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Feds probing death of worker on Gulf drillship

The worker on the Pacific Santa Ana was killed as the drillship prepared to bore a well for Chevron, BP and ConocoPhillips.
A July 24, 2013 photo by the U.S. Coast Guard shows a natural gas fire aboard the Hercules 265 rig that caused significant damage and forced the evacuation of the crew. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Investigation faults slow response and equipment failure in 2013 blowout of Gulf well

Workers reacted too slowly to stop a Gulf of Mexico well blowout that forced the evacuation of 44 people and ignited a fire that raged for two days in 2013, according to a federal investigation.
Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique team members, left, evaluate oil coverage as a hand crew worker scraps areas affected by an oil spill at Refugio State Beach, north of Goleta, Calif., on Wednesday, June 10, 2015.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Justice Department probes Plains pipeline spill

Plains disclosed the ongoing probes and the possibility of civil and criminal charges tied to the incident in an earnings filing this week.
U.S. Coast Guard image showing the Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground off a small island near Kodiak Island on Jan. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Feds rap Shell for poor planning in botched tow of 2012 Arctic drilling rig

The NTSB report comes at a pivotal time for Shell, which has asked federal regulators for permission to resume exploratory oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea as soon as July.
(Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg)

Fatal explosion came during maintenance work

The fatal explosion came nearly six months after federal drilling regulators warned that the facility had failed to maintain all equipment in a safe condition so as to ensure the protection of the lease and associated facilities.
David  Rainey,   (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Ex-BP exec can be tried for obstructing Congress

A federal appeals court in New Orleans says a former BP executive can be tried on a charge that he obstructed a Congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

Report: Chemical Safety Board in disarray, fostering abusive work environment

A probe has found that the U.S. Chemical Safety Board is in turmoil and failing to fulfill its investigative duties for serious accidents at refineries and chemical plants, according to Reuters.
Joaquin Almunia, competition commissioner for the European Union. Antitrust Commissioner Almunia, has refused to speculate about the prospects of the investigation. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Investigators seek breakthrough a year after EU raided Big Oil

Twelve months after raiding oil companies and Platts in a hunt for evidence of possible manipulation of price benchmarks, European Union officials are looking for a breakthrough.
A electric pumping unit removes crude oil from a  well outside South Heart, North Dakota. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Chronicle investigation: Peril in the oil patch

The drilling boom in Texas’ oil and natural gas fields has brought jobs and prosperity, but extracted a bloody human toll.
(Eddie Seal/Bloomberg)

Fracking boom leaves Texans under toxic cloud (video)

Texas’ air monitoring system is so flawed that the state knows almost nothing about the extent of the pollution in the Eagle Ford and companies that break the law are rarely fined, according to an investigation published this week by InsideClimate News.