Fuel Fix

Rigs stacked at a business 20 miles west of Farm-To-Market Road 1788 photographed Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Reporter-Telegram, James Durbin)

A single oil rig was shut down last week, extending six month decline

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As the price of oil seemingly began to stabilize for now near $60 a barrel, the U.S. oil rig count slowed its pace of decline down to a crawl. The number of U.S. oil rigs is now at 659, according to Baker Hughes data, after dropping by eight oil rigs a week prior.

A single oil rig was shut down last week, extending six month decline

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Rigs stacked at a business 20 miles west of Farm-To-Market Road 1788 photographed Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Reporter-Telegram, James Durbin)
As the price of oil seemingly began to stabilize for now near $60 a barrel, the U.S. oil rig count slowed its pace of decline down to a crawl. The number of U.S. oil rigs is now at 659, according to Baker Hughes data, after dropping by eight oil rigs a week prior.
Original byline: Jim Blecha/

Vanguard Natural Resources scoops up smaller Houston rival for $474 million

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The most recent deal comes on the heels of Vanguard’s announcement in April that it will acquire LRR Energy LP for more than $250 million.
Categories: Crude oil, Deals, featured, Shale

The dismantling of the Offshore Technology Conference at the NRG Center Thursday, May 7, 2015, in Houston, Texas. ( Gary Coronado / Houston Chronicle )
Publication History:

As OTC winds down, movers gear up to put it all away

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“We have about two weeks to set it up and, essentially, four days to take it out,” said the general manager of the company that sets up and breaks down OTC.
Categories: OTC
William Driscoll, 5, of Charlotte, N.C., holds signs as he stands with protestors, including his mother, outside the Duke Energy headquarters before the company's shareholders meeting in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, May 7, 2015. Duke Energy is holding its annual shareholders meeting Thursday, where the company's chief executive officer, Lynn Good, is expected to give an overview of Duke's 2014 performance. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Duke CEO faces contentious shareholders’ meeting

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Demonstrators say the $50 billion company is blocking people from putting solar panels on their roofs.
Categories: Coal, Environment, Solar

OTC-DAILY

The oil downturn is good for one sector of the industry: Automated drilling equipment makers

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Manufacturers of automated drilling and down-hole equipment, sensors and oil field monitoring devices say they’re getting more equipment orders and more oil executives are swinging by their booths to talk about replacing drilling processes once run by technicians with automated tools.
OTC-DAILY

The biggest machines at OTC 2015

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Click through for some of the biggest tech Fuel Fix could find at this year’s conference.
Categories: OTC
Burning oil tank cars from a BNSF train that derailed at Heimdal, North Dakota lay askew along the railroad tracks on Wednesday afternoon, May 6, 2015. The train pulling 107 tank cars filled with crude oil was passing through the small town when six of the cars derailed. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

Oil in North Dakota derailment was treated to cut volatility

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Hess Corp. spokesman John Roper said the company’s oil complied with a state law that requires propane, butane and other volatile gases to be stripped out of crude before it can be transported. That conditioning process lowers the vapor pressure of the oil to reduce the chance of an ignition during a crash.
OTC-Models

OTC: Feds could soon take a closer look at who is, and who isn’t, fit to operate offshore

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The nation’s offshore drilling overseers are considering adopting a page out of Norway and Brazil’s playbooks — with a potential analysis of oil and gas firms’ “fitness to operate” on coastal waters.
APACHE0608

Apache takes big writedown, report loss for the quarter

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Apache Corp. reported a $4.7 billion writedown because of falling oil and natural gas prices, leading the company to declare a $4.65 billion net loss for the first quarter.
Patrick Schorn, president of operations and integration for Schlumberger (Courtesy Schlumberger)

OTC Commentary: Contractors will have to offer bundled services, rather than discrete, to continue to compete

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Changes in technology are also transforming the way contractors work with operators, Schlumberger exec Patrick Schorn.
Categories: OTC
OTC 3M

Rappelling trick shows off gear at OTC

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A rappelling display is only one of the activities happening at 3M’s OTC booth.
Categories: OTC
Mark Shuster, executive vice president of upstream Americas exploration for Shell (Courtesy Shell)

OTC Commentary: Shell exec wants Interior Department to usher in era of Atlantic drilling

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Mark Shuster, the executive vice president of upstream Americas exploration for Shell, says Secretary Sally Jewel should open up Atlantic acreage to offshore development.
Categories: OTC
SBM Offshore’s ARCA Chain Connector (SBM Offshore)

OTC Tech: SBM’s ARCA Chain Connector makes inspection and maintenance on FPSOs easier

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SBM’s ARCA Chain Connector replaces chain stoppers with a new design that allows for easier inspection and maintenance, and diverless operation.
Categories: OTC
Fishbones’ Dreamliner increases reservoir connectivity with simplicity, accuracy and efficiency by drilling multiple laterals into the formation.  Credit Fishbones.

OTC Tech: Fishbones’ Dreamliner speeds up drilling laterals by hundreds an hour

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Fishbones’ Dreamliner is a multilateral stimulation tool that drills small-diameter lateral legs off a main wellbore.
Categories: OTC
Sinopec Oilfield Services Corporation has a very large oil field and oil industry model on display on day three of OTC on May 7, 2014 inside the NRG Center in Houston, TX. (Photo: Thomas B. Shea/For the Chronicle)

Photos from OTC day three

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The annual conference wraps up at NRG Park on May 7. But the conversation will continue for a fifth day for the first time on May 8 at OTC’s new event, D5, at the University of Houston.
Categories: OTC
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Siemens hosts annual OTC Cinco de Mayo party

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Last month, Siemens announced it was opening a new oil and gas headquarters in Houston.
Categories: OTC
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OTCers dance night away at appreciation concert

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Several hundred convention goers headed to the floor of NRG Stadium on Wednesday for the annual OTC appreciation concert featuring the The Spazmatics.
Categories: OTC