Fuel Fix

Growing Chinese appetite ignites U.S. methanol renaissance

Coal is piled near methanol tanks in Xinxiang, Henan province, China. (Doug Kanter/Bloomberg)
The North American methanol market has accelerated rapidly in recent years as the Chinese throw their money behind new projects to expand North America’s capacity to produce methanol. More »
(Image: Fotolia)

Houston crude-by-rail company files for $150 million IPO

Houston rail terminal operator USD Partners told regulators Friday it plans to make a $150 million Wall Street debut later this year as U.S. oil companies turn to trains to transport crude.  More »
Pictured is a hydraulic fracturing operation in the Permian Basin that took place on Oct. 1, 2012. Apache is an active driller in the Permian Basin and during the quarter averaged 35 rigs drilling 201 wells of which 26 were horizontal. (Apache)

Feds advance hydraulic fracturing rule

The Obama administration is on track to impose new mandates governing hydraulic fracturing on public land by the end of the year, a move that threatens to topple the White House’s delicate balancing act assuaging worried environmentalists while still sustaining a domestic drilling boom that is bolstering the U.S. economy.  More »

Illinois state agency issues fracturing rules

he lengthy report follows months of delays and complaints over the process to draft rules governing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Illinois. Industry officials say southern Illinois has rich deposits of natural gas, but a final draft of the rules — initially touted as a national model of both sides working together — has taken months for the agency to produce as industry groups warned the state was losing business.  More »
The Stripes convenience on Southmore Blvd. on Monday, April 28, 2014, in Houston. ( J. Patric Schneider / For the Chronicle )

Energy Transfer Partners completes $1.8 billion Susser deal

Dallas-based pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners completed a deal to acquire Corpus Christi’s Susser Holdings Corp. in a transaction that will ultimately bring the Stripes and Sunoco convenience stores under the same umbrella, the companies announced Friday.  More »
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Green Dragon Gas settles with ConocoPhillips for $40 million

Green Dragon Gas Ltd., a Chinese producer of coal-bed methane gas, has agreed to pay ConocoPhillips a $40 million arbitration settlement to end a contract dispute.  More »
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Commentary: Mexico enters shale play

While the energy world has been focused on Canadian shale over the past few years, Mexico has been quietly emerging as a major player in the crude oil and natural gas industry. With the recent passage of massive energy reforms in Mexico, billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas […]  More »
Pemex's Yuum K'ak' Naab floating production, storage and offloading vessel works in Mexico's Bay of Campeche. (Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg)

Hearing to discuss Mexico’s energy impact on Texas

An energy boom is brewing across the border, and a joint legislative hearing in September will talk about the potential impact on the Rio Grande Valley.  More »

Commentary: How natural gas is changing China’s energy landscape

China is in a pickle. It is a pickle it is well aware of – and trying to fix – but a pickle nonetheless, as it tries to wean itself off coal and ramp up its natural gas consumption. So here are some of the trials and tribulations faced by the world’s largest energy consumer […]  More »
Allen L. Gilmer, CEO of Drillinginfo, discusses his Austin-based data and analytics company during a visit to the North American Prospect Expo in Houston. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. ( Marie D. De Jesus / Houston Chronicle )

Company helps smaller oil companies use bigger data

Austin-based Drillinginfo creates apps and databases to help smaller independent oil companies improve their exploration and production.  More »

Feds to resume leasing for fracturing in California

The move will end a halt that has stood since a federal judge ruled in 2013 that the federal agency failed to follow environmental law in allowing fracking on public land in Monterey County.  More »

Valero restarts ethanol plant

Valero bought the plant in March from Illinois-based Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc. for $34 million, boosting the number of its ethanol plants to 11.  More »
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