A federal grand jury indicted two companies on involuntary manslaughter charges and three people face charges in a deadly 2012 explosion on an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the Justice Department said Thursday.
The explosion and fire started during welding work on a platform owned by Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations LLC, killing three workers and injuring several others. In lawsuits and a federal report, the company and its contractors have been accused of failing to follow proper safety practices and rushing work.
Black Elk Energy and one of its contractors, Grand Isle Shipyards Inc., were charged with three counts of involuntary manslaughter, as well as eight charges involving federal safety practices under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and one violation of the Clean Water Act.
A tornado has ripped through and leveled the Halliburton Plant in Pampa, according to the Gray County Sheriff's Office.
Because of the tornado, officials said there was a huge chemical leak.
Baker Hughes Pressure Pumping on Southside River Road in Farmington laid off 67 workers on Tuesday citing low oil and gas prices on the commodities market.
Robert "Kevin" Jones, district manager for Baker Hughes Pressure Pumping, said in a phone interview that he learned of the layoffs Tuesday morning in a text message. Jones is on short-term disability leave for a back injury and was at home when he got the news, but was not among those who lost their jobs.
"They let go the entire frack, or stimulation, department this morning. Shut the entire department down," Jones said. "All of those guys have a lot of respect for me and I have a lot of respect for them. I started at the bottom and worked my way up, so I know these guys, known some of them for over 20 years."
BeDevil Enterprises, Alberta Oilfield Company, Defends 'Misogynistic' Billboard
An oilfield equipment company is under fire over a controversial billboard standing next to a highway near Killam, Alta.
The ad, for family-owned company BeDevil Enterprises, shows a painted, mostly nude woman lying down with her eyes closed and a devil's tail curling up from behind her. She's partially obscured by flames, and a piledriver drills into the ground over her body.
Apache Corp., the oil and natural gas company worth more than $18 billion, has received an unsolicited takeover approach, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Houston-based company rejected the initial offer and is working with financial adviser Goldman Sachs on defense, said the people, who asked not to be identified because deliberations are private. The potential buyer, who couldn't immediately be identified, sent a letter to Apache in the past few weeks and it's unclear whether talks will resume, one of the people said.
A spokesman for Apache couldn't be reached for comment outside regular business hours. A representative for Goldman Sachs declined to comment.
Since 2010, American oil production has grown by about four million barrels per day (almost all of it extracted from shale formations), irreversibly changing our own, and the global, energy landscape.
The Saudis correctly sense that something pivotal, and epochal, has happened in a very short time to world oil markets.
When offshore oil rigs reach the end of their useful lives, many head for their final resting place at blowtorch beach.
There, in western Turkey, ship scrapyards have discovered a new source of income amid the plunge in oil prices over the past 16 months -- tearing apart unwanted drilling platforms and selling the steel.
With Brent crude about 50 percent lower than last year’s peak in June, there’s been a surge in demand to demolish rigs along an almost mile-long stretch of beach at Aliaga, on Turkey’s Aegean Sea. Business is brisk, and looks set to pick-up further should bearish forecasts come to pass: Goldman Sachs Group Inc., for one, said last month that oil prices could “ultimately” fall to $20 a barrel. Brent rose 2 percent to $52.38 a barrel at 4:11 p.m. London time.
We’re now one year into the oil bust. For a time there was hope that this downturn would be kind of like 2009, where prices fell sharply in the wake of global economic collapse, but shot back up just as quickly – leaving little collateral damage behind.
It’s clear now that’s not going to happen. The 2009 collapse was driven by a sudden drying up of demand. This time around there’s just too much supply — especially in the United States. And it’s simply not going away. According to the Energy Information Administration, domestic crude oil output peaked in April at 9.6 million barrels per day. Since then it has slipped to about 9.2 million bpd, about where it was a year ago, when the bust began.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen. In every commodity, everywhere, when prices plunge the high-cost producers (U.S. tight oil and Canadian oil sands) get washed out and the low-cost producers (Saudi, Iran, Iraq) consolidate market share. That’s what the Saudis were hoping for when last November they decided to hold oil output steady. And yet, America’s high-cost oil producers are not going off quietly to meet their maker. Rather they are kicking and screaming, moving quickly to slash costs, cut rigs, cut heads (200,000 in layoffs so far), and demanding discounts from suppliers. They are getting leaner, smarter, better.
A previous employee of Whiting Petroleum and Oil was sentenced to 10 years in prison Oct. 22 after stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company, according to a news release from the Weld District Attorney.
As part of her sentence, she will pay a yet-to-be-determined amount of restitution back to Whiting, the release stated. Judge Marcelo Kopcow will assign the amount.
As U.S. energy companies seek to cut costs and spending during the lingering oil slump, there is one place they can count on to save money: the oil patch.
Since the bottom fell out of the oil market last year, the result of a market glut and sluggish demand, companies such as Murphy Oil have been saving money by demanding oil-field services companies lower their prices by 20 percent to 30 percent, analysts say.
The savings, combined with more efficient drilling, have helped an industry struggling with a 50 percent drop in oil prices. Producers can rely on low prices for some time, analysts said.
Energy giant Chevron plans to shed 6,000 to 7,000 jobs and slash its capital investment plan after low energy prices dealt a sharp blow to the company's sales and profit in the third quarter.
"We are focused on improving results by changing outcomes within our control," Chevron CEO John Watson said in a statement.
Athabasca Oil Corp. added to a wave of job cuts in Canada’s energy industry this week by eliminating 25 percent of its head office and field workers, as companies grapple with a persistent slump in crude prices.
The reductions were a necessary step for the Calgary-based producer to weather an extended downturn, Matthew Taylor, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. He declined to say how many positions were eliminated. The company has made prior cuts to bring down costs, saying in May it had halved its head office workforce since the start of 2014.
Athabasca follows Devon Energy Corp. in eliminating jobs in Calgary this week as energy companies globally lower spending to cope with an industry downturn that has lasted 16 months. Devon cut 200 workers on Wednesday, the same day Meg Energy Corp. said it had cut 30 percent of its workforce in the past year.
Some of the world's largest energy companies are becoming more pessimistic about the ability of crude oil pricing to reach even $60 a barrel next year, reporting steep losses as they take hits on projects that no longer make financial sense.
A barrel of oil fetched more than $100 in June 2014, but a combination of ample supply and weaker demand has driven the international benchmark price to about $50 in the third quarter, the lowest sustained levels since the financial crisis.
Continued oversupply means that next year, Brent crude prices will average $58 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil benchmark, will average $54 a barrel, according to 13 investment banks polled by The Wall Street Journal. Many of the same banks were predicting $70 a barrel in 2016 just a few months ago.
On October 16th Two explosions and flames shooting 150 feet into the air rocked residents in the LaSalle County community of Encinal just after 4 a.m. Friday.
Maersk Oil will cut its workforce by about 12 percent as part of the company’s plan to reduce operating costs by 20 percent by the end of 2016.
Maersk Oil CEO Jakob Thomasen said in a statement: “We are operating in a materially changed oil price environment and have taken necessary decisions to reduce activity levels through 2015, and ensure we focus where we can see adequate returns from our most robust projects.”
Weatherford International has ratcheted up its layoff plans, announcing Wednesday that it will lay off another 3,000 workers by the end of the year.
The company reached its goal of slashing 11,000 jobs in the third quarter, but a fresh fall in oil prices and slumping international revenues spurred the company to revise the target to 14,000 worldwide, with an increased focus on support positions, Weatherford said.
The oil field services firm, based in Switzerland with main offices in Houston, said it has closed five manufacturing and service facilities, and will close another by the end of 2015. A seventh is slated for closure next year. Weatherford has also shuttered 70 operating facilities through the end of the third quarter and now plans to close 20 more by the end of the year in an effort to offset the pain from the lingering crude slump.
A 34-year-old Hope man was killed Oct. 20 while working aboard an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana.
Sam Whitley was working aboard the Pacific Santa Ana, a ship owned by Pacific Drilling, at the time of the accident. The ship was about 200 miles off the coast of Lake Charles, La., and had just begun operations at the time of the accident, which occurred sometime around 10 a.m., according to Heidi Brown, Whitley's sister-in-law.
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said in a statement that the Pacific Santa Ana drill ship was beginning drilling operations for Chevron at the time of the fatality. Brown said they had yet to break seawater.
The U.S. House of Representatives may be close to a vote on a bill that would eliminate a ban on exporting crude oil that has been in place for 40 years now. Those export restrictions were a reaction to the 1973 oil embargo by OPEC – the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
But the U.S. oil market looks very different now, thanks to a dramatic increase in domestic oil production in recent years. The U.S. imported just 27 percent of the petroleum consumed last year – the lowest level since 1985.
Even now, there are exceptions to the ban, such as exporting to Canada or “trades” with Mexico, where American light sweet crude is exchanged for Mexican heavy sour crude. Such swaps were approved by the Commerce Department last month and are supposed to help both refineries in both countries run better.
Chesapeake Energy To Lay Off 15% Of Work Force
In a purported email/letter to employees Roughneck City received earlier today Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler states;
The Russian government has announced that it is seeking to source equipment for offshore oil production from new countries due to the impact of sanctions by the European Union and the United States. However, as experts note, the development of Arctic fields is being hindered by low oil prices.
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin has admitted that Moscow was too slow to find alternative supplies of equipment for offshore oil production and needs cooperation with other countries that have experience in this area, the Interfax news agency has reported.
Due to the sanctions imposed to punish Moscow for its role in the Ukraine conflict, Russia's traditional partners – the U.S. and European companies – are prohibited from providing services to exploration and production on the Russian shelf at a depth of over 150 meters.
Royal Dutch Shell has stopped Arctic oil and gas exploration off the coast of Alaska after "disappointing" results from a key well in the Chukchi Sea.
Shell said it did not find sufficient amounts of oil and gas in the Burger J well to warrant further exploration.
Employees of Cenovus Energy Inc. are on tenterhooks, waiting to find out over the next few weeks if they will be affected by 540 job cuts aimed mainly at the head office ranks in Calgary.
And that’s not the end of it. An as-yet-undetermined number of field-based employees are also due to be laid off in 2016, company spokesman Brett Harris confirmed in response to a Herald inquiry Friday.
“People know what the (540) numbers are but they don’t know individually,” said Harris.
Federal lawmakers should overturn the ban on exporting crude oil produced in the United States. As recently as half a decade ago, oil companies had no interest in exporting U.S. crude oil, but that has changed.
Oil production has grown more in the United States over the past five years than anywhere else in the world, even as domestic oil consumption has declined. With these changes has come a widening gap among the types of oil that U.S. fields produce, the types that U.S. refiners need, the products that U.S. consumers want, and the infrastructure in place to transport the oil. Allowing companies to export U.S. crude oil as the market dictates would help solve this mismatch. Under federal law, however, it is illegal for companies to export crude oil in all but a few circumstances. Over the past year, the Department of Commerce granted licenses to several oil companies to export a small amount of U.S. crude oil. But these opaque, ad hoc exceptions are insufficient. Removing all proscriptions on crude oil exports, except in extraordinary circumstances, will strengthen the U.S. economy and promote the efficient development of the country's energy sector.
More job cuts could be coming to Halliburton after a media release reveals thousands of employees from the energy giant stand to lose their jobsall around the world.
Unfortunately, this means that additional staff reductions are underway, with the majority of the reductions in North America, the region hit hardest by market conditions."
History will record that in the last decade, the American oil industry staged one of the most miraculous recoveries in economic history. In its own way, this recovery ranks with the resurrection of the Japanese and German economies after WWII. The American oil comeback was driven, of course, by fracking. Recent reports indicate that despite facing strong headwinds, the fracking revolution continues to produce wonders.
These headwinds include the dramatically lower oil prices brought about by the decision of several major OPEC countries, most importantly Saudi Arabia, to vastly expand production. This expansion has dropped the price of oil from $100 per barrel to around $45. While this "new normal" price is below what these OPEC and other states (such as Russia) need to keep from drawing down their reserves of foreign currencies, these countries are producing as much oil as they must to keep their market share and give their citizens the level of support that keeps those citizens from becoming rebels. And some of these countries are pursuing a strategy aimed at stopping the fracking rebirth of American oil.
Certainly, the sustained period of low prices is making it a challenge for domestic energy producers – even the biggest ones – to remain profitable. And it has caused the American resurgence to temporarily stall. The most recent data show that the U.S. dropped to 9.3 million barrels per day (BPD) in June, down 3% from its 2015 peak hit in April. Citi Research estimates another drop of as much as 500,000 BPD as oil producers face capital shortages – the equivalent of ExxonMobil's total U.S. production.
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By Roughneck City, 2015-09-22Ouija Boards, Oil Booms and Commodity Cheese Many of you are too young to remember the oil bust of the 1980s in fact many of you were yet to be...
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