• US rig count falls by 43 to 1,633

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. fell by 43 this week to 1,633. The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report 1,317 rigs were exploring for oil and 316 for gas. A year ago 1,777 rigs were active. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas' count declined by 13, North Dakota dropped nine, Oklahoma fell eight, Ohio four, California and New Mexico each lost three and Utah declined by two. Kansas, West Virginia and Wyoming dropped one apiece. Louisiana increased by three rigs, Pennsylvania added two and Arkansas gained one. Alaska and Colorado were unchanged. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 an

  • $2 gasoline: Good times keep rolling at the pump

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — At some point this will end, perhaps even soon. The price of gasoline will not fall to zero. But for the first time since 2009, most Americans are paying less than $2 a gallon. Just three months ago experts were shocked when it fell under $3. "It's crazy," says Michael Noel, an economics professor at Texas Tech University who studies oil and gasoline prices. "But for consumers it's very, very good." Consumers and the economies of the U.S. and most of the rest of the world are basking in the lowest prices for crude oil and gasoline in six years. U.S. crude oil traded Friday just below $46 a barrel and the average price for a gallon of gas was $2.04.

  • Challenges on multiple fronts likely to test new Saudi king

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia's new monarch inherits the throne at a moment when the oil-rich kingdom is being buffeted by a plunge in the value of its most valuable commodity, growing challenges by activists at home and deepening turmoil on its borders that stands to benefit rival Iran. Those who know King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud note the 79-year-old's diplomatic skills, honed over nearly five decades as governor of the capital, Riyadh. Those abilities will be put to the test as he positions his country to confront a collapsing Yemen on its southern frontier and threats from the extremist Islamic State group to the north in Iraq.

  • GE earnings rise despite headwinds from low oil prices

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric Co. posted higher revenue and net income for the fourth quarter, but was held back from even better results by a sputtering performance from its expanding oil and gas division. The company calmed investors by maintaining its guidance for its 2015 profit, despite the low oil prices that are hurting its oil and gas operations and a stronger dollar that is hurting exports. "Everybody's been freaked out, everyone expected a big crumble on the guidance, but it didn't happen," said Nicholas Heyman, an analyst at William Blair. On Friday GE reported net income of $5.15 billion, up from $3.21 billion in the same quarter last year. Adjusting to remove the effect of one-time items, the company r

  • Officials warn about New Jersey's roads and bridges

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — State officials, from the leaders of the Democrat-controlled Legislature to Gov. Chris Christie's transportation commissioner, along with outside groups are stepping up warnings about the dire state of New Jersey's bridges, roads and tunnels. Here's a look at key questions surrounding the debate over the transportation trust fund. WHAT'S THE PROBLEM WITH THE TRANSPORTATION TRUST FUND? By July 1, authority to pay for new projects runs out. Legislative leaders have called for raising more revenue — including through increasing the state's 14.5-cent gasoline tax. But no plan has gained enough support to pass. The trust fund brings in about $1.

  • Hollande, leaders call for investments in the green economy

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Climate change and poverty took center stage Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where leaders began campaigning in earnest for twin global accords aimed at cooling the planet and easing the suffering of multitudes. French President Francois Hollande, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon were among the power-brokers urgently seeking support for two long-sought deals. They warned that the planet will overheat and many children will suffer unless the agreements are clinched this year. "Future generations will judge us harshly if we fail," Ban said. Hollande, who will host the next crucial round of climate talks, called for "huge investment" in green tech

  • Death of Saudi king unsettles oil market, prices waver

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Oil prices rose initially on news of the death of Saudi Arabia's powerful King Abdullah, but the increase was moderate and short-lived. The king's death is unlikely to lead to a change in the kingdom's immense crude production or change the course of oil prices in the coming months, analysts say. The benchmark U.S. crude futures contract rose more than $2 a barrel in the hours after the king's death was announced Thursday evening in New York. But by the time commodity markets opened Friday those gains had been largely erased. In morning trading, U.S. oil was up 18 cents to $46.49 a barrel. Brent crude, an international benchmark, was up 80 cents to $49.32 a barrel in London.

  • Montana oil spill adds to fears about proposed pipeline

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A pipeline oil spill in Montana that contaminated a river and a city's drinking water supply is adding to fears about a proposed pipeline to carry oil from western North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois for distribution to refineries in eastern states. Many people who commented Thursday at a public hearing in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on the proposed $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline referenced the Yellowstone River spill that contaminated drinking water in Glendive, Montana, this week. Some residents fear a similar incident could occur with the Dakota Access Pipeline.

  • Williston water tests safe after river oil spill in Montana

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota health officials say testing has concluded that Williston's drinking water is safe following an oil spill in the Yellowstone River in Montana. North Dakota's Health Department says low levels of contaminants were detected in Williston's water but it's unclear where they came from. Officials say the water is safe to drink. A ruptured Bridger Pipeline Co. pipeline spilled 40,000 gallons of oil into the river near Glendive, Montana, last Saturday. The pipeline breach is about 50 river miles from the North Dakota border. Elevated levels of cancer-causing benzene were found in Glendive's water supply. The tap water has since been deemed safe.

  • Hazy skies the backdrop for Obama's climate talks in India

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    NEW DELHI (AP) — When President Barack Obama arrives in New Delhi on Sunday he will join the Indian capital's masses in breathing some of the world's filthiest air. Hazy skies will serve as the backdrop to meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other officials who are expected to discuss India's biggest environmental woes: Heavy reliance on fossil fuels that has transformed New Delhi into the planet's most polluted capital and made India the third biggest national emitter of greenhouse gases. With 1.26 billion people and counting, India's energy choices can make or break global efforts to prevent climate change. Experts expect the U.S. will be willing to help India finance ambitious plans to boost production

  • Siemens touts order for 21 wind turbines for Kansas project

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Siemens says it has received an order to supply 21 wind turbines to the Alexander wind project located 120 miles northwest of Wichita. The Hutchinson-based company announced Thursday in a news release that it has reached a deal with NJR Clean Energy Ventures, a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, for the 48-megawatt project in Kansas. The $85 million Alexander wind farm is expected to be operational by this fall. Siemens says the turbine's generator housing, called a nacelle, will be assembled at its nearby facility in Hutchinson. The blades will be manufactured at its facility in Fort Madison, Iowa.

  • Coats named chairman of US Senate Finance subcommittee

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republican Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana has been named chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources and Infrastructure for the 114th Congress. Coats said Thursday that Indiana relies on energy and infrastructure for its manufacturing and transportation needs, and he plans to use the position to focus on expanding job opportunities. In December, Coats became the first Indiana senator to serve on the panel since former Sen. Vance Hartke in 1976. In addition to serving on the Senate Finance Committee, Coats is also chairman-designate of the Joint Economic Committee and a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

  • The ever-growing list of Obama veto threats

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    If these bills reach his desk, President Barack Obama has threatened to veto them: —Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Would ban most abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. —No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Would ban taxpayer funding for abortion, a prohibition that is already largely in effect. —Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act. Would accelerate the approval of natural gas pipeline projects by requiring a decision on applications within 12 months. —Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act. Amendments would overturn Obama's executive actions on immigration and expose hundreds of thousands of younger immigrants to deportation. —Regulatory Accountability Act of 20

  • National Science Foundation provides environmental grant

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Arkansas at Little Rock a $35,773 grant for a conference on hydraulic fracturing and environmental pollution. UALR will host the conference on April 20 and 21. Organizers say it is the first of its size and scope for UALR and is designed for leaders in academia, industry and government. The grant's principal investigator, Dr. Lashun K. Thomas, says the conference was created to bring together experts from all sectors to promote ideas, address fracturing efficiency and discuss ways to mitigate the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is a commonly used technology for well stimulation to increase oil and

  • Asian stock markets boosted by ECB stimulus plan

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks zoomed higher Friday, boosted by the European Central Bank's stimulus announcement, a long awaited move that also set off gains in Europe and on Wall Street. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.1 percent to close at 17,511.75 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.1 percent to 24,786.08. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.8 percent to 1,936.09. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.5 percent to 5,501.80. Markets in Taiwan, India and Southeast Asia also rose. EUROPE FACTOR: Europe's ailing economy will get a major dose of stimulus from the European Central Bank's bond buying program designed to make loans and exports cheaper so companies can hire and expand.

  • Oil and gas prices for Jan. 23

    Published: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Thursday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $42.75 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $30.75 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted Jan 8: COMPLETION Alfalfa: Chesapeake Operating LLC; Buck 23-26-11 No. 1H Well; NE1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 23-26N-11W; 38 barrels oil per day, 340,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 10,480. Chesapeake Operating LLC; Hague 12-25-12 No. 1H Well; NE1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 12-25N-12W; 93 barrels oil per day, 1,212,000 cu-ft gas per day; TD 10,555. Chesapeake Operating LLC; ILA 17-27-12 No. 1H Well; SW1/4 SW1/4 SE1/4 SW1/4 (SL) of 17-27N-12W; 194 barrels oil per day, 1,745,000 cu-ft gas per

  • Stillwater City Council rejects ban on drilling in city limits

    By Adam Wilmoth, Energy Editor | Updated: Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    City Attorney John Dorman was asked to develop a new recommendation that would prevent wells from being sited near homes, hospitals and other structures.

  • Chesapeake to pay $119 million in settlement to royalty owners over natural gas marketing costs in Oklahoma

    By Paul Monies, Business Writer | Published: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    Disputed costs for marketing natural gas and other services deducted from royalty checks in Chesapeake Energy’s natural gas wells in Oklahoma were part of a class-action lawsuit that will be settled for $119 million.

  • Apex will sell Kingfisher wind farm that drew opposition from some nearby landowners

    By Paul Monies, Business Writer | Updated: Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    Apex Clean Energy said Thursday it will sell a 298-megawatt wind farm under construction in Kingfisher and Canadian counties to a private equity firm.

  • Former chairman files lawsuit against New Source Energy Partners

    By Jay F. Marks, Business Writer | Updated: Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    New Source Energy Partners LP is being sued by its former chairman, but it contends David Chernicky’s claims of fraud and negligence have no merit.