Houston Chronicle Energy News

Reporting from the daily edition.

Appliance rebate pot still has money in it for Texans

Stimulus money is still up for grabs in Texas. A second statewide program offering rebates to consumers who purchase energy-efficient appliances seems to have fewer glitches than last spring’s rebate plan that required consumers to snare reservations f…  More »
deepwater horizon disaster explosion

Spill report: It could happen again

A presidential panel concluded that better decision-making and risk assessment by companies involved, and more careful government oversight, would have prevented last year’s Gulf spill. Without reforms, the panel said, a similar disaster could happen. (AP file photo/Gerald Herbert)  More »
Charles "Chuck" Davidson, CEO of Noble Energy. (Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle)

Big Israeli find presents challenge to Noble Energy

After making a huge natural gas discovery off the coast of Israel last month, Noble Energy wants to export surplus gas to Europe or Asia, where it can fetch better prices. Yet, none of the options the company is studying is simple — and all would require billions more in investment. (Photo: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle )  More »

Spill report faults regulators and companies

WASHINGTON — The lethal well blowout and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year resulted from a “failure of management” and could happen again without significant reform of the offshore drilling industry and the federal agency that oversees it, ac…  More »

Oil prices rebound to settle over $90 a barrel

Oil prices rebounded from early losses today following more positive economic news and a government report that showed crude oil supplies shrank last week. After falling as low as $88.10 a barrel, benchmark oil reversed course at midday and went on to …  More »
(Photo: San Sharma/Flickr)

Oil industry asks for access, not higher taxes

API implores the new Congress to raise government revenue by boosting access to federal oil and gas reserves instead of hiking taxes on energy companies. (Photo: San Sharma/Flickr)  More »

California county bans installation of smart meters

Opponents of the devices consider the meters’ wireless radiation a health risk and say the devices collect too much personal information. The one-year moratorium is largely symbolic, as authority to stop installation rests with the state utilities commission, which has rejected calls for a halt. (Photo: J JMesserly)  More »

Oil fades on questions about rally’s strength

Oil prices dropped today after climbing above a 26-month high, as investors wondered if the price of crude has climbed too high, too fast. Benchmark oil for February lost $2.17 to settle at $89.38 on the New York Mercantile Exchange after hitting $92.0…  More »

BP stock jumps on report Shell once considered takeover

BP Plc, the company fighting legal claims after the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, rose the most in six months after the Daily Mail newspaper said Royal Dutch Shell Plc considered a takeover bid during the crisis. Shares advanced as much as 5 perc…  More »
Image: Fotolia

Feds cut red tape for 16 projects under way before the BP disaster

The companies still will have to comply with new environmental and safety mandates imposed since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but the move is a win for oil and gas industry leaders who have complained the administration is dragging its feet in letting energy producers get back to work.  More »

BP loses ruling on where depositions will be taken

BP workers must give depositions starting this month in the consolidated civil lawsuits in New Orleans rather than Houston, a federal judge ruled Monday. U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier said his court has jurisdiction to force BP employees from …  More »
(Photo: Kumar Jhuremalani/Flickr)

With rig order, Diamond places bet on deep water

Diamond Offshore said Monday it placed an order for a $590 million deep-water drillship, hoping global demand for such vessels will remain strong in coming years, despite an influx of new deep-water rigs hitting the market. (Photo: Kumar Jhuremalani/Flickr)  More »

Oil price settles over $90 a barrel

Oil prices rose past $92 a barrel today to a 26-month high, as the new year began with the prospect of still higher energy prices to come. Benchmark oil for February delivery rose as high as $92.58 a barrel, $1.20 above Friday’s settlement price, in tr…  More »
A Petrohawk Energy natural gas drilling site in the Eagle Ford Shale is shown in September 2009. (Jake Lacey/Houston Chronicle file photo)

South Texas shale attracting interest and billions of dollars

To this point, the Eagle Ford shale has existed in the shadow of other big domestic shale formations. That is almost certain to change next year thanks to its large quantities of valuable crude oil and natural gas liquids. (Photo: Jake Lacey)  More »
An oil pump works near Stanley, N.D. (AP file photo/James MacPherson)

North Dakota’s oil patch may make it second only to Texas

Officials believe North Dakota’s oil patch contains more than twice the amount of oil previously estimated and that the state’s already record crude production will double within the decade. If the forecast is correct, North Dakota could leapfrog in a few years from the fourth-biggest oil producing state to No. 2. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)  More »