Fuel Fix

Rigs stacked at a business 20 miles west of Farm-To-Market Road 1788 photographed Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Reporter-Telegram, James Durbin)

A single oil rig was shut down last week, extending six month decline

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As the price of oil seemingly began to stabilize for now near $60 a barrel, the U.S. oil rig count slowed its pace of decline down to a crawl. The number of U.S. oil rigs is now at 659, according to Baker Hughes data, after dropping by eight oil rigs a week prior.

A single oil rig was shut down last week, extending six month decline

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Rigs stacked at a business 20 miles west of Farm-To-Market Road 1788 photographed Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Reporter-Telegram, James Durbin)
As the price of oil seemingly began to stabilize for now near $60 a barrel, the U.S. oil rig count slowed its pace of decline down to a crawl. The number of U.S. oil rigs is now at 659, according to Baker Hughes data, after dropping by eight oil rigs a week prior.
Original byline: Jim Blecha/

Vanguard Natural Resources scoops up smaller Houston rival for $474 million

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The most recent deal comes on the heels of Vanguard’s announcement in April that it will acquire LRR Energy LP for more than $250 million.
Categories: Crude oil, Deals, featured, Shale

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

Deal reached between Michigan, Enbridge over 2010 oil spill

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A settlement between the state and Enbridge Energy filed in Calhoun County court Tuesday, nearly five years after a broken pipeline released more than 800,000 gallons of oil, requires the company to continue to monitor the impacts of the spill on the environment. The company also agreed to spend $75 million, much of it on various projects, including a dam removal and improved access to boating and fishing on the river. Some have been finished.
Categories: Accidents, Pipelines
Oil flows out of the top of the transition spool, which was placed into the gushing Macondo wellhead at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in July 2010. AP Photo/BP PLC, File)

Plan OK’d to drill into BP’s ill-fated Macondo reservoir

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A privately owned Louisiana firm will be looking to extract oil and gas deep under the Gulf of Mexico’s seafloor, an undertaking that proved catastrophic for BP.

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig burns in the Gulf of Mexico on April 21, 2010, the day after the blowout of BP's Macondo well. (Associate Press photo)

Drilling set to resume near site of BP’s blowout in Gulf

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A Louisiana-based oil company, LLOG Exploration Offshore, plans to drill into the Macondo reservoir.
CALPINE

Calpine adds two new top executives

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The Houston-based power company named W.G. “Trey” Griggs III as its new executive vice president and chief commercial officer. Griggs was a managing director at Goldman Sachs & Co. In his new position at Calpine, Griggs will oversee the trading, origination, development and commercial analytics groups and report to CEO Thad Hill.
Categories: Electricity, People

Eagle Ford Shale production to drop in June — again

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Oil production will drop in June in the Eagle Ford Shale for the third straight month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency this week released its latest drilling production reports for the major American shale fields. The production of crude oil and the light oil condensate is expected to drop by about 47,000 barrels […]
Categories: featured, p2
(Kristen Hays/Houston Chronicle)

Subsea 7 plans to eliminate 2,500 jobs globally

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Subsea 7 is not yet elaborating on whether its North American headquarters at the Westgate complex in Houston’s Energy Corridor will be impacted much, but the company did say it has begun consulting with employees in the United Kingdom and Norway where a lot of its operations are run.
Categories: Crude oil, Offshore
(AP Photo/Bruce Crummy, File)

Oil industry challenges rules meant to stop train explosions

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The American Petroleum Institute petitioned the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. to block a requirement that railroad tank cars known to fail be phased out or upgraded.
Categories: Accidents, Rail
(Screengrab from Fuel America campaign advertisement "EPA's Choice, via Youtube)

Biofuel boosters to EPA: Get aggressive on renewable fuel targets

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Biofuel boosters are casting the Obama administration’s decision on renewable fuel quotas as a stark choice between American innovation and oil industry profits.
Categories: Biofuels, Environment
(Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images)

Patriot Coal files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

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Patriot said it will continue shipping and mining operations and it has received a commitment for $100 million in debt financing from secured debt holders that it did not identify. It did not specify potential buyers for the company.
Categories: Bankruptcy, Coal
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Commentary: ERCOT, Peaker Net Margin, Electric Prices and Why You Should Care

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A drop in wholesale electric prices has prompted an important discussion at ERCOT about assumptions it uses when monitoring the state’s power market. Changing those assumptions could impact how much we all pay for electricity.
Ryan Lance, ConocoPhillips CEO, speaks during the opening panel discussion of the 2015 IHS Energy CERAWEEK. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle)

Questions linger for ConocoPhillips on Arctic drilling program following Shell’s OK

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ConocoPhillips paid about $506 million for 98 exploration leases about 100 miles off Alaska’s north coast in 2008. In April of 2013, the company suspended its plans to drill an exploratory well in the sea, citing uncertainty in regulations.
A handout picture released by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) shows Saudi Arabia's new King Salman bin Abdul Aziz (C) praying along with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (2nd L), King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa of Bahrain (L) and other dignitaries and officials during the funeral of his half-brother late King Abdullah in Riyadh on January 23, 2015. The desert kingdom's elderly King Abdullah died early in the morning and was replaced by his half-brother Salman as the absolute ruler of the world's top oil exporter and the spiritual home of Islam. AFP PHOTO / HO / SPA == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/HO/SPA" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==-/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia maintained its oil output surge last month

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Prices collapsed by almost half last year as Saudi Arabia led OPEC in maintaining production rather than cede market share to booming U.S. supply. The group has become more unified about keeping its output target because prices are now rising, according to Kuwait’s oil minister.
Categories: Crude oil, Middle East
(Photo by Eddie Seal for Bloomberg News)

EIA: U.S. shale production set to fall again in June

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Output growth is shrinking even in the Permian Basin, where oil companies have kept more horizontal rigs drilling for oil.
Categories: Crude oil, featured, Shale
J. Ray McDermott S.A., a McDermott International subsidiary, completes  the Front Runner Spar hull project in the Gulf of Mexico. (McDermott)

Houston engineering company cuts 1,700 jobs amid first quarter loss

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For the first quarter of 2015, McDermott posted a loss of $14.5 million, or 6 cents a share, including $10.4 million in restructuring charges, which compared to a larger $46.5 million loss, or 20 cents a share, for the same quarter in 2014.
Angela Spotts, right, of Stillwater, Okla., signs into the visitors' log at the office of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, in photo at center, after delivering petitions calling for a moratorium on the use of wastewater disposal wells by the oil and natural gas industry in areas where they may trigger earthquakes, in Oklahoma City, Monday, May 11, 2015. Fallin was not available to accept the petitions. Looking on at left is Gwen Ingram of Drumright, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma coalition wants well moratorium in earthquake areas

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Coalition members delivered 1,500 signatures to Gov. Mary Fallin’s office seeking a moratorium on the use of high-volume, high pressure disposals wells in 16 counties that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, has identified as “areas of interest” because of earthquake activity.