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Mar 29, 2015

In Texas oil town, early signs of economic strain as drilling slows

NEW YORK, March 29 (Reuters) – Sales tax receipts in the
thriving oil town of Midland, Texas, fell this month, only the
second decline in five years and one of the first signs of how
low oil prices are beginning to ripple beyond oil company bottom
lines and into the wider economy.

Midland’s sales tax revenues, which reflect commercial and
residential spending, dipped to $5.119 million in March from
$5.126 million in March 2014, according to data from the Texas
Comptroller released last week.

Mar 23, 2015

As oil trains roll across America, volunteer firefighters face big risk

NEW YORK, March 23 (Reuters) – Volunteers at the Galena,
Illinois, fire department were hosing down the smoldering wreck
of a derailed BNSF oil train on the east bank of the Mississippi
River on March 5 when a fire suddenly flared beyond their
control. Minutes later, the blaze reached above the treetops,
visible for miles around.

“They dropped the hoses and got out” when the flames started
rising, said Charles Pedersen, emergency manager for Jo Daviess
County, a rural area near the Iowa border which includes Galena.
“Ten more minutes and we would have lost them all.”

Mar 16, 2015

As support wanes, U.S. oil prices resume sprint lower

NEW YORK, March 16 (Reuters) – A four-day drop in U.S. oil
prices has shattered a month of relative stability and raised
the specter of another sustained move lower as rocketing
production and swelling inventories re-emerge as dominant market
forces.

Hammered by oversupply, U.S. oil prices fell 60
percent from $107 a barrel in June to below $44 a barrel in
January before rallying and trading in a range around $50 in
February. Experts began to discuss whether oil had “bottomed
out”, or reached its low point.

Mar 13, 2015

Renewed violence threatens fragile recovery in Missouri city

By Edward McAllister and Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) – The violence that returned to Ferguson, Missouri, on Thursday threatens to trample a barely perceptible recovery as the town of 21,000 people struggles to rebuild after two spates of race-related unrest last year.

The shooting of two police officers and a subsequent manhunt in Ferguson on Thursday have relit tensions that erupted in the St. Louis suburb after the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white policeman Darren Wilson in August.

Mar 5, 2015

BNSF oil train derails in rural Illinois; two cars aflame

NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) – A BNSF Railway
train loaded with crude oil derailed on Thursday afternoon in a
rural area south of Galena, Illinois, with two of the tank cars
catching fire, according to local officials and the company.

The incident marks the latest in a series of derailments
involving trains hauling crude oil, a trend that has put a
heightened focus on rail safety.

Feb 20, 2015

Amid controversy, oil trains quietly rerouted through Virginia towns

Feb 20 (Reuters) – Hundreds of communities across the United
States have become accustomed to the sight of mile-long oil
trains rumbling by in recent years. Pembroke, Virginia, was not
one of them, until now.

CSX Corp is temporarily rerouting up to five oil
trains through this small riverside town to bypass the site of
an explosive oil train derailment that occurred 90 miles north
in Mount Carbon, West Virginia, on Monday. The
trains will likely travel instead on a track that hugs the New
River and at one point sweeps into the Pembroke town limits.

Feb 18, 2015

CSX oil train still on fire after West Virginia derailment

NEW YORK, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Tank cars from a derailed oil
train were still on fire in West Virginia on Wednesday, two days
after an explosive accident in which 25 cars went off the rails,
a CSX Corp spokeswoman said.

Twenty cars caught fire after Monday’s derailment in the
small town of Mount Carbon 33 miles (54 km) southeast of
Charleston.

Feb 17, 2015

Derailed CSX train in W. Virginia hauled newer-model tank cars

Feb 17 (Reuters) – An oil train was still on fire and
leaking in West Virginia on Tuesday, a day after it derailed and
erupted in flames, according to CSX Corp, which said the train
was hauling newer model tank cars, not the older versions widely
criticized as prone to puncture.

The train, which was carrying North Dakota crude to an oil
depot in Yorktown, Virginia, derailed in a small town 33 miles
(54 km) southeast of Charleston, causing 20 tank cars to catch
fire. Several were still leaking oil on Tuesday. All the oil
tank cars on the 109-car train were CPC 1232 models, CSX said
late Monday.

Feb 13, 2015

US oilfield jobs cull gains pace, more pain ahead

Feb 13 (Reuters) – When Ian Sandlin was laid off last week
after 13 months working on oil rigs in southeast Texas, he was
surprised to have lasted that long.

“I knew it was coming,” he said. “I wasn’t the first to be
let go.”

Feb 10, 2015

Halliburton to cut thousands of jobs as oil slumps

NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Reuters) – U.S. oil services company
Halliburton said on Tuesday it expects to cut
potentially more than 6,000 jobs across the globe because of a
“challenging market environment” resulting from low oil prices.

Halliburton, the latest in a growing list of major oil
industry companies laying off workers because of a worldwide
glut of crude, said it expects to let go 6.5 percent to 8
percent of its 80,000-strong workforce, amounting to between
5,200 and 6,400 jobs.