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Currently, the black gold that is oil has become a true global commodity. With global oil prices still subject to volatility and geopolitical uncertainty, most of the oil supermajors have decided to reduce their operating costs by combining different strategies such as mergers, acquisitions and downsizing of existing staff.

In these uncertain times, it is important to pose a question: Which is the best oil company in the world? Let us be clear that we are not searching for the biggest oil company in terms of revenues or market value.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has approved a permit to survey part of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia for a proposed natural gas pipeline.

The temporary permit for the survey involves 17 miles of forest through Randolph and Pocahontas counties.

The Charleston Gazette reports the yearlong survey will include studies of plants and animals, wetlands, water, soil and cultural resources.

BP announced it has agreed to sell its equity in the Central Area Transmission System (CATS) business in the UK North Sea to Antin Infrastructure Partners for £324 million ($486 million). BP is currently the operator of CATS.

The agreement comprises a payment on completion of £302 million ($453 million) and a deferred amount of £22 million ($33 million), subject to certain post-closing adjustments.

The Offshore Technology Conference 2015 (OTC 2015) set for May 4-7 at NRG Park in Houston will bring together more than 100,000 industry leaders and buyers from 130-plus countries, all of whom want to explore how technology, best practices and emerging trends can provide the energy needed for the world.

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Authorities say one man has died and three others were injured in a gas leak at a refinery west of Atlanta.

Matthew Kent with the Douglas County Fire Department says crews were called shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday. Kent says there was a hydrogen sulfide leak at Young Refining in Douglasville.

Kent says one man died after falling from a height of 20 feet after his mental state was altered by gas inhalation. His name was not immediately released.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras said Wednesday that it lost $2.1 billion in an eight-year kickback scheme that saw the firm's executives taking bribes for awarding inflated contracts to suppliers.

The company released its long-delayed fourth quarter financial results that included a write down of 6.2 billion reais — about $2.1 billion at the current conversion rate to the U.S. dollar. It attributed the losses to a series of inflated contracts and other graft during the scheme it says ran from 2004 to 2012.

LINCOLN, NE (AP) — State regulators have approved a controversial disposal well in northwest Nebraska for wastewater generated by oil and natural gas production.

The Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission voted 2-0 on Wednesday in favor of the project, proposed by Colorado-based Terex Energy Corp.

The company wants to truck in salty groundwater and chemical-laden fracking wastewater from oil operations in Wyoming, Colorado and, eventually, Nebraska, to an old oil well on a ranch in southern Sioux County.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Brazilian petrochemical company Odebrecht and plastics maker Braskem say they will re-evaluate an ethane cracker they proposed to build in West Virginia.

In a statement to media outlets, the companies say a re-evaluation of the project's configuration is needed under current energy scenarios.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's spokesman, Chris Stadelman, tells media outlets that the re-evaluation is understandable because of changes in worldwide energy markets and the magnitude of investment.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Justice Department says two subsidiaries of ExxonMobil have agreed to pay almost $5 million in government penalties for a 2013 oil spill in a central Arkansas community.

A consent decree filed in U.S. District Court in Little Rock on Wednesday says the companies would pay about $3.2 million in federal civil penalties in addition to addressing pipeline safety issues and oil-response capacity. They would pay $1 million in state civil penalties, $600,000 for a project to improve water quality at Lake Conway and $280,000 for the state's legal costs.

Canada’s National Energy Board issued a report recommending the federal government approve TransCanada’s proposed $1.7 billion North Montney Mainline Project.

Initial capacity of the mainline would be 2.4 Bcf/d of natural gas with Progress Energy Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Malaysian integrated energy company Petronas, having contracted for 2 Bcf/d of firm receipt service and 2.1 Bcf/d of firm delivery service.