Articles Posted by thackney

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  • The Shale Debt Redux

    03/27/2015 5:06:49 AM PDT · by thackney · 8 replies
    The Energy Collective ^ | March 26, 2015 | Deborah Lawrence
    Shale debt, falling prices and slack demand has tight oil producers in trouble. And yet, there is still burgeoning production. Why? Well, we’ve seen this before. It’s the shale debt redux. Operators did it a few years ago in natural gas and prices have yet to recover. Unfortunately cheap money in the form of debt can mean poor investment choices for businesses and for investors. But it can also lead to an aberrant market because operators deep in debt won’t curtail production even though it is glutted. Debt coupons simply have to be met. The shale revolution has always been...
  • Honing the Concealed-Carry Mindset

    03/27/2015 4:58:59 AM PDT · by thackney · 21 replies
    National Rifleman ^ | March 11, 2015 | . Gil Horman
    We live in an amazing modern world of turn-key solutions. Especially in America, we have an astounding variety of tools, technology and instant access to information at our finger tips for solving our day-to-day problems. While many of these assets are convenient, they can make us mentally lazy if we let them. We could start to think that being in possession of the "right" or "best" equipment will solve our problems for us. To help shake off this mass media languor, here are a few tips to consider when sharpening up your concealed-carry mindset: Concealed Firearms Do Not Make Us...
  • Senate leader urges all 50 governors to not comply with EPA's Clean Power Plan

    03/27/2015 4:21:36 AM PDT · by thackney · 12 replies
    Power Engineering ^ | 03/23/2015 | Barry Cassell
    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a March 19 letter, called on the nation’s governors to reject the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulation that requires states to dramatically restructure their electricity systems based on how the agency thinks electricity should be produced and used in each state. The EPA’s demands under the proposed Clean Power Plan, McConnell noted, are “far beyond its legal authority.” In a letter to all 50 governors, McConnell wrote that he has “serious legal and policy concerns regarding the proposal.” McConnell asked the governors to “carefully review the consequences before signing up for...
  • Environmental review of Gateway Pacific Terminal coal terminal delayed a year

    03/26/2015 5:31:15 AM PDT · by thackney
    Casper Star-Tribune ^ | 3/25/2015 | BENJAMIN STORROW
    An environmental review of a proposed Washington coal port will be delayed until 2017, one year after the analysis was scheduled to be completed. The delay comes after the project's developer, SSA Marine, submitted an updated plan for the Gateway Pacific Terminal to the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers. SSA Marine acquired more land in the area of the proposed dock and reconfigured its site plan, said Bob Watters, a company executive. The move will reduce the project's overall footprint by 17 percent and its impact on wetlands by 49 percent, he said. "From an environmental standpoint, we thought it...
  • Japan uses climate cash for coal plants in India, Bangladesh

    03/26/2015 5:27:15 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    AP via UT San Diego ^ | MARCH 25, 2015 | KARL RITTER and AIJAZ RAHI
    Despite mounting protests, Japan continues to finance the building of coal-fired power plants with money earmarked for fighting climate change, with two new projects underway in India and Bangladesh, The Associated Press has found. The AP reported in December that Japan had counted $1 billion in loans for coal plants in Indonesia as climate finance, angering critics who say such financing should be going to clean energy like solar and wind power. Japanese officials now say they are also counting $630 million in loans for coal plants in Kudgi, India, and Matarbari, Bangladesh, as climate finance. The Kudgi project has...
  • Rick Perry: Crude export ban should be lifted

    03/25/2015 7:03:16 AM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 24, 2015 | Rhiannon Meyers
    Former Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday gave his support to lifting a decades-old ban on crude exports, calling it a “major error” to prevent U.S. oil from being shipped overseas. Perry, a likely candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said that if he won the White House, he would propel North America into the global energy business “in a big way.” “If energy is going to be used as a weapon, we need to have the largest arsenal,” Perry said at the discussion hosted by Bloomberg at the JW Marriott in downtown Houston on Tuesday. Most crude exports have...
  • An inviting opportunity for the American energy renaissance

    03/25/2015 4:44:00 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Washington Times ^ | March 22, 2015 | William O'Keefe
    Last month the White House submitted President Obama’s annual economic report to Congress. Nestled in the findings is a compelling case for lifting the country’s antiquated ban on natural gas exports. “An increase in U.S. exports of natural gas, and the resulting price changes, would have a number of mostly beneficial effects,” the report states, for domestic employment, geopolitical security, our energy industry and the environment. The report ticks off numerous benefits — “create jobs in the short run,” “lower natural gas prices around the world,” “promote the use of cleaner energy abroad” — that make clear the question is...
  • W.Va. Finalizes Deal With Statoil To Drill Under Ohio River

    03/25/2015 4:40:04 AM PDT · by thackney · 18 replies
    The Intelligencer ^ | March 24, 2015 | CASEY JUNKINS
    For an average price of $8,732 per acre with 20 percent production royalties, the West Virginia Department of Commerce with allow Norway-based Statoil to frack for oil and natural gas thousands of feet beneath the Ohio River. The finalized lease agreement for drilling in state-owned mineral tracts under the river is in addition to those filed by Noble Energy and Gastar Exploration, which would pay the state $4.9 million and $749,000, respectively, in addition to the 20 percent royalties. These deals are not yet official, however, as the companies remain in negotiations with state leaders. "We are still finalizing agreements...
  • Report: Chemical revenues slip but expansions expected to continue

    03/25/2015 4:35:50 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 24, 2015 | Rhiannon Meyers
    North American chemical companies have seen their revenues slip with the plunging crude price, but they aren’t expected to abandon the billions worth of expansions they announced when profits were higher, a new report finds. Petrochemical companies have enjoyed deep discounts on the oil-based naptha and natural gas liquids they use to power their plants since the price of oil has collapsed in recent months, but chemicals they manufacture have also been selling for cheaper, eroding their margins, according to a new report by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. Ethylene, a key building block for plastics, now fetches 35 percent...
  • ‘Spiderweb’ of sanctions means Iranian oil unlikely to flood the market

    03/24/2015 5:14:44 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Financial Post ^ | 03.22.2015 | YADULLAH HUSSAIN
    Iran’s oil and gas sector holds plenty of promise but analysts say a deal between Tehran and global powers on nuclear issues this week is unlikely to spur either a flood of Iranian oil into the market or an investment bonanza by oil majors into the country. Iran and six world powers have been working to secure an agreement by March 24 to curb Tehran’s key nuclear activities for at least 10 years in exchange for gradual sanctions relief. “My guess is that on March 24th nothing will be done,” said Richard Nephew, who once led the Iran sanctions file...
  • Oil-Drop Pain Spreads to Saudi Arabia’s Energy Behemoth

    03/24/2015 5:06:03 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Feb. 19, 2015 | SUMMER SAID and BENOÎT FAUCON
    Saudi Arabia’s refusal late last year to rein in oil production helped trigger the price crash that has hurt oil-producing countries and publicly listed energy companies alike. And now even the kingdom’s own oil company is feeling the pain. As a result, state-owned Saudi Aramco is looking for ways to cut costs everywhere, from pushing contractors for better deals on oil-well services to negotiating discounts on its phone and power bills, according to people familiar with the matter. The company—the world’s largest oil producer—is also considering slashing its future spending on production and exploration by as much as 25%, much...
  • Saudi Arabia Looks To U.S. To Develop Shale Deposits

    03/24/2015 4:59:25 AM PDT · by thackney · 20 replies
    Manufacturing Business Technology ^ | 03/19/2015 | Andy Szal
    The boom in U.S. oil production over the past decade led thousands of workers to prairie cities from Texas to North Dakota. Now, Saudi Arabia hopes those workers—many of them casualties of the ongoing downturn in crude prices—will consider the deserts of the Middle East instead. Saudi Arabia has a long history of recruiting skilled workers from the West to develop its vast oil reserves. The country, however, also possesses shale oil deposits, and observers say the current oil market provides an opportunity for the Saudis to begin developing those resources. “With the layoffs, it’s a great time to do...
  • Libya rivals fight for control of country's oil wealth

    03/24/2015 4:56:38 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    AFP ^ | March 22, 2015 | AFP
    <p>The latest row erupted this week as UN envoy Bernardino Leon, who is mediating between Libya's warring factions, warned the country was heading towards destruction unless a political deal is found.</p> <p>It also comes as the jihadist Islamic State group, which has made huge profits from illegal oil sales in Syria and Iraq where it has seized chunks of territory, has gained a foothold in Libya.</p>
  • U.S. drillers scrambling to thwart OPEC threat

    03/24/2015 4:42:36 AM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 23, 2015 | Associated Press
    OPEC and lower global oil prices delivered a one-two punch to the drillers in North Dakota and Texas who brought the U.S. one of the biggest booms in the history of the global oil industry. Now they are fighting back. Companies are leaning on new techniques and technology to get more oil out of every well they drill, and furiously cutting costs in an effort to keep U.S. oil competitive with much lower-cost oil flowing out of the Middle East, Russia and elsewhere. “Everybody gets a little more imaginative, because they need to,” says Hans-Christian Freitag, vice president of technology...
  • Ten years after a Texas City refinery blast killed 15 and rattled a community, workers keep dying

    03/23/2015 10:21:37 AM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    Houston Chronicle ^ | March 21, 2015 | Mark Collette, Lise Olsen and Jim Malewitz
    The billowing canopies went up on a bare patch of the Texas City refinery grounds during a repair cycle last fall. Some workers saw the tents as just a place to eat lunch. Brian Ambrose saw a nightmare repeating itself. He is one of the few remaining employees who encountered the horrors of 2005, when the BP unit on the same patch of earth erupted in explosions, leaving a charred mass of twisted metal, pulverized office trailers and the remains of 15 people. Others, including many of the roughly 180 injured, have retired or moved elsewhere. Ambrose, who was assigned...
  • Crude oil storage at Cushing, but not storage capacity utilization rate, at record level

    03/23/2015 5:28:09 AM PDT · by thackney · 21 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | MARCH 23, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    After increasing for 15 consecutive weeks, crude oil storage at Cushing, Oklahoma, reached 54.4 million barrels on March 13, according to EIA's Weekly Petroleum Status Report. This volume is the highest on record, but not the highest percent of storage utilization, as working storage capacity at Cushing has also increased over time. Storage levels at Cushing are significant, because Cushing serves as the delivery point for the United States crude oil benchmark, West Texas Intermediate. Sited in central Oklahoma, Cushing is home to both a network of crude oil pipelines and storage capacity. The 70.8 million barrels of storage capacity...
  • What to Know About Fracking Outside the U.S.

    03/23/2015 5:12:59 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | MAR 19, 2015 | Justin Scheck
    Q: Outside the U.S., where have companies drilled for shale resources? All over—big oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. have invested in Canada, Europe, Russia, South America and Asia, hoping shale reserves there could be similarly productive to those in the U.S. Q: Which of those countries are producing? Outside the U.S., only Canada, China and Argentina have commercial production from shale, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says. Q: What happened everywhere else? In some places—like Sweden, Poland and Romania—companies didn’t find enough gas or oil to keep drilling. In others, like Germany...
  • Oil Price Drop Hurts Spending on Business Investments

    03/23/2015 5:09:44 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | March 22, 2015 | NICK TIMIRAOS
    Prospects for an uptick in business investment this year are facing a major drag: The collapse in oil prices is spurring significant cutbacks by the energy-production industry, which had been a standout in an otherwise lackluster U.S. economic expansion. Business capital spending rose 6% last year due to gains from a broad base of U.S. industries. The drag from energy this year could cut that growth rate in half in 2015, according to economists at Goldman Sachs. Moreover, equity analysts at the bank estimate capital spending globally by energy companies in the S&P 500 will fall 25%, leading to the...
  • Oil Price Dips Under $55 on Saudi Output Fears

    03/23/2015 5:06:43 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | March 23, 2015 | GEORGI KANTCHEV
    ...Brent for delivery in May fell 1.1% to $54.71 a barrel on London’s ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in May traded at $45.64 a barrel, down 2% from last week’s close. Both contracts gained last week with U.S. crude snapping a four-week losing streak. On Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s influential oil minister Ali al-Naimi told a conference in Riyadh that there was no conspiracy behind the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision last fall to maintain its output target. He said the group could have lost market share if it...
  • How The Fed Fostered The Oil Glut And Price Drop - Wall Street Losing Patience

    03/22/2015 7:28:54 AM PDT · by thackney · 19 replies
    Forbes ^ | 3/21/2015 | John S. Tobey
    Energy-sector deals have been a bright spot at a time when once-lucrative businesses, such as fixed-income trading and consumer lending, are flagging thanks to tighter rules, low interest rates and uneven economic growth, analysts said. Investment banks helped fuel the oil-and-gas exploration boom of the past decade by making loans valued at about $1 trillion to companies in the energy industry, most of which they sold to investors. The banks sold much of the debt to loan mutual funds, which grew rapidly from 2011 to 2013, but that demand dwindled as individual investors yanked $35 billion from the funds over...
  • U.S. biodiesel and renewable diesel imports decline 36% in 2014

    03/22/2015 7:12:27 AM PDT · by thackney · 23 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | MARCH 20, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    After reaching record levels in 2013, United States imports of biomass-based diesel fuel (both biodiesel and renewable diesel) fell 36%, to 333 million gallons in 2014. Uncertainty surrounding future Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) targets and the absence of a late-year influx of volumes from Argentina were two main factors in this decline. The strongest drivers of the resurgence in U.S. biomass-based diesel demand since 2012 have been increasing RFS targets and the on-again, off-again biodiesel tax credit. Biodiesel and renewable diesel are valuable because they qualify for the two major renewable fuel programs in the United States: the RFS applied...
  • Source: China to Lend Venezuela $10B in Coming Months

    03/22/2015 7:04:24 AM PDT · by thackney · 15 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | March 20, 2015 | Corina Pons & Alexandra Ulmer|
    hina will lend Venezuela around $10 billion in coming months, half as part of a bilateral financing deal and the other half for the development of oil fields, a senior official at state oil company PDVSA said on Thursday. Fresh funds are a boon for financially squeezed Venezuela and will likely increase market confidence over the OPEC country's ability to meet major debt payments and arbitration awards. Venezuelan bonds rose on Thursday following the news. However, relief may be tempered as the loans appear largely earmarked and will only go so far in countering the steep tumble in oil prices...
  • Saudi Looking Beyond Oil Price Slump As Rig Count Spikes

    03/20/2015 11:29:49 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | March 20, 2015 | Rania El Gamal & Reem Shamseddine
    As the global energy industry stares transfixed at a spectacular drop in U.S. rigs, Saudi Arabia is ramping up the number of machines drilling for oil and gas despite a sharp fall in the price of crude. Industry sources and analysts say the OPEC kingpin is looking beyond the halving of global oil prices since June 2014 to a time when crude could again be in short supply. Riyadh is therefore keen to preserve what is known as its spare capacity - the kingdom's unique ability to raise oil output quickly at any given moment. But to achieve that, Saudi...
  • Costa Rica powered with 100% renewable energy for 75 straight days {rains and geothermal}

    03/20/2015 5:27:46 AM PDT · by thackney · 46 replies
    Science alert ^ | 20 MAR 2015 | MYLES GOUGH
    Well done Costa Rica, well done. The Cental American country has achieved a major clean energy milestone, meeting 100 percent of its power demand with renewable energy for 75 straight days. “The year 2015 has been one of electricity totally friendly to the environment for Costa Rica,” the state-owned power supplier Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) said in a press release. The ICE says the country's zero-emission milestone was enabled thanks to heavy rainfalls at four hydroelectric power facilities in the first quarter of 2015. These downpours have meant that, for the months of January, February and so far March,...
  • Saudi Arabia said to offer jobs to sacked US shale workers

    03/20/2015 5:22:54 AM PDT · by thackney · 19 replies
    Arabian Business ^ | 18 March 2015 | Staff writer
    Workers fired from shale fields in the United States after the slump in oil prices are reportedly being offered new jobs in Saudi Arabia. State-owned Saudi Aramco is posting new job ads online aiming to snap up experts in extracting oil from shale, Bloomberg reported. Thousands of US workers have been fired since November as oil prices plunged because of oversupplies, driven in part by an OPEC decision supported by Saudi Arabia, Bloomberg said. It quoted Tobias Read, CEO of recruiter Swift Worldwide Resources, as saying: “We’ve seen people who have historically been reticent to look at Saudi Arabia who...
  • A “Wave of Bankruptcies” About To Hit Coal Industry

    03/20/2015 5:17:21 AM PDT · by thackney · 18 replies
    Oil Price ^ | 19 March 2015 | Nick Cunningham
    The future for the coal industry is looking “increasingly bleak,” according to an investor’s note from Macquarie Research. The analysis firm also said that “a wave of bankruptcies” appear to be just over the horizon as coal mining companies deal with mounting debt and a shrinking market. The coal markets have collapsed in spectacular fashion over the last few years due to a perfect storm of factors. U.S. coal producers first had to compete ferociously with shale gas in America’s electric power sector as fracking took off about a decade ago. That forced an array of coal plants to shut...
  • Banks Struggle to Unload Oil Loans

    03/20/2015 5:10:35 AM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | March 18, 2015 | MATT WIRZ and GILLIAN TAN
    Citigroup Inc.,Goldman Sachs Group Inc.,UBS AG and other large banks face tens of millions of dollars in losses on loans they made to energy companies last year, a sign of investor jitters in a sector battered by the oil slump. The banks intended to sell the loans to investors but have struggled to unload them even after cutting prices, thanks to a nine-month-long plunge that has taken Nymex crude futures to their lowest level since 2009. The losses mark a setback for Wall Street, after global banks earned $31 billion in fees over the past five years by financing energy-company...
  • Forget About Keystone XL – Canadian Crude Is Coming

    03/20/2015 5:01:11 AM PDT · by thackney · 8 replies
    Oil Price ^ | 19 March 2015 | Mark Hill
    While Congress and the White House continue to wrangle over the Keystone XL pipeline extension, the oil industry is taking matters into its own hands. Markets are primed for an influx of Canadian crude oil, but with pipeline transport off the table for the foreseeable future, producers have built alternative modes to meet the demand. The problem is, recent disasters have soured legislators and environmentalists on road and rail for moving oil. Alongside political uncertainties are other wild cards like extreme weather and the unknowns that arise from an emerging logistics infrastructure, which can all impact the flow of goods....
  • Kuwait: OPEC Has No Choice But to Keep Output Unchanged

    03/19/2015 5:22:57 AM PDT · by thackney · 12 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | March 19, 2015 | Reuters
    OPEC has no choice but to keep its market share and shun oil output cuts, Kuwait's oil minister said on Thursday, reiterating the view from the emirate that the group will hold its course when it meets next in June. "Of course we are concerned because the price of oil will affect our budget ... within OPEC we don't have any other choice than keeping the ceiling of production as it is because we don't want to lose our share in the market," Ali al-Omair told reporters in Kuwait city. Many OPEC oil ministers, including Saudi Arabia's Ali al-Naimi, have...
  • Saudi boosts refining capacity

    03/19/2015 5:14:06 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    zawya ^ | Mar 18 2015 | alifarabia.com
    Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in its downstream business and developing captive markets to enter global oil market domination and counter the threat of U.S. tight oil. Saudi Arabia has been crafting the strategy for a few years, but it has come in sharp focus after the kingdom convinced other OPEC producers to maintain oil production at a meeting last November despite a collapse in crude prices. Oil prices have fallen 50% since June 2014, but Saudi officials have been unmoved as they see their strategy working. That suggests that the country has effectively handed over the role of swing...
  • Drillinginfo: Oil production growth is slowing

    03/19/2015 5:08:42 AM PDT · by thackney · 8 replies
    MySA ^ | March 18, 2015 | JENNIFER HILLER
    rowth in new U.S. oil production is slowing, though additional barrels continue to come onto the market, according to the latest index from the research and data firm Drillinginfo. Drillinginfo’s latest index shows 794,000 new barrels of oil equivalent per day were reaching the U.S. market in February. That’s down 9 percent over the number of new barrels of oil equivalent added by U.S. producers in January. Drilling permits across the U.S. were down 4 percent from January to February, to 3,101. And the number of drilling rigs working continues to fall. But that number – 1,208 U.S. rigs in...
  • 100,000 Layoffs and Counting: Is This the New Normal?

    03/18/2015 5:30:12 AM PDT · by thackney · 17 replies
    Real Clear Energy ^ | March 17, 2015 | Andrew Topf
    This time a year ago, the oil industry's biggest problem was finding a way to deal with the “retirement tsunami” about to crash down on it as older oilfield workers hung up their cork boots to enjoy freedom-55. Now, with oil prices still in the doldrums, many of those same workers are lucky to be hanging onto their jobs, while others have been booted from the payroll as an ugly wave of layoffs takes hold. One of the worst-affected areas is the Canadian oil sands, where a higher per-barrel cost of production than conventional sources has oil companies scrambling to...
  • Oil exporters amass record U.S. bond holdings in crude price plunge

    03/18/2015 5:24:32 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | Mar 17, 2015 | Richard Leong and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss
    The collapse in crude oil prices may have reduced revenues of oil exporters, but it has not soured their appetite for U.S. government debt. Saudi Arabia and other major oil exporters have increased their holdings of U.S. Treasuries to record levels in an effort to counter the effect of the 60 percent drop in oil prices in the last nine months. Global financial assets such as U.S. Treasuries, corporate debt, and equities have benefited from soaring oil prices over the last decade as producers funneled their oil windfall into these markets. With the dollar hovering near a 12-year peak against...
  • Fracking law opens North Carolina to drilling

    03/18/2015 5:21:50 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 17, 2015 | Associated Press
    Rules governing the hydraulic fracturing method for drilling natural gas are expected to take effect Tuesday, creating the potential for drilling to start later in the year. The set of 120 rules that govern issues including well construction, water testing and buffer zones was developed by the state Mining and Energy Commission over nearly two years and approved in December by a separate state panel. With the fracking rules in place, companies interested in finding natural gas can begin applying for fracking permits. A member of the Mining and Energy Commission, James Womack, said a company interested in fracking would...
  • Refiners group wants broader approach to crude-by-rail safety

    03/18/2015 5:18:21 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 17, 2015 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    Federal regulators seeking to boost the safety of moving oil by rail should focus on improving the integrity of the nation’s train tracks, not just the tank cars that carry crude, a top refining industry representative says. Charles Drevna, head of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, questioned “how strong a role prevention is playing in the Department of Transportation’s comprehensive strategy” for combating crude-by-rail derailments, in a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Any effort to enhance rail safety must begin with addressing track integrity and human factors, which account for 60 percent of derailments,” Drevna said in his...
  • U.S. Is Awash in Oil, But What About the Rest of the World?

    03/17/2015 6:43:39 PM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Mar 17, 2015 | NICOLE FRIEDMAN
    Record-high crude-oil supplies in the U.S. pushed the benchmark U.S. crude-oil contract, known as West Texas Intermediate, to fresh six-year lows Monday. But Brent crude, the global benchmark, is still about $7 a barrel above its own recent lows. Much of the world’s excess oil has ended up in the U.S., which has the most available on-land storage, weighing on domestic prices. At the same time, Brent prices have been boosted in recent weeks by bad weather, which hampered Iraqi exports, and concerns that violence in Libya could interrupt the country’s oil output. The two contracts are trading about $10...
  • Minister: Low Prices Will Hamper Nigeria's Bid To Boost Output

    03/17/2015 6:26:33 PM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | March 17, 2015 | Reuters
    Consistently low oil prices will hamper Nigeria's bid to boost output to 4 million barrels per day (bpd), Oil Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke was quoted as saying on Tuesday at an oil and gas conference in the capital Abuja. "Flexibility in capex and funding in general will be further constrained in the year 2015," the minister said in a speech read out by Joseph Dawha, group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. Africa's biggest oil producer has been hit hard by global oil prices that have around halved since June, because it accounts for up to 80 percent of...
  • Libya's Recognized Government: Oil Sales Must Go Through NOC In East

    03/17/2015 6:24:21 PM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | March 17, 2015 | Ulf Laessing & Ayman al-Warfalli
    Libya's internationally recognized government said on Tuesday that any sales of the country's oil should be arranged through a state firm based in Benghazi under its leadership to prevent fraud. If implemented, the decision would escalate a battle for control that is raging, four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi, between the official government based in the east and a rival administration in Tripoli. Oil markets have been wondering who is owning Africa's largest oil reserves. But so far customers have continued paying for exports worth hundreds of millions of dollars each month through state National Oil Corp (NOC)...
  • Report: Removing US Oil Ban Would Create Jobs Beyond Drilling

    03/17/2015 10:14:34 AM PDT · by thackney · 52 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | March 17, 2015 | Reuters
    Lifting a 40-year-old U.S. ban on crude exports would create a wide range of jobs in the oil drilling supply chain and broader economy even in states that produce little or no oil, according to a report released on Tuesday. Some 394,000 to 859,000 U.S. jobs could be created annually from 2016 to 2030 by lifting the ban, according to the IHS report, titled: "Unleashing the Supply Chain: Assessing the Economic Impact of a U.S. crude oil free trade policy." Only 10 percent of the jobs would be created in actual oil production, while 30 percent would come from the...
  • Falling rig counts drive projected near-term oil production decline in 3 key U.S. regions

    03/17/2015 9:56:07 AM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | MARCH 17, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    EIA's most recent Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) indicates a change in the crude oil production growth patterns in three key oil producing regions: the Eagle Ford, Niobrara, and Bakken. The DPR estimates, which were issued on March 9 and cover the months of March and April, include the first projected declines in crude oil production in these regions since publication of the DPR began in October 2013. However, with production gains continuing in other regions, particularly the Permian, overall crude oil production in regions tracked by the DPR rose slightly in March to 5.6 million barrels per day. Total production...
  • Workers in refinery strike still off the job

    03/17/2015 9:29:45 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 16, 2015 | FuelFix.com
    None of the workers on strike at 15 refineries and plants in seven states has yet returned to work. And it could be days before any do as the union and individual companies hammer out individual contracts. Last week, negotiators for Shell, which was representing the industry, and the union, agreed on a deal that provides a national framework for contracts. It outlined pay increases and an agreement to review safety and staffing levels, among other provisions. But local issues must be worked out and a contract ratified at each facility before employees return to work. The Steelworkers called the...
  • Misleading IEA Statement Sends Oil Prices Crashing

    03/17/2015 5:21:34 AM PDT · by thackney · 19 replies
    Oil Price ^ | 16 March 2015 | Arthur Berman
    The IEA (International Energy Agency) made the following statement in its Oil Monthly Report on Friday that supposedly sent oil prices lower by $2.41 per barrel for Brent and $2.21 per barrel for WTI: “Steep drops in the US rig count have been a key driver of the price rebound. Yet US supply so far shows precious little sign of slowing down. Quite to the contrary, it continues to defy expectations. Output estimates for 4Q14 North American supply have been revised upwards by a steep 300 kb/d.” IEA’s comments on U.S. oil production trends are misleading. When IEA says “oil”...
  • Feds to buy 5 million barrels of oil for emergency stockpile

    03/16/2015 5:06:51 AM PDT · by thackney · 24 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 13, 2015 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    The Department of Energy is planning to buy up to 5 million barrels of oil to replenish the Strategic Petroleum Reserve after a test sale last year. The planned purchase of sweet crude between June 1 and July 31 is required by federal laws forcing the Department of Energy to buy back petroleum products within one year, using the proceeds from a test sale. In this case, the recent collapse in crude prices means the government is set to make money on the two transactions — effectively buying low now after selling high last year. During the March 2014 test...
  • Out of Keystone debate’s glare, pipelines going in nationwide

    03/16/2015 4:55:29 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 16, 2015 | Associated Press
    In a far corner of North Dakota, just a few hundred miles from the proposed path of the Keystone XL pipeline, 84,000 barrels of crude oil per day recently began flowing through a new line that connects the state’s sprawling oilfields to an oil hub in Wyoming. In West Texas, engineers activated a new pipeline that cuts diagonally across the state to deliver crude from the oil-rich Permian Basin to refineries near Houston. And in a string of towns in Kansas, Iowa and South Dakota, local government officials are scrutinizing the path of pipeline extensions that would pass nearby. While...
  • Safety questions, Are standards for conditioning Bakken crude oil for transport adequate?

    03/13/2015 12:01:59 PM PDT · by thackney · 12 replies
    Petroleum News Bakken ^ | Week of March 15, 2015 | Maxine Herr
    Fiery explosions from North DakotaÂ’s Bakken oil in recent weeks are raising questions about the safety of the light, sweet crude, even with new oil conditioning standards to take effect April 1, at the same time that a major North American railroad is questioning whether it even wants to be in the crude transport business (see story below). But North DakotaÂ’s top industry regulator says the new standards are only one part of the solution to eliminate rail car explosions, so heÂ’s urging the federal government to hurry with its new rail safety rules. In December, the North Dakota Industrial...
  • Rail’s apprehensions, Canadian Pacific’s board expresses reluctance...stay in crude-by-rail business

    03/13/2015 11:59:11 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Petroleum News Bakken ^ | Week of March 15, 2015 | Gary Park
    Canadian Pacific’s board expresses reluctance to stay in crude-by-rail business Canadian Pacific Railway has disclosed that its directors are reluctant to continue transporting crude oil - an idea that was swiftly quashed by the Canadian government, but was reignited by two more derailments of crude trains. CP Rail Chief Executive Officer Hunter Harrison divulged for the first time on March 2 that his board is giving “careful consideration” to whether it can “get out of (the crude-by-rail) business.” That element of its business has increasingly burdened the company with risks and regulations that have offset a rapid growth in related...
  • Telling it straight, Prentice suggests Albertans must accept some responsibility for financial...

    03/13/2015 11:56:27 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Petroleum News ^ | Week of March 15, 2015 | Gary Park
    Prentice suggests Albertans must accept some responsibility for financial plight Alberta Premier Jim Prentice has found indirect support at the highest level from ExxonMobil Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson for his doom-and-gloom message that those who rely on oil prices for a living are in for a rough ride. Tillerson spent, for him, an unusual amount of time in the first week of March behind microphones, on the airwaves and in front of TV cameras spreading the word that the world and investors should “settle in” for a long period of relatively weak and volatile crude prices. He said there...
  • Cramer: The gigantic oil crash that hasn't occurred

    03/13/2015 6:43:03 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    msn ^ | Jim Cramer
    We keep waiting for the bust, the gigantic rollover of oil companies that just plain collapse under their own weight and the $50 price that you get for West Texas Intermediate. It hasn't happened. We keep waiting for the junk bond market that is riddled with $200 billion in oil and gas paper to be crushed by defaults and restructurings. It hasn't been. In fact, the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bd, the high-yield exchange-traded fund that includes a lot of this suspect paper, is pretty much unchanged for the last three years and has enjoyed a sustained rally...
  • Union says tentative deal reached to end U.S. refinery strike

    03/13/2015 5:51:51 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Fortune ^ | MARCH 13, 2015 | Reuters
    Four-year deal includes modest pay raises but addresses union concerns over contracted labor and worker fatigue. The United Steelworkers union and oil companies have reached a tentative deal to end the largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years, the labor group and people familiar with the negotiations said on Thursday. The new agreement for about 30,000 workers would last four years, a year longer than previous agreements. The deal, which still needs to be ratified, may not end strikes right away at all refineries that have suffered walkouts as local union chapters could still need to work out pending issues....
  • Texas, North Dakota lawmakers jump into oil export fray

    03/13/2015 5:23:49 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 12, 2015 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    Oil producers and their allies are looking beyond the nation’s capital in their quest to end the decades-old ban on exporting U.S. crude. While Congress and the Obama administration deliberate the issue, state lawmakers in oil-flush North Dakota and Texas aren’t waiting to act and instead have advanced resolutions that take aim at the trade restrictions. The North Dakota Senate on Tuesday approved its resolution urging Congress to lift the ban on crude exports and outlining its case for those foreign sales. The 1970s-era trade restrictions, inspired by the OPEC oil embargo, were designed to preserve domestic price ceilings and...