Loren Steffy

Loren Steffy

Loren Steffy is the business columnist for the Houston Chronicle. His column appears in on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. He is also the author of "Drowning in Oil: BP and the Reckless Pursuit of Profit," and "The Man Who Thought Like a Ship."

The lessons we could have learned from Enron

It was supposed to be the scandal that changed everything, yet it taught us nothing.  More »

The hidden cost of smart meters

CenterPoint Energy, which is both the Houston area’s electric transmission company and its natural gas provider, is installing smart meters on homes across the greater Houston area with the promise that they will spark an array of electrical innovations, from more flexible billing to quicker recovery from disasters like hurricanes.  More »

Oil markets move toward balance as the Grinch lurks

Oil prices are rising, and while that won’t affect your trip to Grandma’s house this Thanksgiving, it could mean the Grinch will be working the pumps by Christmas.  More »

Oil markets move toward balance as the Grinch lurks

Oil prices are rising, and while that won’t affect your trip to Grandma’s house this Thanksgiving, it could mean the Grinch will be working the pumps by Christmas.  More »

Pipeline politics amid the Keystone XL delay

In Sunday’s column, I discussed how the delay of the Keystone XL pipeline could mean the end of that project, and how its demise could benefit other proposed pipelines, especially one that Houston’s Enterprise Products plans to build. But the new pipelines are only part of the equation. As I mentioned in the column, there [...]  More »

Crimp in Keystone XL plans may help Houston’s Enterprise

The Keystone XL pipeline may be the first shovel-ready project buried by foot-dragging.  More »

The changing face of North American energy

The blog will probably be rather quiet today, because I’m attending, and participating in, a seminar at the University of Houston that’s examining the changing outlook for North American energy. Among the topics: the impact of hydraulic fracturing and the now-delayed Keystone XL pipeline on the future of U.S. energy. While the Obama administration opted [...]  More »

The changing face of North American energy

The blog will probably be rather quiet today, because I’m attending, and participating in, a seminar at the University of Houston that’s examining the changing outlook for North American energy. Among the topics: the impact of hydraulic fracturing and the now-delayed Keystone XL pipeline on the future of U.S. energy. While the Obama administration opted [...]  More »

Nabors’ high-flying executive perks draw SEC inquiry

Even as shareholders and corporate governance experts are decrying Nabors Industries’ $100 million severance for former chief executive Eugene Isenberg, the company history of lavish executive perks are drawing the attention of regulators. Nabors, it seems, may have a private jet problem. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, the oil drilling [...]  More »

Dynegy’s done: company puts worst-performing assets in bankruptcy

Dynegy made it official yesterday, putting a collection of its worst-performing assets into bankruptcy after bondholders refused to accept an offer to exchange their debt for new notes. The filing, which would restructure about $4 billion worth of debt, became inevitable after last week’s announcement that the company missed a $43.8 million interest payment on [...]  More »

Exxon shows off new north Houston campus

This video gives a first look at what Exxon Mobil’s new office campus in north Houston will look like when it’s completed in about 2014.  More »

A look at Exxon Mobil’s new campus

This video gives a first look at what Exxon Mobil’s new office campus in north Houston will look like when it’s completed in about 2014. There’s about a minute and a half of what my wife would call blibber-blabber at the beginning. The 3-D graphical tours of the facility begins at about 1:29. One interesting [...]  More »

Dynegy circles the drain

Dynegy’s efforts to force its bondholders to take a haircut isn’t going well. The company said yesterday that it missed a $43.8 million interest payment on some of its notes, which could leave the company in default if it doesn’t make the payment in the next month. While analysts see the tactic as a way [...]  More »

One more wallow at the trough for Nabors’ Isenberg

You wouldn’t expect Houston’s most over-compensated chief executive to go cheaply into retirement, and Nabors Industries’ Eugene Isenberg didn’t disappoint. As the Chronicle’s Tom Fowler pointed out, Isenberg will get a $100 million cash send off as he relinquishes the CEO title to his hand-picked successor, Anthony Petrello. Isenberg will remain the company’s chairman. Nabors [...]  More »

Dynegy goes begging for bonds

Houston-based Dynegy is hoping the third time will be the charm. It’s extended, yet again, the deadline for bondholders to exchange about $1.25 billion in debt for new notes. So far, bondholder interest has remained tepid. As I wrote last week, bondholders could be taking a haircut of as much as 60 percent on the [...]  More »
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