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(Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle)

Transocean to scrap seven more rigs, take $140M charge

Transocean is planning to scrap seven of its older, lower-quality deep-water and mid-water vessels, putting them up for sale at a time when oil prices and demand for offshore rigs have sunken lower.
A member of Exxon Mobil's cleanup crew is reflected in water and oil in a drainage ditch along State Highway 365 in Mayflower, Ark., Monday, April 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Log Cabin Democrat, Courtney Spradlin)

Feds boosting oil spill liability limits

The Coast Guard moved Tuesday to boost the liability limits capping how much companies must pay for oil spills that foul U.S. waters.
OTC participants get a look at the ENI Saipem  models. (Photo: Thomas B. Shea/For the Chronicle)
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Mini-models steal the show at Houston’s OTC

With hundreds of vendors vying for attention at the 45th annual Offshore Technology Conference, colorful models of oil industry vessels, platforms and equipment, some of them the size of a small car and costing thousands of dollars, arguably can start a conversation that ends in a sale.
Jim Brown, partner at Houston law firm Legge, Farrow, Kimmitt, McGrath & Brown

Guest commentary: One-size-fits-all rules for offshore vessels are unrealistic

There is universal agreement on the desire to prevent another catastrophic explosion and spill. But there is the risk of doing harm by overreaching in regulating for a safer environment.
Johan Vold, managing director of the Oslo Energy Forum, speaks about opening the Arctic to oil and gas drilling during the Houston Shipping & Offshore Conference on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. (Emily Pickrell/Houston Chronicle)

Melting Arctic easing access to fossil fuels

More direct northern sea routes may be opening up in the Arctic, as the melting of the ice has made previously unnavigable routes a growing possibility for large ships, including tankers carrying oil and gas, an expert said Wednesday at the Third Houston Shipping and Offshore Conference.
ABB's Onboard DC-Grid increases fuel efficiency and reduces overall vessel weight.

OTC Spotlight Award: ABB technology optimizes vessels’ fuel use

ABB’s new Onboard DC-Grid — the first exclusively direct-current system in the industry — could fix inefficient electricity delivery while vessels are in dynamic position.