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(AP file photo/Keith Srakocic)

Environmental groups threaten lawsuit over drilling wastewater rules

Under existing federal law, the Environmental Protection Agency is obligated to review and possibly revise regulations governing the handling of oil and gas waste every three years. But the agency’s last review was 27 years ago.
In April 2010, businessman and philanthropist George Mitchell attends an event in The Woodlands. Mitchell died in 2013. (AP Photo/Conroe Courier, Eric S. Swist)

EPA’s methane crackdown wins endorsement from oil icon’s Texas foundation

The charitable foundation that is a legacy of George Mitchell, the “father of fracking,” has endorsed the proposed methane rules.
Derailed oil tanker train cars burn near Mount Carbon, W.Va., Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. A CSX train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm, sending a fireball into the sky and threatening the water supply of nearby residents, authorities and residents said Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Daily Mail, Marcus Constantino)

To boost the safety of moving oil by rail, focus on the tracks, paper argues

From integrity sensors to measurement systems, an array of technologies can help ensure tracks are sound, said Brigham McCown, chairman of the alliance and a former head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
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.
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”