News from the Houston Chronicle energy team

Shell redeploys personnel to Gulf of Mexico

Shell said today that, given current weather forecasts, it is redeploying personnel to platforms and drilling rigs that were evacuated due to Hurricane Alex. On Tuesday, the company shut oil and gas production and drilling at some of its Central, Western and South Texas assets in the Gulf of Mexico and evacuated 900 offshore workers. […]  More »

Nonprofit auctions off MMS memorabilia

Cleaning house at the agency formerly known as the U.S. Minerals Management Service apparently means more than just changing the name and dividing responsibilities. While the newly christened Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (the BOE, or BOEMRE or something like that) orders new letterhead, the old MMS swag is for sale. PEER […]  More »

GOP report raps White House spill response

The Obama administration has exaggerated its response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, repeatedly claiming that more skimmers and other assets have been deployed than actually is the case, according to a report released today by congressional Republicans. The analysis was conducted by Republican staff on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, […]  More »

Maritime groups ask lawmakers to reject anti-Jones Act legislation

The Maritime Cabotage Task Force, a coalition of American vessel owners and operators, maritime labor groups and trade associations, recently sent a letter to Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) urging him to oppose legislation to repeal or waive the Jones Act. The letter said the livelihood of the coalition’s members depend on the Jones Act. The […]  More »

Deepwater production and global oil supply

Even as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is throwing the offshore oil and gas sector into uncertainty, IHS CERA research has found that deepwater production is becoming more important to the world’s oil supply. Here are some finding from IHS CERA’s research: Global deepwater production capacity rose from 1.5 million barrels a […]  More »

'Bush league' power pole fixes or up to code?

Our story this week about CenterPoint Energy’s efforts to use new ‘smart grid’ technology to prepare for outages post Hurricane-Ike prompted reader Alan Foley to send in a few issues he’s had with what he calls “bush league patches” on Hurricane Ike-damaged power poles and other issues. Alan Foley ‘Bush league’ or up to code? […]  More »

DOJ to spill companies: Preserve evidence, don't spend too much.

Federal investigators have asked BP, Halliburton and other companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to preserve evidence and warn the government before they spend away assets that might be used in judgments against them. U.S. Coast Guard The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Aspen, homeported in San Francisco, conducts oil skimming operations in […]  More »

Chron Energy Newslinks | 07.01.10 | Jones Act not the problem. Nat gas vehicles have their limits.

• EPA rejects air permits at 122 Texas plants. • Jones Act not an issue in oil spill response, says analysis. • Spill could cost oystermen their culture. • Senate backs oil spill inquiry panel. • EPA says BP oil dispersant still OK to use but will do more studies. • Storm slows spill response. […]  More »

Senate panel votes for new commission probe of spill

Senate Republicans on Wednesday successfully advanced legislation that would create a congressionally appointed panel to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, based on concerns that a competing presidential commission’s probe is tainted by the group’s environmental tilt. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 15-8 to add the congressional commission proposal to a […]  More »

Map of Spill, July 1

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Senate panel votes to lift liability for BP

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved legislation today that would eliminate a 20-year-old, $75 million cap on the economic damages energy companies can be forced to pay in compensation to businesses, workers and coastal communities hurt by oil spills. “Polluters (should) pay for all of the damage from an oil spill,” said Sen. […]  More »

Alex takes a bite out of Gulf oil production

About 26 percent of the Gulf of Mexico’s oil production and 14 percent of its natural gas production has been taken offline in response to Hurricane Alex, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (formerly the MMS). Estimated GOM energy production as of March 2010 is 1.6 million barrels of oil […]  More »