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Apr 16, 2014

Crashes in crucial U.S. crude waterway hit 10-year low

NEW YORK/HOUSTON, April 16 (Reuters) – Serious crashes in
the bustling Bay of Galveston have fallen to the lowest level in
a decade even as more oil moves on U.S. waterways, official data
show, suggesting that better training and equipment are helping
avert spills like one in March.

The number of crashes in the Texas bay, home to the Houston
Ship Channel and the country’s heaviest crude, fuel and chemical
ship traffic, fell 68 percent to eight in 2013 from 25 in 2011,
according to U.S. Coast Guard data obtained by Reuters through
the Freedom of Information Act.

Mar 24, 2014

Houston waterways shut for 3rd day after collision

TEXAS CITY, Texas, March 24 (Reuters) – Major Texas shipping
channels that deliver crude oil for more than one-tenth of the
nation’s refining capacity were shut for a third day on Monday,
as the cleanup from a spill threatened to last through the week.

The Houston Ship Channel was shut on Saturday following a
collision between a Kirby Inland Marine oil barge and a cargo
ship, spilling some 4,000 barrels, or 168,000 gallons (636,000
liters), of residual fuel oil. The channel allows oil barges and
cargo ships to sail from the Gulf Coast to refiners and
terminals further inland.

Mar 24, 2014

Vital Houston oil tanker routes shut amid spill cleanup

TEXAS CITY, Texas, March 23 (Reuters) – The closure of major
Texas shipping channels that deliver crude to more than a tenth
of the nation’s refining capacity looked set to run to a third
day as crews were still working on Sunday evening to clean up
after an oil spill.

The Houston Ship Channel, which allows oil barges and cargo
ships to sail from the Gulf Coast to refiners and terminals
further inland, was shut on Saturday following a collision
between a Kirby Inland Marine oil barge and a cargo
ship, spilling some 4,000 barrels or 168,000 gallons (636,000
liters) of residual fuel oil.

Mar 23, 2014

Oil spill cleanup efforts resume off Texas Gulf shore

TEXAS CITY, Texas (Reuters) – Four skimming boats surrounded a partially submerged barge on Sunday at the entrance to the Houston Ship Channel, working to clean up fuel spilled from one of the vessel’s tanks into Galveston Bay after a Saturday collision with a cargo ship, according to a Reuters eyewitness.

“This is a very significant discharge,” said Coast Guard Lieutenant Junior Grade Kristopher Kidd, a spokesman for the maritime safety agency.

Mar 7, 2014

Bernanke says energy a ‘bright spot,’ upbeat on jobs data

HOUSTON, March 7 (Reuters) – The boom in onshore natural gas
production in the United States has brought down power prices
and may be contributing to a “reshoring” of manufacturing jobs
from overseas, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said
on Friday.

The U.S. economy continues to recover, thanks in part to
rising energy production, but more needs to be done to boost
growth, Bernanke said in one of his first public speeches since
handing over the reins at the Fed in January to Janet Yellen.

Mar 5, 2014

Global gas trade may soften foreign policy of Russia, China

HOUSTON, March 5 (Reuters) – The rise of global trade in
liquefied natural gas in the coming decade could curb Russia’s
foreign-policy leverage over Europe and prompt China to take a
more constructive role in global affairs as its imports of the
fuel surge.

This view, shared by many energy experts at the IHS CERAWeek
conference in Houston, means that in the future Russia may have
less room to assert itself with neighbors the way it did when
its forces recently seized control of Ukraine’s Crimea.

Dec 19, 2013

Bountiful U.S. oil changes nature of game for producer Apache

HOUSTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – On a wall inside an old hunting
lodge in west Texas that Apache Corp uses as a field
office, a board lists the winners of $10,000 prizes given to
workers with big ideas to cut costs – the new way to get ahead
in North America’s shale oil industry.

The shale boom that over the last five years has revived old
Texas oil fields has largely made the unpredictable world of
wildcatting, or looking for oil in new fields, a thing of the
past.

Dec 13, 2013

Mexico, late to game, must hustle to attract foreign oil companies

HOUSTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – The ultimate success of Mexico’s
push to open up its stagnant oil industry 75 years after a
nationalization will depend on whether it can guarantee enough
autonomy to foreign firms that have a cornucopia of options
worldwide, energy experts said on Friday.

Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto, who won a victory in
Congress on Thursday when landmark reform legislation was
approved, hopes foreign companies will help reverse a
decade-long slide in output by state-run Pemex and tap
what experts agree are tremendous resources.

Dec 5, 2013

Fed officials call for clear plan on wind down of QE3

COLLEGE STATION, Texas/FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should telegraph the end of its current massive round of bond-buying by committing to a set schedule for the wind-down, two top policymakers said on Thursday.

Their embrace of the idea, after two others have publicly supported it in recent weeks, suggests it may be gaining traction ahead of a much-anticipated December 17-18 Fed policy meeting.

Nov 21, 2013

Magellan sees heavy demand for U.S. Gulf condensate splitters

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Gulf Coast may need six to eight facilities to turn condensate – a very light form of crude oil – into exportable products and handle a glut of output from the Eagle Ford field in Texas, Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Chief Executive Michael Mears said.

Splitters, or a very basic distillation tower, give condensate a minimal level of processing. Without that processing, condensate is considered crude oil under U.S. law and therefore cannot be exported.

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