• Obama to propose $10-per-barrel fee on oil

    Published: Fri, Feb 5, 2016

    President Barack Obama will propose a $10-per-barrel charge on oil to fund clean transportation projects as part of his final budget request next week, the White House said Thursday. The proposal — which follows the passage of a bipartisan transportation bill last year — would have difficulty clearing the Republican-controlled Congress. In a statement, Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, House majority whip, said the House would quash the "absurd" plan. Oil companies would pay the fee, which would be gradually introduced over five years. The government would use the revenue to help fund high-speed railways, autonomous cars and other travel systems, aiming to reduce emissions from the nation's transportation system.

  • US to stop approving oil fracking off California coast until review is complete

    Published: Mon, Feb 1, 2016

    The federal government has agreed to stop approving oil fracking off the California coast until it studies whether the practice is safe for the environment, according to legal settlements filed Friday. Separate deals reached with a pair of environmental organizations require the Department of the Interior to review whether well techniques such as using acid or hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to stimulate offshore well production threatens water quality and marine life.

  • Helmerich & Payne announces 'better than expected' first quarter results

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jan 28, 2016

    Tulsa-based Helmerich & Payne reported Thursday net income of $16 million from operating revenues of $488 million for the first quarter of its 2016 fiscal year that ended Dec. 31. Those earnings represent a significant — 92 percent — drop compared to the same quarter a year ago, which ended in December 2014, when net earnings were $203.6 million and operating revenue was $1.06 billion. Helmerich & Payne's first quarter earnings were 15 cents per diluted share, compared to earnings of $1.87 per diluted share in the first quarter of the company's fiscal year 2015.

  • Lawmakers fear second revenue failure for current fiscal year

    BY BARBARA HOBEROCK, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jan 20, 2016

    Lawmakers are concerned that a spiraling drop in oil prices could result in a second revenue failure for the current fiscal year. A number of scenarios to deal with it are under discussion, including additional cuts in general revenue to state appropriated agencies, House Appropriations and Budget Committee Chairman Earl Sears, R-Bartlesville, confirmed Wednesday. “If oil continues to drop, I feel there will be another revenue failure for 2016,” Sears said in response to questions about the budget.

  • Tulsa now has the lowest average fuel price in the nation

    BY ROBERT EVATT, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jan 20, 2016

    Even with an overnight increase in fuel prices, Tulsa now has the lowest average gasoline cost among the nation's major metro areas, according to a AAA report Wednesday morning. Tulsa's average gasoline price now stands at $1.435. Oklahoma as a whole was slightly higher at $1.576, although it's also the lowest average among the 50 states. Missouri is now the second-lowest at $1.60.

  • Laredo Petroleum's president and COO resigns

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Jan 19, 2016

    Jay P. Still has resigned as president, COO and member of the board of directors with Laredo Petroleum to pursue other interests, company officials announced Tuesday. Still joined the company in July 2013.

  • Williams Cos. could owe ETE $1.48 billion if merger agreement is terminated

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Dec 3, 2015

    Williams Cos. may be on the hook to Energy Transfer Equity for nearly $1.5 billion if the merger agreement between the two companies falls through, according to a disclosure filing. The document outlining the benefits and risks of the proposed merger agreement between the two energy companies states that if the merger isn’t consummated, Williams may be required to pay ETE a termination fee of $1.48 billion or reimburse the Dallas-based business for up to $100 million of its expenses. Williams would only owe the $1.48 billion penalty to ETE if the merger was terminated under certain circumstances.

  • Filing shows how Williams Cos. board voted on the ETE deal

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Dec 1, 2015

    On the morning of Sept. 28, the Williams Cos. board of directors voted to approve and recommend to shareholders the adoption of the proposed merger agreement with Dallas-based Energy Transfer Equity. But the decision wasn’t unanimous, according to the nearly 400-page filing Williams Cos. submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week. The document, called an S-4, informs investors about the pros and cons of deals before they cast votes to approve or block a transaction.

  • USGS upgrades early-morning earthquake to 4.7 magnitude; tied for state's largest since 2011

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 30, 2015

    The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 4.7 earthquake in Grant County on Monday morning, the state's largest in a little over a week. The temblor was recorded at 3:49 a.m. about 16 miles west-southwest of Medford with a depth of 3 miles.  The quake could be felt as far as Coweta to the east and central Kansas to the north. The USGS indicates its received numerous reports from residents in the Tulsa area.

  • Energy renaissance: New companies start up during downturn

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Sun, Nov 29, 2015

    The energy industry is approaching the end of a very painful year. This year has been full of personnel cuts, closed offices and suspended drilling, but there have been some bright spots in the form of new ventures. The Tulsa World recently spoke with three energy startups that have begun operations during the past year about what it’s like to open their doors in the midst of an extremely challenging commodity-price environment.

  • Army Colonel says he was retaliated against for blowing whistle on $43 million gas station

    Published: Tue, Nov 24, 2015

    An Army Colonel who blew the whistle on a task force that was responsible for building a $43 million gas station in Afghanistan says he is being retaliated against, according to a prominent U.S. senator. Army Col. John Hope was the director of operations for the $800 million task force when he questioned its lack of accountability, and then said he had “been singled out for retaliation and retribution” for “speaking truth,” according to a letter Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last week. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction recently released a scathing report on one of the task force’s programs — the $43 million compressed natural gas station, which the IG said should have cost closer to $500,000.

  • 4.4, 3.0 magnitude Oklahoma earthquakes recorded Monday near site of Thursday's 4.7

    BY ALTHEA PETERSON, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    The U.S. Geological Survey recorded two more Oklahoma earthquakes earlier today. First, a 3.0 magnitude temblor recorded 12:31 p.m. about 9 miles south-southwest of Cherokee in Alfalfa County. The epicenter was a few miles south of Thursday's 4.7 magnitude quake, which was the state's largest recorded since 2011.

  • USGS: Oklahoma has 'unheard of' seismicity that might produce 6.0 quake, but Cushing efforts indicate problem is manageable

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Nov 23, 2015

    Oklahoma’s surge in seismic activity has cultivated a swath of land with earthquake sequences “unheard of” in any other comparably sized area of the globe and may also produce a 6.0 temblor, according to a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist. But some efforts to mitigate quakes that rattled Cushing a year ago — through more stringent wastewater disposal regulations — have yielded positive empirical results, and it’s a clear indicator that  the issue of induced seismicity  is manageable. That’s according to Daniel McNamara, a USGS research geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center. Oklahomans remain shaken up as the state blasts through its earthquake record from only a year ago . In August Oklahoma surpassed 2014’s banner year of 584 earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater. In 2015, Oklahoma Geological Survey data show a staggering 802 quakes of those magnitudes through Sunday afternoon.

  • Oil industry study indicates few Oklahoma wells are linked to earthquakes; USGS geophysicist thinks percentage is larger

    By COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Nov 17, 2015

    A report on earthquakes released Tuesday by the oil and natural gas industry seeks to highlight that a relatively minute number of wastewater-disposal wells in Oklahoma and nationwide can be linked to induced seismisity. However, a spokeswoman for the group acknowledges that many of the studies cited in the report use models rather than actual wells, making such figures “speculative.” While scientists tend to agree that a small number of wells probably contributes to earthquakes, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey said the report understates how many wells probably are involved but can’t yet be scientifically proven to be due to lack of resources and the complexity of the problem. Energy In Depth, a campaign of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, produced the report.

  • Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco LP announce $2.2 billion drop-down deal

    Published: Mon, Nov 16, 2015

    Energy Transfer Partners announced a $2.2 billion so-called drop-down deal Monday that will complete the strategy announced last fall of transferring its high quality retail and field distribution assets to Sunoco LP. Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners announced Monday that it will sell to Sunoco LP its remaining 68.42 percent interest in Sunoco LLC and 100 percent interest in the legacy Sunoco retail business.  The approximately $2.226 billion transaction will be effective as of Jan. 1, 2016, and is expected to close in February 2016, according to the company.

  • Williams employees updated on merger during town hall

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Nov 13, 2015

    It's business as usual at Williams Cos. That's a primary message that employees of the Tulsa-based pipeline company received during an internal town hall meeting Tuesday, according to a document Williams Cos. filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. "Both Williams and ETE recognize that employees have many questions, but reinforce that as of right now, nothing has changed: it’s business as usual," the document reads under a section titled "What's Next?"

  • Tulsa energy company reports 40 percent decrease in 2015 earnings

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Nov 12, 2015

    Helmerich & Payne Inc. reported Thursday a net income of $422 million from operating revenues of $3.2 billion for its fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, compared to net income of $709 million from operating revenues of $3.7 billion for its prior fiscal year that ended September 30, 2014. The Tulsa-based drilling company’s full-year net income works out to $3.87 per diluted share for fiscal year 2015, down 40 percent compared to the $6.46 per diluted share earned during fiscal year 2014. Included in net income per diluted share for fiscal years 2015 and 2014 are approximately $0.86 and $0.23, respectively, in after-tax income related to a combination of select items including long-term contract early termination compensation, gains from the sale of investment securities, abandonment charges and impairment charges.

  • 44 Oil Executives and Truck Drivers Were Just Arrested for a Multimillion-Dollar Scam

    Published: Thu, Nov 12, 2015

    Dozens of New York City-area energy industry executives and truck drivers were arrested Tuesday as part of a law enforcement probe into a suspected scam on customers. DNAinfo reports the bust includes over 40 "owners, executives and truck drivers from some of the city's largest fuel oil companies" who police accuse of rigging oil trucks to shortchange customers on heating oil. The alleged scammers, who DNAinfo reported include eight owners of fuel companies and three transportation depots, are accused of scamming developers and city agencies, including police and fire departments and those serving "the homeless and city schoolchildren." Alleged victims also included the owners of smaller buildings who purchased oil from the companies implicated.

  • Production grows at WPX Energy, but losses mount

    BY ROBERT EVATT, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Nov 4, 2015

    Although WPX Energy reported record liquids production for their third quarter, losses at the Tulsa-based company continue to grow. WPX reported third-quarter revenue of $537 million, compared to $747 million in the third quarter of 2014. The company also reported a net loss of $234 million, or a loss of 93 cents per share, compared to net income of $62 million, or 30 cents per share, in the previous year. Losses have continued to mount, as the second-quarter loss was $30 million, and the first quarter had net income of $67 million. The company noted that significantly lower commodity costs decreased revenue by $159 million in the third quarter.

  • Magellan Midstream Partners posts solid gains, stock soars

    BY SAMUEL HARDIMAN, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Nov 4, 2015

    Magellan Midstream Partners attributed its third-quarter success to high gasoline demand that drove volume through the company’s pipelines, as well as some issues at refineries that forced more product into Magellan pipes. The company posted earnings per share of $0.86 in the third quarter, which a sizable increase from the $0.68 a share guidance the company offered in August. Magellan’s stock rose on the good earnings news, up to $69.14 at the end of the day from $66.94 at the market’s opening.