Hundreds Return in Philippines, Typhoon Weakens
Hundreds of people in the north of the main Philippine island of Luzon left evacuation centres and returned home on Sunday after a typhoon weakened significantly as it made landfall, although officials still warned of heavy rain and rough seas. Once described as super typhoon Maysak as it bore down on the Philippines in recent days, the storm was carrying winds of 55 km ph (35 mph) and was rated as a tropical depression as it made landfall on Sunday morning. "We thank God," said Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. "From a super typhoon a week ago, we now have a tropical depression.
Climate Change Boosts Galapagos Penguin Population
Shifts in trade winds and ocean currents powered a resurgence of endangered Galapagos Penguins over the past 30 years, according to a new study led by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). These changes enlarged a cold pool of water the penguins rely on for food and breeding—an expansion that could continue as the climate changes over the coming decades, according to the study. The Galapagos Islands, a chain of islands 1,000 kilometers west of mainland Ecuador, are home to the only penguins in the Northern Hemisphere.
US Coast Guard to Close Nine NDGPS Sites
The U.S. Coast Guard will close nine Nationwide Differential Global Positioning System (NDGPS) sites on Friday. In 2015, the Coast Guard, Department of Transportation (DOT) and Army Corps of Engineers proposed decommissioning 62 of the then-existing 84 NDGPS sites. After reviewing the Federal Register comments, the number of site closures was reduced to 37 sites, including 28 DOT inland sites and nine Coast Guard maritime sites: Cold Bay, Alaska; Lompoc, Calif.; Sturgeon Bay, Wisc.; Pickford, Mich.; Saginaw Bay, Mich.; Brunswick, Maine; Key West, Fla.; Elgin, Fla.; and Isabela, Puerto Rico. “With the numerous navigation tools available, we determined that this reduction in NDGPS sites does not pose a risk to the mariner,” said Cmdr.
BP Starts Gulf of Mexico Project
BP announce that initial start-up of the Galapagos development in the deepwater U.S. The Galapagos development includes three deepwater fields and increases the capability of a key offshore production hub for BP. The fields - Isabela, Santiago and Santa Cruz - are being produced using subsea equipment on the floor of the Gulf. A new production flowline loop has been added to carry output to the nearby Na Kika host facility, a BP-operated platform located roughly 140 miles southeast of New Orleans in 6,500 feet of water.
BP Announces Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Discovery
BP Exploration & Production Inc. said a hydrocarbon discovery in an exploration well that tested its Isabela prospect in the Gulf of Mexico. The well is located on Mississippi Canyon Block 562 in approximately 6,500 feet of water, about 150 miles southeast of New Orleans. Isabela was drilled to a total depth of approximately 19,100 feet into Miocene era sands. The well is operated by BP Exploration & Production Inc. with a 67% working interest and is co-owned by Noble Energy, Inc. with a 33% working interest. The lease was acquired at federal OCS Lease Sale 169 in March, 1998.
DOE Awarded Nine New Service Contracts
The Department of Energy (DOE) awarded anew nine new service contracts for oil and gas development. The DOE has processed nine petroleum exploration areas which were bid out in the last Philippine Energy Contracting Round that closed last May. The DOE awarded the contracts for these exploration blocs last September, barring any hitches on the part of investors. Most of the awardees are local companies with foreign partners. The contract areas covered a total of 71,357.30 square kilometers located within the prospective basins of East Palawan and Mindoro-Cuyo; and in the promising basins of Cagayan, Central Luzon, Visayas and Agusan-Davao. The service contract areas will generate a conservative $180m in revenues for the country, as a single drilling for an offshore well costs about $20m.