EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
Barbara Brown poses for a photo by the front step of her home that now sits about one foot off the surface of her lawn, Saturday, June 21, 2014, in Reno, Texas. Brown said that the top of the step once sat about four inches off the surface of her lawn. Brown said she believes the sinkholes on her property and the drop of her lawn have to do with natural gas drilling. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Residents put pressure on fracking firms as quakes plague region

Earthquakes used to be almost unheard of on the vast stretches of prairie that unfold across Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma, but they’ve become common in recent years.  More »
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)

Video: Inside Weatherford’s new manufacturing center

Weatherford International’s newest manufacturing center in the region was built at a cost of about $100 million and is expected to employ 335 people by the end of next year.  More »
A BNSF Railway train hauls crude oil in Montana. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

Fed officials say oil train dangers extend past Bakken

Federal safety officials told senators that all crude rail shipments are flammable — not just the ones carrying Bakken Shale oil that have been involved in well-publicized accidents.  More »
Welders work on a joint between two sections of pipe during construction of Keystone XL's southern leg in Prague, Oklahoma. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Industry touts economic effect of Keystone’s southern leg on Texas

A business association whose members include some of the world’s biggest energy companies is urging the administration to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, arguing that the southern portion of the project has already shown the positive economic effect the infrastructure can have on the country.  More »
(Michael Paulsen / Houston Chronicle)

Federal report gives Texas wind power lines high marks

Since the CREZ power lines were completed, incidents of both wind curtailment and wind-related negative electricity prices have decreased in Texas, suggesting the projects have largely succeeded at their mission.  More »
BP economist Mark Finley talks about  global market forces and their impact on oil prices at the University of Houston late Tuesday.  (Collin Eaton/Houston Chronicle)

US shale boom offsetting oil lost in Middle East unrest

Without the surge in U.S. crude production, markets would have demanded higher prices, the U.S. would likely have released oil reserves from its strategic stocks, and high prices would have threatened the nation’s economic recovery, says economist Mark Finley.  More »
GE is testing this prototype 20,000 psi ram blowout preventer at its Houston Technology Center. The 20ksi program also includes new wellheads, connectors, control systems, and riser systems. (GE Oil & Gas)

GE to design, build new generation of blowout preventers

Danish rig contractor Maersk Drilling is turning to GE engineers in Houston to build a new generation of deep-water blowout preventers designed to handle the highest reservoir pressures the industry has ever tackled.  More »
(Ken Childress/EOG Resources)

Report: Independent producers leading growth in US oil and gas reserves

U.S. oil and gas reserves increased 9 percent last year, according to a newly released analysis that’s a testament to the industry’s current boom period.  More »
Congressman Gene Green (foreground). ( John Jiles / Chronicle )

House passes Green’s bill to boost border-crossing energy projects

Before the House voted 238-173 to pass legislation streamlining permits for border crossing energy projects on Tuesday, Rep. Gene Green played a pivotal role lining up support for the measure.  More »
The Stygiomedusa gigantea jellyfish is one of the largest in the world, with tentacles that reach 20 feet long. Scientists didn't know it existed in the Gulf of Mexico until they were caught on camera by an ROV (remotely operated vehicle). (Photo: LSU)

Deep-water drillers discover creatures as well as crude (video)

Massive oil fields aren’t the only discoveries emerging from the drilling resurgence in the Gulf of Mexico.  More »
Transocean's Discoverer Inspiration drills a test well for Chevron in the Gulf of Mexico St. Malo field. (Transocean)

Transocean partnership files for $350M IPO

An ultra-deep-water drillship operator that spun out of Transocean Ltd. is planning to hit public markets for $350 million, the firm said Monday.  More »
Devon_Logo

Horizontal drilling fuels latest Oklahoma oil boom

More than 4,600 oil and natural gas wells were completed in Oklahoma last year as part of a domestic boom that is affecting many parts of the nation, according to reports filed with state regulators.  More »