Fuel Fix

A shrimp boat is used to collect oil with booms in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, La. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Gulf oil spill judge tosses claims against M-I Swaco, Cameron

A federal judge Wednesday threw out all claims against one of the companies that provided services to the ill-fated Macondo well project and tossed punitive damages claims against a second, but he refused to dismiss claims against the three main firms involved _ BP, Transocean and Halliburton.  More »
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Sides agree on tough Northeast fracturing standards

If the project succeeds, it could have far-reaching implications for both the industry and environmental groups.  More »

Ethanol brawl heats up between oil and corn industries

A fight between oil giants and the ethanol industry is escalating, as a new oil industry study says ethanol in fuel will hurt consumers and the economy, and ethanol producers say oil producers and refiners simply want to protect their market.  More »
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A Phillips 66 refinery. (Phillips 66)

Phillips 66 signs deals to use more U.S. shale crude

Kicking its strategy of using cheaper crude oil from U.S. shale plays into high gear, Phillips 66 has signed deals with three midstream companies to bring as much as 130,000 barrels a day of North American crude oil to its refineries.  More »
Oil workers make adjustments to increase a well's production. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Major workforce shortage pounding energy industry

There are about 4.5 million to 5 million skilled trade workers in the oil and gas industry in North America, about a million fewer than in the mid-2000s, an expert told members of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers at its annual meeting here Tuesday.  More »
Semi-subermisible oil rigs and jackup drilling units in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Cameron, La. (Aaron M. Sprecher/Bloomberg)

Bidding begins in Gulf drilling lease sale

The federal government is kicking off an auction of leases to drill in the central Gulf of Mexico today, but it probably won’t look much like last year’s sale of similar territory, when pent-up, post-spill demand spurred a buying frenzy.  More »
Helen Christine Sharkey, left, a former member of Dynegy's risk control and deal structure groups, is escorted into the Federal Courthouse, Thursday, June 12, 2003, in Houston. Sharkey is one of three former Dynegy Inc. executives charged in a federal indictment unsealed Thursday with creating an Enronesque deal in 2001 used to wrongly boost cash flow and cut taxes to counteract Wall Street worries about the company's financial health. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Steffy: Accountants warned that felonies are forever

As Helen Sharkey stepped to the lectern, it became clear what she was about to say would be no ordinary accounting lecture.  More »
Cosco's first LNG carrier being fitted out in Shanghai. The "Dapeng Sun" has a capacity of 147,000 cubic meters. (HerryLawford/Flickr)

Natural gas exports concern chemical executive

The makers of chemicals that go into nearly every product – from plastic wraps to diapers – are celebrating an era of opportunity that is in danger of faltering because of American policy, a Dow Chemical executive said Tuesday.  More »
(Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

Bill would force agency to consider consumer power costs

A Houston lawmaker has proposed that consumer costs and benefits be part of the formula in deciding how to encourage power generators to build new plants at a time when demand is testing the state’s electricity capacity.  More »
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar climbs stairs from a rig drilling wells for Newfield Exploration Co., in McKenzie County, N.D. during a visit to the state on April 2. (Photo: Jennifer A. Dlouhy / Houston Chronicle)

Newfield CEO seeks ’certainty’ in U.S. amid planned Asian sale

Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX), which is exploring the sale of its offshore assets in Malaysia and China, said it will be able to expand production more dependably by focusing on North America.  More »
(Photo: Steve Snodgrass/Flickr)

NRC orders nuclear sites to upgrade vents

U.S. nuclear power plants must upgrade ventilation systems at 31 reactors with designs similar to those that melted down two years ago in Japan, under a Nuclear Regulatory Commission order that stops short of requiring filtered vents, as some safety advocates and NRC’s staff had urged.  More »

19-year-old son of billionaire buys Siberian oil field

Arkady Abramovich, the 19-year-old son of Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich, bought a Siberian oil field, seven years after his father sold his Russian crude producer to OAO Gazprom for $13 billion.  More »