Fuel Fix

Badar Khan is taking over as President and CEO of Direct Energy, the Houston-based subsidiary of Centrica Energy. Centrica is based in the United Kingdom. (Photo: Direct Energy)

Direct Energy looking to buy retailers

Houston-based Direct Energy is planning to aggressively buy up electric retailers and expand its reach in Texas and elsewhere as it hopes to double profitability by 2018, the company said Wednesday.  More »
(AP Photo)

Texas oil production surpasses Norway

Torbjorn Kjus, a senior oil analyst for Norway’s largest financial services group, said that the growth of the U.S. oil supply will impact international prices as the country curbs energy imports. He spoke at an energy conference in Houston Wednesday.  More »
(Jennifer A. Dlouhy/The Houston Chronicle)

Greenpeace: Coal exports to China will slow

A new Greenpeace report predicts U.S. coal exports to China are likely to slow in the face of policies aimed at reducing pollution and the growth of renewable energy, as well as lower economic growth.  More »

T. Boone Pickens (Photo: Associated Press)

Steffy: Pickens’ new plan to break OPEC’s grip on U.S. energy markets

T. Boone Pickens was headed to a private lunch with outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu when I caught up with him by phone this week.  More »
A 1,250-ton water injection module is lifted onto Chevron's Tahiti platform in November 2011. Water injection is expected to extend the project's life by about 10 years. (Ade Ariyo/Chevron)

Chevron reaped $1.49 billion after U.S. botched leases

Chevron Corp. (CVX) reaped the most among the five largest oil companies drilling on U.S. deep water leases that mistakenly omitted drilling-fee provisions, according to a report produced by a Democratic lawmaker.  More »
Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson, File)

NY fracking rules to miss deadline; review lingers

A coalition of health professionals, environmental groups and elected officials was calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to conduct a health impact study before any decision is made on whether to lift a 5-year-old moratorium on shale gas drilling using fracking.  More »
Natural gas drilling in the United States has led to far cheaper prices here than in Asia. Photo: Matt Nager / HC

Natural gas trading hub could come to Asia

A report from the International Energy Agency recommends developing a natural gas trading hub in Asia as a step toward establishing a gas market in which prices better reflect local gas demand and supply.  More »

Exxon wins reversal of gas-leak punitive damages award

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) won the reversal of more than $1 billion in punitive damages over a 2006 gasoline leak that Maryland residents claimed fouled their drinking water.  More »
A worker near tanks at the Royal Dutch Shell refinery in Hemmingstedt, northern Germany. (AP file photo/Heribert Proepper)

Germany agrees on regulation to allow fracking for shale gas

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government agreed on draft regulation to allow the tapping of shale gas via hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a practice the opposition says may harm the environment.  More »
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Hess’ tangled family ties targeted in shareholder revolt

Hess Corp. (HES)’s shareholder revolt is taking aim at long-time directors with close ties to the company’s founding family, including two executors of the estate of Leon Hess, who led the oil producer for six decades.  More »
The San Onofre nuclear power plant along Pacific Ocean coastline in San Onofre, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Uncertainty clouds future of Calif nuke plant

The mounting bill tied to the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant in California jumped to more than $400 million through December, as the company that runs it contends with costly repairs and a host of questions about its future, regulatory filings and officials said Tuesday.  More »
A drilling rig works on Alaska's North Slope. (AP file photo/Al Grillo)

Alaska seeks consultant to help promote gas

Alaska is looking for help in promoting its gas to buyers in Asia.  More »
(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

As energy boom nears cities, a backlash grows

Colorado is trying to regulate an energy boom that is coming closer and closer to suburban homes and schools.  More »
Oil gushes from BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico on July 12, 2010. (AP Photo/BP)

BP drilled despite unsafe conditions, expert says at Gulf spill trial

The undersea well that blew out and led to the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history was a kettle waiting to explode weeks before the disaster, a well design expert testified Wednesday.  More »
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

What’s behind the gas price runup? Depends on whom you ask

Some lawmakers and regulators pin the blame on financial speculators trading futures contracts for oil. Or it could be a collision of planned maintenance and unexpected outages at some of the nation’s refineries, which are keeping gasoline supplies low, despite a boon in domestic crude production.  More »