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OIL:

Gulf production heading for sharp spike, analysts say

HOUSTON -- Crude oil production from offshore Gulf of Mexico operations are poised to increase sharply in 2015, Barclays Capital analysts predicted Friday.

The increase is slightly lower than what the federal government suggests it might be, analysts at Barclays said in a note to investors last week. Still, the growth in drilling activity and a series of new projects entering production in the Gulf have boosted confidence among analysts that drilling there is staging "a comeback."

RESEARCH:

New membrane could help with deep-sea drilling

When an oil spill occurs in water, as happened in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the first steps after containment of the spill is to break up the oil using dispersing agents. Over time, the oil becomes less visible, but it continues to linger in a very fine mixture of water and oil droplets called an emulsion.

Researchers have developed ways to separate out larger globs of oil from water, yet they have grappled with how to fully eliminate these much finer oil droplets.

OFFSHORE DRILLING:

GE jumps into the business of preventing blowouts

HOUSTON -- A new generation of high-performance blowout preventers for offshore drilling will be manufactured here, ahead of an industry push to go deeper and farther into the Gulf of Mexico.

GE Oil & Gas, the fast-growing division of the electronics giant, announced yesterday that it has secured contracts to design and build blowout preventers that can perform under tougher conditions. The company said it expects the equipment to be in operation by 2018.

OFFSHORE DRILLING:

House Dems request hearing on CSB report on blowout preventer

Two top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee called on Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to hold a hearing on the U.S. Chemical Safety Board's findings on the cause of BP PLC's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the panel's ranking member, and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), the ranking member on the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, wrote a letter to Upton and Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) this morning.

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About this report

The sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is the worst oil spill in U.S. history. E&E examines the response to the spill, the politics of offshore drilling, and the aftermath for Gulf species and industries.

Industry

Politics

Natural Resources

Response