News from the Houston Chronicle energy team

Shell denies report it infiltrated Nigeria government

Shell blasts U.K. newspaper story as “untrue, false and misleading,” but says it cannot comment on leaked U.S. cable alleging oil firm inserted employees into Nigerian government.  More »
Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation co-chairman Coast Guard Capt. Hung Nguyen, questions Robert McKechnie of Transocean during a hearing held by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Management Regulation and Enforcement  in Metairie, La., Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Spill hearings: Panel questions draw ire of attorneys, witness

Questioning by U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Hung Nguyen is annoying industry attorneys and just about everyone else in the room. “It’s my right to ask these questions,” he argues. (AP Photo)  More »

Spill hearings: Just one witness *update*

Sperry Sun mud logger and Transocean manager scheduled to testify won’t show today. (Photo: Nick de la Torre/Houston Chronicle)  More »
The blowout preventer stack (right) and lower marine riser stack (left) from the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill (AP file photo/Gerald Herbert)

Spill hearings: Last day for second-to-last run

The final day of Coast Guard/BOEMRE hearings includes a Halliburton mud logger and two Transocean managers. The next set of hearings, likely in February, will concern the failed blowout preventer, seen here being recovered from the well site. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)  More »
(Photo: David Paul Ohmer/Flickr)

FuelFix Newslinks |12.09.10|

Close calls offshore abound. Omnipotent Shell. Mexico opens the door to outsiders. (Photo: David Ohmer/Flickr)  More »
Gulf Oil Spill Investigation joseph keith

Spill hearings: Deadly smoke break or more to the story?

Joseph Keith, a senior mud logger for Sperry Sun, told a government panel Tuesday he was on break when data may have shown signs of trouble at the Macondo well. Previously he told BP officials he never left his workstation. (Photo: Nick de la Torre/Houston Chronicle)  More »
John Sprague BP spill hearing

Spill hearings: BP manager pushed on safety and cost-cutting

Investigators question whether a corporate push to lower costs by 7 percent led to a decreased emphasis on managing risk and safety. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)  More »
Steve Robinson spill hearings

At issue at spill hearings: If ship- to-shore call covered pressure test

BP has wanted to depict the final hours on the rig leading up to the blowout as happening without the knowledge of onshore company officials. But notes taken by Steve Robinson, an executive from BP’s Alaska operations who helped lead the company’s internal investigation, may indicate such a discussion happened, according to lawyers.  More »
Gulf Oil Spill

Spill hearings: Signs of trouble at 8:58 p.m.

There was a 43 minute lag between the first sign of trouble in the well data and when the crew first acted, according to one of BP’s in-house investigators. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)  More »
Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site. (AP file photo/Ralph Wilson)

Texas regulators say EPA too hasty in water contamination case

The EPA has ordered Range Resources to get fresh water to North Texas residents with natural gas in their water. Texas drilling regulators say the move is “premature.” (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)  More »

Spill hearings: Day 2, BP engineers on tap

Yesterday’s hearings were notable for admissions from a Sperry Sun worker that he was on a break when monitors he was supposed to watch showed signs that could have been a clue to the pending blowout. Today two BP employees are set to testify. (Photo: Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle)  More »
spill hearings joseph keith testifies

Rig worker was on coffee break when possible signs of blowout occurred

Mud logger Joseph Keith told investigators he took the 10-minute break on the evening of April 20 while the crew of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig displaced a portion of the well’s drilling mud with seawater. (Photo: Nick de la Torre/Houston Chronicle )  More »