Fuel Fix

(Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement)

Feds add teeth to offshore drilling safety mandates

Federal regulators finalized a plan designed to boost the safety of offshore drilling on Thursday, by insisting that workers have the power to halt dangerous activity and requiring third-party audits of risk management programs.  More »
(Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

Copper thieves cause power outages near Houston

Copper thieves in Liberty County caused power failures on Wednesday for about 2,000 electric customers for almost 12 hours in some places, officials said.  More »
(File Photo by James Nielsen/Getty Images)

Enron victims concerned by former CEO’s possible early prison release

“It’s stunning that somebody who robs a bank of a couple thousand dollars could end up spending more time (in prison) than someone like Jeff Skilling,”said Andrew Stoltmann, a Chicago-based securities attorney who represented 10 victims of the Enron scandal.  More »
T. Boone Pickens (Photo: Associated Press)

Pickens says energy boom defies ‘incompetent’ Washington

America is on a path to energy independence without any help from Washington, according to billionaire investor T. Boone Pickens.  More »
Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson speaks in an exclusive interview with FuelFix about a recent oil spill and security issues in the energy industry. ( Nick de la Torre / Chronicle )

Exxon Mobil CEO zeroes in on risk

Exxon Mobil Corp. is targeting employee habits in its effort to improve computer security, which has become “extraordinarily important” to preventing disasters and safety risks, CEO Rex Tillerson said.  More »
Jerry Karnas and about 30 others protest the Keystone XL oil pipeline as President Barack Obama rides through on his way to speak at PortMiami on Friday, March 29, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Michelle Kanaar)

Protesters urge Obama to reject Keystone pipeline

A crowd of protesters from various environmental groups gathered outside the Getty mansion in San Francisco Wednesday night where they called on President Obama to reject construction of a pipeline that would transport oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast.  More »
The San Onofre nuclear power plant along Pacific Ocean coastline in San Onofre, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

June 1 restart could be out of reach at San Onofre

Executives for the company that operates the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant sketched a future Wednesday in which one of the twin reactors restarts by summer then produces electricity after an on-off trial period for possibly years to come.  More »
(Øyvind Hagen/Statoil ASA)

Norway’s oil future seen with ice-free arctic’s barrels

In the wake of plummeting oil output, Norway, western Europe’s biggest petroleum producer, may have found its new money spigot: an ice-free expanse of the Arctic Ocean known as the Barents Sea.  More »
(Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

TXU spared tax liability on $23 billion by IRS ruling

Energy Future Holdings Corp., the Texas power company taken private six years ago in the largest leveraged buyout, won’t have to pay a potential tax liability on $23 billion when transferring ownership of some of its units, according to a decision by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.  More »
Kurt Mix leaves the federal courthouse in Houston after he was freed on bail. The former BP engineer is accused of obstruction of justice in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Cody Duty / Houston Chronicle

Lawyer enters not guilty plea for former BP engineer in Gulf spill case

A lawyer for a former BP engineer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf Wednesday to new accusations contained in a superseding indictment related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  More »
(Jerry Lara/San Antonio Express-News)

Eagle Ford sale nets $401M

Houston-based Magnum Hunter Resources agreed to sell off its holdings in the Eagle Ford shale play for $401 million, deciding to instead focus on its Bakken and Marcellus shale holdings, the company said Wednesday.  More »
A BNSF Railway locomotive (BNSF Railway photo)

Environmentalists battle coal railcars

Environmental groups in Washington State are threatening legal action against rail cars carrying coal dust, alleging that the coal dust is causing environmental damage.  More »
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson speaks after receiving the Green Cross for Safety medal from the National Safety Council during the group's annual dinner at the Hilton Americas Hotel on Tuesday April 2, 2013. (Dave Rossman)

Exxon Mobil CEO on spill: ‘I’m proud of the response’

Exxon Mobil Corp’s CEO, in an exclusive interview with FuelFix, said a rupture and oil spill last week from a company pipeline in Arkansas was regrettable, but that he is proud of the quick response to the incident.  More »
The Kulluk conical drilling rig, shown in a Seattle shipyard earlier this year, has begun drilling in Alaska's Beaufort Sea.  (Jennifer A. Dlouhy / The Houston Chronicle)

Feds: All companies should heed Arctic drilling lessons

Federal regulators have focused scrutiny on Shell’s Arctic drilling program, but top Obama administration officials say ConocoPhillips and other companies planning to search for oil in the same area better be paying attention.  More »
Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive officer of Dow Chemical Co. (far left) speaks during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Senate panel to scrutinize natural gas exports — again

The Senate energy committee will delve deep into issues surrounding natural gas development and transport — including the controversy surrounding potentially greater exports of the fossil fuel — during a series of roundtables in May.  More »