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The US interior department’s inspector general has carried out an investigation into why the government’s moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, implemented in the wake of the BP oil spill, looked like it had been peer-reviewed, when it had not.
The investigation found the following sequence of events:
In a way, Chevron’s $4.3bn deal for Atlas Energy – giving it a foothold in the Marcellus shale gas field – was not particularly surprising. After Exxon and Shell made similar moves to take advantage of the US shale boom, Chevron was simply playing catch up.
But two things about the deal have raised eyebrows: the company’s previous resistance to such a strategy and the persistently low price of gas.
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