Houston Chronicle Energy News

Reporting from the daily edition.
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Chevron digging in after Ecuadorean decision

Ecuadoreans suing Chevron have won a landmark $9.5 billion decision against the company — a significant sum, but far short of the $27 billion to $113 billion they sought. But Chevron has vowed not to pay, and has convinced courts in the United States and Europe to block enforcement of the judgment. The company has also filed a countersuit against the plaintiffs in the U.S., accusing them of fraud and extortion.  More »
(Photo: Vestman/Flickr)

PUC: Still looking, but no signs of price gaming in Texas blackouts

The power market manipulation concerns are rooted in a number of past incidents, including Enron taking advantage of certain features in the California power markets to create huge profits and rolling blackouts.  More »

Oil prices fall on economy, supply concerns

Oil prices retreated today on concerns about growing supplies of crude in the U.S. and weak retail sales numbers that suggested consumers were spending less because of high energy prices. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude fell 49 cents to settle …  More »

ERCOT: Cold-related blackouts fuel procedure changes

Texas’ main electric grid operator already has begun making changes in how it will handle situations like the Feb.??2 power emergency that led to rolling blackouts in much of the state, the organization’s CEO said Monday. An e-mail alert system de…  More »

Obama seeks new fees to cover drilling oversight

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Monday proposed making oil and gas companies pay new fees and higher royalty rates as a way to fund stronger government oversight of offshore drilling. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the fees would ensure t…  More »

Deal to boost Houston’s role in GE energy plans

GE’s $2.8 billion deal to buy the Wood Group’s well support division is the latest sign of the U.S. conglomerate’s desire to be a bigger player in the oil and gas business — and may give Houston a bigger role in getting it there. With the deal annou…  More »
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Judge rules against Chevron in Ecuador lawsuit

A Chevron spokesman confirmed today that the judge, ruling in the small town of Lago Agrio, had issued a final decision in the case but offered few other details.  More »
(Photo: Alan Cleaver/Flickr)

Industry girds for clash on tax breaks

For the third year in a row, the White House on Monday will ask Congress to repeal an array of tax incentives the oil and gas industry has enjoyed for decades. Industry leaders and their congressional allies say the move would curb domestic oil and natural gas production.  More »

The Well energy briefs

American Pollution Control Corp. has relocated to an expanded facility in New Iberia, La., to house its oil spill response and environmental solutions business. The property at 401 W. Admiral Doyle has 150,000 square feet of warehouse space, a trainin…  More »
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Seahawk Drilling seeks bankruptcy, to sell assets

Houston-based Seahawk has struggled from a slowdown in drilling in the aftermath of the BP oil spill. Competitor Hercules Offshore Inc. has agreed to acquire its assets in a cash and stock deal.  More »
The Trans-Alaska pipeline snakes its way to the North Slope next to the Dalton Highway north of Fairbanks, Alaska. (AP file photo/Al Grillo)

Alaska pipeline called a threat to public safety

A federal pipeline safety office investigation says the Trans-Alaska Pipeline poses a risk to public safety and the environment, and that issues tied to corrosion, inspection and pipeline restarts after shutdowns must be addressed.  More »

Hercules Offshore buying Seahawk’s assets

Seahawk Drilling, which previously has said it suffered financially from the oil-spill-related slowdown in Gulf of Mexico activity, is selling almost all of its assets to Hercules Offshore in a cash-and-stock deal worth $105 million, the two Houston co…  More »