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LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel poses for a portrait at the LyondellBasell Channelview Chemical Company plant Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, in Channelview. 
 ( James Nielsen / Houston Chronicle )

LyondellBasell looking at Texas sites for new chemical plant

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Speaking at the company’s sprawling Channelview complex where LyondellBasell will start up 250 million pounds of new ethylene capacity near the end of September, Patel said an announcement likely will come later this year on adding more production of polyethylene, which is the most common type of plastic.
Roughnecks take a break from working the Peterson Drilling Company rig in Carlsbad, New Mexico, February 26, 2000.  (Photo by Joe Raedle)

Dune Energy sells off Texas, Louisiana oil fields for $19 million

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Dune Energy is one of a handful of U.S. oil producers to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this year in the wake of the oil-market crash.
A gas flare is seen in an aerial view in the early morning hours of July 30, 2013 near Watford City, North Dakota. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Industrial natural gas use to continue to grow quickly, EIA says

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New plants coming online are set to drive industrial natural gas growth forward by more than three percent in the next two years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in an analysis Wednesday.
(Ty Wright/Bloomberg)

Houston-based Milagro Oil & Gas seeks bankruptcy protection

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Milagro said in court papers Wednesday it had $1 million to $10 million in assets and $500 million to $1 billion in liabilities and that it couldn’t pay back its debt because its business became unprofitable as crude prices fell.
Pemex Refinery in the Hidalgo State in Mexico

Pair of companies to build 700,000-barrel crude oil storage near Houston

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The two companies said they will build about 700,000 barrels of new crude oil storage and a pipeline near Seabrook, Texas, about 30 miles southeast of Houston.
(Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

Gulf spill debt could hit BP hard over next few years, says ratings agency

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A federal judge in New Orleans could rule at any time on BP’s oil spill penalties, which could rise as high as $13.7 billion. BP has set aside just $3.5 billion for the fines, but Fitch said its rating adjustment assumes the judge will hand down the highest-possible penalty.
Refineries expanding for the first time in years run the risk of cost overruns because they lack the in-house experience to manage the projects.

PBF Energy snaps up Gulf Coast refinery for $322 million

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PBF Energy on Thursday announced plans to spend $322 million to buy a refinery and pipelines outside of New Orleans in a deal that gives the company a new footprint in the booming Gulf Coast refining corridor.
Senior project engineer Andy Aronson, left, and operations engineer Joel Vincent examine equipment at the Siluria Technologies plant in La Porte, where the company is testing processes it says could reduce the costs of making chemical building blocks and motor fuels from natural gas
Siluria Technologies at Braskem chemical plant on Friday March 27, 2015 in La Porte, Texas. 

Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher

Brazil’s biggest petrochem company considering Gulf Coast for massive natural gas project

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The factory would produce at least 1 billion pounds (450,000 metric tons) of resin a year and would be the U.S. polypropylene industry’s first world-scale project in about 12 years, said Mark Nikolich, a vice president at Braskem.
From left: Thad Hill, CEO of Calpine Corp., Leo Denault, CEO and Chairman of Entergy Corp. and Pat Vincent-Collawn, President and CEO of PNM resources. (Billy Smith II/Houston Chronicle)

CERAWeek: Cheap fuel, solid economy will give Texas a break from rising rates

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Texas’ rate hikes will be eased thanks to economic growth that has boosted power demand in the state and along the Gulf Coast.
Rich Kinder, left, chairman and CEO of Kinder Morgan. (Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle)

Kinder Morgan CEO says to expect more acquisitions

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Kinder Morgan’s board said it would raise the dividend to 48 cents per share, up 14 percent from the prior year’s Q1 payout of 42 cents per share.