Fuel Fix

A natural gas drilling site in the Barnett Shale. (AP file photo/Donna McWilliam)

Barnett Shale drilling wanes, booms elsewhere

Some Texas fields are in a slumb while others are booming.  More »
(Photo: David Paul Ohmer/Flickr)

FuelFix Newslinks |10.24.11|

BP steps back into Gulf. Shell moves forward in Alaska. FERC is watching.  More »
A drilling rig aims for oil in the Bakken Shale near Watford City, N.D. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

Shale attracts heavy hitters

Last week’s Kinder Morgan-El Paso pipeline merger announcement was the latest in a flurry of big-money deals that are ushering major energy corporations into the booming business of natural gas in North America’s complex shale rock formations.  More »

(AP photo)

Sarnoff: On real estate and energy

A Houston real estate attorney has launched an investment fund to develop and acquire properties with ties to the energy sector. The new fund, Mesa Real Estate Partners, has already purchased 28 properties worth $75 million in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and North Dakota.  More »
GE Solar Array

Solar power beginning to go mainstream

Solar power installations doubled in the United States last year and are expected to double again this year. More solar energy is being planned than any other power source, including nuclear, coal, natural gas and wind.  More »
(Photo courtesy of Shell Oil Co.)

Shell wins U.S. air permit for oil exploration off Alaska

Royal Dutch Shell won a final U.S. air-pollution permit to operate an oil-exploration rig in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea beginning in 2012.  More »
(AP file photo/Reed Saxon)

Occidental’s crude output may fall on scarce California permits

Occidental Petroleum Corp. oil and natural-gas output may fall this year for the first time since 2005 because it can’t get the permits it needs for new drilling projects in California.  More »
Jim Matthews and his wife Eileen Matthews go for a walk along 100th Street next to the fence containing the Love Canal site in Niagara Falls, N.Y., Monday Oct. 25, 2004. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

Niagara Falls envisions profit in ‘fracking’ waste

The city that put Love Canal and Superfund in the environmental lexicon may get back into the business of dealing with toxic waste — this time willingly.  More »
John Everett / Houston Chronicle file

U.S. rig count drops by 10 to 2,013

The U.S. rig count declined by 10 to 2,013 this week, Baker Hughes reported Friday. The rig count is up by 344 over a year ago.  More »
(Image: Fotolia)

Oil prices rise on U.S., European economic news

Hopes are rising for stronger demand in the months to come.  More »
(Jennifer A. Dlouhy/The Houston Chronicle)

Senate bill would block EPA regulation of coal ash

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill similar to one in the House that would keep the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating disposal of ash from coal-burning power plants.  More »
(AP file photo/David J. Phillip)

Goldman Sachs sued over role in El Paso’s $21 billion buyout

Goldman Sachs Group was sued by a pension fund that alleges the New York-based investment bank had a conflict of interest in its role as adviser in the planned $21 billion purchase of El Paso Corp. by Kinder Morgan Inc.  More »
In this Thursday, March 24, 2011 photo, a cluster of houses is seen in Port Harcourt in Nigeria's Delta region.  (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Nigeria village files $1B suit against Shell in U.S.

A village in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta where observers found a drinking-water well polluted with benzene 900 times the international limit has sued Royal Dutch Shell PLC for $1 billion in a U.S. federal court.  More »
BP's Marlin platform in the Gulf of Mexico (BP Photo)

Feds approve BP’s offshore drilling plan

The federal government today approved BP’s plans to drill new deep-water wells in the Gulf of Mexico, signing off on a broad offshore exploration plan submitted by the company for the first time since the lethal blowout of the oil giant’s Macondo well last year.  More »
Ocean Courage, one of five ultra-deepwater units acquired by Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. since 2009.

Environmentalists: Offshore drilling still too risky, despite new rules

Although the government imposed new regulations and requirements designed to boost the safety of offshore drilling in the wake of last year’s oil spill, the risks of another Deepwater Horizon disaster are still too high, environmentalists concluded Friday.  More »