Friday, December 16, 2011

Oil Drilling News - Last Issue



Panel warns of ongoing hazards posed by offshore drilling

"A new report issued by The National Academy of Engineering, a government-created nonprofit, concludes that the lack of regulation and ineffective safety management practices that led to BP's catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have not been fully remedied — leaving communities in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana potentially vulnerable to another oil spill."

Restoring the Gulf: difficult and expensive
"We encourage Congress to support current efforts to legislate using fines for the plan, and urge all other avenues of funding from agencies and other sources: Foremost among these should be energy companies, currently reaping record profits, and other businesses that exploit the Gulf's resources."

Taylor / 23051 Chronic Leak Site in Gulf: Oil Analyzed (Skytruth)

"We wanted to know if other samples of oil collected in this region of the Gulf, on beaches and barrier islands and from slicks observed offshore, could possibly be coming from the Taylor site since it's a well-documented source of oil pollution." 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Exxon Mobil spent $3.2 million on lobbying in 3Q for offshore oil drilling, other issues

GOP seeks to strip EPA offshore drilling oversight
"In an important piece of spending legislation Thursday, Republicans included a measure that strips the EPA's authority to issue air-quality permits in the Arctic and shifts it to the Interior Department. The department already handles air-quality permits in many parts of the Gulf of Mexico, where much of the U.S. drilling takes place. The goal of the measure is to subvert an EPA appeals process that allows environmental groups and citizen activists to challenge the issuance of air-quality permits, said Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), a long-time champion of the measure." 

Video: Is Gulf Seafood Unsafe to Eat?

New report criticizes industry, regulators in Gulf oil spill
"The report, conducted at the behest of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, echoed findings from previous investigations issued over the last year about the mishaps and chain of poor decisions that led to the blowout of the Macondo well. In particular, the report "Macondo Well -- Deepwater Horizon Blowout, Lessons for Improving Offshore Drilling Safety," said the "multiple flawed decisions that led to blowout"  resulted from "a deficient overall systems approach to safety" among the corporations that led the drilling at the Macondo well, including BP, Transocean and Halliburton. The report went further in some key areas, calling into doubt the ability of blowout preventers to serve as the ultimate fail-safe device, given that "there were numerous warnings to both industry and regulators about potential failures of existing BOP systems" over the previous decade, according to the report. The report also said that the fragmented nature of offshore oil drilling, with different companies responsible for highly specialized tasks, means that few people on a rig may have a complete sense of the risks involved in the drilling operation."


Brazil Sues Chevron for $11 Billion
"A Brazilian federal prosecutor on Wednesday asked a judge to shut down all Chevron Corp. and Transocean Ltd. operations in Brazil in a lawsuit that seeks some 20 billion Brazilian reais ($11 billion) in damages from the companies, the latest legal broadside to the firms since oil leaked from a well they operate in early November."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

OIl Drilling News


U.S. Gulf Oil Lease Sale Attracts 241 Bids From 20 Companies

"The first lease sale for oil production in the Gulf of Mexico since BP Plc's 2010 spill attracted 241 bids from 20 companies, the Interior Department said as an environmental group sought to block the auction."

Gulf Offshore Drilling Leases Auction Challenged By Environmentalists
"The suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington claims that the federal government failed to take steps to avoid a repeat of BP's disastrous oil spill in 2010, which leaked more than 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The suit was filed by Oceana, Defenders of Wildlife, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Center for Biological Diversity."

Deepwater Horizon Committee Issues Final Report

BP Oil Spill Shows Blowout Systems Need Redesign, Panel Says

"The U.S. government and the energy industry had "misplaced trust" in the ability of blowout preventers to act as fail-safe mechanisms, a committee of the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council said in a report today. The 57 foot (17 meter) valve systems, which stand atop deep-water wells, weren't designed or tested for the conditions that existed when the Macondo well exploded, the report found."

NAE: Flawed decisions, poor oversight led to 2010 oil spill
"A series of flawed decisions by companies working on BP's failed Macondo well, poor oversight by federal regulators and a "misplaced trust" in emergency equipment guarding the site led to the lethal Deepwater Horizon disaster, the National Academy of Engineering concluded today."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Exxon expects that U.S. oil imports have peaked

"...a significant factor will also be a rapid decline in the nation's oil demand driven by continued gains in energy efficiency and little population expansion in the next three decades."        

Economy, gas prices make Americans drive less
"The autumn of 2011 saw the poorest gasoline demand since 2000, says Tom Kloza, chief analyst at the Oil Price Information Service."


A Fifth-Grader Writes About Offshore Oil Drilling


Chevron May Need to Drill Relief Well at Brazil Spill Site

"The cementing at the Frade well that leaked last month currently "doesn't guarantee 100 percent efficiency," Magda Chambriard, a director at the regulator known as ANP, told reporters today in Rio de Janeiro. Drilling a relief well is "one possibility" if Chevron doesn't convince ANP that the cementing is solidly stuck to the ground, Chambriard said."

All Brazil's cars to use ethanol
"Two thirds of all cars in Brazil are fueled with ethanol, said the chief executive of Petrobras, José Sergio Gabrielli, speaking last week at the World's 20th Petroleum Conference, in Doha, Qatar. Gabrielli, head of the third-biggest Brazilian oil producer, said the company is increasing its ethanol production and predicts all cars in Brazil will soon be running on ethanol, while also exploring new oil fields." 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Feds charge BP with new oil spill violations

"The federal government today issued a second set of citations to BP accusing the oil company of violating safety and environmental regulations while drilling the Macondo well that fatally blew out last year."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Task Force Says BP Oil Spill Fines Should Go to Gulf Restoration


BP: Halliburton Destroyed Evidence in Spill Case

"Halliburton Energy Services (HAL) Inc. destroyed test results that showed samples of the cement used to seal London-based BP's Macondo well, which exploded off the Louisiana coast last year, were unstable, BP said in a filing today in federal court in New Orleans. The oilfield services provider also suppressed computer models that might prove Halliburton was at fault "because it wanted to eliminate any risk that this evidence would be used against it at trial," BP said in the filing." 

Bluefin Tuna Probably OK After BP Oil Spill

"Former NOAA chief scientist Sylvia Earle, a renowned ocean explorer who has campaigned against overfishing of tuna, isn't convinced that bluefin tuna weathered the oil slick. "I think it's too early to celebrate a possible greater survival than had been predicted. These are, after all, models," Earle said. "The truth is we don't have enough information to be able to clearly say one way or another what happened to the 2010 class of baby tuna.""


Intensity of debate over offshore drilling hard to calculate in Fla. Senate race


Blistering Rate Of Growth For U.S. Solar Industry

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Bill holds foreign oil drillers accountable
"U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is sponsoring legislation that would hold foreign oil companies financially responsible for cleaning up a spill if oil makes it into United States waters. Nelson, D-Florida, spoke on the Senate floor on Wednesday to stump for support of the bill. Nelson's bill comes as several companies that have partnered with the Cuban government will begin exploratory drilling off Cuba by the end of the year. Nelson and others have raised concerns about oil from a spill making it to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and other Florida waters."


Shell gambles billions in Arctic Alaska push

"Shell is at the center of a classic Alaska development battle, gearing up to explore for oil as it confronts ever-higher regulatory hurdles and court challenges by environmentalists who say a big Arctic oil spill would be a disaster."


Bahamas oil wells may imperil Florida

"Just as South Florida braces for oil drilling set to begin next month off the shores of Cuba, a Bahamian company is pressing to dig exploratory wells as early as next year less than 200 miles from the state's delicate coastline. The Bahamian plans could eventually bring rigs as close as 40 miles from Port Everglades." 


Oil-spill cleanup at Fourchon Beach draws fire

"Oil is everywhere. It sits beneath the sand in layers, left there when crude began washing up after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in April 2010 and later covered by the wind and waves that constantly reshape the beach. Mats of oil snared in marsh lie just below the waterline a few feet from shore. And when the innocuous-looking balls of sand that constantly wash up are broken open, a smell akin to fresh asphalt wafts out."


"Flying Blind" in Pre-Salt Oil Fields
"Nearly a month after the start of the offshore oil spill, authorities in Brazil have not yet been able to determine the causes of the accident, how much oil was leaked at a Chevron platform, the size of the oil slick, or the extent of the environmental damage. In the midst of contradictory and scarce information, fears over the environmental risks posed by the technologically-challenging exploitation of the country's massive "pre-salt" oil reserves – buried under thick layers of sand, rock and salt – are growing."