Energy Sector

Largest coastal oil spill in California was caused by pipeline corrosion

Largest coastal oil spill in California was caused by pipeline corrosion

The ruptured pipeline of Texas company Plains All American Pipeline that sent more than 100,000 gallons of heavy crude oil gushing onto a California state beach and into the ocean assured the government that a break in the line was extremely unlikely.

The coastal oil spill from the 24-inch, 10.6-mile-long pipeline west of Santa Barbara on May 19 was the largest in California in 25 years.

The spilled oil blackened beaches in the area and created a 9-square-mile ocean slick. It was found that the spill was caused by a badly corroded section of the line. The corrosion ate away nearly half of the metal wall of a pipeline and ruptured it.

The Obama administration finds unlikely ally in OPEC

The Obama administration finds unlikely ally in OPEC

OPEC stated that the Obama administration has found an improbable ally in the organization’s efforts to push more biofuel into the nation's gasoline supply.

According to the government's most recent forecasts, the demand is likely to go up by 1.5% in the current year to around 139 billion gallons (526 billion liters).

This much increase is enough to easily accommodate small increases in ethanol quotas without breaking the so-called ‘blend wall’ that according to the refiners, will put a cap on blending at nearly 105 of the total gasoline and diesel supply.

Based on the data from first quarter, it is likely to be even higher. In first quarter, gasoline use was surged by over 3%, which was the fastest in more than a decade.

EPA’s Move to Lower Ethanol Blending, A Retrograde Step for Renewable Fuel Standard

EPA’s Move to Lower Ethanol Blending, A Retrograde Step for Renewable Fuel Stand

Coming in wake of the June 1 deadline stipulated by a court order, the Obama Administration on Friday announced its proposal to lower the amount of renewable fuel, Ethanol to be blended into America's gasoline supply from the next year onwards.

The Environmental Protection Agency called the proposal as being 'ambitious, but responsible', one that very well balanced the fact that congressional forecasts were no longer realistic, with the Obama administration's commitment to grow renewable fuel use.

Hanergy Thin Film’s Shares Suspended from Trading

Hanergy Thin Film’s Shares Suspended from Trading

Wednesday saw the shares of Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd plummeting as much as 47 percent, before being altogether suspended from trading, pending a company announcement. The fall cost the firm about $19 billion in market capitalization in just about half an hour.

Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd, the subsidiary of Beijing-based Hanergy Holding Group Ltd, is a Chinese solar company, engaged in producing equipment and turnkey production lines for manufacturing of amorphous silicon based thin film solar photovoltaic modules. Presently, Hanergy Group and its associates hold about 30.6 billion shares in Hanergy Thin Film.

Best spots to see the Shell Oil Rig Polar Pioneer

Best spots to see the Shell Oil Rig Polar Pioneer

Nobody knows how long the Shell oil rig the Polar Pioneer will be in Seattle, yet the sightseers have already started flocking to see the huge Cthulhu like monstrosity in Elliot Bay in West Seattle before it leaves.

The Pacific Pride Gas / Diesel Station at 1617 SW Lander St just off 16th Ave NW is one of the best unobstructed places to see the rig.

Seacrest Park is located at 1660 Harbor Ave SW. It is an ideal place to view the Shell oil Polar Pioneer and also the Shell No activist’s protest barge.

It is the ideal spot because the Seacrest Public Park has Marination Station Ma Kai restaurant which serves some of the best fish and chips and fish tacos in the region, and reminds all about the importance of the protection of fishing industry.

Kayakers will reach Shell's oil drill rig in Seattle

Kayakers will reach Shell's oil drill rig in Seattle

People who are protesting against Arctic oil drilling are planning to go in kayaks to reach Shell's huge offshore drilling rig. This decision has been taken by protesters as it may arrive any day in Seattle, causing rise in stakes in the conflict over oil exploration in Arctic Ocean.

According to the company, it is progressing with plans to make use of leased space at the Port of Seattle so as to load its drilling rigs and other vessels with supplies and workers. The company is looking forward to explore oil in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast this summer.

Shell moves toward drill for oil in Arctic

Shell moves toward drill for oil in Arctic

On Monday, Shell moved forward to resume its $6 billion quest for crude in the Arctic as Obama administration supported the company's plans for exploratory oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea. The company still needs to protect seven other permits and also find out a solution to a fight over its plan to moor rigs close to Seattle. It is required to win the assistance of Mother Nature prior to starting any drilling.

The Interior Department's conditional approval of Shell's broad Chukchi Sea exploration plan is a big achievement for the company. This came as a defeat for environmentalists, according to whom, an oil spill in those waters would lead to damaging effects in the fragile Arctic ecosystem jeopardizing whales, walruses and other marine life.

North Dakota has 80 Active Drilling Rigs

North Dakota has 80 Active Drilling Rigs

Baker Hughes released a data Friday unveiled that North Dakota now has 80 active drilling rigs, which is one up from last week. For the first time in 2015, North Dakota's rig count has increased.

At the same time last year, the state was having 174 drilling rigs. Since oil rout, Permian basin has seen first rig increase. On the other hand, the number of active rigs drilling for oil in America declined by 11 to 668 in the week to May 8.

This was the 22nd weekly drop that brings the rig count to its lowest level since September 2010. As per the report, the pace at which decline has been taking place reduced and was lower than last week. Since December, a decline has come in active oil rigs by nearly 57%.

Crude Oil prices increase more than dollar to 2015 highs

Crude Oil prices increase more than dollar to 2015 highs

Driven by fall in US crude stocks and conflict in the Middle East, oil prices sought a rise of more than a dollar, touching 2015 highs on Wednesday.

Brent crude increased by $1.36 to $68.88 a barrel by 0855 GMT. According to experts, US crude traded $1.51 higher at $61.91 a barrel, near an intraday high of $62.05.

"We haven't seen hedge funds and money managers to be as optimistic and bullish as they are currently. They are at their most bullish since July last year, when the oil market fundamentals haven't really changed that much", said Vyanne Lai, an oil analyst with National Australia Bank.

US Crude Stocks Plummet, claims EIA Data

US Crude Stocks Plummet, claims EIA Data

It's not all rosy for the US crude stocks at the Cushing oil hub, the delivery point for US crude futures. For the first time since November, the US crude supplies nose-dived in what is being seen as an unhealthy development, said data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), this Wednesday.

In the week ended on April 24, the crude inventories in the Cushing, Oklahoma oil center ascended only by 1.9 million barrels as opposed to the analysts' expectations of 2.3 million barrels. Notwithstanding the above factors, what is interesting is the price movement visible in the overall crude as well as refined products markets.

Swinerton Renewable Energy Selects Advanced Energy Inverters for 325 MW of Solar Projects

Swinerton Renewable Energy Selects Advanced Energy Inverters for 325 MW of Solar

A leader in precision power conversion solutions, Advanced Energy Industries, today announced that Swinerton Renewable Energy has awarded the company 325 MW of solar projects.

It is expected that the installation and commissioning of the portfolio of projects will begin in 2015 and continue through the middle to end of 2016.

Swinerton Renewable Energy, being one of the largest solar contractors in the nation and the top solar contractor in California, is specialized in installing utility-scale solar projects throughout North America.

House lawmakers vote to eliminate price-based oil tax breaks

House lawmakers vote to eliminate price-based oil tax breaks

House lawmakers voted 57-32 on Monday to eliminate price-based oil tax breaks and also to set a lower tax on oil extraction. It is expected that contentious debate will continue.

House Bill 1476 would eliminate the so-called large trigger exemption on the oil extraction tax. It is expected that the large trigger will come into effect from June 1. It has been estimated that eliminating the large trigger would add an estimated $120 million in state revenue in 2015-17.

Crude-oil futures rise after China announced surprise cut in banks’ reserve requirements

Crude-oil futures rise after China announced surprise cut in banks’ reserve

Crude-oil futures increased on Monday when China made announcement about a surprise cut in banks' reserve requirements.

Over the weekend, central bank of China made announcement about a surprise one-percentage-point cut in banks' reserve requirement. This step was taken when data showed economic growth of China had decelerated to 7% year-over-year in the first quarter and it was the slowest pace in six years.

According to Brian Jackson, China economist at IHS Global Insight, the size and timing of this cut show that leaders of the country are more worried about the state of the economy than official comments earlier indicated. The world's second-largest consumer of oil is China.

CPUC Imposes $1.6 billion fine on Pacific Gas and Electric for San Bruno Gas Pipeline Explosion

CPUC Imposes $1.6 billion fine on Pacific Gas and Electric for San Bruno Gas

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has decided to impose $1.6 billion in fines on Pacific Gas and Electric, related to a natural gas pipeline explosion that occurred about five years ago. Pacific Gas and Electric is the state's largest investor-owned utility.

A 30-inch natural gas transmission pipeline ruptured underneath a residential neighborhood in San Bruno nearly 12 miles south of San Francisco.

The rupture led to an explosion that registered 1.1 on the Richter scale and led to an ignition of 'a wall of fire over 1,000 feet high'. The blast and subsequent blaze left eight people dead, severely injuring dozens of people and burned 38 homes to the ground.

China begins corruption trial of former CNPC‘s head Monday

China begins corruption trial of former CNPC‘s head Monday

The corruption trial of the former head of CNPC, China's top energy group, the parent company of PetroChina Limited, began Monday.

Jiang Jiemin was accused of accepting bribes, possessing a large number of assets from unidentified sources and abuse of power last month. He was the chairman of Asia's biggest oil producer before being appointed to the Cabinet body in 2013 that oversees China's biggest state-run companies.

He was fired from that position five months later, after he came was investigated for charges of bribery, abuse of power and other corrupt practices.

He appeared in the Hanjiang Intermediate court in Hubei Province on Monday. State television showed pictures of standing in the dock with two policemen at his side.

Gas prices will hit lowest in 10 years in Maine

Gas prices will hit lowest in 10 years in Maine

It has been anticipated that this summer, gasoline prices will considerably decrease compared to last year. The Energy Department has predicted the lowest seasonal gas prices in six years and the national averaged price has been predicted to be $2.45 per gallon from April to September. It is down from $3.36 a gallon in the same months in 2014.

According to GasBuddy.com, the average price in Dutchess County is $2.56 a gallon. Saved money from this price decline can assist in bills and other expenses. Lowering prices for crude oil and higher production in North America will lead to the lower prices.

As per Annah Christofferson of Marlboro, in the summer, her family frequently goes on vacations. Christofferson said that the money saved by them will help go to nicer vacation places.

Shell to acquire BG Group in $70-billion deal

Shell to acquire BG Group in $70-billion deal

On Wednesday, Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell agreed to buy Britain's BG Group in a $70 billion cash and stock deal.

The acquisition marks the biggest deal of oil and gas industry in at least a decade. Shares of BG rallied 37% after purchase announcement.

The deal still needs to be approved by both firms' shareholders. BG Group shareholders will get 383 pence ($5.70) in cash, plus 0.4454 Shell B shares for each BG share.

In opening deals, the FTSE 100 index gained 37.1 points or 0.5% to 6,996.4, having closed 128.31 points higher yesterday. European markets were mixed, with the Dax 30 index in Frankfurt losing 0.2%.

Greenpeace Activists board Arctic-bound Shell Oil Rig

Greenpeace Activists board Arctic-bound Shell Oil Rig

The organization said that, on Monday, six activists along with the environmental group Greenpeace have boarded a Royal Dutch Shell oil rig in the Pacific Ocean bound for the Arctic.

In a statement, the group said that its team would occupy the underside of the Polar Pioneer's main deck and is planning to unfurl a banner with the names of millions of people those are opposed to Arctic drilling. It also added that they would not interfere with the vessel's navigation.

Johno Smith, 32, one of the six to board the Blue Marlin, the ship carrying the rig, said that they are here to highlight that in less than 100 days Shell is going to the Arctic to drill for oil. He added that the actions of Shell have been exploiting the melting ice to increase a man-made disaster.

‘The Economics of Load Defection’ Report calculates Economics for Customers in Five US Markets

‘The Economics of Load Defection’ Report calculates Economics for Customers

On Tuesday, the Rocky Mountain Institute, CohnReznick and HOMER Energy, released a report 'The Economics of Load Defection' which calculated the economics through 2050 for people in five United States markets. According to the report, grid-connected solar-storage systems are more cost-effective than grid-supplied electricity. It will be more economic than grid power in areas like California, New York and Texas within the next one and one and half decade, as per the report.

The report 'The Economics of Load Defection' is follow-up of last year's 'Economics of Grid Defection' report. The new report included same places that the previous reports had included. Those places were Honolulu, Hawaii; Louisville, Kentucky; Los Angeles, California; Westchester, New York and San Antonio, Texas.

75,000 People to be given Training to Work in Solar Energy Market

75,000 People to be given Training to Work in Solar Energy Market

On Friday, the White House announced that the US Division of Power will have to train 75,000 men and women, who will work in the solar energy market by 2020. The plan is a part of ways to combat climate change.

The announcement has come at a time when the solar market in America is booming. Between 2013 and 2014, additional 30,000 jobs have been added to the total workforce. It is said that this year, additional 36,000 solar jobs will be added.

This week, the Obama administration announced a target to curb greenhouse gas emissions across the nation by up to 28% lower than 2005 levels within a decade. The administration has also announced that the solar energy business will be strengthened.

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