EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
ConocoPhillips-Phillips 66

Phillips 66 income rises on increased exports

Increased exports of refined petroleum products and improved U.S. crude price differentials drove Phillips 66′s profit up 17 percent in the fourth quarter, the company said Wednesday.  More »
Blue megaphone icon

Obama’s natural gas boost wins applause, jeers on social media

Natural gas was the clear winner in President Barack Obama’s fifth State of the Union address, delivered Tuesday evening. Both environmentalists and boosters of the oil and gas industry took to Twitter to giver their takes  More »
This drilling rig is working in the South Texas Eagle Ford where EOG Resources had been active.  Photo: Courtesy Photo / HC

Houston companies scored major stock gains in 2013

Companies that invested in North American oil plays were rewarded with big stock gains in 2013, even as the largest energy companies saw little change in their value overall, according to a new report from the research firm IHS.  More »
Petroleos Mexicanos oil platforms in the Cantarell oil field in the Gulf of Mexico.  (Photo: Pemex/Bloomberg)

Mexico energy reform could bring $1.2 trillion to border towns

As Mexico moves to open its energy sector to international companies, the new investments and increased activity could mean a bonanza for border towns on both sides, attracting as much as $1.2 trillion in economic activity to the region in the next decade, according to a BBVA Compass economist.  More »
A BP company logo sits on display on the forecourt of a gas station operated by BP in London. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

BP to sell off $100M turbine oils business

Even after selling off billions in assets to pay for oil spill costs, BP is still slimming down.  More »
(AP file photo/Mary Altaffer)

Natural gas prices rise amid cold weather

U.S. natural gas prices surpassed $5 per million British units in afternoon trading Tuesday, days after they broke that mark for the first time since 2010, as cold weather kept demand for heating and electricity high.  More »
A Sanchez Energy drilling site in Fayette County, in the Eagle Ford Shale. (Sanchez Energy)

Sanchez Energy output surges in the Eagle Ford

An oil gusher in the Eagle Ford Shale lifted Sanchez Energy’s daily production last year to seven times its level the year before, as it adopted advances like pad drilling.  More »
The Competitive Renewable Energy Zones  initiative lines were designed to move electricity generated by renewable energy from the remote parts of Texas to more heavily populated areas. Oncor completed 37 stations and equipment for this project, as well as more than 900 miles of transmission lines. (photo: Oncor)

New power lines may be coming to Houston

Texas grid planners are evaluating proposals for $3.6 billion in transmission projects over the next five years, including upgrades in lines serving the Houston area.  More »
Oil Barrel

Oil falls below $96 as parts of U.S. set to thaw out

The price of oil inched up to around $97 a barrel Monday but gains were tempered by the prospect of a further reduction in U.S. central bank stimulus and stock market headwinds.  More »
Kurt Mix (center) arrives at the Hale Boggs Federal Building in New Orleans, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013.  (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Juror interviews at issue in ex-BP engineer’s case

A former BP engineer is basing his request for a new trial on improper interviews with jurors who had convicted him of trying to obstruct a federal investigation of the company’s 2010 Gulf oil spill, federal prosecutors say.  More »
Gustavo Madero, president of Mexico's National Action Party, speaks at the Mayer Brown law firm's Mexico Energy Reform Breakfast Seminar on Jan. 21, 2014, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Houston. (Emily Pickrell/Houston Chronicle)

Mexico’s opposition leader discusses impact of energy policy overhaul

During a visit to Houston last week, Gustavo Madero, president of Mexico’s opposition National Action Party, spoke with FuelFix about how the nation’s new energy reform policy will affect Pemex and other aspects of the nation’s energy landscape.  More »
FTS International workers and equipment conduct simultaneous fracturing on a multiple well pad site in Fort Worth Basin. (FTS International)

Pumps move to the Permian under market pressure

Rigs designed for horizontal drilling made a big move last year into the Permian Basin, the last major U.S. oil patch to remain a stronghold for older vertical units. But that’s small relief two years after a surge of oil field services startups left the U.S. market with far too much fracturing equipment and sent prices for fracturing jobs plummeting.  More »