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Washington energy news with a Texas accent
Pictured is a hydraulic fracturing operation in the Permian Basin that took place on Oct. 1, 2012. Apache is an active driller in the Permian Basin and during the quarter averaged 35 rigs drilling 201 wells of which 26 were horizontal. (Apache)

Feds advance hydraulic fracturing rule

The Obama administration is on track to impose new mandates governing hydraulic fracturing on public land by the end of the year, a move that threatens to topple the White House’s delicate balancing act assuaging worried environmentalists while still sustaining a domestic drilling boom that is bolstering the U.S. economy.  More »
Shell used the drillship Noble Discoverer for its 2012 drilling in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.  (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Shell formally launches 2015 Arctic drilling bid

Shell’s campaign to resume Arctic drilling in 2015 took a major step forward Thursday, as the company gave federal regulators a broad drilling blueprint that lays out plans for boring new exploratory oil wells in the Chukchi Sea. It is the strongest evidence yet that the company will keep pursuing a big discovery in the U.S. Arctic, after a mishap-plagued 2012 exploration campaign ended with the grounding of a drilling rig and a $200 million writeoff.  More »
Lower marine riser package, left, and lower blowout preventer stack shown at National Oilwell Varco in August, 2010, Houston. (Chronicle/Melissa Phillip

Project aims to trade calendar for risk in maintaining BOPs

Oil companies, drilling contractors and manufacturers are collaborating on a project to shake up the way the emergency devices known as blowout preventers are kept in good condition.  More »
Pope Francis delivers the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Environmentalists ask Vatican to shun fossil fuel investments

Environmental activists who have persuaded universities and some churches to give up their investments in fossil fuels now are focusing their prayers on the pope.  More »
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Oil companies seek to keep drilling sounds at bay (video)

These days, the hay bales stacked in northeast Colorado are more likely meant to muffle the sounds of oil and gas development — not feed the region’s cattle, sheep and other livestock.  More »
A site north of Denver has multiple wells drilled on a single pad with equipment also staged on-site, both new approaches. (Photo/Jennifer A. Dlouhy)

Drillers in Colorado especially mindful of the neighbors

Producers are finding ways to centralize oil field operations in a bid to boost efficiencies, cut costs and minimize disruptions for residents in the populous Colorado Front Range.  More »
(Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty)

Ending ban on oil exports would mean cheaper gasoline, energy executive says

ConocoPhillips senior economist Helen Currie, citing a study by the energy consulting firm IHS Inc., said prices at the pump would fall by about 8 cents a gallon should crude exports be allowed.  More »
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

EPA sends biofuel mandates to White House

The White House is now reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency’s planned quotas for renewable fuels, a major milestone in the long path to setting this year’s biofuel mandates.  More »
Canadian musician Neil Young (Tony Avelar/AP)

Keystone fans offer up songlist for anti-pipeline show

When Willie Nelson and Neil Young take the stage in Nebraska next month, they will use the sellout show to stoke opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline proposed to cut through the state.  More »
(StockMonkeys.com)

Uncle Sam to collect $110 million from offshore oil auction

Oil and gas companies are set to pay the government $110 million in high bids for leases in the western Gulf of Mexico, after an auction Wednesday that underscored the industry’s interest in deep-water territory.  More »
Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

14 companies bid for western Gulf leases

Federal officials on Wednesday will open sealed bids from 14 companies vying for new oil and gas leases in the western Gulf of Mexico.  More »
A member of Exxon Mobil's cleanup crew is reflected in water and oil in a drainage ditch along State Highway 365 in Mayflower, Ark., Monday, April 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Log Cabin Democrat, Courtney Spradlin)

Feds boosting oil spill liability limits

The Coast Guard moved Tuesday to boost the liability limits capping how much companies must pay for oil spills that foul U.S. waters.  More »
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