Commercial vessels spray water on the fire aboard the West Delta 32 production platform. (Coast Guard photo)

Feds cite Houston firm, contractors in fatal Gulf blast

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A federal agency alleges that safety deficiencies by a Houston company and its contractors led to the deaths of three oil platform workers in an explosion last year.
Protesters gather in the Federal Plaza in Manhatan to protest against Chevron Corporation October 15, 2013 in New York. (AFP PHOTO/Don EmmertDON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Ecuador court halves Chevron pollution judgement

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Ecuador’s highest court has cut in half a landmark judgment against Chevron Corp. for oil contamination in the Amazon, putting the penalty at $8.8 billion.
The Bahamas-registered Prestige oil tanker breaks in two pieces before sinking some 150 miles (241 kilometers) off Spain's coast in the Atlantic ocean. A Spanish court on Wednesday Nov. 13, 2013 acquitted three people charged over the sinking of the Prestige oil tanker off Spain's northwestern coast 11 years ago that triggered one of Europe's biggest environmental catastrophes after finding no criminal responsibility in the sinking and absolved the three defendants. (AP Photo/Avion Polmar II, File)

Spanish court acquits accused in tanker disaster

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A Spanish court has acquitted three people charged over the sinking of the Prestige oil tanker off Spain’s northwestern coast 11 years ago that triggered one of Europe’s biggest environmental catastrophes.
A Harris County Medical Examiner's van and a Channelview fire truck leave the Oiltanking Partners Channelview plant after a deadly 2012 blast that led to a $20.2 million jury verdict Nov. 11, 2013. ( Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle )

Jury returns $20.2M verdict in pipe welder’s death

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A Harris County jury handed down a $20.2 million verdict against a company it found negligence in a deadly blast at its Channelview plant in 2012.
A tanker train carrying crude oil burns after derailing in western Alabama outside Aliceville, Ala., early Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. The train exploded, sending flames and black smoke into the air and temporarily forcing one family to leave their home. A dozen cars derailed and nine were damaged. (AP Photo/ ABC 33/40, Bill Castle)

Train carrying crude burns in western Alabama

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A tanker train carrying crude oil caught fire and exploded after derailing in western Alabama early Friday, sending flames and black smoke into the air and temporarily forcing one family to leave their home.
A column of smoke comes off the West Delta 32 complex in the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion on a Black Elk platform on Nov. 16, 2012. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

Feds: Safety culture ‘poor, at best’ before fatal Black Elk platform blast

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In their report on the fatal explosion of a Black Elk platform last year, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Coast Guard said that workers who were “worried about losing their jobs if they raised safety concerns” did not call a halt to work “despite apparent anomalies.”
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Tesoro Logistics restarts pipeline following spill

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Tesoro Logistics LP said it has restarted its North Dakota pipeline that was shut on Sept. 29 following an oil spill, the company said in a statement.
A petroleum line rupture leaks oil into a stream at the Northwoods Subdivision in Mayflower, Ark., (AP Photo/The Log Cabin Democrat, Alan English)

Judge denies Exxon Mobil request to dismiss Arkansas lawsuit

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A federal judge has rejected two motions by Exxon Mobil in a lawsuit filed following an oil spill from a ruptured pipeline in Mayflower.
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Feds launch probe into death of Gulf worker

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Federal investigators said Thursday they will launch a probe to determine what caused the death of an oil platform worker, after he fell into the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday evening.
(Kevin Cederstrom/AP)

Hundreds of North Dakota spills went unreported

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North Dakota, the nation’s No. 2 oil producer behind Texas, recorded nearly 300 oil pipeline spills in less than two years, state documents show. None was reported to the public, officials said.