EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
(Carolyn Mary Bauman /Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Texas wind cracks 10 percent threshold

The amount of wind power generated in the state cracked the 10 percent threshold last year for the first time as the industry continues to make strides in the western and Panhandle regions of Texas.  More »
The sun sets on a drilling rig in Frio County, Texas.  (Jerry Lara/San Antonio Express-News)

Report: U.S. land rig count could fall 30 percent

The number of onshore oil and gas wells in the U.S. will fall 26 percent this year to 27,000, research firm Wood Mackenzie said in a new report published Thursday.  More »
(AP Photo/The San Antonio Express-News, Bob Owen)

Crude, natural gas futures fall on storage report

Crude oil and natural gas futures fell on Thursday as traders grappled with inventory builds for both fuels.  More »
H.E. Youcef Yousfi, the Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines, gives the opening keynote during CERAWeek on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, in Houston.  (Photo: Nick de la Torre/Houston Chronicle)

Algeria to boost oil production in face of falling prices

Youcef Yousfi told the parliament Thursday that Algeria was working on dozens of deposits and studying the possibility of boosting production to increase revenues.  More »
Under a portrait of the late Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, left, talks with Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega during the 8th Petrocaribe Summit in Managua, Nicaragua. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File)

Venezuela’s Maduro sees U.S. wielding oil as weapon to ‘destroy’ nation

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has avoided substantial cuts to social programs amid the slide in crude, the commodity that provides 97 percent of Venezuela’s dollars.  More »
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Oil trader sees no return to $100 crude

Brent crude climbed 0.8 percent to $49.44 a barrel at 10:48 a.m. in London on Thursday. It rose as high as $115.71 in June.  More »
(AP Photo/Log Cabin Democrat, Courtney Spradlin)

U.S. witness: Spill response removed far less crude than BP expert estimates

A retired Coast Guard official testified Wednesday the massive oil spill response BP managed out of Houston in 2010 fell short of typical efforts to remove crude from the ocean.  More »
Crews dig up land at a saltwater spill site near Blacktail Creek outside Williston, N.D. A North Dakota health official called the 70,000 barrel spill the state's largest during the state's current oil boom. (AP Photo/Williston Herald, Zack Nelson)

Nearly 3 million gallons of brine spill in North Dakota oil boom’s largest leak

The saltwater, known as brine, is an unwanted byproduct of oil and natural gas production that is much saltier than sea water and may also contain petroleum and residue from hydraulic fracturing operations.  More »
(Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle )

Richard Kinder to step down as CEO in June

The move had been telegraphed since December, but a time for the transition had not been set until the company announced its fourth-quarter 2014 earnings Wednesday.  More »
AUSTRIA-OPEC-COMMODITIES-ENERGY-OIL

OPEC: Oil won’t sink to $20, but rebound will be slow

Oil slumped almost 60 percent since June as OPEC nations continued pumping amid the highest U.S. production in more than three decades.  More »
Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg

BHP backing away from U.S. drilling

BHP Billiton Ltd., the biggest overseas investor in U.S. shale, will cut the number of its rigs there by about 40 percent as plunging petroleum prices add to concerns about lower iron ore earnings.  More »
(AP Photo/Cyprus Press and Information Office, File)

France’s Total says it couldn’t find gas off Cyprus

The company said Wednesday that it’s now talking to Cypriot authorities on possibly continuing with more exploration work in waters off the east Mediterranean island.  More »
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

BP trial: Oil spill caused massive ecological damage, marine scientist says

U.S. prosecutors are arguing that BP should have to pay all of the $13.7 billion in Clean Water Act fines for the disaster, which killed 11 workers and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf.  More »
(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Hillary Clinton to speak in Canada amid debate over Keystone

The former U.S. secretary of state was to headline events in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in her first public speeches of 2015, a day after President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address.  More »
(Norm Betts/Bloomberg)

U.S. shale oil growth hurts Canadians as well as OPEC

A surge of light oil from North Dakota and Texas is cutting into the earnings of Canadians who turn heavy oil sands into a lighter crude that fetches more from refiners.  More »
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