News from the Houston Chronicle energy team

Texas appliance rebate countdown

Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program Alrighty, folks. The Texas appliance rebate program Web site has been updated. The official time when you can begin signing up to reserve your rebate is Monday, April 5 at 7 a.m. Central Time. Reservations should be made at the program’s Web site or by calling toll-free 1-877-780-3039. Once […]  More »

Chron Energy Newslinks | 03.30.10 | Refiners challenge renewables rule. Gunplay in the Gulf.

• Pipeline giant, philanthropist and sportsman Dan Duncan dies at 77. • Refiners challenge renewable fuels rule timeline. • Tesoro to install new CEO soon. • GE faces big hurdles in the oil patch. • ATP reports first oil at Gulf’s Telemark Hub. • Southwestern Energy wins exclusive rights to 2.5 million new acres in […]  More »

Industry has more than one way to fight frac regulations

The energy industry has more than one way to deal with the impending threat of Congress and the EPA imposing new regulations on the natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing. As we noted last week, there’s the effort to shape pending laws to keep things status quo. But increasingly firms are also looking at […]  More »

Steffy: Gas drilling documentary spouts too much hot air

The new documentary Gasland, which explores the dangers of hydraulic fracturing in shale drilling, may portray an unrealistic view of renewables, Chronicle columnist Loren Steffy says. In the documentary, director Justin Fox reveals the darker consequences of fracking by talking to folks who allowed drilling on their land and are now dealing with some pretty […]  More »

Refiners challenge renewable fuels mandate

The nation’s top refining trade group today launched a legal challenge to the government mandate to triple the amount of renewable fuels sold in the U.S. by 2022. At issue is the just-finalized timetable for the second stage of the nation’s renewable fuels standard, which would require renewable fuels to make up 8.25 percent — […]  More »

Linn Energy to buy oil, nat gas assets in Permian Basin

Houston-based Linn Energy said it will buy oil and natural gas assets in the Permian Basin for $305 million. The West Texas acquisition is expected to double Linn’s oil production and reserves in that region, UpstreamOnline reported. In December, Linn acquired properties in Permian and Anadarko basins for $154.4 million, according to Reuters. Net production […]  More »

Pipeline giant Dan Duncan passes away

Dave Rossman/For the Chronicle Enterprise Products Partners’ Dan Duncan Dan Duncan, the billionaire philanthropist, co-founder and chairman of pipeline giant Enterprise Products Partners, passed away this morning at his Houston home, authorities said. He was 77. From humble beginnings in rural Texas Duncan built an energy pipeline, processing and storage business worth more than $26 […]  More »

Congressmen push for details on monument plans that may limit oil, gas projects

House Republicans want the Obama administration to detail its plans for creating new national monuments in the West that would be off limits to oil and gas development. Western lawmakers have been angry ever since they saw seven leaked pages of an Interior Department draft memo that seemed to indicate staff lawyers were paving the […]  More »

InterOil's roller-coaster ride

For a company of relatively modest income ($6 million in 2009) InterOil sure creates quite a bit of heat. The company, which has corporate offices in The Woodlands, is focused on oil leases and a refinery in Papua New Guinea, but also has plan for an LNG terminal. InterOil recently claimed a world record for […]  More »

BP shutters high-cost solar plant in Maryland

BP is shutting down its solar panel manufacturing plant in Frederick, Md., signaling its exit from solar manufacturing in the United States in favor of less expensive facilities overseas. The company said closing down high-cost manufacturing locations has cut unit costs by more than 45 percent, according to the Washington Post. “We remain absolutely committed […]  More »

Europe could benefit from open trade in biofuels. What about the U.S.?

Europe could reduce its carbon emissions by allowing open trade and using more Brazilian sugarcane-based ethanol, according to a new study. So now we’re wondering if the U.S. could benefit from changing its biofuels policy, too. The International Food Policy Research Institute released a report yesterday that found European countries could significantly reduce transportation carbon […]  More »

Statoil ups Marcellus shale stake

Norwegian oil giant Statoil has bought an additional 59,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale from Chesapeake Energy for $253 million. The company already owns 600,000 acres in the Marcellus shale play. It bought a 32.5 percent stake in Chesapeake’s acreage in 2008 and the deal allows it to periodically acquire its share of leasehold that […]  More »

Sinopec buys Angola stake for $2.6B

Chinese refiner Sinopec announced it will acquire deep-water oil assets in Angola by buying a 55% stake in Sonangol Sinopec International Ltd from parent company China Petrochemical Corp. The deal is costing Sinopec $2.46 billion, the WSJ reported. The other 45% stake is owned by China Sonangol International Holding Ltd. This is Sinopec’s first acquisition […]  More »

Few drillers took up Pa. governor's offer to talk

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell likes to think of himself as a pro-industry kind of guy. But during a conference at Southern Methodist University last week Rendell said he sees the tide changing in his state against hydraulic fracturing — the technique that’s made the current natural gas boom possible. A handful of accidents and growing […]  More »

Chron Energy Newslinks | 03.29.10 | Shell's shale surprise. Can you top 2,487 mpg?

• Shell goes big in Eagle Ford shale with 150,000-acre lease. • Natural gas gets cheap vs. oil. • Oil production could decline starting next year without more investment. • Shell Eco-marathon brought out the racers with 2,487.5 mpg taking the prize. • Get ready for Texas appliance rebate program. • Peterbilt unveils nat gas […]  More »