Collin Eaton joined the Houston Chronicle's team of energy reporters in 2013, after covering the financial industry for another publication. He writes mainly about U.S. oil companies and developments in international oil markets.

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Texas oil job cuts eased in June, economist says

HOUSTON – Texas drillers have handed out pink slips to 1 of 5 employees since last June, but lately, the pace of the industry’s job cuts has slowed. Energy producers and oil service companies across the state cut 900 jobs last month. That’s not a big loss compared with the 7,000 to 8,000 jobs elimin ...

Shell to cut 25 percent of deep-water Gulf jobs

HOUSTON — Royal Dutch Shell says it’s cutting one-quarter of its deep-water Gulf of Mexico workers, the oil company’s latest bid to reign in costs amid anemic crude prices. The move to shed 200 out of its 770 Gulf of Mexico employees and contractors, located across the United State ...

Southwestern Energy to nearly double 2016 spending

HOUSTON – Natural gas driller Southwestern Energy plans to nearly double its annual spending to $775 million, recalculating how much drilling it can afford this year after a big secondary stock sale and as energy prices rise. The Houston company’s $1.3 billion public equity raise last month could en ...

ConocoPhillips to shed 1,000 jobs

HOUSTON —  ConocoPhillips says it’s planning to shed another 1,000 jobs, about 6 percent of its global workforce, its latest effort to cut costs as crude prices languish around $45 a barrel. The Houston oil explorer has finished assembling some major upstream projects, and now has ...

U.S. drillers to cut $150 billion from budgets by 2017, Wood Mac says

Oil producers across the continental United States have snipped more out of their drilling budgets than their rivals in other countries, with plans to shed $150 billion by 2017, Wood Mackenzie says. The energy research firm says that’s three times more spending than producers in any other region hav ...

Many laid-off oil field workers have left industry behind, survey finds

Click through the gallery above to see how the oil crash affects the wider economy. HOUSTON – Many of the laid-off mechanics and roustabouts that ran drilling rigs during the oil boom have found new jobs in construction, retail and other sectors and may not come back even if the industry recovers. A ...

Drillers closing financial gap with spending cuts

HOUSTON – After two years of deep spending cuts, U.S. oil companies have reduced a big gap between the cash they spend on drilling and the income from producing oil. Domestic drillers outspent their operating cash flow by $10 billion in the first three months of the year, down from a peak of more th ...

Feds postpone oil land sale in New Mexico after environmental protests

HOUSTON – After taking heat from environmental groups, regulators have put off the sale of almost 13,000 acres of federal oil and gas land in New Mexico for about two months. The Bureau of Land Management, which collected $4.1 billion in various revenues from public land last year, moved the auction ...

Report: Cost cuts have helped Texas shale drillers find profits

HOUSTON – The relentless cost-cutting that dissolved a third of the Texas petroleum workforce over the past two years has brought the cost of pumping shale oil in the state down to $41 a barrel, Wood Mackenzie says. The energy industry’s leaner build after the downturn has given drillers enough fina ...

U.S. drillers hit record for junk bond defaults

HOUSTON – Oil explorers have failed to pay $28.8 billion they owed to junk-bond investors this year, bringing the debt default rate among U.S. drillers to a record level, Fitch Ratings says. It’s a grim milestone for the industry that ran up a half-trillion dollars in corporate debt to pay for a sha ...

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