Houston Chronicle Energy News

Reporting from the daily edition.
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Oil declines a bit as market warily eyes Saudi Arabia

Beyond the crisis in Libya, what’s making energy markets nervous – and driving up oil prices – is concern about Saudi Arabia. The world’s largest oil exporter is dealing with protests at home, although smaller in scale than those in nearby countries.  More »
A technician works on one of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve's wellheads at an undisclosed location on the Gulf Coast. (AP file photo/U.S. Energy Department)

Pain at the pumps: Reservations on reserves

The Obama administration has signaled it may authorize draws from the nation’s emergency crude stockpile to help cool off rising oil and gasoline prices, but some analysts think siphoning from U.S.’s emergency fuel tanks will have little or no effect.  More »

Drilling impact tests: Radium level OK

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Tests of water in Pennsylvania downriver from treatment plants that handle wastewater from natural gas drilling raised no red flags for radioactivity, the state Department of Environmental Protection said Monday. All of the samples,…  More »

Valero plant accident kills Houston man

A contract worker from Houston died Sunday after being hospitalized following an accident at Valero Energy Corp.’s St. Charles refinery in Norco, La., near New Orleans, officials said Monday. A second contract worker also was hospitalized but was rele…  More »

CERA’s scenarios help to gauge energy risks

Cambridge Energy Research Associates’ business is all about giving clients a framework for assessing future developments in the energy world, a way to look at the big picture. So how did CERA do in predicting the North African-Middle East turmoil that’…  More »

New leader for an oil spill investigation

The Department of Justice has named a new head of its criminal investigation into the Deepwater Horizon accident. John Buretta, an assistant U.S. attorney who has been involved in organized crime cases in the Eastern District of New York, will replace…  More »

Leaner times aloft: Continental cuts out snacks

Houston real estate agent Paige Martin was expecting her typical snack of pretzels and ginger ale during her return flight from Charleston, S.C., over the weekend. Instead, she had to settle for just the beverage. She learned Continental Airlines stopp…  More »

Environmental groups sue power plant near Houston

Three environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit Monday accusing the Lower Colorado River Authority of violating the Clean Air Act for nearly a decade at its coal-fired power plant 90 miles west of Houston. The groups allege that the Austin-based uti…  More »
(AP file photo/Mark Lennihan)

Appliance rebate money still available

Consumers who are considering buying an energy-efficient appliance have only two shopping days left to make a purchase and apply for a rebate, the Texas comptroller’s office said Monday. There’s still almost $1 million in the pot for qualified purchases.  More »

Houston man killed in Valero rig accident in Louisiana

NORCO, La. — A contract worker at Valero Energy Corp,’s refinery in southeastern Louisiana has died following an accident at the plant. State police say 30-year-old Victor Rodriguez, of Houston, died late Sunday at a hospital following the accident. …  More »
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Oil settles above $105 a barrel

Oil prices continued to set new post-recession highs today as forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi pounded rebels near a key oil port in Libya. It’s unclear how long the country’s oil exports will be cut off, and traders prepared for a worst-case scenario in which world supplies would be under pressure for months.  More »
A fire burns on board the GI 102A oil production platform 50 miles south of Grand Isle, March 6, 2011. The Coast Guard responded with multiple sea and air assests to the reports of the fire -- rescuing the two individuals who were on board the platform at the time. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

2 treated after fire at platform 50 miles off Grand Isle, La.

Two men were taken to a hospital after an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico caught fire Sunday morning, officials said. The fire broke out on the GI 102A oil production rig owned by Arena that is about 50 miles off Grand Isle at about 8 a.m. Sunday, …  More »