Oil man and real estate developer George P. Mitchell in his office in November 1979. Mitchell died Friday, July 26, 2013. (Buster Dean/Houston Chronicle)

Commentary: A tough month of July provides plenty of opportunities for reflection

It’s definitely been a rough couple of weeks for everyone in the oil & gas industry. On almost exactly the same day, a blowout lead to the total destruction of a jackup rig in the Gulf of Mexico, and Halliburton admitted to destroying after the Macondo incident cementing-related data. Add to that the death of George Mitchell, and you have one pretty sad month of July, one that I definitely would like to put behind me.
Smoke rises from Unit 3 of the tsunami-stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in northern Japan (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)

Japan gov’t to help stop radioactive water leaks

Japan’s government says it will step in to tackle contaminated water leaks at the country’s crippled nuclear plant, and is considering funding a multibillion-dollar project to fix the problem.
Categories: Accidents, Nuclear
A worker with an oil cleanup crews siphons off oil on floating on the top along the drainage toward Lake Conway in Conway, Ark. (Alan English/The Log Cabin Democrat, AP Photo)

Mayflower residents hope to keep spill suit alive

Mayflower residents pursuing a class-action lawsuit against Exxon Mobil Corp. and a subsidiary said in a court filing Monday that it would be wrong for a judge to dismiss their claims.
Categories: Accidents, Pipelines
The Hercules 265 jack-up rig in the Gulf of Mexico was severely damaged after a natural gas well leak ignited a fire, collapsing a portion of the structure, on Wednesday, July 24. (On Wings of Care)

Workers begin relief well at site of Gulf blowout

Workers on Sunday began a month-long quest to plug a gas well that blew out in the Gulf of Mexico in July, forcing the evacuation of 44 people and igniting a fire that raged for two days.
Smoke and flames billow from a crude oil unit at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, Calif., Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/ContraCosta Times, D. Ross Cameron )

Chevron agrees to pay $2M for Calif refinery fire

Chevron on Monday agreed to pay $2 million in fines and restitution and pleaded no contest to six charges in connection with a fire at its refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Richmond.
Categories: Accidents
Semi-subermisible oil rigs and jackup drilling units in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Cameron, La. (Aaron M. Sprecher/Bloomberg)

Accidents show depth of danger in shallow waters

Recent incidents have brought new attention to dangers that still lurk on the shallow continental shelf, where companies rely on decades-old pipes and platforms to tap aging fields.
Smoke rises from railway cars that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada. The fiery explosion killed at least 47 people in Canada in July 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson, File)

In wake of Canadian disaster, US issues emergency rules for trains

In the wake of a deadly train accident in Canada, the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration has issued a series of measures to be undertaken by all railroads to help prevent trains operating on mainline tracks or sidings from moving unintentionally.
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)

Report shows problems with Ark. Exxon pipeline

A technical report on the ExxonMobil pipeline that failed in Faulkner County and spilled crude oil in a neighborhood shows that problems were identified with its construction method as early as 1989, a newspaper reported.
Categories: Accidents, Pipelines
Tommy Beaudreau, acting assistant secretary for lands and minerals management, U.S. Department of the Interior.

Feds meet with Houston oil execs about Gulf accidents

Top federal regulators met with offshore oil and gas leaders in Houston to discuss recent accidents in the shallow-water Gulf of Mexico.
A cleaning vessel clears the oil after about 50 tons of crude oil leaked from a pipe and spilled into the sea off Rayong province, eastern Thailand. The oil spill that leaked from a pipeline, operated by a subsidiary of state-owned oil and gas company PTT Plc, has reached a popular tourist island in Thailand's eastern sea despite continuous attempts to clean it up over the weekend, officials said Monday. (AP Photo/The Nation-Atchara)

Energy giant slammed for oil spill in Thai sea

Critics are slamming Thailand’s state-owned oil and gas company for its allegedly inefficient response to an oil spill that polluted a tourist island.