Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, speaks during the opening panel discussion of IHS Energy CERAWEEK on Monday, April 20, 2015, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Murkowski pushes to lift oil export ban as part of Iran nuclear bill

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, is pushing a plan to lift the crude export ban in her latest bid to tie the oil export debate to the Iran nuclear deal.
(David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Refining boosts Valero to a record first quarter

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The results handily beat analysts’ estimates that the San Antonio-based refiner would earn $1.72 a share.
(AP Photo/Bruce Crummy, File)

Investigators release records of fiery North Dakota derailment

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Federal investigators said in the documents that a broken train axle found after the derailment might have been prevented if BNSF railroad had inspected it more carefully and found a pre-existing flaw.
OAO Lukoil's Leonid Fedun pauses during an interview at the company's headquarters in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr./Bloomberg)

Russia’s second largest oil company maintained its 1Q dividend, despite crashing crude prices

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The Moscow-based producer has cut spending for this year in response to the decline in oil, trimming expenditures on older Siberian wells and some international projects.
(Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Russia will meet with OPEC before the cartel’s next meeting in June

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Talks with the 12-nation group will take place on June 2-3, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Tuesday in Moscow.
Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of French oil company Total, speaks at the IHS Energy CERAWeek in Houston. (Billy Smith II / Houston Chronicle)

Total’s profit fell 20 percent in first quarter, despite surging production

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CEO Patrick Pouyanne said Total is “demonstrating its resilience and profiting from its integrated model” in the face of a 50 percent drop in the average Brent crude oil price over the last year.
Arthur Perales III works on a gear reducer at the Weatherford rod-pump manufacturing plant Thursday, June 26, 2014, in Katy. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle)

Texas manufacturing slips again as oil and gas orders disappear

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The production index, a key measure of the manufacturing conditions, remained in negative territory for the second month in a row, with 3 out of 10 executives reporting seeing production fall between March and April, according to responses to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’s monthly survey.
(AP file photo/Paul Sakuma)

Gasoline prices jump 11 cents as crude rises

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Rebounding crude prices have caused gasoline prices to tick up again, but fuel still remains at its cheapest seasonal level in six years.
Derailed oil tanker train cars burn near Mount Carbon, W.Va., Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. A CSX train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a snowstorm, sending a fireball into the sky and threatening the water supply of nearby residents, authorities and residents said Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Daily Mail, Marcus Constantino)

Railroad union urges tougher safety standards on tracks

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While lawmakers and regulators focus on the strength of oil tank cars and volatility of crude oil, officials of the rail inspectors’ union say track flaws and train speed can be significant factors in accidents.
(AP Photo/Greg Baker)

PetroChina, Sinopec surge on industry merger speculation

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China National Petroleum Corp., the state-owned parent of PetroChina, hasn’t received any information from the government, nor has it spoken with Sinopec about a merger, Media Director Gong Kai said.