Articles on Oil and gas

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Troubles with Shell: in 2013, its drill became stranded and had to be rescued. Aaron M. Johnson/US Air Force

Despite Shell’s about-face, interest in Arctic oil grows

Shell has abandoned oil exploration offshore Alaska for now but a variety of trends are driving the energy industry to take a fresh look at Arctic drilling.
Africa’s rural population benefits very little from the exploitation of oil and gas but often rural people bear the brunt of environmental damage resulting from oil spills. Reuters/Tife Owolabi

Interview: have oil companies learnt anything from the Niger Delta crisis?

Oil and gas exploration could transform economies and improve lives in Africa, but this is not happening. People living in rural areas are the most excluded from the benefits.
An oil worker stands on the deck of a tanker at Bonga off-shore oil field outside Lagos. Africa’s extractive industries are committed to local content but universities aren’t producing the right kind of graduates. Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye

Why local content in Africa’s extractive sector won’t work without home grown human capital

Huge investments have been made to develop Africa's extractive industry. The challenge now is to forge collaboration between the industry and institutions of higher education to build a skills base.
Offshore oil is not just a risk to the environment – if the world gets serious about mitigating climate change, these resources risk becoming stranded assets. Green Fire Productions/Flickr

Big oil’s offshore scramble is risky business all round

Big oil companies are moving to exploit new resources such as the Arctic or the Great Australian Bight. But are they worth the risk?
Stuck in transit: The Keystone Pipeline proposal has become a symbol for politicians and environmentalists. Shannon Ramos/Flickr

Despite rhetoric, climate change ranks low in public’s Keystone pipeline worries

Public opinion poll on Keystone pipeline shows more people are concerned with local issues – including the impact of spills on environment and aquifers – than with global warming.
The Kulluk, Shell’s Arctic offshore drilling platform, was grounded in 2013 after efforts by the US Coast Guard and tug vessel crews to move the vessel to a safe harbor during a winter storm. Zachary Painter/ US Coast Guard/

US permits Arctic drilling, but questions about safety remain

Shell is going back to the Arctic to explore offshore drilling, but the company and the Department of Interior are not using the best practices for avoiding the risk of a spill.
Ready for more? Department of Energy

Are we ready for more offshore drilling?

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Obama administration is looking to expand offshore drilling. Is it any safer today?
The National Transportation Safety Board made an ‘urgent’ recommendation to improve the safety of oil-carrying rail cars. Rick Wilking/Reuters

Shipping oil by rail is booming. Technology can make it safer

While federal agencies ponder regulations for safer oil rail cars, researchers are developing high-tech inspection and safety systems.
This derailed oil-carrying train in Ontario in March was the third from a single freight company in a month. Reuters

Despite disasters, oil-by-rail transport is getting safer

Derailed train cars carrying oil have more communities concerned about spills. What's behind the oil-by-rail boom and a federal agency's 'urgent' call last week for better safety?

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