Inside the Honeywell's control center demo site, Experion Orion Console, Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, in Houston. Visitors can see the future of technologies at refineries, petrochemical plants and large industrial facilities. (Steve Gonzales/Houston Chronicle)

Refineries due for an upgrade, with touch screens and HD monitors among the offerings

The problem is convincing companies to make changes when upgrades cost money and give employees unfamiliar equipment.

From space travel to video games, Big Oil pulls tech collaborators from a range of industries

An arsenal of oil and gas gadgets includes a lot of tech that was developed by industry outsiders.
Wind turbines stand in this aerial photograph taken above the Haengwon Wind Farm in Jeju, South Korea, on Sunday, June 28, 2015. South Korea’s 15 trillion won ($13.3 billion) extra budget will channel money to the medical and tourism sectors as the Park administration seeks to cushion the impact of a deadly respiratory disease. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

GE launches new renewable energy business

The new business unit is heavily focused on wind power and turbine manufacturing.
A dog is silhouetted as wind turbines manufactured by Gamesa Corp. stand at the Bharat Light & Power Ltd. Amberi wind farms in Rewalkawadi, Maharashtra, India, on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in July restored a wind-farm tax benefit, which could propel wind installations to a three-year high of 2,600 megawatts in 2014, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Planned Texas wind farm to power Owens Corning, Equinix

Chicago-based Invenergy will build a new 300-megawatt Texas wind farm near Lubbock to power Owens Corning insulation and fiberglass giant and Equinix data center company.
Shell Oil President Marvin Odum, center, speaks at the University of Houston energy symposium, "Carbon tax: Is it the right time?" on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015. ( Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle )

Shell Oil Co. president touts carbon tax over piecemeal regulations

A carbon tax or cap-and-trade system in the U.S. — and globally — would serve the energy industry better than the current slate of piecemeal state and federal regulations, Shell Oil Co. President Marvin Odum said Tuesday at a University of Houston energy symposium on “Carbon Tax: Is It the Right Time?”
(RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Schlumberger teams up with tech company on new pressure pumping technology

Oil field services giant Schlumberger is partnering with a California tech company on a new hydraulic fracturing technology designed to reduce the frequent breakdowns that plague pressure pumps.
Tesla Battery Storage

Commentary: Why The $5 Billion Battery Plan Went Nowhere

The sticking point is that under the Texas electric deregulation law, transmission and distribution utilities cannot own generation assets.
(Jerry Lara/San Antonio Express News)

Wind, solar causing “upheaval” for utilities, San Antonio power exec says

Utility companies in Texas and beyond must adjust for the future or fade into oblivion, said Cris Eugster, chief generation and strategy officer for San Antonio’s integrated utility company, called CPS Energy.
Wind farm

Commentary: New technologies push clean energy boundaries

Innovative systems of collecting energy from the environment are pushing the boundaries of the current renewable energy landscape, fueling the growth of the market and overall acceptance of green energy as a form of energy production. From pocket-sized wind turbines to solar-paneled bike paths, the green energy movement is reaching new heights of innovative technologies […]
Kirk Coburn, founder and managing director of Surge Ventures, introduces speakers at an event for Houston tech entrepreneurs seeking inroads into the oil and gas industry. ( Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle )

Amid oil slump, Surge Ventures halts investment into new startups

Houston-based Surge Ventures, which provides funding and guidance for energy tech startups, will no longer funnel cash into new companies and instead focus its efforts on the nearly three dozen companies in which it already invested.
Categories: General, Technology