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."

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Bromwich concerned budget cuts may reverse hard-won reforms


U.S. to seek more fines in Gulf oil spill

Oil spill claims expansion for shrimpers, crabbers is not retroactive

Oil spill cleanup to enter 'patrol and maintenance," use smaller crews

Stranded dolphin improving, fifth dead dolphin found in Mississippi

NOAA finds bacterial infection as cause of death for five northern Gulf dolphins; investigation continues

"We believe these five dolphins died from brucellosis. Die-offs from bacterial infections could be occurring because the bacterium has become more lethal, but they could also be occurring, or be more severe, because the dolphins are more susceptible to infection. Severe environmental stress, including from exposure to oil, could have reduced the animals' ability to fight infection," said Teri Rowles, DVM, Ph.D., coordinator of NOAA's National Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program.


Renewable power trumps fossil fuels for first time

"Renewable energy is surpassing fossil fuels for the first time in new power-plant investments, shaking off setbacks from the financial crisis and an impasse at the United Nations global warming talks. Electricity from the wind, sun, waves and biomass drew $187 billion last year compared with $157 billion for natural gas, oil and coal, according to calculations by Bloomberg New Energy Finance using the latest data. Accelerating installations of solar- and wind-power plants led to lower equipment prices, making clean energy more competitive with coal."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oil Drilling News


U.S. Nears Milestone: Net Fuel Exporter

Yes, you read that headline right.
"According to data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Tuesday, the U.S. sent abroad 753.4 million barrels of everything from gasoline to jet fuel in the first nine months of this year, while it imported 689.4 million barrels. [...] So long as the U.S. remains the world's biggest net importer of crude oil, currently taking in nine million barrels per day, it isn't likely to become energy independent anytime soon. Yet its growing presence as an overall exporter of fuels made from crude gives it greater influence in the global energy market. [...] But U.S. drivers aren't seeing much benefit in the form of lower prices because refineries on the Gulf Coast are shipping much of their output to places where demand is strong, keeping prices high."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Shocker! Newt Gingrich doesn't understand oil

"Sadly, he's not alone, which is why this is worth debunking. Gingrich's sense that oil fields can be brought rapidly online, and his "we beat the Nazis and went to the moon so we can do this" statements reflect the general cultural misunderstandings about how oil is extracted that are endemic in our culture. While his claim that we could "open up enough oil fields in the next year that the price of oil worldwide would collapse. Now, that's what we would do if we were a serious country." is a bit of idiocy, it probably isn't atypical idiocy in a country that knows nothing about the basic geology that underlies just about everything."


Offshore safety chief: BP, 2 other companies face more safety citations in Gulf oil spill


Thankfully, West Coast Escapes Department of Interior's New Drilling Plans

"In the simplest of terms, if we can't clean it up, we better make sure it doesn't get spilled in the first place."


BP set to keep cleaning beaches

"As BP wraps up its oil spill cleanup phase and shifts into its restoration phase, one looming question remains: What about the tar mats still believed to be submerged along the shorelines of local beaches?"


Renewables future of energy, IEA says

Friday, November 18, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Republicans push drilling plan to pay for roads, bridges

"The energy and infrastructure package also includes a proposal by Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, to lift a congressional ban on exploration in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and force the government to sell drilling leases in parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans."

BOEM Calls for Public Input on Proposed 2012-2017 Eastern GOM Lease Sales
"The general area of this Call covers approximately 657,905 acres, including a triangular-shaped area south of this area bordered by the Central Planning Area boundary on the West and the Military Mission Line (86º 41'W) on the East. The area is south of eastern Alabama and western Florida; the nearest point of land is 125 miles northwest in Louisiana. For a map of the area, go to:"


Transocean Can't Blame U.S. for Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Judge Rules

"Transocean filed a claim against the U.S. in February, contending the incident may have been caused in part by the acts of federal agencies and government employees."
How lame is that?  By the way, the rig operator in the recent oil spill off Brazil was - you guessed it - Transocean.


Legislation aimed at discouraging Cuban oil exploration

"Bill Nelson, Florida's senior senator, and a Senate colleague from New Jersey introduced a bill last week that would hold foreign oil companies directly accountable for oil spills that pollute U.S. territory. 

The bill was written in anticipation of a massive foreign offshore drilling operation that could begin in Cuban waters - as close as 50 miles from Key West - by late next month."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Latest proposed 5-year OCS plan falls short, API official says

"He urged the administration to reconsider and schedule lease sales in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, which is largely closed by congressional moratorium, and off Virginia's coast, where a lease sale was scheduled as part of the current 5-year program but canceled following the 2010 Macondo well accident and crude oil spill. Sales off Alaska which have been scheduled toward the end of the next 5-year period should be moved up, especially if Shell Exploration Co.'s Beaufort and Chukchi Sea tests produce positive results, he added."

Interior secretary urged to reconsider offshore drilling ban in Virginia
"All eight Republicans who represent Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives called on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Wednesday to reconsider a decision to ban offshore oil and gas drilling off the commonwealth's coast."


BP finds oil on Perdido Key

"BP cleanup crews recovered 1,253 pounds of tar balls mixed with shells near the Eden Condominium on Tuesday."


Brazilian police investigate offshore oil spill

Chevron Says Brazil Offshore Well Sealed

"Brazil's National Petroleum Agency said Monday that the well was leaking at a rate of between 200 and 330 barrels per day, and between 521 and 882 barrels had reached the surface so far. The leak, first discovered Nov. 8, has produced a stain on the water stretching across an area of 163 square kilometers, the agency said." 

Oil leak prompts Chevron to halt well-drilling off Brazil's coast


US Navy tests biofuel to power ship in its largest alternative fuel demonstration to date

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Offshore industry hopes for grace period on new rules

"Industry leaders say they are hoping for a transition period, during which federal regulators notify companies of violations but delay possible fines or other penalties."


New Documentary Says Gulf Oil Spill Crisis Isn't Over

"I used to be a surfer but I won't go in the water anymore," he said. "The last time I did my eyes and lips were burning."


Chevron suspects drilling caused Brazil oil spill

Petrobras field the source of serious deep sea oil leak (Greenpeace New Zealand)

Chevron Oil Spill off Brazil - 10 Times Bigger Than Official Estimate? (Skytruth)

Progress seen in fixing Brazil oil spill: Chevron

"Cementing of the well, which is suspected to have been a cause for the oil leak, will be finished in coming days."


Navy's first hybrid-drive warship goes to sea

""Everything that we see in the civilian world is going more electric. We've had hybrid-electric cars for awhile, now you are starting to see the all-electric cars come in. That's where the Navy is going," said Timothy McCoy, director of the Navy's electric ships office in Washington, D.C."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oil Drilling News


Offshore lease sale set for December
"The Department of Interior says it has set a December date for the next Gulf offshore oil and natural gas lease sale -- the first such sale since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and BP oil spill."

Ready for another Gulf oil disaster?

Oil & gas industry spills happen "all the time"
"Everyday there's numerous releases happening throughout just this country," said oil and gas safety expert Mike Sawyer. "Sometimes every couple of hours there's a new incident."


Skytruth Alert: Fire Reported in Gulf of Mexico Near BP and Shell's Na Kika Offshore Drilling Site 2011-11-10

Drowning in Oil: The BP Spill through a Sustainability Lens

"Following the disaster at the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, Steffy decided to chronicle what occurred with BP's facilities in his most recent book, Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit. The book is a chilling account of events and people's decisions leading up to the catastrophic events of April 20, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico."


Oil companies need rules before drilling


Oil-spill cleanup continues at beach

"At Fourchon, tar balls continue to wash up on the beach every day from oil buried in the surf... [...] To be considered clean, Fourchon Beach must have less than 1 percent distribution of oil and oiled debris, Edwards said."


A good call: Blocking drilling off Virginia's coast (LTE)


Oil Spill (Natural Seep??) off Brazil - 56 Miles Long Today [Friday]

Chevron halts drilling of Brazil well after spill

Chevron drilling caused Brazil oil spill:official