Oil & Gas Journal News

A fire has been extinguished from a producing, unmanned platform in the Gulf of Mexico following damage that was possibly caused by a vessel, the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reported on Jan. 23.

On the subject of taxation, administration officials count on the public to believe anything.

Total US petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, increased 5.1% last month from December 2013 to average nearly 20 million b/d, according to the American Petroleum Institute’s monthly statistics for December 2014. For the fourth quarter, total US petroleum deliveries gained 2.9% compared with the same period in 2013.

Varo Energy BV, a midstream company owned by The Carlyle Group and Vitol Group, plans to invest more than 50 million Swiss francs ($56 million) this year into maintenance and modernization projects at its 68,000 b/d Cressier refinery near Neuchatel, Switzerland.

The US drilling rig count fell 43 units to settle at 1,633 rigs working during the week ended Jan. 23, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

Most oil exporting countries will run fiscal deficits this year if the crude price averages $57/bbl as currently indicated by markets, according to the International Monetary Fund.

OAO Gazprom has determined that its 10-million-ton Baltic LNG plant will be built near the seaport of Ust-Luga, Leningrad Oblast, Russia. The project is now preparing for the investment stage.

Madagascar Oil Ltd. has appointed Robert Estill as chief executive officer.

The US Senate voted to recommend that the House originate legislation that would make heavy crude oil moving through the proposed Keystone XL pipeline subject to the excise tax on other transported crudes that goes into the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

Oil prices dropped more than $1/bbl on the New York market Jan. 22 on a bigger-than-expected jump in US oil supplies, and traders on Jan. 23 said news of Saudi Arabia King Abdullah’s death brought uncertainty regarding future US-Saudi relations.

Power Engineering News

Vermont is considering a change to its energy policy that would end a practice that critics said amounted to double-counting the environmental benefits of its renewable sources of power.

Major utility companies would be able to develop their own energy-efficiency programs and charge customers to implement them under a bill that cleared a state Senate committee Thursday, but the panel's chairman said the bill still needs a lot of work.

Two Oklahoma lawmakers have filed legislation to alter state tax subsidies for new wind farms in the state.

The federal government is inviting the public to comment on an environmental assessment that supports wind energy development off North Carolina.

The work environment has improved at Palisades Nuclear Plant in southwestern Michigan following concerns that drew attention last year, federal regulators said.

One of two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point B in the UK was taken out of service for a £40 million ($60.1 million) maintenance outage.

Officials in California’s Orange County yesterday announced the start of construction on a new facility that will convert landfill gas to electricity at the Frank R. Bowerman landfill east of Irvine.

Lloyd’s Register Consulting and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) partnered to enhance prediction software to support the decision-making process for emergency response.