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General Interest 2001 P

  • 01/02/2001 -- Brazil's president orders Petrobras not to change its retail name
    Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso ordered state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) to retain its retail name. Petrobras said 2 days earlier it planned to change its gasoline brand name to PetroBrax. The company paid Brazilian consultant firm UND $350,000 to devise the new name and a logo.
  • 01/02/2001 -- Bush picks Sen. Abraham to be Energy Secretary
    President-elect George W. Bush has selected Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.) to be his Energy Secretary. A one-term senator, Abraham was defeated in a close re-election contest last November.
  • 01/02/2001 -- FERC asks court to reject Southern California Edison petition
    Southern California Edison Co.'s petition asking a Washington, DC, appeals court to order the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to institute cost-based electricity rates should be rejected as unworkable and not in the public interest, the agency said Tuesday. Resolution of Southern California Edison's asserted financial woes now lie with state regulators, FERC said in response to a writ of mandamus filed Dec. 26 with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • 01/02/2001 -- UtiliCorp pulls plug on Empire District merger
    Kansas City-based UtiliCorp United Inc. Tuesday said it is pulling the plug on its proposed $800 million merger with the Empire District Electric Co. due to regulatory uncertainties. In a letter to Myron W. McKinney, Empire District president and chief executive officer, UtiliCorp Pres. Robert K. Green, noted under the terms of the agreement, either company could terminate the deal if regulatory approvals of the merger were not obtained by Dec. 31, 2000.
  • 01/03/2001 -- Thailand's EGCO bids on 2 projects
    Electric Generating PLC (EGCO), Thailand's first independent power company, looks set to acquire a 47.5% in BLCP Power Ltd, sponsor of the 1,346 Mw coal-fired project in Thailand, and 80% of the 126 Mw Huay Ho hydropower scheme in Laos. The planned $600 million (US) acquisitions form part of EGCO's strategy to double its electricity generating portfolio to 5,000 Mw in early 2004, said Sitthiporn Ratanopas, managing director.
  • 01/03/2001 -- Market watch, Jan. 3
    Energy futures were mixed Tuesday during the first day of international trading for the new year. Oil prices rose with increasing signs of a possible production cut by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, but US heating oil fell with predictions of warmer weather, analysts said.
  • 01/03/2001 -- Analyst: Proposed rate hikes for California utilities 'grossly inadequate'
    The California Public Utilities Commission Wednesday proposed giving Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Southern California Edison Co. a 90-day rate surcharge of 7-15%, far less than the 26% and 30%, respectively, the two companies sought to stave off a threatened financial meltdown. Reacting to the proposal, financial analysts said the proposed rate increases are not enough.
  • 01/04/2001 -- Market watch, Jan. 4
    An unexpected cut in US interest rates and growing consensus that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will soon reduce production by 1-2 million b/d raised oil futures prices on international markets Wednesday. The February contract for US light, sweet crudes rose 79� to $28/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
  • 01/04/2001 -- Constitutional Council strikes French ecotax
    France's proposed ecotax, designed to encourage a reduction in industrial greenhouse gas emissions, was dealt a deathblow Wednesday when the country's Constitutional Council ruled it was unconstitutional. The Council said the General Tax on Polluting Activities could not be extended to include corporate use of intermediate energies.
  • 01/04/2001 -- Fitch downgrades Socal, Edison, and Pacific Gas and Electric
    Fitch Inc. made good on its threat Thursday, lowering the bond ratings of Southern California Edison Co., its parent company Edison International, and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to a 'deeply speculative grade.' It also put Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric on rating watch negative. Fitch does not rate PG&E Corp., the parent of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
  • 01/05/2001 -- OPEC chief says 'total consensus' reached to cut output
    New Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Sec. Gen. Al�odr�ez Araque Thursday acknowledged there is 'total consensus' among OPEC member states to slash production in an effort to prop up destabilized oil prices, but that the volume to be cut from supply had yet to be agreed.
  • 01/05/2001 -- Market watch, Jan. 5
    International futures markets posted gains Thursday as traders� speculation shifted from whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce production to how big a cut the cartel will make. Benchmark US light, sweet crude for February delivery gained 14� to $28.14/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
  • 01/05/2001 -- PPL, Duke downplay California exposure
    PPL Corp. said its $17 million exposure to the California electricity market will not effect its 2000 earnings outlook, even if the company is not able to collect money owed for energy sales to California. PPL said it expects to exceed consensus earnings estimates of $3.03/share. While Duke Energy Corp. has longer term contracts with regulated California utilities, the company said it 'believes its credit practices in California have positioned it well in the event of credit failure there.'
  • 01/08/2001 -- Market watch, Jan. 8
    Oil futures prices dipped Friday as traders raked in profits prior to the weekend from the previous 4 days of rising international crude markets. But analysts say the overall mood remains bullish, with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries expected to announce production cuts at its Jan. 17 meeting.
  • 01/08/2001 -- Richardson cuts California price cap, extends order
    In an order that appears to set up a conflict with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, US Energy Sec. Bill Richardson Friday lowered the price cap on wholesale electricity sold in California, and ordered the state to cut peak demand 5%, under extension of an order that requires generators and marketers to make power available in California. FERC put a $150 Mw-hr price cap in place in a Dec. 15 order, with similar conditions.
  • 01/08/2001 -- Senate sets hearings for Energy, Interior, EPA nominees
    US Senate committees have scheduled confirmation hearings Jan. 18 for Energy Secretary nominee Spencer Abraham and Interior Secretary nominee Gail Norton, and Jan. 16 for Environmental Protection Agency administrator nominee Christine Whitman.
  • 01/08/2001 -- Allegheny buys Merrill Lynch trading unit
    Allegheny Energy Inc. said it signed a $490 million definitive agreement to acquire Merrill Lynch & Co.'s energy commodity marketing and trading unit. Under the deal, Merrill Lynch will get 2% equity interest in Allegheny Energy Supply Co., which is Allegheny's generation subsidiary. The generation unit will have capacity of 13,000 Mw when recent acquisitions and expansion plans are put in place.
  • 01/08/2001 -- Judge rules SoCal can pursue suit to recover power costs
    Financially troubled Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) was handed good news from a federal court in California concerning its quest to recover uncollected wholesale power costs from customers. Monday US District Court Judge Ronald Lew agreed a suit filed by SCE against the California Public Utility Commission should go forward. SCE sued the PUC in November seeking the right to recover the costs of purchased power from its customers.
  • 01/09/2001 -- Pipeline safety rules may stretch industry's expertise
    More stringent safety requirements in 'high-consequence' areas may send US pipeline companies scrambling for outside expertise that they don�t have in-house, industry officials said Monday.
  • 01/09/2001 -- Market watch, Jan. 9
    Energy futures were mixed on international markets Monday as oil prices tumbled. The February contract for benchmark US sweet, light crude dropped 63� to $27.32/bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while the March contract was down 65� to $26.51/bbl.

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