(Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Obama administration closes off two avenues for new Arctic drilling

The Interior Department announced it was canceling government auctions of drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, previously scheduled for 2016 and 2017 respectively. At the same time, it formally rejected bids by Statoil and Shell for more time to search for crude under their existing Arctic leases.
(Doug Kanter/Bloomberg News)

Clean Power Plan may force coal power plant retirements in Texas, ERCOT says

Despite the concerns, the estimated retirement of at least 4,000 megawatts of coal-fired generation capacity in the ERCOT region is much less than the previous projection of 8,700 megawatts given last year before the Clean Power Plan rule was finalized and the timelines were eased, said ERCOT, which manages about 85 percent of Texas’ electricity load.
Photo:  wikipedia.org

Producers idle more rigs

Oil services company Baker Hughes said Friday the oil rig count fell by 10 to 595.
(AP file photo/Reed Saxon)

Occidental reportedly selling Bakken acreage at sharp discount

A Simmons note contends that Occidental’s view of the Bakken has rapidly deteriorated since it invested heavily five years ago.
Sweeny is the largest refinery by capacity in the portfolio of Phillips 66, Houston’s biggest Fortune 500 company. (Ryan Holeywell/Houston Chronicle)

Phillips 66 delays Sweeny startup after mechanical failure

The 100,000-barrel-a-day Fractionator One project at Phillips 66’s Sweeny complex is part of a $3 billion capital expansion project in southern Texas launched last year.
(left to right) Schlumberger's trainees Jerry Jensen (cq) and Jeffrey Murray (cq) practice handling the equipment on the Genesis Drilling Test Facility where employees train with a real life size drilling simulator which was commissioned in 1986 at company's U.S. headquarters in Sugar Land and continues to train on Wednesday, September 27, 2006.  Schlumberger is the world's largest oilfield services company and has had a local presence since the 1930s; it recently consolidated its New York offices in Houston. Schlumberger is coming off a record quarter and anticipates solid financial growth as profit-rich oil companies invest more in exploration.  Photo by Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle

Schlumberger plans additional layoffs in fourth quarter

The worsening oil bust will force Schlumberger to cut additional jobs in the fourth quarter as the company braces for extended pain across the industry that’s unlikely to subside for at least another year, CEO Paal Kibsgaard said in a conference call with investors Friday.
CEO John Schiller at the Energy XXI offices in Houston on Sept. 19, 2012. (Dave Rossman/For the Chronicle)

Following investigation, Energy XXI CEO stripped of title as chairman of the board

The decision came after an independent investigator found that Schiller failed to disclose the loans made in 2007, 2009 and 2014 to the board.
(AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

Oil slump cut Schlumberger’s profits nearly half, CEO says

Schlumberger and other oil field services companies had expected oil patch activity to rebound by now, but the company’s third quarter earnings painted a bleak picture for the industry.
(Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

Southern Company and South Korean utility team up on “clean coal”

Southern Company is seeking to set the global blueprint on making clean-coal projects work.
A pipeline sign marks  the main U.S. oil pipeline and storage hub at Cushing, Oklahoma. (Bloomberg photo)

Oil prices fall after inventory data show a big build

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that stocks of oil across the country rose by 7.6 million barrels in the week ending Oct. 9, bringing the total amount of oil in commercial storage to a 80-year-plus seasonal high of 468.6 million barrels.