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  • US Coast Guard says it has contained 14-year-old Gulf of Mexico oil seep

    17 May 2019

    An ongoing oil spill that has been leaking into the Gulf of Mexico for more than 14 years is finally being contained, the US Coast Guard announced on May 16. The Taylor Energy platform MC-20 Saratoga was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan on September 15, 2004, and some of its wells have been seeping oil into the Gulf ever since....

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  • US chemical company makes 20% of staff at Texas plant redundant following fatal blast

    16 May 2019

    On May 15, US chemical company KMCO said it would lay off 35 of the almost 200 employees at its plant at Crosby in Texas. On April 2, an explosion at the plant killed one worker and injured several others. KMCO said the fire was sparked by isobutylene and then fuelled by ethanol and ethyl acrylate. ...

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  • Benelux ports agree project to store CO2 in depleted offshore gas fields

    14 May 2019

    The ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp and Ghent, which account for one-third of the total greenhouse gas emissions from the Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg region, have agreed on a project to capture and pipe carbon dioxide into cavities below the North Sea. A number of companies with greenhouse gas emitting plants near the ports have also registered interest in the so-called Porthos carbon capture and storage (CCS) project....

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  • Saudi Arabia says oil facilities near Riyadh attacked following sabotage of tankers off UAE

    14 May 2019

    Saudi Arabia said explosive-laden drones had struck oil pumping stations in the Riyadh region on May 14 in what it called an act of terrorism two days after Saudi oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Saudi state media reported Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih saying the two recent attacks threatened global oil supplies and proved the need to counter terrorist groups. ...

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  • Germany objects to Shell’s UK-approved North Sea decommissioning plans

    14 May 2019

    According to Energy Voice, the German government has made a formal objection to Shell’s plans to decommission the Brent field in the North Sea. Germany’s environment ministry commissioned a report on the plans from an Aberdeen-based consultancy which has highlighted major issues with Shell’s assessments....

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Chemical explosion at South Korean factory kills one, injures three 14 May 2019

A chemical explosion at a factory that produces mobile phone parts in central South Korea killed one worker and seriously injured three others on May 13, firefighters told the Yonhap news agency. The accident occurred in Jecheon, some 168 kilometres southeast of Seoul, apparently after sodium exploded on the production line....

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Poor maintenance and safety management led to fatal 2017 Texas barge explosion 13 May 2019

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that the deadly explosion and fire aboard a barge off the coast of Port Aransas, Texas in 2017 was the result of a lack of effective maintenance and safety management by its owner, the Bouchard Transportation Company....

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Collision in Texas waterway causes significant petroleum product spill 13 May 2019

On May 10, a tanker collided with two barges in the Houston Ship Channel releasing an unknown amount of gasoline reformate into the water. Local authorities said one barge capsized and the other was damaged. Both were carrying about 25,000 barrels of the flammable and toxic product....

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Gas company settles with three Massachusetts towns for $80 million over 2018 explosions 09 May 2019

On May 7, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts said it had reached a settlement with three communities in the state’s Merrimack Valley after explosions and fires ripped through dozens of homes there last year, killing one person and injuring several more.The blasts on September 13 forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. ...

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NOAA publishes data on US oil spills in 2018 07 May 2019

According to data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there were 137 oil spills across the USA in 2018, about 11 per month. The adjacent map shows both onshore and offshore spills over the year....

Features

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Why SIL is the best thing that has happened to process safety – and why it needs to go further

By continuously monitoring critical parameters, instruments can highlight potentially dangerous conditions and ensure that processes are safely shut down. For this reason, instruments need to offer maximum protection against unsafe events escalating into dangerous failures. One way to ensure this is to select SIL-rated instruments. In this Q&A, David Bowers of ABB explains more about SIL and its impact on process safety. ...

Case Studies

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Case study: The challenges of personnel location in the Kashagan Field

The Kashagan Field is a very large offshore oilfield located in Kazakhstan’s part of the North Caspian Sea where a number of artificial islands have been built as bases for hydrocarbon extraction. The largest of these is D-island, which is approximately 120,000 m2. Dr. Charlotte Richardson of S3 ID looks at some of the challenges of personnel location in this particularly hostile work environment and explains the solution arrived at to provide effect...

Comment

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Growth implications within the EU of meeting the Paris Agreement targets

A recent report by Eurofound, the European labour organisation, concludes that meeting the Paris Agreement targets on emissions reduction would be positive for the EU, with investment in renewables and energy efficiency helping to boost economic growth and employment. Hitting the 2C target set out in the Paris Agreement would result in 1.1% additional growth between now and 2030 across EU member states, and a 0.5% increase in employment....

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