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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.
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/ 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

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.
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

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.
Chevron's massive deep water offshore platform heads to the Gulf of Mexico. The project was slated to start production this year, but that's been delayed after several subsea installation tendons sustained damage. (Chevron)

Liberal group says White House should use Gulf of Mexico auction to secure parks spending

Preserving the 50-year-old Land and Water Conservation Fund that pays for parks and public spaces requires a “bold fight” by the Obama administration, the Center for American Progress argues. The program, which is mostly funded by offshore oil and gas revenue, is set to expire in September.
(Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg)

Shell exec: U.S. risks losing drilling dollars to Brazil, Canada and Mexico

The Obama administration’s plan for selling offshore oil and gas leases from 2017 to 2022 could jeopardize the United States’ competitiveness as Brazil, Canada, Mexico and other countries aggressively compete for drilling dollars, a Shell executive told Congress.
Kijjiketchme Southern-Fox, from Salisbury, Md., protests proposed offshore oil and gas development in Atlantic waters outside a March 9 public meeting in Annapolis, Md. Southern-Fox said he is concerned about the potential ecological damage of oil development -- "a spill is inevitable anywhere they drill; it's just a matter of time" -- but also wants to see the United States transition swiftly away from fossil fuels. "Even if they were to open up a drill in the ocean and even if it never spilled, we'd still be dealing with the carbon output," he said.

Tensions ignite on East Coast as White House weighs Atlantic drilling

The prospect of a new generation of Atlantic drilling is stirring a heated debate up and down the East Coast.
A jackup rig works on an Energy XXI project in the Main Pass complex of the Gulf of Mexico, located in about 100 feet of water near the mouth of the Mississippi River. (Martin L Vargas / Energy XXI)

Offshore auction tests industry’s appetite amid slumping prices

Just 35 companies are participating in the government auction of Gulf of Mexico drilling rights — down from 50 a year ago and 56 in a similar March 2013 auction — suggesting that lower oil prices may be dampening enthusiasm for the offshore acreage.
U.S. Senator Ed Markey, D-Mass (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

East Coast Democrats protest Atlantic oil drilling

Sixty-five lawmakers told the Obama administration to reconsider a plan to sell oil and gas drilling leases along the East Coast.
U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Robert Papp  speaks during a news conference Wednesday Aug. 8, 2012, in Anchorage, Alaska.  (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

U.S. must invest in Arctic, Senate panel told

As the United States prepares to take over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the country needs to invest more heavily in icebreakers, navigational aids and other resources for the region.
(Photo courtesy of Shell Oil Co.)

Offshore drilling plan targets Atlantic and Arctic waters

The Obama administration’s proposal for 10 auctions of drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico, three targeting Arctic waters and one of Atlantic acreage is alienating both environmentalists and the oil industry.