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  1. Oil and Gas: Bills aim to beef up oil transportation safety

    In this Sept. 2, 2014, file photo, a northbound oil train sits idled on tracks, stopped by protesters blocking the track ahead, in Everett, Wash. More crude oil than ever is expected to move through Washington state, particularly since the Canadian government approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline project that will triple the number of tankers and barges plying local waters. Washington already has some of the toughest oil spill prevention and preparedness rules in the country but lawmakers say there are big gaps and that the rules need to be strengthened to keep up with the changing landscape. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) SEATTLE (AP) — With more crude oil expected to move through Washington state, Democratic lawmakers want to toughen rules around oil transportation and raise more money for spill prevention and response efforts. Companion bills in the House and Senate aim to reduce the risk of oil spills with provisions that target oil carried by vessels, pipelines and trains . Supporters say the legislation is needed to address the growing risks of oil shipped through state waters. In November, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, which will increase from five to 34 the monthly number of oil tankers and barges plying the shared waters of Washington state and Canada. The pipeline will carry oil from Alberta to the Vancouver area where it will be loaded on to barges and tankers for Asian and U.S. markets. Indigenous leaders and environmentalists object to the project over environmental, health and other risks. "We're really trying to stay on top of the changing landscape of oil transportation," said Rep. Jessyn Farrell, D-Seattle, sponsor of House Bill 1611, which is scheduled to be heard Monday in the environment committee. The companion Senate Bill 5462 is sponsored by Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle. Both measures would require the Department of Ecology to write rules that may require tug escorts and other safety measures for certain vessels such as barges and articulated tug barges through the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound. Tug escorts are currently required for oil tank ships that transit parts of northern Puget Sound. But vessels such as barges and articulated tug and barges — ships where the tug and barge are combined — aren't subject to those requirements. The use of tug escorts for oil-carrying vessels such as articulated tug and barges was identified as the top priority during a recent Salish Sea spills risk workshop hosted by Ecology. Cliff Webster with The American Waterways Operators testified against SB 5462 at a hearing Thursday. The state has one of the best oil spill prevention and response programs in the country and there has not been a major cargo spill in waters for years, he said. But "it only takes one incident to deal a major blow to Puget Sound," said Rebecca Ponzio with the Washington Environmental Council. She said it's a critical year to act, because of the Trans Mountain project and the federal government has lifted a 40-year ban on crude exports, opening the way for oil to be exported through the state's refineries. Under the bills, oil refineries proposing to handle crude oil for export update their spill response and prevention plans. Railroads would have to show they have the ability to pay for cleanup and damage caused in the event of a major oil spill — something vessels and pipelines are required to do. Johan Hellman with BNSF Railway told lawmakers the provision was redundant, unnecessary and conflicts with federal government rules governing railroads. He said the state law passed in 2015 required railroads to submit financial reports to state regulators to demonstrate fiscal solvency. Supporters say it's needed to ensure that railroads can pay the costs of a major spill. The state currently levies two taxes for a total of 5 cents on every barrel of oil received by train or vessels to pay for spill response and prevention measures. The bills would extend that tax to pipelines. It would also eliminate a cap on the 4-cent tax that currently takes effect when the account balance hits a certain amount. Jessica Spiegel, a spokeswoman with the Western States Petroleum Association, said state figures show that only 3 percent of spills are related to the petroleum industry, such as pipelines, trains or fuel barges. "We believe it's time to identify the sources of actual spills and place a share of the funding burden on those who are causing the problems," she said. Separately, another bill sponsored by Farrell and requested by Ecology, seeks to raise the oil spill administration tax from by 2.5 cents a barrel, from 4 cents to 6.5 cents. Ecology says it is facing a $4 million shortfall in the next biennium because it only received a one-time transfer of money for work related to the oil transportation law passed in 2015. "We've been successful in the state because we've taken a proactive approach," Farrell said. "We can't rest on our laurels."

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    Tue, 7 Feb 2017

  2. Plains All American to acquire Permian Basin gathering system for $1.2B

    Plains All American Pipeline has entered into definitive agreements to acquire a Permian Basin crude oil gathering system for approximately $1.2 billion. PAA also announced it had entered into definitive sales agreements totaling $380 million.

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    Wed, 25 Jan 2017

  3. SNC-Lavalin strategic oil transportation contract by Ecopetrol

    SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a consulting services contract by Ecopetrol S.A. for oil transportation and logistics in Colombia.

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    Fri, 10 Jan 2014

  4. Wyden, Rockefeller request crude oil transportation examination

    The chairman of two US Senate committees asked US Sec. of Energy Ernest G. Moniz and US Sec. of Transportation Anthony Foxx to fully examine crude oil transportation in the wake of several recent rail accidents.

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    Fri, 10 Jan 2014

  1. US senators request review of crude oil transportation safety

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    Fri, 17 Jan 2014

  2. 1Derrick US M&A weekly update

    1Derrick gives OGFJ readers a snapshot of oil and gas industry M&A activity for the week of October 10 – October 14.

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    Mon, 17 Oct 2016

  3. Oil transportation : Panda Security uncovers ongoing attack against oil tankers

    PandaLabs reveal cyber-attacks in the maritime oil sector. 

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    Mon, 18 May 2015

  4. Oil transportation : Oil industry challenges crude-by-rail rules

    API spokesman Brian Straessle said the politically influential trade group supports better tank cars, but companies need more time to get them on the tracks. 

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    Wed, 13 May 2015

  5. Oil transportation : Regulators in Washington to review Shell oil-by-rail project

    Washington state regulators say they'll work with Skagit County to conduct a full environmental review of a proposed oil-by-rail project. 

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    Tue, 9 Jun 2015

  6. Oil transportation : Senate Democrats seek tougher federal rules for oil trains

    Senate Democrats have proposed federal legislation to strengthen safety standards for trains that carry volatile shipments of crude oil. 

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    Wed, 25 Mar 2015

  7. Oil transportation : Hijacked Malaysian oil tanker rescued, pirates flee

    Pirates who hijacked a Malaysian oil tanker last week have fled on the ship's lifeboat after being pursued by a Malaysian navy ship. 

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    Fri, 19 Jun 2015

  8. Oil Transportation News: NY cities update emergency plans to deal with oil trains

    Three years after the Port of Albany became a major hub for rail and barge shipments of highly flammable crude oil from North Dakota, emergency management officials are still grappling with training and response plans.

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    Thu, 3 Sep 2015

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