Energy

ALBUQUERQUE — Violations of fair labor standards have resulted in hundreds of oilfield workers in West Texas and New Mexico being underpaid by more than $1.3 million, according to a review by federal officials.

Most of the violations involved improper payments of overtime. In some cases, employees didn’t receive an overtime premium because they were misclassified as independent contractors, according to the U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division.

There were also instances of employers not paying for time spent working off-the-clock.

Never before has the U.S. had so much oil spurting up out of the ground and sloshing into storage tanks around the country. There's so much oil that the U.S. now rivals Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer.

But there has been some concern that the U.S. will run out of places to put it all. Some analysts speculate that could spark another dramatic crash in oil prices.

Flcelloguy / Wikimedia Commons

NEW YORK — Oil prices have further to drop with few signs of slowing production in the U.S., according to a global energy agency.

The International Energy Agency, a watchdog group based in Paris that represents the world’s main oil-importing nations, said in its monthly report Friday that the recent stabilization in oil prices is “precarious.”

“Behind the facade of stability, the rebalancing triggered by the price collapse has yet to run its course,” it said. That may be playing out right now. Oil prices tumbled 10 percent this week, including a 5 percent drop Friday.

Texas is awash in cheap natural gas, so much so that hydraulic fracturing rigs have been burning off the gas in their pursuit of the more valuable petroleum. 

Many are advocating for the increased usage of this natural gas in the form of vehicles, including passenger and heavy-duty trucking. According to the Texas Railroad Commission, with 7,000 vehicles on Texas Roads, natural gas vehicles are the most popular alternative fueled vehicle in the state.

Energy Information Agency

Oil prices are down--way down--from their June peak. The release of the oil reserve figures last week from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, showed the country's reserves of 36 billion barrels in 2013, a 35 year high, 10 billion barrels more than just five years before. As global production remains strong, the glut of oil will remain, sending prices--and stocks--tumbling further. 

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