Fuel Fix

The Valero Three Rivers Refinery in Three Rivers, Texas between San Antonio and Corpus Christi refines a lot of oil from the Eagle Ford shale. (Photo: John Davenport, San Antonio Express-News)

Valero’s 4Q income falls

Valero Energy Corp. said its fourth-quarter results were constrained by lower margins for gasoline and petrochemical feedstocks, even as two refineries the company purchased helped boost production and revenue.  More »
Workers wait for the all clear early Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012, in the parking lot following a reported explosion and fire at the Southern Power biomass generating plant in Sacul, Texas. Two workers were reported injured and transported to area hospitals in critical condition. (AP Photo/The Daily Sentinel, Andrew D. Brosig) MANDATORY CREDIT

2 men hurt in East Texas biomass plant accident

Emergency personnel say two workers have been critically hurt in an apparent electrical explosion and brief fire at a biomass power plant in East Texas.  More »
The mobile offshore drilling unit Development Driller III at the Deepwater Horizon site on May 7, 2010. (U.S. Coast Guard file photo)

BP must indemnify Halliburton for Gulf oil spill

BP Plc must indemnify Halliburton Co. for damages stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  More »

Protesters of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline at a rally in Washington, D.C., Nov. 6, 2011. (Puneet Kollipara / the Houston Chronicle)

Analyst: Permit denial’s impact ‘minimal’ if Keystone OK’d in 2013

The Obama administration’s denial of a permit wouldn’t have much impact on future U.S. crude imports from Canada if a new application can be approved by 2013, an energy analyst told Congress. But he added the permit’s denial nonetheless raises uncertainty about U.S. and Canadian supply growth.  More »
GASOLINE PRICES $3

Gasoline prices on the rise as refineries close

Gasoline prices are rising steadily across the United States, but a third East Coast refinery closure could set up higher prices later this year.  More »
Natural gas drilling in the United States has led to far cheaper prices here than in Asia. Photo: Matt Nager / HC

Forecasting the future of natural gas

What’s ahead for U.S. natural gas? What potential does this energy resource hold and what challenges are likely?  More »
Pegasus, the winged red horse icon of Exxon-Mobil, is seen on a gas pump in Ferndale, Mich. (Photo: Carlos Osorio, Associated Press)

Exxon revises natural gas strategy with 2 percent profits in Q4

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s fourth-quarter profit rose 2 percent as higher oil prices made up for a drop in production.  More »
Shell's Deer Park refinery is one of the facilities affected by negotiations with the United Steelworkers International. Nationwide contract talks cover 30,000 refinery and chemical workers - including 4,600 in the Houston area. Photo: James Nielsen / Houston Chronicle

Refiners, unions prepare for strike as contract deadline looms

Union officials are drawing up strike rosters while refineries prepare for possible shutdowns as a Wednesday deadline looms on nationwide contract talks covering 30,000 refinery and chemical workers – including 4,600 in the Houston area.  More »
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burns on April 21, 2010 after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP file photo/Gerald Herbert)

With trial pending, BP asks judge to cull experts

With a trial over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill looming, BP PLC is asking a federal judge to block two plaintiffs’ experts from testifying about an alleged disregard for safety throughout the energy company that those experts say led to the nation’s largest offshore oil spill.  More »
The Cameron International Building in Houston (Photo: Holliday Fenoglio Fowler)

Cameron sues insurer for refusing to pay BP settlement

Cameron International Corp., facing thousands of claims from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, sued one of its insurers for allegedly refusing to pay $50 million in coverage, a move the manufacturer says threatened a $250 million settlement with BP Plc. (BP/)  More »
(AP file photo/Paul Sakuma)

Shell seen raising dividend for first time since 2009

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), Europe’s largest oil company, will write off about $200 million because of an unsuccessful well off the coast of Tanzania, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.  More »
(Photo: Brian Turner/Flickr)

Conoco Phillips appeals worker’s $15.2M verdict

A Jones County man waited too long to file a lawsuit over exposure his exposure to workplace asbestos, attorneys told the Mississippi Supreme Court.  More »
The Douglas Channel, the proposed termination point for an oil pipeline in the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project at Kitamaat, British Columbia, Canada. Rio Tinto Alcans smelter is at left and the town of Kitamaat at upper right. The fear of oil spills is especially acute in this pristine corner of northwest British Columbia, with its snowcapped mountains and deep ocean inlets. People here still remember the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, and oil is still leaking from the Queen of the North, a ferry that sank off nearby Hartley Bay six years ago. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck)

Canadian natural-gas producers to disclose fracking fluids

Canadian natural-gas producers have voluntarily adopted standards to disclose fluids used in hydraulic fracturing amid investigations into the risks posed by the drilling technique in Canada and the U.S.  More »
(Photo: Brian Snelson)

Experts: US ill-prepared for oil spill off Cuba

The U.S. is not ready to handle an oil spill if drilling off the Cuban coast should go awry but can be better prepared with monitoring systems and other basic steps, experts told government officials.  More »
Lisa Richlin stands in front of her home along Route 220 near Laporte, Pa., while talking about the number of accidents there. Richlin is in court with Central New York Oil and Gas Company LLC on trying to get them to move a proposed entrance road for building the MARC 1 pipeline from a couple hundred yards north of her home along Route 220 to a site a couple hundred yards south of her home. (AP Photo/Jimmy May)

Landowners fight eminent domain in Pa. gas field

When federal regulators approved a 39-mile natural gas pipeline through northern Pennsylvania’s pristine Endless Mountains, they cited the operator’s assurances that it would make sparing use of eminent domain as it negotiated with more than 150 property owners along the pipeline’s route.  More »