• Oil and gas prices for May 29

    Published: Fri, May 29, 2015

    OIL AND GAS PRICES Oklahoma crude oil prices as of 5 p.m. Thursday: Oklahoma Sweet: Sunoco Inc. — $54.25 Oklahoma Sour: Sunoco Inc. — $42.25 Oklahoma oil and gas drilling activity posted May 13: COMPLETION Alfalfa: SandRidge Exploration & Production LLC; Burleson 2611 No. 3-19H Well; NE1/4 NW1/4 NE1/4 NW1/4 (SL) of 19-26N-11W; 943,000 cu-ft gas per day 60 barrels oil per day; TD 10,350. Dewey: Duncan Oil Properties Inc.; Ommen No. 4-14H Well; S1/2 S1/2 SW1/4 SW1/4 (SL) of 14-16N-20W; 4,676,000 cu-ft gas per day 225 barrels oil per day; TD 14,067. Ellis: Midstates Petroleum Co. LLC; Monty 1722 No. 4H-15 TC Well; SE1/4 NW1/4 SE1/4 SE1/4 (SL) of 10-17N-22W; 104 barrels oil

  • Oklahoma energy production makes it a world leader, survey says

    By Paul Monies, Business Writer | Published: Fri, May 29, 2015

    If Oklahoma was a country, it would rank in the top 30 nations in the world for its production of natural gas, oil and wind energy. A new survey by the American Petroleum Institute released the rankings for oil and gas on Thursday.

  • Plugging in business briefs for May 29

    Published: Fri, May 29, 2015

    Plugging in business briefs for May 29

  • Response by operator of broken oil pipeline faces scrutiny

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters, emergency workers and officials from Plains All American Pipeline had gathered last week at a fire station preparing to train for the worst — an oil spill — when a 911 call came in reporting a noxious smell in the air at a nearby beach. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department rushed to the shoreline, where they discovered oil flowing across a beach and into the Pacific. What was supposed to be a drill turned real. "It was very black. You couldn't see the sand anymore," fire Capt. Craig Vanderzwaag recalled after arriving at the scene of the leak shortly after noon May 19. "You could see rolling waves with black oil lapping up on the beach.

  • US economy likely shrank in 1st quarter but rebound expected

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A brutal winter, plunging investment by energy companies and a widening trade gap likely combined to shrink the U.S. economy at the start of the year. But the slump is expected to prove short-lived. The government on Friday will issue its second of three estimates of the economy's performance, as measured by the gross domestic product, in the January-March quarter. Economists surveyed by data firm FactSet predict that the government will say GDP shrank at an annual rate of 0.8 percent last quarter. That would be much weaker than its first estimate: 0.2 percent annual growth. Though falling GDP can be a sign of a recession, economists see little cause for concern.

  • Authorities eye reopening of goo-struck California beaches

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Crews scouring 7 miles of Southern California beaches had scooped up truckloads of mysterious oily goo Thursday and the area might be clean enough to reopen for the weekend, authorities said. Workers scooped up about 30 cubic yards of tarry balls and patties that began washing ashore Wednesday. "There appears to be no new tar balls or anything additional to the amount that we have recovered thus far," U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Charlene Downey said. The stretch of coast from Manhattan Beach to Redondo Beach that was closed to swimmers, surfers and beachgoers could reopen early Friday morning if the sand and sea are given an all-clear, Downey said.

  • China stocks extend fall, investors jittery after big tumble

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese stocks fell again Friday as investors remained jittery a day after a sharp sell-off. Other major Asian benchmarks climbed. KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China declined 0.4 percent to 4,600.73 as it swung between gains and losses a day after tumbling 6.5 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 edged up 0.3 percent to 20,605.68 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.3 percent to 2,116.96. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.1 percent to 27,494.11 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.2 percent to 5,780.40. CHINA GYRATIONS: The Shanghai stock market is increasingly volatile after soaring more than 120 percent in the past year.

  • Federal agency dings Shell for oil rig mishap in Arctic

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — As Royal Dutch Shell PLC seeks permits for exploratory oil drilling off Alaska's northwest coast, a federal agency has concluded the company underestimated risk the last time it moved drill rigs to Arctic waters. A National Transportation Safety Board report issued Thursday said the probable cause of the grounding of the company's mobile drilling vessel, the Kulluk, in 2012 was "Shell's inadequate assessment of the risk for its planned tow" across the Gulf of Alaska. Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said by email the company is reviewing the report but has already made changes and "engaged extensively with the regulators on that topic.

  • Maine lawmakers delay vote on LePage utility panel nominee

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Democrats on a Maine legislative panel said Thursday they need more time before voting on Gov. Paul LePage's nominee to a board that regulates utilities in the state, drawing sharp criticism from Republicans who accused them of playing politics with the governor's pick. The Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee voted 7-6 along party lines to put off their decision on whether to endorse Bruce Williamson's nomination by the Republican governor to the Public Utilities Commission. Legislative committees typically vote the same day they hold a public hearing for a nominee, but delaying a vote is not unheard of. Democratic Rep. Mark Dion, committee chairman, said it's a significant appointment that shou

  • Wisconsin governor: Obama power plant rule 'unworkable'

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican eyeing a presidential run in 2016, says President Barack Obama's plan to reduce pollution from coal-fired power plants is "unworkable." Wisconsin will not comply with the president's plan without "significant and meaningful changes," Walker said. Obama's proposal is aimed at curbing the pollution blamed for global warming. In a letter to Obama dated May 21, Walker complained that the proposed rule was "riddled with inaccuracies" and "questionable assumptions" that made it unworkable for his state. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter.

  • Huge drop in West Virginia coal production forecast

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia University researchers predict that state coal production will drop 39 percent compared with the industry's last high point in 2008 — less-than-encouraging news for more than 1,800 coal miners who learned last week they would likely lose their jobs. Already-struggling southern coalfield counties would bear the brunt of the industry's downturn, with an expected 29 percent production drop in 2035, compared to 2014. The dwindling coal industry has ravaged that region with job losses, and has even necessitated cuts to government services.

  • US officials revive oil train safety order after complaints

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. transportation officials are extending an order for railroads to notify states about shipments of hazardous crude oil shipments. Emergency responders had raised worries over a new rule that did away with the requirement. Trains hauling crude from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana have been involved in multiple fiery derailments in recent years, including a 2013 derailment that killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Thursday's action revives a 2014 order for railroads to give emergency officials oil train routing and volume information to better prepare for accidents. The Transportation Department had moved this month to replace the mandate with a rule that would require

  • Planned pipeline needs OK from many North Dakota landowners

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    MANDAN, N.D. (AP) — A Texas company that already has obtained shipping commitments from oil companies to build a 1,100-mile pipeline from western North Dakota to Illinois is having a tougher time getting permission from North Dakota landowners. Chuck Frey, vice president of engineering for Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP, told the state's Public Service Commission on Thursday that subsidiary Dakota Access LLC only has acquired 56 percent of the easements needed despite wanting to begin construction on the $3.8 billion project this year. "Our goal is to reach voluntary agreement with all landowners," Frey told the three-member panel that oversees a slew of public interests, from pipelines to grain elevators.

  • Kansas governor signs deal on renewable energy mandates

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a compromise between the wind energy industry and critics of the state's green energy mandate. The deal signed Thursday would remove a requirement that renewable resources account for 20 percent of utilities' capacity to generate electricity by 2020. Green energy companies agreed to let the mandate become a nonbinding goal. Legislators in return dropped a proposal to impose a 4.33 percent tax on the electricity generated from renewable resources. The agreement also would give all new green energy projects tax-free status for their first 10 years and require them to pay commercial property taxes thereafter. Renewable power plants are currently given a lifetime ex

  • Indiana's ethanol industry awaits EPA renewable fuel details

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's ethanol producers warned on Thursday that their industry could face a long-lasting "chilling effect" if the federal government lowers the amount of ethanol blended into the U.S. fuel supply. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must announce by Monday draft oil industry rules spelling out specific renewable fuel volumes that must be blended into the nation's gasoline supply during 2016. Those fuel volumes are called for under the Renewable Fuel Standard, which Congress created in 2005 to expand ethanol and biodiesel markets in the U.S.

  • Ex-nuclear plant contractor charged with terroristic threats

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A disgruntled contract employee who had been working at Xcel Energy's Monticello nuclear power plant harassed and threatened union officials before police discovered he had a carload of explosive materials and ammunition, prosecutors allege in a criminal complaint. Robert James Johnson, 58, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was charged in Ramsey County last week with three felony counts of making terroristic threats. The complaint alleges he had been confrontational with carpenters' union officials leading up to his May 13 firing and became increasingly threatening to them before his arrest May 20, as first reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

  • Rules aim to protect imperiled bird's habitat in 10 states

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell revealed plans Thursday to preserve habitat in 10 Western states for an imperiled ground-dwelling bird, the federal government's biggest land-planning effort to date for conservation of a single species. The proposal would affect energy development. The regulations would require oil and gas wells to be clustered in groups of a half-dozen or more to avoid scattering them across habitat of the greater sage grouse. Drilling near breeding areas would be prohibited during mating season, and power lines would be moved away from prime habitat to avoid serving as perches for raptors that eat sage grouse. Some will say the plans don't go far enough to protect the bird, Jewell sai

  • Massive coal breaker, Pennsylvania's last, is coming down

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    MAHANOY CITY, Pa. (AP) — When coal was king, its castle was the breaker — an imposing fortress that crushed, washed and sized billions of tons of Pennsylvania anthracite for use in factories, foundries and homes up and down the East Coast. Nearly 300 breakers loomed over the coal patch more than a century ago, playing a key role in the nation's rapid economic expansion and symbolizing the might of an industry that drew hordes of European immigrants who toiled, and often died, underground. The breakers gradually disappeared as anthracite production began a long, steady decline after World War I. Today, only one breaker built during the historic era of anthracite mining remains standing — and now that, too, is coming down

  • US stocks end modestly lower

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are ending modestly lower following a sell-off in the Chinese market and concerns about an approaching deadline for Greece to make a debt payment. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 36 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 18,126 Thursday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index edged down two points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,120. The Nasdaq composite slipped eight points, or 0.2 percent, to 5,097. The price of crude oil rose 17 cents to $57.68 a barrel in New York after the government reported bigger-than-expected declines in U.S. oil and gasoline supplies Chinese shares plunged Thursday following big gains over the past three months. The Shanghai Composite dropped more than 6 percent. It's sti

  • Gasoline prices in Arizona at $2.77 per gallon

    Updated: Thu, May 28, 2015

    PHOENIX (AP) — Gasoline prices around Arizona are slightly lower at the pumps this week. Officials with Triple-A Arizona said Thursday that the average statewide price for unleaded regular gasoline is $2.77 a gallon. That's down by almost a penny from last week. This week's national average also is $2.73 per gallon, up by nearly 1 cent from last week. Triple-A analysts say prices should continue to stabilize around Arizona in the coming weeks, barring unforeseen circumstances. Tucson has Arizona's lowest average gasoline price at $2.44 a gallon and Flagstaff the highest at $3 per gallon. South Carolina has the lowest average gas prices among states in the continental U.S. at $2.44 a gallon with California




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