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The capping stack -- part of Shell's "Arctic Containment System" for a blown-out well -- is tested in waters near Washington state. Here, it is lifted by an A-frame before being lowered 150 feet into the water. (Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Feds say Shell completed test for blown-out well response ahead of Arctic drilling

The exercises, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday in waters near Washington state, focused on Shell’s capping stack, designed to sit atop a damaged well and choke off flowing oil and gas.
This undated file photo from the US Department of Energy Internet site shows the Bryan Mound storage facility in Brazoria County, Texas. (U.S. Department of Energy/AFP/Getty Images)

Energy Secretary: Strategic Petroleum Reserve needs ‘modernization’

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve needs some changes, in light of shifts in the location and type of domestic oil production, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Wednesday.
Spectators look at a Cameron Evo 20K BOP, a blowout preventer, at Cameron's booth at the 2013 Offshore Technology Conference  in Houston. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

Industry takes the lead in improving emergency well control devices

Four years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster spotlighted shortcomings in the blowout preventers intended to safeguard offshore wells, government regulators are still drafting long-promised regulations meant to boost the reliability of those critical emergency devices.
(Mr. T in DC/Flickr)

Cold weather prompts call for power conservation in Texas

The state’s main grid operator is asking consumers to reduce electricity use to ensure adequate power as temperatures fall overnight.
( Johnny Hanson / Houston Chronicle )

Power demand in Texas hits winter record amid sub-freezing temperatures

The Texas grid met cold-weather demand a day after freezing temperatures and power plant problems nearly forced rolling blackouts, and grid operators discontinued a conservation alert.
(Mr. T in DC/Flickr)

Texas under power conservation alert amid freezing temperatures

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has cancelled its earlier announced Energy Emergency Alert, saying that conditions have improved and that rolling blackouts are no longer a serious threat.
The blowout preventer stack (right) and lower marine riser stack (left) from the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill (AP file photo/Gerald Herbert)

Feds to release new rules for offshore emergency equipment this year

The nation’s top offshore drilling regulator said he hopes to unveil new requirements for blowout preventers by Dec. 31, nearly four years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster revealed vulnerabilities in the emergency devices.
Tugboats Aiviq and Nanuq, seen from a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules, tow the Kulluk drilling unit 116 miles southwest of Kodiak City, Alaska, on Sunday. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Chris Usher.)

Drilling rig set to weather fierce storm in small Alaska port

Facing 63-mph winds and 28-foot seas on Monday, two tugboats were towing Shell’s Kulluk drilling rig to safe harbor to weather the fierce storm in the Gulf of Alaska.
The Nanuq is shown in Valdez, Alaska earlier this year. (Photo: Shell)

Coast Guard evacuates 18 from drilling rig

The Coast Guard and Shell are still working to rescue an offshore drilling rig and a tugboat stranded in high seas about 50 miles south of Kodiak, Alaska.
People line up at a gas station waiting to fill up in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Feds waive Jones Act amid fuel shortages in Northeast

In a bid to get oil flowing to the storm-ravaged Northeast, where motorists have been waiting in hours-long lines to pump gasoline, the Obama administration on Friday relaxed a rule that normally blocks foreign tankers from carrying crude.