EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
In this photo released by Vietnam Coast Guard, a Chinese ship, left, shoots water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel, right, while a Chinese Coast Guard ship, center, sails alongside in the South China Sea, off Vietnam's coast, in May. (AP Photo/Vietnam Coast Guard)

Vietnam urges China to withdraw oil drilling rig

The escalation in tensions is the most serious in years between Vietnam and its massive northern neighbor, which claims nearly all of the South China Sea.  More »
AUSTRIA-OPEC-COMMODITIES-ENERGY-OIL

OPEC ministers signal output to remain on hold

Nany of the 12 OPEC members are at their production capacity limits.  More »
A pumpjack operates at the Inglewood oil field in Los Angeles. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg)

US energy security reaches highest level in a quarter century

The United States produced enough energy to satisfy 84 percent of its needs in 2013, a rapid climb from its historic low in 2005, according to a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.  More »
(Flickr/SalFalko)

Supreme Court denies BP on spill payment freeze

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected BP’s emergency petition to halt oil spill payments while it considers whether or not to take up a broader dispute over allegedly fabricated economic-loss claims.  More »
An oil & gas drilling rig works in the Eagle Ford Shale formation.
(Galbraith: Natural Gas)
Eddie Seal for The Texas Tribune

Moody’s: Oil and gas sector to grow through 2015

The independent exploration and production sector’s growth will continue into 2015 and only crude prices falling to $80 per barrel would slow it down, according to a new report from credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service.  More »
Copano Energy's Eagle Ford Gathering Freer Station, one of the assets Kinder Morgan gets in its $4 billion acquisition of the gas gathering and processing company. (Copano Energy)

Former Copano execs get $500M to start new pipeline firm

The executives who sold Copano Energy to Richard Kinder’s pipeline empire for $3.2 billion last year have lined up $500 million to start a new oil and gas pipeline company.  More »
A mock helicopter sits poolside at the Falck Safety Services facility near Katy. The device dunks offshore oil workers underwater so they can practice escaping from a sinking aircraft. (Ryan Holeywell/Houston Chronicle)

Watery classroom teaches life-saving lessons (video)

Most people who work on offshore oil facilities — including visiting journalists — have to learn to escape an upside down, water-filled helicopter. It’s all just a drill. But the panic is real.  More »
Power lines, owned by Energy Future Holdings, near the Lake Hubbard Power Plant near Dallas. (Allison V. Smith/The New York Times)

Bankruptcy judge approves $9.9B in loans to troubled Texas power firm

A federal bankruptcy judge on Friday approved $4.47 billion in loans to Energy Future Holdings, which had sought debt to pay the bills for its retail electricity business while in bankruptcy.  More »
Phillips 66 has struck a deal with a Chevron subsidiary to buy the Beaumont Terminal, capable of carrying 7.1 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Phillips 66 buys big oil storage terminal on Gulf Coast

Phillips 66 struck a deal Thursday for what may become its largest oil and refined-product storage terminal as it anticipates an influx of crude oil to migrate to the Gulf Coast.  More »
shale_gas

Quiz: What shale play are you?

Like snowflakes, no two shale formations are the same. Each rock has its own peculiarities. Its own unique geology. Its own “Je ne sais quoi.” Which shale play is your seismic soul mate? Take this FuelFix.com quiz to find out!  More »
An Eagle Ford well near Kenedy, Texas. (Eric Gay/AP)

Posing a question: How do yoga revenues compare with Eagle Ford costs?

Oil companies will spend about $27 billion drilling wells in the Eagle Ford Shale this year, according to Houston energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.  More »
The blowout preventer stack used at BP's failed Macondo well is lifted out of the Gulf of Mexico in September 2010. (AP file photo/Patrick Semansky)

Court: BP must pay Clean Water Act fines for spill

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says BP can’t avoid fines for the 2010 Gulf oil spill by blaming equipment owned by Transocean.  More »