News from the Houston Chronicle energy team

Spill won't deter BP refinery expansion

Despite criminal and regulatory investigations into the Deepwater Horizon accident, BP’s plans for a $3.8 billion refinery expansion won’t be delayed, Bloomberg reports. The oil giant is upgrading a 119-year-old refinery in Indiana — the largest refinery in the Midwest — to process more heavy crude from the Canadian oil sands. The Environmental Protection Agency […]  More »

Florida Senator doesn't have faith in BP's containment efforts

When asked during a CNN interview this morning whether he had faith that BP could contain the flow of oil out of the damaged blowout preventer, Sen. Bill Nelson said he does not. The Florida Democrat said he thinks the leak will continue until August at the earliest. He noted that the spill is already […]  More »

BP credit rating cut. Could asset sales, dividend stop follow?

The cost of doing business just got more expensive for BP as credit rating agencies Moody’s and Fitch cut the oil giant’s long term ratings one notch with an outlook for more cuts possible in the future. The reductions don’t mean the company is in imminent danger of defaulting on its debts. Moody’s notes that […]  More »

Lawmaker says BP should pay lost royalties

In addition to paying for the cleanup of oil gushing from its leaking Macondo well, BP should send the government a check for the royalty revenue from the escaping oil and gas, a Democratic lawmaker said today. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.V., asked Attorney General Eric Holder to take “legal action to recover damages owed to […]  More »

Top cap under way with eye toward oil flow today

Coast Guard Commander Thad Allen said crews sheared off the last of the pipes on the Macondo well this morning using a large pincher-like device and are getting ready to put a containment device on top shortly. The siphoning of oil to surface vessels could begin later today. A diamond-tipped saw got stuck in the […]  More »

Creator of @BPGlobalPR explains himself

The latest update on the satirical Twitter account @BPGlobalPR, which has taken the Internet by storm, is a message to the media from the man responsible for the parody. He calls himself “Leroy Stick” — an alias with a story behind it — though he usually goes by “Terry” in the tweets. But the point […]  More »

Director James Cameron says feds were not involved in Gulf leak brainstorming session

James Cameron, director of “Titanic” and “Avatar,” was at the All Things Digital D8 Conference last week and he talked about the Gulf leak and exactly how he’s been involved in the containment efforts. The AP reported last week that Cameron was among a group of scientists and experts who met with government officials to […]  More »

U.S. says it won't nuke leaking Gulf well

Among the many suggestions for how to stop the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is one radical idea that has gained more steam recently. Engineers, scientists and bloggers alike have all brought up the option of detonating a nuclear bomb under the seafloor to seal off the gushing well. As more efforts […]  More »

Obama plans third visit to Gulf

President Barack Obama is set to get his third close-up look at the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico when he travels to Louisiana tomorrow. The trip, which was just confirmed by the White House, will be Obama’s third visit to the region since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig that […]  More »

Anadarko halts three drilling operations in Gulf

The government ban on deepwater drilling spurred Anadarko Petroleum Corp., to halt three operations in the Gulf of Mexico and invoke force majeure in contracts with rigs drilling the wells. Anadarko CEO Jim Hackett also said the company is considering shifting capital away from the Gulf to other operations around the world in order to […]  More »

BP spill drives oil prices down

A market report from PFG Best said that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has driven front end oil futures lower. Now I know by the amount of questions I have been getting from reporters and clients, there is a sense of disbelief that the spill in the Gulf has not driven oil […]  More »

Oil spill criminal charges unlikely to affect BP probation

The Department of Justice’s announcement that it is looking into criminal wrongdoing related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is no doubt giving BP and other companies pause. But when it comes to the status of BPs ongoing probation related to three other cases, spill-related charges may not matter. BP is currently under probation […]  More »

Chron Energy Newslinks | 06.03.10 | Drilling ban takes a toll. The windpower/drilling rig equation.

• Hayward admits BP didn’t have tools ready for massive spill. • The cutting continues on deepwater spill but with a few snags. • Drilling ban bites Halliburton, Baker Hughes. • BP’s Hayward apologizes for weekend comments. • BP’s credit rating dropped a notch. • Nukes are off the table for well containment, but they […]  More »

BP Gulf spill? There's an app for that

There’s an app for that. Do people still say that? Well, we’re saying it. Among the thousands of applications available for smartphones and other gadgets are a couple of apps dedicated to the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. iTunes PR News mentions three iPhone apps people can use to track, report on and […]  More »

BP will pay for Louisiana barriers

BP said Wednesday night it will fund construction of six sections of sand barriers to keep oil from washing ashore along Louisiana’s barrier islands, projects that will cost an estimated $360 million. “BP will not manage or contract directly for the construction of the island sections, nor will the company assume any liability for unintended […]  More »