EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
Exxon Mobil Chairman and CEO Rex W. Tillerson speaks at a news conference following the annual shareholders meeting in Dallas in 2009. (AP Photo/Mike Stone)

Energy’s global tiger can bear sanctions on Russia

Losing money on possible economic sanctions in Russia would amount to a little more than a rounding error for Exxon Mobil, the U.S. energy company with the biggest stake in a country under international pressure to release its grip on Ukraine.  More »
Delta Air Lines' refinery unit, Monroe Energy, owns this refinery in Trainer, Pa. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Independent refiners form ‘CRUDE’ group to fight export efforts

The group’s founding members are all independent refiners: Dallas-based Alon USA Energy Inc.; Parsipanny, N.J.,-based PBF Energy, Delta Air Lines subsidiary Monroe Energy, based in Trainer, Pa.; and Philadelphia Energy Services.  More »
A Chesapeake Energy storage tank near Dilley, Texas. (Pat Sullivan/AP)

Chesapeake Energy files to spin off $2.2B oil field unit

Chesapeake Energy filed regulatory documents Monday in preparation for the public spinoff of its $2.2 billion oil field service business, set for an undisclosed date this year.  More »
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. speaks during a meeting in Brazil. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/GettyImages)

Mexican protest over regulations should not derail energy reform

An opposition party protest in Mexico over proposed regulatory laws is not likely to significantly delay the opening of its energy sector, a legal expert said Monday.  More »
Libya’s central government has been hobbled by a lack of oil revenue since the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011. Crude production slumped to 350,000 barrels a day last month, from an average of 1.59 million barrels in 2010. (Shawn Baldwin/Bloomberg)

US Navy seizes tanker, foiling Libya rebel attempt to sell oil

The U.S. Navy thwarted the first attempt by rebels seeking self-rule in eastern Libya to export crude oil from a port they control.  More »
In this Aug. 19, 2011 photo, visitors at Natural Soda's plant in Rio Blanco County, Colo., get a look during a tour at the plant's solution-mining process for baking soda. The Bureau of Land Management has approved development plans for oil shale research-and-development leases owned by Natural Soda and Exxon Mobil. The leases are intended in part to show how oil shale might be developed without jeopardizing the baking soda resource. (AP Photo/Grand Junction Daily Sentinel/Dennis Webb)

A renewed search for western Colorado oil shale

Exxon Mobil has edged another step closer to undertaking oil shale research-and-development projects with the Bureau of Land Management’s approval of development plans.  More »
A Schramm worker operates the control room of a Telemast rig. West Chester, Pa-based Schramm, which maintains a sales representative in Houston to raise its profile in the Permian Basin and other western oil and gas plays, introduced a horizontal-drilling Telemast model in July 2013. (Schramm)

Pennsylvania driller adds Houston rep to boost shale business

Producers in unconventional oil plays are pushing to drill more wells with each rig they hire, and that has drilling companies upgrading their equipment to make it lighter, nimbler and more powerful.  More »
A rig drills in the shale region of West Virginia for a Statoil project. (source: Statoil)

Investor activism threatening oil industry amid shale worries

Well-heeled investors who control a growing block of money behind the North American energy surge have stepped up their bid to wring profits from oil companies, steering capital away from projects and toward dividends.  More »
John Wathen, an environmentalist with the Waterkeeper Alliance, gestures at the site of a train derailment and oil spill near Aliceville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

Oil mars swamp months after crude train crash

The isolated wetland smelled like a garage when a reporter from The Associated Press visited last week, and the charred skeletons of burned trees rose out of water covered with an iridescent sheen and swirling, weathered oil.  More »
Yellow oil barrels

Oil prices edge up ahead of Crimea secession vote

Crude still finished the week down more than 3 percent.  More »
Louisiana-based horizontal driller Ranger Field Service lowers pipe for a 2.1-mile line that runs across the Texas-Louisiana border and under the Sabine River. Some are speculating that the drill is the longest horizontal length that has ever been drilled on land and under a river, one of the biggest obstacles Mother Nature can throw at a pipeline drill. (Buller Photography)

Company overcomes major obstacles to complete lengthy interstate drill

The 11,065-foot span is raising speculation that it was the longest horizontal length that ever has been drilled on land and under a river, one of the biggest obstacles Mother Nature can throw at a pipeline drill.  More »
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Study: 16 percent of Europe’s gas flows through Ukraine

Sixteen percent of the Europe’s gas flows through Ukraine, according to a study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  More »