oil

A map from the EPA shows the location of the 125-acre Wilcox Oil Company Superfund site near Bristow, Okla.
Environmental Protection Agency

A site near Bristow, abandoned decades ago by a pair of oil refiners, has been added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of most hazardous national cleanup priorities.

The EPA on Dec. 12 added the Wilcox Oil Company site to the Superfund National Priorities List, a federal program that investigates and directs cleanup efforts at the country’s “most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites.”

railroad oil cars on a track
Russ Allison Loar / Flickr Creative Commons

Some of the best new oil and gas plays are in some of the most remote areas of the country, where there’s little to no pipeline infrastructure to move freshly drilled crude out.

And getting the massive amounts of tracking sand to where is a major issue, too. The answer to both problems? Railroads, as The Oklahoman‘s Paul Monies reports:

A rendering shows a new GE technology center near downtown Oklahoma City. Construction is scheduled to begin April 2014.
GE

General Electric has picked a site near downtown Oklahoma City for the home of its new research center focused on the oil and gas industry.

The center is one of nine globally for the company. Former Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce Mike Ming is the general manager of the GE Oil and Gas Technology Center.

Published reports say the new 95,000-square-foot center will be built at NE 10th and N. Walnut Ave., near the University Research Park.

Ming says the company is in final negotiations with the land's owner, the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority, OCURA.

There's an old joke that if Moses had turned right when he led Jewish tribes out of Egypt, Israel might be where Saudi Arabia is today — and be rich from oil. Consultant Amit Mor of Eco Energy says that joke is out of date.

"Israel has more oil than Saudi Arabia," he claims. "And it's not a joke."

But that oil will be difficult to reach, if it can be recovered at all. The oil he's talking about is not yet liquid but is trapped in rocks underground.

guidosenff / Flickr.com

An Oklahoma company has agreed to pay a $1-million penalty for allowing thousands of gallons of oil to seep into an ephemeral creek south of Rawlins in 2011.

Thomas Sansonetti, a lawyer for the company Nadel and Gussman Rockies, entered a guilty plea for the company Friday before U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson in Cheyenne.

Johnson accepted the plea for the misdemeanor violation of the federal Clean Water Act conditionally pending his review of a presentence report. He set sentencing for January.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The energy industry fuels Oklahoma’s economy, and the state is flush with active rigs and plentiful oil and natural gas production.

Oklahoma’s oilfields are booming, as are state tax credits for drilling, which is leading some to question whether it’s sound fiscal policy to incentivize a thriving industry.


It’s hard to imagine a worse setting: A seemingly endless horizon of giant steel storage tanks holding 50 million barrels of crude oil, a spiderweb of pipelines, pumps, compressors and terminals, and a critical confluence of big corporations and international energy market money.

And a city of about 8,000 nearby.

Law enforcement has long feared the Cushing oil terminal would make an ideal target of terrorists, but what about a tornado? Just two weeks before the May 20 tornados devastated Moore, authorities held a worst-case-scenario F5 twister drill in Cushing.

Suzette Grillot reports from Antalya, Turkey, where she speaks with Middle East expert Joshua Landis about Turkey’s booming economy and domestic anxieties.

Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Anna Somers Cocks join the program to discuss art appreciation in the 21st century. Shawe-Taylor is the Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, overseeing nearly 7,000 oil paintings and 3,000 miniatures from the British Royal Collection. Somers Cocks is the founding editor and CEO of The Art Newspaper.

Joshua Landis / Facebook

Over the last decade, Turkey has averaged at least five percent growth of gross domestic product per year with a per capita income now more than $17,000, according to the country’s Ministry of Finance.

Those numbers are only expected to rise, even as a revolution continues to boil over next door in Syria, Iran faces severe economic sanctions, and economies in Greece and Cyprus melt down.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says after Turkey’s attempt to join the European Union failed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan forged a new path, facing neither East nor West.

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm
Provided / Continental Resources

Many energy company executives are afraid to talk about oil, according to Continental Resoures CEO Harold Hamm.

“Energy has treated Oklahoma so well,” said Hamm speaking at the Governor’s Energy Conference last fall. “A third of production comes from Oklahoma. That’s tremendous.”

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