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The US Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized a voluntary disclosure program for new owners of upstream oil and gas facilities designed to encourage them to find, correct, and self-report violations of the Clean Air Act, in particular those associated with emissions from storage vessels. The report details information obtained during the EPA’s outreach to stakeholders. The information in the report will help the EPA determine whether any future actions are appropriate to address oil and gas extraction waste water further. The New Owner Clean Air Act Audit Program, tailored specifically for oil and natural gas producers, will focus on offering more flexibility to new company owners who choose to self-audit their emissions and report any failures to meet EPA’s regulations. Proposed changes would modify EPA's August 2016 final rule, "Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources."
When methane is found in water wells near an unconventional well, fingers point to fracturing as the likely suspect. But a study of wells in the Utica Shale named other sources. The Texas Supreme Court ruled late in April that the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s oil and gas regulator, does not have exclusive jurisdiction over environmental contamination cases, which can be settled in court.
An oil pipeline that runs across Saudi Arabia was hit by drones on 14 May west of its capital of Riyadh, the Saudi energy minister said, shortly after rebels in Yemen claimed they carried out coordinated drone strikes against the kingdom. Anadarko Petroleum wants a fleet of at least six vehicles with armor heavy enough to stop AK-47 bullets at its natural-gas project in Mozambique. And it needs them soon. By examining two very different security-risk environments, this paper will illustrate how easily security-related human-rights risks can go unnoticed unless care is taken early in the risk-management process. Oil production at Libya’s Sharara field, the country’s largest, was resuming on 6 September after a valve was reopened on a pipeline shut by an armed group for more than 2 weeks, Libyan oil industry sources said.
A recent study found that female mice exposed during prenatal development to chemicals used in unconventional oil and gas operations had abnormal mammary glands in adulthood. A professor, whom the EPA charged with reviewing its 2016 study on hydraulic fracturing’s possible effects on drinking water, shared her observations on the process that led to the agency’s final conclusion. On September 13, the Delaware River Basin Commission voted to begin the process to ban hydraulic fracturing near the river to protect the drinking water of 15 million people. A 7-year moratorium on natural gas development near the Delaware River would be replaced by a permanent ban under a proposal that’s being developed by the agency that oversees the water supply of more than 15 million people. The oil industry will be able to draw water from the Little Missouri State Scenic River for hydraulic fracturing after North Dakota officials lifted an 8-week-old moratorium on industrial water permits, raising concerns from some conservationists about the effect on the Badlands.
One of the most important environmental issues of openpit mining is the closure of mine pit lakes. This article from Mining Engineering provides an account by Gerry Stephenson, who was chief mining engineer of Canmore Mines and was instrumental in the reclamation of Canmore Creek Mine pit lakes. Among other things, Bill C-69 has replaced the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, with an Impact Assessment Act, replaced the National Energy Board Act with a Canadian Energy Regulator Act, and made changes to the Navigation Protection Act. A new regulation includes provisions related to the timely abandonment of "dormant sites," a new site classification that refers to inactive wellsites operated by solvent companies. "I have some patients whose symptoms I can’t explain," physician Ulrike Meyer said, describing nosebleeds, rare cancers, and respiratory illness among a dearth of data.
As The Environmental Partnership celebrates its second anniversary, the coalition of oil and natural gas companies has grown 150% to 70 members while continuing efforts to reduce emissions from natural gas production. The Environmental Defense Fund said it is overseeing a year-long program to monitor methane released across the Permian. The project will start measuring emissions in November using towers and mobile readings and will begin publishing data early next year. The Permian Boom Collides With a Governor's Climate-Change Push New Mexico’s Lujan Grisham pushes an ambitious pro-environment agenda for an industry whose receipts dominate the state budget. Carlsbad, New Mexico, residents are experiencing health effects, but the science behind their woes lags behind the pace of drilling.
During the past decade, industries have made tremendous efforts in developing robust and effective systems in health, safety, and environment. Now, companies are called on to focus on process safety as well. Considering most of the rigs deal with human-machine interface systems, the role of human factors is at the heart of any successful operation. Eye-tracking technology can be useful in real-time operation centers where ocular movement data can improve the professionals’ performance. What is the reality of risk in the hydrocarbon sector?
Chevron has evacuated all of its American oil workers from Iraq following the recent US airstrike in Baghdad. This paper will demonstrate that, instead of building higher security fences, the process of understanding marginalized communities and engaging with neighboring communities is key to building relationships and neutralizing hostility. Forging an authentic and meaningful brand for major projects in complex and challenging regions is an under-rated tool for managing risk—but not at the Rumaila oilfield in Southern Iraq. Iraqi forces are preparing an operation to consolidate control of an area near the Iran border to be used for the transit of Iraqi oil, two officials said, highlighting concern about mountainous terrain where two armed groups are active. Iraq plans to use drones to monitor and protect its oil export and production pipelines from the first quarter of 2018, an oil ministry spokesman said on 18 December.
Iranian state-sponsored hackers reportedly have deployed a new strain of data-wiping malware on the network of Bapco, Bahrain's national oil company. Companies should disclose instances of cyber-enabled intellectual property theft. Disclosure requirements would give companies greater incentives to protect their intellectual property and allow investors to make better-informed decisions. The vigilante hacker has offered the reward for hacktivists and criminals who break into capitalist institutions. The Houston FBI held a classified meeting to help energy companies protect themselves from the growing threat of cyberattacks.
The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced the grant awards for eight projects focused on strengthening safety culture in the offshore oil and gas industry. As a result of its investigation into the incident and its findings, the bureau recommends that operators increase scrutiny in the design, placement, and maintenance of their subsea infrastructure. Study Says Taylor Oil Spill Is up to 1,000 Times Worse Than Rig Owner's Estimate A new federal study estimates that, each day, about 380 to 4,500 gal of oil are flowing at the site where a company's oil platform was damaged after a hurricane. Up to 1,000 gallons of oil per day are being removed from the site of the Taylor Energy spill, says the owner of the company that installed a containment system. The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has announced a new collaboration to support a pilot effort to convert an existing ocean mooring owned by Shell into the first long-term deep ocean observatory in the Gulf of Mexico.