EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
(AP file photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Geneva’s army of oil traders embraces profits a crash brings

Lower prices have cut financing costs, provided an opportunity to lock in profits by storing fuels and heralded the return of big price swings that can help firms from Vitol Group to Trafigura Beheer BV generate higher returns.  More »
(AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

How oil’s decline could spatter North Dakota

North Dakota’s petroleum industry could see a big tax cut if crude continues to slide, and if that happens, it means the state will be missing out on billions of dollars.  More »
Nabors CEO Tony Petrello (Photo by Nabors Industries)

Nabors CEO takes a pay cut

Oil-service companies and rig contractors are preparing for an estimated 25 percent drop in spending next year from explorers and producers after crude prices dropped to a five- year low.  More »
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Court OKs $2.86 billion merger between C&J, Nabors unit

C&J Energy’s shareholders shouldn’t have been barred by a judge from voting on whether to approve the deal with Houston- based Nabors, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled today.  More »
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PacifiCorp Energy pleads guilty in bird deaths

The U.S. Justice Department says 38 golden eagles and 336 other protected birds have been found dead at the company’s wind projects in Carbon and Converse counties from 2009 until now.  More »
(Photo courtesy of Shell Oil Co.)

Arctic offshore drill company enters guilty pleas

Bernie G. Wolford Jr., president of Noble Drilling U.S. LLC, appeared in federal court in Anchorage on Friday after reaching an agreement with prosecutors earlier this month.  More »
(Ty Wright/Bloomberg)

2 dead in explosion, fire at Oklahoma oil rig

The explosion occurred around 1 a.m. on the deck of a rig about 2 miles west of Coalgate, a community about 100 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.  More »
(JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

Some Houston stations selling gasoline under $2

According to data compiled by GasBuddy.com, 13 stations in the Houston area listed gasoline prices Thursday under $2 for a gallon of regular.  More »
(Houston Chronicle)

Texas banks already seeing some problem borrowers as oil slides, regulator says

One of the top federal regulators for Texas community banks says examiners are already catching some problems with less financially stable bank borrowers, and if oil remains cheap for long, it could get a lot worse.  More »
Photo:  www.salon.com

Shale debt crunch could intensify in April

U.S. oil companies could see the amount of money they can borrow shrink significantly next April when banks reassess credit conditions amid falling oil prices.  More »
(Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle)

Transocean to scrap seven more rigs, take $140M charge

Transocean is planning to scrap seven of its older, lower-quality deep-water and mid-water vessels, putting them up for sale at a time when oil prices and demand for offshore rigs have sunken lower.  More »
A pump jack works beside the site of new home construction, in Midland, Texas. The West Texas town is in the middle of an oil boom with thousands of workers in need of housing. (Pat Sullivan/AP)

JPMorgan: Texas at risk of recession next year

In the 1980s, Texas’ jobless rate jumped 2.6 percentage points higher than the national rate after a collapse in the price for U.S. benchmark crude.  More »
U.S. Oil Rigs Increase Exploration, Defying Predictions

Oil crash exposes new risks for U.S. shale drillers

West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, dropped about 50 percent since June amid a worldwide glut.  More »
(AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)

Oil rebounds from five-year low as Saudi comments add volatility

West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. grade, climbed as much as 2.6 percent in New York and Brent 2.2 percent in London.  More »
(Paul White/(AP photo)

The calm before an M&A storm

Upstream oil and gas companies are waiting out volatility in the commodities markets right now, but many are expected be on the hunt for acquisitions after the dust in the crude market settles, according to an analysis by energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.  More »
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