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US rig count down 2 this week to 489, Pennsylvania up 2

rig count, Baker Hughes

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. decreased by two this week to 489. A year ago, 877 rigs were active. Depressed energy prices have sharply curtailed oil and gas exploration. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 406 rigs sought oil and 81 explored for natural gas ...

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Groups challenge federal oil, gas leasing on climate grounds

derrick, oil well,

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Two environmental groups say in a lawsuit the federal government needs to consider the potential effects of climate change before allowing oil and gas drilling on public land. The federal lawsuit filed Thursday in Washington, D.C., challenges almost 400 oil and gas leases the U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently has issued in Wyoming, Utah and ...

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Buffett’s company buys more Phillips 66 shares

Berkshire Hathaway, Phillips 66

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett’s company now controls more than 15 percent of Phillips 66 stock after buying another 414,065 shares of the oil refiner this week. Berkshire Hathaway disclosed the latest purchases in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. Berkshire now owns about 79.5 million shares of Phillips 66, which represents 15.2 percent of ...

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Report: Iran detains Greek national for smuggled oil tankers

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian state-run daily is reporting that authorities in Tehran have detained a Greek national they accuse of embezzling money from smuggled oil and selling three oil tankers for $100 million. The report on Thursday in the IRAN newspaper suggests the Greek national was involved in smuggling Iranian crude oil while economic sanctions were imposed over ...

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New Mexico confronts budget shortfalls amid oil bust

New Mexico budget shortfall

RED RIVER, N.M. (AP) — The full extent of New Mexico’s budget crisis came into sharp focus Wednesday as state economists described an 8 percent plunge in revenues during the fiscal year that ended in June and warned state lawmakers of a looming budget deficit during the current year. The mid-year snapshot of state finances set the stage for a ...

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Company says it hasn’t reduced Albany oil shipments

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An oil shipper recently accused by the Environmental Protection Agency of violating air pollution standards says it hasn’t reduced rail shipments to its terminal at the Port of Albany on the Hudson River. The EPA issued a violation notice July 29 to Global Companies LLC, based in Waltham, Massachusetts. The EPA says its calculations show 3.5 ...

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Judge to rule on tribe’s oil pipeline request by Sept. 9

Dakota Access, pipeline protest

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A ruling in the request by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to stop a four-state oil pipeline under construction near their reservation will come by Sept. 9, a federal judge said Wednesday. The tribe is challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to grant permits for Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners’ $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which ...

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Can a protest against oil happen without oil?

Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline continue to mount, causing work stoppages both in southern North Dakota near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation as well as in Iowa. Today, the  Iowa Utilities Board ordered a work stoppage around the property of 15 landowners to give the board time to review legal issues. Landowners argue against “forced condemnation of farmland for ...

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Oil pipeline subject of federal hearing, small work stoppage

pipeline protest, Dakota Access

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Texas company that’s building an oil pipeline across four states was told Wednesday by the Iowa Utilities Board to stay away from the properties of 15 Iowa landowners until Monday to give board time to review legal issues involving a lawsuit. Also Wednesday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., will consider a request by the ...

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The Latest: Dismal oil tract sale results due to low prices

oil lease sale, Louisiana, offshore drilling

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on federal oil lease sale (all times local): 10:15 a.m. A federal official says low oil prices are the reason few companies were interested in bidding in the latest oil lease sale for the Gulf of Mexico. The regional director for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Michael Celata (sel-AH-tuh), says the $18 million ...

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