Warmer weather, but frostier markets

We have now tumbled into fall, although you wouldn’t know it by looking at the weather forecast. As NOAA’s 8-14 day outlook illustrates, we are set for above-normal conditions for the first week of October across, ooh, basically the entire US. This morning’s natural gas storage report is expected to yield an injection well above […]
(Jochen Eckel/Bloomberg News)

Total planning $2 billion ethane cracker in Port Arthur

Total contracted with The Woodlands-based CB&I for front-end engineering and design for a second cracking unit at Total’s existing Port Arthur campus. A final decision on the project is expected next year and the project would be completed in 2019, Total announced Wednesday.
In this April 15, 2009, file photo, an unidentified worker passes a truck owned by Halliburton at a remote site for natural-gas producer Williams in Rulison, Colo. Halliburton is buying rival oilfield services company Baker Hughes in a cash-and-stock deal worth $34.6 billion. The deal comes shortly after talks had stalled and Halliburton prepared to go hostile with its takeover bid. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Halliburton plans more layoffs, now targeting management

Halliburton laid out a plan in the memo to “flatten” its North American business by eliminating multiple layers of management — a decision that will undoubtedly affect Houston-area employees where the company is headquartered.
(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Drillers expected to sell more assets as they slash spending

Independent oil producers are likely to cut capital expenditures by 23 percent or more in 2016, and bigger companies could reduce spending 8 percent on average, Wunderlich Securities said Wednesday.
A pipeline sign stands in Cushing, Oklahoma, U.S., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. The fastest oil-inventory growth on record at the main U.S. hub may be about to end, easing concern that storage limits will be strained. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Oil falls to a loss despite inventory draw

Immediately after the report was issued, U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate futures rose as much as 61 cents. But the gains didn’t last long, and prices slid to a 90 cent loss and $45.63 per barrel shortly after peaking at $47.15 per barrel.

Action in today’s oil market, channeling Yogi Berra

First and foremost, RIP Yogi Berra; both a great baseball player, and a warrior with words. After a quiet first few days of the week on the data front, Wednesday has roared in like a lion, bringing preliminary global manufacturing numbers with it. China kicked off things overnight – and poorly to boot – as […]
(Johnny Hanson/Houston Chronicle file photo)

Halliburton lays off North Dakota workers; how many not known

Both Halliburton and its acquisition target, Baker Hughes, say the proposed merger has not been the reason for recent job cuts.
BHP Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie speaks during a news conference in Sydney, Australia. (Ian Waldie/Bloomberg)

BHP CEO Mackenzie sees pay cut nearly in half after commodities collapse

Supply gluts and forecasts for the slowest growth since 1990 in China have sent the price of raw materials plunging.
Total headquarters outside Paris. (AP file photo/Jacques Brinon)

Total cuts oil output target

The measures, laid out by the French energy company on Wednesday before an investor day in London, signal that the belt-tightening among global oil producers to protect dividends will extend into 2017 and hurt future growth.
(Thomas B. Shea/For the Chronicle)

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

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.