News from the Houston Chronicle energy team

BP pledge to waive $75M cap could be an empty gesture

Thanks, but not really. Bloomberg is reporting that BP’s promise to waive the $75 million cap on damages for the oil spill may not mean much if damages from possible safety violations in the accident are taken into account. The U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 requires parties responsible for a spill to pay cleanup […]  More »

Oil spill flow rate report to be released Saturday

BP is cooperating with a government team tasked with investigating the rate at which the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico is leaking, according to Bloomberg. The government has set up a Flow Rate Technical Team to develop a more accurate estimate of the flow, BP said. BP and the team will produce a […]  More »

Low oil spill estimate could save BP millions

When the financial impact of the Gulf oil spill is resolved in court, a low spill rate estimate will save BP millions of dollars, legal experts say. The amount of oil spilled is likely to be used as key evidence in court battles, the Kansas City Star said. The size of the Exxon Valdez spill […]  More »

XTO shareholders to vote on Exxon deal in June

XTO Energy’s shareholders will meet on June 25 to vote on the company’s proposed takeover by Exxon Mobil Corp., Reuters said. The meeting will be held in Fort Worth at 10 a.m. Central. Exxon Mobil said it would buy XTO for about $25 billion in order to pick up domestic natural gas assets. Exxon would […]  More »

BP didn't do critical test of cement strength in Gulf well

Prior to the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon, BP hired oil field service company Schlumberger to test the strength of cement linings in the Macondo well. But the oil giant never requested that Schlumberger workers perform an acoustic test, a test that some call the “gold standard” of cement tests. In a story yesterday, the […]  More »

Chron Energy Newslinks | 05.21.10 | Smaller spill saves BP cash and The Bard does commodities.

• BP concedes its oil spill estimate is wrong. • Regulators tell BP to switch spill chemicals. • Lower oil spill estimate could save BP money in court. • Key well cement tests never done on spilling well, says Schlumberger. • Industry panel makes recommendations for better drilling safety. • BP has fallen short on […]  More »

EPA posts oil spill dispersant data, asks for more from BP.

After ordering BP to switch the kind of chemicals it uses to break up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Environmental Protection Agency has started posting data from the use of the dispersants online. The first block of data, posted here, is on EPA’s oil spill dispersant page. The EPA says it […]  More »

Map of spill, May 21

Spill, May 21  More »

No timeline for a new spill number, says NOAA chief

BP said Thursday its earlier 5,000 barrel per day estimate of the daily volume of oil leaking from the deepsea Macondo well was inaccurate, as its in-well siphoning efforts were drawing at least that much oil, and more appeared to be spilling out. But don’t hold your breath waiting for an updated number. National Oceanic […]  More »

Lawmakers seek halt to production at BP’s Atlantis platform

Lawmakers have stepped up pressure on the Obama administration to halt oil production at the BP-operated Atlantis platform, out of fears a blowout there could dwarf the Deepwater Horizon disaster. In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Minerals Management Services Director Elizabeth Birnbaum, more than two dozen lawmakers called for an immediate halt […]  More »

Ethanol to rise on Gulf spill woes?

With the oil industry taking a hit because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, does the ethanol industry have a chance of cozying up to the government? Geoff Styles at The Energy Collective thinks so. While oil from the Macondo well continues leaking at more than 5,000 barrels a day, the Environmental […]  More »

Oil spill humor at a New Orleans market

This is being passed around on the Web, so we thought we’d share. Spotted in the bakery section of a Breaux Mart grocery store in New Orleans, this ironic cake shows the Gulf oil spill creeping ever so close to some boom near the shoreline. The sign says, “Thank You BP!” “BP Cake” at […]  More »