Energy Correspondent
Tom's Feed
Jun 10, 2010

BP shares plunge as U.S. threatens new penalties

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – British energy giant BP Plc’s stock price plunged to a 14-year low in U.S. trading on Wednesday amid concerns over its ability to meet mounting costs of the giant Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

President Barack Obama’s administration, getting tough as polls show public disapproval over its handling of the worst oil spill in U.S. history, threatened new penalties on the company.

Jun 9, 2010

Justice Dept wants BP to have money for spill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Justice Department is concerned whether BP and Transoceanhave enough funds to cover damages from the Gulf oil spill and is considering taking action against the firms’ dividends, a senior official said on Wednesday.

“We want to ensure that these companies have funds available to compensate the taxpayers, the individuals harmed throughout the Gulf, the families of the individuals who were killed or who have been injured,” U.S. Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at a hearing.

Jun 8, 2010

EIA lowers world 2010 oil demand on European crisis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The European debt crisis will reduce global oil demand this year while the U.S. moratorium on offshore drilling in response to the BP oil spill will cut world oil supplies next year, the U.S. government’s top energy forecasting agency said on Tuesday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration lowered its estimate for oil demand growth this year by 70,000 barrels per day from its previous estimate, saying oil use will increase by 1.5 million bpd to 85.51 million bpd.

Jun 7, 2010

U.S. rules for new drilling permits may be ready Tuesday

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Interior Department may issue new safety and environmental requirements as soon as Tuesday for oil companies that want to drill in shallow waters, a department official said.

Officials at the department’s Minerals Management Service worked over the weekend on the requirements that were drawn up in response to the BP oil spill.

Jun 7, 2010

EIA likely to cut world oil demand on weak economy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The European debt crisis and the weak U.S. jobs picture could mean a cut in oil demand projections as the leading forecasters figure in less than rosy economic growth.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the first of three widely watched oil forecasts that will be released this week, is expected to claw back on Tuesday some of the oil demand growth it had been looking for.

Jun 2, 2010

Some US offshore drilling rigs may not have to shut

WASHINGTON, June 2 (Reuters) – Some companies exploring for
oil in deep waters that have wells targeted for shutdown under
the Obama administration’s offshore drilling ban can keep
operating if they meet certain conditions, a government
official said on Wednesday.

The administration has said 33 rigs operating in deep water
in the Gulf of Mexico need to shut down for six months while a
presidential commission investigates last month’s explosion of
the drilling rig leased by BP Plc (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) that resulted in the
biggest oil spill in U.S. history.

May 27, 2010

U.S. to halt 33 exploration rigs in deepwater review

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s broad move to crack down on offshore oil safety will include the temporary suspension of 33 deepwater exploration rigs, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Thursday after unveiling a series of measures in the wake of the massive BP oil leak.

The halt represents the biggest regulatory threat to the immediate growth of U.S. oil production, potentially delaying project development plans by companies like Chevron Corp in the Gulf of Mexico, where rising output has helped offset shrinking domestic onshore supply.

May 27, 2010

Head of agency overseeing offshore drilling quits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the embattled Minerals Management Service that oversees U.S. offshore oil drilling quit her job, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced on Thursday.

Liz Birnbaum leaves an agency tainted with scandal and incompetence, with its workers accused of having a cozy relationship with the oil companies they regulated.

May 27, 2010

Obama to keep deep water drilling permit ban: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is expected to announce on Thursday that he will continue to hold off issuing deep water drilling permits off the Gulf of Mexico, but allow permits to be issued for shallow water drilling, a government source told Reuters.

In response to the growing oil spill caused by last month’s explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig leased by BP, Obama halted all new drilling permits until Interior Secretary Ken Salazar conducted a 30-day review of the accident.

May 25, 2010

U.S. EIA cuts long-term global oil demand forecast

WASHINGTON, May 25 (Reuters) – World oil demand will
continue to grow through 2030, but demand that year will be
about 2.5 percent less than previously thought due to use of
renewables and higher oil prices, the U.S. government’s top
energy forecasting agency said on Tuesday.

In its annual forecast, the Energy Information
Administration said global oil demand will average 103.9
million barrels per day in 2030, down from the agency’s 106.6
million bpd demand estimate in last year’s forecast.

    • About Tom

      "I have covered energy issues from the Reuters Washington bureau since 1997. These days I'm writing about the Obama administration's overhaul of U.S. energy policy, which focuses on developing alternative energy sources like wind and solar power and seeks to reduce petroleum use. However, the United States and the rest of world will rely on oil as a major energy source for the forseeable future. That's why much of my reporting still looks at legislation, regulations and White House policies that affect the oil industry, petroleum supplies and fuel demand."
    • Follow Tom