EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
(Martin Divisek/Bloomberg)

Nation’s biggest nuclear firm makes a play for green money

Chicago-based Exelon essentially wants to change Illinois state rules for its power market as the nuclear industry competes with historically low prices for natural gas.  More »
(stockyimages)

Dynegy gets federal OK to buy Duke, Energy Capital plants

In buying the units, which sell power in competitive wholesale markets, Dynegy will nearly double the company’s electricity generation capacity.  More »
(Getty Images)

Cash-strapped oil firms top Moody’s watch list

In the first quarter, a dozen oil companies including Energy XXI’s operating unit, Midstates Petroleum Co. and Halcón Resources Corp. tumbled into credit-rating territory reserved for the most financially unfit firms, according to Moody’s Investors Service.  More »
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Low oil prices force 2 Oklahoma companies to cut jobs

Samson Resource Co. produced oil and liquids after primarily being a natural gas driller. The company reported a net loss of $1.6 billion for its third fiscal quarter in 2014. The company’s layoffs are effective immediately.  More »
(Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

Senate approves long-delayed bill to boost energy efficiency

The Senate bill was co-sponsored by Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. A similar bill was defeated last year after it became enmeshed in a partisan fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline.  More »
(Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

Wyoming suit contests federal rules for public land drilling

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court of Wyoming also claims the U.S. Bureau of Land Management overstepped its statutory jurisdiction with the rules and that they conflict with the Safe Drinking Water Act.  More »
Dave Lesar, third from right, chairman and CEO of Halliburton, rings the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Halliburton, Baker Hughes shareholders OK $35 billion deal

Roughly 98 percent of the shareholder votes cast in both votes were in favor of the deal, which is expected to close in the second half of this year.  More »
Dow Chemical Co. chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris, front, addresses his employees and honored guests during the announcement of Dow's new ethylene production plant at Dow Texas Operations, Thursday, April 19, 2012, on the Brazosport College campus in Lake Jackson. (Nick de la Torre/Houston Chronicle)

Dow Chemical, Olin in $5 billion cash-and-stock deal

Dow has been under pressure from the hedge fund Third Point LLC to split its specialty chemical and petrochemical businesses.  More »
Bloomberg Photo/Scott Dalton

FERC directs Texas pipeline company to investigate alternatives

The city of Green has proposed moving about 103 miles of the Nexus pipeline away from southern Summit County and northern Stark County into southern Stark and Wayne counties, then western Wayne, Medina and Lorain counties.  More »
conoco

ConocoPhillips hires Scotiabank to sell some Canadian assets

Details on the sale from the Houston-based company will be provided in the second quarter, according to Scotiabank.  More »
(David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Chevron seeks over $3.6 billion for Caltex Australia stake

The deal is the largest block trade ever in Australia, exceeding Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s sale of Woodside Petroleum Ltd. shares in 2010 for about A$3.3 billion.  More »
(AP Photo/Channi Anand)

India said to mull lowering natural gas price 10 percent as energy costs plunge

The government continues to work on a plan to allow a premium for gas produced from deep-water fields, the official said.  More »
(Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

Oklahoma adds more counties to earthquake list

Letters were sent last week to 92 companies holding permits for waste-water disposal wells directing them to provide evidence that their wells are not at a depth most likely to trigger earthquakes.  More »
The Polar Pioneer, a drilling rig contracted by Shell for Chukchi Sea exploration in 2015, is transported across the Pacific on the heavy-lift vessel Blue Marlin. (Photo: Vincenzo Floramo / Greenpeace)

Energy Department study: Shale won’t last, Arctic drilling needed now

In order for the U.S. to keep domestic production high and imports low, oil companies should start probing the Artic now because it takes 10 to 30 years of preparation and drilling to bring oil to market, according to a draft of the study’s executive summary obtained by the Associated Press.  More »
The sand is needed to keep open cracks in the shale after water and chemicals under high pressure fractures the rock. (Ariana Lindquist/Bloomberg)

Frac sand exec to slumping oil producers: You’re not going to drill your way out of this

“Every so often we have to reinvent the oil industry again,” says an executive from frac-sand firm Trican Well Service.  More »
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