LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — French oil company Total SA said Sunday it stopped a natural gas leak at one of its plants in Nigeria's crude-rich southern delta after 54 days, an emergency that forced the firm to shut down the field and evacuate the area.
Total said it used heavy fluids and cement plugs to stop the gas flow from its Obite natural gas field in Rivers state, in the heart of the country's Niger Delta. Workers will put a cement seal on the well to permanently staunch the flow from the well, Total said in a statement.
Fred Ohwahwa, a spokesman for Total's Nigerian subsidiary, said Sunday that the company hoped to restart gas production at the plant soon, but that he didn't know an exact date. Crude oil production at the facility continued while the gas plant there was shut down during the leak, he said.
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.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said the panel is close to an agreement on a package of measures to deal with the Ukraine crisis, including aid to Kiev and some targeted sanctions, Politico reports.
Ambassadors from four central European countries have written to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., urging them to move Congress to take action to loosen up natural gas exports in the face of the Ukraine crisis that has the potential to affect their gas supplies, The Hill reports.
The harsh winter of 2014 has seen many consumers slapped with higher electricity bills, but the retirement of coal-fired power plants to comply with new carbon regulations may stretch pocketbooks and power supplies further, The New York Times reports.
A report by grid operator the Electric Reliability Council of Texas says a combination of low temperatures, low wind and high demand nearly caused blackouts in the state on Jan. 6, noting the wholesale price for electricity that day hit the regulatory cap of $5,000 per megawatt hour for the first time, FuelFix reports.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ordered Hilcorp Energy Co. to stop drilling operations near Youngstown after three minor earthquakes were felt in the area Monday morning, The Vindicator reports.
Electricity entering California's grid that was generated from solar power hit a high of 4,093 megawatts on Saturday, setting a record for a second day in a row, according to the state's ISO, Reuters reports.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board said it intends to investigate an incident Monday at a Tesoro Corp. refinery in northern Calif., where two contract workers received hospital treatment for acid burns, the second time in less than a month that has happened, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The European Union moved to suspend talks with Russia on plans to move ahead with completion of the South Stream natural gas pipeline and a plan to boost supplies flowing through the Nord Stream pipeline, Reuters reports.