BP fined $50 million
BP has agreed to pay $50 million to the state of Texas to
resolve air pollution allegations related to the March 2005
explosion at its Texas City refinery, according to a statement
from Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
The proposed agreement resolves the states
enforcement actions against BP for unlawful pollutant emissions
at its Texas City refinery, Mr. Abbott said.
The proposed agreement reflects the states
commitment to protecting air quality and holding polluters
accountable for illegal emissions.
According to the offices 2009 enforcement action, BP
was responsible for 72 separate pollutant emissions that have
been occurring every few months since March 2005. An explosion
and related fires erupted at BPs Texas City refinery in March 2005, claiming 15
lives and injuring more than 170 workers.
The states 2009 legal action against BP stemmed from a
referral from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality,
which regulates and permits emissions at Texas refineries.
After the Attorney Generals office filed its original
legal action against BP, the TCEQ submitted a second, related
referral against BP. According to TCEQ investigators, multiple
Texas Clean Air Act violations occurred at the Texas City refinery between April 6 and May 16
of 2010. As a result, the Attorney Generals office filed
a second enforcement action and charged BP with illegally
emitting approximately 500,000 pounds of harmful air pollutants
in Texas City.
Under the proposed agreement, BP is required to pay $50
million to the state of Texas. That amount includes $500,000 in
costs that the Attorney Generals office incurred while
pursuing the states enforcement actions. The remainder of
the $50 million reflects civil penalties that will be deposited
in the state treasury.
Aside from this settlement, BP has already paid more than
$100 million in fines to US safety and environmental
regulators, and up to $2.1 billion to settle civil accident
claims related to the explosion.
Technip has signed a strategic partnership agreement
for innovation and technology development with the
French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).
Located in Paris and Grenoble, France, the technological
research division at CEA gives Technip access to over 4,500
researchers focused on the development of new technologies in
the fields of energy, transport, health, information and
communication. Technip aims to harness and develop this
knowledge to increase the competitiveness of its core
businesses and to expand and differentiate its business
footprint through new technologies. The agreement is valid for
an initial period of three years.
Germanys decision to phase out nuclear power
in light of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan
has underlined the European countrys need for more gas
supplies. It has also boosted interest in the planned Nabucco
gas pipeline, which would transport gas 4,000 km between Turkey
and Austria. However, a final decision on the Nabucco project will not be made until the
end of next year, meaning that construction would not start before
2013 and the project would not be completed until late 2017.
Nabucco Gas Pipeline International GmbH will hold an open
season in the first half of 2012 to determine the requirements
of European gas importers. Over the long term, Nabucco expects
up to 20 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan to feed
Risk-management services firm DNV recently issued
the worlds first certificate of
fitness for a carbon-dioxide (CO2) storage
development plan to Shells Quest carbon capture and
storage (CCS) project in Canada. The proposed Quest project will capture and permanently
store underground more than one million tpy of CO2
from its Scotford upgrader near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.
Based on the conclusions of an expert panel, DNV certified that
Shells storage development plan is worthy of
certification based upon a number of different metrics, such as
sufficient storage capacity; long-term containment; proper
risk-management plans; and a measurement, monitoring and
verification program capable of continuously demonstrating
Foster Wheelers Global Power Group subsidiary
has entered into a 20-year agreement
with Essar Projects India Ltd. (EPIL) to provide a technology license for utility-sized
circulating fluidized-bed (CFB) steam generators to be sold in
EPIL believes that CFB technology is the future for the Indian market given the constrained
fuel supply situation and the ever-increasing environmental
concerns, said Alwyn Bowden, CEO of Essar Projects.
Enterprise Products $1.5 billion, 270-mile
Acadian Haynesville Extension pipeline officially
began commercial service in early November. With the completion
of the project, producers in Louisianas prolific
Haynesville/Bossier Shale play will have access to 1.8 billion
bcf/d of incremental takeaway capacity. By increasing the
systems currently installed 74,000 horsepower of
compression, capacity could be increased to 2.1 bcf/d, the
company said. The project is supported by long-term,
firm contracts with shippers totaling 1.6 bcf/d.
In side-by-side performance, durability and
emissions testing of small engines, gasoline blended
with isobutanol performed better than blends using ethanol,
according to new research from renewable chemicals and advanced
biofuels firm Gevo. Gevo said it provided the isobutanol to the
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and Briggs &
Stratton (B&S), which tested both fuel blends in B&S
small engines. The results demonstrated that, unlike ethanol,
blends incorporating isobutanol do not cause any irregular or
unstable engine or performance issues. The outcome suggests
that isobutanol blends at 12.5% could ease the pressure on
moving to higher ethanol blends to meet biofuel mandates with
no impact on small engines. Isobutanol is a drop-in fuel that
requires no flex-fuel engines, special blender pumps or