The Keystone XL pipeline extension, proposed by TransCanada Pipeline to increase capacity of oil from Canada to refining centers on the Gulf Coast, has become a political football over the last several years, a victim of hyperbole and demagoguing, is coming up for a vote on Capitol Hill maybe as early as today.  The reason? A runoff election for the US Senate between Democrat Mary Landrieu and Republican challenger US Representative Bill Cassidy, who is so far leading in the polls.  Landrieu, an oil industry friendly Democrat, has been fighting for her political life during this midterm election season where Republicans have recently swept both the House and Senate, as well as many state houses and governor’s mansions.   Read the rest of this entry

Statoil may halt plans to drill in the Chukchi Sea off of northwest Alaska citing the risks and costs.  In an interview at CERAWeek yesterday, EVP Tim Dodson said,

“Ultimately, you need more of a collaborative effort,” Dodson said in an interview. “I think we all agree that generically, this is not really the place to go it alone. This is the place where you need to be learning from each other (and) where you need to be sharing both experiences and sharing facilities and common costs.”

Statoil has decided to watch what happens with the Shell Arctic wells before they make a final decision about letting their leases go.

Fuel Fix » Statoil may abandon US Arctic drilling leases.

Transocean files motion claiming that BP lied about flow rate, and the well could have been killed 2 months earlier.

Rig owner cites BP’s low flow estimates – Houston Chronicle.

Good article by FuelFix about Black Elk Energy’s history of dozens of warnings and citations from regulators for its Gulf of Mexico operations.

We may know later today what criminal penalties the US government will impose on BP for its tragic blowout and subsequent oil spill that polluted the Gulf Of Mexico in 2010. FuelFix, the energy blog for the Houston Chronicle, and Reuters are reporting that settlement has been reached, and the fine could be the largest in US history rising into the billions. Anonymous sources are also reporting the 2 BP employees may also face manslaughter charges in connection with the deaths that occurred on the rig on April 20, 2010. Read the rest of this entry

Of Ice, Whales, and Lack of Leadership.

Exactly one week ago, Shell triumphantly announced the resumption of drilling in the offshore Arctic after a 20 year hiatus.  The drillship Noble Discoverer spud (began drilling) the first new Burger prospect well in the Chukchi Sea; less than 24 hours later, they had to shut down and move 30 miles away to allow for a huge ice floe to move through the area.  They’ve been there ever since, monitoring ice. Read the rest of this entry

The recent boom in domestic oil and gas development, spurred by new  technologies in geologic interpretation, horizontal drilling, completion techniques, and hydraulic fracturing, has exposed a huge gap between our knowledge of getting oil and gas out of the ground and our knowledge of the  long-term damage to the environment these activities could be causing. When Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing activity from The Safe Drinking Water Act in 2005, the exemption, lobbied for strongly by the industry, came before the proliferation of new drilling brought on by new technologies. Read the rest of this entry

 Page 1 of 2  1  2 »