(AP file photo/Southeast Missourian, Aaron Eisenhauer)

Renewable fuel pays off for some oil refiners

The rising cost of renewable fuel credits turned out to be good economic news for some oil companies, especially those who are producing biofuels and have blending capacity.

Dominion wins US offshore wind auction

Dominion Virginia Power was declared the provisional winner of the federal government’s second-ever offshore wind auction on Wednesday, likely securing the rights to build a commercial installation in Atlantic waters near the Virginia coast.
The sun rises over a drilling site in Frio County, Texas. (Jerry Lara/San Antonio Express-News)

White House credits oil production with improving economy

Increased domestic oil and natural gas production is something “to celebrate,” as it helps pare the U.S. trade deficit and beef up the country’s economic output. Although that may sound like a conclusion from the oil and gas industry and some of its biggest boosters in Washington, D.C., the assessment actually comes from two of the Obama administration’s top economic advisers.

SEC to rewrite foreign payment rule targeting oil and gas companies

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday it will rewrite a rule forcing oil and gas companies to reveal what they pay foreign governments in exchange for mineral rights, instead of appealing a court ruling against the agency’s first attempt at the mandate.
James Watson, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, speaks at the 2012 Offshore Technology Conference Tuesday, May 1, 2012, in Houston. ( Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle )

Recent accidents highlight shallow water dangers, departing regulator says

Recent accidents at offshore oil and gas facilities highlight the risks of producing energy on the shallow continental shelf as well as the Gulf of Mexico’s deepest frontiers, said a departing U.S. regulator James Watson.
Bulldozers dump dirt at an oil sands mine operated by Suncor in Alberta, Canada. (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / Houston Chronicle)

Environmentalists: Keystone XL fails Obama’s test

Environmentalists on Thursday asserted that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline fails President Barack Obama’s test for approval, because it would exacerbate global warming.
Blackside dace are a colorful minnow found in parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, and western Virginia. (Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, via J.R. Shute, Conservation Fisheries, Inc.)

Study documents fish kill from hydraulic fracturing fluid

Hydraulic fracturing fluids from nearby natural gas wells probably caused endangered fish in a Kentucky creek to die off, according to two federal agencies that studied the 2007 incident.
Shell's Perdido oil and natural gas platform  located  200 miles off the coast of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico (Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle )

Feds net $102.4 million in Gulf lease sale

Dozens of companies submitted $144.6 million in bids to drill in the Gulf of Mexico during a government auction Wednesday, guided by fresh seismic research offering new hints about oil and gas that could lurk underground. BP skipped out on the sale because it is suspended from new government contracts.
An out-of-control natural gas well ignited a fire on a Hercules rig in the Gulf of Mexico in July. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)

Feds to collect info on ‘near misses’ offshore

The federal government on Wednesday moved to fill a major gap in overseeing the safety of offshore oil and gas development, by pledging to develop a system for tracking near-miss incidents that could be a harbinger of bigger problems.
Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Western Gulf lease sale draws tepid interest

The federal government will open bids from a dozen companies seeking new drilling leases in the western Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday. But none of them will be from BP, which is suspended from new government contracts in connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.