• Venezuelans govt backers rally after Colombian border closed

    Updated: 22 min ago

    CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A sea of government supporters in red shirts rallied in Caracas on Friday to back a crackdown on migrants, smugglers and paramilitary groups that has triggered an increasingly bitter dispute between Colombia and Venezuela and led the neighboring countries to recall their ambassadors. The spat erupted a week ago when Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro shut a major border crossing to combat what he says are rampant smuggling and paramilitary activities near Colombia, and declared a state of emergency in six western cities. Venezuelan officials deported more than 1,000 Colombian migrants and another 5,000 have left voluntarily, with some carrying all of their belongings across a muddy river on a frantic mo

  • US oil prices climb again after Thursday's big jump

    Updated: 35 min ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices surged again Friday, a day after recording their biggest gain in more than six years. U.S. crude rose 6.3 percent to finish at $45.22 per barrel after climbing 10.3 percent on Thursday. That was the biggest one-day gain for U.S. oil since March 2009. The price of U.S. crude is still down 15 percent in 2015. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils imported by U.S. refineries, rose 5.2 percent to $50.05 a barrel. Brent also rose 10.3 percent Thursday. U.S. oil had fallen to a 6 ½ year low on Monday because of a global supply glut and worries about the health of China's economy. The gains ease some concerns about the economic impact of falling oil prices on oil-producing re

  • Shell pauses Arctic offshore drilling for high wind, water

    Updated: 48 min ago

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Strong winds and high waves that pounded the northern coast of Alaska have led Royal Dutch Shell PLC to temporarily stop exploratory oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. "Due to high wind and sea states, we have paused all critical operations in the Chukchi Sea," said spokesman Curtis Smith in an email response to questions. The eastern Chukchi Sea this week experienced gale-force winds in the range of 39 to 54 p.m., said Ed Townsend, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Fairbanks. Winds at Point Lay on Alaska's northwest coast about 9 a.m. Friday blew steadily at 29 mph with gusts to 37 mph. Smith said he isn't sure when drilling might resume. "We hope to resume normal operations

  • US stocks edge lower in afternoon trading after wild week

    Updated: 56 min ago

    U.S. stocks edged lower in afternoon trading Friday, at the end of a volatile week for the market. Stocks fell heavily in the first two days of trading this week on concerns about the health of China's economy. The market then rebounded sharply over the next two days as investors decided the sell-off was overdone. "People are taking a little bit of a pause," said Paul Springmeyer, senior portfolio manager at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank. "We're finally winding down here where maybe we're seeing more rational behavior." The Dow Jones industrial average fell 40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,614 as of 3:05 p.m. Eastern time Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped three points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,

  • Budget on Georgia nuclear plant level, uncertainty remains

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — A utility says the cost to build a new nuclear plant in Georgia is holding steady, but there's uncertainty whether the numbers will stick. Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power reported Friday that it spent $148 million building two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle (VOH'-gohl) during the six-month period ending in June. Georgia Power owns a 46 percent stake in the new power plant. It expects its share of the construction project to cost roughly $7.5 billion. That's almost 22 percent more than was originally planned. However, the projected cost held relatively steady compared to the company's last semiannual spending report. It remains unclear whether that budget will hold.

  • Oregon firm joins Wyoming university on research initiative

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A scientific and technical instrument manufacturer is teaming up with the University of Wyoming on what officials say will be cutting-edge research to improve extraction of oil and gas. The partnership between Portland, Oregon-based FEI and the university will focus on digital rock technology and research to gain better understanding of oil and gas flow in unconventional and conventional oil and gas reservoirs. FEI will provide state-of-the art equipment and software worth millions of dollars for UW researchers. The state will provide funding to match the value of the company's contribution. Altogether, the effort is estimated to be worth about $24 million. Gov. Matt Mead and others announced the

  • Vote tally in favor of Iran deal climbs to 30 in Senate

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware on Friday became the 30th senator to announce support for the Iran nuclear deal, as momentum for the White House-backed agreement grows. If Senate Democrats can amass 41 votes in favor of the deal, they could block passage of a congressional resolution to disapprove of the deal. If that doesn't happen and the GOP-led Senate votes to disapprove of the deal, President Barack Obama has vowed to veto it. Democrats then would need 34 votes — four more than they have now — to prevent a congressional override of the presidential veto. A vote on the nuclear deal the U.S. and other world powers negotiated with Iran is scheduled for early September.

  • Benedictine monk relaxing atop wind turbine spotted by drone

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (AP) — A Benedictine monk who works at a private Rhode Island school has discovered that finding solitude is no easy feat, even 175 feet in the air. Brother Joseph Byron was recently relaxing atop the Portsmouth Abbey School's wind turbine — as he often does — when a drone zoomed in. Video taken by the drone, owned by a Californian on vacation, shows Byron sprawled across the turbine's flat surface, with views of Narragansett Bay in the background. The footage was posted online this week. Byron said Friday that alumni he hadn't heard from in years are contacting him after seeing the video. He says he found the drone interesting at first but was annoyed after it zoomed by a second time.

  • Adam Wilmoth column: Pipeline safety is essential for the industry and the country

    By Adam Wilmoth Energy Editor awilmoth@oklahoman.com | Updated: 2 hr ago

    Pipeline failures today are more damaging and more costly to repair. Increased regulations can mean pipelines could be shut down for months or years after an incident, clogging up transmission throughout the county’s pipeline system.

  • Weekly US oil and natural gas rig count down by 8 to 877

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. this week declined by eight to 877. Houston-based Baker Hughes said Friday 675 rigs were seeking oil and 202 explored for natural gas. A year ago, with oil prices nearly double the prices now, 1,914 rigs were active. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained three rigs. Louisiana lost six rigs, New Mexico was down by two and Colorado, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania each decreased by one. Alaska, Arkansas, California, Kansas, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming were all unchanged. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

  • Amid backlash, Iowa co-op drops planned fee for solar hookup

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    PELLA, Iowa (AP) — Facing a backlash from solar energy advocates and an inquiry from regulators, a rural Iowa electricity cooperative has dropped a plan to charge customers who install solar panels on their homes and businesses a special $85 monthly charge. The Pella Cooperative Electric Association withdrew its proposal Thursday in a filing to the Iowa Utilities Board, which was considering a challenge from solar customers and environmental groups who argued the charge was illegal, unjustified and discriminatory. Similar disputes between utilities and solar energy advocates are playing out across the country, but observers said the cooperative's proposed interconnection charge was believed to be among the highest in the na

  • MidAmerican Energy picks northwest Iowa for 2 wind farms

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — MidAmerican Energy says it will build its next two wind farms in northwest Iowa. The company says there will be 134 generators at the Ida County site and 104 at the site in O'Brien County, providing a combined capacity of 552 megawatts. The estimated investment for the two projects is $900 million. A MidAmerican vice president, Mike Gehringer, says that by the end of the year, more of MidAmerican's electricity will come from wind than from any other single source. MidAmerican spokeswoman Ruth Comer says that by the end of 2016, when both projects are completed, the Berkshire Hathaway-owned company will have more than 2,000 wind turbines across Iowa.

  • Ukraine asks Russia for lower gas prices for winter season

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Ukraine asked Russia on Friday for lower gas prices for the winter and said Moscow should accept to write off a part of its loans to Kiev, as other international bondholders did this week. Gas disputes between Russia and Ukraine have led to cut-offs of supply in the past, and one standoff in 2009 caused serious disruptions in gas flowing from Russia via Ukraine to the European Union. Russia and Ukraine last year struck an emergency deal on prices through the winter. That deal has expired, however, and the sides have to hold new talks if Ukraine is to receive more Russian gas.

  • State says Ohio oil, natural gas production at historic high

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state Department of Natural Resources says historic amounts of oil and natural gas are being produced by Ohio shale wells. Statistics released by the department Thursday show more than 10 million barrels of oil and 405 billion cubic feet of natural gas were produced during the second quarter of the year. The department says those amounts were more than in any previous three-month reporting period. During the same period in 2014, the state's wells produced about 4.4 million barrels of oil and 156 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The state says oil drilling production increased 126 percent and gas drilling production by 160 percent in the first half of this year compared with the first

  • Squealing 'pigs' work to keep pipelines safe

    By Adam Wilmoth Energy Editor awilmoth@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    Named in part for the squeal they shriek as they squeeze through the pipes that crisscross the country, pipeline pigs are used for variety of purposes, including safety inspections, cleaning, applying coatings to the inside of the pipe and separating different blends of crude oil or other product.

  • Jump in oil prices, economic news provide boost to Oklahoma stocks

    By Adam Wilmoth Energy Editor awilmoth@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    The Dow Jones industrial average gained 369.26 points, or 2.3 percent, to 16,654.77 on Thursday.

  • Customers blast PSO's smart meter opt-out fees at Oklahoma Corporation Commission hearing

    By Paul Monies Business Writer pmonies@oklahoman.com | Published: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    PSO is installing smart meters at the rate of about 7,500 customers per week and has installed 157,750.

  • Oklahoma business briefs: Plugging in, Aug. 28

    Published: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    Oklahoma business briefs: Plugging in, Aug. 28, 2015


    Published: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Thursday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $39.25 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $27.25 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted Aug. 13: COMPLETION Alfalfa: Sandridge Exploration & Production LLC; Rusty 2710 No. 2-13H Well; NE/4 NW/4 NW/4 NW/4 (SL) of 13-27N-10W; 468 barrels oil per day, 3,231,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 11,421. Garvin: Newfield Exploration Mid-Con Inc.; Whitt No. 2H-25X Well; NW/4 NW/4 NE/4 NW/4 (BHL) of 25-03N-04W; 1,169 barrels oil per day, 2,361,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 23,263. Newfield Exploration Mid-Con Inc.; Whitt No. 3H-25X Well; NW/4 NE/4 NE/4 NW/4 (BHL) of 25-03N-04W; 1,300 barrels oil per

  • Asian stocks rise after US data calms investor nerves

    Updated: 16 hr ago

    HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks rose Friday as upbeat U.S. economic data lifted investors' spirits following days of stomach-churning turbulence sparked by a heavy sell-off in China. Regional markets took their lead from Wall Street, where benchmarks had a strong finish after a government report showed the U.S. second quarter economic growth was much stronger than initially estimated. That gave added encouragement to investors seeking out bargains in beaten-down shares. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index led regional gains, adding 2.5 percent to 19,020.35 after lackluster monthly data on inflation and household spending raised hopes of further stimulus. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China rose 1.2 percent to