Yearly Archives: 2006

Desperately seeking refiners

Hundreds of thousands of barrels of Saudi Arabian crude is on tankers, circling the globe in search of buyers, according to the Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal. With oil’s benchmark price trading above $72 today, implying short supplies, it would seem the crude would be in high demand. Instead, Saudi Arabia’s […]  More »

Radiohead reality check

Thom Yorke, frontman for British band Radiohead, says he’s an environmental hypocrite. It’s a harsh note for a celebrity to sound about himself when so many others tout their “green” lifestyles. Rock star or not, his frustration mirrors that of many regular people. This is the oil age and, try as you might, it’s virtually […]  More »

Conservation and CAFE standards

I recently sat down to talk energy with Joseph Stanislaw, one of the founders of Cambridge Energy Research Associates who is now running his own consultancy and acting as an adviser to Deloitte & Touche. One topic we touched on was the call from some politicians for oil companies to promote conservation while they continue […]  More »

Taking a cue from the space race

At the Take Back America 2006 conference in Washington D.C. this week, the Apollo Alliance rolled out a 10-point plan it claims can create three million new jobs and end this country’s dependence on foreign oil. The plan of action promotes everything from hybrid cars and more efficient factories to “green” building and reinvestment in […]  More »

SMART car comes to Houston – sort of

Last weekend while tooling around town inside the Loop I spotted a SMART car. I couldn’t believe the Lilliputian coupe so popular in European capitols like Paris and Rome was actually jockeying for position on Buffalo Speedway alongside Hummers, Mercedes and Ford F-150s. But there it was. If you’re interested in the micro machine that’s […]  More »

Gasoline conspiracy?

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission announced the findings to its latest gasoline price fixing study. The agency’s answer: There has been no illegal market manipulation of fuel prices. According to the FTC report, the congressionally-mandated commission found: • No evidence that refiners have attempted to jack up prices by running their facilities below capacity […]  More »

A relative calm

Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and subsequent government contract work given to Halliburton, protesters have made huge showings at the company’s annual shareholder meetings. But this year, while the protests continued, the detractors were calmer and fewer in number. That’s in part because Halliburton moved its annual meeting to Duncan, Okla., instead of […]  More »

Halliburton can run …

… but it can’t hide. So say the company’s detractors who are traveling from far and wide to protest at Halliburton’s annual meeting in Duncan, Okla. on Wednesday morning. The embattled Houston-based company is best known for its business in Iraq, where it derived 25 percent of its 2005 revenues — although a lot less […]  More »

The master of energy

In a lunchtime address today, Luis Vierma, vice president of exploration and production for Petroleos de Venezuela, said “In our perspective, hydrocarbons will be the master of energy for the next 100 years.” Vierma was filling in for Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, who bailed out of the speech at the last minute. Vierma went […]  More »

Cigars and superheros

The sprawling exhibit floor of the Offshore Technology Conference being held in Houston this week is covered with valves and pipes, engines and compressors, large-scale models of tankers and real remotely operated submarine vehicles. But let’s take a look at what conventioneers really look forward to — the loot. Naturally, you’re got your standard bowls […]  More »

In search of a deepwater discovery

The Gulf of Mexico is one rig shy of its all-time high, according to Chris Oynes of the U.S. Minerals Management Service. Currently, 46 exploration rigs are abuzz in the Gulf in water depths of 1,000 feet or more. Oynes expects the record of 47 rigs to be shattered soon. “We’ve literally been inching up […]  More »

What is offshore energy?

The world has descended on Houston this week for the Offshore Technology Conference at Reliant Center. The convention draws energy workers from 110 countries around the world – from Canada to China to Cote d’Ivoire. But in keeping with the cacophony of ideas about how energy development should take place, this year the OTC isn’t […]  More »

A dodge and a pitch

Nigeria’s Daukoru faced questioning about the rebel violence in his country that has recently shut down a sizable portion of oil production. So what is the country doing to foil further kidnappings, pipeline explosions and export terminal attacks, which continue to wreak havoc in the Niger Delta region? “Of course, we guarantee, we assure, our […]  More »

What goes up…

Access to OPEC ministers on meeting day isn’t just for journalists. Analysts turn out in force, too. Crude oil is hanging around the $60 a barrel level, but there’s a cresting wave of oil built up in inventory and many analysts are wringing their hands that it could come crashing down very soon, pushing prices […]  More »

Roadmaps and refineries

Looking for somebody to blame for the high price of oil? Energy analyst Johannes Benigni, managing director of PVM Vienna, says don’t look at OPEC. He fingers the refining industry for not investing enough in infrastructure, creating bottlenecks which have helped jack up the price. Now Saudi Arabia and a Houston company are helping fill […]  More »
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