News from the Houston Chronicle energy team

World Cup through the energy lens: the semis and finals

Matt Smith, a commodity analyst at Summit Energy and author of the Energy Burrito blog brings us another installment of The World Cup of Soccer through the lens of the energy complex. Last week he did his analysis on key matches in the quarter-finals. Today he tackles the semis and what he sees as the […]  More »

Lawyers say BP's $20B fund should only be for victims

Some lawyers involved in litigation over the Deepwater Horizon disaster said they were shocked to find out that the $20 billion fund BP agreed to set up would also be used to pay for things other than compensating affected workers and Gulf Coast residents — things like spill clean-up costs. The money can be used […]  More »

UH gets $2.3 million federal grant for wind facility

The University of Houston has been awarded $2.3 million from the Department of Energy to build a wind technology testing facility. The new facility will be built in the UH Energy Research Park and will be used to develop and test materials and components for offshore wind turbines. University researchers at the new National Wind […]  More »

Chron Energy Newslinks | 06.25.10 | Leasing revamp gets started, spill cleanup tech gets noticed.

• Houston firm’s spill clean-up technology getting some attention. • Energy leasing overhaul underway. • No oil experts on federal spill panel, says GOP and others. • Green group says its president’s role on panel won’t be a conflict. • Judge won’t delay drilling ban decision. • Judge’s drilling ban decision uses flawed logic, says […]  More »

Map of spill, June 25

Spill JUNE25 c  More »

Burgess asks Salazar about Interior involvement in rig explosion

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar got a taste yesterday of the kind of questions he will face at next week’s hearing before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. In a letter to Salazar, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, the senior member of the subcommittee, said he believes Salazar’s testimony will provide “critical information that will assist […]  More »

PDVSA wants to seize Helmerich oil rigs

Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA wants to seize 11 oil drilling rigs owned by Oklahoma-based Helmerich & Payne Inc., which it accuses of trying to slow oil production in the country, Bloomberg reported today. Helmerich & Payne idled its drilling rigs last year after PDVSA failed to make payments during a drop in oil output […]  More »

Feedback from D.C. positive for Helix Energy containment plan

Representatives from Helix Energy Solutions, a Houston firm involved in BP’s well intervention efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, are back from meetings in D.C., where they advocated to have mechanical solutions in place to prevent catastrophic spills in the future. Helix spokesman Cameron Wallace, who was involved in the meetings, said legislators were receptive […]  More »

Government loses bid to reinstate drilling ban

The Obama administration lost its first bid to reinstate a ban on deepwater oil and gas drilling today, when a federal judge refused to delay his ruling that blocked the moratorium. In a two-page order issued this afternoon, federal Judge Martin Feldman rejected the government’s request for a stay of his June 22 ruling that […]  More »

Lawmakers plan swift overhaul of offshore drilling program

Congress is moving swiftly to overhaul the way the federal government oversees drilling in federal lands and coastal waters, with lawmakers today advancing a host of bills that would shake up the nation’s oil and gas leasing program. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was reviewing some of the measures today in a hearing […]  More »

Obama approval rating falls on BP oil spill

For the first time in his presidency, more people disapprove of Barack Obama’s job performance than approve it, a new post on Texas on the Potomac says. And it’s all because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Not one, but four recent polls show more Americans view the president’s response to the […]  More »

Lawmakers ask feds to allow some deep-water projects

Two dozen lawmakers today implored Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to stop blocking drilling on some less-risky deep-water wells — a move that would allow 28 stalled rigs to resume work in the Gulf of Mexico. They endorsed a continued blockade of exploratory deep-water drilling in unknown reservoirs — like BP’s doomed Macondo well — but […]  More »

BP says Kevin Costner's water cleaning machine can 'make a real difference'

BP has uploaded a new video to its YouTube channel of a press conference to introduce actor Kevin Costner’s Ocean Therapy Solutions machine that will be used to help clean up the Gulf of Mexico. Costner invested $26 million of his own money and more than a decade to build a filtering system that separates […]  More »

U.S. energy security depends on BP success

If BP goes under, U.S. energy security will suffer, Bloomberg says. Up to now, BP’s Gulf activities have been largely viewed by the U.S. government as a plus for U.S. energy security. Since the mid-1990s the company has led Gulf exploration. Its projects contributed to 7 percent growth in U.S. production last year that reversed […]  More »

Salazar: Feds need 300+ new inspectors for drilling rigs

The government needs more than 300 new workers to beef up inspections of offshore drilling rigs and production platforms, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told a Senate panel this morning. The current inspector-facility ratio — with about 60 inspectors monitoring roughly 3,800 installations in the Gulf of Mexico — is “woefully inadequate,” Salazar told the Senate […]  More »