Correspondent, Energy and Infrastructure
Braden's Feed
Apr 22, 2013

BP’s legal gamble may trim spill bill by billions

NEW ORLEANS/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – BP’s attempt to get a U.S. federal court to pin at least a sizeable amount of the blame for the Deepwater Horizon disaster on other companies may have saved it billions of dollars.

After failing to settle claims from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill through negotiations, the British oil company opted in February to go to trial with plaintiffs ranging from small businesses to the U.S. government over the damages it will face.

Apr 22, 2013

Analysis: BP’s legal gamble may trim spill bill by billions

NEW ORLEANS/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – BP Plc’s attempt to get a U.S. federal court to pin at least a sizeable amount of the blame for the Deepwater Horizon disaster on other companies may have saved it billions of dollars.

After failing to settle claims from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill through negotiations, the British oil company opted in February to go to trial with plaintiffs ranging from small businesses to the U.S. government over the damages it will face.

Apr 20, 2013

California city welcomes US report on Chevron refinery fire

, April 19 (Reuters) – Federal investigators
of Chevron’s Richmond refinery fire last August gave
their initial assessment on Friday of what went wrong leading up
to a pipeline rupture which caused the blaze that has hobbled
the plant for eight months.

After a preview earlier in the week, the Chemical Safety
Board (CSB) presented initial findings to residents on a warm
night reminiscent of the clear evening on Aug. 6 when the plant
belched out a pitch-black smoke plume visible all over San
Francisco Bay.

Apr 19, 2013

Schlumberger, Baker Hughes profits top expectations

By Braden Reddall

(Reuters) – Signs of a improvement in the depressed North American drilling market and steady growth elsewhere underpinned higher-than-expected first-quarter profits for oilfield services giants Schlumberger Ltd (SLB.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Baker Hughes Inc (BHI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Sector leader Schlumberger posted profits that beat analysts’ estimates for the sixth straight quarter, lifted by strong and consistent growth in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, China and Australia.

Apr 15, 2013

U.S. board tells Chevron to check refineries for damage

/HOUSTON (Reuters) – - The U.S. Chemical Safety Board on Monday recommended that Chevron Corp check for ongoing damage to pipes and equipment at its U.S. refineries to prevent another explosion like the August 6 pipeline blast at the company’s San Francisco Bay area refinery.

The Safety Board, in an interim report issued Monday, said Chevron did not act upon six recommendations over 10 years to increase inspection and replace the line at its Richmond, California, refinery with upgraded pipe.

Apr 15, 2013

South African ‘fracktivist’ awarded top U.S. environmental prize

SAN FRANCISCO, April 15 (Reuters) – A late-blooming activist
who helped secure a moratorium in South Africa against fracking
has won a prominent U.S. environmental activism prize in
California, where the debate over the oil and gas extraction
technique is only heating up.

Jonathan Deal, a 54-year-old photographer and landowner in
the Karoo region of South Africa, said he had to battle against
the plans of Royal Dutch Shell Plc to use hydraulic
fracturing in the region and secured a country-wide fracking
moratorium that was lifted in September.

Apr 10, 2013

California court ruling gives hope to foes of fracking

SAN FRANCISCO, April 9 (Reuters) – A court ruling that the
U.S. government must consider the environmental impact of
“fracking” on federal lands leased to oil companies offers
opponents of the technique a useful weapon in the fierce public
debate in California and other parts of the country.

In a regulatory setback for hydraulic fracturing on public
lands, a federal magistrate judge in San Jose, California, on
Monday ruled that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) failed to
analyze its impact on 2,500 acres in Monterey County
.

Apr 6, 2013

U.S. board faults California safety regulations in Chevron blaze

RICHMOND, California (Reuters) – The federal agency investigating the fire that broke out in August at Chevron Corp’s oil refinery in Richmond, California, faulted the state’s regulatory system for not being proactive enough in preventing accidents.

“The California process safety regulatory system lacked sufficient well-trained, technically competent staff and also lacked more rigorous regulatory requirements to require Chevron to reduce safety risk,” said the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s lead investigator Dan Tillema at a public hearing in Richmond on Friday.

Apr 3, 2013

US judge rejects Chevron subpoena of advocacy group in Ecuador case

SAN FRANCISCO, April 3 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge has rejected
efforts by Chevron Corp to secure documents from a
California environmental advocacy group in a fraud case related
to a $19 billion award for rainforest pollution in Ecuador.

Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins on Wednesday quashed
Chevron’s subpoena for a deposition and documents from Amazon
Watch, which the group’s own lawyer described as the U.S. oil
company’s “sharpest critic.”

Mar 28, 2013

Solar plane to set out to cross U.S. in early May

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (Reuters) – The first crossing of the United States by a solar-powered plane is expected to start in just over a month, its creators said on Thursday, as they make final preparations for an attempt two years from now at the first round-the-world flight without any fuel.

Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard and project co-founder and pilot Andre Borschberg, whose Solar Impulse made its first intercontinental flight from Spain to Morocco last June, aim for their plane to take off from near San Francisco in early May and land at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport about two months later.

    • About Braden

      "Spent early career in London covering technology, media and telecoms over five years, after an initial stint in Dublin. Worked as India's chief financial copy editor and deputy bureau chief in Mumbai for 2-1/2 years before moving to San Francisco in 2006, first to edit West Coast stories and then to cover the energy business. A native Californian, Braden received his BA in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1996."
      Joined Reuters:
      1997
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