EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
The Ebola virus viewed through an electron microscope. (AP Photo/Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine)

Oil companies cast wary eye to African Ebola crisis

Exxon Mobil delayed drilling an offshore exploratory will in Liberia as it and other oil companies keep a close watch on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  More »
sao schlumberger

Schlumberger artwork could fetch $85 million

The oil billionaire’s art collection, totaling 90 pieces, includes artwork that has never been exhibited before.  More »
President Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service)

Putin power transition won’t be peaceful, exiled oil tycoon says

His comments come as Russia endures sanctions from the U.S. and European Union for its annexation of Crimea and investors pull money from the nation.  More »
In this June 11, 2014, photo, the scenic Little Missouri River winds it's way inside the Theodore Roosevelt National Park located in the Badlands of North Dakota. The park of more than 70,000 acres sits atop the Bakken shale. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Houston coal firm gets deeper into oil with $340M deal

Houston mineral rights owner Natural Resource Partners is buying oil land operated by one of the largest players in North Dakota for $340 million, it said Monday.  More »
A pipe emerges from dried and cracked earth that used to be the bottom of the Almaden Reservoir  on January 28, 2014 in San Jose, California. Now in its third straight year of drought conditions, California is experiencing its driest year on record, dating back 119 years, and reservoirs throughout the state have low water levels. Santa Clara County reservoirs are at 3 percent of capacity or lower. California Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared a drought emergency to speed up assistance to local governments, streamline water transfers and potentially ease environmental protection requirements for dam releases.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California hydroelectric power drying up amid drought

The Energy Information Administration says the extended drought in California is hurting the state’s capacity to production hydroelectric power.  More »
Halliburton, an oil field services company,  is adding a femine touch to the gift items it distributes at job fairs and conferences, in a bid to encourage more women to join its ranks.  ( Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle )

Oil business recruits women to replace the retiring old boys

The booming oil industry, in need of new talent as the previous generation nears retirement, is trying to attract more women to its ranks.  More »
Rosneft President Igor Sechin (AP file photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Putin factions gridlocked over arrest as sanctions bite

Russia’s ruling elite is convulsing as the economy careens toward recession, the ruble hovers near a record low and the conflict in Ukraine pushes the country deeper into a standoff with the U.S and its allies.  More »
Mideast Iraq Oil

Tumbling oil prices punish hedge funds betting on gains

Hedge funds increased bets on rising oil prices just before crude futures tumbled to a 17-month low on signs that global supply is outstripping demand.  More »
In this photo taken on Aug. 13, 2014, Friends of Augusta handout no pipeline stickers for people to wear during the supervisors meeting when representatives from Dominion present their proposal for a natural gas pipeline that would run through Augusta County to the Augusta County supervisors in Verona, Va. (AP Photo/The Staunton News Leader, Randall Wolf)

Pipeline’s path stirs opposition in Va., W.Va.

A proposed $5 billion pipeline that would deliver natural gas to the Southeast is finding opposition along its planned path in West Virginia and Virginia.  More »
In this undated photo, Zach Lamppa poses with an unmanned aircraft in North Dakota. Lamppa hopes to bring drone use to North Dakota's oil fields to monitor pipelines. Currently commercial use of drones is banned by the Federal Aviation Administration but that body has recently granted several exceptions, including oil companies British Petroleum and ConocoPhillips in Alaska. (AP Photo/Energy Intelligence)

Drones could be used on North Dakota oil fields

While the commercial use of drones is largely banned, the Federal Aviation Administration allowed oil giant ConocoPhillips to use unmanned aircraft systems in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay oil field last year and granted a similar permission to BP there in June.  More »
George Terwilliger of law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Q&A: Companies take steps to avoid greasing palms in oil search

Energy companies are a particularly vulnerable to investigations under U.S. anti-bribery laws because they often operate in remote countries with histories of corruption, says George Terwilliger, a former deputy U.S. attorney general who now works at a private law firm.  More »
The West Texas sky silhouettes a Linn Energy pumpjack in the Permian basin. (Linn Energy)

Eagle Ford, Permian drilling production surges

According to the Texas Petro Index, oil production in Texas rose almost 20 million barrels.  More »
NATURAL GAS

Baker Hughes: Oil, gas rig count falling

The number of oil and gas rigs in the U.S. is falling as oil futures fall below $90 a barrel this week.  More »
BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig

BP swipe at “reckless” ruling hinges on challenge to Halliburton expert

BP’s attempt to unravel a verdict that its recklessness caused the Deepwater Horizon oil spill hinges on its legal and scientific challenge to the testimony of one expert and its bid to cast more blame for the disaster on cement contractor Halliburton.  More »
Yoko Ono appears at a news conference in New York to launch the coalition of artists opposing hydraulic fracturing called Artists Against Fracking.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

EOG, Anadarko reach deal with New York to disclose financial risks of fracking

The New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached an agreement with Houston based energy producers EOG Resources and Anadarko that will require them to disclose the financial risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, his office announced Friday.  More »