Fuel Fix

Exxon Mobil contractors spread absorbent pads to soak up oil along the banks of the Yellowstone River in Billings, Mont., Sunday, July 3, 2011. A company pipeline about 20 miles upriver ruptured. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Exxon says river spill could go beyond 10-mile stretch

Exxon Mobil intensified its cleanup of tens of thousands of gallons of spilled crude and pledged to do “whatever is necessary” to find and mop up oil from the 12-inch pipeline that broke at the bottom of the river over the weekend.  More »
SriGanesh Devaraj, of Nabors Drilling International's IT department tours Nabor's newly assembled Rig 702 last week, in Houston. ( Nick de la Torre / Houston Chronicle)

Rig headed from Houston to Papua New Guinea

Nabors Drilling International will operate Rig 702, built over the past 10 months at the HongHua America construction yard in south Houston, to be used to drill for oil in Papua New Guinea.  More »
Dow Chemical's petrochemical complex in Freeport is one of the largest in the world. (Dow Chemical)

Natural gas discoveries spurring petrochem growth in Northeast

Cheap and abundant natural gas is revitalizing the Gulf Coast’s petrochemical industry, after demand for its plastic products took a beating in the recession. But some of the chemical industry’s comeback is happening outside of Texas.  More »

Refineries and chemical plants release steam near the Houston ship channel. (AP Photo/File/Pat Sullivan)

Appeals court ruling restores refiner smog fines

A federal appeals court has overturned an EPA rule that spared Houston refiners and chemical makers millions of dollars in penalties for the region’s failure to meet 1970s limits on smog-producing pollution.  More »
A sign marks the entrance of the secluded Exxon Mobil corporate headquarters in Irving, Texas. (AP file photo/LM Otero)

Teams try to gauge Exxon oil spill damage to Montana river *updated*

Teams of federal and state workers were out today along Montana’s Yellowstone River to gauge the environmental damage from a burst Exxon Mobil pipeline that spewed tens of thousands of gallons of crude into the waterway. A…  More »
(Image: Fotolia)

Exxon oil spill in Mont. river spurs evacuations

An ExxonMobil pipeline runnning under the Yellowstone River near Billings in south-central Montana ruptured and dumped an unknown amount of oil into the waterway, prompting temporary evacuations along the river this morning.  More »
(Photo: Matt Churchill/Flickr)

Farenthold jumps off natural gas bill bandwagon

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, said he still supports natural gas as an energy resource, but he wants to see its use encouraged in a more efficient way.  More »
(Image: Fotolia)

Gasoline is cheaper for July Fourth than Memorial Day

Prices have persistently declined since May, following a similar drop in oil prices.  More »
(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Kohl’s department store tops list of corporate renewable energy users

A Bloomberg New Energy Finance report finds about 12 percent of electricity used by 176 corporations came from renewable sources in 2010.  More »
A sign marks the entrance of the secluded Exxon Mobil corporate headquarters in Irving, Texas. (AP file photo/LM Otero)

ExxonMobil launches natural gas website amid growing skeptism of fracking

The nation’s largest natural gas producer touts the fuel’s benefits and newfound abundance in the U.S. as well as responds to growing controversy about hydraulic fracturing, the leading method for extracting it.  More »
Former BP CEO Tony Hayward photographed at BP's West Houston offices Wednesday, May 5, 2010. (Photo: Michael Paulsen/Houston Chronicle )

Justice Dept., others grilled Tony Hayward in deposition

Former BP chief Tony Hayward fought off accusations he sought to prop up the company’s falling share price through the company’s daily briefings on the Gulf oil spill, and that the company didn’t keep its promise to share its data on how much crude was spewing into the sea, documents obtained by The Associated Press show.  More »
(Photo: Michael Henninger/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

New York may start processing fracking permits by year’s end

Permits for drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation will be reviewed once the state environmental agency adopts guidelines. The state would ban fracturing in watersheds supplying New York City and Syracuse while opening up about 85 percent of the state’s portion of the formation to development.  More »
A drilling rig stands over a natural gas well near Interstate 70 west of Rifle, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Turning point seen for U.S. natural gas

By late 2012, so many rigs in the U.S. will be drilling for oil that natural gas supplies could decline, helping lift prices, analysts with Barclays Capital said.  More »
Shell's contracted drillship Noble Discoverer (is shown) in Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

Shell gets air permits for offshore Alaska drilling

The EPA’s permits are subject to 30 days of public comment. Shell also needs approval from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to start exploration.  More »
(Photo: Fotolia)

Natural gas pipeline expansion cutting into spread profits

An ongoing expansion of U.S. natural- gas pipelines reducing profits on buying the fuel in one location and selling it in another as regional supply imbalances decline. The network could grow 4,646 miles this year, according to Energy Department figures.  More »