Houston Chronicle Energy News

Reporting from the daily edition.
Transocean's Discoverer Inspiration drills a test well for Chevron in the Gulf of Mexico St. Malo field. (Transocean)

Transocean’s $9.1 billion debt may be cut to junk status

Junk status would increase costs if the company orders more rigs in the future.  More »
Oil field workers in 2012  drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan.   U.S. Steel said Tuesday it will lay off about 750 employees from two plants that make tubular steel, which is used in oil and gas drilling(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

U.S. Steel to lay off 142 in Houston

The workers make steel pipes and tubes used in drilling for oil and gas as well as construction.  More »
A flag flies otuside the headquarters building of XTO Energy Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 14, 2009. (Matt Nager/Bloomberg)

Exxon Mobil affiliate to pay $2.3 million for pollution

XTO Energy denies any liability for claims in the complaint. Regulators say XTO polluted waterways with natural gas drilling in West Virginia.  More »
Oil field workers drill into the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kan., in 2012. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

Oil-price drop rattles smaller operators in Kansas

Plunging crude prices are hitting oil producers especially hard in places like Kansas, where the industry is dominated by smaller, independent operators who depend more heavily on the cash flow from producing wells to pay for drilling new ones.  More »
Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge Inc., speaks during the IHS CERAWeek. (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle)

Enbridge lays off some Houston-area workers

The Houston-based pipeline company last week cut positions in its under-performing domestic gas pipelines and processing business unit, including jobs in the office and field locations.  More »
(AP Photo/The Times, Kyle Telechan)

Magellan condensate splitter in Corpus Christi gets clearance

A $250 million condensate splitter proposed for Corpus Christi got clearance from federal regulators on Friday, bringing it one step closer to construction.  More »
(DEwira/AFP/Getty Images)

Cheaper crude doesn’t mean cheaper products yet

Raw materials and fuel have gotten less expensive as oil prices plunge to their lowest levels in five years, but manufacturers may be reticent to pass on those savings to consumers until the volatile oil and gasoline markets begin to settle.  More »
Protests were held in November against corruption in Brazil. Miguel Schincariol /AFP/Getty Images

Brazil charges 35 in Petrobras scandal

The formal charges cap a months-long investigation dubbed “Operation Car Wash.”  More »
Chevron hired an investment banker to gauge buyer interest in its Hawaiian operations.
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Ecuador case against Chevron before Canadian court

Lawyers have fought for years in several countries over who’s responsible for pollution in the rain forest.  More »
(Courtesy of LyondellBasell)

Shale boom spurs chemical industry expansion

The industry grew by 2 percent this year and is expected to swell further next year as advances in drilling and completion technologies unlock vast new supplies of hydrocarbons that chemical companies rely on to make products and fuel their plants.  More »
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Enbridge settles Michigan class-action suit over spill

A pipeline leak spewed more than 800,000 gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River and Talmadge Creek in July 2010, resulting in one of the costliest onshore oil spills in U.S. history.  More »
Chevron CEO John S. Watson delivers a keynote address during the American Association of Blacks in Energy National Conference in Houston in April 2014. ( Mayra Beltran / Houston Chronicle )

Chevron to delay capital spending announcement

Chevron, the second largest U.S. integrated energy company, announced Tuesday that its budget won’t be made public until early next year.  More »
A Gunnison Sage Grouse. (AP Photo/Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Dave Showalter)

Sage grouse scares off BLM oil, gas bidders in Nevada

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to decide early next year whether to grant a petition by conservationists to list the bird as threatened or endangered.  More »
Yellow oil barrels

Crude oil climbs back from 5-year lows

WTI for January delivery rose 77 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $63.82 a barrel.  More »
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 eyeing condensate splitter for Sweeny

The Houston-based company has applied for a permit from the state’s environmental regulator to build a simplified splitter unit at its Sweeny refinery.  More »
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