EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
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Houston crude-by-rail company files for $150 million IPO

Houston rail terminal operator USD Partners told regulators Friday it plans to make a $150 million Wall Street debut later this year as U.S. oil companies turn to trains to transport crude.  More »

Illinois state agency issues fracturing rules

he lengthy report follows months of delays and complaints over the process to draft rules governing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Illinois. Industry officials say southern Illinois has rich deposits of natural gas, but a final draft of the rules — initially touted as a national model of both sides working together — has taken months for the agency to produce as industry groups warned the state was losing business.  More »
The Stripes convenience on Southmore Blvd. on Monday, April 28, 2014, in Houston. ( J. Patric Schneider / For the Chronicle )

Energy Transfer Partners completes $1.8 billion Susser deal

Dallas-based pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners completed a deal to acquire Corpus Christi’s Susser Holdings Corp. in a transaction that will ultimately bring the Stripes and Sunoco convenience stores under the same umbrella, the companies announced Friday.  More »
Allen L. Gilmer, CEO of Drillinginfo, discusses his Austin-based data and analytics company during a visit to the North American Prospect Expo in Houston. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. ( Marie D. De Jesus / Houston Chronicle )

Company helps smaller oil companies use bigger data

Austin-based Drillinginfo creates apps and databases to help smaller independent oil companies improve their exploration and production.  More »

Feds to resume leasing for fracturing in California

The move will end a halt that has stood since a federal judge ruled in 2013 that the federal agency failed to follow environmental law in allowing fracking on public land in Monterey County.  More »

Valero restarts ethanol plant

Valero bought the plant in March from Illinois-based Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc. for $34 million, boosting the number of its ethanol plants to 11.  More »
(Photo: Sam Howzit/Flickr)

Plaintiffs likely to appeal ruling in BP Atlantis case, lawyer says

An attorney for plaintiffs who sued BP for $256 billion said Thursday he expects to appeal a federal judge’s decision to throw out a lawsuit over alleged safety compliance issues at one of BP’s deep-water production platforms.  More »

Calpine to sell Florida facility to Duke Energy

Calpine Corp. has agreed to sell a Florida power plant to Duke Energy, but the companies have not yet finalized the terms of the deal, a Calpine spokesman said.  More »
The United Kalavryta, shown here in the Gulf in late July, remains anchored about 60 miles off Galveston's coast. (Courtesy: U.S. Coast Guard)

Tanker reappears on tracking system, and it’s still in the area

A tanker of oil at the center of a dispute between Kurdistan and Iraq apparently is still in Galveston-area waters despite two days of absence from maritime tracking systems.  More »
The growth of renewable energy could slow unless the industry gets more certainty about policies surrounding them, the International Energy Agency said in a new report. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Policy uncertainty could undermine future of renewables, agency says

Power generation from renewable resources like wind, solar and hydroelectricity could slow unless policymakers offer more clarity about future markets, according to a report.  More »
A BP company logo sits on display on the forecourt of a gas station operated by BP in London. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Fire out after BP Whiting refinery explosion

An explosion and fire occurred late Wednesday at BP’s biggest U.S. refinery in Whiting, Indiana, but appears to have left no serious injuries.  More »
Occidental Petroleum Corp. employees and  guests, including Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Tom Craddick, Mayor Jerry Morales and others help turn the dirt during a  ground breaking ceremony for Occidential's Midland office complex.
(Tim Fischer\Reporter-Telegram)

Occidental breaks ground on Midland complex

MIDLAND — Occidental Petroleum officials and employees gathered earlier this week with local- and state-elected officials — including Gov. Rick Perry — to break ground for the company’s Midland office. Mayor Jerry Morales began the event, welcoming participants and citing not only Occidental’s job creation but its contributions to the community — from schools to […]  More »