Fuel Fix

Halliburton workers are shown at a natural gas drilling site near Ponder, Texas. (Donna McWilliam/AP)

Gulf spill judge troubled by Halliburton’s trial conduct

The federal judge overseeing the civil trial over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill said Thursday he is “troubled” by Halliburton’s “pattern” of conduct in not turning over documents, test results and other materials related to the cement that was used on the ill-fated well project.  More »
The pipe bridge is lifted onto a drilling rig under construction at the Lonestar Energy Fabrication yard in Baytown. Two new reports highlight continuing strength in the oil and gas sector in Texas. (Lonestar Energy Fabrication)

Reports make it official: Oil and gas are booming

In case you had any doubts, two reports released this week confirm that the oil and gas economy in Texas is still hot.  More »
Industry and environmental interests are debating whether efforts to reduce smog would increase greenhouse gas emissions.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Proposed gasoline pollution rules fuel air quality debate

Clean air advocates and the oil industry on Thursday released dueling studies on the Obama administration’s proposed gasoline emissions rule, with radically different conclusions on its effects on air pollution.  More »
(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 »
A Statoil ASA oil platform off the coast of Norway. (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 »