EnergyWatch

News from the Houston Chronicle energy team
Permian Basin oil production growth is concentrated in six formations. (U.S. Energy Information Administration)

Rallying Permian beats anew as heart of Texas oil

The Permian Basin, which helped define the Texas oil business for 50 years then hit the skids, is back big-time, and a new government report makes the point.  More »
A natural gas drilling site in the Barnett Shale. (AP file photo/Donna McWilliam)

Private equity firms merge energy assets to create Barnett operator

Two private equity firms will combine their energy assets to form a new oil and gas operator that will have a big presence in the Barnett Shale.  More »
(AP file photo/Paul Sakuma)

GE in Texas wind farm deal

General Electric’s Energy Financial Services unit and E.ON Climate and Renewables North America are forming an investment partnership to own and operate a Texas wind farm.  More »
Texas regulators will study whether operators of wind generation plants like this one in West Texas should pick up some of the tab for transmitting their power to populated areas. . (Carolyn Mary Bauman /Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

Should wind power blow free through Texas power lines?

The state’s electricity regulator is looking into who should pay for transmission lines that mostly carry wind-generated power.  More »
dollar falling graph

Oil slips closer to $103 as supply fears recede

Oil has been falling steadily since it hit a 10-month closing high of $107.26 on June 20 as the Iraqi government has slowly re-established stability.  More »
The late Houston pipeline tycoon and philanthropist Dan Duncan donated millions to charities. (Johnny Hanson/Houston Chronicle)

New Forbes list of billionaire families ranks Duncan heirs No. 10

The heirs of Houston pipeline tycoon and philanthropist Dan Duncan rank No. 10 on a new Forbes list of billionaire families.  More »
A multibillion-dollar expansion of  Dow Chemical Co's Freeport complex is one of many Gulf Coast petrochemical projects driven partly by low-priced U.S. natural gas.  (Dow Chemical Co. photo)

Surge of industrial projects could lift U.S. gas demand by 19 percent

A wave of gas-to-liquids investments and other U.S. industrial projects will likely boost demand for natural gas by 19 to 31 percent through the end of the decade, a new study shows.  More »
Calpine's Magic Valley project near Edinburg, Texas (Photo: Calpine)

Calpine sells six plants for $1.6 billion

Calpine Corp. closed on the sale of six power plants, the power generator said in an Securities and Exchange Commission filing today, bringing in nearly $1.6 billion.  More »
court_gavel

Drillers: BP can’t escape liabilities by blaming feds for moratorium

Plaintiffs’ attorneys say BP can’t dismiss lawsuits from drillers and oil-field service companies by arguing it was the federal government’s fault they lost money during the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium in 2010.  More »
(AP photo)

EU’s united front on Russia falling amid gas needs

A clutch of countries is breaking ranks with the EU’s efforts to put economic and diplomatic pressure on Russia over Ukraine and building a pipeline meant to carry huge amounts of Russian gas to their doorstep  More »
(stockyimages)

Macquarie fund buys terminals business in American expansion

A fund managed by Macquarie Group Ltd. agreed to take full control of a U.S. bulk liquid terminals operation for $1.03 billion in cash and stock as Australia’s largest investment bank expands its North American businesses.  More »
Ben Davenport, 19, stands in front of compressors and other equipment at Lackawanna College School of Petroleum and Natural Gas in New Milford, Pa.  (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Industry, schools partnering to train oil field workers

Educational programs popping up in Texas, Pennsylvania and North Dakota that aim to help oil companies find enough workers to install pipeline, monitor wells and fix equipment.  More »