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."