Fuel Fix

Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson, File)

NY appeals court to consider local fracking bans

A state appeals court was to hear two cases that pit the right of towns to control land use through zoning against the drilling industry and landowners who say state law trumps local authority when it comes to oil and gas development in New York.  More »
(Bill Montgomery/Houston Chronicle)

State House OKs electric market cost-benefit measure

A measure requiring cost-benefit analysis of regulatory moves affecting the state power market is part of legislation reauthorizing the state Public Utility Commission  More »
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar talks with James Harris, the senior biologist for the Southeast Louisiana Refuges Complex, during a visit to the Big Branch National Wildlife Refuge. (Jennifer A. Dlouhy/Houston Chronicle)

Gulf Coast wildlife restoration effort shows progress

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar toured wetlands along the Gulf Coast, where efforts to restore wildlife in the wake of damaging hurricanes and the Gulf oil spill are underway.  More »
Former BP engineer Kurt Mix leaves the federal courthouse after a hearing in Houston in 2012. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

Ex-BP engineer accused of deleting voicemails

A former BP engineer charged with deleting text messages about the company’s response to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico faces new allegations that he also deleted voicemails from his phone.  More »
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy Beaudreau and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar assess the start of a Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale in New Orleans. (Jennifer A. Dlouhy/ Houston Chronicle)

Oil companies bid $1.6 billion for Gulf drilling rights

Embattled British oil giant BP, one of the largest leaseholder in the Gulf of Mexico, skipped Wednesday’s high-stakes lease sale, amid ongoing legal troubles and disputes with federal regulators over the fallout from the 2010 oil spill.  More »

Rigs-to-Reefs program making a splash in Texas

See underwater photos of massive oil rigs turned into homes for subsea creatures. Offshore drillers are participating in the state’s “Rigs-to-Reefs” programs, which allow them to leave portions of their former drilling structures in designated sites.  More »
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 »
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 »

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 »