An aerial view of the Ensco 8502 drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. (Jennifer Dlouhy/Houston Chronicle)

Low oil prices drive down bidding for Gulf of Mexico drilling rights

With just five companies participating and only 33 leases sold, the turnout was the lowest western Gulf auction since area-wide leasing began in 1983, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
An aerial view of the Centenario exploration oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. (AFP Photo/Omar Torres)

Offshore oil auction draws low interest

Just five oil and gas companies submitted sealed bids for western Gulf of Mexico acreage, ahead of Wednesday’s auction in New Orleans.
Foundation jackets and a deck are seen on a barge near a construction crane before their installation on Deepwater Wind, the nation's first offshore wind farm, Monday, July 27, 2015, on the waters of the Atlantic Ocean Off Block Island, R.I. Deepwater Wind will consist of five turbines producing a total of 30 megawatts of electricity. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

U.S. lags Europe on offshore wind efforts

Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind reached its first “steel in the water” milestone in the early construction phase of its Block Island Wind Farm at the end of July, and the company has some other projects planned offshore of the Atlantic coast.

Conservationists push White House to postpone next week’s Gulf drilling auction

Environmentalists are campaigning for the White House to call off Wednesday’s Gulf lease sale until Congress reauthorizes a longstanding conservation program funded by offshore oil development.
A jackup rig works on an Energy XXI project in the Main Pass complex of the Gulf of Mexico, located in about 100 feet of water near the mouth of the Mississippi River. (Martin L Vargas / Energy XXI)

Energy XXI slashes spending but maintains production estimates

The Houston-based offshore oil company set its annual capital expenditure budget around $140 million, down from the $640 to $670 million Energy XXI projects it spent during their 2015 fiscal year, which ended on June 30. That budget is based on $50-per-barrel oil, but Energy XXI said it would consider expanding development drilling if prices rebounded.
Categories: Offshore
Noble Energy hunts for oil offshore Israel in the Tamar field. The Houston-based oil company has stalled its Israel investments after a dispute with the country's anti-trust regulators. (Noble Energy)

Noble reaches deal with Israel over natural gas development

The deal sets a price ceiling for future sales to Israeli companies and commits the gas firms to complete the development of the country’s largest gas field, known as Leviathan, by 2020.
Rig workers pause while mopping the decks on a Hercules rig. (Smiley N. Pool/Houston Chronicle)

Hercules Offshore files bankruptcy with plan to convert debt

In court papers filed in Delaware federal bankruptcy court, the Houston driller said it had more than $1.3 billion in debt and about $546 million in assets. It said it expects to be in bankruptcy proceedings for 45 to 60 days and that it doesn’t anticipate it will halt daily operations.
The 29-week plunge in the oil rig count takes a break

U.S. rig count grows again despite the price of oil still dropping

The U.S. oil rig count increased by six this week, largely buoyed by more rigs added in Texas’ Permian Basin, according to according to Baker Hughes, which tracked 29 weeks of decline in the count until July 2, when oil companies began sending rigs back to oil fields in Texas and elsewhere.
(Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

Transocean profit falls 41 percent

Transocean, which has its main U.S. offices in Houston, said its profit of $342 million, or 93 cents a share, was down from $587 million, or $1.63 a share, in the April-June period last year. Revenue fell from $2.3 billion to $1.8 billion.
John Hess, chairman and CEO of Hess Corp. (F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg )

Hess Corp. posts $567 million loss

Hess, which has a major Houston presence, saw its income fall from a gain of $931 million during the same time last year. Excluding one-time expenses, Hess posted adjusted net income of a $147 million loss, or a loss of 52 cents per share, down from a $432 million gain last year, or $1.38 a share.