty rates to raise more money for U.S. taxpayers, High Country News reports.
Senior creditors for Alpha Natural Resources Inc. will loan money to the beleaguered Virginia-based coal company to help it get through bankruptcy, a filing for which could come as early as Monday, Bloomberg reports.
Although Thursday’s peak demand of 67,624 megawatts didn’t break the all-time record as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas had feared, it's been a huge week for demand, and the grid operator expects high usage throughout the summer, FuelFix reports.