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Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips CEO, speaks during the opening panel discussion of the 2015 IHS Energy CERAWEEK. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle)

Shale is ‘here to stay’ Conoco chief tells OPEC

In June 2012, when Lance spoke at the last biennial seminar held by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the U.S. was pumping 6.2 million barrels a day. Now, it produces 9.5 million barrels at day, the highest since 1972.
(AP Photo/ Nabil al-Jurani, File)

Iran and Iraq declare their plans to expand oil production

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has been pumping above its production quota for months, determined to subdue supply from higher-cost producers. The strategy is working, with a record drop in the number of active U.S. rigs and billions cut from global producers’ spending plans. In contrast, some of OPEC’s members spent this week outlining how they plan to expand output.
Senior project engineer Andy Aronson, left, and operations engineer Joel Vincent examine equipment at the Siluria Technologies plant in La Porte, where the company is testing processes it says could reduce the costs of making chemical building blocks and motor fuels from natural gas
Siluria Technologies at Braskem chemical plant on Friday March 27, 2015 in La Porte, Texas. 

Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher

Brazil’s biggest petrochem company considering Gulf Coast for massive natural gas project

The factory would produce at least 1 billion pounds (450,000 metric tons) of resin a year and would be the U.S. polypropylene industry’s first world-scale project in about 12 years, said Mark Nikolich, a vice president at Braskem.

Oil slumps most in week as OPEC meeting looms

Oil slumped last year as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries maintained its production limit at 30 million barrels a day, insisting that suppliers outside the 12-nation group must help tackle a global surplus.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei (Bloomberg News/ILNA/document IRAN)

What’s OPEC going to do with Iran’s million barrels a day?

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ summit on June 5 to determine the group’s output will come three weeks before a deadline for a deal on Iran’s nuclear program. Iran says it can add almost 1 million barrels to daily production within months of sanctions being lifted.
The EPA heard radically different views as it opened public hearings in Denver on its proposal to slash allowable methane emissions from oil and gas production. (Lucas Schifres/Bloomberg)

Methane emissions threaten to undermine natural gas offensive

Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SA and BP Plc CEOs spoke in favor of using natural gas that would supplant dirtier coal-fired power. Demand for the energy is seen outpacing oil over the coming decades.
A security guard stands at the Maroun Petrochemical plant at the Imam Khomeini port, southwestern Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Iran could add 400,000 barrels a day of oil after nuclear deal

Iran’s heavy crude has “a lot of customers,” because many refiners were set up for it, so Iran “will regain their share” after 18 months, an analyst predicted.
Rex Tillerson, chairman, president, and CEO of ExxonMobil Corp. ( Johnny Hanson / Houston Chronicle )

Exxon CEO touts climate benefits of shale gas

European oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and Total SA are promoting gas as a way to limit the growth of emissions blamed for climate change. They have also called for a price on carbon dioxide.
The shadows of  workers in the Permian Basin on February 5, 2015 in Mentone, Texas. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Big Oil’s plan to become Big Gas

With almost 200 nations set to hammer out a binding pact on carbon emissions in December, fossil-fuel companies led by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA say they’re refocusing on gas as a cleaner alternative to the cheap coal that now dominates electricity generation worldwide.
An ethylene unit shown at the Chevron Phillips Chemical Company's Cedar Bayou Plant, 9500 I-10 East, Tuesday, June 5, 2012, in Baytown. ( Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle )

Chevron, Phillips 66 joint venture may have a second natural gas “megaproject” in the works

The Houston-based company has led a wave of new U.S. facilities that make ethylene, used in plastics to polyester. Plants that use low cost gas from shale formations will help U.S. production of basic chemicals increase for the next four years, starting with a 3.1 percent rise this year and peaking at 6 percent in 2018.