EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
Oil Boom Shifts The Landscape Of Rural North Dakota

Shale boom to start busting as U.S. output set to fall

The shale oil bonanza that made millionaires from Texas to North Dakota is slowing down for the first time in years, a sign that painful industry cutbacks are starting to have an impact.  More »
(Eddie Seal/Bloomberg)

Oil firms may have to cut deeper than $126 billion, report says

If Brent, the international crude standard, hangs around $60 a barrel for much longer, oil producers in the United States and elsewhere in the western world will probably have to make deeper cuts.  More »
Oil Barrels

Bullish bets on oil increase

e funds boosted net-long positions on West Texas Intermediate crude by 30 percent in the seven days ended April 7, the biggest jump since October 2010, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show  More »
Greenpeace activists held a banner that said 'The People vs. Shell' as they scaled the Polar Pioneer drill rig in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo: Greenpeace)

Greenpeace protesters leave Arctic rig

Rough seas prompted the decision, Greenpeace said in an email. The protesters rappelled off the rig and got into inflatable boats before returning to a Greenpeace ship stationed nearby.  More »
(LM Otero/AP)

Exxon might be next in line for mega deal, analysts say

Exxon Mobil Corp. could be the next big oil firm to pull off a major corporate takeover like Royal Dutch Shell’s $70 billion bid this week for BG Group, Morgan Stanley analysts say.  More »
Marathon Bakken drilling

U.S. oil rig count down 42 as industry’s slowdown accelerates

The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. fell by 42 this week, a reversal from previous figures that suggested the industry’s pull back was slowing down.  More »
(Victor Dubreuil)

EnCap raises $6.5 billion to pour into North American oil firms

Private equity firm EnCap Investments has closed its tenth energy fund with $6.5 billion to back North American oil and gas producers, the latest firm to collect billions to pump into the shale business.  More »
(AP Photo/Diamond Offshore)

Houston oil company among five caught in legal battle over new U.K.-Argentina Falkland Islands fight

Argentina filed criminal charges Thursday at the general prosecutor’s office in Buenos Aires against five U.K. and U.S. oil companies.  More »
(Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

The Atlantic Ocean could have one of its quietest hurricane seasons in years

About 4 percent of U.S. natural gas and 17 percent of oil production is centered in the Gulf.  More »
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Energy Department to spend $200 million on new supercomputer

The goal is to build a supercomputer that will help the U.S. compete internationally with other next-generation computing efforts and ensure the United States’ economic and national security, agency officials said.  More »
(Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Shell deal brings relief to Dutch companies used to being prey

Ten benchmark Dutch stocks, or just under half the 25 spots that make up the Amsterdam Exchanges Index, have been acquired since 2007, when ABN Amro Holding NV was snapped up for $100 billion by a consortium led by Royal Bank of Scotland Plc.  More »
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei (Bloomberg News/ILNA/document IRAN)

Iran’s supreme leader refrains from endorsing nuclear deal

In his first public comments addressing the April 2 pact was outlined in Lausanne, Switzerland, Khamenei said on Thursday he was “neither for it, nor against it,” according to a report by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.  More »
Original byline: Jim Blecha/

The oil industry’s $26 billion life raft

The swift decline in U.S. oil prices — $107.26 on June 20, $46.39 seven months later — caught market participants by surprise.  More »
The Apache-operated Varanus Island Gas hub is located in western Australia (Apache Corp.)

Apache Corp. is exiting Australia with a $2.1 billion asset sale

The assets produced the equivalent of about 49,000 barrels of oil a day in March.  More »
SHELL STRATEGIC OIL

Will an M&A wave follow Shell-BG? Investors hope, dealmakers doubt

Corporate dealmakers and analysts say they doubt it’s a sign that a new wave of oil and gas deals like the spending spree of the late-1990s is just around the corner, especially among financially healthy U.S. oil producers.  More »
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