Shell plans to use the Transocean Polar Pioneer, shown here in Dutch Harbor, Alaska,  to drill in the Chukchi Sea. (Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Shell forges ahead in Arctic with exploratory well

on
Shell Oil Co.’s first test is excavating a 20-foot wide, 40-foot deep cavern in the seabed that can shelter an emergency device known as a blowout preventer from passing icebergs.
A drilling rig under contract to Shell arrives in Port Angeles, Washington en route to Alaska's Chukchi Sea, where Shell hopes to drill this summer. (Daniella Beccaria/seattlepi.com via AP, File) MAGS OUT; NO SALES; SEATTLE TIMES OUT; TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

Senate bill would give oil companies a decade more to drill in Arctic

on
Oil companies could get 10 more years to drill on their Arctic leases, under a provision in a broader offshore drilling bill advancing in the Senate.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn speaks to the audience at the GOP election night party in Austin on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. (Kin Man Hui/San Antonio Express-News)

John Cornyn: For movement on crude oil exports, wait until next year

on
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said the fall legislative session will likely be bogged down with spending and debt ceiling debates, but there are legislative efforts in the works to expand natural gas exports and lift a ban on shipping crude oil overseas.
Shell plans to use the Transocean Polar Pioneer, shown here in Dutch Harbor, Alaska,  to drill in the Chukchi Sea. (Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Obama administration OKs Arctic drilling, but imposes big constraints on Shell

on
Shell could begin work within days, but the government-imposed restrictions could keep its drill bits from reaching potential oil-bearing rock thousands of feet below the surface of the Chukchi Sea.
A jar holding waste water from hydraulic fracturing is held up to the light at a recycling site in Midland, Texas. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

EPA to block drillers from sending wastewater to municipal treatment plants

on
The oil and gas industry faces winnowing options for getting rid of the wastewater that flows out of wells, as the EPA moves to block municipal treatment facilities from accepting it and earthquake fears prompt some states to restrict underground disposal.
FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2014 file photo, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz speaks  during the general conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, at the International Center in Vienna, Austria.  Moniz, the eccentric MIT professor-turned-U.S. Energy secretary, by all accounts played a pivotal role in reaching the historic nuclear accord. Now with his diplomatic legacy on the line, President Barack Obama is turning to Moniz to help sell the deal to a highly skeptical Congress.  (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)

Obama’s unlikely Iran deal MVP: Energy Secretary Moniz

on
Ernest Moniz, the eccentric MIT professor-turned-U.S.-Energy-secretary, by all accounts played a pivotal role in reaching the historic nuclear accord.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Assistant Energy Secretary Christopher Smith tour the Bayou Choctaw oil reserve site near Baton Rouge, La. The facility, part of the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, holds about 73 million barrels of crude in underground salt caverns. (Photo: Energy Department)

Strategic Petroleum Reserve shouldn’t be used to fill federal coffers, Murkowski says

on
Congress should not use the nation’s emergency oil stockpile as an ATM, with sales of the crude funding unrelated legislative priorities, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said as she toured one of the Louisiana sites that makes up the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

New offshore safety rules would make drilling some wells too difficult, industry lobbyists tell White House

on
More than a dozen oil companies and drilling contractors joined leading industry trade groups in pushing back against proposed federal mandates for offshore wells they say would make some impossible to drill. The proposed requirements were spurred by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The drillship Noble Discoverer undergoes sea trials off Singapore in November 2014, following shipyard work and upgrades. Those improvements included a new main propulsion system, environmental controls and enhancements to the drilling systems. (Photo: Noble Corp.)

Shell-contracted drillships begin final Arctic journey

on
Shell Oil Co. still doesn’t have the final permits it needs to begin boring an exploratory oil well in the Chukchi Sea, but the Noble Discoverer’s departure from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on Friday suggests the company’s confidence that those authorizations are on the horizon.  
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Federal drilling rules deferred until September

on
Federal District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl had already decided to temporarily stay the Interior Department rule while he waits for more information from the government and weighs an oil industry request for a longer-term injunction blocking the drilling mandates.