GULF OF MEXICO:
First projects for RESTORE Act funding unveiled
A federal-state panel unveiled today a suite of Gulf of Mexico restoration projects that it believes should be the first to receive funding under a 2012 law directing billions of dollars in BP PLC oil spill fines to Gulf Coast states.
Among the $140 million in projects are plans to backfill more than a dozen miles of oil and gas canals, plug abandoned wells, conserve nearly 10,000 acres of coastal wildlife habitat, and reduce the use of fertilizers.
BP agrees to 'game changer' $18.7B settlement with states
The $18.7 billion settlement agreement announced this morning for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill promises to set off an unprecedented effort to repair the Gulf of Mexico's marshes, fisheries and deep sea corals, but it will be, at best, only a first step toward restoring the long-ailing ecosystem, the region's environmentalists say.
The agreement in principle unveiled this morning by state officials, the Department of Justice and BP PLC includes $7.1 billion to repair natural resources damage caused by the spill. It also includes $5.5 billion in Clean Water Act fines, 80 percent of which will be sent back to the five Gulf states for ecological and economic recovery efforts thanks to the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act -- dubbed the RESTORE Act -- passed by Congress in 2012.
Mega-platform would significantly expand Shell's Gulf production
Royal Dutch Shell PLC will build its largest-ever platform in the Gulf of Mexico for a project that will expand its oil and gas production from federal U.S. offshore waters by more than 60 percent.
The supermajor yesterday issued notice of a final investment decision (FID) taken regarding the Appomattox and Vicksburg offshore Gulf oil fields. The finds were discovered in 2010 and 2013, respectively.
Texas awards first round of federal offshore safety funding
The first disbursement of funds from the federal RESTORE Act have been disbursed to support university research on offshore science and safety, Texas officials said yesterday.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) reported that more than $4 million would be allocated to two new separate research endeavors. The RESTORE Act, federal legislation meant to help Gulf of Mexico states recuperate from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, calls for the creation of research centers specializing in offshore drilling safety and Gulf environmental issues.