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)

Exxon Mobil’s Torrance refinery may not ramp up until 2016

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The extended delay could leave the refinery operating an no more than 20 percent capacity for a full 12 months after the facility was damaged in an explosion on Feb. 18. The primary piece taken out of commission was the electrostatic precipitator, or ESP, which is a large emission-controlling device.
(Thomas B. Shea/For the Chronicle)

Rice speakers to energy engineering firms: Partner up, and expect more acquisitions

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While growth in the petrochemical sector is helping some engineering and construction companies, a recent Wood Mackenzie report, for instance, shows that $1.5 trillion in pending North American shale projects are not profitable with oil at $50 a barrel.
(Johnny Hanson/Houston Chronicle file photo)

Labor Department says Halliburton will pay $18.3 million in overtime to workers misclassified as exempt

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The Houston-based oil field services giant had categorized salaried employees in 28 different job positions as not ineligible for overtime pay when they worked more than 40 hours a week.
Kirk Coburn, founder and managing director of Surge Ventures, introduces speakers at an event for Houston tech entrepreneurs seeking inroads into the oil and gas industry. ( Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle )

Amid oil slump, Surge Ventures halts investment into new startups

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Houston-based Surge Ventures, which provides funding and guidance for energy tech startups, will no longer funnel cash into new companies and instead focus its efforts on the nearly three dozen companies in which it already invested.
Categories: General, Technology
Workers perform maintenance on an offshore facility operated by Mexico's national oil company, Petróleos Mexicanos. (Susana Gonzalez photo/Bloomberg)

Mexico tries again to attract private oil investment

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Mexico is trying to make its second lease auction more successful than the first as it strives to overhaul its energy sector.
(Ty Wright/Bloomberg)

Texas gasoline prices are plummeting again

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Houston gas prices are $1.06 a gallon cheaper than the same time last year and 29.5 cents less than just a month ago.
In this July 6, 2013, photo, smoke rises from railway cars from now defunct Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railways company that were carrying crude oil after derailing in downtown Lac Megantic, Quebec, Canada. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press via AP)

Judge poised to sign off on oil train disaster settlement

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A $338 million settlement fund for victims of a fiery train derailment that claimed 47 lives in Canada is poised for final approval, but payments could be held up by a legal challenge from one of that country’s largest railways
An oil worker walks by an oil pump during a sandstorm in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain


FILE - In this Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015 file photo, an oil worker walks by an oil pump during a sandstorm that blew in, in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain. Across a Mideast fueled by oil production, low global prices have some countries running on empty and scrambling to cover shortfalls, even as more regional crude is on tap to enter the market.(AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

In a Mideast upset by cheap oil, more crude may enter market

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The possibility of more supply entering the market has analysts already lowering their forecast price for oil into the next year.

Commentary: Solar Flim Flam and More Snake Oil

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The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan once observed that we are all entitled to our own opinions, not just our own facts. Proponents of solar energy are long on opinions and pseudo-facts, just not real ones. What are some of those? It is claimed that 2015 is “on a pace to be the hottest year the […]
Categories: featured, General, p2
The shadows of  workers in the Permian Basin on February 5, 2015 in Mentone, Texas. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Oil prices fall on economic concerns

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U.S. crude oil for October delivery lost about $1.72 per barrel or 3.7 percent to $45.18 per barrel in early trading Friday. The October contract expires Tuesday.