Archive for the ‘media’ Category

You know what blows up besides oil? Just about everything

Since I’m based in California and work the last US shift of the day with the Platts Central Editing Desk, it falls to me to watch for possible news items as the sun rolls out of the American sky and into Asia.

So nearly every evening, unless I’m so flat out with other work that I can’t, I troll Google to see if something wild has happened in the commodities world that I ought to cover for us.

This has me regularly searching for words such as “spill” and “explosion” and “fire.”

(And yes, I am absolutely expecting Homeland Security to come to my place any day now. It will be interesting to see how my company’s bean counters respond when they see the bail bond charge on my expense bill.)

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National Response Center shuts down website, transparency

Media outlets and other curious parties have been in the dark about pipeline leaks and other environmental disturbances since mid-February, and the lights could be kept off for another month.

The National Response Center’s website has been under maintenance since February 21st and could remain that way until the end of May.

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When is energy pro-union? When gasoline buyers form a co-op

I was slowing down over at the Pricelock energy listings in search of a job posting for a flatbed driver — maybe a Ford, maybe not, who knows? — when something much more interesting caught my eye.

Four cities in New England were looking to buy 1.214 million gallons of 87- and 89-octane gasoline over the next three years.

That’s a serious chunk of change, and enough gasoline to fill 60,000 Crown Vic police cruisers.

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North Dakota oil boom keeps getting the wrong kind of attention

Despite already dealing with a slew of issues ranging from a housing shortage to an increasing crime rate, North Dakota officials now have another problem grabbing headlines: illegal dumping.

On May 11, several news outlets reported that 200 hundreds bags of radioactive material were found in an abandoned building in Noonan, a small northwest town in North Dakota. It is likely the largest case of illegal dumping in state history, twice the size of the amount found in Watford City three week earlier.

Continental Resources, one of the largest Bakken producers, immediately cut ties with RP Services LLC, the company state officials blamed for the Watford City dump.

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Santos tries a new tack in PR war over New South Wales CSG project

Australian upstream company Santos concedes it is coming a distant second in the public relations battle with environmental activists over the development of its coalseam gas reserves in the eastern state of New South Wales.

Santos is clearly exasperated with the lack of traction its message has been getting in the public debate, which is being driven by anti-CSG lobbyists including the Greens political party and high-profile conservative radio commentator Alan Jones.

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Do you want to know an oil refinery secret? Look to Twitter

It’s hard to keep the cat in the bag when you’ve got a few hundred people pulling its tail.

Consider what goes on behind the fence at a refinery. Sure, there’s always flaring, and steam being released, and hard-hatted workers rushing to and fro.

But what’s really up? The companies would rather the public didn’t know the nitty-gritty, mainly for the cause of staying competitive in a business where regulation and a general downdraft in gasoline prices always put considerable pressure on the bottom line.

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Renewed life enters the key state hosting the Bakken oil field

The oil boom in the Bakken Shale play has done more than provide the US with a major source of sweet crude oil. It has helped revitalize an entire state.

While ever-growing oil production in North Dakota is nothing new — the state will likely hit 1 million b/d in early 2014 — life surrounding the wellheads has started to grab headlines.

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A single month moves Europe forward in growing the role of natural gas

June ended with some major and long-awaited developments in the world of European gas.

In no particular order: the Shah Deniz consortium picked the winner for the 10 Bcm/year Caspian Sea gas pipeline project; the UK government announced that it had enough gas trapped in a part of its shale rock to last it for 43 years; Cyprus signed agreements with producers that could lead to an LNG export project later this decade; and Israel came up with a compromise on the amount of gas that may be exported: some 400 billion cubic meters in total over a few decades.

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Caltex Australia shows its feminine side

In what is traditionally a male-dominated industry, one of Australia’s oil refiners is showing its feminine side, recently unveiling what is believed to be the nation’s most generous workplace support package for new parents.

Caltex Australia, which is chaired by a woman, says the move is “ground-breaking” because it goes beyond corporate Australia’s traditional focus on giving employees paid leave just before and after the birth of a baby, to focus on providing cash for parents to make their own childcare choices after they are back at work. Read the rest of this entry »

Australia’s Woodside: a tale of two CEOs

Former Woodside Petroleum chief executive Don Voelte made a surprise return to the Australian corporate scene in late June when he was appointed chief executive and managing director of Perth-based Seven West Media, the largest diversified media business in the country.

Analysts, who professed to being shocked by the announcement, were quick to point out Voelte’s lack of experience heading a business which owns Australia’s largest commercial television network and its second-biggest magazine publisher. Seven West Media also owns The West Australian, the leading metropolitan newspaper in the state of Western Australia, of which Woodside’s home Perth is the capital.

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