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  1. Oil and Gas: Oil pipeline safety rule scaled back after cost objections

    This Dec. 10, 2016, file photo, provided by the North Dakota Department of Health shows an oil spill from the Belle Fourche Pipeline that was discovered Dec. 5, 2016 in Ash Coulee Creek, a tributary of the Little Missouri River, near Belfield, N.D. President Barack Obama's administration has scaled back new safety measures for the sprawling network of fuel pipelines that crisscross the United States after complaints from industry over the potential cost. The administration on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, finalized new regulations for almost 200,000 miles of pipelines that transport crude oil, gasoline and other hazardous liquids. A proposed requirement for companies to immediately repair problems discovered on their lines was dropped. (Scott Stockdill/North Dakota Department of Health via AP, File) BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — President Barack Obama's administration scaled back new safety measures for the sprawling network of fuel pipelines that crisscross the United States on Friday, following oil industry complaints that proposed changes would cost companies billions of dollars. The long-delayed regulations cover almost 200,000 miles of pipelines that transport oil, gasoline and other hazardous liquids. They will be subject to review by Congress and the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, who was highly critical on the campaign trail of regulations that hinder energy development. If the changes stand, pipeline companies will be required to conduct more rigorous inspections of lines in rural areas and install leak detection systems that are meant to speed up emergency response times when accidents occur. An earlier administration proposal for companies to immediately repair cracks and other problems in their lines was dropped, drawing criticism from safety advocates. Documents show the pipeline repair criteria was altered to give companies more flexibility in when to do the work following a December 12 meeting of officials from the Transportation Department and White House with representatives of the oil industry. The American Petroleum Institute complained that the administration's original proposal for repairs, unveiled in late 2015, was too stringent and would cost companies almost $3 billion over the next decade. The industry group argued the high price tag outweighed any benefits from accidents averted. "Based on information no one else was privy to, they weakened the final rule," said Carl Weimer with the Pipeline Safety Trust, an advocacy group based in Bellingham, Washington. "We hope there's still enough to prevent more of the types of spills we've seen over the past four or five years." The trust was formed after three children were killed when a gasoline pipeline broke in 1999, leaking fuel for 1½ hours before it exploded. Thousands of pipeline accidents over the past decade caused $2.5 billion in damages nationwide and dumped almost 38 million gallons of fuels. John Stoody with the Association of Oil Pipelines said it was important for companies to have enough flexibility in repairs that they can concentrate their work where spills could cause the most harm, such as in cities or beneath water bodies. "We should put resources where we have the most impact on pipeline safety," Stoody said. The new regulations go into effect in roughly six months, meaning the Trump administration could seek to block or modify them. Trump's transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Transportation Department spokeswoman Allie Aguilera said the government and industry were "on the same page on safety," suggesting there would be no need to overturn the rule. The American Petroleum Institute issued a statement saying the rule was an improvement over the original proposal, yet retained provisions that would force companies to divert attention from areas of highest risk. Previous industry regulations applied primarily to lines in so-called high consequence areas with large populations or environmentally sensitive features such as drinking water supplies. Lines outside those areas were not required to be inspected with mechanical devices known as "pipeline pigs," which travel inside the pipe looking for flaws. Friday's rule will require the use of pipeline pigs on large transmission pipelines that run beneath the land, but federal officials dropped their proposal to require the use of pigs offshore.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 17 Jan 2017

  2. Utility Company: EPA: Dickerson power plant is source of Potomac oil spill

    The Environmental Protection Agency says a NRG Energy power plant in Dickerson, Maryland, is the source of an oil spill that caused a rainbow sheen on the Potomac River near Washington last week.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 7 Dec 2016

  3. Oil and Gas: 2 sentenced to prison for fraud linked to BP oil spill

    A Grand Bay, Alabama, woman and a man from Lafayette, Louisiana, have been sentenced to prison for their role in a conspiracy tied to the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 16 Dec 2016

  4. State officials wanted OCS off California included in permanent ban

    California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and Coastal Commission Chair Dayna Bochco each asked US President Barack Obama on Dec. 13 to add federal waters off the state’s coast to portions of the US Outer Continental Shelf he permanently closed to future oil and gas activity a week later under Section 12-A of ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 28 Dec 2016

  1. NRC supporting expansion of Mexican offshore drilling industry

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 28 Dec 2016

  2. Offshore Structures: Coast Guard: Fire extinguished on platform in Gulf of Mexico

    A pre-dawn fire has been extinguished on an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, and there is no sign of pollution in the area, authorities said Thursday.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 6 Jan 2017

  3. Oil and Gas: Massive 2013 oil spill in North Dakota still not cleaned up

    Three years and three months later, a massive oil spill in North Dakota still isn't fully cleaned up. The company responsible hasn't even set a date for completion.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 20 Dec 2016

  4. Oil and Gas: Louisiana official defends fish testing after oil spill

    A former Louisiana Cabinet official is fending off criticism about the way he managed a program to ensure seafood from the Gulf of Mexico was safe to eat after a massive oil spill in 2010.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 25 Oct 2016

  5. Oil and Gas: North Dakota oil spill raises questions about safety

    The discovery of an oil pipeline spill earlier this month in western North Dakota has drawn heightened attention because of the battle over the Dakota Access oil pipeline being built about 150 miles to the southeast.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 15 Dec 2016

  6. Palfinger supplies crane, davit for oil -spill support vessel

    Palfinger Marine has delivered a marine crane and davit package to Austal for a high-speed crew transfer vessel.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 12 Dec 2016

  7. Oil and Gas News: Enbridge reaches $176M agreement for 2010 Michigan oil spill

    Enbridge Energy Partners has reached a $176 million settlement for the costliest inland oil spill in U.S. history — a pipeline rupture in southwestern Michigan that polluted a nearly 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River, federal officials said Wednesday.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 21 Jul 2016

  8. NRC initiates North Sea oil spill response service

    NRC has started a new oil spill response equipment assistance service for the European Maritime Safety Agency in Oldmeldrum, near Aberdeen.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 26 Aug 2016

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