A group of idle rigs is seen behind James Noe, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Hercules Offshore while aboard the Hercules 251 a shallow water drilling rig owned by on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010, near Port Fourchon, La. (Smiley N. Pool /Chronicle)

Saudi Aramco cuts day rates in half for Hercules Offshore rigs

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Saudi Aramco won’t cancel a five-year contract for a Hercules Offshore drilling rig after all, the Houston contractor said Monday, four months after the world’s biggest oil producer signaled it would terminate the drilling deal.
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto holds the documents he signed that enact reforms to the constitution at the National Palace in Mexico City, Friday, Dec. 20, 2013.  (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

Report: How to make business sense of Mexico’s energy reform

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Mexico is opening its oil and gas fields to foreign investment for the first time in decades – a potential business bonanza for companies that can navigate the changes.
dollar falling graph

Water recycling costs coming down in South Texas

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Shale wells require millions of gallons of water. Hydraulic fracturing pumps water, chemicals and sand at high pressure to crack shale, allowing oil and gas to flow up a well.

Commentary: the resurrection of McCarthyism

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In the 1950s, the late, and now infamous, Senator Joseph McCarthy used the fear of communism to gain national recognition by making reckless charges against a wide array of public figures, the film industry, a war hero, and the President of the United States. In the end, his reckless disregard for facts, evidence, common decency, […]
Categories: featured, General, p2
Remnants of the latest corn crop rest in the shadow of an Ameren Corp. power plant outside of the 2,850-reisdent southern Illinois town of Newton. Newton, which touts its Jasper County connections to late singer and Academy Award-winning actor Burl Ives, also takes pride in the coal-fired plant, which many locals worry faces a clouded future as Illinois pollution-control regulators decide whether to give Texas-based Dynegy Inc. more time to install pollution controls on the Newton plant and four other Illinois ones it seeks to buy. Newton residents fear an unfavorable ruling could upend the Dynegy deal and perhaps force the power plant to close, posing a crippling loss of tax revenue. (AP Photo/Jim Suhr)

Dynegy accused of market manipulation to increase electricity rates

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Dynegy, which denies the claims, is accused of using a power auction by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator — a regional transmission organization in the Midwest — to push prices up for parts of Illinois from $16.75 per megawatt-day last year to $150 this year, an increase of 800 percent.
Alan Sadler

Feds’ plan to boost biofuel targets draws fire from all sides

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In trying to balance the competing interests of oil companies and biofuel producers, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed renewable fuel quotas for 2014, 2015 and 2016 have pleased almost no one.
The East Texas Electric Cooperative, the Trinity River Authority and other participants broke ground Wednesday on the new hydroelectric power plant at Lake Livingston. (ETEC)

Construction kicks off for hydroelectric plant near Houston

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The East Texas Electric Cooperative, or ETEC, broke ground Wednesday on the new 24-megawatt power plant will power about 12,000 eastern Texas homes and generate about $1 million annually for the city of Houston for the right to use city facilities at the lake.
Aubrey McClendon, owner of American Energy Partners (F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg )

American Energy Partners units seek bond deals amid oil slump

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The slump in oil prices has prompted the units to cut spending budgets and lower production estimates, significantly increasing their debt levels relative to earnings, according to Standard & Poor’s. They’re seeking financing deals after S&P warned earlier this month that their liquidity could deteriorate significantly next year.
(Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg)

Petrobras abandons deepwater prospect in Brazil’s biggest oil field

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The decision to return the area underscores how exploration in the deepwater region where Petrobras has had its most success finding and producing oil still carries risks. Output at pre-salt fields has surged to more than 800,000 barrels a day, about a third of Brazil’s total output, since extraction started in 2010.
Vanguard Natural Resources

Low oil and gas prices spur Vanguard’s two big acquisitions

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Low oil and gas prices contributed to Vanguard Natural Resource’s decision to make two significant acquisitions in less than 40 days, the Houston company’ chief financial officer said Tuesday morning.