Environment

2 Natural Gas Facilities Proposed for Louisiana 'Alternative Hub'

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two companies are looking at building large facilities along the Mississippi River south of New Orleans where they can export natural gas to the world market, another sign of the expanding footprint of the natural gas industry in Louisiana.

Improving Lost and Unaccounted for Levels by Embracing Innovation

Across many industries, companies showing a reluctance to embrace new technology are in danger of losing any competitive edge. In the oil and gas industry, where even the smallest error can have a major long-term effect, embracing innovation in the form of data analytics has become a necessity for companies striving to reach the highest levels.

Pipeline Rush in Upper Midwest: Gas to Replace Coal

Nine- and even 12-figure numbers don’t phase Paul Copello, a petroleum engineer and president of IIR Energy, a capital projects tracking company that globally compiles and analyzes information for over 95,000 energy projects worldwide, collectively representing potential capital investment of $13.7 trillion. Among those projects, the natural gas pipeline sector is one of the surest bets for consistent increased capital spending, Copello told an energy meeting in Chicago last September.

Oil Sands Producers Can Live with Albertas New Carbon Taxes

If business is good at anything, it is pragmatism. Take a hostile takeover for example. After weeks or months of trading insults and accusations in and out of the media, a deal is struck and the warring CEO’s shake hands and call the final deal a stroke of genius. Whatever they may really feel, they put the past behind them and move forward, ostensibly in the best interests of shareholders. After all, it’s just business.

TGP Seeks FERC Approval to Upgrade NED Capacity

Tennessee Gas Pipeline, a Kinder Morgan company, filed with FERC to increase capacity of the proposed Northeast Energy Direct (NED) project to 1.2 Bcf/d, an increase from 1 Bcf/d as submitted in earlier documents. TGP plans several route modifications on both the mainline and delivery laterals. The anticipated in-service date for the NED project remains Nov. 1, 2018.

Paris Climate Talks Point to Boon for Energy Storage

As the world leaders come together in Paris to tackle the hot issue of climate change, there is one market that not only remains crucial for growth of renewable energy sources; but also remains the most talked about market in the global investment circles: the energy storage market.

Manslaughter Charges Dropped for BP Supervisors in Oil Spill

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Justice Department launched a sweeping and costly criminal investigation after BP's rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico killed 11 workers and caused the nation's worst offshore oil disaster. For roughly two years, a task force of FBI agents and prosecutors occupied an entire floor of a high-rise building across from the federal courthouse in New Orleans.

South Dakota Regulators Grant Dakota Access Pipeline Permit

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota regulators approved a construction permit Monday for a pipeline that will cross through the state as it carries North Dakota oil to Illinois. The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 to approve the permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline, and construction on the roughly 270-mile leg could begin early next year.

EPA Boosts Amount of Ethanol in Gasoline Supply

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is boosting the amount of corn-based ethanol and other renewable fuels in the U.S. gasoline supply despite sustained opposition by an unusual alliance of oil companies, environmentalists and some GOP presidential candidates. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Monday issued a final rule designed to increase production of ethanol to be blended with gasoline through 2016, a decision that could reverberate in Iowa's crucial presidential caucuses.

Steel Factory Gas Leak Kills 10, Injures 7 in Eastern China

BEIJING (AP) — A gas leak at a steel parts factory in eastern China killed 10 people and left seven others hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning in the latest deadly industrial accident to hit China, officials said Monday. The leak occurred late Saturday and poisoned 17 people, five of whom died immediately, the Zouping County government said on its official microblog. It said five more died early Sunday, and the cause of the leak was under investigation.

Prince Rupert Project Receives Construction/Operation Permits

TransCanada has final permits from the BC Oil and Gas Commission (BCOGC), giving regulatory approval for construction and operation of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission pipeline project (PRGT). “Receiving the full complement of 11 pipeline and facility permits is a major milestone for the project, and concludes an exhaustive regulatory process that we embarked on more than two years ago,” said Tony Palmer, PRGT president.

U.S. High Court Rejects Mexican States' Lawsuit over Gulf Spill

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from three Mexican states seeking damages from BP and other companies over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that said the states of Veracruz, Tamaulipas and Quintana Roo can't bring a lawsuit because Mexico's federal government owns the affected property. The Mexican federal government filed a similar lawsuit in 2013, which is progressing through the court system.

Energy-Related CO2 Emissions Fall in Nearly Every State from 2005 to 2013

The United States has a diverse energy landscape that is reflected in differences in state-level emissions profiles. Since 2005, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions fell in 48 states, including the District of Columbia, on a per capita basis.

TransCanadas New Contracts Lead to $570 Million NGTL System Expansion

In the aftermath of the Keystone XL decision, TransCanada announced its subsidiary, NOVA Gas Transmission (NGTL) has signed contracts for 2.7 Bcf/d of new firm natural gas transportation service that will require a $570 million system expansion for 2018. Significant growth in unconventional natural gas supplies in northwestern Alberta and northeastern British Columbia are the primary driver for these new contracts, coupled with continued growth in market demand, the company said.

Pilgrim Pipeline Submits Use and Occupancy Permit Application in New York

Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings announced it has filed a use and occupancy permit application in New York to construct the Pilgrim Pipeline. The proposed 178-mile pipeline project consists of two separate, parallel underground lines running between supply and distribution terminals in Albany and Linden, New Jersey.

United States, China Advance Policies to Limit CO2 Emissions

China and the United States are the two countries with the most energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, together accounting for about 40% of global emissions in 2012. Late last year, China and the United States each announced intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) to mitigate their respective greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but there is still uncertainty in each country's ability to meet those targets. Further efforts to reduce GHG emissions will be discussed at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

EPA Intends Tougher Downwind Air-Pollution Rule in 23 States

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency proposed tougher new limits on Tuesday on smokestack emissions from nearly two dozen states that burden downwind areas with air pollution from power plants they can't control. At the same time, the EPA moved to remove two states — South Carolina and Florida — from the "good neighbor" rules, saying they don't contribute significant amounts of smog to other states. The EPA proposal came as Republicans in Congress moved to block President Barack Obama's plan to force steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants.

New Jersey Mayor: No One Called to Report Gas Smell

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — Tenants at a house that exploded, killing one person and injuring several others, noticed an "overwhelming" gas smell the day before but didn't call any emergency agencies, though it remains unclear whether that was because they thought the owner knew about it. More details about the Wednesday morning incident also emerged, including that the ground floor of the building was being used as an illegal apartment with its gas and electricity supply apparently off the books, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said.

Retrofitting Customized Valves, Actuators for Pipeline Monitoring Stations

Oil and gas engineers face a major problem in accurately and reliably measuring and monitoring the various fluids that are introduced into oil pipelines from well site pumping stations. A thorough understanding of both the oil separation process and the properties of valves and actuators is required to correctly specify a system that will sufficiently measure and monitor these various types of fluids. Also, the conditions downstream from each well are different, requiring valves and actuators to be highly customized to their specific role in the process.

North Dakota Flaring Targets Challenged by Rapid Production Growth

Increases in North Dakota's crude oil production have resulted in increased associated natural gas production from oil reservoirs, especially in the Bakken region. Because of insufficient infrastructure to collect, gather, and transport this natural gas, about one-fifth of North Dakota's natural gas production is flared rather than marketed.

Blast Levels New Jersey Duplex; 1 Reported Dead

ELIZABETH, NJ (AP) — An explosion in northern New Jersey that leveled a duplex Wednesday, knocking a next-door neighbor out of bed, killing one resident and leaving two other people in critical condition with severe burns, officials said. In all, 14 people were taken to hospitals, including an 11-year-old who was one of the critically injured in the Elizabeth explosion, Mayor Chris Bollwage said. The names and ages of the victims weren't immediately released.

Ending Ban on Oil Exports Looms as Biggest Hurdle for Oil Industry

As President Obama smugly twiddles his thumbs and decides when he’ll put Keystone out of its misery, sides are being taken, mostly along political lines, in the real debate that will decide the fate of the domestic oil industry: ending the outdated 1975 ban on crude oil exports. Obama, of course, sees no need to lift the ban, though he says he might reconsider IF the oil industry gives up its tax breaks. As one expected, Hillary Clinton, presumptive Democratic nominee for president, also opposes ending the ban.

Appalachian Midstream Operators Face Myriad of Challenges

This has been a busy year of new challenges and issues facing the Appalachian oil and gas industry as rig count in the Appalachian Basin and elsewhere is down substantially compared to the previous two years. A significant challenge ahead for shale developers in a lower price environment is to continue to be active in finding land, drilling wells and getting the natural resource to market. This article concerns our most recent report, published in May, on the issues and challenges facing midstream operators in the Appalachian Basin.

Feds Want Tougher Rules for Pipelines after Series of Spills

Federal officials want tighter safety rules for pipelines carrying crude oil, gasoline and other hazardous liquids after a series of ruptures that included the costliest onshore oil spill in the nation’s history in Michigan.

Study: Dispersants Failed to Help Oil Degrade in BP Spill

WASHINGTON — The chemical sprayed on the 2010 BP oil spill may not have helped crucial petroleum-munching microbes get rid of the slick, a new study suggested. And that leads to more questions about where much of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill went. If the new results are true, up to half the oil can't be accounted for, said the author of a new study on the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Analysis: Polarized Politics Dictated Obama Keystone Call

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's decision to block the Keystone XL oil pipeline has exposed an endlessly polarized Washington, and likely hardened its divides. Obama is now being praised to the skies by environmentalists and most Democrats, and denounced in apocalyptic terms by Republicans and the business community. And although environmental issues once produced bipartisan agreement in Congress, consensus on action to increase energy production or deal with climate change looks farther away than ever.

North Dakota Losing Appeal Among Drillers, Refiners

The performance of <em>Blood & Oil,</em> a soap opera based on the North Dakota oil boom, is not going well. The show saw its episodes trimmed by ABC amid tepid viewer interest. But the real life Bakken is also suffering from a lack of interest, a development that doesn’t bode well for the oil-producing region. The Bakken had been a key part of the U.S. shale boom over the past half-decade. But production peaked at 1.22 MMbpd in December 2014. Since then production has bounced around, with month-to-month fluctuations, but is slightly down from that high point reached almost a year ago.

1,000 Barrels of Crude Spill from Pipeline in Rural Oklahoma

BILLINGS, Okla. (AP) — A Tulsa-based pipeline company says about 1,000 barrels of crude oil has spilled from a pipeline in rural Oklahoma. Bruce Heine, a spokesman for Magellan Midstream Partners, said in an email Friday the oil was released about 6 p.m. Thursday from a Magellan pipeline that stretches from Enid to Ponca City. He said the spill occurred in a rural area near Billings and no injuries occurred.

Killing Keystone XL, Obama Says Pipeline Not in US Interests

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama rejected an application to build the Keystone XL pipeline Friday after 7 years of federal review, declaring the proposed project wouldn't serve U.S. national interests and would have undercut America's global leadership on climate change.

State Dept. Rejects TransCanada Request for Keystone Delay

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration said Wednesday it is continuing a review of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, despite a request by the project's developer to suspend the review. If granted, a delay could have put off a decision on the high-profile project until the next president takes office in 2017. President Barack Obama has yet to say whether he would approve or reject the pipeline, but the Democrats running for president have all said they oppose it while Republican candidates support it.