Monthly Archives: May 2007

More Exxon-induced anger

Judging from the reader responses to Kristen Hays’ story today from the Exxon Mobil shareholder meeting, readers get really fired-up no matter what one writes about them. But comments Tillerson made about long-proposed natural gas pipeline projects out of Alaska also got some folks going. From the Anchorage Daily News: “Rex Tillerson, speaking with reporters […]  More »

Unusual press release of the day: Oil and herbs

While it’s good to be diversified in business, Houston-based Gulf Biomedical Corp. seems to be taking that idea to a new level. In a news release issued over Business Wire the firm describes itself as “… a diversified conglomerate in the areas of oil and gas production and herbal products … ” The energy side […]  More »

And even more on Marathon

We wrote a story Friday about Marathon Oil being sued by Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo for allegedly gouging gasoline customers in the months after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to the tune of $89 million. Unfortunately, we failed to notice that buried way down in Marathon’s statement yesterday the oil refiner and gasoline retailer is […]  More »

More on Marathon

Houston’s Marathon Oil revealed in an SEC filing this week it may face legal action by regulators for allegedly trying to manipulate oil prices in 2003. See our story on this today. Marathon’s Garyville, La. refinery. The pending legal action by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, as described by Marathon, would be against the company’s […]  More »

A plateau in rising E&P project costs?

The high cost of doing business in the energy industry may be showing some sign of slowing down, according to a relatively new index of capital costs. The IHS/CERA Upstream Capital Costs Index (UCCI) climbed 7 percent during the six months ending March 31, but that’s less than the 13 percent increase over the previous […]  More »

IEA official: biofuels to play "limited" role

While there is growing momentum in the U.S. behind ethanol, biodiesel and other alternative fuels, an economist with the International Energy Agency cast doubt this week at OTC on the overall role biofuels will play in serving the world’s energy needs in the future. Fatih Birol said the use of biofuels and improvements in automotive […]  More »

Environment? What environment?

Publicly, the energy industry is paying more attention to environmental concerns like global warming. But an informal poll this week at OTC suggested the industry believes it may have bigger priorities in coming years. At a panel discussion Monday, industry executives, engineers and other OTC attendees were asked to predict the top driver/inhibitor for the […]  More »

The price of safety

If you’ve followed one of the biggest stories in Houston’s energy community of the past two years the signs on a couple of OTC booths may have caught your eye: At U.K.-based Pyroban: “Addressing vehicle ignition sources.” And Baytown-based Industrial Trailer Co.: “Ask about blast resistant trailers.” Pyroban is promoting the Gascheka system, a device […]  More »

Confessions of an Offshore Geek

The oil industry is usually pretty tight-lipped when it comes to mistakes, but Peter Marshall, a former Shell engineer well-known for his work helping the industry improve the design of off-shore platforms, is willing to talk. During a lunch speech Wednesday at OTC, Marshall ran through some of the accidents of years past and what […]  More »

More on oil industry recruiting

One reader’s comment on this morning’s story about recruiting in the energy industry: As a recruiter I can tell you there are plenty of qualified people who are getting passed over due to age and by age that is fifty and over. The same thing is true in the accounting industry. There are plenty of […]  More »

Come and get it

What conference is complete without a gift shop? The Offshore Technology Conference has one spilling over with T-shirts, caps, jackets, button-downs and coffee cups complete with the conference logo. But Donna Arnold and Sally Pearson, two of the folks running the gift booth, say that while their wares are selling, they don’t satisfy all shoppers. […]  More »

Into the Deep

The Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service says the oil and gas industry’s growing interest in tapping resources in the Gulf of Mexico’s deepest waters could be a boon to domestic oil and gas production. In this report released today, the MMS says oil production is expected to surpass 1.7 million barrels a day by 2016 […]  More »

Pricey vittles

There’s no shortage of food for the 60,000 or so people at the Offshore Technology Conference. From typical Texas fare of barbecue and steak to sushi, bratwurst, cheesesteaks and chicken, there’s plenty of grub to satisfy any appetite. However, don’t expect any bargains. A burger and fries with a soda can set you back $16. […]  More »

Petrobras eyes more refineries

The Brazilian oil company Petrobras is still finalizing plans for expanding a refinery it partly owns on the Houston Ship Channel, and could buy all or part of other refineries in the U.S. and elsewhere as it boosts oil and natural gas production in coming years, the head of the company said today. “We have […]  More »

Not your father's Pemex

Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex has become much more sophisticated in the last 10 years, but still has several key hurdles it must address in order to be more competitive, said Jesus Reyes-Heroles, the company’s director general. Topping the list: “In Mexico, there is a need to protect the company from the shareholders,” he said […]  More »
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