• WPX Energy announces $185 million asset sale

    BY CASEY SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    Tulsa-based domestic energy producer WPX Energy will execute an $185 million asset sale, the proceeds of which will be used to start paying down debt from its recent purchase of RKI Exploration & Production LLC. WPX Energy announced Monday that it has agreed to sell a North Dakota gathering system for approximately $185 million to a private equity fund managed by the Ares EIF Group, a subsidiary of Ares Management LP.  The parties expect to close the transaction in approximately 60 days. The sale is part of WPX’s deleveraging plan targeting $400 million-$500 million in divestitures by the end of 2015. WPX is also targeting a similar sale in 2016.

  • Massive gas find promises to ease Egypt's fuel crisis

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    CAIRO (AP) — The discovery of a huge gas field off Egypt's coast promises to ease a long-running fuel crisis and boost the economy after years of unrest, but it will take years to develop and won't bring Gulf-style riches to the Arab world's most populous country, experts said Monday. The new "supergiant" offshore Zohr field, revealed a day earlier by Italy's Eni SpA and billed as the "largest-ever" found in the Mediterranean Sea, could alleviate Egypt's need for gas imports in the coming years, when a booming population will lead to a spike in domestic demand.

  • Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm dismisses libel suit

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    Harold Hamm has dismissed a libel and defamation lawsuit against Oklahoma City oilman Mickey Thompson. Hamm filed the lawsuit in June after Thompson wrote a post on his personal Facebook page that was critical of Hamm.

  • Baker joins governors, premiers; renews hydropower push

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker says he hopes to make progress over the next few years bringing Canadian hydropower to Massachusetts. Baker said the hydropower will help meet electricity demands and increase the state's reliance on renewable energy. Baker made his comments Monday after joining other New England governors and eastern Canadian premiers in a discussion of regional energy issues. The leaders gathered for their annual conference Monday in St. John's, Newfoundland. It was Baker's first official trip abroad since taking office in Massachusetts. Baker said there's hydropower capacity in Canada and demand for energy in New England, particularly Massachusetts. The challenge he said is h

  • 28 Shreveport-area oil service employees losing jobs

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A corporation that provides services for the oil and gas industry is laying off 28 employees at its Shreveport facility. Baker Hughes notified the state of the layoffs in a letter late last week. A copy was released Monday by Louisiana's labor department. The company said the layoffs are the result of cutbacks in exploration, drilling and production caused by the declining price of oil. Angie McPherson, a human resources director with Baker Hughes, said in the letter that the layoff, effective last Thursday, was expected to be permanent. Employees were getting paid for 60 days, with benefits lasting another three months.

  • US Sen. Tom Cotton meets with Netanyahu in Israel

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton says he talked about the Iran nuclear agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a weeklong trip to Israel. Cotton's office said the freshman senator from Arkansas met with Netanyahu Monday in Jerusalem. The two talked about the deal, which they both oppose, and its implications for the region. Cotton has been one of the most outspoken Senate critics of the agreement struck by the U.S., Iran, and five world powers to dismantle most of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars' worth of sanctions relief. Congress will vote in September on a resolution to disapprove of the White House-backed nuclear deal. Netanyahu has also been an ou

  • Energy chief: US has ability to monitor Iran nuclear program

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Energy Department has extensive technical expertise that will help verify whether Iran is complying with its commitment to limit its nuclear program under an international agreement, the U.S. energy secretary said Monday in Colorado. The deal negotiated by the U.S. and other world powers relied heavily on the Energy Department's knowledge, Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a speech at the University of Colorado Law School. "Our nuclear expertise is unmatched in scope and scale," he said. "It inspires confidence in the soundness of the nuclear dimensions of the Iran agreement." The deal calls for limiting Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.

  • Delaware, Maryland regulators challenge power project costs

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware and Maryland utility regulators have filed a formal complaint with federal officials challenging how much their states' energy customers will have to pay for a regional power project involving a New Jersey nuclear power plant. The complaint, filed Monday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, echoes previous concerns expressed by agencies and officials representing electricity consumers on the Delmarva Peninsula. The project is aimed at improving system stability and operating issues at the nuclear power units on Artificial Island by building a new transmission line from the nuclear plant to a new Delaware substation.

  • North Dakota regulators mull utility's gas rate increase

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. wants a $2.6 million increase in its natural gas rates to help cover the cost of its increased investment in natural gas facilities in North Dakota. The Bismarck-based utility, which serves more than 107,000 North Dakota customers in 74 communities, is asking the state Public Service Commission to grant the increase that would raise residential natural gas bills about 2 percent. Home customers would pay about $24 more annually, though large industrial natural gas users would not see an increase, the company said. The commission began a two-day public hearing on the proposed hike on Monday at the state Capitol.

  • Massachusetts gas prices continue freefall

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts gas prices continue their freefall, dropping another 6 cents per gallon on average in the past week. AAA Northeast's latest survey released Monday found self-serve, regular selling for an average of $2.34 per gallon. That price is 24 cents lower than a month ago and $1.10 lower than on the same date a year ago. The Massachusetts per-gallon average is also 13 cents lower than the national average. AAA found self-serve, regular selling for as low as $2.17 per gallon and as high as $2.89.

  • Price of gas falls to $2.38 per gallon in Rhode Island

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The price of gas has fallen another 9 cents in Rhode Island. AAA Northeast says its weekly survey, released Monday, found the average price for gallon of regular fell to $2.38. That's 29 cents lower than a month ago, and 9 cents lower than the national average of $2.47 per gallon. Last year at this time, gas cost $3.52 per gallon in Rhode Island. That's 48 percent more than this week. Lloyd Albert of AAA Northeast says it's the lowest price end-of-summer gas prices in a decade, and that the falling prices mean good news for Labor Day travelers.

  • Gas prices drop nearly a dime in Maine

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Gas prices in Maine have fallen nearly a dime per gallon in the past week. Gasbuddy.com, which surveyed 1,228 gas stations in the state, says the average retail gasoline price in Maine is $2.39 a gallon. The national average fell 12.8 cents per gallon to $2.47. The price in Maine was nearly $1.10 less per gallon than a year ago, and 27.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.

  • US stocks open modestly lower, led by energy sector

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks moved lower in early trading Monday, as oil prices fell and investors reacted to signs that the Federal Reserve was still on pace to raise rates this month. It sets up another volatile week on Wall Street, which has been battered this month. KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 141 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,494 as of 9:50 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 14 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,975 and the Nasdaq composite lost 21 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,808. FED PLANS: Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fisher said over the weekend that policymakers still had a "pretty strong case" for raising rates in September.

  • Gas prices fall more than 8 cents in New Hampshire

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — In contrast to the national picture, gas prices in New Hampshire have fallen 8.4 cents per gallon in the past week, to an average of $2.35. Gasbuddy.com, which surveyed 875 gas stations in the state, says that's 12 cents lower than the national average, which fell 12.8 cents per gallon to $2.47. Gas prices in New Hampshire are about $1.09 lower than they were a year ago, and 26 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average is 19.5 cents per gallon lower than it was a month ago and 96.4 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

  • Maersk to develop large North Sea gas find off Britain

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    HELSINKI (AP) — Maersk Oil says it has permission from British authorities to develop a gas field off the British coast in the largest find in the North Sea in a decade. The Danish company said Monday the Culzean field, discovered in 2008, has an estimated 250 to 300 million barrels of oil equivalent, or enough to produce about 5 percent of Britain's total gas demand at peak production in 2020-2021. Production is expected to start in 2019 and continue for at least 13 years. Maersk Oil, JX Nippon and BP (Britoil) are investing $4.5 billion in the development. Maersk Oil CEO Jakob Thomasen said the Culzean field is an important development for Britain and the company, which reflects "our commitment to the future

  • AAA: Md. drivers paying $2.43 per gallon

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Motorists in Maryland are paying 7 cents less at the pump when compared with a week ago. AAA Mid-Atlantic said Friday in a report that the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in Maryland was $2.43, down from $2.50 a week ago. The price of gas in the state is 8 cents below the national average of $2.51. The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas in cities around the state includes $2.40 in Baltimore, $2.46 in Cumberland, $2.53 in Hagerstown and $2.27 in Salisbury. Motorists in the state are paying 96 cents less per gallon than at this time last year when the average price of a gallon of regular gas was $3.39 per gallon.

  • AAA Michigan: Gas prices drop 32 cents in past week to $2.52

    Updated: Mon, Aug 31, 2015

    DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says gas prices statewide have fallen about 32 cents in the past week. The Dearborn-based auto club says the decline can be partly contributed to last week's restart of a large distillation unit at an Indiana oil refinery. The unit had shut down in early August for unscheduled repair work, and gas prices rose sharply. According to AAA Michigan, the average price for self-serve regular unleaded gasoline was about $2.52 per gallon on Sunday. That's about $1.08 less at the same time a year ago. AAA Michigan surveys daily fuel prices at 2,800 gas stations across the state. The lowest average price was about $2.41 per gallon in the Marquette area, while the highest average was about $2.6

  • Italy's Eni finds 'supergiant' natural gas field off Egypt

    Updated: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    ROME (AP) — The Italian energy company Eni SpA announced Sunday it has discovered a "supergiant" natural gas field off Egypt, describing it as the "largest-ever" found in the Mediterranean Sea. The news came a day after Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi met in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the Egyptian leader's office said. Eni said the discovery — made in its Zohr prospect "in the deep waters of Egypt" — could hold a potential 30 trillion cubic feet of gas over an area of 100 square kilometers (38.6 square miles). The discovery well is 190 kilometers (about 120 miles) from the Egyptian coast, and is at a depth of 1,450 meters ( 4,757 feet) in the Shorouk Block, the company said. The block is about 1

  • Analysis: Holes and worries emerge in Louisiana's budget

    Updated: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — As lawmakers patched their way through this year's budget, many of them talked as if they had drawn up a six-month plan, fully expecting Louisiana's next governor to come in with a broader blueprint for fixing the state's financial mess. They may have been too generous. This budget may not even hold for six months. One modest cut's already been required, other gaps have emerged and nose-diving oil prices could upend everything. If Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration manages to exit in January without more budget-slashing, it could be leaving a heck of a mess for the governor coming in that month. (Jindal's term-limited and cannot run for re-election. His successor will be chosen this fall.

  • General Mills sets ambitious goal for greenhouse gas cuts

    Updated: Sun, Aug 30, 2015

    GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (AP) — General Mills says it's eager to do its part to fight climate change, so it's setting a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent over the next decade — from farm to fork to landfill. The giant food company outlined its plans to The Associated Press ahead of an official announcement Monday. General Mills says it will invest more than $100 million in energy efficiency and clean energy in its own operations. But its plan appears to stand apart from other companies' efforts by getting its suppliers and consumers into the act. Those suppliers will be encouraged to do things like engage in more sustainable agriculture.