Top News & Analysis Houston

  • HOUSTON, Oct 12- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said its latest analysis of seismic faults near PG&E Corp's Diablo Canyon nuclear station in California showed the coastal plant could withstand an earthquake generated by an offshore fault identified in 2008, according to a statement on Friday.

  • HOUSTON, Oct 12- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said its latest analysis of seismic faults near PG&E Corp's Diablo Canyon nuclear station in California showed the coastal plant could withstand an earthquake generated by an offshore fault identified in 2008, according to a statement on Friday.

  • CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct 12- NASA has signed an agreement with a California- based startup to develop and market a nasal spray for motion sickness, the U.S. space agency said on Friday. NASA will work with privately owned Epiomed Therapeutics of Irvine, California, on the nasal spray, which has been shown to be a fast-acting treatment for motion sickness.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 12- Privately held manufacturer Ameriforge Group Inc is up for sale and has hired investment bank Harris Williams& Co to advise on the process, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The firm, which has 21 plants and multiple brands, could be worth between $750 million and $800 million, one of the sources said.

  • Texas- based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,411 rigs were exploring for oil and 422 were searching for gas. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained four rigs while Alaska, New Mexico and Oklahoma gained one apiece. Arkansas, Colorado, North Dakota and Wyoming lost one rig apiece.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of LinnCo LLC, a subsidiary of oil and natural gas developer Linn Energy LLC, rose nearly 4 percent in its first day of trading on the Nasdaq. The Houston company raised about $1.1 billion in its initial public stock offering, selling 30.3 million shares for $36.50 each. Trading under the "LNCO" symbol, shares added $1.30 to $37.80 in afternoon trading.

  • OKLAHOMA CITY-- Oklahoma-based Devon Energy Corp. says it will close its office in Houston and transfer operations to Oklahoma City. The oil and gas company has about 500 employees in its Houston office, which now serves as the operations center for Devon's oil and natural gas fields in south and east Texas and Louisiana.

  • HOUSTON-- KMG Chemicals' fiscal fourth-quarter net income more than tripled, as it lowered expenses and saw sales strengthen in its electronic chemical division. The Houston company earned $3.9 million, or 33 cents per share, for the three months ended in July 31. That's up sharply from $1.2 million, or 10 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

  • Oct 12- Cleaning services company Ecolab Inc. St. Paul, Minnesota- based Ecolab will pay about $1.7 billion in cash and issue about 8 million shares to Champion, subject to certain adjustments at and after closing. Houston- based Champion, whose competitors include Schlumberger NV, Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc, had sales of $1.2 billion last year, Ecolab said.

  • Oct 12- Cleaning services company Ecolab Inc. Ecolab's shares closed at $63.67 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday. Houston- based Champion, which competes with companies such as Schlumberger NV, Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc, had sales of $1.2 billion last year, Ecolab said.

  • ST. PAUL, Minn.-- Ecolab, the cleaning, food safety and pest-control services company, is buying the specialty chemical company Champion Technologies in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $2.2 billion.

  • *Pre-weekend profit taking pressures prices. *Coming up: Baker Hughes rig data, CFTC trade data Friday. NEW YORK, Oct 12- U.S. natural gas futures lost ground on Friday after four straight days of gains, lightly pressured by forecasts for fairly mild U.S. weather next week and some profit taking following the front-month's climb to a fresh 2012 high in overnight trade.

  • NEW YORK/ HOUSTON, Oct 11- Oil major BP Plc has secured U.S. government permission to ship U.S. crude oil to Canada, and Royal Dutch Shell has applied for an export license, as rising production in the world's top oil consumer upends global energy flows.

  • HOUSTON-- Defense contractor KBR Inc. said Thursday that it has been picked as one of the main contractors on a project that gets Army equipment ready for deployment. KBR said that as the prime contractor, it will be able to bid on individual task orders from the Army.

  • NEW YORK/ HOUSTON, Oct 11- Oil major BP Plc has secured U.S. government permission to ship U.S. crude oil to Canada, and Royal Dutch Shell has applied for an export license, as rising production in the world's top oil consumer upends global energy flows.

  • HOUSTON, Oct 11- BP Plc received a crude export license this summer from the Bureau of Industry and Security, a branch of the US Commerce Department, a source familiar with the issue said on Thursday.

  • Magistrate George Hanks Jr. in Houston ordered Alexander Fishenko and two other defendants to federal custody in Brooklyn, N.Y., where they face numerous charges. Fishenko, owner of Houston- based Arc Electronics Inc., and seven of his employees were arrested last week. Another man arrested in Houston, Shavkat Abdullaev, waived the bail request.

  • *Targets areas of Nevada where little drilling seen so far. *Noble has 350,000 Nevada acres. Oct 11- Noble Energy said on Thursday it plans to explore for crude oil in areas of Nevada that have seen little drilling, as the U.S. exploration and production company starts to assess its longer-term prospects.

  • OWEGO, N.Y.-- A Texas company has begun drilling a vertical well to explore the potential of the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation, joining about a dozen others probing the potentially lucrative rock beneath New York's southern tier. Carizzo Oil& Gas of Houston recently started digging its first well north of the Tioga County village of Owego.

  • Oct 11- Devon Energy Corp:. *Will close its office in Houston. *Reorganization charges are expected to approximate $125 million, with $100.