Walter Oil & Gashas completed the first phase of plugging a natural gas well in the Gulf of Mexico that blew out in July, according to theInterior Department’sBureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement(BSEE). The well blowout partially destroyed a Hercules Inc. rig, but as responders were working on ways to prevent releases, the well naturally clogged with sand (seeDaily GPI,July 30). All of the debris from the original well had been removed as of Friday (Sept. 6), and no gas has been detected, BSEE said. Regulators said the original well would be reentered at a later date to set deeper, permanent plugs.
Articles from Walter
Walter H. Helmerich III, chairman of Tulsa-based Helmerich & Payne Inc., the largest active provider of land drilling rigs in the United States, died Tuesday. Helmerich joined the company that his father co-founded in 1950 and became president in 1960. He led the company as CEO for 22 years until 1989 when his son Hans was named CEO. Helmerich is survived by his wife, Peggy, his five sons and 12 grandchildren. Services are to be held Friday at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church in Tulsa.
Acting Chairman Walter Lukken of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Tuesday called for “courageous regulatory reform” in the United States that would include scrapping the CFTC, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and various banking regulators and setting up an entirely new and different framework to avoid future meltdowns.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Acting Chairman Walter Lukken told a joint Senate committee hearing last Tuesday that the agency has uncovered no evidence of excessive speculation in the crude oil market, but he could not rule out the possibility of manipulation.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Acting Chairman Walter Lukken told a joint Senate committee hearing Tuesday that the agency has uncovered no evidence of excessive speculation in the crude oil market, but he could not rule out the possibility of manipulation.
Former Wyoming legislator Randall Luthi has been named director of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), taking over from acting Director Walter Cruickshank, who stepped into the position when Johnnie Burton resigned in May (see Daily GPI, May 9). Luthi, who had been deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is a former speaker and majority leader of the Wyoming House of Representatives. The Interior Department press release particularly pointed out that Luthi had been a legislative member of the Energy Council, an organization of representatives of producing states and energy-related industries. And in Wyoming “Luthi was instrumental in formulation of state budgets which relied heavily upon royalties and severance taxes paid by energy companies developing federal leases,” the release said. Burton, who had served as MMS director for five years, had been accused of not being aggressive enough in collecting all of the oil and gas royalties due to the government from offshore leases and in recovering lost royalties from flawed leases.
BP, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Oil, Shell, and Walter Oil and Gas signed agreements Thursday with C. Stephen Allred, U.S. assistant secretary of Land and Minerals Management, that address the problem of missing price thresholds in deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil and gas leases that were issued in 1998 and 1999. Under the new agreements the producers will pay additional royalties on oil and gas produced under the leases. However, the payments will be made for production that started on Oct. 1, 2006.