A worker walks under a road of pipelines at the Petroleos Mexicanos Miguel Hidalgo oil refinery in Tula de Allende, Mexico, on Thursday, March. 6, 2013. Susana Gonzalez /Bloomberg

Energy reform a boost for Mexican petrochemicals, IHS says

The Latin American country’s chemical industry hasn’t seen new investment in the past 15 years thanks to declining oil and gas production and a lack of infrastructure.
CB&I Chairman and CEO Philip K. Asherman, May 23, 2014 in The Woodlands, TX. (Eric Kayne/For the Chronicle)

CB&I signs on to do early engineering for Louisiana chemical plant

South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corp. and Atlanta-based Axiall Corp. finalized the agreements in June on their LACC joint venture to build an ethane cracker plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The cracker would make ethylene, which is the primary building block of most plastics. The plant would produce about 1 million metric tons of ethylene a year.

The oil patch palette

A couple of years ago we presented some examples of how the grit and steel of the oil field can take on its own beauty in the hands of a skilled photographer or digital artist.
Categories: featured, General
(Ty Wright/Bloomberg)

Labor Day weekend brings $1.4 billion in gas pump savings nationwide

This weekend will feature the lowest gasoline prices in more than a decade with gas prices 99 cents cheaper than this time last year after a dip of 18 cents just in August, which was the greatest decrease since 2008, GasBuddy added. Average national gas prices were $2.44 a gallon Wednesday morning compared to $3.43 last year.
(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Engineering firm director: Industry is “living in the past”

A Petrochemical Update report with the American Petroleum Institute noted more than 70 percent of U.S. capital projects since 2002 have failed to meet all of their performance goals.
An oil tanker navigates the Houston Ship Channel in Houston, Texas. (Carter Smith/ Bloomberg News file photo)

Government report: Gasoline prices won’t climb if U.S. exports its oil

The EIA analysis also throws some cold water on the entire pro-export crusade, suggesting that widely selling U.S. crude abroad would do little to boost either domestic oil prices or production.
A map of Texas showing the state s transmission lines is a focal point in the control room of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates most of the state's power grid. (Ryan Holeywell/Houston Chronicle)

ERCOT expects Texas electric grid to hold up strong in fall, winter

ERCOT’s seasonal assessments and early outlooks for October through February predict Texas’ grid reserves will maintain at least 3,500 megawatts of reserve power even in the most extreme peak demand and power station outage scenarios.
A very large smokestack flare burns off flammable product after an explosion in a processing facility at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, Calif. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. A small ground fire was quickly extinguished and the facility's flare system was triggered for safety reasons. Two workers suffered minor injuries. (AP Photo/Daily Breeze, Chuck Bennett)

Ramp up delayed for Exxon Mobil’s Torrance refinery

A hearing set for Wednesday morning was delayed.
Armed security stands near an oil pipe at the Bryan Mound facility of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve  in Freeport, Texas. (Photo: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle)

Guest commentary: Time to fix the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Two retired Air Force generals make a case for the importance of the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Cost, length of Exxon’s cleanup still unclear after N.J. deal

The cleanup, which can largely be overseen by private professionals instead of the state under a 2009 law, could take years, perhaps even decades.