A structure is damaged 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, Brad Graverson)

Federal inquiry says Exxon refinery explosion could’ve caused many deaths

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The U.S. Chemical Safety Board report called the incident a “serious near miss” and accused Irving-based Exxon Mobil of not properly following its safety procedures at the Torrance refinery near Los Angeles.
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 deficiencies found in California refinery blast

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The explosion could have been much worse, said Chairwoman Vanessa Allen Sutherland.
(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Sinking gasoline prices are lowest in seven years

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Fuel prices are continuing to sink with the price of oil, but also because of the lower demand for gasoline during the winter months when fewer people embark on road trips.
Student Alva Gonzalez practices at a pipe welding school operated by Fluor in Houston. (Eric Kayne/For the Chronicle)

Fluor to build $1 billion refinery in Mexico

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The national oil company of Mexico, Pemex, authorized the project with ICA Fluor, which is Fluor’s joint venture with Mexico City-based Emprasas ICA energy construction company. Fluor’s share is for $500 million.
S-Oil Corp. refinery facilities operate at dawn in Ulsan, South Korea, on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014. Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), the world?s largest crude exporter, will buy a $2 billion stake in S-Oil Corp., South Korea?s third-largest oil refiner. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Saudi Aramco’s refining empire could be IPO focus

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The kingdom owns, either directly or through joint-ventures, plants capable of processing 5.3 million barrels a day.
(Ty Wright/Bloomberg)

Nationwide gasoline average could dip as low as $1.82 a gallon in February

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But GasBuddy also warned that some states are considering implementing fuel tax hikes this year.
API President Jack Gerard  (Bloomberg)

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

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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.
Gasoline prices continue to fall and appear to be headed even lower as motorists prepare to hit the roads for Thanksgiving. ( Johnny Hanson / Houston Chronicle )

National gasoline average starts year below $1.99 a gallon

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AAA estimates the average price of gasoline nationwide for 2016 may end up cheaper than 2015’s average of $2.40 per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.
Oil wells in the Franja del Orinoco region of Venezuela (Houston Chronicle)

These are the energy stories Houston cared about in 2015

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With crude prices stuck firmly below $40 a barrel, and energy companies predicting another austere year in 2016, here’s a look back at some of the most popular stories that appeared on FuelFix.com this year.
(Ty Wright/Bloomberg)

Houston gasoline average dips below $1.75 a gallon

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The Houston average for regular unleaded ticked down to $1.73 this week — the lowest since early 2009 — while the statewide average is just slightly higher at $1.76 a gallon.