EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
(Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg)

Pemex negotiates lower rig rates as crude collapse hurts profit

Pemex is in talks with oil service and jack-up rig providers to reduce daily rates after the board approved cutting more than $4 billion from its 2015 budget last week.  More »
California Gov. Jerry Brown (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

California energy chief calls Jerry Brown’s fuel target a ‘moon shot’

California has been setting the pace for U.S. policy on climate change and greenhouse gases.  More »
John Melko (photo: Gardere Wynne Sewell)

Guest commentary: dealing with low energy prices

Many Texans have seen this movie before, and some of us have seen it several times. Until the commodity cycle turns, as it always does, refocus on the basic blocking and tackling of running a business. Take protective measures to guard against avoidable losses.  More »
Balance and inspection of compressor and steam turbine rotors at Dresser-Rand. (Norman J. Quinn/Houston Chronicle)

Dresser-Rand to cut 8 percent of its workforce

Diesel engine and gas turbine maker Dresser-Rand Group is cutting 8 percent of its 8,100-employee workforce around the world in coming weeks, it said Friday, trimming operating costs as falling crude prices have crushed profits in the oil service sector.  More »
The former Exxon Mobil-owned Bayway Refinery in Linden, N.J. ConocoPhillips now operates the plant. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Exxon Mobil settles New Jersey environmental case for a fraction of expected damages

The New Jersey State Department of Environemntal Protection filed the lawsuit in 2004, and a state superior judge had been close to a decision this year before Gov. Chris Christie’s office told the court on Feb. 20 it had settled with Exxon.  More »
A woman holds an Ukrainian flag during a protest against Russian military actions in Ukraine in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin. (Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)

Cash-strapped Ukraine struggles to keep Russia gas supplies

With Ukraine’s economy on the brink of collapse and money from a 15.5 billion-euro ($17.5 billion) bailout deal from the International Monetary Fund that has not yet reached Ukrainian coffers, it is unclear how capable — or how willing — Kiev is to strike a long-term deal with Moscow.  More »
Operations At An Orion Drilling Co. Oil Platform

Oil rig count falls by 33, as decline continues

The total rig count fell by 43, with 33 oil rigs and 9 gas rigs lost, according to data released Friday by oil service company Baker Hughes.  More »
A Petronas logo is seen near its twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (AP file photo/Lai Seng Sin)

Petronas turns to $2.7 billion fourth-quarter loss on oil slump

Petronas won’t generate enough cash from operations this year to cover capital spending and dividend commitments, said Vikas Halan, a Singapore-based vice president at Moody’s Investors Service Inc., estimating the shortfall to be at least 10 billion ringgit.  More »
NRG_Solar0619

NRG reports $119 million in fourth quarter profits

The company, which both generates power and supplies it to retail customers, also saw its net income for 2014 rise to $134 million, up from a $386 million loss in 2013.  More »
(AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani, File)

Islamic State’s oil revenue cut by air raids, falling oil

The group’s capacity to extract oil, refine it and sell the products has “significantly diminished,” according to a new report.  More »
(AP Photo/Surete du Quebec, The Canadian Press,File)

Oil train wrecks increase pressure for tougher safety rules

On Feb. 5, the Transportation Department sent the White House draft rules that would require oil trains to use stronger tank cars and make other safety improvements.  More »
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Flood board to decide next week on ‘Big Oil’ lawsuit appeal

U.S. District Judge Nanette Jolivette Brown recently ruled that the board had no legal standing to bring the suit and that the energy companies had no legal duty to protect the board from the effects of coastal erosion.  More »
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma leaders looking for more wind regulations

Oklahoma rolled out the welcome mat for the wind industry a decade ago with lucrative tax incentives and a lax regulatory environment, but as the number of wind farms has skyrocketed, so too has the concern among landowners.  More »
(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

YPF quarterly profit misses analysts’ estimates on higher costs

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s government allows oil producers to remain profitable amid a slump in crude prices by setting fourth-quarter prices of $83.90 for Medanito light oil and $74 for Escalante heavy oil.  More »
A row of pump jacks operate in Apache Canada’s Provost field, located in the southeast part of Alberta (Apache Corp.)

Alberta energy drillers pivot to natural gas as oil plunges

Alberta’s gas prices dropped 35 percent last year while oil fell 46 percent. U.S. crude prices have plunged below $50 from last year’s high above $107 after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted calls to cut output amid a surge of U.S. crude production.  More »
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