EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
A rig drills for natural gas in the Sonora Field in the Permian Basin. (AP Photo)

Rig count rises by 11

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose 11 this week to 2,023.  More »
A natural gas gathering pipeline under construction in the Haynesville shale near Shreveport, La. (Photo:James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle)

EPA fires back at pipeline group’s attack on oil-and-gas emissions rule

The EPA says reduction of greenhouse gases is a “co-benefit” of a new rule aimed at reducing smog, not the primary goal.  More »
Money Roll

Analysts: U.S. land drilling will boost earnings for oilfield services companies

Analysts at FBR Capital Markets announced they are increasing third-quarter earnings estimates for several oilfield services companies, but fear concerns for the general economy will overshadow the industry’s strong results.  More »
GE Solar Array

GE picks Colorado to build biggest US solar factory

Colorado beat out New York as the site of a new GE solar panel manufacturing facility.  More »
A United Eco-Skies aircraft arrives earlier this month at Bush Intercontinental Airport from Cancun, Mexico. The jetliner scored a North American milestone for biofuel-powered flying in 2009. (Brett Coomer/ Houston Chronicle)

Airlines can’t grow enough alt-jet fuels… at least not yet

Alternative fuels aren’t cheap, and there aren’t many providers. So the subsidiaries of United Continental Holdings are still powering their jetliners with conventional fuels, two years after first successfully testing biofuels on a flight. For now, no provider has an ample supply of biofuel at the right price, said Jimmy Samartzis, the company’s managing director […]  More »
Development Driller III workers

U.S. will let BP bid on Gulf leases again

Some lawmakers don’t want to let BP take part in Gulf of Mexico oil and gas leases, but the company says it has learned its lessons from the Deepwater Horizon accident.  More »
(Photo: David Paul Ohmer/Flickr)

FuelFix Newslinks |10.14.11|

Kiddie pools and flare guns at La. refinery. Does $45 million matter to BP? Too soon for oil apocalypse.  More »
China has been seen as a prime export market for U.S. coal. (AP photo)

Next on Republicans’ list: EPA’s proposed coal-ash rule

The House will likely approve a bill Friday to block the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing its first-ever regulations restricting how utilities can dispose of coal ash.  More »
This plastic childrens pool was used to catch leaks at Pelican Refining's Lake Charles, La. refinery. The Houston-based company pled guilty to a number of violations of U.S. environmental laws and to obstructing justice during the EPA's investigation. (Photo: EPA)

Houston refiner pleads guilty to environmental crimes *update*

A kiddie pool, a flare gun from Walmart and bypassed emissions controls were all part of normal operations at a Lake Charles, La. refinery owned by Houston-based Pelican Refining, according to the EPA. The company has agreed to pay a $12 million fine for environmental regulations and lying to investigators.  More »
(Photo: Anadarko)

Anadarko ponders office expansion

Exxon Mobil might not be the only big energy company planning to expand north of Houston.  More »
A cyber security analyst works in the "watch and warning center" during the first tour of the government’s secretive cyber defense lab in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The Homeland Security Department's Control System Security Program facilities are intended to protect the nation's power grid, water and communications systems. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)   Summary

Cybercrime becomes bigger threat to energy industry than terrorists

In the past energy industry security was all about terrorist threats to facilities and overseas kidnappings. These days cyber espionage is the bigger problem.  More »
(Photo: David Paul Ohmer/Flickr)

FuelFix Newslinks |10.13.11|

Spill fines begin. Fear of hackers, not jihadists, tops for energy security. Support for EPA rules.  More »