Joshua's Feed
Jul 23, 2014

U.S. moves to enhance safety of oil-by-rail shipments

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Transportation on Wednesday proposed new safety rules for hauling crude oil by rail after a string of explosive accidents, in a move that could impact railroads, drillers, refiners and railcar makers amid an energy boom.

The draft rules, which are subject to a 60-day public comment period, come as regulators respond to a 50-fold hike in crude-by-rail cargoes since 2008, and more than a dozen accidents that have tarnished the lucrative new shipping trend.

Jul 17, 2014

U.S. sanctions set to slow Rosneft’s dollar debt, not oil deals

NEW YORK, July 17 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama aimed a
direct blow at Russia’s economic heart on Wednesday with
sanctions on Rosneft, the flagship oil giant that
generates more than 4 percent of the world’s crude and over 8
percent of the country’s GDP.

But in a change of tack from previous similar efforts, the
measures were narrowly tailored to slowly starve the state-run
energy firm of U.S. dollar funding, not bar it from doing
business with oil buyers such as BP or stymie
multibillion-dollar ventures with firms like ExxonMobil,
experts say.

Jul 15, 2014

Dozens of trains haul volatile Bakken oil to NY weekly: railroads

By Joshua Schneyer

(Reuters) – As many as 44 trains loaded with volatile Bakken crude oil are being sent through the state of New York each week, according to confidential disclosures made by railroads to state emergency responders, and released to Reuters through a Freedom of Information Law request.

The disclosures come as New York and other states grapple with health and safety risks posed by a recent surge in oil-by-rail cargoes, following at least six fiery derailments of trains carrying Bakken oil in North America since last July.

Jun 5, 2014

Michigan AG charges Chesapeake with racketeering and fraud

ATLANTA, June 5 (Reuters) – Michigan’s attorney general
filed felony racketeering and fraud claims against Chesapeake
Energy Corp. on Thursday, alleging the company canceled
hundreds of private land leases under false pretenses following
a short-lived oil and gas boom in the state in 2010.

The charges, filed in Michigan state court in Cheboygan,
allege Chesapeake, through its leasing agents, victimized
private landowners in northern Michigan by falsely claiming
mortgages on their properties were a legitimate basis for the
lease cancellations. Landowners were previously told the
mortgages were not a problem, the state alleged.

May 25, 2014

In North American rail towns, some try to stop oil trains

May 25 (Reuters) – Albany, New York Sheriff Craig Apple
assured a room of concerned citizens that county emergency crews
were prepared to handle an oil-train accident involving three or
four tank cars.

Firefighters have been training to combat railcar fires with
foam, and evacuation plans are detailed in a 500-page emergency
response plan, Apple told residents in a May 12 address.

Apr 6, 2014

Blast at U.S. LNG site casts spotlight on natural gas safety

By Joshua Schneyer, Timothy Gardner and Richard Valdmanis

(Reuters) – An unexplained blast this week at a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in rural Washington state, which injured workers, forced an evacuation and raised alarm about a potentially large second explosion, could focus attention on the risk of storing massive gas supplies near population centers.

The Monday incident at Williams Co Inc’s massive gas storage site is a rare safety-record blemish among the dozens of U.S. LNG plants and storage sites, including towering tanks in packed neighborhoods of New York City, and near Boston.

Mar 21, 2014

Sanctions on Gunvor’s Russian co-founder put oil traders on guard

NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters) – Minutes after the U.S.
government said Thursday it would punish the Russian co-owner of
the world’s No.4 private oil trading firm Gunvor SA with
crippling sanctions, traders and bankers active in global oil
markets began asking urgent questions.

Could the sanctions, which prohibit U.S. banks, individuals
and companies from doing business with Russian billionaire
Gennady Timchenko or firms he controls, possibly freeze the
Geneva-based trading empire that Timchenko co-founded out of
global commodity markets? Skittish counterparties and financiers
scrambled for details, fearing they could be left exposed.

Mar 5, 2014

Chesapeake, Encana face criminal antitrust charges in Michigan

By Joshua Schneyer, Brian Grow and Anna Driver

(Reuters) – Oil and gas giants Chesapeake Energy and Encana Corp. were charged on Wednesday with colluding to keep oil and gas lease prices artificially low in the state of Michigan, the state Attorney General Bill Schuette said.

The announcement follows a lengthy investigation by Schuette’s office into whether the firms — the biggest land leasers during a speculative oil and gas leasing boom in Michigan’s Collingwood Shale region during 2010 — colluded to avoid prices from rising as they acquired land leases from landowners.

Feb 26, 2014

Exclusive: Encana, Chesapeake near settlements on Michigan collusion probe

NEW YORK/HOUSTON (Reuters) – Encana Corp (ECA.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are negotiating civil settlements with the state of Michigan to try to end its criminal investigation into whether the energy companies colluded to keep oil and gas lease prices artificially low in the state.

Encana is hopeful that a settlement will be finalized within a few weeks, said Gregory Curtner, a lawyer representing Encana in a separate civil antitrust lawsuit, during a February 14 court hearing.

Feb 26, 2014

Encana, Chesapeake near settlements on Michigan collusion probe

NEW YORK/HOUSTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Encana Corp and
Chesapeake Energy Corp are negotiating civil settlements
with the state of Michigan to try to end its criminal
investigation into whether the energy companies colluded to keep
oil and gas lease prices artificially low in the state.

Encana is hopeful that a settlement will be finalized within
a few weeks, said Gregory Curtner, a lawyer representing Encana
in a separate civil antitrust lawsuit, during a Feb. 14 court
hearing.