(Johnny Hanson/Chronicle)

Oil rig count plummets to start 2016

West Texas’ seemingly resilient Permian Basin led the way with the loss of eight rigs, while southern Texas’ Eagle Ford shale dipped by five rigs, according to weekly data released by oil field services firm Baker Hughes.
Technip's office at 11700 Old Katy Rd. in Houston (Carlos Antonio Rios/Houston Chronicle)

Air Products contracts Technip to build $400 million Baytown plant

Pennsylvania-based Air Products is planning for the world-scale steam methane reformer plant in Texas to produce 125 million cubic feet a day of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, much of which will ship through its Gulf Coast pipeline that runs from the Houston Ship Channel to New Orleans.
Westlake Chemical CEO Albert Chao has highlighted production rates in Kentucky. (Houston Chronicle)

Westlake Chemical will expand plants in Kentucky and Louisiana

Expansions in Louisiana and Kentucky will expand Westlake Chemical’s capacity to produce ethylene, a primary building block of plastics.
Porter Ranch Estates sit at the foothills near a Southern California Gas Co. gas well that has been leaking methane daily near the community Porter Ranch, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over the massive natural-gas leak that has been spewing methane and other gases into a Los Angeles neighborhood for months, sickening residents and forcing thousands to evacuate. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

Massive gas leak has cost utility company $50 million

The leak has been out-of-control since late October and has driven thousands of people out of the upscale Los Angeles community of Porter Ranch.
Categories: Accidents, Natural gas
This Nov. 3 file photo provided by Southern California Gas Co., shows equipment being used as SoCalGas crews and technical experts attempt to stop the flow of natural gas leaking from a storage well at the utility’s Aliso Canyon facility. (Javier Mendoza/SoCalGas via AP)

California governor declares gas leak a state of emergency

The well, owned by Southern California Gas Co., has been gushing up to 1,200 tons of methane daily.
Categories: Accidents, Natural gas
(Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg)

BP sells Alabama petrochemical complex to Thai company

The terms of the deal were not disclosed and BP declined further comment, but the acquisition makes sense on the surface for Indorama because it already owns adjacent manufacturing plants in Decatur.
Southwestern Energy Co.'s corporate headquarters near The Woodlands. (Southwestern Energy)

Southwestern names new CEO

Southwestern Energy Co. has picked top lieutenant Bill Way to be its new chief executive, as outgoing CEO Steven Mueller prepares to retire later this year.
API President Jack Gerard  (Bloomberg)

Top oil lobbyist touts U.S. energy production, emissions reductions

The head of the oil industry’s top lobbying group says the U.S. is an emerging global energy powerhouse, and can can grow even stronger if the federal government imposes fewer regulations.
(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

EIA: 2015 natural gas spot prices average cheapest since 1999

Warm weather and strong production made 2015 the worst year for physical natural gas prices since 1999, according to a government analysis released Tuesday.
Storm clouds hang over the city as people continue to be effected by a massive natural-gas leak in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of the of the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, December 22, 2015.  Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that he will seek a court order  December 23rd  to speed up the relocation of families affected by the gas coming from the Aliso Canyon Storage Field since October 23rd. Los Angeles County officials have declared a state of emergency for Porter Ranch where more than 1,600 residents have been displaced. The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered a no-fly zone over the leak, and the Los Angeles Unified School District will relocate 1,870 students in kindergarten through eighth grade to schools farther away from the leak.  AFP PHOTO / DAVID MCNEWDAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images

Massive LA gas leak leaving few options for displaced residents

“I call this BP on land,” one lawyer representing residents said of the Porter Ranch leak. “It’s that bad.”