Fuel Fix

Curtis Donaldson, managing director of CleanFUEL USA, stands with a company vehicle in a Houston parking lot. He founded the company in 1993 to make propane-fueled vehicles and pumps to fuel them. (Ryan Holeywell/Houston Chronicle)

Texas businessman sees promise in propane

The founder of Texas-based propane company CleanFUEL USA, which made news this year when it entered a major deal to supply UPS with 1,000 trucks and more than 50 fuel stations, explains why he sees promise in the alternative transportation fuel.  More »
Union Theological Seminary in New York City (Gryffindor derivative work: Fpo/Wikimedia Commons)

Seminary drops fossil-fuel investments to atone for ‘sin’

The esteemed, historic institution is the first seminary in the country to make such a move, according to its President Serene Jones.  More »
A masked Pershmerga fighter from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region guards a temporary camp set up to shelter Iraqis fleeing violence in the northern Nineveh province. (AFP PHOTO/SAFIN HAMEDSAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

Crude-export shutdown in Iraq unlikely, analysts say

International crude prices climbed to their highest point in 10 months on fears that sectarian violence in Iraq will spill into the south and cut off crude exports from the port at Basra, but that’s a highly unlikely scenario, experts said Friday.  More »
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The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico on April 21, 2010, the day after the blowout of BP's Macondo well. (Associate Press photo)

Date set for BP investors’ trial over spill losses

BP Plc investors claiming as much as $2.5 billion in market losses caused by company misrepresentations about the severity of the 2010 oil spill will make their case to a jury next May 18, a judge ruled today.  More »
The Maersk Developer drills an exploratory well into Statoil's Martin prospect, about 3,000 feet below the surface in the Gulf of Mexico. Two years ago, Statoil paid $157 million for the right to drill into a single 9-square-mile block at the site and the Norwegian company is now spending about $1.1 million a day to rent the Developer, supply the drilling rig and pay for other contractors. (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / Houston Chronicle)

Statoil’s big bet: Aboard the Maersk Developer (photos)

Statoil raised eyebrows when it won the rights to a Gulf of Mexico tract in a 2012 auction by pledging $157 million — more than five times higher than the nearest competitor. Two years later, the Norwegian oil giant has high hopes for the Martin project.  More »
(Nathan Lindstrom/For the Houston Chronicle)

Workers in key industries getting most pay raises

Oil and gas workers earned an average 11 percent more an hour in April than they did a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s more than five times the average gain across all industries.  More »
A view of a support vessel and a smaller boat next to the illuminated Na Kika oil and natural gas production platform in the Gulf of Mexico. (BP)

Feds take first step toward new oil auctions

The Obama administration on Friday took the first step toward new offshore drilling sales three years from now, inviting the public to weigh in on what coastal acreage should be opened for oil and gas exploration.  More »
Kristian Helgesen/Bloomberg

Norway oil spending expected to plunge on costs, political meddling

Oil and gas companies operating in Norway, western Europe’s biggest producer, predict investments will plunge 21 percent next year amid rising costs and increased political interference over offshore developments.  More »
Russell Girling, president and chief executive officer of TransCanada Corp. (left) and Joe Oliver, Canada's natural resources minister, stand for a photograph during a media event at the TransCanada Corp. Houston Lateral Project pipe yard in Mont Belvieu, Texas on March 5, 2014. Girling said he remains "optimistic" that market forces will see that the embattled Keystone XL oil sands pipeline is built, but the real question is when. (Scott Dalton/Bloomberg)

Canada tries turning up heat on Obama as Keystone stalled

The Keystone XL pipeline has become the biggest bilateral irritant between the world’s two largest trading partners, fueled tensions between Obama and Harper and threatens Canada’s ability to develop its oil resources.  More »
Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of petroleum. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi oil minister’s good times will last as lost output lifts prices

Saudi Arabia is showing satisfaction with oil prices at a time when OPEC’s collective influence seems diminished.  More »
Blue megaphone icon

People making moves in Houston’s energy world

Check out the recent job changes and promotions in Houston’s energy business.  More »
A compressed natural gas  Frito Lay truck is displayed during the Natural Gas Vehicle USA Conference outside the Omni Houston Hotel. ( Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle )

Economics of natural gas don’t always add up for fleets

Commercial fleet operators at the Natural Gas Vehicles USA conference in Houston say despite the promises of natural gas as a cheap and clean transportation fuel, the economics of making it work can be tricky.  More »
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