Fuel Fix

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Report: Oil & gas drilling on federal lands pays dividends

Energy development on federal lands and waters supported about 1.5 million jobs and $275 billion in economic activity last year, according to a new Interior Department report.  More »
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has accused J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corp. of misleading regulators and said its authority to sell electricity may be suspended. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

JPMorgan probe shows FERC priority on policing energy markets

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s probe of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) demonstrates a renewed focus on market manipulation as the agency beefs up its oversight of the multibillion dollar energy-trading business.  More »
Members of the Iran Navy participate in a 2011 drill in the Sea of Oman. (AP Photo/International Iran Photo Agency, Ali Mohammadi)

Iran lawmakers want to tax ships in Hormuz

Several Iranian lawmakers plan to propose a bill to impose tariffs on ships sailing through the Strait of Hormuz, Shargh reported, citing Alireza Khosravi, a member of the nation’s parliament.  More »
The Exxon Baton Rouge, top, attempts to off load crude oil from the Exxon Valdez on March 26, 1989. (AP file photo)

Author says Exxon learned from their mistakes at Valdez

Exxon Mobil used the 1989 Valdez oil tanker spill as a catalyst for change in worker safety, but the changes also prompted a series of procedures that instructed workers on everything from how to operate equipment to how to requisition a stapler.  More »
Welding crews lay pipelines in Texas to move oil and gas extracted from the Eagle Ford Shale to market. (John Davenport/San Antonio Express-News)

Drilling takes its toll on roads, people’s safety

On a recent sunny afternoon, the streets of this Karnes County town were teeming. Pickups, oil tankers and gravel trucks clogged U.S. 181. Cars were backed up at intersections. Trucks waited in a line at a gas station. But there’s something more than just traffic crowding the town’s streets these days. There’s fear.  More »

The lowdown on the projects in the Energy Corridor

Demand for office space in west Houston has developers scrambling to put buildings on the ground. They’re betting on continued strength in the energy sector, which has been driving the office market in this part of town. Most of the following buildings are proposed, but a few are already under construction.  More »
A beachgoer in June 2010 enjoys a morning walk in Pensacola, Fla., as crews work to clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Some workers allege they were sickened by chemicals used to clean up the spill. Photo: Billy Smith II / Houston Chronicle

Dispersant’s use adds subplot to oil spill saga

As a federal judge considers a proposed settlement between BP and Gulf Coast residents harmed by the 2010 oil spill, a legal subplot has developed around workers who allege they were sickened by chemicals used to clean up the oil.  More »
Northeastern Alberta is a major oil sands production area. (Karen Warren / HOUSTON CHRONICLE)

Campaign aims to counter oil sands criticism

Manufacturers, refiners, energy companies and pipeline operators that think the promise of Canadian crude is getting lost in the criticism of it have formed an initiative to promote the fossil fuel.  More »

First casualty of greenhouse gas rules may be Texas plant

Developers targeted 2013 to begin operating a new power plant fueled by the carbon-rich leftover from nearby oil refining in Corpus Christi.  More »
(Image: SunPower)

South Texas wastewater plant goes solar

The 1,316 solar panels at Weslaco’s southern wastewater treatment plant gleamed in the heat June 27 — their second day on the job. When the panels were officially plugged in last week, the facility went from being an energy consumer to a self-supporting energy generator.  More »
Money Roll

Get ready for the end of record corporate profits

For almost three years, no matter what has rattled the financial markets — a debt crisis in Europe, high gasoline prices, a slower economy — investors have been soothed by rising corporate profits.  More »

BP part of serious fraud office bribery probe, report says

BP Plc (BP/) is part of a U.K. Serious Fraud Office investigation over bribery allegations relating to one of its engineering contractors in Azerbaijan, the Daily Telegraph reported, without saying where it obtained the information.  More »