U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., joins members of crowd to listen to former President Bill Clinton during an appearance in Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Democratic senator says he’s open to oil exports

Michael Bennet’s comments make him the latest Senate Democrat to suggest he is open to oil exports — even if the support is predicated on other changes.
Floor hands David Vannapha, left, Mario Ramos, center, and Jose Garza make a pipe connection on the drill string on the Orion Perseus drilling rig near Encinal in Webb County, Texas, U.S., on Monday, March 26, 2012. The Perseus is drilling for oil and gas in the Eagle Ford Shale, a sedimentary rock formation underlying an area of South and East Texas. Photographer: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** David Vannapha; Mario Ramos; Jose Garza

Texas and North Dakota grew at a torrid pace in 2014 — before crude busted

The Texas economy grew the second most among the states last year after it saw its gross domestic product increase 5.2 percent, making it one of the only states to outpace the U.S. economy overall.

These are the experts drawing battle lines over oil exports

The cast of experts weighing in on the issue includes former Obama administration officials and military veterans.
CB&I Chairman and CEO Philip K. Asherman, May 23, 2014 in The Woodlands, TX. (Eric Kayne/For the Chronicle)

CB&I signs on to do early engineering for Louisiana chemical plant

South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corp. and Atlanta-based Axiall Corp. finalized the agreements in June on their LACC joint venture to build an ethane cracker plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The cracker would make ethylene, which is the primary building block of most plastics. The plant would produce about 1 million metric tons of ethylene a year.

The oil patch palette

A couple of years ago we presented some examples of how the grit and steel of the oil field can take on its own beauty in the hands of a skilled photographer or digital artist.
Categories: featured, General
Marvin Odum, Shell Oil Co. president, says he’s “110 percent ready” to work with people who want to find ways to improve drilling. Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle file)

Shell president: ‘Oil will be required for a long time’

Marvin Odum said he expects further protests against the company’s plans for Arctic drilling
Categories: Arctic, Environment
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Things a barrel of oil is now cheaper than: A fancy bottle of wine, a center-cut filet, and a clean house

With prices now hovering below $50, a barrel of oil has become cheaper than many common household purchases.
Categories: Crude oil, Markets
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ION Geophysical to cut 25 percent of workforce

ION Geophysical Corp., a local seismic services firm, announced Wednesday it would shed another quarter of its employees by the end of the month to cut costs amid cheap crude prices.
(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

In drive to boost drilling technology, Schlumberger acquires synthetic diamond maker

Schlumberger has acquired a Utah-based synethic diamond manufacturer for an undisclosed amount in a deal aimed at boosting its ability to offer improved drilling technology to its customers.
Pipelines run toward oil storage tanks stand at the Enbridge Inc. Cushing storage terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma, U.S., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. The fastest oil-inventory growth on record at the main U.S. hub may be about to end, easing concern that storage limits will be strained. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Crude ends with a gain, after volatile day of trading

U.S. benchmark oil futures had opened lower on the day but traded to a gain shortly before the report was released. After the inventory data came in, prices reversed course and fell by 98 cents or 2.16 percent to $44.43 per barrel.