Fuel Fix

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Steffy: Electricity prices could be a rising target for Texans

This is the summer of truth for Texas’ costly experiment in electricity deregulation. By the time the first cool front rolls across Texas in the fall, it should be clear that under our current system, electricity can be cheap, or it can be reliable, but it can’t be both. And it may be neither.  More »
(Photo: ToddMorris/Flickr)

Companies asking to change fixed-rate contracts

Several retail electric providers are asking whether changes to wholesale power prices could allow them to break current fixed-rate contracts with consumers.  More »
(Photo: BFS Man)

Texas should triple wholesale prices to avert blackouts

Texas regulators should triple peak wholesale power prices to avert blackouts later this decade when electricity demand is predicted to outstrip supply, according to a report today by Brattle Group Inc.  More »
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Exxon planning multibillion expansion in Baytown

Exxon Mobil Corp. is planning a multibillion petrochemical expansion at its Baytown complex to take advantage of the country’s increasing supplies of natural gas.  More »
The Ensco 8501 semi-submersible rig in the Gulf of Mexico (Jennifer A. Dlouhy/Houston Chronicle)

Drug problems hindering offshore recruiters

It’s no secret that created a staffing crunch in the energy industry, but drug use is also hindering companies from hiring qualified workers.  More »
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)

Chesapeake oil well is biggest gusher in company’s history

Chesapeake Energy Corp. said it drilled the largest oil gusher in the company’s 23-year history at a “significant” discovery in the Anadarko Basin of Texas and Oklahoma.  More »
TNK-BP headquarters in Moscow (AP file photo/Misha Japaridze)

Steffy: BP throws in the towel on Russian joint venture

Just days after the latest management upheaval, BP said it intends to sell its 50 percent stake in its troubled Russian joint venture. In a short press release, the company said it received “unsolicited indications of interest” for its half of TNK-BP.  More »
T. Boone Pickens (Photo: Associated Press)

T. Boone Pickens talks money with Drake

Energy mogul T. Boone Pickens and rapper Drake don’t seem to have much overlap, but they do apparently when they are chatting money.  More »
Chevron's Genesis platform is shown in the Gulf of Mexico.  (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Energy industry optimistic about upcoming hurricane season

Hurricane season officially begins today, but the oil and natural gas industry is optimistic that the season will have only a minimal impact on operations in the Gulf of Mexico.  More »

Report: Salaries surging in oil and gas industry

As oil and gas companies expand operations across the country, demand for skilled workers has pushed salaries up 5 percent over the past year, according to a report by CSI Recruiting.  More »
(AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)

Fracking’s interstate pollution needs U.S. rules, scientist says

Air and water pollution from natural- gas and oil production using hydraulic fracturing moves across state lines, so the drilling should be regulated by the federal government, a Cornell University scientist said.  More »
Petroleo Brasileiro SA Chief Executive Officer Maria das Gracas Silva Foster takes over as Brazil's government-controlled oil giant faces slowing production growth and a cooling economy. Douglas Engle/Bloomberg

Petrobras first female CEO is Rousseff’s response to delayed oil

As Maria das Gracas Silva Foster took over as chief executive officer at Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4), she couldn’t help giving a shout-out to two forces that have shaped her life.  More »
(AP file photo/Alastair Grant)

BP considers selling its stake in TNK-BP

British oil giant BP said Friday it could sell its 50 percent stake in its Russian joint venture TNK-BP, which could fetch at least $15 billion.  More »
Participating in Thursday's celebration, L-R: Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser, Motiva CEO Bob Pease, Saudi Aramco CEO Khalid Al-Falih. Motiva is a joint venture of Shell and Aramco. Photo: Gary Barchfeld/Motiva

Shell CEO says natural gas fuels won’t compete with Port Arthur refinery anytime soon

Shell is working on ways to make liquid transportation fuel from natural gas, but on Thursday it was showing off the expanded Motiva oil refinery in Port Arthur, a joint venture with Saudi Aramco.  More »

Keystone plan avoids wetlands on Texas coast

An Army Corps of Engineers official said TransCanada submitted a new permit application.  More »