Correspondent, Energy and Infrastructure
Braden's Feed
May 27, 2012

Golden Gate Bridge marks 75 years since opening against steep odds

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The Golden Gate Bridge was a larger than life engineering project undertaken against dangerous odds and it opened 75 years ago on Sunday against vehement protest, at the cost of 11 lives.

One of the most astonishing and admired man-made wonders of the world, gracing millions of postcards, featured in countless films, the bridge was not at first welcomed with open arms.

May 24, 2012

Noble sees 2013 capex growth in rig fleet overhaul

May 24 (Reuters) – Noble Corp, owner of the
third-largest offshore drilling fleet, is budgeting for capital
spending to grow by about a fifth next year, unless it decides
to build a new rig to add to the 11 now in the works.

Based on Noble’s current program that includes five new
deepwater drillships and six shallow-water jackups, Chief
Financial Officer James MacLennan gave a projection for 2013
capital expenditure of $2.3 billion, up from $1.9 billion this
year.

May 18, 2012

Natgas liquids glut to persist: CP Chemical CEO

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Chevron Phillips Chemical Co, one of the top five U.S. chemical companies by volume, believes the oversupply of natural gas liquids (NGLs)that feed its U.S. plants is unlikely to be eliminated for another four or five years.

The joint venture of Chevron Corp (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Phillips 66 Co (PSX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is spending $5 billion on new ethylene facilities in Texas as part of a broader industry build-out that should soak up demand for NGLs such as ethane.

May 17, 2012

U.S. natgas liquids glut to persist -CP Chemical CEO

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Chevron Phillips Chemical Co, one of the top five U.S. chemical companies by volume, believes the oversupply of natural gas liquids (NGLs)that feed its U.S. plants is unlikely to be eliminated for another four or five years.

The joint venture of Chevron Corp (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Phillips 66 Co (PSX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is spending $5 billion on new ethylene facilities in Texas as part of a broader industry build-out that should soak up demand for NGLs such as ethane.

May 15, 2012

URS CEO anticipates U.S. manufacturing renaissance

By Braden Reddall

(Reuters) – Martin Koffel, head of engineering company URS Corp (URS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), feels the United States is poised for a manufacturing renaissance, driven at least in part by demand among the developing world’s burgeoning consumer class.

“There is once again a cachet about American-made products,” the CEO said in an interview on Tuesday. “In some industries at some levels, there’s going to be a Made in America advantage.”

May 15, 2012

IBM helps oil companies manage gusher of data

HOUSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – IBM thinks it can make geologists and engineers more effective at mining the fast-growing wealth of data on everything from oil reservoirs to refineries to help them find, extract and process oil.

The computer services company has spent the past three years building a team of 5,000 consultants, scattered around major oil basins worldwide, to help companies tackle the data explosion.

May 15, 2012

U.S. shale-petrochemical boom gaining steam: Fluor

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Engineering company Fluor Corp (FLR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) sees no signs that a shale gas-driven boom in U.S. petrochemicals will slow down, said CEO David Seaton, who now believes many of the nine proposed U.S. plants under study will get built.

Hiring enough workers to do it will be the trick. A global wave of capital investment was already leading to early signs of labor, equipment and raw material shortages, as companies gear up for stronger economic growth by mid-decade, Seaton said.

May 11, 2012

Analysis: Insurers find it tough to price fracking risk

By Braden Reddall and Ben Berkowitz

(Reuters) – From water worries to well blowouts, the inherent risks of oil and gas extraction are often played down by those in the business. But another group of profit-seekers has every reason to keep a close eye on dangers for drillers: their insurers.

Underwriters now face a politically charged problem in the perceived threats to water supplies of hydraulic fracturing.

May 3, 2012

First Solar ups forecast after miss, Sunpower beats

May 3 (Reuters) – First Solar posted a surprise
quarterly loss on Thursday, but raised its full-year profit
outlook as it drives down production costs for its solar panels,
while peer SunPower Corp slightly beat Wall Street
forecasts.

The shares of the two largest U.S.-based solar makers were
nearly flat in post market trading.

May 3, 2012

Transocean says costs dip in Q1 will not last

May 3 (Reuters) – Transocean Ltd topped
profit expectations for the first quarter as costs fell on the
timing of maintenance and project spending, but it expects those
costs to rise sharply this quarter before returning to normal
later this year.

Transocean shares rose as much as 4 percent early on
Thursday. They were up 1.3 percent at $50.60 in midday trade.

    • About Braden

      "Spent early career in London covering technology, media and telecoms over five years, after an initial stint in Dublin. Worked as India's chief financial copy editor and deputy bureau chief in Mumbai for 2-1/2 years before moving to San Francisco in 2006, first to edit West Coast stories and then to cover the energy business. A native Californian, Braden received his BA in Economics from the University of Chicago in 1996."
      Hometown:
      Santa Maria, CA
      Joined Reuters:
      1997
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