Articles on Oil and gas

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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?
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska has for decades been a center of debate on the tradeoffs between environmental protection and oil drilling. Alaska Region US Fish & Wildlife Service

Can Americans have both environmental preservation and expanded oil drilling?

In a few months, we will mark the five-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The accident released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing extensive impacts on the marine…
A natural gas well in Bradford County, PA. Reuters

The false promise of fracking and local jobs

In a surprise decision that led to consternation in the oil and gas industry and elation among fracking opponents, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in December banned fracking in the state. He attributed…
Oil drillers in North Dakota flares natural gas, but much of it – a potent greenhouse gas – escapes into the atmosphere. Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Will Obama’s ‘fugitive methane’ plan reduce or increase our dependence on natural gas?

Like many Americans concerned with climate change and energy security, I reacted with high hopes to the President Obama’s proposal to reduce leaks of methane gas from oil and gas drilling. But on closer…
Leaving Europe behind? Mikhail Metzel/EPA/Ria Novosti

Why Russia isn’t abandoning Europe for Chinese gas revenue

Much has been made of the agreement signed by Moscow and Beijing to get gas flowing from western Siberia to China. There is talk of Russia using the deal to offset its isolation from the west and circumventing…
While there may be gold beneath the surface, it’s hard to reach. Wu Hong/EPA

US-style fracking success far from guaranteed on British soil

Britain’s energy-hungry population is highly dependent on oil and gas, which powers around two thirds of the UK’s energy needs. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) projects that by 2030…
Mexicans are taking matters into their own hands. Esther Vargas

Vigilantes patrol as Mexico concludes its energy reform

In 2013, Mexico signed into law an important and controversial set of structural reforms, one of which opens the way for foreign companies to profit from Mexico’s oil holdings. An article in The Economist…
Can CCS cast a new light on fossil fuel-fired power stations? Alan Murray-Rust

A step forward for CCS, but much greater strides are needed

Despite the evidence that shows greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels are leading to changes in the planet’s climate, the development of large scale technologies to slow or stop these effects has…
New horizons for offshore oil and gas development. Flickr/arbyreed

Mobile foundations the key to unlocking offshore reserves

The offshore energy industry is a market sector that must remain innovative to stay competitive to secure Australia’s energy future. Latest statistics show Australia’s total petroleum output has an annual…
While we don’t know much about oceans off north west Australia, we know they’re important. Australian Institute of Marine Science

Marine reserves: finding the balance with oil and gas

How do we get the most out of our marine reserves? The government is in the process of reviewing Australia’s network of marine protected areas. The review focuses on zones that exclude recreational fishers…
There’s more oil down there, and it’s the regulator’s job to make sure it comes up. AP/PA

Compel firms to extract North Sea oil in the nation’s interest

For decades the UK has been accustomed to filling its coffers with the bounty from North Sea oil and gas, and the jobs and tax receipts it has brought. At one time exports helped balance the books and…
Revelations of a quantum world. ox4photos

X-ray vision for road diggers: the next quantum leap?

Quantum mechanics has been hailed as the next big thing in technology. And quantum computers are a media favourite. But there is a little-known quantum technology that can peer beneath the earth, which…
Yasuni’s frogs are unimpressed with your lack of conviction. Geoff Gallice

Paying Ecuador to save Yasuni was an idea ahead of its time

When the Ecuadorian Congress this month voted overwhelmingly to allow drilling for oil underneath the Yasuni National Park, it signalled the failure of a novel conservation proposal unlike any the world…
Drilling in Balcombe and in Lancashire, pictured, has caused a frack load of fuss. Cuadrilla

Fracking earthquakes and flaming water: but not in the UK

Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, reignited the row over fracking this week, when he insisted this method of extracting shale gas was no “great evil” and could act as a bridge to a “green…

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