Tribpedia: Energy

Tribpedia

Texas has long been a leader in the nation's energy industry. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Texas is the largest petroleum refiner in the U.S., and produces more than three times the natural gas than any other state. The Comptroller's Office reports tax revenues from energy production and use, particularly oil and gas, have ...

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Daniel Ortuño, who manages the 1.5 million drilling records stored at the University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology, examines well data in what he calls the "spooky room," home to thousands of records that he has not yet organized. State water researchers are using information from some logs to map potential water sources.
Daniel Ortuño, who manages the 1.5 million drilling records stored at the University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology, examines well data in what he calls the "spooky room," home to thousands of records that he has not yet organized. State water researchers are using information from some logs to map potential water sources.

Old Drilling Logs Help Researchers Map Brackish Water

As drought grips most of Texas, researchers are combing the state's 1.5 million drilling records to map brackish water in the state's 30 aquifers — hidden resources that could help quench the state’s long-term thirst.

A Tesla Model S. The California-based electric automaker has named Texas one of four finalists to house a $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory.
A Tesla Model S. The California-based electric automaker has named Texas one of four finalists to house a $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory.

Regulations Could Harm Texas' Bid for Tesla Plant

Tesla, a manufacturer of high-end electric cars, has named Texas one of four finalists to house its planned $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory. But the state's strict auto dealership laws could hurt its chances, company officials say.

The lesser prairie chicken roams in the circled areas above, according to research by state environmental officials and scientists.
The lesser prairie chicken roams in the circled areas above, according to research by state environmental officials and scientists.

States' Plan to Save Rare Bird Stirs Debate in Texas

Environmental officials in five states, including Texas, say interest in a plan to save the lesser prairie chicken should persuade the federal government not to list the bird as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. 

Hugh Daigle, assistant professor in the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, is the lead researcher on a federally funded project investigating methane hydrates.
Hugh Daigle, assistant professor in the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, is the lead researcher on a federally funded project investigating methane hydrates.

Hugh Daigle: The TT Interview

The University of Texas at Austin professor of petroleum and geosystems on the idea of tapping methane hydrates — an abundant source of natural gas found in rocks buried beneath the ocean's surface. 

LCRA's Max Starcke Dam, just east of Marble Falls, Texas. It is one of six dams the agency operates.
LCRA's Max Starcke Dam, just east of Marble Falls, Texas. It is one of six dams the agency operates.

In Central Texas, Drought Threatens Hydropower

The ongoing drought in Central Texas is claiming an innocent bystander: hydroelectricity. As the Lower Colorado River Authority limits water releases downstream, hydroelectricity — a power source that spurred the LCRA's creation almost 80 years ago — has faded further into obscurity.

A shark chomps at a fish in the Dollar General parking lot. This is one of several art installations in Luling created by George Kalisek, an artist based in Moulton. Kalisek says the installations with moving parts are toughest to design, but they are his favorite.
A shark chomps at a fish in the Dollar General parking lot. This is one of several art installations in Luling created by George Kalisek, an artist based in Moulton. Kalisek says the installations with moving parts are toughest to design, but they are his favorite.

Tapped-Out Luling Turns Old Oil Wells Into Art

Luling, a tapped-out oil town once known as Texas' "toughest," has found a unique way to celebrate its heritage: decorating its aging pump jacks with a full cast of characters. 

 

A spent fuel pool at the South Texas Project Electric Generating station near Palacios. STP Nuclear Operating Company, the station's operator, is building dry cask storage to house spent fuel once its pools fill up. Because the federal government has breached its contract that guaranteed permanent waste storage, U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill, through the government's judgement fund.
A spent fuel pool at the South Texas Project Electric Generating station near Palacios. STP Nuclear Operating Company, the station's operator, is building dry cask storage to house spent fuel once its pools fill up. Because the federal government has breached its contract that guaranteed permanent waste storage, U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill, through the government's judgement fund.

Nuclear Waste Storage on Texas Lawmakers' Agenda

Following instructions from House Speaker Joe StrausTexas lawmakers plan to study the benefits of accepting high-level nuclear waste from around the country, a controversial proposition. But even if Texas seeks a waste facility, huge hurdles would stand in its way. 

Radio Action Command Center at STP Nuclear Operating Company which provides power to CPS San Antonio, Austin Energy, and NRG, in Palacios, Texas, December 6, 2013.
Radio Action Command Center at STP Nuclear Operating Company which provides power to CPS San Antonio, Austin Energy, and NRG, in Palacios, Texas, December 6, 2013.

Texas Nuclear Power Plants Seek New Workforce

In the next few years, about 40 percent of the employees at the state’s largest nuclear power plant will be eligible for retirement, so the company is racing to recruit new specialists.

Texas Railroad Commission lead engineering technician for districts 1 and 2, Michael Polasek, inspects a salt water disposal injection well at a Heckman Water Resources commercial disposal facility on the LAMZA lease near Highway 80, January 22, 2012.
Texas Railroad Commission lead engineering technician for districts 1 and 2, Michael Polasek, inspects a salt water disposal injection well at a Heckman Water Resources commercial disposal facility on the LAMZA lease near Highway 80, January 22, 2012.

After Surprise Quakes, North Texans Speak of Impact

After a contentious town hall meeting concerning the possible links between wastewater injection and a spate of North Texas earthquakes, locals say they cannot afford to wait for state regulators to address the issue.

Chinese drilling pipe plant (TPCO America) in Gregory Texas
Chinese drilling pipe plant (TPCO America) in Gregory Texas

Oil, Gas Make Texas Big Draw for Foreign Firms

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Since exploration and production of oil and gas in shale regions began surging around 2007, foreign companies have poured billions into mergers with American energy companies. 

A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.
A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.

Road Funding Figures Surprise Some Counties

Some counties are happier than others after the Texas Department of Transportation released estimates of state aid to help fix roads damaged amid the state's oil and gas boom. 

A well pad is flanked by Fort Worth's skyline on Sept. 27, 2013. As the Dallas City Council debated tightened regulations for natural gas drilling that it approved Wednesday, observers pointed to nearby Fort Worth's ordinance as a model to either embrace or avoid.
A well pad is flanked by Fort Worth's skyline on Sept. 27, 2013. As the Dallas City Council debated tightened regulations for natural gas drilling that it approved Wednesday, observers pointed to nearby Fort Worth's ordinance as a model to either embrace or avoid.

Dallas City Council Tightens Gas Drilling Ordinance

Dallas has significantly tightened its drilling rules, following years of debate about what natural gas production should look like inside its city limits — if it comes at all.