Washington

Washington energy news with a Texas accent
President Barack Obama arrives at TransCanada's pipe yard in Cushing, Okla., in 2012. The southern leg of Keystone XL did not require State Department approval. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Obama downplays Keystone XL benefits

Obama’s remarks in a pre-holiday news conference at the White House came as Nebraska’s highest court weighs a challenge of the pipeline’s proposed route through the state.  More »
Abigail Hopper

Ocean energy bureau gets new director

Abigail Hopper, a Maryland energy regulator and veteran of fights over offshore wind farms, will be the top federal official in charge of oil and gas drilling along the nation’s coastlines.  More »
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testifies before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power on Capitol Hill, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Feds delay decision on methane mandates

The Environmental Protection Agency is waiting to make a decision on whether — and how — to boost regulation of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector until the new year.  More »
A Gunnison Sage Grouse. (AP Photo/Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Dave Showalter)

Congress blocks sage grouse protections, but work goes on

President Barack Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill late Tuesday with a provision that barred money from being spent on rules to protect the chicken-sized bird and three related types of grouse.  More »
Abdel Rodriguez holds a Cuban flag as he stands outside the Little Havana restaurant Versailles, as people absorb the news that Alan Gross was released from a Cuban prison and that U.S. President Barack Obama wants to change the United States Cuba policy on December 17, 2014 in Miami, United States.  Alan Gross, the American contractor had spent five years in Cuban jail.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Obama shift on Cuba won’t mean big oil boom in Gulf of Mexico

President Barack Obama’s decision to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba may lead to more commercial opportunities for Americans within the island nation. But don’t expect U.S. oil producers to move swiftly to take advantage of them.  More »
In this July 28, 2014 photo, Rick Huffstutlar walks through a pasture at his home with wind turbines in the background in Calumet, Okla. A decade ago, states offered wind-energy developers an open-armed embrace, envisioning a bright future for an industry that would offer cheap electricity, new jobs and steady income for large landowners. Today, many of the same political leaders who initially welcomed the wind industry want to regulate it more tightly.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Congress renews tax breaks for wind, biofuel

The move means taxpayers can claim the cuts and credits on their 2014 tax returns, but there is no guarantee they will be back in 2015.  More »
BP America Chairman John Mingé (Photo: BP)

Q&A: BP America CEO talks oil prices, opportunities

Minge is a former driller who has been with BP for more than three decades, including his most recent stint in Alaska.  More »
In June, GE tested this prototype 20,000 psi ram blowout preventer at its Houston Technology Center. The 20ksi program also includes new wellheads, connectors, control systems, and riser systems. (GE Oil & Gas)

Blowout preventer rule gets White House vetting

Federal regulators are advancing rules meant to boost the reliability of blowout preventers used to safeguard offshore wells.  More »
Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the BP operated off shore oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. (AFP/Getty Images)

Feds boost liability cap for oil spills

Companies are still required to pay the entire costs of cleaning up after offshore spills. And the liability limit on economic damages is waived entirely if gross negligence, willful misconduct or other violations led to a spill.  More »
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Texas congressman introduces bill to end export ban

A top House Republican is introducing legislation to end the nation’s longstanding ban on crude exports, as the oil industry campaigns for the freedom to sell the fossil fuel around the world.  More »
(Ty Wright/Bloomberg)

Study ties outsize methane emissions to some oilfield equipment

New research suggests two major oil sector sources of methane emissions are techniques to dislodge fluid from wells and the pneumatic devices used to control valves at the sites.  More »
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.)

Noble pleads guilty to violations involving Arctic drillship

Noble Corp. pleaded guilty Monday to eight criminal charges tied to pollution, propulsion and record keeping problems with the two drilling rigs that bored Arctic oil wells for Shell in 2012.  More »
Princeton University researchers sampled methane  from this abandoned well in Pennsylvania. (Photo: Mary Kang)

Study finds ‘significant’ methane leaking from abandoned wells

As the Obama administration nears a decision on whether — and how — to clamp down on methane leaking from active oil and gas operations, new research suggests abandoned wells may be a significant source of the potent greenhouse gas.  More »
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. (Mayra Beltran/Houston Chronicle)

Oil price drop boosts argument for crude exports

Oil prices have fallen roughly 35 percent since June, with surging U.S. crude production helping boost supply beyond softening demand worldwide.  More »
(ssalonso/Flickr)

Lawsuit filed in deadly offshore explosion

Separate lawsuits say the companies did not ensure equipment was cleared of all flammable materials and gases.  More »
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