News from the Houston Chronicle energy team

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 »

BP engineers on leave pending investigation.

The two BP engineers in charge of drilling on board the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig are on leave with pay while officials investigate the deadly accident that had led to one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters. Robert Kaluza, a well site leader who exercised his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination instead of testifying at […]  More »

Charitable giving to take a loss on Gulf spill

Charitable giving in the U.S. will be down until at least 2012 because of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, according to data from an online national charitable giving index and forecasting tool. PhilanthroDEX forecasts a loss of charitable gifts between $200 to $300 million in 2010 and as much as $600 million […]  More »

Noble to negotiate new drilling contract for Gulf rig

Swiss driller Noble and Houston-based independent Noble Energy have agreed to new terms for the contracted rig Noble Clyde Boudreaux as a result of the drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. Noble said the Clyde Boudreaux will be placed on standby through Dec.12 and will receive a $145,000 day rate, UpstreamOnline said. The original […]  More »

Judge at center of drilling ban battle can be 'terrifying'

The federal judge who blocked the Obama administration’s deepwater drilling moratorium — and who is now considering a government request to stay the injunction — has a reputation as “terrifying,” according to a new profile. In the writeup by the National Law Journal, Martin Feldman is depicted as a stern, non-controversial jurist who has generally […]  More »

What's your big idea? Reader solutions for stopping the spill.

They come through e-mail, snail mail, fax and phone. People even call up from the Chronicle lobby with them. They’re ideas for ways to stop the flow of oil in the Gulf or clean up the massive amounts of crude it has left behind submitted by readers. Bill Cook/U.S. Navy Send in the NR-1. The […]  More »

BP spill slashes $1.4 B from U.S. state pensions

The oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has erased more than $1.4 billion from BP shares held by 42 state retirement accounts, Bloomberg reported earlier this week. BP stock has plummeted 47 percent since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20. According to Bloomberg data through May 1, U.S. public pension systems held […]  More »

Chron Energy Newslinks | 06.24.10 | Drilling Ban Version 2.0 coming soon.

• Drilling ban may be revised to let some projects move forward. • Anadarko will be more careful in choosing its drilling partners, says CEO Hackett. • Inexperience on the rig likely a factor, says Congressional panel. • Well collection cap back on, study says oil plumes not travelling as far. • Is the dispersant […]  More »

SOX compliance not the same burden it was at first, says survey

Remember Sarbanes-Oxley, that post-Enron piece of legislation that on one hand was supposed to make CEOs honest and accountable and on the other be so cost-prohibitive it would drive companies out fo business? While it may not be working always as planned, it appears companies are adapting to it much better these days, according to […]  More »