The Houston Ship Channel on Tuesday reopened to limited traffic, with nearly 100 ships and boats waiting to exit or enter, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported. The waterway carries 11% of U.S. refined products to the domestic market. A ferry that operates between Galveston Island the Bolivar Peninsula also returned to normal service. The USCG closed the ship channel to traffic on Saturday after a ship collided with an oil barge in Galveston Bay, spilling close to 170,000 bbl of crude oil (see Shale Daily, March 24). The Texas Land Office said some of the oil not removed has been carried naturally into the Gulf of Mexico.
Double Eagle Petroleum Co.is changing its name to Escalera Resources Co. (ESCR) effective April 1 to reposition beyond domestic, onshore natural gas production. Charles F. Chambers is taking the helm as CEO and chairman from Richard D. Dole, who is to become vice chairman. Chambers previously was managing director of Castleton Commodities International LLC's oil and gas business. He also has served as CEO of Rosetta Resources Inc. and was an executive vice president of Calpine Corp. Erkan "Eric" Icsel has been appointed president of new international subsidiary Escalera International Co. LLC. Chambers, Dole and Icsel are to be based in Houston, while Escalera's finance, administration and Rocky Mountain operations would remain in Denver. The producer is active in developing Atlantic Rim coalbed methane and in Wyoming's Pinedale Anticline. It also has exploration opportunities in the Niobrara formation.