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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department and five states have finalized a settlement worth more than $20 billion arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, federal officials announced Monday.

The deal resolves all civil claims against BP and ends five years of legal fighting over the nearly 134 million-gallon spill.

It requires the company to commit to a widespread cleanup project in the Gulf Coast area aimed at restoring wildlife, habitat, water quality and recreation.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Virgin Islands has filed a lawsuit against American oil company Hess Corp. for more than $1 billion, alleging the firm abandoned a massive oil refinery it had pledged to run through the year 2022.

Within hours of the filing Monday, the Hess subsidiary that owns the refinery announced that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, allowing it to pursue the sale of the refinery for use as a simple storage facility — the outcome that the territory's government had sought to prevent.

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A landmark energy bill in California was watered down after facing significant opposition from the oil and gas industry.

The California legislature was considering a bill that would have slashed the state’s petroleum use by 50% by 2030, but the Democrats decided to drop the provision in order to keep the larger bill alive. After seeing the bill pass the State Senate earlier this year, the legislation ran up against a deadline this week for the end of session.

However, with strong opposition from the oil and gas industry, the State Assembly could not gather enough votes.

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U.S.-Mexico crude oil swaps approved last month by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security will likely involve exchanges of U.S. light sweet crude for Mexican heavy sour crude that is already being exported to the United States.

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After decades of exhaustive attempts to overcome the dirty reputation of oil sands, we finally have an environmentally-friendly and low cost method to tap into these vast resources in the state of Utah – good news both for Mother Nature and all oil and gas investors.

MCW Energy Group’s CEO, former Exxon president of the Arabian Gulf region, R. Gerald Bailey, talks about his hunt for an innovative technology that simultaneously makes money and cleans up the environment, and the race to capitalize on Utah’s vast oil sands resources.

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COLUMBUS, Ky. (AP) — Clean up crews planned to go into the Mississippi River on Friday in Kentucky after a collision between two tow boats caused an oil spill that prompted the closure of that part of the river.

The collision Wednesday evening near Columbus, KY, damaged at least one barge carrying clarified slurry oil. The cargo tank ruptured, causing thousands of gallons of oil to spill into the river, the U.S. Coast Guard said. No injuries were reported.

The river was closed Thursday from mile-markers 938 to 922, Petty Officer Lora Ratliff said.

September 2015, Vol. 242, No. 9

Since the oil price collapse, global oil production has risen, not fallen. Since the fateful Nov. 27, 2014 OPEC meeting, aggregate production from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Iraq is up 2 MMbop/d – far more than demand.

November is also when the U.S. inadvertently became the swing oil producer. Prices have not yet fallen far enough or for long enough for an appreciable U.S. supply adjustment to occur. It may not be far off, especially if oil prices fall further with new Iranian supplies, says a study from IHS Energy that notes:

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A state inquiry has found that an oil and gas company's disposal well operations likely did not cause a series of North Texas earthquakes.

Examiners with the Railroad Commission, Texas' oil and gas regulator, released preliminary findings Monday. They said a well where ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy pumps millions of gallons of briny water produced by hydraulic fracturing did not cause the seismic activity that shook Reno, TX, in 2013 and 2014.

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The $225 million settlement between ExxonMobil and New Jersey reached this week confirms the oil giant must clean up more than 1,500 contaminated properties from gas stations to refineries — but exactly how much they'll spend or how long it'll take remains murky.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Environmental groups and a New Orleans energy company have reached a settlement agreement in a lawsuit stemming from the company's failed efforts to stop a decade-old, slow-motion oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey judge approved a $225 million deal Tuesday between Gov. Chris Christie's administration and ExxonMobil over dozens of polluted sites and nearly 2,000 retail gas stations.

Superior Court Judge Michael Hogan ruled that while the deal is much less than the $8.9 billion the state originally sought, it is a "reasonable compromise" considering "substantial litigation risks" faced by the state in the 11-year-old case that spanned Democratic and Republican governors.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed cutting methane emissions from U.S. oil and gas production by nearly half over the next decade, part of an effort by President Barack Obama to curb climate change.

August 2015, Vol. 242, No. 8

Few trends have been bigger or more exciting to watch in the last decade than the rise of drones.

From serious applications like warfare to more quirky ones like pizza delivery, the world is still clearly just starting to figure out how drones can profitably be used. That background makes the recent chatter about the opportunity for drone use in commercial oil and gas applications an extremely interesting trend to watch.

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DETROIT (AP) — Prices at the pump remain up across the Great Lakes region because of the unexpected, partial shutdown of a large Indiana oil refinery.

The BP Whiting Refinery in northern Indiana shut down the largest of three crude distillation units Saturday for what the company in a statement called "unscheduled repair work." BP says that the rest of the refinery is operating at reduced production.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A GOP-controlled Senate committee has approved legislation to block the Obama administration from putting in place tough new standards on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee gave voice vote approval to send the bill to the full Senate, where a filibuster battle awaits.

A veto from President Barack Obama is all but assured.

August 2015, Vol. 242, No. 8

Republicans in Congress are working to pass legislation setting aside a new EPA and Army Corps of Engineers joint rule which makes it more expensive to build pipelines in areas containing streams and other small bodies of water. The rule would require pipelines - or anyone wanting to build in these tributaries and ponds - to first do site analysis and then, potentially, obtain a Clean Water Act permit. That is time-consuming and can be expensive. The EPA published the new so-called Waters of the U.S. – (WOTUS) rule in May which goes into effect Aug. 28.

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A section of the 124-mile route of the planned Constitution Pipeline has been redrawn to avoid a 1,000-acre private forest with fragile wetlands.

Christopher Stockton, spokesman for the pipeline that will bring natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York City and New England, confirmed the route change Tuesday. Stockton says the change adds almost three miles to the route and affects 11 landowners who have signed right-of-way agreements.

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The Public Utilities Commission is considering whether to approve for the second time in just over five years construction of the South Dakota portion of the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The hearing process started Monday. The state authorized TransCanada Corp.'s project in 2010, but permits must be revisited if construction doesn't start within four years.

The commission is now considering the company's guarantee that it can complete the project while meeting the conditions of the 2010 approval.

It's unlikely the panel will make a decision immediately.

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Natural gas overtook coal as the top source of U.S. electric power generation for the first time ever earlier this spring, a milestone that has been in the making for years as the price of gas slides and new regulations make coal more risky for power generators.

About 31% of electric power generation in April came from natural gas, and 30% from coal, according to a recently released report from the research company SNL Energy, which used data from the U.S. Energy Department. Nuclear power came in third at 20%.

July 2015, Vol.242, No. 7

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — When Vermont became the first state to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in 2012, Gov. Peter Shumlin said the ban was "in keeping with our environmental ethic and our protection of our natural resources."

But the state is likely on the verge of a big increase in the use of fracked gas from Canada.