Energy Sector

Cat litter responsible for $240m radiation leak at New Mexico nuclear waste dump

Cat litter responsible for $240m radiation leak at New Mexico nuclear waste dump

An investigation has found that a radiation leak at an underground nuclear waste dump in New Mexico happened because of the wrong kind of cat litter.

On Thursday, the government scientists concluded that the major accident that took place at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad last year was caused by 'chemically incompatible' contents, including the wrong kind of kitty litter, used to absorb liquids.

They said that the 'chemically incompatible' contents took part in a reaction inside a barrel of waste causing it to burst open and spew radioactive materials.

According to a US Energy Department Report, the drum of waste, containing radioisotopes like plutonium, was not packaged properly at the Los Alamos National Laboratory near Santa Fe before disposal.

Drought Condition in California starts Affecting State’s Hydroelectricity Energy

Drought Condition in California starts Affecting State’s Hydroelectricity Energy

California is facing drought for the fourth year. The state is not only witnessing less snowfall in, but also facing shortage of rain. Owing to which, the state's supply of hydroelectricity energy has started to get hampered.

Experts unveiled that in this winter, California witnessed just 12% of its average snowfall. Robert Weisenmiller, chairman of the California Energy Commission said that they are not concerned of not having the power.

The energy will come from differnet sources, which will be as benign for the environment as hydroelectricity. In 2002, California set the goal to reduce its carbon footprints. The state witnessed continued droughts, but then also they were able to meet the goals.

Brent Crude goes below $54 Per Barrel

Brent Crude goes below $54 Per Barrel

Brent crude dropped below $54 a barrel in choppy trade on Tuesday. On the other side, the Atlantic dropped for a sixth session to only above a six-year low.

Recent reports suggested that the US rig count fell to 1,125 last week from 1,809 rigs a year ago. From the Past cycles it has been found that there is frequently a lag between when drilling stops and when oil supply stops growing. Brent was trading at $53.59, down 35 cents, by 0807 GMT.

The April contract that ended in earlier session closed down $1.23 after hitting $52.50 earlier on Monday. US crude was at $43.41 a barrel and it is down 47 cents. Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Sydney's Ayers Alliance said that traders are going to be quite happy to see the spread go out to $15-20.

Crude Oil flows through New Pipeline in North Dakota while politicians fight over Keystone XL pipeline

Crude Oil flows through New Pipeline in North Dakota while politicians

According to reports, about 84,000 barrels of crude oil have started to flow through a new pipeline which connected North Dakota's sprawling oil fields to Wyoming's oil hub. The new line is a few hundred miles from planned path of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

In West Texas, a new pipeline has been activated by engineers. The reports stated that the pipeline delivers crude from Permian Basin to refineries near Houston. Government officials from Kansas, Iowa and South Dakota have been examining the route of the path of pipeline extensions that would pass nearby the states.

Wind Energy share could rise to 35% in US market by 2050: Study

Wind Energy share could rise to 35% in US market by 2050: Study

According to a US Department of Energy report, wind power could produce a fifth of the country's electricity by 2030, which is 4.5% more than today. It has been found that wind could become one of the top sources of electricity in America.

According to the report, titled as 'Wind Vision: A New Era of Wind Power in the United States', compiled by the US Department of Energy', wind could provide 20% of the US's electricity by 2030, and 35% by 2050. The report also tells about targets for growth and according to the estimates, these could be easily achieved over long term. And US wind power could be doubled in the next five years with proper policies, according to the report.

Duke Energy Progress fined $25.1 million for coal ash contamination

Duke Energy Progress fined $25.1 million for coal ash contamination

Duke Energy Progress has been ordered to pay $25.1 million in as fine due to coal ash contamination at a plant near Wilmington, North Carolina.

On Tuesday, the North Carolina State Department of Environmental and Natural Resources made the announcement. The department stated that Duke Energy for several years has allowed huge amount of coal ash contaminants to enter into the groundwater at the facility.

The complete amount will be given to a state fund for public schools. DENR Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart said, "In addition to holding the utility accountable for past contamination we have found across the state, we are also moving expeditiously to remove the threat to our waterways and groundwater from coal ash ponds statewide".

Several Conservative Groups in Florida Fight for Solar Energy

Several Conservative Groups in Florida Fight for Solar Energy

Although Florida is known as the Sunshine State, when it comes to harnessing solar power, lots of customers find it less profitable, as electricity in Florida is already cheap and there are very less incentives made available to shift from fossil fuels.

Now, anger over the issue has led to the coalition of hardline conservatives, evangelical Christians and liberal environmentalists. They all want to break down the monopoly of the big power companies.

Some others who are involved in the union include the Sierra Club, the Christian Coalition, the Libertarian Party, the Evangelical Environment Network, Greenpeace USA and Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Exxon Mobil Plans to deal with Lower Price Environmen

Exxon Mobil Plans to deal with Depressed Price Environment

Over the last six months, Crude oil prices have come down drastically, leaving the management of most of the energy companies in tough situation. The trouble for energy majors is likely to continue as the energy market experts suggest that oil prices could remain in $40-50 per barrel range during the year. People across the world are enjoying the low prices of oil, a lot of oil companies have been waiting to ride out the current period. Most of the companies have been held hostage by low prices of oil as it has impacted their margins.

Average price of gasoline jumps 21 cents in past two weeks

Average price of gasoline jumps 21 cents in past two weeks

According to the Lundberg Survey, the average price of regular gasoline has jumped 21 cents in the past two weeks to $2.54.

Lundberg Survey is an independent market research company that specializes in the US petroleum marketing and other related industries.

According to Trilby Lundberg, president of Lundberg Survey, gas prices hiked for the third time since June. However, the price is still 97 cents per gallon less than a year ago.

She said that due to high price set by refineries, refiners and retailers are starting to lose attractive marginal returns and this is expected to continue as summer gasoline season approaches.

Retailers had experienced margin decline at 0.21 cents per gallon to a mere 10.48 cents. The lowest was in the week of February 20.

Solar Impulse 2, a Solar-Powered Plane Blasted off from Abu Dhabi to Travel across the World

Solar Impulse 2, a Solar-Powered Plane Blasted off from Abu Dhabi to Travel

It has been reported that a Swiss solar-powered plane blasted off from Abu Dhabi for its first ever attempt to fly across the world without any fuel.

Sources informed that Andre Borschberg, founder of the Solar Impulse, was at the controls of the single-seater plane during its launch from the Al Bateen Executive Airport.

Furthermore, Mr. Borschberg will swap his control charge with Solar Impulse co-founder Bertrand Piccard during stop-over.

According to Swiss pilots, their aim behind this attempt was to create awareness about replacing old polluting technologies with clean and efficient technologies.

They expect that the plane would reach its first destination, i.e. Muscat, Oman, after about 10 hours of the flight.

Consumer Optimism Highly Affected By Harsh Winter and Low Gas Prices: Survey

Consumer Optimism Highly Affected By Harsh Winter and Low Gas Prices: Survey

A report released by the University of Michigan on Friday showed that unusual harsh winter weather in February proved to have weighed upon consumers. But increase in jobs and lower gas prices helped strengthened the consumer sentiments, showed report.

According to the report, the measure of consumer sentiment fell to 95.4 in this month. Despite the fall, it is the highest level in past eight years.

Consumer sentiment in January was 98.1, an 11-year high. Severe winter weather and lower gas prices highly affected the consumer optimism.

Richard Curtin, chief economist of the surveys, said in a statement that it is very hard not to attribute the small February decline to the temporary impact of the harsh weather.

Customs duty on crude oil may be re-introduced

Customs duty on crude oil may be re-introduced

New Delhi: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley may look at reimposing five percent customs duty on crude oil imports to shore up revenues by USD 3 billion and create a level-playing field for domestic producers.

Presently, the government does not levy any import or customs duty on crude oil imports.

On the other hand, domestically produced crude oil attracts two percent central sales tax, something which imported oil is exempted from.

Given that there is no customs duty on imported crude oil, the CST levy places domestic producers at a significant disadvantage vis-a-vis imported crude, government sources said.

Thus, 20 percent of India's crude oil consumption that comes from domestic oil fields is taxed, whereas 80 percent of imported oil goes untaxed.

BPCL reports Q3 net profit at Rs 551.16 crore

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited

New Delhi - Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) on Friday reported a net profit of Rs 551.16 crore for the December quarter on the back of full compensation for losses on fuel sales.

The company had reported a net loss of Rs 1,088.94 crore in the corresponding period of previous fiscal, BPCL said in a regulatory filing.

The government paid Rs 1,079.92 crore in cash subsidy while upstream oil producers like ONGC extended an assistance of Rs 2,332.88 crore to make up for all the losses that the firm had incurred on selling domestic LPG and PDS kerosene at rates lower than cost.

BPCL earned USD 1.54 on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel in the quarter as compared to a gross refining margin of USD 1.76 per barrel in third quarter of previous fiscal.

ONGC to pay Rs 8.7K cr subsidy as FinMin gives only Rs 5,085 cr

ONGC to pay Rs 8.7K cr subsidy as FinMin gives only Rs 5,085 cr

New Delhi: ONGC and other state-run explorers may have to pay about Rs 10,900 crore in fuel subsidy after Finance Ministry has agreed to provide only Rs 5,085 crore in cash subsidy for the December quarter.

Out of the Rs 15,981 crore of revenue losses fuel retailers incurred on selling LPG and kerosene at government-controlled rates in October-December, the Finance Ministry has agreed to make good only less than one-third or Rs
5,085 crore by way of cash subsidy, sources said.

The remaining Rs 10,896 crore will now have to be borne by Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd. ONGC may have to shell out close to 80 per cent of this amount (Rs 8,716 crore).

RIL challenges oil ministry taking away 5 gas finds

RIL challenges oil ministry taking away 5 gas finds

New Delhi: Reliance Industries has slapped an arbitration notice challenging oil ministry's decision to take away 814 square kilometer of its eastern offshore KG-D6 area that contained five gas discoveries. As per norm of giving up non-discovery area, RIL had in 2013 offered to give up 5,385 sq km out of a total 7,645 sq km area in Krishna Godavari basin KG-D6 block. But the ministry on October 30, 2013 ordered 6,198.88 sq km of total area to be taken away as the time allocated for producing from these had expired.

RIL on January 14 challenged this order stating the 814 sq km of additional area that the ministry had taken away contained five gas discoveries holding close to 1 trillion cubic feet of reserves.

Apple investing 850 mln dollars to build 1,300 acre solar farm to power new headquarters

Apple investing 850 mln dollars to build 1,300 acre solar farm to power

Washington, Feb 11 - Apple is investing 850 million dollars to build a 1,300-acre solar farm in its new headquarters in Monterey, California in partnership with First Solar on a renewable energy project.

According to the Verge, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company is focused on making environmentally responsible decisions.

Cook said that it was time for action now and that climate change is real at Apple.

Apple is partnering with First Solar, the company that Apple bought a massive factory site from in Arizona.

The project will reportedly add 130 megawatts of new solar power to California that is enough to power about 50,000 average homes. (ANI)

ONGC receives Golden Peacock award for CSR excellence

ONGC chief CSR Alok Misra

New Delhi, Feb. 4 - The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) has bagged the prestigious Golden Peacock award for Corporate Social Responsibility for 2014.

The ONGC has been declared the winner in the oil and gas category.

The award was presented by Baroness Verma, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Government of U.K., and Rajashree Birla, the chairman of Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiative and Rural Development, Aditya Birla Group, in a recent event in Mumbai.

ONGC chief CSR Alok Misra received the award.

Established in 1991, the Golden Peacock awards are regarded as a competitive benchmark of corporate quality and excellence.

Petrol, Diesel prices slashed by over Rs 2

Petrol, Diesel prices slashed by over Rs 2New Delhi, Feb 3 : Petrol and diesel prices have been slashed across the country by Rs 2.42 per litre and Rs 2.25 a litre respectively.

The revised prices will come into effect from February 3 midnight.

Petrol in New Delhi will now cost Rs 56.49 a litre, while diesel will cost Rs 46.01 per litre.

The state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has stated that the latest reduction in fuel prices was done due to the lowering of crude prices globally and the appreciation in rupee-dollar exchange rate.

This is the third time this year that the prices of both petrol and diesel have been reduced. (ANI)

Jet fuel price cut by 11.3 percent

New Delhi, Feb. 2 - The price of Jet fuel has been cut by 11.3 percent and it will now cost less than diesel.

On the back of fall in international crude oil prices, oil companies announced the price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, in Delhi was cut by around 5,910 rupees a kilolitre to 46,513 rupees a kilolitre.

The cut is the seventh reduction in jet fuel rates since August 2014. Last month, the rate had gone down below the price at which petrol is sold. And after yesterday's cut, it costs 46 rupees 51 paise a litre, even cheaper than diesel . (ANI)

Oil Min wants to recoup KG-D6 profit share from Panna fields

New Delhi - Oil Ministry is mulling recouping USD 195 million it believes is due from Reliance Industries in the flagging KG-D6 block from oil and gas it sells to public sector firms from the separate Panna/Mukta and Tapti fields.

The Ministry believes RIL has to remit additional profit petroleum of USD 195 million to the government after USD 2.376 billion in KG-D6 expenditure was disallowed for output lagging targets.

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