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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

Court rules against environmentalists in endorsing feds’ handling of Arctic spill response plans

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Environmentalists said the ruling demonstrates federal policies need an update to ensure oil spill response plans get tougher scrutiny.
A well is drilled at an Apache Energy site in the Permian Basin in Midland, Texas, Feb. 14, 2012. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

Oil groups take aim at feds’ fracking rule

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Oil industry groups want a federal judge to block new mandates on hydraulic fracturing before they take effect.
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama moves forward on new oil and gas rules for public lands

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The Bureau of Land Management’s announcement that it would be proposing changes — and inviting public comment on the scope of them — marks the first major effort in decades to update onshore royalty rates that are among the lowest in the world.
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)

Feds unveil plan for keeping offshore oil wells in check five years after Gulf spill

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The measure codifies many of the steps that companies have already taken to better keep offshore wells in check, including more rigorous maintenance and testing of the blowout preventers that act as a last line of defense against uncontrolled surges of oil and gas.
The Deepwater Horizon blowout preventer is lifted onto the deck of the Helix Q4000 in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana in September 2010. (AP file photo/Patrick Semansky)

Five years after Gulf disaster, feds ready new well control and blowout preventer mandates

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The Obama administration is poised to lay out new requirements for controlling offshore wells, nearly five years after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill vividly illustrated the damage that can be unleashed when they are not kept in check.
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Industry swiftly challenges feds’ new fracturing rule

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The lawsuit brought by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance challenges the new mandates as “a reaction to unsubstantiated concerns.”
Workers adjust piping during a natural gas hydraulic fracturing  operation at an Encana Oil & Gas Inc. drilling site in western Colorado. (Brennan Linsley/AP)

New federal mandates target hydraulic fracturing

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Although the rule only applies to development on public and tribal lands — where there are more than 100,000 oil and gas wells today — environmentalists have argued that tough federal protections could provide inspiration for state regulators.
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)

Feds to impose hydraulic fracturing mandates

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The Bureau of Land Management regulation set to be issued Friday has drawn fire from industry leaders who insist well-tailored state rules are better than one-size-fits-all federal mandates.
Gov. Tom Wolf speaks to members of the media after he signed an executive order restoring a moratorium on new drilling leases involving public lands, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, at the Benjamin Rush State Park in Philadelphia. The executive order ends a short-lived effort by his predecessor to expand the extraction of natural gas from rock buried deep below Pennsylvania's state parks and forests. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Pennsylvania governor advances tougher gas drilling rules

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The proposal is the first signal from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration of how it will approach the natural gas industry after the Democrat campaigned last year on a promise to toughen state regulation of the industry.
Jeremy Rediger, a propane delivery driver for Michlig Energy, makes a delivery to a residence outside Annawan, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Low natural gas prices aren’t reaching consumers

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The benchmark futures price for natural gas, set at Louisiana’s Henry Hub, has fallen from more than $4 at the end of last year to under $3 currently.