Fuel Fix

A surge in natural gas motor fuels helped boost Texas sales tax revenue in the first half of 2014, the state reported. (Craig Hartley/Bloomberg)

Oil-demand plateau seen as natural gas favored

Oil demand may reach a plateau worldwide by the end of the decade as cars, trucks, railroad engines and power plants increasingly use natural gas instead, according to Citigroup Inc. analysts.  More »

Union Pacific expanding South Texas workforce

Increased rail shipments of oil from the Eagle Ford Shale drilling and more Mexican auto exports are driving job growth and capital spending for Union Pacific Corp. in South Texas, the company’s chief financial officer said Wednesday in San Antonio.  More »
(Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg)
The Gulf of Mexico dead zone, linked indirectly to ethanol production, should be smaller this year, but still about the size of Connecticut.

Corn supply slumps most since ’75 on ethanol profit

Corn supplies in the U.S., the biggest grower, are shrinking at the fastest pace in almost four decades as improving demand from ethanol refiners drains reserves already diminished by drought.  More »

A Phillips 66 refinery. (Phillips 66)

Refiners boost output, pushing crude price higher

West Texas Intermediate crude traded near its highest in five weeks and was set for a quarterly gain after U.S. government data showed refineries raised operating rates.  More »
Traders at the New York Mercantile Exchange (AP file photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York gasoline strengthens on East Coast supply drop

Spot gasoline in New York Harbor strengthened against futures after the Energy Information Administration reported the largest drop in East Coast stockpiles of the fuel since November.  More »
Kuwaiti refinery barrels

Russia to lower crude export tax 4.5%

The government is reviewing its export duty structure to encourage producers to meet President Vladimir Putin’s goal of pumping more than 10 million barrels a day.  More »
A house-sized dump truck hauls dirt and rock in March 2013 at the Black Thunder coal mine in northeast Wyoming's Powder River Basin near Wright, Wyo., source of almost 40 percent of the nation's coal production. The federal government says it is withholding $110 million in mineral payments to 36 states as a result of automatic spending cuts that took effect this month. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)

Government cuts mineral payments to 35 states

Wyoming faces the biggest cut — at least $53 million over the next five months.  More »
Riding a sled, or sledge, as they call it in Ilulissat, Greenland, is a way of life for the Inuit sled drivers. How to manage the race for natural resources off and on Greenland will be a key issue for the new coalition government . (Ellen Creager/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

Greenland ‘reluctant’ on new offshore drilling

The new government said it doesn’t plan to issue any new licenses for offshore oil exploration  More »
The Valero Refining Company, in Corpus Christi. (AP Photo/Paul Iverson)

Barclays calls refineries top stocks for 2013

Refining stock prices are undervalued by about 50 percent, Barclays wrote in a 2013 Global Energy Outlook issued on Wednesday. But the investment bank cautioned investors on Big Oil stocks, amid declining production.  More »
(Dave Martin/AP)

BP ignored Halliburton’s risk warning, witness says

A Halliburton engineer says he advised BP that the well had a “severe risk” of natural gas leaks with only six stabilizers.  More »
The solar-powered Solar Impulse airplane flies over Ouarzazate Province in June 2012. (Solar Impulse)

Solar-powered plane to make Texas stop during historic journey

The world’s first plane powered purely by solar energy will stop in Dallas during an historic cross-country journey this spring, the plane’s creators announced Thursday.  More »
Laura Spanjian, the sustainability director for the City of Houston, speaks to business, community and environmental leaders about the city's push to make solar energy a priority. (Harry R. Weber)

Advocates pushing solar for Houston businesses

The city of Houston has come a long way in encouraging homeowners to go solar, but businesses are lagging behind because tax and financial incentives are insufficient, policymakers and environmentalists said Wednesday.  More »
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell speaks during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing in March.  (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Environmentalists push for broader Arctic drilling probe

Drawing on comments filed by a half million Americans in opposition to Arctic drilling, environmentalists are urging President Barack Obama’s nominee for Interior secretary, Sally Jewell, to halt exploration in the region.  More »
(Photo: Brian Turner/Flickr)

Testimony ends in marathon gasoline additive trial

Testimony has ended in a marathon trial over whether Exxon Mobil Corp. should pay the state of New Hampshire hundreds of millions of dollars to monitor and treat private wells and public drinking supplies contaminated by the gasoline additive MTBE.  More »
A protester identified as Perry Graham displays a banner from the flagpole at the downtown offices of LyondellBasell, opposing a refinery expansion that would process Canadian crude transported in the Keystone XL Pipeline. (Nick de la Torre/Houston Chronicle)

Protester unfurls anti-Keystone banner at refiner’s office

A man climbed a flagpole in front of LyondellBasell’s downtown Houston office in protest of a refinery expansion related to the Keystone XL pipeline.  More »