More Health, Safety, Security & Environment News

Chevron settles charges stemming from Richmond refinery fire

Chevron USA Inc. agreed to pay $2 million in fines on Aug. 5 as it pleaded no contest to six charges stemming from a fire at its Richmond, Calif., refinery nearly a year earlier.

Crews drilling relief well in Gulf of Mexico

Crews have started drilling a relief well to secure natural gas Well A-23 on South Timbalier Block 220 off Louisiana, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said, adding that drilling, which started on Aug. 4, is expected to take about 35 days.

EPA updates oil, gas storage tank emissions requirements

The US Environmental Protection Agency issued updates to standards it brought out in April covering air emissions from oil and gas storage tanks. The updates will phase in control deadlines, starting with higher-emitting tanks first, and will provide the necessary time to ramp up production and installation, it said.

Obama orders formation of interagency chemical safety working group

US President Barack Obama issued an executive order on Aug. 1 forming a federal interagency chemical safety and security working group in response to recent accidents.

CSIS report weighs Arctic economic opportunities, risks

In an age of uneven and uncertain global economic growth, the American Arctic—with energy resources in Alaska estimated at 29.9 billion bbl of crude oil, more than 221 tcf of natural gas, and 5.9 billion bbl of natural gas liquids—presents an attractive economic opportunity, a new Center for Strategic and International Studies report concluded.

McCarthy sees climate change as both economic, environmental issue

Addressing global climate change is as much an economic as environmental challenge, and future strategies and policies will need to recognize this, US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said in her first public address since her US Senate confirmation.

House Republicans seek information about EPA fracing investigations

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Republican leaders asked US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy how site-specific water quality investigations in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Texas are shaping its continuing hydraulic fracturing study.

Workers prepare to drill relief well in Gulf of Mexico

Workers boarded the Hercules 265 jack up rig to install gas detectors and high-capacity water jet fire monitors, officials said, adding that responders are preparing to drill a relief well to secure a natural gas well on South Timbalier Block 220 after a well-control incident and a subsequent rig fire.

The sensitivity issue

An early peek at the next assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change hints at retreat from a vital element of global-warming alarm.

Gulf of Mexico rig fire wanes; relief well still option

The flow of natural gas under pressure from a gas well on South Timbalier Block 220 in the Gulf of Mexico remained stopped, and a fire on a jack up rig has decreased to a small flame, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said July 26, adding a relief well still might be drilled.

Halliburton unit admits destroying Macondo incident evidence

Halliburton Energy Services Inc. agreed to plead guilty to destroying evidence in connection with the Apr. 20, 2010, Macondo deepwater well blowout and fire in the Gulf of Mexico that took 11 lives and set off the biggest US crude oil spill in history, the US Department of Justice announced on July 25.

Wyden suggests Washington, states could divide fracing regulation

US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ronald L. Wyden (D-Ore.) said he plans to ask the committee’s members to consider dividing hydraulic fracturing regulatory responsibilities between states and the federal government.

Relief well planned to stop natural gas leak, rig fire in gulf

A flow of natural gas continues to fuel a fire on a jack up rig in the Gulf of Mexico, causing the derrick and drill floor structure to collapse, while responders review plans to drill a relief well. The troubled well, operated by Houston-based Walter Oil & Gas Corp., was drilled in 154 ft of water about 55 miles off Louisiana.

Fire ignites on evacuated jack up rig in Gulf of Mexico

A natural gas leak from an offshore well ignited a fire late on July 23 that spread to the Hercules 265 jack up rig while the rig was working for Walter Oil & Gas Corp. about 55 miles off Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reported.

NETL continues fracturing study; report due by yearend

A US Department of Energy study continues to monitor for any signs of groundwater contamination stemming from hydraulic fracturing on the Marcellus shale formation in Pennsylvania, but it’s too early to draw any conclusion, the National Energy Technology Laboratory said in a July 19 statement.

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