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WORLD
December 20, 2010 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
At least 27 people were killed and thousands of residents forced to flee a central Mexican city on Sunday after a predawn pipeline explosion that may have been caused by oil thieves. At least 52 others were injured and more than 100 homes damaged in what witnesses described as a series of blasts at a pumping station in San Martin Texmelucan. The explosion flooded a stream with black crude and sparked "rivers of fire" in the streets, said Valentin Meneses, government secretary of the central state of Puebla.
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NATIONAL
July 18, 2010 | By Richard Fausset and Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
A crucial two-day test of BP's troubled gulf oil well was extended Saturday by 24 hours to give experts time to further study pressure readings that could determine whether it is safe to keep a tight seal on top of the well — and keep all of the oil bottled inside. Former U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who is heading the federal government's response to the spill, said in a written statement that 48 hours of testing had provided "valuable information which will inform the procedure to kill the well," but said that federal experts wanted more time to continue monitoring the results.
NATIONAL
June 5, 2010 | By Tina Susman and Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times
Efforts to contain the flood of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico showed signs of progress as a cap placed atop BP's blown-out well managed to capture 6,000 barrels of oil in its first 24 hours, officials announced Saturday. No one knows exactly how much is still spewing from the well, although estimates by a government task force before the well was capped ranged between 12,000 and 25,000 barrels of oil daily. The containment cap, the latest in a string of efforts to cope with the massive spill, is funneling oil and gas to a surface ship about a mile above the wellhead.
SCIENCE
May 25, 2010 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
As early as Wednesday, BP will begin its first attempt to seal the deep ocean well that is spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, using a series of high-risk maneuvers that has never been attempted at such depths. The so-called top kill effort is increasingly crucial for BP, which has come under attack in recent days from Obama administration officials and Gulf Coast states frustrated with the company's inability to cap the well and stop the worsening environmental disaster. BP officials were running diagnostics Tuesday on the blowout preventer above the leaking well, a final step before the effort gets underway.
NATIONAL
May 16, 2010 | By Bettina Boxall and Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
Biologist Dennis Takahashi-Kelso peered into the cobalt waters of the Gulf of Mexico 20 miles off the Louisiana coast. The only sign of pollution was a plastic bag floating beneath the surface. More than three weeks after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, resulting in a leak spewing 210,000 gallons of crude per day into the gulf, the fouled beaches and dead seabirds that are the hallmarks of catastrophic spills have yet to materialize. But Takahashi-Kelso, who was Alaska's commissioner of Environmental Conservation at the time of the Exxon Valdez disaster, warned: "It's going to be bad."
SCIENCE
September 16, 2010 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Bacteria that attacked the plumes of oil and gas resulting from the Deepwater Horizon gusher in the Gulf of Mexico mainly digested natural gas spewing from the wellhead — propane, ethane and butane — rather than oil, according to a study published in the journal Science. The paper doesn't rule out the possibility that bacteria also are consuming oil from the spill, the authors said. Instead, it suggests that natural gas primed the growth of bacteria that may have gone on to digest "more complex hydrocarbons" — oil — as the spill aged and propane and ethane were depleted.
NATIONAL
June 3, 2010 | By Bettina Boxall and Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times
BP engineers lowered a cap over the top of the company's blown-out well Thursday night, an important step in efforts to contain the thousands of barrels of oil spewing daily into the Gulf of Mexico. "The placement of the containment cap is another positive development in BP's most recent attempt to contain the leak; however, it will be some time before we can confirm that this method will work and to what extent it will mitigate the release of oil into the environment," Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander for the spill, said in a written statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 25, 2010 | By Steve Chawkins, Los Angeles Times
Idled fishermen, oil-slathered pelicans, tar balls washing up on beaches: The daily deluge of sad images from the Gulf of Mexico aren't exactly a choice backdrop for a pro-oil political campaign, especially in an environmentally sensitive California beach town. But on June 8, just seven weeks after the deadly explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, Carpinteria voters will decide on an oil company's bid to expand its operations in the Santa Barbara Channel. If it succeeds, an initiative by Denver-based Venoco Inc. will pave the way for an onshore drilling rig that would extend pipes into the ocean floor and suck out as many as 11,000 barrels of oil a day. Located at a facility Venoco has owned since 1999, the initial exploratory rig would be about 17 stories tall and stay in place for up to a year.
NATIONAL
July 11, 2010 | By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
In another subsea attempt to control its gushing well, BP began a risky procedure Saturday that could contain all of the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico within a week. But the around-the-clock procedure comes with a price: Millions of gallons of oil will flow into the gulf for at least two days until a new cap is mounted. Although it's the latest in a series of attempts to contain the gusher, it's not a final fix. By Saturday afternoon, robots had removed a containment cap from the leaking well, a move that caused oil to freely gush into the ocean.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2012 | Bloomberg
Oil extended the longest rally in two years as tensions with Iran threatened supplies while signs of economic growth boosted the outlook for demand. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed at the highest level since June 2008. Crude for April delivery rose for a seventh day, increasing 1.8% to $109.77 a barrel, the highest settlement since May 3. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index increased 0.2% to 1,365.74 after earlier rallying as much as 0.4%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.74 points to 12,982.95, retreating from an almost four-year high.
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