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April 26, 2017

Oil Field Theft in the Hundreds of Millions

The theft of oil and equipment from oilfields has been the subject of considerable debate in the Texas House Energy committee as it weighs House Bill 891, which would increase the penalty from simple theft to a state jail felony.

[HB 891 is one of large number of energy-related bills this legislative session. Check the Texas Energy Report feature "TERm Watch" below each weekday to follow the progress of these bills.]

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By Mike Shiloh

April 25, 2017

TERm Watch

Check daily the bills that affect your energy industry. A list of energy-related bills in the 85th Texas Legislature: Moving Up or Still in Committee


OIL AND GAS: SB 568 would require the Railroad Commission of Texas to create a searchable Internet database for enforcement actions, violations and inspections that is accessible to the public.

From District 29 Senator Jose Rodriquez.

The bill was passed out of the Natural Resources and Economic Development committee April 25 and is headed to the Senate floor.


RENEWABLES: Senate Bill 277 is aimed at protecting military bases by prohibiting tax advantages for building energy-generating wind turbines within 30 nautical miles of aviation-based facilities.

From District 25 Senator Donna Campbell

It was passed by the Senate Wednesday.

Campbell says her bill is co-sponsored by Democrats and Republians, and wrote this week in the Dallas Morning News, "It does not make sense to use taxpayer dollars to subsidize an activity that threatens our military mission, our jobs and our economy in such a drastic manner.

"When compared side by side, military installations are responsible for around 240,000 direct jobs while the American Wind Energy Association can only point to 1,100 jobs they've created in the entire state, an abysmal number given the nearly $2 billion in property tax exemptions wind farms have received that would have gone to our schools, according to Texas Comptroller calculations.”


Rep. James Frank sponsors a companion bill in the House: HB 445 has been in the Ways and Means committee since April 5.


UTILITIES: SB 59  Utility management and conservation efforts: The state energy conservation office is directed to provide energy and water management planning assistance to state agencies and offices of higher education, with each providing "percentage goals" for reducing water, electricity, fuel and natural gas usage; with the Department of Public Safety in charge of "energy emergency contingency planning."

From District 21 state Senator Judith Zafferini.

The House received the bill, which was passed by the Senate, on 4/20.


OIL AND GAS: SB 2099 would give the Railroad Commission of Texas to "enforce requirements for the prevention of damage to interstate and intrastate underground facilities."

From District 2 Senator Bob Hall.

This bill is in the Natural Resources and Economic Development committee.


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By Mike Shiloh

April 25, 2017

April 26: Texas Energy Report Closing Top Texas Energy Stocks

April 26, 2017

WTI up 0.06 to close at $49.40

Brent down 0.61 to close at $51.36

Natural gas up 0.10 at $3.16



Anadarko (APC) down 0.12 at 59.96

Apache (APA) down 0.24 at 50.01

Chevron (CVX) down 0.65 at 106.08

ConocoPhillips (COP) down 0.45 at 48.34

Devon (DVN) unchanged at 40.59

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) down 0.03 at 36.39

EOG Resources (EOG) down 0.96 at 94.31

ExxonMobil (XOM) down 0.01 at 81.39

Halcon (HK) down 0.15 at 6.98

Marathon Oil Corp. (MRO) down 0.30 at 15.31

Noble Energy (NBL) down 0.27 at 34.16

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) down 0.07 at 62.43

Parsley Energy (PE) down 0.39 at 30.07

Phillips 66 (PSX) up 0.03 at 78.11

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) down 1.44 at 176.91

Valero (VLO) down 0.93 at 64.90



American Electric Power (AEP) down 0.17 at 67.69

CenterPoint (CNP) down 0.06 at 28.33

Entergy (ETR) down 0.72 to close at 75.99

Exelon Generation (EXC) down 0.18 at 34.90

NextEra Energy (NEE) down 0.09 at 132.83

NRG (NRG) up 0.27 at 17.28

By Mike Shiloh

April 24, 2017

Oil and Gas CapEx to Rise 20% or More: Haynes & Boone Report

The outlook for oil and gas company borrowing for this year is good overall, according to the fifth summary from the law firm Haynes and Boone LLP.

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By Mike Shiloh

April 24, 2017

New Energy Research: DOE Partnering with Small Businesses

At a reduced pace, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy is still working on renewable and alternative projects

Small companies working on advanced energy products are getting a boost from the US Department of Energy with new collabotations announced over the weekend.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced 38 businesses that will work with eight DOE national laboratories for the testing, validating and developing of projects that include enhanced lithium ion batteries for energy storage, improving solar panels and creation of power stations for electric vehicles.

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By Mike Shiloh

April 23, 2017

House to revive Yucca Mountain fight

from Politico

A US House committee will kick up a smoldering, years-long fight over a controversial nuclear waste storage facility next week.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee's environment panel will hold a hearing on Wednesday to consider a bill that would revive the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada.

The bill would give federal agencies more power over the Yucca site, sidestepping Nevada's ability to withhold permits for the project. Committee leaders last week hailed it as a proposal to get the Yucca project back on track.

"This proposal was thoughtfully developed through an extensive record of hearings and other oversight over the past six years to identify what may be needed to strengthen the Nuclear Waste Policy Act," Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.), the subcommittee chair, said.

By David Henry

April 20, 2017

A Unique Electricity Marketer Bows In Texas

With power generation costs flutuating and the plethora of electricity retailers crowding the Texas marketplace, a new marketing platform for the savvy consumer just appeared.

The platform: a cellphone app that lists "near real-time" wholesale electricity costs, aimed at allowing consumers to tap into power bargains as the cost of electricity ebbs and flows.

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By Mike Shiloh

April 20, 2017

Texas' Newly-Discovered Help For Solar Panel Efficiency

UNT Professor says glass coating could also improve view of your cellphone and the road ahead

A new, simple coating for glass may not only improve solar power generation efficiency but aid in other aspects of modern life, according to the University of North Texas professor who's been working on the discovery.

One of the greatest inefficiencies of today's solar panels is the reflectivity of the glass coating to protect them -- not all the sunlight gets into the panel for conversion into power.

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By Mike Shiloh

April 20, 2017

OPEC Producers Reach Deal on Continued Crude Cuts

With high crude inventories putting pressure on oil markets, Saudi Arabia's oil minister said Thursday that a number of OPEC-affiliated nations have come to a preliminary agreement to extend output cuts, according to Bloomberg.

With the current agreement not even four months old, Saudi Arabia's Khalid Al-Falih admitted that OPEC and other suppliers have not reached their target of reducing stockpiles below their five-year historical average and that more production cuts are needed to achieve that goal.

He didn't name the countries that have tentatively agreed to continued cuts, although Oman's oil minister said Wednesday that OPEC members Iran and Venezuela have expressed interest in continuing through the summer with the cuts have been in place since January and were originally set to expire at the end of June.

By Bloomberg

April 19, 2017

Perry Set for Earth Day Texas

Annual day is really three days, and growing

You could call it SXSW for environmentalists, except it's originator wants it to be for everyone.

Not only is he an environmentalist and a nationally-known builder, but Dallas' Trammell S. Crow is a Republican and the founder of Earth Day Texas, which is likely why the Lone Star version of Earth Day is a decidedly bipartisan celebration.

It's one last Earth Day Texas this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Dallas, but not because future events are being called off -- in fact it's increasingly popular -- but because they're changing the name.

Organizers say they're planning a more national approach for the 2018 celebration, and they want to call it "EARTHx" because they expect the event -- which drew 130,669 people last year -- to be even larger next year.

And the Fair Park gathering is already reputed to be the largest Earth Day on Earth.

The now-three-day-long, largely free celebration begins Friday, with new and educational kid-friendly attractions.

It's been growing since Crow started it in 2011.

Some people consider Earth Day to be the province of "treehugging" liberals, but the event (which was first celebrated in 1970) as observed in the Lone Star State features attractions as diverse as a speech by Republican former Governor (now Energy Secretary) Rick Perry and readings on eco-subjects by New York City poets.

If that's not interesting enough, US Army General, Retired, Wesley Clark is expected to appear, as is National Geographic's famed marine biologist and lecturer Sylvia Earle.

Also new this year is the E-Capital Summit, bringing together clean energy startups and investors.

Only in Texas.

Only in Dallas, really.

By Mike Shiloh

April 19, 2017

Two Texas Cities Make the New Solar Top 20

San Antonio saw the most solar power installed in the Southeast US, according to a new report; Austin also saw an impressive increase in solar capacity

Solar energy installations increased significantly last year, and in Texas the cities of San Antonio and Austin led the way.

Solar energy soared, increasing by 42,000 watts of capacity nationwide, measured by the end of the year, and while it may be a surprise to some that solar power is now cheaper on average than wind power, it may be even more surprising that major American cities have boosted their solar power to a large degree.

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By Mike Shiloh

April 19, 2017

US Crude Inventories Report a Disappointment

It's the gasoline stockpiles that surprised the street

US crude stocks were down by a million barrels for last week, according to the US Energy Information Administration, not as much as expected by analysts, who were really shocked by the build in gasoline inventories.

A decrease of 1.5 million barrels was expected in the crude supply, with a nearly 2 million barrels drop in gasoline stocks -- instead market analysts saw gasoline stockpiles jump by 1.5 million barrels.

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By Mike Shiloh

April 18, 2017

Worth Noting: Tracing Growth of Alternative Energy Sources

InsideClimate News

By Inside Climate News

April 13, 2017

PUC Chair Donna Nelson to Retire

The Public Utility Commission of Texas's chairman announced Thursday that she will retire from the commission May 15th.

Donna L. Nelson was appointed to the PUC by then-Governor Rick Perry in 2008 after having been an advisor to Perry for years.

She became chairwoman in 2011.

Her term as chairwoman, most recently renewed by a 2015 appointment by Governor Greg Abbott, was set to expire in 2021.

She announced her retirement at today's regular PUC meeting in Austin.

By Mike Shiloh