Fuel Fix

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. drills a series of wells on a pad on a Weld County farm near Mead, Colo. in the northeastern part of the state. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

California fracking rules plan stirs trade secrets fight

A California proposal to regulate the chemicals used by oil companies in hydraulic fracturing is stirring a battle over industry assertions of trade secrets protection and environmentalist calls for disclosure to shield public health.  More »
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Opinion: ‘Peak fossil fuels’ is closer than you think

Every time an iPhone is charged or an episode of “Mad Men” plays on a television, puffs of vaporized carbon join the atmosphere, products of power-plant combustion. And every year the world demands more. That era may be nearing an end, as the world approaches “peak fossil fuels,” a phrased used by Bloomberg New Energy Finance founder Michael Liebreich at the group’s annual conference.  More »
A worker switches well heads at the site of a natural gas hydraulic fracturing and extraction operation. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Bill to lower oil severance taxes signed into law

Legislation to lower the Mississippi severance tax on hydraulically fractured oil wells from 6 percent to 1.25 percent for first 30 months of well production has been signed into law by Gov. Phil Bryant.  More »
A massive explosion at 3 a.m. EDT on one of the two barges still ablaze in the Mobile River in Mobile, Ala., on Thursday, April 25, 2013. Three people were injured in the blast. Fire officials have pulled units back from fighting the fire due to the explosions and no immediate threat to lives. (AP Photo John David Mercer) Three people were hospitalized with burns. Information on their conditions was not immediately available.

Fuel barges explode, causing large fire in Ala.

A large fire that began with explosions aboard two fuel barges in Mobile, Ala., was rocked by a seventh explosion early Thursday and fire officials said they planned to let the fire, which has injured three, burn overnight.  More »
A thick cloud of fog and morning light engulfs wind turbines at the BP Sherbino Mesa II Wind Farm in Fort Stockton. ( Michael Paulsen / Houston Chronicle )

Bill would expand tax-saving arrangement to renewables

Master limited partnerships have paid off for the oil and gas industry. Now, lawmakers want to expand the financing structure so renewable power projects can lure investment dollars more easily .  More »
U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier (Bloomberg News)

Gulf oil spill judge poses questions on gross negligence issue

The federal judge who must decide whether BP and its partners committed gross negligence in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill is offering some clues as to how he will formulate his decision.  More »

Hess quarterly profit more than doubles on asset sale gains

Hess Corp., the oil company that’s in a proxy battle with billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp., said first-quarter profit more than doubled on gains from asset sales.  More »
Boudin, a pork and rice sausage popular in Louisiana, is seen in the cooler for sale at the Country Store market where it was made in Pennsdale, Pa. (AP Photo/Genaro C. Armas)

Gas industry gives Pennsylvania a taste of the South

Thanks to an influx of Southerners filling jobs in north-central Pennsylvania’s booming natural gas industry, a region not often placed on many culinary maps is finding itself flush with the foodways found below the Mason-Dixon line.  More »
Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Western Gulf lease sale set for Aug. 28

Oil and gas companies will have a chance to buy drilling rights on more than 21 million acres in the western Gulf of Mexico during a lease sale in August.  More »
Chevron Phillips Chemical is considering yet another expansion at its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown. ( Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle )

Report: Petrochemical plants see big benefits from low-cost gas

Standard & Poor’s reports that low-cost shale gas will continue to give North American petrochemical plants an advantage over their European counterparts.  More »

Exxon boosts dividend 11 percent

Exxon Mobil Corp. boosted its cash dividend 11 percent for the second quarter, the company said Wednesday as it declared a 63 cent payout per share to its owners.  More »
Greg Thiergart, a radio communication technician with CenterPoint Energy, works on a smart meter project in Houston. (Houston Chronicle file photo/Johnny Hanson)

Texas lawmakers give utilities a tax boost

The Texas Senate passed a bill on Tuesday afternoon that would remove the ability of state regulators to review tax payments in calculating future utility rates increases.  More »
Daniel Yergin, IHS CERA Chairman, at CERAWeek 2010 (Photo: Houston Chronicle)

Columbia opens energy policy center with A-list speakers

Columbia University wants a bigger presence in the energy game. The New York school launched its Center on Global Energy Policy on Wednesday with a collection of high-profile speakers from the industry, including corporate executives and oil and gas experts.  More »
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Baucus’ retirement could put Louisiana Democrat in charge of energy panel

Sen. Max Baucus’ decision to retire sets in motion a chain of events that could end with Sen. Mary Landrieu taking the helm of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, putting the Louisiana Democrat in the driver’s seat for big debates on offshore drilling and natural gas production.  More »
Phil McNabb of Oceaneering International shows off the WASP Atmospheric Diving System during the Offshore Technology Conference at Reliant Center in 2002. (Melissa Phillip/Chronicle)

Oceaneering profits hit all-time high

Oceaneering International Inc., the world’s largest provider of underwater robots to the oilfield, climbed to an all-time high after beating profit expectations, raising earnings guidance for the year and boosting its dividend.  More »