EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
Maersk Developer platform in Gulf of Mexico

Maersk Oil to lay off a fourth of Houston staff

Diminishing returns in Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico have pushed Maersk Oil to cut a quarter of the jobs at its Houston office.  More »
Houston-based Blue Dolphin Energy's refinery in Nixon 54 miles east of San Antonio gets all its crude from the nearby Eagle Ford Shale.

Eagle Ford wave lifts Blue Dolphin Energy refinery

Houston-based Blue Dolphin Energy is turning a p;rofit on a refinery east of San Antonio that gets all its feedstock from the Eagle Ford Shale.  More »
Endicott was the first continuously producing offshore field in the Arctic and located about 3 miles offshore on Alaska’s North Slope.  (BP)

Voters go with oil companies in fight over Alaska taxes

Alaskans narrowly defeated an effort to repeal an industry-friendly oil tax regime adopted last year.  More »
David Lawler was named CEO of BP's U.S. lower 48 onshore business on Wednesday, August 20.

BP names CEO of U.S. onshore business

BP has tapped David Lawler, a former top executive at an independent oil producer, to lead the U.S. onshore unit it plans to separate early next year.  More »
Flares like this one in North Dakota burning off excess natural gas  might be less frequent if a new company successfully develops its process for turning methane into gasoline.  (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Saudi Aramco invests $30 million in methane-to-gasoline startup

Siluria Technologies has received $100 million investment in its effort to develop a more efficient process for making gasoline from methane–the main component of natural gas, which is so plentiful in the United States now that some is burned off in flares because it isn’t marketable.  More »
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett uses a super large bat as he plays table tennis against junior champion Ariel Hsing, outside the Berkshire-owned Borsheim's jewelry store, in Omaha, Neb., Sunday, May 2, 2010. Tens of thousands came to Omaha over the weekend to take part in the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting.(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Warren Buffett pulls back on oil company investments

Warren Buffett showed the energy industry his gloomy side in the second quarter.  More »
Natural Resource Partners LP will acquire Philadelphia-based VantaCore Partners LP, which has sand, gravel and asphalt businesses across the country, for $205 million (Flickr/pikkuanna)

Houston’s NRP buys construction materials business for $205 million

Natural Resource Partners LP, a Houston-based master limited partnership that buys and manages mineral reserves, will acquire Philadelphia-based VantaCore Partners LP for $205 million, it announced Tuesday.  More »
Gov. Tom Corbett. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Nabil K. Mark)

Environmentalists say Pa. health registry needed

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration said Monday it has enhanced the state health department’s handling of complaints involving natural-gas drilling, prompting environmentalists to renew their demand for more aggressive action.  More »
This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows pieces of a chimney that toppled and went through the roof after an earthquake in Sparks, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Less shake from artificial quakes

Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found.  More »
Kangaroo on beach in western Australia

Apache announces new offshore Australia discovery

HOUSTON — Houston-based Apache Corp. announced Monday that it made its first offshore oil discovery in Australia’s Canning Basin, located off the west coast of the country. Officials with the company say their measurements indicate that, optimistically, there could be as much as 300 million barrels of oil in place at the basin. The company […]  More »
The Cameron International Building in Houston (Photo: Holliday Fenoglio Fowler)

Cameron to sell compressor business for $850 million

Houston oil field equipment maker Cameron International is selling its centrifugal compression business to an Irish industrial manufacturer for $850 million, it said Monday.  More »
A horizontal boring mill works on part of a pressure pump at the Fort Worth factory of FTS International, which has a joint venture with China's Sinopec to provide hydraulic fracturing technology. (Brandon Thibodeaux for the Houston Chronicle)

Hoping for its own shale gale, China seeks U.S. know-how

U.S. companies are entering joint ventures to provide China with the tools it needs to get at oil and gas locked in shale.  More »
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