Washington

Washington energy news with a Texas accent
(AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Feds up Arctic oil estimates to satisfy court

The Obama administration is quadrupling its estimate of how much crude could be harvested from Arctic drilling leases it sold oil companies six years ago. Regulators also think there is a 75 percent chance of at least one large spill occurring in the area.  More »
A woman slides her credit card to buy gasoline in San Francisco, Calif. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Who sets gas prices? Look to London, not US, report says

The government’s top energy analysts weighed into the debate on exporting crude Thursday, releasing a study asserting that the cost of gasoline inside the United States is closely tied to the price of international crudes, not domestic oil.  More »
The Empire State tanker is one of five that Kinder Morgan plans to purchase from American Petroleum Tankers, part of a $1 billion deal that also includes four newly built vessels from State Class Tankers. (American Petroleum Tankers)

New crude export campaign launches

Free-market economists are launching an initiative to tout the promise of crude exports on Thursday, buttressing separate campaigns by oil companies and their allies on Capitol Hill.  More »
The National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska as viewed from above in early October 2012.  (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Feds set ground rules for ConocoPhillips project in Alaska

ConocoPhillips’ plans for the first oil production facilities from federal lands in Alaska moved one step closer to reality on Wednesday, as the Interior Department released a critical environmental study on the project.  More »
Shell used the drillship Noble Discoverer for its 2012 drilling in the Chukchi Sea north of Alaska.  (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Oil companies want more time for Arctic drilling

Three oil companies with billions invested in Arctic drilling leases are pleading with the Obama administration for extra time to hunt for crude under waters north of Alaska, but so far, federal regulators have been skeptical.  More »
A scene from unrest in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo)

Report: Look for offline oil, find political unrest

Oil production around the globe is a canary in the coal mine, with major disruptions providing a strategic warning about growing instability and persistent violence around the world.  More »
(Photo courtesy of Shell Oil Co.)

Shell seeks five more years for Arctic oil-drilling drive

Shell, which has spent eight years and $6 billion to explore the Arctic’s Beaufort and Chukchi seas, said in letter to the Interior Department that “prudent” exploration before leases expire is now “severely challenged.”  More »
Oil flows out of the top of the transition spool, which was placed into the gushing Macondo wellhead at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in July 2010. AP Photo/BP PLC, File)

Researchers find oil footprint from 2010 Gulf oil spill

New research is shedding more light on the fate of the crude that gushed out of BP’s failed Macondo well in 2010.  More »
The Gunnison Sage-Grouse located in Utah and Colorado is known for its elaborate mating ritual, which has the male strutting and flapping his wings in a showy display. Like the greater sage-grouse species, the gunnison sage-grouse requires large expanses of sage brush. (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Sage grouse classification could affect Colorado, Utah oil and gas development

The Fish and Wildlife Service has decided whether to classify the bird species as “threatened,” but only a few now know the verdict.  More »
(StockMonkeys.com/Flickr)

Blackfeet urge government to cancel energy leases

Blackfoot tribal leaders from Canada and Montana are calling on the U.S. government to cancel oil and gas leases on sacred land near Glacier National Park, as a lawsuit works its way through the federal courts.  More »
(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Oil producers unite to lobby for crude exports

Fourteen of the nation’s largest independent oil companies are banding together to lobby for the right to export crude around the world. It’s a sign the industry is revving up for a big, coordinated push to dismantle those trade restrictions next year.  More »
Armed security stands near an oil pipe at the Bryan Mound facility of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve  in Freeport, Texas. (Photo: Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle)

Senator: Time to rethink our emergency oil stockpile

Sen. Ron Wyden wants the United States to rethink the size and scope of its emergency oil stockpile.  More »
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