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(Photo courtesy of Shell Oil Co.)

Shell planning to restart Arctic drilling this year

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Shell is planning on spending $1 billion to drill exploratory oil wells in Arctic waters north of Alaska this year — as long as it clears legal and permitting hurdles, said CEO Ben Van Beurden.
U.S. Coast Guard image showing the Royal Dutch Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground off a small island near Kodiak Island on Jan. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Shell collaborating with regulators over Arctic drilling

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Newly released documents suggest federal regulators are collaborating closely with Shell as the company pursues a new round of Arctic drilling next summer, even though an underlying sale of the region’s oil leases is still in legal limbo.
(Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

Keystone XL foes want focus on spill clean up

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Dilbit is made up of bitumen, a thick, sticky hydrocarbon harvested in Canada that is too hard at room temperature to flow through pipelines on its own. To ready it for pipeline transport, companies dilute the bitumen with natural gas liquids or other substances.
Tar Sands Blockade protests the Keystone Pipeline at a TransCanada office in Houston. (Cody Duty/Houston Chronicle)

53 senators push Obama to approve Keystone XL

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A bipartisan group of 53 senators on Wednesday urged President Barack Obama to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, over the objections of environmental activists who have made it a signature issue.
Crewmen work a site where a pipe for TransCanada's Keystone XL project is lowered into the ground in Wood County, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, in Winnsboro. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

Nebraska governor OKs Keystone XL route

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Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman on Tuesday approved a new route for the Keystone XL pipeline that would ferry Canadian oil sands crude to the Gulf Coast, setting up a big Obama administration decision on whether to green light the controversial project.
A crewman directs a pipe for the southern leg of TransCanada's Keystone XL project in Wood County, Texas. The northern leg has not yet received approval from the Obama administration. (Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle)

Keystone XL critics insist feds should assess climate change effects

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The Obama administration is set to unveil a fresh environmental analysis of the Keystone XL pipeline, but project opponents say that study won’t be complete unless it considers climate change costs tied to the $7 billion project.
Gulf of Mexico (Wikimedia Commons)

Government paves way to sell oil and gas leases in central Gulf next year

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After completing a new environmental analysis prompted by the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the federal government is on track to sell oil and gas leases in the central Gulf of Mexico next spring,