Fuel Fix

A worker walks through pipes connecting storage tanks and pumps in the hydraulic fracturing process. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Natural gas continues cutting into coal demand

Cheap natural gas has been increasingly displacing coal for electricity production during the year and appears to be continuing that trend, according to data from the U. S. Energy Information Administration and Simmons & Company International.  More »
Chevron's Genesis platform is shown in the Gulf of Mexico.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Feds put contractors on notice: Violate offshore regs & you’ll face fines too

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement today affirmed that it will not back down from a year-old plan to punish oil field service firms, rig suppliers and other contractors for running afoul of offshore drilling rules. In a policy document released this morning, the agency laid out its plans for policing offshore contractors — not just oil companies — for those violations.  More »
A gas station attendant pumps gas, in Portland, Ore.  (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Houston prices continue their steady rise as Labor Day nears

Gasoline prices are continuing their slow slog to $4, but analysts say there is some hope on the way.  More »

Column: China and its North American energy ambitions

There has been an almost surgical focus by China on foreign acquisitions in the energy space, taken one giant step further by the acquisition of NEXEN by CNOOC (nope, that’s not code, I promise).  More »
An engineer walks past heat exchangers at the Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum  Reserve site near Freeport, Texas. (Photo:Sharon Steinmann/Houston Chronicle)

Two energy jobs could be your ticket to earning $1 million

A career as a lawyer or a doctor might be one way to a $1 million salary, but it isn’t the only way.  More »

Chevron’s safety record hit by accidents

Within the oil industry, Chevron Corp. has long enjoyed a reputation for safety.  More »
(Photo: BFS Man)

No surprise: Lower power rates cheer customers

Lower electricity rates have made Texans happier with their providers than they have been over the last five years, according to a study released Wednesday by J.D. Power and Associates.  More »
(Photo: Patricia Santos, Associated Press)

Petrobras is helping Transocean fight Brazil court order

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4), Brazil’s largest company by market value, is working with Transocean Ltd. to overturn a court order to suspend the drilling company’s operations in the country.  More »

Ford boosts investment for battery-powered cars

Ford Motor Co. (F), debuting five battery-powered models this year, is spending $135 million to design electric-drive parts and double battery testing capacity.  More »
( Kevin Fujii / Chronicle )

Murkowski: Consider Asia for Alaska natural gas

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the Asia market may be Alaska’s best hope for selling North Slope natural gas.  More »
A mutated adult pale grass blue (Zizeeria maha) butterfly from Fukushima. (Photo: Handout)

Mutated butterflies but no signs of mutations in humans

Radiation from the leaking Fukushima nuclear plant following last year’s tsunami caused mutations in some butterflies and damaged the local environment though humans seem relatively unaffected, researchers say.  More »
Craig Sautner, a resident of Dimock, Pa., holds a jug of contaminated water outside a September EPA meeting on hydraulic fracturing in New York. (Photo: AP/Press & Sun-Bulletin)

Residents of Pennsylvania town near a drilling settlement

Court documents indicate residents in Dimock Township have agreed to a confidential settlement with Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.  More »