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In this March 25, 2014 photo, a worker oils a pump during a hydraulic fracturing operation at an Encana Corp. well pad near Mead, Colo. The first experimental use of hydraulic fracturing was in 1947, and more than 1 million U.S. oil and oil wells have been fracked since, according to the American Petroleum Institute. The National Petroleum Council estimates that up to 80 percent of natural oil wells drilled in the next decade will require hydraulic fracturing. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Environmentalists and energy companies lobby administration on coming methane rule

The Obama administration has telegraphed its plans to “reduce wasteful venting, flaring and leaks of natural gas from onshore wells” on federal and Indian leases nationwide.
(AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Federal rules, more than prices, threaten North Dakota’s oil output, industry official says

North Dakota Petroleum Council Vice President Kari Cutting told an interim legislative committee on Wednesday that the new rules range from changes in air quality standards to additional animals being listed as endangered species.
(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.