Halliburton and ConocoPhillips were named to the 2023 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. Photo via halliburton.com

Halliburton and ConocoPhillips were named to the 2023 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, which assesses the “sustainability performance of companies transparency process” based on an annual S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment.

The CSA evaluates companies’ sustainability practices, and covers over 10,000 companies globally. The CSA has focused on financially material and industry-specific sustainability criteria since 1999.

The methodology of the annual CSA is updated to reflect the objectives to ensure that the CSA captures and delivers high-quality, material sustainability data, and increases efficiency and ease for participating companies. Over 13,000 companies get invited to participate in the CSA, but just 3,500 of the largest companies globally are eligible for inclusion.

In 2023, the DJSI saw a strong response from companies that disclosed their sustainability performance to capital markets through the CSA process.

For Halliburton, 2023 marks the third consecutive year that the company has been named to the prestigious list. Halliburton and ConocoPhillips are the only Houston companies that made the 2023 list.

“At Halliburton, we are constantly developing new and better ways to meet the growing global energy demand while advancing a more sustainable energy future,” Summer Condarco, senior vice president of Service Quality, Continuous Improvement, and Chief HSE Officer, says in a news release. “We are honored to be recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for our commitment to sustainability leadership.”

See the full list of companies here.

Chevron — as well as nine other Houston energy companies — was named a top company by Newsweek. Photo via chevron.com

10 Houston energy companies recognized as best workplaces on annual list

best of class

Newsweek recently recognized the country's top workplaces, and 10 Houston energy businesses made the cut.

The annual America's Greatest Workplaces 2023 list, which originally published in the fall, gave 10 Houston energy companies four stars or above.

ConocoPhillips is the only Houston-based energy company to receive five out of five stars. Baker Hughes, Exxon, S&B Engineers and Constructors, and KBR all received four-and-a-half stars. Chevron Corp., Halliburton, J-W Power Co., Q'MAX Solutions, and Valerus secured four stars each.

"Our commitment to engaging the full potential of our people to deliver the future of energy is at the core of everything we do," Rhonda Morris, vice president and chief human resources officer at Chevron, says in a news release. "We do this because our business succeeds best when our employees feel engaged and empowered, and we look forward to building on this momentum for years to come.”

The ranking identified the top 1,000 companies in the United States and is based off of a large employer survey, as well as a a sample set of over 61,000 respondents living and working in the U.S. In total, Newsweek factored in 389,000 company reviews across all industry sectors. The report was in partnership with Plant-A.

"In an economic climate where the job market remains competitive despite fears of a recession, employers who stand out as America's Greatest Workplaces may find they have substantial advantages over their competitors," writes Nancy Cooper, editor of Newsweek, about the report.

ALLY Energy's annual GRIT Awards is still accepting applications — but not for long.

Deadline approaches Houston company's energy awards

A Houston company that advocates for equity and inclusion in the evolving energy sector is closing it nominations for its annual awards program on August 12.

ALLY Energy's 2023 GRIT Awards — honoring companies, nonprofits, and individuals with growth, resilience, innovation, and talent — is slated for October 26. For now, ALLY is looking for the best in the biz to honor at the program.

"We honor the energy industry’s brightest and grittiest talent who contribute to their companies, the energy industry, and their communities," reads the website. "Our awards program recognizes individuals, students, and for-profit and nonprofit organizations that have demonstrated (GRIT) growth, resilience, innovation, and talent with a focus on driving a (JEDI) just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive culture. Best Energy Workplaces℠ give recognition to outstanding energy and climate technology employers."

The nomination categories are as follows:

  • The Lifetime Achievement Award
  • The Professional Award
  • The Executive Award
  • The Entrepreneur Award
  • The ALLY JEDI Award
  • The Gritty Girl
  • The ESG and Climate Champion
  • The Best Affinity Group, Employee Resource Group, or Business Resource Group Award
  • The Best Energy Team Award
  • The Best Energy Workplaces Award

The full description and requirements for each category is detailed online.

Once applications close on August 12 at midnight, ALLY's team will decide the finalists and reveal them before September 15.

Last year's honorees included representatives from many Houston energy companies, including Baker Hughes, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Marathon Oil, Rice University, Saudi Aramco, Shell, the University of Houston, Syzygy Plasmonics, and Wood Mackenzie.

The latest energy tech startup to join Halliburton Labs is developing AI and deep learning technology. Photo courtesy of Halliburton

Finnish AI solutions co. joins Houston-based clean energy accelerator

saying hello to HAL

Finnish clean-tech company Rocsole is the latest company to join Houston-based Halliburton Labs, according to a statement the energy giant made this month.

Rocsole, which has its U.S. office in Houston, is known for its proprietary smart process imaging solutions and AI/deep learning rendered predictions that create "safer, cleaner, and more efficient operations," according to its website. The company services offshore wells and onshore tanks, pipelines and separators to reduce costs, avoid shutdowns and monitor product quality.

"With the help of Halliburton's global reach, we plan to accelerate our commercialization in major international markets," Pekka Kaunisto, CEO of Rocsole, said in a statement.

Kaunisto was named CEO of the company in April, succeeding Mika Tienhaara, who served as CEO since early 2020.

Rocsole joins several other clean energy companies to go through the Halliburton Labs accelerator, which launched in 2020 to help early-stage companies achieve commercialization milestones. The accelerator is a wholly owned subsidiary of Halliburton and provides participants with access to technical expertise, mentorships and programming.

Fellow Finnish company A-W Energy, whose technology converts ocean waves into energy, was part of a 2022 cohort.

Houston-based FuelX, England-based LiNa Energy, and Canadian company Solaires Entreprises were the most recent companies to be added to the accelerator in April 2023. Other companies to be added this year include Matrix Sensors, Renew Power Systems and SunGreenH2. The program is going on the road to host its next Halliburton Labs Finalists Pitch Day on Thursday, September 21, in Denver as a part of Denver Startup Week.

Halliburton Labs is closing applications for its next cohort on August 18. Applications are open online.
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City offers free composting services to Houstonians looking to reduce landfill contributions

do your part

The City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department is launching a free Food Waste Drop-Off pilot program through the end of February.

The program is in collaboration with Council Member Sallie Alcorn, Zero Waste Houston and the City of Houston Health Department, and allows residents to drop off food scraps at four different locations. The locations are:

  • Kashmere Multi-Service Center, Mondays from 2 to 5 pm
  • Acres Homes Multi-Service Center, Tuesdays from 2 to 5 pm
  • Alief Neighborhood Center, Wednesdays from 4 to 7 pm
  • Sunnyside Multi-Service Center, Thursdays from 3 to 6 pm

Houston residents, businesses, and institutions generate 6.2 million tons of municipal solid waste per year according to the Solid Waste Department program.

“You’ll find when you start composting your food scraps, there is a lot less trash generated in your home, at your curb, and taken to the landfill,” Alcorn says in a news release.

The Solid Waste Management Department provides solid waste services with the collection, disposal, and recycling of discarded material in an environmentally-friendly and cost effective way.

“The Solid Waste Department is eager to continue to provide innovative programs that divert waste from the landfill and actively engage Houston residents,” says Mark Wilfalk, Director of Solid Waste Management in the release.

Exxon overcomes hefty charge and falling crude prices in fourth quarter to top profit expectations

market watch

ExxonMobil's fourth-quarter revenue and profits declined along with the price of oil, and the energy giant was weighed down by a hefty impairment charge tied to regulatory issues in California. Still, it posted a healthy adjusted profit and the company raised its quarterly dividend.

Shares of the Houston-based company rose 2% before the market opened Friday.

Revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 declined to $84.34 billion from $95.43 billion. That fell short of the $91.81 billion that analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research expected.

Exxon earned $7.63 billion, or $1.91 per share, for the quarter. A year earlier, it earned $12.75 billion, or $2.25 per share.

The current quarter included a $2.3 billion impairment charge of which $2 billion related to regulatory obstacles in California that have prevented production and distribution assets from coming back online.

Excluding the charge and other items, earnings were $2.48 per share.

Analysts were calling for earnings of $2.21 per share. Exxon does not adjust its reported results based on one-time events such as asset sales.

The Spring, Texas-based company boosted its quarterly dividend 4% to 95 cents per share.

Exxon went on a bit of a shopping spree last year with oil prices surging.

In July, the company said it would pay $4.9 billion for Denbury Resources, an oil and gas producer that has entered the business of capturing and storing carbon and stands to benefit from changes in U.S. climate policy.

In October Exxon topped that deal by announcing that it would buy shale operator Pioneer Natural Resources for $60 billion. Two months later, the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces federal antitrust law, asked for additional information from the companies about the proposed deal. The request is a step the agency takes when reviewing whether a merger could be anticompetitive under U.S. law. Pioneer disclosed the request in a filing Tuesday.

Elevated levels of cash for all big producers drove a massive consolidation in the energy sector. In October Chevron said it would buy Hess Corp. for $53 billion.

Chevron also reported its financial results Friday, posting a fourth-quarter adjusted profit of $3.45 per share on revenue of $47.18 billion. Wall Street was calling for a profit of $3.29 per share on revenue of $52.59 billion. Its stock climbed slightly in premarket.

The San Ramon, California-based company said both U.S. and worldwide annual production hit a record. Chevron's board approved an increase in the quarterly dividend to $1.63 per share, up 8%.

On Thursday, Shell plc reported an adjusted profit of $2.22 for the fourth quarter, with revenue totaling $80.13 billion. Analysts predicted a profit of $1.94 per share. Shell's stock edged slightly higher before the market open.

Oil markets are being stretched by cutbacks in oil production from Saudi Arabia and Russia, and the war between Israel and Hamas still potentially runs the risk of igniting a broader conflict in the Middle East. While attacks on Israel do not disrupt global oil supply, according to an analysis by the U.S Energy Information Administration, “they raise the potential for oil supply disruptions and higher oil prices.”

Houston energy transition events not to miss, expert commentary on climate crisis, and more things to know

take note

Editor's note: Start your week off strong with three quick things to catch up on in Houston's energy transition: a roundup of events not to miss, a new Houston energy executive to know, and more.

Events not to miss

Put these Houston-area energy-related events on your calendar.

    • Future of Energy Summit is Tuesday, February 6, at AC Hotel by Marriott Houston Downtown. Register.
    • The 2024 NAPE Summit is Wednesday, February 7, to Friday, February 9, at the George R. Brown Convention Center. It's the energy industry’s marketplace for the buying, selling and trading of prospects and producing properties. Register.
    • The De Lange Conference, taking place February 9 and 10 at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy, is centered around the theme “Brave New Worlds: Who Decides? Research, Risk and Responsibility” this year. Register.
    • The Future of Energy Across the Americas: Helping Lawyers Predict and Adapt — the 2024 Houston Energy Conference — is February 27 to March 1. Register.
    • CERAWeek 2024 is Monday, March 18, to Friday, March 22, in the George R. Brown Convention Center. Register.

    ​Commentary: Chris Wood, co-founder of Moonshot Compost, on loving the climate apocalypse​

    Chris Wood knows that the last thing anyone wants to be reminded of in 2024 is the impending climate apocalypse, but, as he writes in his guest column, "There is a scientific consensus that the world climate is trending towards uninhabitable for many species, including humans, due in large part to results of human activity."

    He cites a report that 93 percent “believe that climate change poses a serious and imminent threat to the planet.”

    "Until recently reviewing this report, I was unaware that 93 percent of any of us could agree on anything," he writes. "It got me thinking, how much of our problem today is based on misunderstanding both the nature of the problem and the solution?" Read more.

    New hire: Bracewell names new partner to advise clients on energy transition tax incentives

    Bracewell announced that Jennifer Speck has joined the firm's tax department as a partner in the Houston office. Speck will advise clients on energy transition tax incentives.

    Some of her experiences include onshore and offshore wind, solar, carbon capture, clean hydrogen and clean fuel projects. She recently served as senior manager of tax and regulatory compliance at Navigator CO2 Ventures LLC. She graduated in 2010 with a B.F.A. in mental health psychology from Northeastern State University, and received her J.D., with honors, from The University of Tulsa College of Law in 2012. Read more.