Energy sector tie in Houston pipe bomb attack

HOUSTON --

 

Federal agents have expanded their investigation into a weekend pipe bomb attack after finding out the victim may have been targeted because her husband is president of a local oil company, Local 2 Investigates reported Monday.

The wife was rushed to the hospital after Friday night's explosion off Seamist Court and Lazybrook in northwest Houston.

She is the wife of Brock Moore, president of Adams Resources Exploration, according to investigators connected with this case.

The company focuses on exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Texas and Louisiana. The website of its parent company, Adams Resources and Energy , states that the parent company has $2 billion in revenues and 700 employees. It is based in a headquarters on Post Oak Boulevard in the Uptown area of Houston, near the Galleria shopping mall.

One employee who answered the phone at the parent company confirmed that Moore is president of the company. She then transferred a reporter's call to his office, where a woman said no one at the company was allowed to comment about this case.

Local agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they could not comment on this new development. They referred all calls to ATF Headquarters in Washington, where a spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Investigators at the scene on Friday night said that a package disguised as a box of chocolates had arrived on the family's porch a couple days earlier, and then the wife brought the box inside and opened it on Friday. It exploded and she was rushed to nearby Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital. Police said at the time that her injuries were not life threatening.

ATF agents are coordinating with Houston Police Homicide Squad investigators and the Houston FBI since the scope of the investigation shifted completely with the possible energy sector tie. The Houston FBI said it is coordinating with ATF, but that ATF is the lead agency on the investigation since an explosive was involved.

An FBI spokeswoman said terrorism was ruled out and so the ATF remains in charge of the investigation.

Since the entire landscape of Gulf oil drilling changed with the BP rig explosion and oil spill, energy industry publications have focused on the rapidly changing dynamics and new rifts developing between companies that deal with oil drilling in the Gulf.

Federal and local investigators said they have not conclusively determined that the family's energy ties were the reason for the attack, and investigators have not revealed any extortion attempt or other dispute prior to the bombing.

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