Five Things You Need to Know in Texas Energy This Week (BizJournals.com)

Dipping oil prices continue to scare the Texas energy sector as Halloween approaches, but the industry is still thriving.

Here are five things to know this week in Texas energy:

— Houston’s one and only Energy Institute High School is being chosen as the beneficiary of the 2015 Annual Offshore Technology Conference Dinner, slated for May 3 at NRG Stadium. Each year, proceeds from the dinner – held with OTC’s mega-sized Houston energy conference– are awarded to a charitable organization that is connected to the offshore energy industry. This year, OTC picked the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association Energy Education Center for the benefit of the Energy Institute High School.

— Texas energy companies continue to prep for the potential of the Ebola outbreak further impacting their West African operations. Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) has delayed its exploration and production efforts offshore of Liberia, but a lot of other companies are putting plans in place as well. Many now have travel bans in place, for instance.

— Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale could represent an energy solution for Mexico, partly because the resources don’t stop at the border. Dallas-based Breitling Energy Corp. CEO Chris Faulkner said Mexico could be the next hot bed of oil and gas activity as Pemex allows more U.S. companies to form ventures with the country’s state-owned petroleum company. Faulkner is a panelist at the 11th annual Border Energy Forum in Monterrey, Mexico.

— Houston-based Swift Energy Co. (NYSE: SFY) is having a rough week. The oil and gas company is facing shareholder activism from a top shareholder through a scathing letter criticizing its “self-inflicted wounds” and “chronic stock underperformance.” Los Angeles-based investment firm Baker Street Capital Management LLC, which owns nearly 10 percent of Swift shares, publicized the letter that calls for drastic change in the company’s board of directors membership, fewer acquisitions that drive up debt and the hiring of an investment bank to help develop strategic alternatives.

— Beaumont is getting cranked up for an influx of methanol. Natgasoline LLC, a fully owned subsidiary of the Netherlands-based fertilizer producer and construction contractor OCI NV, plans to begin “full-blown” construction of a billion-dollar methanol plant next month, which would be the nation’s largest methanol production facility, the Beaumont Enterprise reports. Construction can move forward because the EPA approved the greenhouse gas permit for the plant.

Article Author: Jordan Blum, Houston Business Journal

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