Local opposition to drilling on environmental grounds has slowed development and prompted the introduction of a 12-mile ban on activities within Italy's coastlines and protected areas, Reuters said.

"The proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns, given the very limited overlaps between the companies' activities and the modest increment in market shares brought about by the transaction," the European Commission said.

Twenty-nine companies with exploratory contracts and three with extractive rights have declared force majeure as the drop in oil price has sapped profit and financing in recent years, said Rafael Zoeger, the president of Perupetro.

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement recommended that drilling operators verify that components meet manufacturers’ specified metallurgical properties, and urged them to follow installation and maintenance procedures, Reuters reported. 

Federal judge Sergio Moro said Jorge Zelada excessively awarded Vantage Drilling a 2009 contract for drillship Titanium Explorer in exchange for bribes stashed in undeclared Monaco and Switzerland accounts, Reuters reported.

Allegedly, it was misrepresented that Cobalt had several oil-focused wells in Angola including its Lontra and Loenga wells. Lontra was primarily gas-based and Loenga contained neither oil nor gas.

The settlement reached on Jan. 29 prohibits officials from authorizing fracking practices in federal waters until the Interior Department completes an environmental review.

Cutbacks are limited to nonoperational administrators, including 14 senior executives. Petrobras managers, like Brazilian civil servants, are hired through competitive exams and are difficult and expensive to fire, Reuters said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R.-Alaska, Republican chair of Senate energy committee, and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., urged lawmakers not to thwart passage of bipartisan bill, which cleared their panel 18-4, Reuters reported.

So far, only Algeria and Venezuela have clearly expressed support for a production cut. Iraq depends on crude sales for about 95% of its public revenue, Reuters said.

Geologists at Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources used computer simulations to study what happens to frack fluids when injected into bedrock of the North German Basin, Reuters said.

The climate analyses are part of proposed measures that Ottawa will impose on Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain expansion and TransCanada's Energy East, both currently before the National Energy Board.

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