Environment

EPA Aims to Cut Methane Leaks From Natural Gas Companies

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a new partnership with 41 energy companies that have agreed to voluntarily reduce methane emissions from natural gas operations to help combat climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the Natural Gas STAR Methane ..

Coast Guard: Unknown Amount of Crude in Louisiana Bayou

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard says an unknown amount of crude oil has spilled into a bayou in southern Louisiana. The Coast Guard said in a statement Monday night it received a report around 8 p.m. that a tank along the edge of Bayou Teche near Charenton was being filled with crude oil wh..

Williams Advances Unique Position in Canada with Startup of Second Offgas Processing Plant

Williams today announced the startup of its second offgas liquids extraction plant, a key asset in the company’s Canadian midstream and petchem complex. The new plant boosts domestic production of petchem feedstocks and significantly reduces emissions in the oil sands production process while recove..

Creating an Environmentally Friendly Pipeline

With the advent of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and Clean Water Act of 1972, environmental quality, protection and enhancement have been at the forefront of proposed pipeline activities for nearly a half century. Considerable effort and coordination goes into planning pipeline proj..

Apache Faces More Charges in Canada over Safety

The Alberta Energy Regulator said Apache could be slapped with a penalty of up to $2.5 million for a spill in northwestern Alberta two years ago. In that incident, contaminated water spilled about 40 km from Whitecourt, affecting a nearby creek. Apache has been charged on five counts under the Pipel..

Nigerians Sue Shell in UK Court for Oil Spills Contamination

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Tens of thousands of Nigerian fishermen and farmers are suing multinational oil giant Shell in two new lawsuits filed Wednesday in a British High Court, alleging that decades of uncleaned oil spills have destroyed their lives. London law firm Leigh Day & Co. is representing th..

Washington State Considers Nation's 1st Carbon Emissions Tax

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington could become the first state in the nation to impose a direct tax on carbon emissions from fossil fuels such as coal, gasoline and natural gas. A ballot measure before the state Legislature would create a carbon tax of $25 per metric ton of fossil fuel emissions burned in ..

US Report: Rail Safety Violations Should Be Prosecuted

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators are failing to refer serious safety violations involving freight rail shipments of crude oil and other hazardous cargo for criminal prosecution, and are going lightly on civil fines, according to a report released Friday by a government investigator. The Federal Ra..

Study: California Leak Was Top Methane Release in US History

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A natural gas leak that sickened Los Angeles residents and forced thousands from their homes was the largest known release of climate-changing methane in U.S. history, scientists reported Thursday. The 16-week blowout from a well at a Southern California Gas Co. storage facility ..

SoCalGas Facility Must Pass Tougher Tests to Operate Again

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The gas storage facility that spewed methane uncontrollably for almost four months, driving thousands of families from their homes, won’t resume operations until it has undergone tougher tests than ever required before, a process that will take months and perhaps even longer. T..

California Declares Massive Natural Gas Leak Sealed

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A blowout at a natural gas well that spewed massive amounts of climate-changing methane for nearly four months and drove thousands of Los Angeles families from their homes has been permanently sealed, state officials declared Thursday. The announcement certifying that the ruptu..

PHMSA: Pipe Corrosion Led to Santa Barbara Oil Spill

LOS ANGELES (AP) — External corrosion on an oil pipeline was the root cause of a leak that spilled more than 140,000 gallons of crude on the Santa Barbara coast in May, federal regulators reported. The spill occurred after pumps on the Plains All American Pipeline were shut down and restarted, se..

Dominion Outlines New National Forest Route for Pipeline

RICHMOND, VA (AP) — Energy companies behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have carved a new proposed route through parts of West Virginia and Virginia in response to federal concerns about the national gas pipeline’s initial path through sensitive national forest areas. The alternate released Frida..

Los Angeles DA Charges Utility with Crimes for Gas Leak

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 Sou..

Trucks to Move Oil Stored after California Pipeline Break

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Exxon Mobil Corp. won approval Monday for its plan to use trucks to move more than 17 million gallons of oil stranded in storage tanks after a California pipeline break in May, despite concerns from environmentalists that highway safety could be jeopardized. The Santa Barbara Cou..

Exxon Says Oil and Gas Will Still Dominate Energy in 2040

DALLAS (AP) — The way oil giant Exxon Mobil sees it, the global energy landscape won’t be radically different in 2040 than it is today. Oil and gas will remain king, accounting for an even slightly larger share of the energy supply. Coal will fall behind natural gas to become the third-largest sourc..

Feds Seek Limit on Methane Gas Flaring at Drilling Sites

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Friday proposed new rules to clamp down on oil companies that burn off natural gas on public land, arguing the effort will reduce waste and harmful methane emissions as part of President Barack Obama’s bid to curb climate change. Energy companies freq..

Appeals Court: Clean Power Plan Can Proceed Pending Review

WASHINGTON (AP) — In what environmentalists hailed as a victory for efforts to curb climate change, an appeals panel Thursday in Washington rebuffed efforts to delay enforcement of President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions until legal challenges are resolved. The U.S. Court..

Company Executive Blames Decade-Old Oil Leak on 'Act of God'

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A decade-old oil leak that could last for another century was caused by an “act of God” during a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, the president of the company responsible said Wednesday. Taylor Energy President William Pecue told a gathering of industry experts and environ..

Measuring Methane Emissions: Part of Gas Pipelines’ Future

When examining the growing cottage industry of methane emissions control, it is clear upfront that it is one of the toughest sub-specialties in the emerging conglomerate that makes up the national response to climate change impacts. Researchers, engineers and public-policy wonks must start with the ..

Columbia Pipelines Looking to Spend $1.1 Billion on Modernization

Columbia Gas Transmission has filed a customer agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend its long-term system modernization program by three years, through 2020.The agreement, with a requested approval by March 31, would provide for $1.1 billion of additional investment. Parent company Columbia Pipeline Gas (CPG), has invested about $1 billion under the modernization programs over the past three years, placing more than 100 projections into service. These include: • Replacement of more than 130 miles of bare steel pipelines and wrought iron facilities

AP Investigation: US Power Grid Vulnerable to Foreign Hacks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Security researcher Brian Wallace was on the trail of hackers who had snatched a California university's housing files when he stumbled into a larger nightmare: Cyber-attackers had opened a pathway into the networks running the United States power grid.

Los Angeles Sues Gas Company over 6-Week-Old Leak

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles city attorney has sued the Southern California Gas Co. over a 6-week-old natural gas leak that has sparked complaints of illness and forced hundreds of families out of a San Fernando Valley neighborhood. The Superior Court lawsuit alleges unfair competition and creation of a public nuisance.

Dont 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.

Mr. Mayeaux, You Left Your Company in the Right Hands

Justin Harvey knows he has an industrial-sized pair of shoes to fill as he takes the helm at A+ Corporation, a family-owned and operated gas sample conditioning system service company in Gonzales, LA. The 30-year-old Harvey was just a toddler when his legendary grandfather Donald Mayeaux founded the company in 1989. Mayeaux earned his reputation for developing product concepts that changed the manner in which natural gas was sampled.

Robot Works Below Iconic Scotland Street to Repair Pipeline

ULC Robotics, a leading robotics, energy services and research/development company focused on the energy and utility industries, deployed its Cast Iron Joint Sealing Robot (CISBOT) for the first time in Scotland on busy George Street in Edinburgh this past summer. Similar to Fifth Avenue in New York City, the visitors and high-end shop owners along George Street had minimal disturbance to their normal routines because CISBOT because is virtually invisible.

Editor's Notebook: Winners, Losers and Keystone XL Debacle

I have some final thoughts about the Keystone XL debacle, because that’s what it was. That project never should have been the line in the sand in the debate over climate change, because as we all know, any environmental effect would have been negligible at worst.

Waters of the United States Defined and Your Next Pipeline

<em>Editor’s note: The EPA’s proposed rule changes could considerably expand the jurisdiction of the federal government. Here are some proactive steps that pipeline owners and operators should consider to prepare for unprecedented expansion of the Clean Water Act.</em> The proposed Rule 33 CFR, Part 328, developed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) and in review with the White House, will redefine and clarify the reach of EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA).