Houston Chronicle Energy News

Reporting from the daily edition.

TCEQ poised to OK Corpus energy plant today

Tthe Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recommended approval of the $3.2 billion Las Brisas Energy Center even after two judges concluded that the disputed permit should be denied because the Houston-based developer had failed to properly account for some emissions associated with the plant.  More »

President charts proposal to wean U.S. off foreign oil

WASHINGTON — Even as he called for a five-year freeze in overall federal spending, President Barack Obama on Tuesday charted a plan for investing billions more dollars in “clean energy” programs that he said would boost U.S. competitiveness, wean the…  More »

Oil prices settle below $87 a barrel

NEW YORK — Oil continued to drop today on mixed economic news and the possibility that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries will step up production. Benchmark crude for March delivery lost $1.68 to settle at $86.19 per barrel on the New York Mercant…  More »
Workers from Halliburton at a hydraulic fracturing site. (Photo: Johnny Hanson/Houston Chronicle file photo)

Onshore North America work lifts Halliburton profit

Halliburton Co. said it more than doubled its profit in the fourth quarter of 2010 as higher oil prices lifted demand for oil field services and equipment, helping offset a spill-related slowdown in the Gulf of Mexico. (Johnny Hanson/Houston Chronicle file photo)  More »

Icahn’s offer for Dynegy may be extended

DYNEGY Offer from Icahn may be extended Investor Carl Icahn may extend his $665 million bid for Dynegy, due to expire today, as shareholders signal the $5.50-a-share offer is too low, analysts said. The power producer had its biggest one-day gain in …  More »

Oil prices fall as Saudis hint at raising supplies

NEW YORK  — The price of oil fell Monday after the Saudi oil minister hinted that his country, the world’s biggest oil producer, may raise supplies to put the brakes on higher oil prices. Benchmark crude for March delivery lost $1.24 to settle a…  More »
The Chevron Genesis platform in the Gulf of Mexico (Mary Altaffer/AP)

Analyst: Deep-water rig glut threatens oil drillers

It’ll be at least another 12 months before Gulf drilling activity recovers, says research from Dahlman Rose & Co., and the dearth of new work in that region means earnings for drillers will be weaker than expected this year. (AP file photo/Mary Altaffer)  More »

EPA official is the most feared environmentalist in Texas

Professor Al Armendariz did not become the top federal environmental regulator in Texas to work on the margins. In the 14 months since his appointment, Armendariz has challenged the unique way Texas regulates industrial air pollution, pushed dozens of oil refiners and chemical and plastics makers to get new permits and picked fights over water quality. (Photo: Amy Gutierrez for the Houston Chronicle)  More »

Paying it forward: Houston man shares his passion for the energy business

Eugene Rubio grew up thinking he’d have a blue-collar life, until opportunity knocked. Now he’s returning the favor by helping young people explore the energy field. (Photo: Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle)  More »
FIAT 500

Fuel efficiency takes the spotlight at Houston Auto Show

Thanks to tightening federal fuel standards, a new breed of cars shows off more gas mileage than muscle. Some 2012 models will be on display this week at the Houston Auto Show, including the tiny Fiat 500 and the Ford C-Max, a compact minivan. (Photo: The Fiat 500/Courtesy of Chrysler)  More »

The Well energy briefs

Encompas and Environmental Analytics, which provide leak detection and repair monitoring and environmental compliance services for the refining and petrochemical industries, are merging. The combined company, not yet named, will be located in Deer Park…  More »

Indictment gives lowdown on high life of alleged oil schemers

Three men accused of an oil-trading kickback scheme spent millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains on houses, jewelry and cars — including a vehicle previously driven by singer Frank Sinatra, according to documents released by the government Friday. …  More »