News roundup: N.O. hires utility regulatory officer to help oversee Entergy … Report: Deepwater oil and gas work in the Gulf rebounds
Watchdog: It has been three years since the New Orleans City Council has had a full-time staff member to assist it in regulating the city's utility companies, primarily Entergy New Orleans. On Thursday, The Times-Picayune reports, the council hired a Topeka, Kan., lawyer to fill the role. W. Thomas Stratton Jr., 57, will start work Nov. 11 as director of the council's Utilities Regulatory Office. He will be paid about $110,000 a year. Stratton spent almost four years as chief litigation counsel for the Kansas Corporation Commission, that state's utility regulatory agency. A 1984 graduate of Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, he spent his entire career in that city until accepting the New Orleans job. Read the full story here.
On the mend: Deepwater oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico are recovering from the slowdown that followed the 2010 oil spill disaster, and production will exceed pre-spill levels by 2019, according to the energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. The Houston Chronicle reports the firm is projecting that Gulf production will top 2 million barrels of oil a day before the end of the decade because of significant investment, a wide range of opportunities and large number of explorers—46 operators in the deepwater Gulf. The federal government imposed a five-month moratorium on drilling in the region soon after BP's Macondo well blew out on April 20, 2010. Read the full story here.
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