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Sally Jewell

(Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Obama administration closes off two avenues for new Arctic drilling

The Interior Department announced it was canceling government auctions of drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, previously scheduled for 2016 and 2017 respectively. At the same time, it formally rejected bids by Statoil and Shell for more time to search for crude under their existing Arctic leases.
A male sage grouse performs  his "strut." (AP Photo/Rawlins Daily Times, Jerret Raffety, File)

With no protections for Sage Grouse, focus is on land-use

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management plans outline measures to help sage grouse across 67 million acres of public lands throughout the West, including 12 million acres of prime habitat where strict limits on oil and gas limits will be enforced.
Pumpjacks work behind a natural gas flare in North Dakota. (AP Photo)

BLM moves forward with plan to crack down on venting and flaring

A plan to curb natural gas venting and flaring at wells on public land is now being scrutinized in an interagency review process, teeing the proposal up for possible release later this year.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speaks with reporters at a media roundtable on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. (Photo: Christian Science Monitor)

New rules for methane aim to thwart wasting valuable natural gas, official says

Venting valuable natural gas into the atmosphere is a “crazy” practice, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Tuesday.
Seattle's skyline provides the backdrop for the Transocean Polar Pioneer, while it is being loaded with supplies in the city's port in May 2015. Shell plans to use the rig this summer to bore an exploratory oil well at its Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, about 70 miles northwest of the Alaska coast. A separate drillship, the Noble Discoverer, is set to work on another Burger well at the same time. (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Shell’s Arctic drilling plans may hit permitting snag

It was not immediately clear Tuesday whether the restriction highlighted by environmentalists opposed to Shell’s Arctic drilling campaign would derail the company’s plans, but it could be a major stumbling block.
An image provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a male greater sage grouse near Bridgeport, Calif., in 2010. (Jeannie Stafford/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via The New York Times)

Sage Grouse plan said to bar drilling on some U.S. land

With a deadline of September to decide if the chicken-sized bird is endangered, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will unveil ways the Bureau of Land Management plans to conserve the habitat. More than half of the grouse’s range is on federal land spread across 11 states.
With the Olympic Mountains in the background, the Polar Pioneer drilling rig arrives in Port Angeles, Wash., aboard a heavy-lift transport ship in April. Shell Oil Co. hopes to use the rig for exploratory drilling during the summer open-water season in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast, if it can get the permits. (Daniella Beccaria/ via AP, File)

Obama administration gives thumbs up to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans

Shell moved one step closer to resuming its $6 billion quest for crude in the Arctic on Monday, with the Obama administration’s approval of its broad plan for exploratory oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speaks during the opening panel discussion of IHS Energy CERAWEEK on Monday, April 20, 2015, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Quotable CERAWeek: Memorable lines from energy industry leaders

The new reality of oil, was the biggest topic, and the executives who took the stage focused on detailing how their companies would survive.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell at the 2015 IHS CERAWeek (Houston Chronicle)

CERAWeek: Interior Secretary Jewell aims to reassure wary oil executives

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will go before a crowd of wary energy industry executives Monday to make the case that federal regulations are essential to reassure a worried public.
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.