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US mining fatalities in 2018 were second lowest on record 18 March 2019

The US Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reports that 27 mining fatalities occurred in 2018 - the second lowest number ever recorded. Eighteen fatalities occurred at surface operations; nine occurred in underground mines. Approximately 250,000 miners work across 12,000 US metal/nonmetal mines, and 83,000 miners work in the nation’s 1,200 coal mines....

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Viva Energy faces fine for 2016 leak from fuel storage facility into Sydney Harbour 18 March 2019

Viva Energy, one of Australia's largest energy companies, has been fined A$100,000 for an oil spill in Sydney Harbour that took more than six months to clean up. The leak, at the Gore Bay fuel storage, resulted in about 800 litres of fuel oil spilling onto nearby land, with about 500 litres of that entering the waters at Gore Cove, near Greenwich....

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Texas tank farm blaze envelops eight tanks, causes shelter in place order 18 March 2019

A fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company Deer Park facility near Houston, which broke out on the morning of March 17 affecting two tanks, spread overnight to six other tanks causing thick clouds of smoke to cover the neighbourhood. There were about 30 ITC employees inside the plant at the time of the explosion, but there were no reported injuries. ...

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UK trade association updates risk assessment guidelines for flammable refrigerants 18 March 2019

Fresh guidance to ensure worker safety when handling a growing number of flammable refrigerant products being used in the climate control sector has been set out by UK trade body the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations. This focuses on assessing risk in the workplace to ensure compliance with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR)....

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Stricken Italian container vessel causes large oil slick off French coast 15 March 2019

French authorities are bracing for a large oil slick to hit the country's coastline after an Italian ship capsized and sank in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle on March 13. The container vessel, Grande America, caught fire on March 10 during a trip from Hamburg to Casablanca. All 27 crew have been rescued but a large amount of fuel was reported to have spilled into the ocean....

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Lightweight metal foams become bone hard and explosion proof after being nanocoated 15 March 2019

Strong enough not only for use in impact protection systems in cars, but able to absorb the shock waves produced by a detonation. Those are just some of the properties shown by the metallic foams developed by materials scientists Stefan Diebels and Anne Jung at Saarland University. Their super lightweight and extremely strong metal foams can be customized for a wide range of applications. The inspiration for the new foam system came from nature: bones. 

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Iran gas pipeline explosion kills four 14 March 2019

A gas-pipeline explosion has killed at least two people in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan, according to local media. The March 14 blast hit a pipeline between the provincial capital, Ahvaz, and the city of Mahshahr, near the Persian Gulf. The semi-official ISNA news agency said that the explosion was caused by a gas leakage from the pipeline....

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Venezuela tank farm explosion blamed on “terrorist incursions” 14 March 2019

Two tanks containing thinners exploded on March 13 at a tank farm facility belonging to Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA in eastern Anzoategui state. There have been no reports of victims as yet, according to local media. The blast occurred at the Petro San Felix facility located in San Diego de Cabrutica, the daily Ultimas Noticias reported via Twitter. ...

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Venezuela blackout halts oil exports, refinery operations 12 March 2019

Venezuela’s state-run oil firm PDVSA has been unable to resume crude exports from its primary port since last week’s country-wide power outage, essentially crippling the OPEC nation’s principal industry. The power outage also affected the Puerto la Cruz refinery in Anzoategui, run by state-owned oil company PDVSA, which was already operating at minimum levels. Authorities have given few indications how long it might take to restore power....

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IEA sees USA leading global oil supply growth to 2024 11 March 2019

The US will drive global oil supply growth over the next five years, adding another 4 million barrels per day to the country’s already booming output, the International Energy Agency said on March 11. “The United States is increasingly leading the expansion in global oil supplies, with significant growth also seen among other non-OPEC producers, including Brazil, Norway and new producer Guyana,” the IEA said in its five-year outlook....

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