Top News & Analysis Houston

  • WICHITA, Kan.-- When Candida L. Gutierrez's identity was stolen, the thief didn't limit herself to opening fraudulent credit and bank accounts. The scheme has been linked to illegal immigrants who use stolen Social Security numbers to get paid at their jobs, and authorities fear the problem could soon grow to ensnare more unsuspecting Americans.

  • Texas- based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. reported Friday that 1,410 rigs were exploring for oil and 427 were searching for gas. A year ago, Baker Hughes listed 2,013 rigs. Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Alaska gained five rigs while Arkansas, Colorado and North Dakota rose by two each.

  • HOUSTON-- Copano Energy priced a public offering of 6 million common units at $32.13 apiece. Copano Energy LLC said Friday that it is giving the underwriters a 30- day option to buy up to an additional 900,000 units. Shares of Houston- based Copano Energy LLC dropped $1.28, or 3.8 percent, to $32.08 in morning trading.

  • HOUSTON-- KMG Chemicals Inc. said Thursday that its chairman, company founder David Hatcher, will retire in December and be replaced by another member of the company's board. KMG Chemicals shares fell 12 cents to $17.98 in morning trading Friday. They have traded in a 52- week range of $12.69 almost a year ago to $19.72 in early July.

  • NEW YORK-- Earlier this month, NBA rookie Royce White disclosed that he is afraid to fly and said he expects to travel by bus to play in at least some of the basketball games for his team, the Houston Rockets.

  • HOUSTON-- Schlumberger's exposure to global markets separated it from the pack as the world's biggest oilfield service company posted a 10 percent jump in net income during the third quarter.

  • HOUSTON-- Weak activity in North America and the falling number of operating rigs in the worldwide drove third-quarter net income down by 61 percent at Baker Hughes. "Activity was less than planned in several key geomarkets for Baker Hughes, resulting in an unfavorable mix," said CEO Martin Craighead. "

  • HOUSTON-- Robbins& Myers saw its net income fall 9 percent in the fourth quarter, partly due to the costs from its $2.5 billion sale to National Oilwell Varco. Analysts expected Robbins& Myers to report net income of 98 cents per share and $276.2 million in revenue.

  • NEW ORLEANS-- The U.S. Department of Energy says it needs more time to consider an environmental group's objections to a Texas company's plans to build an export terminal for liquefied natural gas in southwest Louisiana.

  • HOUSTON-- Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. said Thursday its third-quarter profit tumbled 30 percent from a year ago, as rig revenue and drilling activity declined. The Houston- based contract driller said its net income for the three months ended Sept. 30 fell to $178.2 million, or $1.28 per share, from with $256.9 million, or $1.85 per share, a year earlier.

  • U.S. home construction is making a comeback that could invigorate the economy's still-weak recovery. Builders last month started construction on single-family houses and apartments at the fastest rate in more than four years, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

  • HOUSTON-- Kinder Morgan Inc. said Wednesday its third-quarter net income rose nearly 32 percent as the nation's largest natural-gas pipeline operator benefited from its acquisition of El Paso Corp in May.

  • OWENSBORO, Ky.-- An Owensboro, Ky. man has been sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution for a scheme to defraud investors in three states. Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. also Tuesday ordered 28- year-old Cory B. George to forfeit contents of three bank accounts totaling about $484,000 to be applied toward final restitution.

  • NEW YORK-- Halliburton Co. said Wednesday its third-quarter net income fell 12 percent as drilling activity declined and costs rose in its core North American business. Halliburton is a major provider of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," services that unlock oil and natural gas from underground shale deposits.

  • SUMNER, Texas-- Oil has long lived in harmony with farmland and cattle across the Texas landscape, a symbiosis nurtured by generations and built on an unspoken honor code that allowed agriculture to thrive while oil was extracted. In the minds of some landowners approached by TransCanada for land, the company has broken the code.

  • CHICAGO-- Houston, San Francisco and South Florida are bidding for the 2016 and 2017 Super Bowls. NFL owners will vote next May between San Francisco _ the 49 ers are building a new stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., _ and South Florida for the 50th Super Bowl in 2016. The loser of that race will then compete with Houston for hosting the 2017 game.

  • HOUSTON-- Offshore energy services contractor Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. said Tuesday that it will sell three pipeline installation vessels and related equipment in two separate transactions valued at $252.8 million.

  • ABC, NBC and the CW all debuted new dramas last Wednesday to varied receptions. It finished a strong second behind CBS' long-running "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" at the 10 p.m. ET slot. Despite that showing, long-slumping NBC can boast about its best showing for an early TV season in a decade.

  • 2. "NCIS," CBS, 18.51 million. 4. "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 15.18 million. 5. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 14.23 million.

  • A source familiar with Super Bowl XLVII told The Associated Press the Grammy-winning diva will take the stage at the halftime show on Feb. 3, 2013, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The 31- year-old sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 in her hometown of Houston when the New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers.