EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
Marine Well Containment Company officers Charlie Miller, Carmine Dulisse, Dan Smallwood and Marty Massey are shown with the capping stack at Trendsetter Engineering on Feb. 15, 2011. (Photo: MWCC/Robert Seale)

Oil companies unveil spill containment system

The Marine Well Containment Co. announced Thursday that it has assembled and tested the equipment and support vessels needed to contain a spill similar to BP’s massive accident last year, which took 85 days to plug. Some of the equipment was used by BP in its containment efforts.  More »
(Photo: David Paul Ohmer/Flickr)

FuelFix Newslinks |02.17.11|

Frac message isn’t working. U.S. emissions at 16-year low. Bromwich sticks to the script.  More »
A vehicle drives past frozen plants along South Blue Bell Road Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Brenham, Texas. (Photo: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle)

Which plants went down Feb. 2? The list grows

ERCOT reveals some of the power plants that crashed when cold weather swept through Texas early in February.  More »
Thilde Jensen of Truxton, N.Y, protests against natural gas drilling in New York state during a rally in Albany, N.Y., on Monday, Jan. 25, 2010.  (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Fracking message isn’t working, says industry exec

The public is tuning out claims hydraulic fracturing has a safe track record, says Colorado oil industry trade group head Tisha Schuller. It’s time to change the message.  More »
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns on April 21, 2010 after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP file photo/Gerald Herbert)

The oil and gas industry and the image problem

The bad perception of the industry in the wake of the BP spill not only weakens the public’s trust in the business, it negatively influences regulators and decision makers in the financial sector, one oil and gas executive said.  More »
A Petrohawk Energy natural gas drilling site in the Eagle Ford Shale is shown in September 2009. (Jake Lacey/Houston Chronicle file photo)

Southwestern Energy CEO: ‘New is the norm’ for future E&P

Unconventional oil and gas plays, from Texas to New York, represent a huge opportunity but will also force producers to take bigger risks and rely less on traditional business lines. “We’re either going to have to change or die,” said Southwestern CEO Steve Mueller.  More »
(Photo: Houston Chronicle file)

Entergy Texas electric rates will go down

Customers in communities including The Woodlands and Beaumont will see their electricity rates go down thanks to lower power plant fuel costs.  More »
(Image: Fotolia)

Texas blackouts trickle down to retail customers

Dyno-WHAT? My power provider says its upped my month-to-month rate because of the Feb. 2 power emergency.  More »
(Photo: David Paul Ohmer/Flickr)

FuelFix Newslinks |02.16.11|

Seahawk shouldn’t blame the drilling ban. XL decision delayed. XTO saves Exxon’s bacon.  More »
(Photo: Seth Anderson/Flickr)

Blackout hearings: Angry in Austin

“I would be ready to file a lawsuit against the one who designed a unit that went down,” said one Texas senator frustrated by rolling blackouts that followed the failure of dozens of power plants on Feb. 2.  More »
A 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit.  (AP file photo/Carlos Osorio)

Analyst: Global auto sales seen hitting record in 2011

Emerging markets including China, India and Brazil are expected to account for 53 percent of total light-vehicle sales in 2011.  More »
(Photo: Catherine/Flickr)

Texas power monitor didn’t see signs of manipulation

In a state Senate hearing, the head of the Texas Public Utility Commission said the independent power market monitor’s first look at power trading data didn’t reveal clear signs of market manipulation in relation to rolling blackouts on Feb. 2.  More »
Luminant's 1,600 megawatt Oak Grove power plant in Robertson County, Texas. (Photo: Luminant)

Blackouts bit Luminant for $30 million

Texas’ largest power plant operator says plant shutdowns meant it had to buy power at much higher costs.  More »
(Photo: David Paul Ohmer/Flickr)

FuelFix Newslinks |02.15.11|

Feds look into Texas blackouts. Dereg an $11 billion mistake. More fees for offshore.  More »
GE Energy Infrastructure CEO John Krenicki at GE Oil & Gas in Houston. (Photo: Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle)

Houston may get bigger role in GE’s energy goals

GE’s $2.8 billion deal to buy the Wood Group’s well support division is the latest sign of the company’s aim to be a bigger player in oil and gas.  More »