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Jun 23, 2014

Houston, a bright spot in U.S. economy, frets about labor shortage

HOUSTON, June 23 (Reuters) – Bustling Houston, one of the
bright spots in the U.S. economy, is growing so fast that
business leaders fear running out of skilled labor as billions
are spent building new energy infrastructure on the Gulf Coast.

The Greater Houston Partnership, the business chamber for
the 10-county region, on Monday launched a training plan with
companies, junior colleges, high schools and social service
agencies to prepare people for thousands of new jobs being
created for welders, pipefitters and plumbers.

Jun 10, 2014

Climate change heats up ‘quants’ v old school forecast battle

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Computer scientists are picking a new fight with old school meteorologists, claiming finally to have cracked the code on weather forecasting at a pivotal, profitable moment for the field, as climate change roils commodities markets and industries.

Banks and traders are reporting outsized profits, and losses, on everything from natural gas to grains as severe weather causes extra price volatility; power grid operators are struggling with bouts of extreme cold or droughts that crimp supplies while demand spikes; and more and more retailers and manufacturers are using forecasts to manage inventories.

May 29, 2014

Exclusive: Energy staffing company Swift Worldwide eyes IPO – CEO

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Swift Worldwide Resources, a firm that staffs big global energy projects with mainly engineers, expects to go public or be acquired within the next five years, the company’s CEO told Reuters on Thursday.

Swift, based in Houston, was acquired by New York-based $3 billion private equity firm Wellspring Capital LLC in November for an undisclosed sum.

Apr 16, 2014

Crashes in crucial U.S. crude waterway fall to 10-year low

NEW YORK/HOUSTON, April 16 (Reuters) – Serious crashes in
the bustling Bay of Galveston have fallen to the lowest level in
a decade even as more oil moves on U.S. waterways, official data
show, suggesting that better training and equipment are helping
avert spills like one in March.

The number of crashes in the Texas bay, home to the Houston
Ship Channel and the country’s heaviest crude, fuel and chemical
ship traffic, fell 68 percent to eight in 2013 from 25 in 2011,
according to U.S. Coast Guard data obtained by Reuters through
the Freedom of Information Act. That is far below the 31 crashes
posted a decade ago.

Apr 16, 2014

Crashes in crucial U.S. crude waterway hit 10-year low

NEW YORK/HOUSTON, April 16 (Reuters) – Serious crashes in
the bustling Bay of Galveston have fallen to the lowest level in
a decade even as more oil moves on U.S. waterways, official data
show, suggesting that better training and equipment are helping
avert spills like one in March.

The number of crashes in the Texas bay, home to the Houston
Ship Channel and the country’s heaviest crude, fuel and chemical
ship traffic, fell 68 percent to eight in 2013 from 25 in 2011,
according to U.S. Coast Guard data obtained by Reuters through
the Freedom of Information Act.

Mar 24, 2014

Houston waterways shut for 3rd day after collision

TEXAS CITY, Texas, March 24 (Reuters) – Major Texas shipping
channels that deliver crude oil for more than one-tenth of the
nation’s refining capacity were shut for a third day on Monday,
as the cleanup from a spill threatened to last through the week.

The Houston Ship Channel was shut on Saturday following a
collision between a Kirby Inland Marine oil barge and a cargo
ship, spilling some 4,000 barrels, or 168,000 gallons (636,000
liters), of residual fuel oil. The channel allows oil barges and
cargo ships to sail from the Gulf Coast to refiners and
terminals further inland.

Mar 24, 2014

Vital Houston oil tanker routes shut amid spill cleanup

TEXAS CITY, Texas, March 23 (Reuters) – The closure of major
Texas shipping channels that deliver crude to more than a tenth
of the nation’s refining capacity looked set to run to a third
day as crews were still working on Sunday evening to clean up
after an oil spill.

The Houston Ship Channel, which allows oil barges and cargo
ships to sail from the Gulf Coast to refiners and terminals
further inland, was shut on Saturday following a collision
between a Kirby Inland Marine oil barge and a cargo
ship, spilling some 4,000 barrels or 168,000 gallons (636,000
liters) of residual fuel oil.

Mar 23, 2014

Oil spill cleanup efforts resume off Texas Gulf shore

TEXAS CITY, Texas (Reuters) – Four skimming boats surrounded a partially submerged barge on Sunday at the entrance to the Houston Ship Channel, working to clean up fuel spilled from one of the vessel’s tanks into Galveston Bay after a Saturday collision with a cargo ship, according to a Reuters eyewitness.

“This is a very significant discharge,” said Coast Guard Lieutenant Junior Grade Kristopher Kidd, a spokesman for the maritime safety agency.

Mar 7, 2014

Bernanke says energy a ‘bright spot,’ upbeat on jobs data

HOUSTON, March 7 (Reuters) – The boom in onshore natural gas
production in the United States has brought down power prices
and may be contributing to a “reshoring” of manufacturing jobs
from overseas, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said
on Friday.

The U.S. economy continues to recover, thanks in part to
rising energy production, but more needs to be done to boost
growth, Bernanke said in one of his first public speeches since
handing over the reins at the Fed in January to Janet Yellen.

Mar 5, 2014

Global gas trade may soften foreign policy of Russia, China

HOUSTON, March 5 (Reuters) – The rise of global trade in
liquefied natural gas in the coming decade could curb Russia’s
foreign-policy leverage over Europe and prompt China to take a
more constructive role in global affairs as its imports of the
fuel surge.

This view, shared by many energy experts at the IHS CERAWeek
conference in Houston, means that in the future Russia may have
less room to assert itself with neighbors the way it did when
its forces recently seized control of Ukraine’s Crimea.

    • About Terry

      "I lead our coverage in Peru, where I have been since August 2007. Before that, I worked in Brazil for seven years covering all things under the sun."
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