French oil company Total saw its revenues grow strongly in the first quarter of the year but said Friday that a drop in European demand for petrochemicals hit profits.
While energy prices have soared amid unrest in the Middle East and tension in Iran, the economic slowdown in Europe has weighed on demand. Those high prices have buoyed Total's production business, but other sectors are struggling amid the poor economic environment.
French oil firm Total SA said Saturday that a natural gas leak at one of its plants in Nigeria's crude-rich southern delta may have been going on for weeks.
The leak at its Obite natural gas site has forced the company to evacuate those nearby and led to daily monitoring of air and water surrounding the plant in Nigeria's Rivers state. However, Total's Nigerian subsidiary hasn't made any public statement about the leak since it likely began following an incident March 20, though the company has given near-daily updates about a similar leak at a plant off the United Kingdom in the North Sea.
The Wall Street Journal reports that just as it appeared the market was beginning to absorb the Iranian oil drop, the gas leak from a Total rig in the North Sea has led to jitters that could rein in output from Europe's largest oil patch.
Oil giant Total has moved to reassure investors and environmental activists over the past week that the financial and environmental damage from its gas leak in the North Sea would be limited, a task made more difficult by comparisons to BP's handling of a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico nearly two years ago.
Initial data showed that the leak from Total's platform in the Elgin gas field 150 miles (250 kilometers) off the coast of Scotland — which was first detected March 25 — was pouring out about 7 million cubic feet (200,000 cubic meters) of natural gas each day. On Friday, the company said the rate of the leak appeared to have slowed but had no new figure.
Power generated by the planned Hancock Wind project in Maine will be sold to Burlington Electric Department in Vermont, according to a deal announced Friday by wind farm operator First Wind, the Boston Globe reports.
Virginia's has moved closer to its goal of setting up a research turbine on the Outer Continental Shelf off the state's coast to gather wind data, now that BOEM has found no competing interests in the area, Newsplex.com reports.
ConocoPhillips said Friday it will set aside more than half of its $16.7 billion budget next year for North American shale projects, adding that it expects to hit its production target of 1,600 barrels a day, Reuters reports.
Cheniere's soaring share price hit a new record high Thursday and then again on Friday, following news of a deal to supply natural gas to Indonesia from a Corpus Christi facility that's still in the planning stages, according to Fuelfix.
Solaria has filed suit against a federal agency, seeking nearly $30 million after the Overseas Private Investment Corp. walked away from a deal with the California solar firm despite signing a commitment letter offering financing.
U.S. oil prices will remain relatively low and demand will increase, according to a Goldman Sachs analyst, who predicts the commodity cycle dominated by strong demand from China and India will turn "upside down," Reuters reports.
A Colorado State University professor says the oil and gas industry has helped the state recover from the recession, according to the Reporter-Herald, though not without social and environmental costs.