Fuel Fix

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A tough break for fracturing companies

Hydraulic fracturing companies are reeling as prices for their services slide, leading to crew layoffs and idle equipment in once booming shale gas fields.  More »
NRG Energy's SR Bertron Power plant. (Nathan Lindstrom/For the Chronicle)

As summer nears, old plants go back on grid

With the official start of summer just a few days away, electricity planners in Texas are preparing for its full blaze by bringing some older power plants back online to meet the increased demand for air conditioning and to help avoid last summer’s threat of power blackouts.  More »
(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Accounting for natural wealth gains world traction

What is a sip of clean water worth? Is there economic value in the shade of a tree? And how much would you pay for a breath of fresh air?  More »
Shareholders have criticized Chesapeake’s board for failing to rein in what they’ve seen as Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon’s risk-taking and overspending at the company. (F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg )

New Chesapeake chairman expected this week

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. is expected to name a new chairman this week, although the 23-year-old company has given no indication who that will be.  More »
A Devon Energy flex-drilling rig in the Barnett Shale (Kevin Fujii/Houston Chronicle file photo)

Devon developing long-term work plan for oil sands

Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp. is developing a 10-year plan to ensure it has enough workers for its operations in Canada’s oil sands.  More »
A cutaway of a Toyota Prius is housed at the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium in Morgantown, W. Va.  The cutaway is used for training first responders on how to work on the vehicle in an emergency.  (AP Photo/The Dominion Post, Jason DeProspero)

WVU program teaches about alternative-fuel cars

A plain, white building in a business park off Bakers Ridge Road houses a key component in America’s transportation future.  More »
(Photo: Loozrboy/Flickr)

Puerto Rico ponders alternatives to gas pipeline

A proposed natural gas pipeline that is backed by Puerto Rico’s governor but widely opposed by islanders and environmentalists could be cast aside in favor of new alternatives after millions of dollars were invested in the massive project.  More »
Photo: Robert Seber, Flickr)

UK awards Rolls-Royce $1.7 bln reactor contract

Britain’s defense ministry has awarded a 1.1 billion pound ($1.7 billion) contract to Rolls-Royce to deliver reactor cores for the UK’s nuclear-powered submarine fleet.  More »
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson (left) talks to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during a  signing ceremony in Russia in 2011. (AP photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, pool)

Exxon fracking Siberia to help Putin maintain oil clout

Russian President Vladimir Putin is counting on Exxon Mobil to help drill oil fields in Siberia that may hold almost half the proved reserves of the United States, extending the petroleum boom that underpins his power.  More »
(Photo: Flickr, Caston_Corporate)

Chevron sells 10% stake in Wheatstone LNG project

Chevron Corp., the second-largest U.S. energy company, agreed to sell a 10 percent stake in its $29 billion Wheatstone liquefied natural gas project to a group that includes Tokyo Electric Power Co.  More »
A drilling rig aims for oil in the Bakken Shale near Watford City, N.D. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

Bakken Formation a million years in the making

The Bakken formation’s oil bonanza was triggered eons ago in a story involving a cast of millions, earthly upheavals, heat and pressure — lots and lots of pressure.  More »
Center Twp. Supervisors Chairman Edward "Butch" Deter is seen in a Wednesday, June 6, 2012photo, in Greene County, Pa. The area was the site of a diesel fuel spill in December that crept from the top of the mountain into the creek. The DEP was notified of the incident but local officials and emergency response units were not alerted of a spill or how many gallons contaminated the ground and creek.  (AP Photo/Tribune-Review, Philip G. Pavely)

Local officials say they aren’t told about spills

Gas drilling-related companies spilled oils, gases or chemicals about 134 times onto land and into water across Pennsylvania since Jan. 1, 2011, but the state rarely, if ever, notified the public.  More »