Fuel Fix

A drilling rig in Pavillion, Wyo., used to drill a deep water well for testing. (Photo: EPA).

EPA official defends Pavillion fracking study, but warns of its limits

A top Environmental Protection Agency official fended off Republican and industry attacks on a controversial study that found a likely link between hydraulic fracturing and groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyo.  More »
Natural gas drilling in the United States has led to far cheaper prices here than in Asia. Photo: Matt Nager / HC

Booming production pushes natural gas price down

“We remain bullish on the future of natural gas as an energy source,” Exxon Mobil investor relations chief David Rosenthal said.  More »
gasland poster

“Gasland” director arrested at House hearing

Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated director of the controversial documentary “Gasland,” was arrested this morning for unlawful entry at a hearing he was trying to film, according to Capitol police.  More »

Enterprise Products Mont Belvieu complex (Dave Rossman/For the Houston Chronicle)

Enterprise reports 21 percent rise in profits for 4Q

The Houston-based oil and gas pipeline company Enterprise Products achieved record profits in fourth quarter of 2011, benefitting from the surge in natural gas and liquids drilling in shale plays.  More »
Marathon Oil gas pump (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Marathon Oil 4Q profit declines 22 pct

Marathon Oil Corp. said today that net income declined 22.2 percent in the fourth quarter after it spun off its refining business.  More »
The Seaway Crude Oil Pipeline Co.'s expanded pipeline will carry oil from Cushing, Okla., to refineries along the Gulf Coast. (Photo: LyondellBasell)

Union workers will get raises under agreement

Over the next few weeks, thousands of oil and chemical workers will be voting on whether to accept a new three-year labor agreement that will provide a first-year wage increase of 2.5 percent.  More »
(Photo: Toyota Co.)

Plug-In Prius fuel efficiency could pass Chevy Volt

Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) expects its rechargeable Prius, capable of going 15 miles on electricity alone, to get a higher fuel-economy rating than General Motors Co. (GM)’s Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.  More »
(Photo: Patricia Santos, Associated Press)

Petrobras selling $7 billion in bonds in record debt offering

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4), Brazil’s state-controlled oil producer, plans to sell $7 billion of dollar bonds as soon as today in the country’s biggest corporate debt offering ever.  More »
Marathon acquired its Detroit refinery with the purchase of Aurora Gasoline Company in 1959. (AP file photo/Paul Sancya)

Marathon Petroleum posts 4Q loss, mulls pipeline MLP

Marathon Petroleum Corp. reported today a $75 million loss for the fourth quarter as higher oil prices increased costs at its refineries.  More »
(Photo: Wonder of Tech, Flickr)

Georgia Gulf rejects Westlake’s offer of $35 a share

Georgia Gulf Corp. (GGC), North America’s largest maker of vinyl construction products, rejected Westlake Chemical Corp. (WLK)’s increased takeover offer of $35 a share.  More »
Refineries along the Ship Channel are just part of Houston's pollution picture. Photo: Michael Paulsen / Houston Chronicle

Houston faces penalties over 1970s smog limits

The EPA concluded Tuesday that Houston has failed to meet 30-year-old limits on smog-forming pollution, a decision that could lead to hefty fines for as many as 300 oil refineries, chemical plants and other large industrial facilities.  More »
Dust permeates the air at a Chesapeake Energy Co. hydraulic fracturing operation at a well site near Carrizo Springs, Texas. (John Davenport/San Antonio Express News)

Texans to learn chemicals used in fracking

Oil and natural gas companies will start to publicly disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing of wells starting today as part of a new Texas Railroad Commission rule.  More »
Gas prices posted at a station in Tempe, Ariz., on March 8, 2011 (AP Photo/Matt York)

Filling it up just may empty your wallet

Drivers, if you didn’t fill up at the start of the week, you may regret it today.  More »
Workers move a section of well casing into place at a Chesapeake Energy natural gas well site near Burlington, Pa. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson, File)

Opinion: Fracking boom could finally cap myth of peak oil

The U.S. oil market could be on the verge of its own fracking revolution, similar to what the natural-gas market is already experiencing. As a result, domestic production is now projected to rise significantly over the coming decades, reducing the relative share of imports in U.S. oil consumption.  More »
(AP file photo/John McConnico)

Russia says Arctic surveys may add to its continental shelf

Geographic surveys conducted in 2011 in the Russian Arctic could add as much as 1.2 million square kilometers (463,000 square miles) to Russia’s continental shelf, according to the Natural Resources Ministry.  More »