Australia's use-it-or-lose-it crackdown on the owners of gas resources discovered off WA decades ago is set for another test after ExxonMobil and BHP Billiton quietly asked for an extension to their stranglehold on the massive Scarborough field.

Fortescue Metals Group has announced a 300 million tonne resource upgrade for its Chichester hub operations in the Pilbara.

Investors in WA's small-cap energy sector are hoping their more than $200 million payday will not be scuppered by the collapsing oil price, which yesterday slumped to a fresh five-year low.

Cauldron Energy is free to pursue plans to drill for uranium on Andrew Forrest's family cattle station after Mines Minister Bill Marmion handed the explorer a win in the company's 30-month fight with the Fortescue Metals Group billionaire.

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) has launched an investigation into a damaged valve at Buru Energy’s Yulleroo gas field east of Broome, amid claims by environmental groups it had caused “a dangerous gas leak”.

Royal Dutch Shell is to pay more than $102 million to a Nigerian fishing community "devastated" by two serious oil spills in 2008, it was announced Wednesday, while the clean-up could take years.

Cape Lambert Resources says it has axed 117 staff, cut exploration, mothballed assets and postponed dividend payments in response to falling iron ore prices and deteriorating market conditions.

Paladin Energy will sample water from the local stream system near its Kayelekera mine (pictured) in Malawi to ensure a spillage caused by a heavy storm had not resulted in contamination.

Iron exports from Port Hedland surged almost 30 per cent in the second half of 2014, underscoring the flood of Pilbara tonnes that have undermined global pricing of the steel ingredient over the past year.

Mining's boardroom brawlers have opened 2015 with a bang, after Echo Resources yesterday said it would call a shareholders meeting to fend off a tilt by Metaliko Resources Chairman Michael Ruane to spill its board.

Shares in Ramelius Resources rode a higher gold price and news of exceeded production guidance to be up more than 30 per cent at the open.