Fuel Fix

(AP Photo/US Coast Guard, File)

OTC: When ethical introspection becomes preaching to the choir

Wander the halls of OTC, and you quickly gain a feel for how insular the oil industry can be. It tends to view outside critiques, and especially criticism, with disdain. That may be why a breakfast discussion Tuesday started with introductions that included a note that the speakers had engineering degrees, which should “satisfy the room.”  More »

A beauty queen, Scots in kilts & OTC virgins

One of the first big parties of OTC was Monday night’s UK Energy Excellence reception at the Hilton Post Oak. OTC vets know the Brits like a good party, and OTC virgins (or newbies) are just happy to be invited.  More »
BSEE Director James Watson. (Photo: Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle)

Follow live as BSEE Director James Watson talks new regulations

BSEE Director James Watson talks about new rules aimed at improve safety.  More »
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Interior Secretary Ken Salazar officiates as Retired Rear Adm. James Watson is sworn in as director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, with his wife Anne Watson, holding a Bible. (Photo: Tami Heilemann/Interior Department)

Offshore drilling regulator lays out agenda for OTC

The nation’s top offshore drilling regulator today laid out an ambitious agenda for his agency, including plans to issue new mandates for emergency equipment and update decades-old regulations governing oil and gas production safety systems.  More »
Aubrey McClendon, co-founder of Chesapeake Energy Corp., is pictured during an interview in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2005. (AP Photo)

Chesapeake to strip CEO of chairmanship, halt well deals

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) will name an independent chairman to replace Aubrey McClendon and halt an incentive program that allowed the chief executive officer to amass personal stakes in thousands of company-operated wells.  More »

OTC winner: New technology keeps water and gas at bay

When Halliburton acquired Norwegian downhole technology company Easy Well Solutions AS in 2005, it also acquired an abandoned idea for a density-based oil-selector technology that would help keep water and gas at bay in oil-well pipes.  More »
(Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle)

Steffy: OTC wheeling and dealing in the Nomads Lounge

OTC is where the trade mission meets the trade show.  More »
Shell's new Perdido oil and natural gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico.  ( Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle )

Q&A: Shell executive talks Perdido and safety

Robert Patterson, vice president of offshore projects in the Americas for Shell, has overseen several key developments in his career, including the world’s deepest producing deepwater well.  More »
James Watson, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, speaks at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. (The Houston Chronicle)

Feds will move faster to update safety equipment rules

The Obama administration will get on a faster track in imposing new rules that aim to boost the reliability of crucial emergency equipment used at offshore oil and gas wells, a top federal regulator is set to announce Tuesday at the Offshore Technology Conference.  More »
(Lisa Poole / AP2009)

ConocoPhillips split becomes official as company ‘shrinks to grow’

Global oil giant ConocoPhillips splits into two smaller energy companies Tuesday, abandoning the super-major model that its retiring leader helped engineer a decade ago.  More »

Sixel: Using LinkedIn to background people

You probably can’t meet everybody you’d like at the OTC. So how do you find the dozen or so vendors, experts or potential employers who would be the most important to make an introduction?  More »

Lance: ConocoPhillips pursues deepwater potential as independent E&P

This is a special week for ConocoPhillips. We reached an important milestone in the company’s history with our formal emergence as a leading independent energy company exclusively focused on global exploration and production – even as we congratulate The Offshore Technology Conference on its 44 years of invaluable contributions to our industry.  More »
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., discusses offshore drilling with James Watson, the director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. (Photo courtesy Vitter's office)

Regulator’s philosophy: Safety at all levels all the time

Retired Coast Guard Rear Adm. James Watson became director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement last year, taking over the job from Michael Bromwich.  More »
A contractor closes a valve on a tanker truck at a Range Resources hydraulic fracturing operation in Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Drillers may frack first, disclose later under draft plan

Natural-gas companies drilling on U.S. land would be permitted to wait until after hydraulic fracturing is completed to disclose what chemicals they used, under a draft rule being considered by the U.S. Interior Department.  More »
A natural gas well in the  Greater Natural Buttes (Photo: Anadarko)

Anadarko fights ailing preacher in $25 billion EPA toxic lawsuit

Reverend Steven Jamison recalls the February day 13 years ago when he was digging ditches to replace culverts at his Maranatha Faith Center in Columbus, Mississippi. As he switched from a shovel to an excavator, an oily black substance began to fill the trench. It smelled like turpentine, and the deeper he dug, the more he saw, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its June issue.  More »