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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Buffett: Rail Tank Cars Need Upgrades

March 3, 2014 7:50 am | News | Comments

Buffett says it's clear that railroad tank cars carrying crude oil need to be updated because oil from certain regions has the potential to be more dangerous than previously thought.              

Theft Forces Shell Nigeria To Close Major Pipeline

February 27, 2014 11:34 am | News | Comments

Shell recently threatened to close the Nembe Creek Trunk Line because of repeated sabotage. It carries about 60,000 barrels daily for Africa's biggest oil producer.                

Rail Cars For Shipping Oil Deemed 'Unacceptable'

February 27, 2014 7:51 am | by Joan Lowy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Rail tank cars are an "unacceptable public risk," and even cars voluntarily upgraded by the industry may not be sufficient, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board said.                

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Schumer: Oil Train Safety Plan Inadequate For N.Y.

February 26, 2014 2:27 pm | News | Comments

The New York Democrat says Wednesday that the agreement announced by the federal Department of Transportation and Association of American Railroads doesn't go far enough to protect upstate communities. Trains pull hundreds of tankers of highly volatile crude oil from North Dakota cross New York daily in a virtual moving pipeline to East Coast refineries.

Fraud Allegations At Center Of Oil Spill Hearing

February 26, 2014 12:38 pm | by Kevin McGill, Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal judge has agreed to delay a lawsuit against a Texas lawyer accused by BP of falsely claiming to represent thousands of deckhands who lost money in the 2010 Gulf oil spill. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier on Wednesday agreed to the delay while a criminal case against attorney Mikal (MEYE'-kahl) Watts unfolds.

WeylChem U.S. Expanding S.C. Facility, Hiring 49

February 26, 2014 11:59 am | by S.C. Department of Commerce | News | Comments

WeylChem U.S. Inc., a provider of custom manufacturing and tolling services, as well as advanced intermediates and reagents is announcing the expansion of its Kershaw County facility. The $10.8 million investment is expected to create 49 new jobs.

Feds Issue Emergency Order On Oil Shipments

February 26, 2014 8:09 am | by Joan Lowy and Matthew Brown, Associated Press | News | Comments

Federal regulators issued an emergency order Tuesday requiring more stringent testing of crude oil before shipment by rail to determine how susceptible the cargo is to explosion or fire, a response to a string of train accidents since last summer involving oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota and Montana.

TransCanada Says Neb. Pipeline Route Still Valid

February 25, 2014 12:44 pm | by Grant Schulte, Associated Press | News | Comments

The developer of the Keystone XL pipeline said Monday that its proposed route through Nebraska is still legally valid until a higher court decides whether the state's pipeline siting law is constitutional. A spokesman for Calgary-based TransCanada said last week's ruling to invalidate the proposed route cannot be enforced while a lawsuit filed by landowners is on appeal.

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EIA: U.S. Oil Imports Have Declined Since 2011

February 25, 2014 11:29 am | by U.S. Energy Information Administration | News | Comments

Since early 2011, a falling volume of crude oil imports as domestic production has risen sharply and the emergence of net product exports have driven the volume and value of net oil imports lower. These reductions occurred even though the annual average oil prices in 2012 and 2013 were at their highest historical levels.

Fed Health Officials Now Calling W.Va. Water 'Safe'

February 25, 2014 11:21 am | by Jonathan Mattise, Associated Press | News | Comments

A federal health official says it's safe to use water contaminated by a chemical spill in West Virginia last month. It's hardly the first time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told 300,000 affected West Virginians to drink, cook with or otherwise use their tap water.

Minerals Tech Lifts Offer For Amcol To $1.38B

February 25, 2014 9:55 am | News | Comments

Minerals Technologies Inc. has sweetened its offer to buy out Amcol International Corp. to about $1.38 billion in hopes the minerals and oilfield services company will be persuaded to nix its proposed sale to a French company.     

Obama To Act On Keystone In 'A Couple Of Months'

February 25, 2014 8:19 am | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press | News | Comments

Governors are quoting President Barack Obama as saying he expects to decide on the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline in the next couple of months. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican who supports the pipeline, said Obama was asked about Keystone Monday at a White House meeting with about 40 governors.

Oil Spill Closes Part Of Mississippi River

February 24, 2014 2:44 pm | News | Comments

The Coast Guard says it is conditionally reopening 40 miles of the Mississippi River from New Orleans upriver, but 25 miles remain closed after oil spilled into the river. Port spokesman Matt Gresham says each vessel's hull must be certified clean of oil before it can move along the reopened stretch.

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AP: Railroads Confront Crude Safety

February 21, 2014 2:27 pm | by Joan Lowy and Matthew Brown, Associated Press | News | Comments

Railroads that haul volatile crude shipments have reached an agreement with U.S. transportation officials to adopt wide-ranging voluntary safety measures after a string of explosive and deadly accidents.        

After W.Va. Chem Spill Comes Water Tasting Contest

February 21, 2014 12:35 pm | by John Raby, Associated Press | News | Comments

Just hours away from a West Virginia city plagued for weeks by chemical-tainted, undrinkable tap water, H20 enthusiasts will sip municipal waters like fine wine in search of the world's best. The judges approach their task much like connoisseurs of other liquids, rating the entries on appearance, aroma, taste, mouth feel and aftertaste.

EPA Seeks Tougher Safety Standards For Farmworkers

February 21, 2014 8:29 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press | News | Comments

The changes would bar almost anyone 16 and younger from handling the most toxic pesticides and require no-entry zones around fields to protect workers from drift and fumes. Farms would also have to post no-entry signs to prohibit workers from entering fields until pesticide residues declined to safe levels.

BNSF Seeks To Upgrade Tanker Fleet After Accidents

February 20, 2014 2:24 pm | by Matthew Brown, Associated Press | News | Comments

BNSF Railway Co. says it intends to buy a fleet of 5,000 strengthened tank cars to haul oil and ethanol in a move that would set a higher safety standard for a fleet that's seen multiple major accidents. The Texas-based subsidiary of Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. announced the voluntary step Thursday.

Fertilizer Plant Fire Forces Iowa City Evacuation

February 20, 2014 1:09 pm | News | Comments

Authorities ordered the evacuation of an entire northern Iowa city Thursday as firefighters battled a fire at a fertilizer plant. Iowa State Patrol spokesman Scott Bright said the fertilizer used for crop dusting contains sulfuric acid, and that the evacuation is necessary to prevent residents from breathing in that chemical.

Nebraska Law That Allowed Keystone XL Struck Down

February 20, 2014 8:27 am | by Grant Schulte, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Nebraska judge on Wednesday struck down a law that allowed the Keystone XL pipeline to proceed through the state, a victory for opponents who have tried to block the project that would carry oil from Canada to Texas refineries.    

Higher Gasoline Prices Are On The Way

February 14, 2014 1:53 pm | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

Gasoline prices are already creeping higher. The nationwide average price has risen for seven days in a row to $3.34 per gallon, the highest level since October, according to AAA, OPIS and Wright Express. California, Connecticut and New York drivers are paying an average of $3.65 or more, the most in the lower 48 states.

Manufacturing.net Rewind: A Sluggish Economy; U.S. Drone Makers Get Shut Out

February 14, 2014 8:47 am | News | Comments

Check out some of this week's top headlines from across Manufacturing.net, from Chinese villagers attacking a factory to the Volkswagen incentives being threatened by the UAW. Also, a judge allows a lawsuit over cancer in children against Whirlpool, and a slowdown in China will be felt around the world.

Way Cleared For Medical Claims In 2010 BP Spill

February 14, 2014 7:57 am | by Kevin McGill, Associated Press | News | Comments

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' action Tuesday involves a settlement approved by a federal judge in January 2013 between BP, workers and some coastal residents who said they were injured or sickened during the spill cleanup.   

PwC: Industrial M&A Activity Up In Second Half Of 2013

February 13, 2014 4:11 pm | by PwC US | News | Comments

While 2013 as a whole marks the second consecutive annual decline, deal activity in the second half of the year increased with 83 deals worth $35.7 billion versus 69 deals for $24 billion in the first half. The fourth quarter of 2013 recorded 40 transactions worth $50 million or more.

Study: Manufacturers Will Benefit From Low-Cost U.S. Natural Gas

February 13, 2014 10:59 am | by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) | News | Comments

Low U.S. electricity prices in natural-gas-fired plants, for example, are already encouraging investment in energy-intensive industries such as steel and glass. Not yet visible are the advantages that makers of intermediate products, such as plastic-resin pellets, and makers of finished goods, such as plastic toys and plastic auto parts, will reap from cheaper inputs.

Dow Chemical Rebuffs Third Point

February 12, 2014 11:09 am | News | Comments

Dow Chemical is rejecting a push by a major shareholder to break off its petrochemicals division. Dan Loeb's Third Point LLC revealed a significant stake last month in the Midland, Mich., company and immediately advocated for a separation of the division from others that have fared better.

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