Energy

Reporting and commentary on the Texas energy industry and innovations shaping its future

Book Review |
January 21, 2013

Exxposé

What lies beneath the hood of ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company?…

Books |
January 21, 2013

The One-Question 
Interview With 
Steve Coll

The author of Private Empire: ExxonMobile and American Power answers the question: In terms of difficulty, how would you compare reporting on Exxon with the reporting you did for your previous book, The Bin Ladens?…

Energy |
January 21, 2013

Below the Surface

In 1996 a powerful South Texas ranching clan accused ExxonMobil of sabotaging wells on the family’s property. Thirteen years, millions of dollars in legal fees, and one state Supreme Court opinion later, the biggest oil field feud of its time is still raging.

Energy |
January 20, 2013

That’s Oil, Folks!

Forget the Outer Continental Shelf. There’s a good old-fashioned boom happening in Midland, thanks to a crafty drilling technique that unlocked the secret reserves of the Permian Basin and revived the late, great West Texas oilman.

Energy |
January 20, 2013

Spills and Bills

The BP oil spill hit the small world of Houston’s oil and gas business hard. So now that the well is plugged, who’s up and who’s down?…

Energy |
January 20, 2013

The Old Man and the Secret

Thirty years ago, people couldnt believe it: The old man’s elixir boosted crops, ate up sewage, and made the desert bloom. Today half a dozen Texas companies claim the elixir does all that and a whole lot more.

Energy |
January 20, 2013

The Gospel According to Matthew

Why does a rich Houston investment banker spend his days traveling the globe, preaching to the uninformed and indifferent that the world’s supply of crude oil is in steep decline and the end of life as we know it is very, very near? Maybe because it is.

Energy |
January 20, 2013

Downsizing Houston

If the crash that followed the boom hasn’t exactly been our fault, the result has been that same sad sense that maybe we’ll never have fun again.

Business |
May 9, 2012

ExxonMobil Tops Fortune 500

With $452.9 billion in revenue and profits surging to $41.1 billion, the Irving-based company reclaimed the number one spot from Walmart.

Energy |
September 30, 2011

Here’s the Drill

As hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking) has unlocked untold reserves of natural gas, it has also unleashed a wave of concerns about pollution and, for one family in the Barnett Shale, a long nightmare.

Energy |
July 31, 2011

Wind Instruments

From the old-style models to the three-story turbines, windmills are a part of Texas history. The machine's evolution is on display in Lubbock at the world's largest windmill museum.

Energy |
April 30, 2011

Oil Night Long

Amid all the drink tickets, bikini-clad hostesses, and outrageous displays of wealth at the world’s largest expo for independent oilmen, I was determined to get some answers about the future of the business.

Energy |
August 31, 2010

Baby Boom

On October 27, 1900, an Austrian-born mining engineer named Anthony F. Lucas spudded in an oil well on a hill near Beaumont. He’d drilled a previous well in the vicinity to a depth of 575 feet before running out of money and giving up, but this time he’d secured financing…

Energy |
March 31, 2008

Joe Wayland, Oil Field Worker

Wayland grew up in Midland and has worked in the oil industry for nearly a decade. He is now a mud engineer for Baker Hughes Drilling Fluids in Victoria. When I was growing up in Midland, I didn’t want anything to do with the oil field. In junior high, you…

Energy |
January 1, 2007

Coal Hard Facts

Facing an energy crisis, Texas is on the verge of a solution that will belch about five billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the next forty years. Breathe deeply—while you still can.

The Culture |
May 31, 2005

Boone Pickens

“The record’s clean. I’m sure that I haven’t done everything that everyone would like me to do. But I’ve never hurt anybody.”…

Business |
November 1, 2001

How Enron Blew It

The Houston-based energy giant put the pursuit of profits ahead of all other corporate goals, which fostered a climate of workaholism and paranoia. And that was only part of the problem.

Energy |
August 31, 1997

Power Surge

The biggest economic news in Texas is the merging of the electric and natural-gas utility industries in anticipation of the coming deregulation of electricity. Huge deals are in the works: Houston Industries, the parent of Houston Lighting and Power, is acquiring Houston-based NorAm, the nation’s third-largest gas utility; and Texas…

Energy |
April 30, 1997

Power Outage

The state’s big investor-owned utilities, aptly nicknamed IOUs, are in big trouble—and Wall Street knows it. Historically, the IOUs have been able to block damaging legislation calling for the deregulation of electricity and immediate rate cuts, but the once-friendly Public Utility Commission has turned against them. In a sweeping and…