February 17, 2012 |
One of the last significant hurdles to offshore oil drilling in the Arctic has been cleared with approval of a plan for dealing with a nightmare scenario - an oil spill at the top of the world. The Obama administration on Friday approved Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc.'s plan for responding to an accident should it occur in the Chukchi Sea. The company hopes to begin exploratory drilling there, 70 miles off the northwest coast of Alaska, in June. The issue of how to clean up a spill in the remote waters, 1,000 miles from the nearest U.S. Coast Guard base, has proved to be the biggest impediment to opening the most significant new frontier in U.S. energy development.
November 10, 2010 |
A stream of evidence shows that "a culture of complacency" rather than a "culture of safety" prevailed at BP, Transocean Ltd. and Halliburton as they worked on the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, according to the chairmen of the presidential commission investigating the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The panel's investigators uncovered "a suite of bad decisions," many still inexplicable, involving tests that were poorly run, alarming results that were ignored, proper equipment that was sidelined and safety barriers that were removed prematurely at the high-pressure well, said William K. Reilly, who is co-chairman of the commission with former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham of Florida.
November 9, 2010 |
The chief attorney for the presidential panel investigating the gulf oil spill said Monday that he had found no proof that BP sacrificed safety to save money as it drilled its Macondo well, contradicting earlier assertions made in other government investigations of the disaster. "To date, we have not seen a single instance where a human being made a conscious decision to favor dollars over safety," general counsel Fred H. Bartlit Jr. told the panel during a lengthy presentation on the causes of the April 20 rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.
September 9, 2010 |
An internal investigation released Wednesday by BP concluded that a series of mechanical and human failures by its own crews and its contractors led to the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 men and set in motion one of the world's worst oil spills. The oil company accepted a share of the responsibility but also took aim at contractors Transocean and Halliburton, setting off another round of finger-pointing that began soon after the rig sank. No single factor caused the disaster, concludes the 234-page report summarizing the first of several investigations of the disaster.
July 30, 2010 |
For more than three months, the world has waited for a permanent fix to the BP oil leak. It may not have to wait much longer. As early as Sunday evening, the oil giant will take the first steps in a weeks-long process that, though highly complex, has a simple idea at its core: to cram a leaky hole full of cement. It's the preferred, time-tested method for taming a wild well, and it is absolutely necessary, experts say. Even though no oil has flowed into the Gulf of Mexico since a sealing cap was installed over the gusher July 15, they say it will take a cement job to shut the well for good.
July 14, 2010
Among the endangered species on our coast, count California's 27 offshore oil rigs. Even as other states lobby for expanded drilling, President Obama has left a federal moratorium on Pacific Coast drilling intact — meaning that within 20 years, the existing rigs will probably vanish as the wells they're tapping dry up. Yet while the unsightly and environmentally risky platforms are destined to be scrapped, what will remain underwater is very...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2010 |
A plan to let oil companies leave large parts of decommissioned drilling rigs in the ocean off California's coast, saving them hundreds of millions of dollars, is sailing through the Legislature at a time when the Gulf of Mexico spill has made the industry politically toxic. The "rigs to reef" idea, which proponents say would create marine habitat, has been around for more than a decade. Former Gov. Gray Davis vetoed such a proposal in 2001, citing a lack of proof that abandoned oil rigs help the environment.
June 17, 2010 |
A House subcommittee will question government and oil industry officials Thursday about worker safety aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig the day it exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, focusing partly on worker complaints that the vessel was undermanned and had a confusing command structure. These concerns were outlined this week in a Times story that described the rig's registration with the Marshall Islands, a small Pacific nation that classified the vessel in such a way that a drilling manager rather than a captain was in charge of it at the time of the accident.
June 17, 2010 |
Oil and gas companies have told the Obama administration that environmental regulations for deep-water drilling rigs do not immediately need to be toughened because the Deepwater Horizon explosion was an unforeseeable event, not a failure of federal oversight, according to documents filed last week with the White House. The industry's chief lobbying arm, the American Petroleum Institute, submitted written comments to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The council is reviewing whether the federal Minerals Management Service — the now-splintered and much criticized agency charged with regulating oil drilling — has appropriately conducted reviews mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act, known as NEPA.
June 4, 2010 |
BP is becoming the new pariah of the oil industry and faces the possibility of having to sell assets if it can't show some success in the coming weeks at stemming the flow of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, Wall Street analysts and energy experts say. The fallout from the deadly Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion in April continued Thursday, when credit rating firms Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings reduced their assessments of...