EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
( Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

Texas grid can handle the heat, operator says

Texas power plants should be able to meet spring and summer electricity demand, the state’s grid operator said Monday.  More »
(Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)

Russia, Ukraine hold emergency gas talks as cutoff looms

The European Union, which is mediating the talks in Brussels hoping to keep gas flowing despite the dispute, imports around 40 percent of its gas from Russia, half through conflict-torn Ukraine.  More »
T-14 IntRel 2-28-15.2

Cleanup crews respond to Hilcorp pipeline spill in Alaska

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation says responders were able to reach the site at about 6 a.m. Sunday after severe blizzard conditions overnight Saturday halted response efforts.  More »
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia visits an oil rig in the Caspian Sea operated by Lukoil, April 28, 2010. (Alexei Druzhinin/Pool via The New York Times)

How much more economic pain can Vladimir Putin take?

It looks like the one-two punch of sanctions and cheap oil are about to wreck Russia.  More »
Exxon-Same-Sex-Benefits

Lawsuit alleges Exxon denied more claims than paid

Two batches of bad fuel produced at Exxon Mobil in mid-March 2014 caused some Baton Rouge area drivers to experience problems with their intake and valve systems.  More »
(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Buffett praises Exxon Mobil even after selling oil firm

Buffett appeared on CNBC Monday after releasing his annual letter to Berkshire shareholders over the weekend.  More »
(AP file photo/David J. Phillip)

Lawmakers may end tax break on jet fuel, to Delta’s dismay

A bill filed in the House would cut the exemption at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport. Supportive lawmakers say it would help the state get federal money for aviation improvements throughout the state.  More »
Gov. Tom Wolf speaks to members of the media after he signed an executive order restoring a moratorium on new drilling leases involving public lands, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, at the Benjamin Rush State Park in Philadelphia. The executive order ends a short-lived effort by his predecessor to expand the extraction of natural gas from rock buried deep below Pennsylvania's state parks and forests. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Wolf administration to show how it’ll challenge gas industry

Next week, Wolf’s Department of Environmental Protection is preparing to release its plans to update various rules over the drilling industry, including how it must prevent methane leaks and how it must handle toxic wastewater.  More »
(Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg)

Pemex negotiates lower rig rates as crude collapse hurts profit

Pemex is in talks with oil service and jack-up rig providers to reduce daily rates after the board approved cutting more than $4 billion from its 2015 budget last week.  More »
California Gov. Jerry Brown (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

California energy chief calls Jerry Brown’s fuel target a ‘moon shot’

California has been setting the pace for U.S. policy on climate change and greenhouse gases.  More »
John Melko (photo: Gardere Wynne Sewell)

Guest commentary: dealing with low energy prices

Many Texans have seen this movie before, and some of us have seen it several times. Until the commodity cycle turns, as it always does, refocus on the basic blocking and tackling of running a business. Take protective measures to guard against avoidable losses.  More »
Balance and inspection of compressor and steam turbine rotors at Dresser-Rand. (Norman J. Quinn/Houston Chronicle)

Dresser-Rand to cut 8 percent of its workforce

Diesel engine and gas turbine maker Dresser-Rand Group is cutting 8 percent of its 8,100-employee workforce around the world in coming weeks, it said Friday, trimming operating costs as falling crude prices have crushed profits in the oil service sector.  More »
The former Exxon Mobil-owned Bayway Refinery in Linden, N.J. ConocoPhillips now operates the plant. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Exxon Mobil settles New Jersey environmental case for a fraction of expected damages

The New Jersey State Department of Environemntal Protection filed the lawsuit in 2004, and a state superior judge had been close to a decision this year before Gov. Chris Christie’s office told the court on Feb. 20 it had settled with Exxon.  More »
(Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)

Cash-strapped Ukraine struggles to keep Russia gas supplies

With Ukraine’s economy on the brink of collapse and money from a 15.5 billion-euro ($17.5 billion) bailout deal from the International Monetary Fund that has not yet reached Ukrainian coffers, it is unclear how capable — or how willing — Kiev is to strike a long-term deal with Moscow.  More »
Operations At An Orion Drilling Co. Oil Platform

Oil rig count falls by 33, as decline continues

The total rig count fell by 43, with 33 oil rigs and 9 gas rigs lost, according to data released Friday by oil service company Baker Hughes.  More »