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Should state prop up prices for power producers at expense of consumers?

Power generators that didn’t earn the usual profits from summer price spikes are asking regulators to essentially guarantee those profits by artificially inflating prices during periods of peak demand – regardless of what the free market determines. It’s unclear exactly how much su ...

Commentary: University study backs safety of fracking

By Erik Milito American Petroleum Institute Evidence continues to accumulate that fracking is safe. Earlier this year, the University of Cincinnati completed a three-year study in which researchers examined water samples three to four times per year from 23 wells in the Utica shale region. The study ...

New fuel efficiency standards whittle away at oil demand

The Obama administration formalized new fuel efficiency standards for heavy trucks on the same day Ford announced plans for autonomous vehicles and an MIT study showed that most Americans could make do with an electric car. These developments add urgency to the question of when demand will peak for ...

Middle East residents ready to give up energy subsidies, research finds

Residents of the Middle East are ready to give up energy subsidies, overturning another long-held assumption about the politics of oil producing countries, according to new research from Rice University. Persian Gulf countries have posted some of the fastest increases in energy demand in the last de ...

By Mark Curriden and Kathryn Butler of The Texas Lawbook DALLAS — Energy Future Holdings, the largest power utility in Texas, has paid its lawyers and financial advisers $600,000 a day for each and every one of the 831 days – including weekends and holidays – since it filed for bankruptcy in A ...

How will industry respond after oil’s fall below $40?

After staging a rally that nearly doubled prices from their February low of $26 a barrel, crude has firmly entered a bear market, with prices sliding more than 20 percent since breaking above $50 a barrel in June. Oil on Tuesday fell below $40 a barrel in New York for the first time since mid-April, ...

‘The days of $100 oil are gone.’ So what’s next?

Over the past two weeks, energy companies have disclosed plummeting sales, deep losses, and thousands of layoffs. Oil services companies Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes said they eliminated a combined 16,000 jobs from April to June. Houston-area independents ConocoPhillips and Anadarko sa ...

The high cost of layoffs, for workers and companies

Energy companies lay off thousands of people, but they may not understand or accurately calculate the costs of ramping up employment when business conditions rebound, some experts say. Just last week, four Houston-based energy companies disclosed some 15,000 job cuts. “In this country, they th ...

Do rig counts still matter?

Counting the number of drilling rigs in the oil patch used to be a good predictor of how many new barrels of crude the energy industry could harvest over a stretch of time. Now the rig count is almost irrelevant to calculating the nation’s future oil production. After crude prices collapsed, t ...

Fears of failing bolts on Gulf rigs continue to worry experts

The bolts are up to 4 feet long and made of carbon steel. They hold together high-pressure equipment that gets oil and natural gas from the seafloor to platforms on the surface. Federal officials are trying to determine whether these bolts used on undersea oil and gas equipment are at risk of breaki ...

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