Five Ways the Government Could Make Oil Prices Fall

Fears over Mideast turmoil have pushed oil and gas prices sky high, which risks tipping the U.S. economy back in to a recession. But the government isn't powerless when it comes to oil prices: Here are five things that Washington and the states can do that would quickly reduce our pain at the pump.

The Fix for High Oil Prices? Regulate the Speculators

As the crisis in Libya continues to shake world oil markets, many voices are calling for President Obama to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. With gasoline prices up 33 cents a gallon in the last month, that's a tempting idea. It's also the wrong one.

How to Cope With Rising Gasoline Prices

The U.S. started 2011 with the highest gas prices ever for January. That doesn't bode well for the coming months, but the sky isn't falling. Here's what you can do about those higher fuel costs, including how to make investments that will profit from them.

Exxon Mobil Sells $1 Billion of Gulf of Mexico Assets

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) sold nine U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil and natural gas stakes to Energy XXI in a deal worth $1.01 billion. The assets produce about 20,000 net barrels of oil a day, The Wall Street Journal said. They contain net proved and probable reserves of 66 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), of which 61% is actually oil.

Chevron Reports Third Quarter Earnings of $1.87 Per Share

Chevron Corp. (CVX) reported earnings of $1.87 for the quarter, down from $1.92 a year earlier. The 2009 results were boosted by upstream asset sales and discrete tax items. Sales and other operating revenues were $48 billion in the third quarter of 2010, compared with $45 billion a year earlier, the company said in a statement. The increase was largely due to higher prices for crude oil, natural gas and refined products.

Occidental Petroleum Names Stephen Chazen as CEO

Occidental Petroleum (OXY) promoted COO Stephen Chazen to the position of CEO, effective May 2011. Chazen will replace Ray Irani, who will continue as full-time executive chairman, the company said in a statement.

Will Peruvian Politics Shake Mining and Energy Investments?

Political upsets in Peruvian regional elections could indicate a national shift to the left -- and some business leaders worry that could discourage foreign investment in the country, which has rich natural resources such as oil, gas and gold.

China's Sinopec to Invest $7.1 Billion in Repsol Brazil

Sinopec Group (SHI), China%u2019s second-largest oil and gas producer, will invest $7.1 billion in Repsol%u2019s (REP) Brazilian unit. Sinopec will buy new shares in the Spanish company%u2019s Brazilian unit, giving the Chinese company a 40% stake, Bloomberg News said.

PG&E Releases List of 100 High Priority Gas Lines in California

Pacific Gas and Electric (PCG) released a list of 100 high priority gas lines in California, 11 days after a gas main exploded in San Bruno, killing at least four people. PG&E compiled the list using criteria including potential for corrosion and the potential for third-party damage such as construction, the company said on its website.

PG&E's Stock Wobbles After the Gas Disaster

PG&E shares plunged $4.03 on Friday from $48.24 to $44.21 one day after the blast. Investors continued taking profits on Monday, but the stock then recovered to close up a nickel. Still, the ultimate impact will depend on the investigation's results.

Demand for Oil Could Fall in 2011 Amid Slowdown

Global oil demand growth is expected to increase a little this year but slip in 2011 as fuel stockpiles surge and concern persists that economic growth could falter, the International Energy Agency said on Friday.

Massive Fireball Destroys 53 Homes in San Bruno, Calif.

An explosion and fireball rocked San Bruno, Ca, destroying 53 homes and killing at least one person. Fire shot hundreds of feet into the air at 6.15pm local time Thursday, KTVU reported. More than 20 people were taken to hospital to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

Air Products Lifts Airgas Offer to $65.50 a Share

Air Products & Chemicals (APD) has raised its bid for Airgas (ARG) to $65.50 a share in an all-cash offer. The latest offer represents a 50% premium above Airgas' closing stock price on Feb. 4, the day prior to Air Products submitting its first acquisition plan, Air Products said Monday in a written statement.

BP Decides to Pass on Greenland Drilling License

BP (BP) decided not to bid for a license to drill for gas off the coast of Greenland, a move that government officials say could have been influenced by the company%u2019s safety record in the wake of the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Premier Kuupik Kleist said Wednesday that safety records are key when approaching the licensing process, according to The Associated Press.

Retail Sales Drop, but Mostly Due to a Calendar Quirk

May's retail sales figures seem to show U.S. consumers are losing their drive to shop, but some of the weakness can be blamed on a quirk in the calendar. A closer look shows consumers are actually becoming more willing to pony up at the cash register again.

India Jails 7 for 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster

An Indian court today sentenced eight people -- including the former chairman of Union Carbide's Indian arm -- to jail terms for the 1984 Bhopal gas plant leak that poisoned tens of thousands of people in the world's deadliest industrial accident.

Niska Gas Could Burn Brightly, Despite Weak Debut

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NKA), the first U.S. IPO since the market plunge last week, had a rocky debut, with shares falling 6.8% on the first day of trading. But given the strength of the company, the current valuation looks attractive.

Oil Prices May Drop in 2010, But No Break for Motorists

Oil prices are showing signs of moderating, with a barrel of crude now worth about half of its all-time of $147 a barrel in 2008. But U.S. motorists may not benefit much at the pump. Refiners are expected to restore their margins that got squeezed during the recession.