Hundreds of tanker trucks and railroad cars snake for miles through the vast landscape of North Dakota now. For his video diary, Reuters correspondent Ernest Scheyder drove into the Bakken Oil Express, a sprawling project at the heart of the state’s booming oil economy.
A police officer uses his baton to hit an activist from the National Committee to protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports during a protest against the government in Dhaka September 30, 2012.
Demonstrators demanding the government withdraw the recent power tariff hike marched towards the city’s energy ministry on Sunday, but were dispersed by local authorities using batons and tear gas, according to local media. [REUTERS/Andrew Biraj]
More than 100,000 anti-nuclear protesters marched through central Tokyo on Monday to voice their opposition to atomic power, racheting up the pressure on under fire Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
On the hottest day of the year, protesters forsook their air-conditioned homes to say the country does not need nuclear energy after last year’s Fukushima disaster raised concerns about the safety of atomic power.
It was the biggest demonstration since Noda said last month Japan needed to restart reactors shut down for safety checks to avoid electricity shortages that might hit the economy.
“Today temperatures reached record high levels,” Noda told Japanese television, as the city sweltered in 36.6-degree Celsius. “We must ask ourselves whether we can really make do without nuclear power.”
BP Plc (BP.L) said on Wednesday it reached definitive agreements with well over 100,000 private plaintiffs to resolve claims for economic, property and medical damages resulting from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The London-based oil company said it still believes the cost of the settlement will be $7.8 billion, to be paid from a $20 billion trust it had previously set aside.
This coming Friday is the two-year anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which killed 11 workers and triggered the largest offshore oil spill, after BP’s Macondo well ruptured.
“BP made a commitment to help economic and environmental restoration efforts in the Gulf Coast,” Chief Executive Bob Dudley said in a statement. “This settlement provides the framework for us to continue delivering on that promise, offering those affected full and fair compensation, without waiting for the outcome of a lengthy trial process.”
According to settlement papers, about 109,000 condominium owners, hotel and resort operators, restaurateurs, shrimpers and others may be eligible to recover on economic and property claims. About 16,000 plaintiffs may recover for medical claims.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs may be awarded as much as $600 million to cover fees and costs. This sum is separate from any amounts paid to spill victims, settlement papers show.
Aubrey K. McClendon is one of the most successful energy entrepreneurs of recent decades. But he hasn’t always proved popular with shareholders of the company he co-founded, Chesapeake Energy Corp., the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States.
McClendon, 52, helped cause Chesapeake shares to plummet amid the financial crisis when he sold hundreds of millions of dollars in stock to raise cash for himself. Later, to settle a lawsuit by shareholders, he agreed to buy back a $12 million map collection that he’d sold to Chesapeake.
His approach to running his company also is renowned: Among other employee perks, on-site Botox treatments are available at its headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Now, a series of previously undisclosed loans to McClendon could once again put Chesapeake’s CEO and shareholders at odds.
McClendon has borrowed as much as $1.1 billion in the last three years by pledging his stake in the company’s oil and natural gas wells as collateral, documents reviewed by Reuters show.
Royal Dutch Shell is struggling to pay off $1 billion that it owes Iran for crude oil because European Union and U.S. financial sanctions now make it almost impossible to process payments, industry sources said
Four sources said the oil major owes a large sum to the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) for deliveries of crude, with one putting the figure at close to $1 billion. A debt of that size would equate to roughly four large tanker loads of Iranian crude or about 8 million barrels.
“Shell is working hard to figure out a way to pay NIOC,” said an industry source, who requested anonymity. “It’s very sensitive and very difficult. They want to stay on good terms with Iran, while abiding by sanctions.”
A Shell spokesman declined to comment.
President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed the possibility of releasing emergency oil reserves during a meeting on Wednesday, two sources familiar with the talks said, the first sign that Obama is starting to test global support for an effort to knock back near-record fuel prices. Obama raised the issue during a broad bilateral meeting at the White House, according to a UK official with knowledge of the discussion.
Asked about the talks, a senior Obama administration official said: “No agreement was reached. We will continue to work together to address energy security and oil price issues.” While U.S. officials have said for weeks that they will consider all possible measures - including a release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) - to prevent prices from derailing a nascent economic recovery, Wednesday’s meeting was the clearest indication that diplomatic talks were moving ahead. Discussions could last as long as several months before any decision is made, one of the sources said.
Obama’s approval ratings have come under pressure from rising gasoline prices, which have hit seasonal record highs, and the White House is eager to show exasperated Americans that it is doing all it can to keep fuel costs in check.
Read more: Obama, Cameron discuss tapping oil reserves
As gas prices inch toward $4.00, Americans are trading in their older model vehicles for new, fuel-efficient ones.
We already know that the more fuel-efficient a vehicle is, the more money is saved on gasoline; this graph puts how much savings that is into perspective. [REUTERS]
Reuters has learned that on February 1, Iran-based Naftiran Intertrade increased its holding in British oil giant BP Plc by 1.85 million shares. It now holds a stake worth more than $190 million.
In addition to the shareholding, the Iranian company’s ties to BP include the Rhum gas field in the North Sea, a venture that’s now suspended due to sanctions. It also has active projects like a gas field with BP in Azerbaijan, and an investment with Royal Dutch Shell in fuel distribution in Senegal.
Read more: Iranian oil trading firm has $190mil stake in BP
Iran’s Oil Ministry denied state media reports on the Islamic state stopping its crude exports to six European countries on Wednesday.
“We deny this report … If such a decision is made, it will be announced by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council,” a spokesman for the ministry told Reuters.
Iran’s English language Press TV had earlier said Tehran has stopped exporting oil to France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Netherlands and Spain.