IN THE NEWS

Oil

BUSINESS
March 14, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia City Council on Thursday urged the federal government to tighten regulations on trains carrying crude oil, in the aftermath of a series of fiery derailments. City Council unanimously approved a resolution that calls on Washington to approve new rules for railcars. It also calls for the city to plan emergency-response workshops for communities along oil-train routes. Philadelphia-area oil refineries have become increasingly dependent upon rail shipments of domestic crude oil, which has displaced more expensive imported oil delivered by ships.
NEWS
March 12, 2015 | By Melanie Burney, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Coast Guard is investigating an oil spill on the Delaware River near Pennsville, Salem County, N.J., authorities said Tuesday. Authorities were notified after globs of oil began washing ashore at the Pennsville boat ramp near Riviera Drive and Eaton Road. Police reports said there was a strong odor of oil. Neither the source of the oil nor the amount possibly spilled have been determined, said John Hammond, an operations specialist first class with the Coast Guard in Philadelphia.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2015 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia Energy Solutions and Aker Philadelphia Shipyard are practically neighbors in South Philadelphia, but they are worlds apart when it comes to a 1920 merchant-marine law known as the Jones Act. For the refinery, formerly owned by Sunoco, the federal law requiring that ships transporting cargo between two U.S. ports be built in the United States, staffed by U.S. crews, and primarily owned by U.S. citizens drives up the costs of shipping crude...
BUSINESS
March 1, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gov. Wolf on Friday joined a chorus of officials pressuring the federal government to improve oil-train safety, and urged the government to reduce the volatility of North Dakota crude oil, which has been implicated in several recent fiery accidents. The new governor released a letter he wrote to President Obama this week about the increasing rail volumes of crude oil, saying Pennsylvania has become one of the nation's biggest destinations for explosive North Dakota crude. Wolf estimated that 60 to 70 trains carrying North Dakota crude travel through Pennsylvania each week.
BUSINESS
February 28, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey (D., Pa.) called on the federal government Thursday to expedite the adoption of new standards for more robust oil-tank cars. Casey, in a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), said the agency should move quickly in its review of new railcar standards following the latest oil-train accident and explosion, Feb. 16 in West Virginia. "We want the administration to have a greater sense of urgency to get this out the door," Casey said in a conference call with reporters.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
    Penn Virginia Corp., the Radnor oil and gas exploration company, reported an adjusted fourth quarter loss of $25.4 million, or 35 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had anticipated a loss of 10.5 cents per share. The company, which reported earnings Wednesday after markets closed, reported product revenues of $101.4 million, or $51.73 per barrel of oil equivalent, compared to $141.9 million, or $67.91 per barrel a year ago. A Bloomberg consensus of 16 analysts had anticipated sales of $137.6 million.
NEWS
February 23, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia region's petroleum refineries, many of which faced closure four years ago, have experienced an economic revival, thanks to the arrival of a virtual pipeline of domestic crude oil by rail. But the same petroleum from North Dakota's Bakken oil field has been implicated in a succession of dramatic North American rail accidents in the last two years, most recently Monday in West Virginia. Video images of orange fireballs erupting from crumpled tank cars near the village of Mount Carbon last week reignited concerns that the same thing could happen here.
NEWS
February 20, 2015 | BY MARTIN SCHRAM
  A HUGE COLUMN of fire shot skyward - then fanned out in all directions at once, becoming a massive fireball that seemed to hover over tiny Mount Carbon, just downriver from Boomer, W.Va., which is officially a "census-designated place" of 813 people. Suddenly, Monday afternoon's winter sky glowed a nightmarish fire-bright orange - and well into the night it remained a massive warning flare, visible to folks miles away. Officials ordered hundreds to evacuate their homes. Witnesses told reporters the usual things ("like an atomic bomb," "wrath-of-God")
BUSINESS
February 3, 2015 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
The drop in oil prices may have an upside: Historically, the S&P 500's performance is mixed during a radical oil-price sell-off, but it rebounds an average of 23 percent 12 months later. So notes Chuck Widger, founder and chairman of Brinker Capital, who generally keeps a low profile despite his $17 billion investment firm in Berwyn and his long performance record. Widger has a new book out: Personal Benchmark (Wiley, 2014), coauthored with behavioral-finance expert Daniel Crosby.
FOOD
January 30, 2015 | By Natalie Pompilio, For The Inquirer
As Vetri chef Alicia Walter prepared for a recent seven-week trip to study olive oil production in the Mediterranean, she was warned that it wouldn't be pretty. The industry had a rough year, blamed on too much rain in some areas and not enough in others. An olive-eating fruit fly had ravaged crops in Italy and left a dent in Greek olive orchards, as well. Still, she didn't realize how bleak the situation was until she walked into the groves and talked with the devastated families who relied on olive oil for their livelihood.
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