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EIA: US sees lowest pre-Labor Day gasoline prices in 4 years

August 29th, 2014

US retail prices for regular gasoline averaged $3.45/gal on Aug. 25, which was lowest price on a Monday preceding the Labor Day holiday in the US since 2010, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. The average price at the pump is now 25¢/gal lower than it was at the end of June.

India’s ONGC to invest in Daman development in Arabian Sea

August 29th, 2014

India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. will invest $864.5 million to enhance natural gas and condensate production from its Tapti Daman block in the Arabian Sea.

Vattenfall successfully install 288 MW of offshore wind capacity

August 29th, 2014

Vattenfall and Stadtwerke Muenchen have taken advantage of favourable weather conditions to install 80 Siemens AG wind turbines in the last four months.

The final wind turbine of the 288 MW DanTysk project was installed in the German North Sea on Thursday. The build comprised of 80 Siemens 3.6 MW machines.

DanTysk is located 70km west of the island of Sylt, and is a joint venture between Vattenfall and Stadtwerke München with the companies holding 51 per cent and 49 per cent stakes respectively.Vattenfall wind turbines

Samoa’s first wind farm comes online

August 29th, 2014

The island nation of Samoa’s first wind farm was inaugurated in a ceremony this week by the Prime Minister, the Honourable Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi.

The 550 kWe wind project (pictured) on the island of Upolu, which is home to nearly 75 per cent of Samoa’s population, is projected to deliver $475,000 per year in fuel cost savings and 1500 MWh of power per year, as well as reducing the island’s annual CO2 emissions by over 1000 tonnes.

The project was built by Abu Dhabi renewable energy company Masdar with financing from the UAE’s $50m Pacific Partnership Fund, which supports the deployment of renewable energy across Pacific island states.

The wind farm includes two 55 metre high turbines in a bespoke ‘cyclone proof’ collapsible configuration. The turbines can pivot at the base and be lowered and locked in place in less than an hour, Masdar said.

In his inauguration speech, Malielegaoi said, “The new wind farm delivered by Masdar and funded by the ADFD is a significant step forward in Samoa’s transition to a more sustainable energy future. This has been possible thanks to the support of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates, and their commitment to advancing sustainable development. Access to renewable energy is vital to our long-term economic development, even beyond the substantial gains realized by cutting our dependence on imported fuel.”

The Samoan project is the second to be completed under the fund, with the first being a 512 kWe solar photovoltaic (PV) installation in Tonga. In addition, Masdar said it has undertaken solar PV projects in Fiji, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Norway’s energy firms hacked

August 29th, 2014

In a major cyberattack on the energy sector, 50 Norwegian companies have been hacked and another 250 have been warned that they are at risk and should check their computer systems.

Norway’s hacking prevention unit, the National Security Authority (Nasjonal Sikkerhetsmyndighet or NSM), issued the warning this week after spotting the largest ever coordinated hack in the country.

NSM said it was alerted to the hack by “international contacts” and that while it had identified suspects, it would not share that information at this time.

The names of the breached and targeted companies have not been released, although Statoil has confirmed that it has been warned by NSM and Peer Olav Østli, executive vice president of transmission system operator Statnett’s ICT division, told Norwegian news site NewsinEnglish that an email with a dubious attachment had been received by an employee.

Hans Christian Pretorius, NSM’s director of operations, told newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv that the hackers “have done research beforehand and gone after key functions and key personnel in the various companies.

“Emails that appear to be legitimate are sent to persons in important roles at the companies with attachments,” he explained. “If the targeted employees open the attachments, a destructive program will be unleashed that checks the target's system for various holes in its security system. If a hole is found, the program will open a communications channel with the hackers and then the really serious attack programs can infect the targeted company’s computer system.”

According to Pretorius, the hackers’ ultimate goal is the theft of intellectual property.

In 2011 Norway’s oil and gas sector was hit by hackers who sent emails with virus-laden attachments to specific people at 10 companies. The attacks garnered user names, passwords, industrial drawings and documents relating to contract negotiations, which NSM said were then taken out of the country.

Petronas, YPF sign $550 million development deal for Vaca Muerta

August 28th, 2014

Malaysia’s state-run Petronas signed a $550 million agreement with YPF SA, Buenos Aires, on Aug. 28 in Kuala Lumpur detailing terms and conditions for the development of oil from the giant Vaca Muerta shale in Argentina’s Neuquen province.

Removal of Trace Organic Chemicals and Performance of a Novel Hybrid Ultrafiltration-Osmotic Membrane Bioreactor

August 28th, 2014

TOC Graphic

Environmental Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1021/es501051b

Investigation on the Evolution of N-Containing Organic Compounds during Pyrolysis of Sewage Sludge

August 28th, 2014

TOC Graphic

Environmental Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1021/es5022137

Carbon Capture and Sequestration: An Exploratory Inhalation Toxicity Assessment of Amine-Trapping Solvents and Their Degradation Products

August 28th, 2014

TOC Graphic

Environmental Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1021/es5009505

BP confirms fire at Whiting refinery

August 28th, 2014

An overnight fire at BP PLC’s 413,000-b/d refinery in Whiting, Ind., has resulted in only minimal interruptions to operations at the site, the company said.

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