Desperately seeking refiners

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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 […]
Categories: General

Radiohead reality check

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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 […]
Categories: General

Conservation and CAFE standards

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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 […]
Categories: General

Taking a cue from the space race

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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 […]
Categories: General

SMART car comes to Houston – sort of

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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 […]
Categories: General

Gasoline conspiracy?

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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 […]
Categories: General

A relative calm

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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 […]
Categories: General

Halliburton can run …

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… 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 […]
Categories: General

The master of energy

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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 […]
Categories: General

Cigars and superheros

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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 […]
Categories: General