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Green Energy Centre could put St Andrews University at ‘cutting edge’

18/08/2015

A new £25 million green energy centre at St Andrews University will put the institution at the “cutting-edge” of environmentally-friendly technology, according to a Scotland Office minister. The project will create 225 jobs and it is hoped the site at Guardbridge will help regenerate part of north-east Fife, with apprenticeships and opportunities in the construction of the centre. The scheme is part of a drive by St Andrews to become the UK’s first carbon-neutral university. The biomass facility will use only virgin roundwood, locally sourced from forests, and hot water from the plant will be pumped underground to heat and cool laboratories and student residences in St Andrews.

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EPA moves to reduce emissions in the oil and gas sector

18/08/2015

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to propose regulations which will be aimed at reducing methane emissions by between 40 and 45% from the oil and gas sector over the next decade. The move is part of a wider strategy in place which is looking to reduce both greenhouse gases as well as combating climate change.

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LNG vessel owners form first ship pool as spot trade expands

18/08/2015

Dynagas Ltd., GasLog Ltd. and Golar LNG Ltd. agreed to jointly market their liquefied natural gas tankers for spot charters as trading of flexible cargoes widens. The Cool Pool, the first-ever LNG carrier pool, will open in September with 14 ships, the companies said Tuesday in a joint statement. It will include accords for 12 months or less. LNG spot trading is expanding as new Australian supply adds to output and the US prepares to start exporting the fuel from its Gulf Coast this year. New importers including Egypt are driving demand as buyers under long-term deals such as Japan and South Korea curb purchases amid lower usage. Spot fixtures in the LNG shipping market rose to 97 this year through the middle of August from 78 a year earlier, according to GasLog, which owns 19 carriers.

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Sales boost helps TCO expand its workforce

18/08/2015

TCO said it has expanded its workforce by a third after strong sales results for the company. The well completion technologies provider has employed eight new members of staff within the past six months for its UK base, including a new managing director. Paul Betteridge was appointed in March in response to company growth and to focus on TCO’s international expansion.

Health & Safety

North Atlantic Drilling to review regulations after investigation

17/08/2015

The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has warned North Atlantic Drilling (NAD) that an incident on a drilling unit could have caused injury to staff. An investigation by the PSA was carried out after an incident on the West Venture in March this year when it was operating on the Troll field. It comes at the same time as Transocean were hit with a report outlining concerns over safety following an incident the same month.

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Flight data recorder recovered from Nigeria helicopter crash

17/08/2015

Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has recovered the flight data recorder from a helicopter which crashed on the way from an oil platform. The incident earlier this month left six people dead and others injured after the Sikorsky 76 Bristow helicopter crashed into a lagoon. The aircraft had been carrying 10 passengers and 2 crew when the incident happened.

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Norwegian energy foundation supports students on Nasa internship

15/08/2015

The organisers of a Norwegian oil and gas show have underlined the link between technologies used in the space and energy industries by paying for two budding drilling engineers to spend time with Nasa. Stavanger-based ONS Foundation, which runs the annual Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) event and is supporting the internship programme, said knowledge transfer between the two sectors could pave the way for significant technological breakthroughs. The interns, Stavanger University students Fridtjof Wabakken and Saresh Mohamad, said their three-month stints at the Nasa Ames Research Centre in California had helped them fulfil their childhood dreams.

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Helicopter pilots in “overwhelming support” for strike action ballot

14/08/2015

Helicopter pilots have shown “overwhelming support” for a vote on strike action in a move that could cripple the struggling North Sea oil and gas industry. More than a third of pilots operating in the North Sea nailed their colours to the mast at a meeting convened by their representative body in Aberdeen late on Thursday. It came after two of the sector’s main offshore transport providers announced plans to axe dozens of jobs in response to low oil prices.

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North Sea helicopter pilots to vote on strike action

14/08/2015

A ballot is set to be held over whether North Sea helicopter pilots should strike after both Bristow and CHC announced jobs were at risk. The move comes after general secretary Jim McAuslan visited Aberdeen for a meeting with more than a third of helicopter pilots based in the city. Balpa said those who attended the meeting yesterday had "been appalled" by employers' "approach to the redundancies".

Health & Safety

Petroineos fined £24,000 after worker injured

14/08/2015

The operators of the Grangemouth oil refinery have been fined £24,000 for safety failings related to an incident in which a worker was injured at the plant. The decision came after a Petroineos employee was sprayed in the face by low pressure steam. The worker had been in regulation personal protective equipment including a hard hat and safety glasses at the time of the incident.

Health & Safety

Maersk Oil hit with improvement notice from HSE

14/08/2015

Maersk Oil has been issued with an improvement notice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after deadlines overran for work on the Gryphon Floating, Storage and Production Offloading vessel in the North Sea. A number of work orders were found to have been overdue on the vessel, which is 175 miles north east of Aberdeen. A spokesman for Maersk Oil said it was “committed” to improving its safety performance.

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Aberdeen to move away from ‘oil tourism’

14/08/2015

Aberdeen is going through a “period of reinvention” to move away from a reliance on visitors linked to the oil and gas sector, a tourism expert said yesterday. Andrew Martin, director of the Scottish Centre of Tourism at Robert Gordon University’s Aberdeen Business School, said efforts were being made to develop hospitality niches in the north-east, such as golf tourism and the whisky and castle trails. Any hopes of replacing lost income from the energy industry were “un-realistic”, he added. Steve Harris, chief executive of tourism body Visit-Aberdeen, said the Granite City’s weekend visitor market was holding up well, with numbers higher “than before”, while plans to create a single marketing organisation for the north-east would boost them further. Mr Martin and Mr Harris were speaking after a new study revealed yet more hardship for hotels in Europe’s energy capital, as low oil prices drive custom away.

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Firefighter pulled from wreckage of China explosion after 32-hour ordeal

14/08/2015

Rescuers have pulled out a firefighter trapped for 32 hours after responding to the massive explosions in Tianjin. Meanwhile authorities moved forward gingerly in dealing with a fire still smouldering amid potentially dangerous chemicals. The two explosions late on Wednesday at the Chinese port city - one of them the equivalent of 21 tons of TNT - killed at least 50 people and injured more than 700.

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Greenpeace protestors could face fines over Shell stunt

13/08/2015

Greenpeace protests who had tried to prevent a Shell oil ship from reaching Alaska could face fines of up to $5,000. According to reports, the Coast Guard has warned the protestors have 30 days to either pay the fines or contest the civil citations before a hearing officer. The environmental group has been ramping up its protest against the move in the past couple of months as Shell looks to resume its operations in the Arctic.

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