EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
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FuelFix Newslinks |09.06.11|

Pipeline report is all hearts and flowers. BP boss says ignore the press. A China/Conoco cover-up?  More »
Eight people were killed in a September 2010 natural gas explosion in a mostly residential neighborhood of San Bruno, Calif. Industry funding of research may have hindered replacement of decades-old pipeline with defective seam welds and other hazards.  (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Pipe regulators’ draft found to paint rosy picture

A report from the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration misrepresents accident statistics, overstates the industry’s track record and omits key issues.  More »
The Chevron Genesis platform in the Gulf of Mexico (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Workers slowly returning to Gulf oil and gas platforms

About 61 percent of Gulf of Mexico oil production and 46 percent of natural gas output remains offline as crews slowly return to offshore platforms in the wake of Tropical Storm Lee.  More »
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Lee shuts in more than half of Gulf oil and gas

Tropical Storm Lee has led offshore oil and gas firms to cut more than 60 percent of the Gulf of Mexico’s oil production and 54.6 percent of the natural gas production.  More »
One of the firemen on board Discoverer Deep Seas watches as a helicopter makes a safe landing on the helipad at the Bob North prospect about 100 miles off the coast of New Orleans, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2007. (Karen Warren/Chronicle)

Rig evacuations at a standstill as Gulf storm builds *updates*

The slow moving tropical weather is sending gale force winds over offshore rigs and platforms, making ongoing crew evacuations difficult. More than 47 percent of the Gulf’s oil output and 33 percent of the natural gas production has been shut-in.  More »
Oil cleanup workers use high pressure hoses to decontaminate oil retention booms at a staging and decontamination area in Theodore, Ala., on Saturday, June 5, 2010. (AP file photo/Dave Martin)

Study: Offshore crews not exposed to harmful air during Gulf cleanup

Levels of dangerous compounds associated with oil, including benzene, fell well below federally allowed limits during last year’s Gulf oil spill, and may have even been tied to engine exhaust rather than the oil slick, according to an analysis by San Francisco-based ChemRisk. The study was not funded by BP.  More »
President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting at ElectraTherm, Inc. a small renewable energy company  in Reno, Nev., on Thursday, April 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Obama delays ozone rules again; industry cheers, enviros jeer

The Obama administration is delaying the implementation of new smog rules, the fifth such delay for the rules in the past year  More »
Inside the cement prep and pumping area workers monitor the mixing and flow of the cement to the relief well drilled to kill the Macondo well, September 2010, onboard the Transocean DD III in the Gulf of Mexico. (BP Photo)

Halliburton accuses BP of fraud, defamation in Gulf accident

Halliburton says “profit and greed” drove BP to give it bad information about the location of hydrocarbon zones in the Macondo well, information that is critical for the cementing work Halliburton performed.  More »
Petroleos Mexicanos oil platforms in the Cantarell oil field in the Gulf of Mexico.  (Photo: Pemex/Bloomberg)

Pemex sees deep-water potential with Spain’s Repsol

Pemex wants to double its stake in Repsol, but the Spanish firm is resisting.  More »
Gas pump sticker

Texas gets tough on inaccurate gas pumps

A new program makes it easier to report gasoline pumps suspected of delivering fewer gallons than they register, and increases penalties for cheating, state Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples announced Thursday.  More »
In this Aug. 31, 2011, file photo, Ron Corsi walks through the basement of his house, which has been without power since Hurricane Irene struck the area, in Havertown, Pa. (Photo: Matt Slocum / AP)

Irene power outages put the Northeast on edge

Up and down the East Coast, the wait for power remains, with an estimated 1.38 million homes and businesses still without electricity, down from a peak of 9.6 million, and criticism of the utility companies mounting.  More »
Rebel fighters are seen following heavy clashes with pro-Gadhafi forces on the front line at Dafniya, Libya, Monday, June 13, 2011.  (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Libya assets unfrozen to pay Vitol $300 million fuel bill

The U.S. planned to release $300 million of frozen Libyan assets today to Geneva-based oil trader Vitol Group for fuel provided to the rebels who ousted Muammar Qaddafi.  More »