Not Logged In Log In   Sign Up   Points Leaders
Follow Us    12:09 AM

Top 5 Articles By Day




Saturday, November 22, 2014

12
votes
Worker in deadly blast on oil and gas platform in Gulf was cleaning equipment, company says

Star Tribune -- NEW ORLEANS — A worker killed in an offshore explosion was cleaning a piece of equipment during routine maintenance at its oil-and-gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the company that runs the platform said Friday.

Houston-based Fieldwood Energy LLC said another worker suffered "visible injury" and two others reported ringing in their ears after the explosion, which was reported just before 3 p.m. Thursday. The company said the three injured workers have been released from the hospital.

Fieldwood said the worker who was killed Thursday was cleaning a piece of equipment that separates oil from water liquids when an "isolated pressure event" occurred. The company said the victim and the other worker with visible injuries were employed by Turnkey Cleaning Services, a Louisiana company speci  (read more)

Submitted 5 minutes ago By:
6 Comments

Friday, November 21, 2014

51
votes
Cold triggers tire sensors: don't ignore your TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) !

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..bostonglobe.comWhile much of the country was blanketed with snow this week and more may be  on the way in the Great Lakes... maybe the last thing you want to worry about is your tire pressure.  After all, if you've been buried in places like Buffalo, it may be some time before you even find your vehicle, let alone drive it. 

Once you turn the heat on and get behind the wheel, don't be surprised if there's a light on your dashboard that you're not familiar with. When it comes to our cars, steep temperature drops can trigger a sign of winter that we don’t welcome: a yellow or orange low tire pressure warning light.When your light comes on, your car is simply telling you that you need more air in your tire and this time of year, the warning is usually related to steep drops in temperature. What should you do?  Don't ignore it. ...  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1356 Comments

47
votes
Takata executive warns about ability to fix deadly air bag flaw

Reuters-Yahoo -- WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - An executive from Japan's Takata Corp told U.S. senators on Thursday the supplier is urgently trying to ramp up replacement parts for millions of vehicles fitted with potentially deadly air bags, but said it may not be able to move quickly enough.

The U.S. auto safety regulator also warned of the risks of moving to a nationwide recall, as senators have urged, saying such a move could divert replacement parts from humid regions where the defective air bags are more likely to rupture upon deployment, shooting metal shards into cars.

At least five fatalities have been linked to the defect so far, mostly in the United States.

 (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
922 Comments

47
votes
Iran Vows to Guard Oil-Market Share as OPEC to Review Output

Bloomberg -- Iran will protect its share of global crude sales under all circumstances, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said, as OPEC members prepare to meet next week to review production levels.

The Persian Gulf nation can double oil exports in two months if sanctions against are removed, Zanganeh said, according to the ministry’s news website Shana.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will gather on Nov. 27 in Vienna to assess its collective output amid a supply glut and a 30 percent drop in prices this year. Iran’s crude output has languished under international economic sanctions that deter foreign energy investors and limit its exports to approximately 1 million barrels a day.

“Under no circumstance will Iran decrease its share of the global market, not even by one barrel,”...  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1415 Comments

47
votes
TransCanada Energy East faces new hurdle with demands from Quebec

Bloomberg News -- TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Energy East pipeline is facing another obstacle in Quebec as the province sets conditions for the project linking the oilsands to the East Coast.

Quebec is requiring TransCanada meet seven conditions before allowing construction of the pipeline, according to a copy of a Nov. 18 letter by David Heurtel, the provincial environment minister, to TransCanada Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling obtained by Bloomberg News and first revealed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Nov. 20.

Mounting criticism from environmental groups is stalling plans for pipelines to expand markets for Canada’s rising heavy crude supplies. Quebec’s conditions risk delaying Energy East and are the latest setback for TransCanada, after the defeat of a U.S. Senate measure this week to ex  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
1238 Comments

39
votes
Region's motorists give thanks for cheaper gas, plan to hit the road

Saint Paul Pioneer Press -- Average gas prices have fallen below $3 a gallon in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas, encouraging more drivers to hit the road for the Thanksgiving weekend since 2007.

In Minnesota, the average price was $2.79 this week, according to AAA, with some stations in Bemidji and Twin Cities suburbs reporting prices as low as $2.55, and the lowest price since the fall of 2010.

The current average price in Wisconsin was $2.89. Among the state's metro areas, Milwaukee has the lowest average price at $2.84, down from $3.18 a month ago.

For the first time in four years, the average price for gas in North Dakota has dropped below $3 per gallon, and that price could be here to stay, officials said. North Dakota gas stations reported an average of $2.99 per gallon this week, dropping 18 cents from  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:
324 Comments

Thursday, November 20, 2014

45
votes
Thanksgiving driving, what to expect on the highways and why

Cleveland.com -- Here's what you need to know about Thanksgiving holiday driving. And why it can be a nightmare.

•Only four in 10 Americans say their Thanksgiving plans include traveling.

•But most of them will drive rather than fly.

•And about 30 percent are planning round trips of 500 miles or more, meaning the interstate highways will be busy as usual.

•Another 31 percent are driving between 200 and 500 miles.

•Two-thirds of these families are planning to drive either on Wednesday before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving Day itself -- helping to create the annual surge that clogs even the largest interstate highways.

•More than 20 percent of these families will head home Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Another 42 percent will drive home over the weekend.  (read more)

Submitted Nov 20, 2014 By:
1520 Comments

44
votes
Special fund started to provide military families heating assistance

The Augusta Chronicle -- Natural gas provider SCANA Energy is joining forces with United Military Care to help Georgia service members, veterans and their families stay warm through a special fund they’ve started.

The fund, launched on Veterans Day, has raised around $5,650 and so far helped pay heating bills or open new accounts for 10 military families in Georgia who depend on natural gas for warmth.

United Military Care President Kim Scofi said the nonprofit organization also has around 10 other families who have applied for heating assistance through the program.

SCANA Energy started the fund with a $5,000 donation and plans to match every dollar donated above $5,000 – up to $10,000 – through February.

The fund is open to families of active-duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve, and...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 20, 2014 By:
1348 Comments

41
votes
CSX Warns Buffalo Snow May Cause Delays on Main Crude Oil Route

Reuters via Downstream Today -- CSX Corp warned customers on Thursday that a massive snowstorm in Buffalo, New York, may cause delays of up to 48 hours on deliveries along its main crude oil by rail route.

"Customers with shipments over the high-volume Buffalo line should continue to expect delays up to 48 hours," the company said in a customer service advisory.

The CSX line carries crude from Chicago to Albany, New York, where it is loaded onto ships that sail to Irving's refinery in St. John, in New Brunswick, Canada, or taken to refineries in the Philadelphia area. It passes through Buffalo, which is digging out of more than five feet of snow, with more expected.

Many trains bypass Albany and head south along the River Line to Phillips 66's refinery in Linden, New Jersey or Philadelphia Energy's Solutions refinery  (read more)

Submitted Nov 20, 2014 By:
51 Comments

39
votes
Ford Recalls Fusions for Software Problem

Associated Press (AP) Published in Product Design and Development -- Ford is recalling about 65,000 Fusion midsize cars in North America because the ignition keys can be removed if the transmission is not in park due to a software problem.

The recall covers certain Fusions, including gas-electric hybrids, from the 2014 and 2015 model years. Ford traced the problem to a computer program in the instrument cluster. Keys can be removed 30 minutes after the ignition switch is turned off if the cars are left in gear. That violates U.S. safety regulations and increases the risk of cars rolling away unexpectedly.
 (read more)

Submitted Nov 20, 2014 By:
63 Comments

37
votes
Minnesota's specialty courts for chronic drunken drivers reduce recidivism and costs, national study

Star Tribune -- Minnesota’s specialty courts for chronic drunken drivers reduce recidivism and save taxpayers money, prompting a call for the program’s expansion.

A national two-year study released Wednesday showed that in nearly all nine of the DWI courts evaluated, the rearrest rates for graduates of the intensive program dropped dramatically compared with offenders who went through the traditional court process. The state’s overall graduation completion numbers were also well above the national average for DWI courts.

Although dozens of DWI and drug courts have been researched, Minnesota’s study is the first to include a cost analysis. Because of the reduced recidivism, local agencies and the state save more than $1.4 million over the two years DWI court participants entered the program.

“We are ple  (read more)

Submitted Nov 20, 2014 By:
1392 Comments

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

49
votes
Brace for Thanksgiving Traffic as Car-to-Plane Gap Swells

Bloomberg News -- With gasoline prices sinking to under $3 per gallon, Americans traveling by car this holiday season will have plenty of company on the road.

Drivers will make up about 89.5 percent of holiday travelers this year, a gain of 0.1 percentage point from 2013, while air passengers will drop by the same amount to 7.5, forecasts prepared by Englewood, Colorado-based IHS Inc. (IHS) show. A 0.1 point increase may not seem like a lot, but based on last year’s estimate that 39.6 million people traveled by car for Thanksgiving, that would roughly equate to at least another 40,000 people piling onto America’s highways.  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
1180 Comments

46
votes
Fracking to be Permitted in GW National Forest

AP -- Environmentalists and energy boosters alike welcomed a federal compromise announced Tuesday that will allow fracking in the largest national forest in the eastern United States, but make most of its woods off-limits to drilling.

The decision was highly anticipated because about half of the George Washington National Forest sits atop the Marcellus shale formation, a vast underground deposit of natural gas that runs from upstate New York to West Virginia and yields more than $10 billion in gas a year.

The federal management plan reverses an outright ban on hydraulic fracturing that the U.S. Forest Service had proposed in 2011 for the 1.1 million-acre forest, which includes the headwaters of the James and Potomac rivers. Those rivers feed the Chesapeake Bay, which is the focus of a...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
1487 Comments

41
votes
ISIS in trouble: What could this mean for oil?

CNBC -- One of the most important areas captured by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) looks as though it's back in Western-backed hands.

Iraqi security forces have re-entered the key Baiji oil refinery, which has been held by ISIS since June, in what the Iraqi General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi said to state media could be the "main key in liberating each span of Iraq".
 (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
58 Comments

41
votes
Hackers attacked the U.S. energy grid 79 times this year

CNN -- In fiscal year 2014, there were 79 hacking incidents at energy companies that were investigated by the Computer Emergency Readiness Team, a division of the Department of Homeland Security. There were 145 incidents the previous year.

The outermost defenses aren't holding up. Between April 2013 and 2014, hackers managed to break into 37% of energy companies, according to a survey by ThreatTrack Security.

Cybersecurity firm FireEye (FEYE) identified nearly 50 types of malware that specifically target energy companies in 2013 alone, according to its annual report. Energy firms get hit with more spy malware than other industries, according to a 2014 study by Verizon (VZ, Tech30).  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
689 Comments

40
votes
Oil Near 4-Year Low as OPEC Seen Resisting Cutting Output

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate crude dropped for a third day as U.S. oil inventories gained unexpectedly. Brent rose in London.

Futures fell as much as 1 percent in New York. Ecuador and Venezuela will ask members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce excess output, an Ecuador official said. A car with explosives blew up in Erbil in Iraq’s Kurdish region, the local Rudaw news agency reported, with Al Jazeera television reporting six people killed. U.S. crude inventories expanded by 3.7 million barrels last week, countering forecasts expecting a drop, the American Petroleum Institute said yesterday. The Department of Energy’s stockpile figures will be published later today.

Oil has collapsed into a bear market as the U.S. pumps at the fastest pace in more than three deca  (read more)

Submitted Nov 19, 2014 By:
437 Comments

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

60
votes
Why are airfare prices going up if gas is cheaper?

Las Vegas NV Review Journal -- U.S. airlines are saving tens of millions of dollars every week because of lower prices for jet fuel, their largest expense. So why don’t they share some of the savings with passengers?

Simply put: Airlines have no compelling reason to offer any breaks. Planes are full. Investors want a payout. And new planes are on order.

In fact, fares are going higher. And those bag fees that airlines instituted in 2008 when fuel prices spiked aren’t going away either.

In the 12 months ended in September, U.S. airlines saved $1.6 billion on jet fuel. That helped them post a 5.7% profit margin in the first three quarters of this year..

In the past six years, airlines have done a great job of adjusting the number of flights to fall just short of demand. As a result, those who want to fly will pay a pr  (read more)

Submitted Nov 18, 2014 By:
1520 Comments

48
votes
Oil market is trapped in a negative bubble: Kemp

REUTERS -- The best way to think about the dramatic slide in oil prices over the last five months, Brent has fallen by more than 30 percent, is that the market is caught in a negative bubble.

The downward lurch in oil prices over such a short space of time is the mirror image of the price spike in the first half of 2008.

In both instances the price movements had some basis in changing market fundamentals: the shortage of light sweet crudes in 2008 and incipient oversupply thanks to shale in 2014.

But in both cases, a modest change in fundamentals has been magnified and accelerated by a shift in speculative positions.

Falling liquidity, the rush to cover hedging programs, and herding behavior among market participants then exaggerated the price moves.

For a time, the market becomes essentially...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 18, 2014 By:
1455 Comments

48
votes
Texas publicizes list of scofflaws; the 10 worst owe $1.59 million

GasBuddy Blog -- We all know who pays for our highways, roads, tunnels and bridges... we do!  Much of that money comes from state taxes and tolls that go directly to maintenance and infrastructure.  So when motorists don't pay their tolls, who loses?

Texas says they've been patient enough.  They're tired of people failing to pay their share and shifting their burden to the majority of law-abiding motorists so they're publishing the list of the worst offenders.  Believe it or not, a few folks in Texas owe more than $200,000 in unpaid tolls and fines! The 10 worst scofflaws in Texas owe the state $1.59 million. ...  (read more)

Submitted Nov 18, 2014 By:
2263 Comments

45
votes
Is Barack Obama telling the truth about the Keystone XL pipeline?

CBC -- Because U.S. President Barack Obama will have to make a decision about the Keystone XL oil pipeline as early as this week, his comments on the hotly debated project tend to get plenty of scrutiny.

He's been increasingly dismissive of the importance of the project for his country, suggesting he'll make his choice purely on environmental grounds because it means so little to the U.S. economy.
 (read more)

Submitted Nov 18, 2014 By:
126 Comments

45
votes
Toyota to start sales of fuel cell car next month

AP -- TOKYO (AP) — There will only be a few hundred, and they won't be cheap, but Toyota is about to take its first small step into the unproven market for emissions-free, hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The world's largest automaker announced Tuesday that it will begin selling fuel cell cars in Japan on Dec. 15 and in the U.S. and Europe in mid-2015. The sporty-looking, four-door Toyota Mirai will retail for 6.7 million yen ($57,600) before taxes. Toyota Motor Corp hopes to sell 400 in Japan and 300 in the rest of the world in the first year.

"In time, the fuel cell vehicle will become mainstream. We wanted to take the first step," said Mitsuhisa Kato, a Toyota executive vice president, at the vehicle's launch Tuesday. "We want to be at the leading edge."

Fuel cell vehicles run on compressed hydr  (read more)

Submitted Nov 18, 2014 By:
688 Comments