This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground off a small island near Kodiak Island  Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Shell rig left Alaska port to avoid taxes, company official testifies

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Shell’s Kulluk oil drilling rig left Dutch Harbor in December to avoid the prospect of millions in taxes, a Shell official revealed Saturday in testimony to a Coast Guard investigation panel.
Former Shell CEO Jeroen van der Veer speaks during KPMG's Global Energy Conference at the Sonesta Hotel in Houston. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

Former Shell CEO: Safety must come first. And second. And third.

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Putting safety first is one of the most important ingredients to a successful major energy company, said former Shell CEO, Jeroen van der Veer, sharing a list of problems that executives need to watch out for.
(AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Tow vessel fuel problems preceded Shell grounding

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Testimony in the grounding of a Royal Dutch Shell PLC drill barge off a remote Alaska island focused Thursday on why its towing vessel unexpectedly lost power in stormy conditions in the Gulf of Alaska.
This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground off a small island near Kodiak Island  Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Rig manager testifies in Shell barge grounding

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After drifting toward shore on a floating drill rig tilted by 30-foot swells and 45-knot winds, then riding a basket up to a hovering Coast Guard helicopter, Todd Case said he would revise the towing plan for the vessel on a winter trip across the Gulf of Alaska.
Categories: Accidents, Arctic, Offshore
An aerial view of the Ensco 8502 drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. (Jennifer A. Dlouhy/Houston Chronicle)

Gulf of Mexico growth increases need for storm evac planning

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The growth in deep-water operations in the Gulf of Mexico has increased the need for emergency transportation facilities that can move workers out of harm’s way in case of of a hurricane.
A member of ExxonMobil's cleanup crew is reflected in water and oil in a drainage ditch along State Highway 365 in Mayflower, Ark., Monday, April 1, 2013. (Courtney Spradlin /AP/Log Cabin Democrat)

Pipelines spill three times as much oil as trains

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Pipelines in North America spilled three times as much crude oil as trains for comparative distances over an eight-year period, the International Energy Agency said today in a study it based on U.S. Department of Transportation data.
Categories: Accidents
BSEE Director Watson explains to congressional staffers and government representatives for Canada, Mexico and the U.K. why it is critical for Noble Energy to demonstrate the HWCG capping stack can contain a deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico. (Photo: Noble Energy)

Industry executives expect regulatory costs to soar

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Three years after the Macondo accident, more than 80 percent of top oil executives believe that regulation will get a lot tougher in the coming years.
In this photo provided by the Uintah County Sheriff’s Department, a well site for crude oil is shown a day after an explosion late Tuesday, May 7, 2013 near Myton, Utah. A welder using his torch on a storage tank or a valve died in the explosion, and a well pumper was taken to a hospital with injuries, authorities said. (AP Photo/Uintah County Sheriff’s Department)

Fatal oil-tank blast in Utah tied to welding

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A welder died after sparking an explosion while using his torch on a crude oil storage tank at an eastern Utah well site, the state’s largest oil producer told regulators.
Categories: Accidents
(Image: Fotolia)

Contractor is killed at Eagle Ford construction site

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A contractor working in the Eagle Ford Shale was killed Monday morning at a BHP Billiton Petroleum construction site in Karnes County.
Charlie Williams (Handout photo)

Hazard analysis could be problematic in company offshore audits

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FuelFix spoke to Charlie Williams, director of the Center for Offshore Safety, about challenges companies are having in implementing new federal regulations.