Monthly Archives: May 2006

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 »