In this week's news update, a unit operator was treated for burns after a fire at the Petrobras-owned refinery, and an Oklahoma woman was sentenced for embezzling from oilfield services company.
One person was burned when a unit making diesel ruptured on Saturday morning at a refinery in Pasadena, Texas, owned by Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras.
The company said in a statement that the fire, which started about 10:15 a.m. CST, had been contained by midafternoon at the 100,000 barrel per day refinery.
The unit operator from the refinery was taken to an area hospital, but was released on Sunday.
Rig Count Drops 13 to 489
The number of rigs seeking oil and natural gas dropped by 13 last week to 489, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes on March 4.
The Houston-based company reported that 392 were seeking oil and 97 seeking natural gas. A year ago, 1,192 rigs were active.
Texas declined by four rigs, North Dakota and Oklahoma dropped by three and Colorado went down by two. Louisiana, New Mexico and West Virginia each lost one rig.
Alaska gained a rig, while Arkansas, California, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming were all unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
Oklahoma Woman Sentenced for Embezzling from Oilfield Services Company
An Oklahoma woman who embezzled more than $900,000 from an oilfield pipe inspection services company has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison, according to the Associated Press.
Naomi D. Walker was sentenced Friday and was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution to Star Pipe Service and the IRS. She confessed that she used her position of banking and corporate check writing responsibilities to embezzle the money and also used the corporate credit card for her personal benefit.
Walker’s defense attorney says her client had used some of the money to fuel a gambling problem, the Associated Press reported.
US Coal Exports Declined 23 Percent in 2015
The U.S. remains a net exporter of coal, exporting 74 million short tons (MMst) and importing 11 MMst in 2015, according to information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on March 7.
Coal exports fell for the third consecutive year in 2015, ending the year 23 MMst lower than in 2014 and more than 50 MMst less than the record volume of coal exported in 2012.
Slower growth in world coal demand, lower international coal prices and higher coal output in other coal-exporting countries contributed to the decline in U.S. coal exports.
Ohio Takes in More Fracking Wastewater
The amount of fracking wastewater pumped underground in Ohio increased by more than 15 percent in 2015, even as shale drilling has slowed nationwide, according to data from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Ohio took in nearly 29 million barrels of fracking wastewater in 2015, about 4 million barrels more than in 2014.
Ohio is situated to accept wastewater from states that don’t allow injection waste wells and has more than 200 injection wells. Fewer than 10 have been approved in Pennsylvania, where much of the fracking boom has taken place. West Virginia has about 60.
Ohio typically takes more fracking wastewater from outside Ohio than inside. However, last year about 55 percent of the wastewater that ended up in Ohio injection wells came from Ohio, the data shows.