offshore oil

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Hundreds Flee Oil Platforms After Barge Breaks Loose

Storm causes deadly havoc in the North Sea

(Newser) - BP says 150 people have been evacuated from its offshore oil platforms in the North Sea due to an unmanned barge drifting in rough seas toward the Valhall oil field. A company spokesman says the evacuees were taken to other oil fields as a precaution, and that 85 people remained... More »

Feds Launch Urgent Review of Arctic Drilling

Alaska accident renews debate on Shell exploration

(Newser) - An accident involving a Shell drill ship in Alaskan waters has prompted an urgent Interior Department review of oil and gas activities in Arctic waters. The running aground of the Kulluk rig is just the latest in a series of accidents and blunders involving Shell equipment in the region and... More »

Debby Changes Track, Stays Close to Florida

Forecast to hit panhandle on Thursday, disrupting oil production

(Newser) - Tropical Storm Debby slowly closed in on Florida last night, leaving one person dead in tornadoes spawned by its winds, and one man missing and presumed drowned at an Alabama beach, reports Reuters . The National Hurricane Center reported significant changes for Debby's predicted path. No longer expected to grow... More »

Feds Tighten Offshore Drilling Rules

All deep-water projects to require impact studies

(Newser) - Oil companies will no longer be allowed to launch new deep-water drilling projects in US waters without submitting environmental impact studies under new guidelines announced yesterday. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the administration is banning "categorical exclusions" like the one that allowed BP to drill its ill-fated Macondo well... More »

House Panel Votes to Block New BP Drilling

Firm facing 7-year ban on applying for new offshore leases

(Newser) - BP faces being banned from new offshore drilling for up to 7 years under a measure passed by the House Natural Resources Committee. The amendment to a sweeping oil reform bill doesn't mention BP by name, but bans firms that have had more than 10 fatalities at drilling facilities or... More »

Obama Used Bush Drilling Policies He Slammed

Political expediency caused U-turn on offshore drilling

(Newser) - President Obama and his administration have gone from condemning Bush-era offshore drilling policies to embracing them to blaming them for the mess in the Gulf, a Wall Street Journal look at Obama's energy policy finds. The tough talk about environmental protection heard on the campaign trail gave way to support... More »

BP Response Plan Was Based on Surface Spills

Government models weren't updated for deepwater drilling

(Newser) - BP's response to the Gulf spill was based on outdated government-provided models that were proven wrong by scientists before they were proven wrong by the disaster. The Minerals Management Service predictions—which didn't even address how oil would behave when spilled a mile under the surface—gave very low odds... More »

Salazar Plans New Drilling Ban

Moratorium will be back in place 'within days'

(Newser) - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, hours after a judge blocked the moratorium on deepwater drilling , announced that a new one is on the way. Salazar says he will order a new ban "within days"to ensure there's no repeat of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Reuters reports. "We see clear... More »

Deepwater Horizon Owner Slams Drilling Ban

Industry could get back to work tomorrow, says Transocean boss

(Newser) - The owner of the busted rig spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico is itching to get back to work. Transocean chief Steven Newman slammed the Obama administration's 6-month moratorium on deepwater drilling at an oil conference today, the AP reports. There are things the administration "could implement today... More »

Obama to Reopen Drilling in Gulf Shallows

Deep water drilling moratorium to stay put

(Newser) - The government's almost ready to release new safety standards that will allow companies to start searching for oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico again, President Obama said yesterday. Obama was seeking to reassure Gulf residents worried that the moratorium introduced after the Deepwater Horizon will destroy thousands of... More »

Who Regulates Big Oil? Big Oil

Investigation finds gaps in oversight, safety measures

(Newser) - Over the past decade, the federal agency tasked with monitoring offshore oil drillers has gradually ceded control to the industry itself, finds the Wall Street Journal . The Minerals Management Service doesn't actually write rules, but rather sets "broad goals" for drillers, an approach that is taking heat post-Gulf spill.... More »

Schwarzenegger Drops Support for Drilling

Gulf tragedy shakes him up

(Newser) - Disturbing images of the Gulf oil spill have caused California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to change his mind about allowing new drilling for oil off the California coast. The governor withdrew his support for a project expected to raise $100 million for the cash-strapped state, telling reporters: "If I have... More »

Regulate, Baby, Regulate; Drilling Won't Solve Much

Only energy industry re-regulation can stop zooming gas prices

(Newser) - President Obama's decision to open up new offshore drilling was a brilliant political move that may or may not harm the environment, Thomas Frank writes in the Wall Street Journal. But if Obama wants to avoid a repeat of the oil price crisis of 2008—that which fueled the "... More »

Obama to Open New Offshore Drilling

Atlantic drilling to open up first time in 20 years

(Newser) - President Obama plans to clear the way for drilling for oil and gas in new areas off the Atlantic coast, Alaska, and in the Gulf of Mexico, administration officials say. The proposal—to be unveiled today at a joint press conference with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar—keeps intact the moratorium... More »

Wind Could Provide All US Power: Feds

Interior Dept. study sees offshore turbines generating energy

(Newser) - Offshore winds are a largely untapped resource that could potentially supply the US with even more electricity than it currently needs, according to a new Interior  Department report. The report says the area off the Atlantic coast could meet more than one-fourth of the national power demand, but the fact... More »

1 Dead, 16 Missing in Canadian Helicopter Crash

(Newser) - A helicopter ferrying workers to oil rigs off Canada’s Atlantic coast crashed into the ocean today, killing at least one, the Telegram of St. John’s, Newfoundland, reports. One passenger has been rescued, but 16 more remain lost. The chopper reported engine trouble prior to ditching about 40 miles... More »

Cheaper Oil Likely to Stay Awhile

Demand won't quickly return to old levels, and new tech, exploration keeps pressure off

(Newser) - Oil prices are down, and they’re likely to stay that way for now, writes Ronald Bailey for Reason. Not only did the recent spike in gas prices drive down demand in the US; it also heightened the effect of domestic and local production. Government mandates, made in response to... More »

Dems Ditch Ban on Offshore Drilling

Current moratorium expires Oct. 1, GOP hails victory

(Newser) - Democrats are removing a ban on offshore drilling from the budget resolution to avoid a White House veto, Politico reports. The move aims "to take a budget standoff of the table so we can address the larger Bush financial crisis," said a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelos.... More »

House Passes Drill Bill

'Compromise' bill allowing limited new drilling passes without GOP backing

(Newser) - An energy bill including a partial lifting of the ban on new offshore drilling has passed the House, reports the Washington Post. The vote split largely along party lines, with most Republicans rejecting the package for not going far enough. The measure would allow new drilling beginning at 50 miles... More »

Democrats Switch Policy to Back Offshore Drilling

GOP pressure, $4 gas behind sea change on energy position

(Newser) - The Democrats are tossing a big part of their environmental policy overboard to reach a compromise on offshore drilling, reports the New York Times. A shift in public opinion, coupled with Republican pressure on the issue, has convinced the party to reverse its long-held opposition to back a deal allowing... More »

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