Tag Archives: Trending Topics

Agency: New Rules Needed to Make Offshore Drilling Safer

April 2016, Vol. 243, No. 4

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Companies that drill for oil and gas in U.S. waters should be required to work more closely with rig workers and regulators, as they do in Norway and the United Kingdom, to reduce the risk of accidents, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) says. The board investigates major industrial accidents. It is concluding a long-running probe into the catastrophic blowout of a BP well six years ago in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers and injured many others. The out-of-control leak also dumped millions of gallons of oil into the […]

 Natural Gas Combined-Cycle Plant Use Exceeded Coal Plants in 2015

March 2016, Vol. 243, No. 3

Last year marked the first time on record that the average capacity factor of natural gas combined-cycle plants exceeded that of coal steam plants. The power industry has been running natural gas combined-cycle generating units at much higher rates than just 10 years ago, while the utilization of the capacity at coal steam power plants has declined. The capacity factor of the U.S. natural gas combined-cycle fleet averaged 56% in 2015, compared with 55% for coal steam power plants. The mix of energy sources used in U.S. electricity generation has changed dramatically over the past […]

EIA: Gasoline to Average Less than $2 in 2016

February 2016, Vol. 243, No. 2

For the first time since 2004, U.S. drivers are expected to pay an average of less than $2 a gallon for gasoline, the government said Tuesday. They can thank the huge glut of oil around the globe. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its monthly short-term energy outlook that regular gasoline will average $1.98 a gallon nationwide in 2016. The last time oil averaged less than $2 for a full year was 2004, which was also the last time gasoline at stations in some states fell below $1 a gallon. The pump savings are a […]

Los Angeles DA Charges Utility with Crimes for Gas Leak

February 2016, Vol. 243, No. 2

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles prosecutors filed misdemeanor criminal charges Tuesday against a utility for failing to immediately report a natural gas leak that has been gushing nonstop for nearly 15 weeks. District Attorney Jackie Lacey said the charges aren’t a solution to the problem, but Southern California Gas Co. needs to be held responsible for the leak that has uprooted more than 4,400 families. The charges came the same day the state attorney general joined a long line of others in suing the gas company for the blowout that has spewed more than […]

OPEC Says $95 Oil Coming, But Not Until 2040

This week opened with the average global price of oil at an 11-year low, yet OPEC expects its own producers eventually will cut back on production, causing prices to rebound to $70 per barrel by 2020.

That may seem a long time for producers to wait for oil to become more profitable, but in OPEC’s annual World Oil Outlook, issued Wednesday, the oil cartel does not see oil prices returning to the heights of $110 per barrel, where it was before the price crisis began in June 2014. Instead, it says it doesn’t expect prices to reach even $95 per barrel until 2040.

Oil Jobs Drive North Dakota to Lead US in Population Growth — Again

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota is once again leading the nation in population growth, and the number of residents in the state is at an all-time high, according to figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The bureau’s most recent estimate put the state population at 756,927 in July, an increase of 16,887 residents — or about 2.3% — compared to July 2014. That percentage, far higher than the national average, is largely driven by people in search of jobs in oil-rich western North Dakota.

Europe Cries Foul over German’s Support of Russia’s Gas Pipeline

Ther is a growing chorus in Europe against Germany’s support to expand a major natural gas pipeline from Russia over fears that it will leave Europe more dependent on their eastern neighbor.

The Nord Stream 2 would build on the existing Nord Stream pipeline, a conduit that delivers Russian natural gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea. Crucially, the project cuts out Ukraine, a key strategic objective for Russia since the original project’s inception.

Ditch Witch Founder, Inventor of Compact Trencher, Dies

The utility construction industry lost a giant with death of Ed Malzahn, chairman of the Charles Machine Works Inc. (CMW). Malzahn’s invention of a compact trenching machine paved the way for changes in the way essential utility services are delivered to customers.

Gazprom Rapidly Losing Grip on European Markets

When talking about energy security in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), most governments think of gas pipelines. The bigger they are, the more secure they feel.

In the past decade, at least 10 large-scale pipeline projects have been initiated and proclaimed as the ultimate source of gas diversification and energy security. However, just one has been actually realized – Nord Stream – and still Gazprom can fill its capacity only half-way making the project largely uneconomical.

Don’t Expect Crude Exodus Because Export Ban Ending

Congress is on the verge of passing a major budget deal that includes some of the largest changes to energy policy in some years. Tucked into the budget bill is a repeal on the ban on crude oil exports from the United States, a highly sought after goal on behalf of the oil and gas industry.

In exchange for lifting the export ban, Republicans agreed to extend tax credits for wind and solar for five years.

Mexico Oil Sector Sees Most Successful Auction So Far

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s third auction to open oil and gas blocks to private investment was the most successful yet, with all 25 blocks drawing bids Tuesday.

Officials awarded exploration and production rights to mostly Mexican companies, as well as one Canadian firm plus consortiums involving U.S. and Dutch investments. No major multinational oil companies participated in the bidding.

AP Analysis: Why US Will Export Oil for 1st Time in Decades

NEW YORK — The United States, seemingly awash in crude oil after an energy boom sent thousands of workers scurrying to the plains of Texas and North Dakota, will begin exporting oil for the first time since the 1973 oil embargo.

The lifting of the embargo is part of a spending deal expected to be pushed through the House and Senate by the end of the week. Here’s a brief look at why the ban was in place, and the reasons why that ban is now being lifted after four decades.

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