(Photo by Eddie Seal for Bloomberg News)

Rig count resumes fall after another oil price plunge

U.S. producers idled seven oil-drilling rigs this week amid faltering crude prices that scuttled a short-lived rebound in oil patch activity.
John Fainter, president and CEO of the Association of Electric Companies of Texas, poses in his offices Dec. 8, 2003, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)

Longtime head of lobbying arm for Texas electric companies retires

John Fainter, 76, who headed the Association of Electric Companies of Texas for 18 years, said he is retiring at the end of the year to spend more time with his grandchildren.
(Ken Childress/Rosetta Resources)

Rosetta boosts output as board approves merger with Noble

Rosetta Resources extracted more petroleum than expected in the second quarter, adding to analysts optimism that the company’s assets remain a good buy.
Paal Kibsgaard, chairman and chief executive officer of Schlumberger Limited, pauses during a panel session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on Friday, June 19, 2015. SPIEF is an annual international conference dedicated to economic and business issues which takes place at the Lenexpo exhibition center June 18-20. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg)

Schlumberger CEO: New technology appetite growing amid oil downturn

The CEO of Schlumberger says American oil producers are purchasing a lot more new technology in this year’s oil downturn than in previous rough patches, with new tools making up almost a quarter of the company’s revenue.
The drillship Noble Discoverer undergoes sea trials off Singapore in November 2014, following shipyard work and upgrades. Those improvements included a new main propulsion system, environmental controls and enhancements to the drilling systems. (Photo: Noble Corp.)

Shell-contracted drillships begin final Arctic journey

Shell Oil Co. still doesn’t have the final permits it needs to begin boring an exploratory oil well in the Chukchi Sea, but the Noble Discoverer’s departure from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, on Friday suggests the company’s confidence that those authorizations are on the horizon.  

Criminal activity suspected in explosion at French LyondellBasell plant

The pair of blasts struck 1,600 feet apart and set fire to two tanks at the petrochemical plant in Berre L’Etang early Tuesday morning, sending a massive plume of smoke over Marseille, according to reports by the BBC and Reuters.
conocophillips offshore

ConocoPhillips to scale back deep-water exploration and Gulf of Mexico programs

Houston-based ConocoPhillips has already trimmed its 2015-2017 capital spending program from an initial $16 billion to about $11.5 billion per year after crude oil prices fell last fall. Of that $11.5 billion, less than $1.8 billion was dedicated to exploration.
In this March 31, 2015 photo, a supply vessel crosses an oil sheen drifting from the site of the former Taylor Energy oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana. The New Orleans-based company has downplayed the leak's environmental impact, likening it to scores of minor spills and natural seeps that the Gulf routinely absorbs. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Louisiana lawmakers back company responsible for decade-old Gulf leak

The company is down to one full-time employee and is no longer active in the offshore drilling industry, but its CEO is a prominent philanthropist and generous political donor.
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(Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

New rule to protect streams near coal mines

GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill quickly assailed the proposed regulation as designed to help put coal companies out of business, and they promised to thwart it.
Categories: Coal, Environment
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Federal drilling rules deferred until September

Federal District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl had already decided to temporarily stay the Interior Department rule while he waits for more information from the government and weighs an oil industry request for a longer-term injunction blocking the drilling mandates.