Houston Matters

Houston Plant Expansions May Be Further Sign of ‘Permania’

Posted on · A French energy company’s partnering with companies in Canada and Austria to build chemical and plastic plant expansions in Port Arthur and Bayport. It’s close to $2 billion dollars in investment, anticipating the opportunity to capitalize on more shale gas as a result of what’s increasingly being called “Permania,” the pursuit and production of natural […]

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GOP Presidential Race in Texas: Wednesday’s Show (February 24, 2016)

Posted on · Houston Public Media and the Hobby Center for Public Policy have conducted their first statewide election poll, examining the GOP presidential race here in Texas ahead of Super Tuesday. We unveil the findings on today’s Houston Matters. As we dig into the numbers (which will be made available starting at noon here), we also explore what’s motivating […]

Houston Matters

Is the Boom in Shale Gas Production Over, or Just Pausing?

Posted on · Is the boom in  shale gas production — as a recent Houston Chronicle article suggested — “starting to waver?” It’s not that there isn’t more gas trapped beneath shale to capture (though that supply is not indefinite), a question the industry is asking now is: with crude oil fetching far less per barrel than it did […]

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Schlumberger’s Record Fine and Texting While Driving: Thursday’s show (March 26, 2015)

Posted on · Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company, whose domestic offices are based here in Greater Houston, has agreed to pay more than $232 million for violating U.S. sanctions in Iran and Sudan. The subsidiary Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Limited will also plead guilty to conspiring to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act or IEEPA. Other […]

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Fracking Chemicals, Hockey in Houston, Great Art in Ugly Rooms: Houston Matters for Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Posted on · Companies that drill for oil use combinations of chemicals in the hydraulic fracturing process to free oil trapped in rock formations called shale. You probably know that drillers pump thousands of gallons of water mixed with such chemicals down into their wells. You may be aware there are rules about reporting what those chemicals are. […]

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Houston Matters for Thurs., Nov. 7, 2013

Posted on · Typical projections from the oil and gas industry suggest, thanks in large part to the burgeoning shale oil industry, the United States could become the world’s top oil producer in the next decade. But what if those projections are overstated? Is there a danger in Houston’s economy hinging so significantly on one industry? What should we […]