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Paris incense factory explosion injures five, two seriously 31 January 2017

On January 30 an explosion in an incense factory in Montrouge, in the southern suburbs of Paris, left five people injured, two of whom were said by police to be in a serious condition. There were  twelve employees in the building at the time of the explosion....

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Hazardex 2017 Awards: Voting now open for the best hazardous area sector product, system or service 31 January 2017

A total of 20 nominations have been shortlisted across four categories for the Hazardex 2017 Awards, designed to recognise excellence in the hazardous area sector. Voting is open to all Hazardex readers and will take place between 20 January 2017 and 20 February 2017, and in confidence. Winners in each category will be announced after the Hazardex 2017 Conference and Exhibition in early March....

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PG&E managers to complete community service in unusual punishment for 2010 San Bruno explosion 27 January 2017

A federal judge in San Francisco has imposed an unusual sentence on California’s largest utility for its involvement in the September 2010 San Bruno incident, where a major gas pipeline explosion killed eight and injured a further 58. Utility staff, including top executives, will carry out 10,000 hours of community service and the utility will serve five years’ probation....

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UK High Court rules Shell cannot be sued in London for Nigeria oil spills 26 January 2017

Royal Dutch Shell cannot be sued in London over oil spills in Nigeria, the High Court ruled on January 26. Villagers from the Bille and Ogale communities in the oil-producing Niger Delta in southern Nigeria had said they were affected by pollution and had sought to take action against Shell in London rather than its subsidiary in Nigeria....

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ConocoPhillips (UK) appeal against £3m fine dismissed 25 January 2017

ConocoPhillips (UK) has failed in its bid to reduce the level of a fine handed down after an offshore multiple gas release incident in the North Sea. The fine was imposed after three gas release incidents on the LOGGS platform during maintenance work from late-November to early-December 2012 due to a defective pressure control valve on the fuel gas supply to a turbine....

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President Trump signs orders to expedite Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines 25 January 2017

President Donald Trump signed two executive orders on January 24 to advance the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline projects. Keystone XL was scrapped in 2015 by former President Barack Obama and the US Army Corps of Engineers had withdrawn permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to follow its originally planned route in the face of fierce opposition from Native American tribes....

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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fires caused by battery design flaws and manufacturing defects 24 January 2017

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fires and explosions were caused by defects in the smartphone's battery, and the company has now released details of its investigation into the issue.The South Korean tech giant said that leading industry consultancy groups UL, Exponent and TUV Rheinland also conducted investigations into the problem....

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Canada oil pipeline spills 200,000 litres on native land 23 January 2017

A pipeline in the western Canadian province of Saskatchewan has leaked 200,000 litres (52,834 gallons) of oil in a first nation community, the provincial government said on Monday. The government was notified late in the afternoon on Friday, and 170,000 litres have since been recovered according to the Ministry of the Economy, which regulates pipelines in Saskatchewan....

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Pemex refinery gas release kills one, injures two 18 January 2017

Mexico's state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) said a worker has been killed in a chemical accident at its Ciudad Madero refinery in the Gulf coast state of Tamaulipas. The company said in a statement that the employee came in contact with a release of toxic hydrogen sulphide while doing maintenance work....

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US university team develops li-ion battery with inbuilt fire extinguisher 18 January 2017

Researchers from Stanford University in the USA have designed a lithium-ion battery that contains a fire-extinguishing material which is released if the battery gets too hot. The battery contains a shell containing the flame retardant triphenyl phosphate (TPP) which melts when the temperature reaches 150C, releasing the chemical compound. ...

Features

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European oil pipelines increasingly impacted by product theft

Concawe, the European pipeline safety and environmental monitoring organisation, has collected 44 years of spillage data on European cross-country oil pipelines. This article, based on selected sections of Concawe Report 7/16 - 'Statistical Summary of Reported Spillages in 2014', covers the performance of these pipelines in 2014, the last year for which statistics are available, and a full historical perspective since 1971. ...

Case Studies

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Vehicles for hazardous areas

With the proliferation of electric vehicles, one area that is seeing particular expansion is that of explosion-proof vehicles are aimed at market segments dealing with potentially hazardous environments such as the chemical and petrochemical industries, oil and gas production sites. In this article, Lamberto Salvan of Italian transport specialist Alkè Electric Vehicles gives an overview of this crucial area....

Comment

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Checks and balances

A few weeks after his inauguration, it is clear President Trump has no intention of backpedalling on the pronouncements he made during his election campaign with regard to the energy and environment sectors. As an example, the new administration has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the main climate change page from its website....

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