oil

There are now 15 confirmed deaths in the oil train explosion that rocked a small town in Quebec Province over the weekend.

The tragedy has given the commissioners of the Port of Vancouver in Washington pause as they consider a proposal for a terminal to move oil from trains onto ships. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Oil companies still may find a way to move huge, so-called “megaloads” through a scenic corridor in Idaho, once traveled by Lewis and Clark. But for now at least, opponents of the extra-large shipments are hoping government red tape has closed that option.

Shell Oil had to postpone its Arctic drilling for a full year after one of its oil rigs ran aground off the Alaska coast this winter. But Shell’s efforts to open a new frontier of oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean continue in Puget Sound. The oil giant passed a key test with federal regulators last month in the waters off Anacortes, Washington. KUOW’s John Ryan reports.

The Port of Grays Harbor near Aberdeen has announced an agreement to lease property for a crude oil unloading and storage facility. The oil would arrive by train and then be loaded on to barges bound for refineries on the West coast. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

Photo by John Ryan / Northwest News Network

Problems in Puget Sound have led Shell Oil to cancel its plans for drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean this year. KUOW's John Ryan reports from the Bellingham waterfront.

The Arctic Challenger is Shell's oil-spill containment barge. It's here behind me at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal. It's supposed to be in place in the Arctic to help mop up any oil spills. It's been under construction here at the Bellingham Shipping Terminal for months.

Photo by John Ryan / Northwest News Network

More problems for the oil-spill containment barge being built on the Bellingham waterfront. Coast Guard officials say Shell Oil's Arctic Challenger has caused several small spills of its own in the past few weeks. KUOW's John Ryan reports.

Photo by John Ryan / KUOW

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday that hundreds of tasks remain in the construction of an overdue oil-spill barge. As KUOW's John Ryan reports, Arctic drilling is on hold until the construction project in Bellingham wraps up.

Delays In Bellingham Curtail Arctic Oil Drilling

Jul 30, 2012
Photo by John Ryan / KUOW

Shell Oil is scaling back its plans for drilling in the Arctic Ocean this year. Icy conditions in the far North and construction problems in Bellingham have delayed the company's efforts. KUOW's John Ryan reports from Seattle.

The natural gas industry is interested in mineral rights in a Northwest wildlife area. Aaron Kunz explains.

This month, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission authorized the state to auction off the mineral rights for nearly 400 acres in the Payette River Wildlife Management Area. The auction could take place in late July.

Suzanne Budge is with the Idaho Petroleum Council. She explains why the company, Snake River Oil and Gas, is interested in the mineral rights.

Twelve years ago, BP built a second dock at its Cherry Point refinery north of Bellingham, WA. But they didn’t do an assessment of what that added dock capacity would mean for tanker traffic in Washington waters. Now the Army Corps of Engineers has released a long-awaited study that does just that. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Photo credit: Ashley Ahearn / KUOW

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Canadian pipeline operators are considering expanding the line that brings oil from the Alberta Oil Sands to western British Columbia. Environmentalists and others say that raises the potential for oil spills in Northwest waters and, it involves a different type of oil.

Right now the Trans Mountain pipeline moves 300,000 barrels of oil per day to an export terminal near Vancouver, B.C. If the Canadian government approves the expansion that amount could almost triple. More oil in the pipeline means more oil loaded onto large tanker ships. Those ships will eventually head out the Strait of Juan De Fuca to the Pacific.

Photo by Yumei Wang / DOGAMI

BELLINGHAM -- Sunday marks the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The tsunami destruction and the Fukushima nuclear meltdown garner the most attention. There was another cause of suffering in Japan's quake zone. In some places, you couldn't get gasoline for weeks to fuel cars and generators. The Pacific Northwest is prone to the same kind of earthquake. Correspondent Tom Banse reports emergency planners say this region's fuel supply lines are vulnerable.

Photo by Ashley Ahearn / Northwest News Network

COLUMBIA RIVER, Wash. -- There are hundreds of abandoned or sunken ships in Northwest waters. These vessels can threaten navigation, human safety and the environment. But state agencies in the region are only equipped to handle part of the problem. Ashley Ahearn reports.

Photo by: Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler / U.S. Coast Guard

COUMBIA RIVER, Wash. -- The U.S. Coast Guard and its contractors spent 10 months and $22 million last year removing the Davy Crockett from the Columbia River. The barge had broken apart during a botched salvage job, spilling oil and PCBs into the river.

Workers removed more than 38,000 gallons of oil from the ship. The cleanup was declared a success. But an EarthFix investigation has found that government officials could have prevented the oil spill and the need for a multi-million dollar cleanup.

Bonnie Stewart has the story.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

FERNDALE, Wash. -- The United Steelworkers Union has reached a tentative deal with oil companies to avert a possible strike at dozens of refineries, including three important ones in the Northwest. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

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