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Articles Posted by thackney

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  • King Salman of Saudi Arabia to visit White House next week

    08/31/2015 5:41:36 AM PDT · by thackney · 12 replies
    CNN ^ | August 27, 2015 | Kristen Holmes
    President Barack Obama will host King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia at the White House next week for his first trip to Washington since ascending the throne. The visit, scheduled for September 4, comes just before Congress is scheduled to vote on the Iran deal, which Saudi Arabia has endorsed but expressed concern over.
  • Canadian Oil Sands Halts Crude Production at Oil-Sands Giant Syncrude {Fire}

    08/31/2015 5:33:50 AM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Aug. 31, 2015 | CHESTER DAWSON
    Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., the largest owner of the giant Syncrude oil-sands project, said on Sunday that it has halted production after a fire damaged equipment at its synthetic crude oil processing facility in northern Alberta. The company said the fire, which occurred early Saturday and was extinguished without any injuries, affected pipes connected to a water treatment unit at Syncrude’s heavy oil upgrader on the site of its Mildred Lake oil-sands surface mine. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, it said. While the upgrader’s core machinery wasn’t damaged and the strip mine continues to operate, Canadian Oil...
  • Will Iran Get a Better Deal Than U.S. Oil?

    08/29/2015 7:02:58 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    The Daily Beast ^ | 08.28.15 | Will Marshall
    If the Iran deal goes through, the country’s oil exports will resume. Meanwhile, U.S. producers will still be banned from doing so. As Congress takes up the Iran nuclear deal next month, it ought to confront this paradox: The agreement allows the Iranians to do something Americans can’t—sell oil to the rest of the world. Don’t get me wrong. I support the deal, under which Tehran would stop enriching weapons-grade uranium for the next 15 years in return for relief from economic sanctions. It’s not perfect, but President Obama is right that it’s better than what we’d have if his...
  • Shell share price: Company declares force majeure on Nigeria exports

    08/29/2015 7:00:39 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Invezz ^ | 28 Aug 2015 | Veselin Valchev
    Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSA) declared a force majeure on Nigerian Bonny Light oil exports yesterday, as it shut down two key pipelines to the coast. Shell did not give further details and did not provide a timeline for reopening the pipelines, but traders argued that the unexpected developments were unlikely to last long, Reuters reported. Nigeria’s oil industry is in dire need of greater investment in maintenance whilst also having to deal with numerous instances of oil theft. Shell sold its stake in the Nembe Creek pipeline earlier this year, alongside several other interests in the country, as part...
  • Why $40 oil is killing Iraq, Venezuela and others, but not Russia

    08/29/2015 6:57:57 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Reuters ^ | August 28, 2015 | John Lloyd
    It’s not the economy, stupid. At least it isn’t where hearts are warmed by the fiercer flame of nationalism, rather than rising living standards. Oil prices as low as $40 a barrel are separating the oil haves from the oil have-nots. The oil producers happily rode a wave of high oil prices for years, buying popularity with increased state spending while excusing themselves from the hard pounding of legitimate economic reform. The oil-buyers — like India and Egypt — now enjoy prices as low as a third of those they paid as recently as two years ago and can cut...
  • Hawaii Gov. Ige reveals opposition to utility LNG import plans

    08/28/2015 5:38:05 AM PDT · by thackney · 8 replies
    Utilitiy Dive ^ | August 26, 2015 | Robert Walton
    Dive Brief: With a 100% renewable goal now on the table and oil prices falling, Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) has revealed he opposes plans to import liquefied natural gas as a bridge fuel to cleaner and less expensive power. At a business and policy conference this week in Honolulu, Ige, a keynote speaker, said the state does not need LNG and should be moving forward on its renewable goals instead. Both Hawaiian Electric (HECO) and Hawaii Gas have floated plans to construct import terminals, with gas deliveries beginning to reach the state in 2019. HECO has pledged to push...
  • Sanctions Bite Massive Gas Project in Russian Arctic

    08/28/2015 5:03:22 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Aug. 27, 2015 | JAMES MARSON and SELINA WILLIAMS
    A $27 billion energy project is rising rapidly on this icy peninsula jutting above the Arctic Circle, but the race to shore up its finances has emerged as a test of Moscow’s ability to weather Western sanctions. U.S. restrictions on OAO Novatek, the project’s Russian leader, are squeezing the massive Yamal LNG liquefied-natural-gas venture, a centerpiece of President Vladimir Putin’s plan for Russia to reduce its heavy dependence on natural-gas customers in Europe by increasing exports to Asia and, in turn, cementing Russian ties with China. Barred by the sanctions from raising long-term dollar loans, Novatek and its foreign partners,...
  • Chinese Oil Companies Brace for Turbulent Second Half

    08/28/2015 4:54:12 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Aug. 26, 2015 | BRIAN SPEGELE
    Chinese oil companies say they are bracing for a turbulent second half and no relent of the low oil prices that have sent their earnings plunging. Amid weak global economic growth that is constraining demand for everything from oil to natural gas and iron ore, first-half results on Wednesday underscored the magnitude of a spending pullback by China’s oil majors. In releasing interim results, Chinese oil companies Cnooc Ltd. and Sinopec Corp. said they had little expectation for a sharp rebound in oil and natural gas prices. “There is little optimism in the world’s macro-economic environment,” Cnooc Chairman Yang Hua...
  • Solyndra Misrepresented Facts to Get Loan Guarantee, Report Says

    08/28/2015 4:43:22 AM PDT · by thackney · 26 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Aug. 26, 2015 | Associated Press
    A four-year investigation has concluded that officials of the solar company Solyndra misrepresented facts and omitted key information in their efforts to get a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. government. Solyndra was the first company to get federal loan guarantees under a program that was created in 2005 and expanded by President Barack Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package. The company’s failure soon after receiving the loan guarantee likely will cost taxpayers more than $500 million. Republicans and other critics cite it as an example of wasteful spending under the stimulus program. The report by the Energy Department’s inspector...
  • Commentary: 10 challenges faced by the global LNG market

    08/27/2015 12:59:43 PM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 27, 2015 | Matt Smith
    We recently looked at the restart of the first Japanese nuclear reactor in four years, and assessed its impact on Japanese oil demand. It was somewhat burying the lede, however, not to address the impact on LNG demand. So with Japan’s developments still fresh in our minds, here are ten challenges faced by the global LNG market: 1) Asia is the key market for LNG. Japan accounts for approximately 35% of the global LNG market. Combined with South Korea, it accounts for ~50% of it, while Asia as a whole accounts for 75%. The gradual return of nuclear reactors in...
  • McDermott CEO sees Saudi contract as step in turnaround

    08/27/2015 12:50:13 PM PDT · by thackney
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 27, 2015 | Robert Grattan
    Offshore engineering company McDermott International’s stock shot up by more than 30 percent Wednesday after the company said it had landed a $1.5 billion-plus contract with Saudi Aramco. McDermott CEO David Dickson called the contract an important step in a turnaround for the Houston-based company, which as recently as 2013 had been struggling to build offshore platforms and support structures profitably. Investors sent the company’s shares up $1.03 to $4.49 in midday trading Thursday. “We had a tough time through the end of 2013; 2014 was a real turnaround,” Dickson said in an interview with FuelFix. He joined McDermott in...
  • Recently announced crude oil swaps with Mexico likely to provide economic and environmental benefits

    08/27/2015 10:29:10 AM PDT · by thackney · 20 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | August 26, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Recently announced crude oil swaps with Mexico likely to provide economic and environmental benefits Under licenses approved earlier this month by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), an office within the Department of Commerce that administers export controls on crude oil, volumes of crude oil produced in the United States and Mexico up to the approved volume cap will be exchanged. These swaps will likely involve U.S light sweet crude, such as the growing output from shale formations in the United States, and Mexican heavy sour crude. The approved swaps are expected to be both economically and environmentally beneficial...
  • As natural gas replaces coal, U.S. utilities invest big in the future

    08/27/2015 5:45:42 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Fortune ^ | AUGUST 26, 2015 | Katie Fehrenbacher
    Southern Company isn’t alone in spending billions to position itself for the natural gas future. One of the largest companies that owns utilities in the U.S., Southern Company, announced a big deal this week that highlights just how aggressively power firms are looking to boost their natural gas power resources at the expense of the declining coal industry. On Monday, Southern Company SO 2.61% said it plans to buy natural-gas distributor AGL Resources GAS -0.08% for $8 billion in cash. The deal, which is for $12 billion but includes $4 billion in debt, offers AGL shareholders a 38% premium over...
  • Saudi Budget Cuts a Sign of Resolve, Not Wavering

    08/27/2015 5:43:16 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Real Clear Energy ^ | August 27, 2015 | Nick Cunningham
    Nine months after OPEC decided to leave its production target unchanged and pursue market share instead of trying to prop up prices, the group is facing a set of complex problems and decisions going forward. At first blush, the collapse of oil prices and the resiliency of U.S. shale appears to hand OPEC, and its most powerful member in Saudi Arabia, a stinging defeat. U.S. oil production has leveled off but has not dramatically declined. Meanwhile, oil prices are at their lowest levels since the financial crisis and the revenues of OPEC members have fallen precipitously along with the price...
  • BP Whiting Restarted: Will Crude Avoid Maduro $30 Forecast?

    08/27/2015 5:37:14 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Zacks ^ | August 26, 2015 | Nilendu Saha
    With crude prices hovering around $40 a barrel, the broader market is on tenterhooks. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell almost 7% in the past week. The troubles grew as oil prices hovered close to its lowest level in almost seven years. The bearish mood is compounded by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s opinion that the commodity is slated to fall to $30 per barrel or less. Whiting Refinery Unit Restarted Amid the gloom, the news that BP Plc (BP - Analyst Report) has restarted the largest of three crude distillation units (CDUs) in its refinery in Whiting, IN., cast...
  • EIA expects near-term decline in natural gas production in major shale regions

    08/26/2015 10:54:29 AM PDT · by thackney · 16 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | AUGUST 26, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Natural gas production across all major shale regions in EIA's Drilling Productivity Report (DPR) is projected to decrease for the first time in September. Production from these seven shale regions reached a high in May at 45.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) and is expected to decline to 44.9 Bcf/d in September. In each region, production from new wells is not large enough to offset production declines from existing, legacy wells. The DPR provides a month-ahead forecast of natural gas and crude oil production for the seven most significant shale formations in the United States. In order to estimate...
  • Three Exelon nuclear power plants do not clear PJM auction

    08/25/2015 8:02:54 AM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    Power Engineering ^ | Aug 24, 2015 | Power Engineering
    Exelon said three of its nuclear power plants did not clear the PJM capacity auction for the 2018-19 planning year. The Quad Cities nuclear plant in Illinois, Oyster Creek in New Jersey, and Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania will not receive capacity revenue from this auction, according to The Wall Street Journal. PJM said it would increase payments to power generators by 37 percent beginning in June 2018, increasing to $164.77 per megawatt per day. The increase is an almost $45 jump over the previous amount reached in auction last year. Power producers bid for long-term contracts...
  • As oil price slump continues, companies get creative with staff schedules to avoid layoffs

    08/25/2015 5:27:45 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    FINANCIAL POST via Calgary Herald ^ | 08.18.2015 | GEOFFREY MORGAN
    As oilpatch layoffs mount and companies struggle to retain staff, Trilogy Energy Corp. has been able to keep its staff and cut costs at the same time. This summer management at the oil and gas producer asked employees to work a four-day week and apply for work share coverage, a form of employment insurance, through Service Canada. Trilogy confirmed its eligible employees recently received government approval for their work share compensation after applying back in May. “Reducing hours, we thought, was a better alternative than laying off staff,” Trilogy president and chief operating officer John Williams said. The Calgary-based company,...
  • Gasoline prices hit 11-year seasonal low

    08/25/2015 5:10:32 AM PDT · by thackney · 23 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 24, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    Gasoline prices hit an 11-year seasonal low Monday, and gas will continue to drop along with the falling price of U.S. oil that is now just more than $38 per barrel, according to AAA. Monday’s national average price of gasoline is $2.59 per gallon, which is the lowest average for late August since 2004, AAA stated, despite record-high demand and ongoing refinery problems. The Houston area averaged a lower $2.33 a gallon, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 2,559 gas outlets in Houston. AAA is projecting gas prices will drop below $2 a gallon nationwide on average by late December...
  • DW: Saudi Arabia Hit by Low Oil Prices, Faces Difficult Decisions

    08/24/2015 10:38:24 AM PDT · by thackney · 22 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | August 24, 2015 | Douglas-Westwood
    Douglas-Westwood, an energy business strategy, research and commercial due diligence services provider, commented in its latest edition of DW Monday that low global crude prices have hit Saudi Arabia hard. With a considerable budget deficit, Saudi has been forced to begin borrowing from capital markets – $4 billion in July. The kingdom is highly reliant on oil – accounting for more than 90 percent of budget revenues. Cuts have not been made to capital expenditure and Saudi has engaged in an expensive conflict within Yemen. Consequently, the decision to ride out lower prices has put a huge strain on finances...
  • 1st U.S. tar sands mine set to open for business in Utah

    08/24/2015 5:18:20 AM PDT · by thackney · 26 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 22, 2015 | Associated Press
    BOOK CLIFFS, Utah (AP) — On a remote Utah ridge covered in sagebrush, pines and wild grasses, a Canadian company is about to embark on something never before done commercially in the United States: digging sticky, black, tar-soaked sand from the ground and extracting the petroleum. The impending opening of the nation’s first tar sands mine has become another front in the battle across the West between preservationists and the energy industry. U.S. Oil Sands has invested nearly $100 million over the last decade to acquire rights to about 50 square miles, obtain permits and develop what it says is...
  • Hundreds march to protest proposed natural gas pipeline

    08/24/2015 5:03:53 AM PDT · by thackney · 38 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 24, 2015 | Associated Press
    Several hundred protesters turned out Saturday to march across the Delaware River in opposition to a proposed 114-mile pipeline that would shuttle natural gas from Pennsylvania to New Jersey. Those against PennEast’s proposal said during the mile-long march they’re concerned the pipeline would badly damage the landscape and natural resources in the region, and lower property values. “The people of Pennsylvania and New Jersey are showing they are unified in their message to PennEast: Go home, we don’t want your pipeline,” said Maya van Rossum, who leads the nonprofit Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “It’s also a message to politicians and regulators....
  • Report: Most Canada Oil Sands Crude Produced At A Loss

    08/23/2015 12:29:40 PM PDT · by thackney · 34 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | August 20, 2015 | Nia Williams
    More than three-quarters of Canada's daily output of 2.2 million barrels of crude from oil sands is being produced at a loss at current prices, research from analysts at TD Securities shows, although producers are unlikely to halt operations. Only two mining and upgrading projects - Canadian Natural Resources Ltd's Horizon project and Suncor Energy's Millennium mine - are producing synthetic crude for less than its current outright price around $36 a barrel, analyst Menno Hulshof said on Thursday. Every thermal oil sands player is bleeding cash on every barrel produced with U.S. crude around $41 and the Canadian heavy...
  • LyondellBasell looking at Texas sites for new chemical plant

    08/23/2015 12:21:28 PM PDT · by thackney · 8 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 21, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    While giant LyondellBasell has been expanding throughout the Houston area, CEO Bob Patel said the company is also looking to build a new polyethylene plant at one of its sites in southern Texas. Speaking at the Houston-based company’s sprawling Channelview complex where LyondellBasell will start up 250 million pounds of new ethylene capacity near the end of August, Patel said an announcement likely will come later this year on adding more production of polyethylene, the most common type of plastic. He said it could be a combination greenfield-brownfield project in the greater Houston region, but he noted that the region...
  • Oil falls near $39 per barrel

    08/21/2015 10:14:04 AM PDT · by thackney · 37 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 21, 2015 | Robert Grattan
    U.S. oil fell closer to $39 per barrel on Friday, as traders continued a rout that is likely to hand the next-month contract its longest string of consecutive weekly losses since the bust of 1986. Fears that China’s economy may be sputtering and signals that global production is on the rise have driven oil lower for the past seven weeks, and barring a large recovery Friday, soon to be eight weeks. Those concerns combined once more on Friday as an early economic indicator in China came in at a six-year low. “(China’s) stock market problems, their currency problems, all these...
  • Lightning Strikes Valero Texas City Refinery, Fire Erupts

    08/20/2015 10:00:59 AM PDT · by thackney · 20 replies
    Oil Pro ^ | 8/20/2015 | Jeff Reed
    Lightning struck an electrical transformer at the Valero refinery in Texas City Thursday morning, causing a fire. Officials with Texas City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) told Houston's ABC affiliate Channel 13 that the lightning strike occurred just before 6:20 am CST this morning. Firefighters on the scene told local media that there is currently oil burning inside of a container at the facility. Derek Duckett, Texas City Emergency Management Coordinator, told the Houston Chronicle that firefighters can't douse the fire with water due to the potential danger from electrical shock. They are now containing the fire to the transformer...
  • Robert Menedez floats ‘strategic’ crude exports

    08/20/2015 7:59:36 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 19, 2015 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    The United States should consider allowing “strategic” crude exports to allies abroad while renegotiating the nuclear deal with Iran, Sen. Robert Menendez said. The New Jersey Democrat’s comments, part of a speech Tuesday at Seton Hall University to explain his opposition to the agreement, marked a shift in his approach to oil exports. Menendez historically has opposed moves to loosen the longstanding ban on exporting U.S. crude. But on Tuesday, Menendez highlighted oil exports as a geopolitical tool — a way for U.S. oil to compete in markets that might be customers for Iranian crude if the nuclear accord is...
  • Citigroup report: Worries of $33 oil leaving markets “nervy”

    08/20/2015 7:43:09 AM PDT · by thackney · 22 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 19, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    There’s a “conceivable reality” U.S. oil prices may plummet to a new 11-year low of $33 a barrel or lower this year, according to a Citigroup report released Wednesday as oil prices dipped to a six-year low near $40.50 per barrel. The new “How low can oil go?” report contends that capital markets are “getting nervy” and one of the only ways to stop this downward trend is for North American shale companies to lose more access to capital during the next phase of borrowing negotiations in October, called redetermination. In February 2009, closing U.S. oil prices last bottomed out...
  • Texas Sets Record for Gas Power Burn, Still Barely Enough

    08/19/2015 3:18:10 PM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    Power ^ | 08/18/2015 | Thomas Overton
    The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on August 10 set a record for electricity demand, topping 69,000 MW twice during the afternoon. The peak came as the Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted that Texas also set a record for gas power burn—natural gas usage in its power sector—reaching an average 4.5 Bcf/d through August 11. The peak came during a recent heat wave, with temperatures across the state topping 100F. Though reserves briefly fell below 2,500 MW, ERCOT was able to weather the episode without any system emergencies. Wholesale prices peaked at $2,250/MWh during the hour period of greatest...
  • EIA lowers crude oil price forecast through 2016

    08/19/2015 9:24:20 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | AUGUST 19, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Amid high uncertainty in the global oil market, EIA has lowered crude oil price forecasts in the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), expecting West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices to average $49 per barrel (b) in 2015 and $54/b in 2016, $6/b and $8/b lower than forecast in last month's STEO, respectively. Concerns over the pace of economic growth in emerging markets, continuing (albeit slowing) supply growth, increases in global liquids inventories, and the possibility of increasing volumes of Iranian crude oil entering the market contributed to the changed forecast. Since the beginning of 2015, North Sea Brent has traded...
  • Iran's Refining Sector Is A Wreck, & IOCs Are Preparing To Come To The Rescue.

    08/18/2015 10:55:00 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Oil Pro ^ | 8/17/2015 | Jeff Reed
    We've reported frequently on the global upstream industry's "race to Iran" ahead of the lifting of western sanctions expected late this year or early 2016. But there's also a "downstream race" underway, with several IOCS attempting to bag lucrative contracts to repair and modernize the country's oil refineries once sanctions are eased. Uptick In Downstream Discussions Representatives of Iran's National Petrochemical Company, its state-run oil refining firm NIORDC, and the privately-owned Persian Oil and Gas are engaging in discussions with several global companies to secure projects to repair a petrochemical and refining sector that has been ailing since the imposition...
  • What Would Have Been The First Fracing Project In Denmark's History Has Been Cancelled

    08/18/2015 8:44:24 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Oil Pro ^ | 8/18/2015 | Darryl Hill
    Denmark's first potential fracing project has been cancelled, as France's Total said it is pulling out of its shale gas exploration project in northern Denmark after failing to discover adequate deposits. Insufficient Deposits The Danish Energy Ministry said late Monday that the French supermajor's shale gas exploration in the Vendsyssel district in northern Jutland has been permanently shutdown. Total said it did not encounter sufficient shale gas deposits to render its efforts worthwhile, hence shutting down what would have been Denmark's first fracing project ever. The Energy Agency said in a press release, "The drilling results have not fulfilled the...
  • Oil tech firms see shale resurrection with re-fracking

    08/18/2015 4:55:50 AM PDT · by thackney · 21 replies
    Houston Chronicle ^ | August 15, 2015 | Collin Eaton
    Shale oil producers from West Texas and North Dakota have harvested enough crude to overwhelm the global oil market and force Saudi Arabia's oil cartel to play offense on the world's energy stage. But U.S. producers have recovered only a small fraction of the oil that's trapped in those rocks, and though the oil-market crash has put the nation's energy boom on hold, some oil-technology companies are pursuing what they say will be a second American shale revolution. That belief lies partially in re-fracking - giving oil shale deposits a second blast of water, chemicals and sand - to get...
  • Texas electric grid serves record-high power demand

    08/18/2015 4:23:50 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | AUGUST 17, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    During the recent heat wave in Texas, the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the operator of the electric grid covering most of the state, set a new record for electricity use when demand for electricity reached 69.8 gigawatts (GW) between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on August 10. ERCOT has been able to handle this extremely high demand without any system emergencies. In its summer 2015 reliability assessment, the North American Electricity Reliability Corporation (NERC) had forecasted a higher reserve margin for Texas's electric grid this summer (16.24%) compared with previous years (14.98% in 2014). Reserve margins reflect the...
  • Japan restarts first nuclear reactor under new safety rules

    08/12/2015 6:50:16 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | AUGUST 12, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    On August 11, Kyushu Electric Power Company's 846 megawatt (MW) Sendai Nuclear Power Station Unit 1 became the first reactor to restart after nearly two years with no generation from nuclear power plants in Japan. Following the disaster at Fukushima in 2011, Japan began a temporary shutdown of all nuclear power plants as each reactor entered scheduled maintenance and refueling outages. By September 2013, all 54 reactors in Japan's nuclear fleet were shut down. Following its restart, Sendai Unit 1 will begin generating electricity within days and return to normal operation in early September. The restart of Japan's nuclear power...
  • EIA: US shale oil output to drop 93,000 b/d in September

    08/12/2015 6:48:15 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Oil Gas Journal ^ | 08/10/2015 | OGJ editors
    Crude oil production in September from seven major US shale plays is expected to decline 93,000 b/d to 5.27 million b/d, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s latest Drilling Productivity Report (DPR). EIA previously projected 91,000-b/d declines for both July and August (OGJ Online, June 9, 2015; July 13, 2015). The DPR focuses on the Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Marcellus, Niobrara, Permian, and Utica, which altogether accounted for 95% of US oil production increases and all US natural gas production increases during 2011-13. The Eagle Ford continues to represent a bulk of the overall oil output declines, projected to...
  • Chinese company brings jobs to Houston for massive Louisiana chemical plant

    08/12/2015 6:25:03 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Houston Business Journal ^ | Aug 12, 2015 | Suzanne Edwards
    Yuhuang Chemical Inc., the Houston-based North American subsidiary of China-based Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Co. Ltd., has added 55 jobs to its corporate office in Houston and will continue to add more to support the development of its $1.85 billion methanol production complex in Louisiana. Yuhuang Chemical announced on Aug. 10 that it reached an agreement to transport gas on the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line, owned by Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Williams Cos. Inc. (NYSE: WMB), to serve the methanol complex. In addition to serving Yuhuang chemical, the Transco pipeline system also serves the Sabine Pass liquefaction project under development by Houston-based Cheniere...
  • U.S. Oil Falls to Six-Year Low

    08/12/2015 6:04:11 AM PDT · by thackney · 23 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Aug. 11, 2015 5:19 p.m | GEORGI KANTCHEV and TIMOTHY PUKO
    U.S. oil fell to a six-year low Tuesday, pummeled by China’s plummeting currency and a growing conviction that global demand can’t catch up with an unrelenting supply of crude. Oil, in tumult for more than a year, continued a summer swoon that took it below the lows it plumbed this spring. Production is still near historic highs in both the U.S. and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, new data show. It indicates suppliers around the world are still mired in a fight for customers that ramped up output and took down prices nearly 60% from the highs of...
  • Venezuela Says Pushing for OPEC, Russia Action to Stem Oil Fall

    08/12/2015 5:45:21 AM PDT · by thackney · 24 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | August 12, 2015 | Reuters
    Cash-strapped Venezuela is pushing for an emergency OPEC meeting and joint coordination with Russia to stem a tumble in oil prices, President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday night. "We're working towards a special OPEC meeting, in coming days we'll announce .... We're making contacts with OPEC governments," Maduro said during an hours-long televised broadcast. "We're evaluating the possibility that a very high ranking OPEC meeting be called, and that in coordination with the Russian Federation, President Vladimir Putin, we can advance in taking a series of actions to defend the oil market in the face of this latest fall," he...
  • Report: Eagle Ford production to slip in September

    08/11/2015 5:27:48 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 11, 2015 | Jennifer Hiller
    Oil production from the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas will dip again in September, according to the latest report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Production of crude oil and the light oil condensate is expected to slide by 56,000 barrels daily, to around 1.48 million barrels per day. It will be the sixth straight monthly drop for Eagle Ford output. The industry has been hit hard by falling crude oil prices, with energy companies drilling and completing fewer wells. Oil prices were higher than $100 per barrel last summer but have been trading around the $45-level recently. Production...
  • Rail helps make Midwest a net shipper of crude oil

    08/10/2015 7:13:35 AM PDT · by thackney
    Energy Information Administration ^ | AUGUST 10, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Shipments of crude oil out of the Midwest region (Petroleum Administration for Defense District 2) to other U.S. regions have steadily increased as a result of pipeline reversals and rail transport. Rail movements out of the Midwest contributed to the region becoming a net shipper of crude oil. Without these rail movements, the Midwest region would still be a net recipient. The Midwest started to ship more crude oil to other regions than it received from those regions for a few months in 2013 and on an annual basis in 2014. The most recent Petroleum Supply Monthly, which contains data...
  • Oil Futures Signal Weak Prices Could Last Years

    08/10/2015 7:10:36 AM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Aug. 10, 2015 | NICOLE FRIEDMAN
    The oil market is signaling that prices could stay lower for longer, delivering a fresh blow to hard-hit energy exploration-and-production companies. Benchmark U.S. oil futures for September delivery are nearing the six-year low hit in March. But contracts for delivery in later years have taken an even bigger hit, with prices for 2016 and 2017 already trading below their March lows. That indicates that investors, traders and oil companies see the global glut of crude oil persisting beyond this year. Companies making long-term investment decisions rely on the prices of futures contracts one or more years in advance. Producers trade...
  • 54.5 mpg isn't a done deal, EPA official says

    08/10/2015 5:35:04 AM PDT · by thackney · 50 replies
    Automotive News ^ | AUGUST 10, 2015 | Richard Truett
    The director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality today shot down the notion that the agency has already decided to implement a 54.5 mpg corporate fleet average for 2025. The average is officially proposed, but the decision to raise, lower or leave alone the 54.5 corporate fleet fuel economy average for 2025 won’t be made until after a review in 2017 and 2018. The decision is due in April 2018. “There is a perception out here that the decision is already made,” Chris Grundler said at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars. “That is wrong. The EPA administrator...
  • Texas breaks another record for power use for the second time in two days

    08/07/2015 9:49:02 AM PDT · by thackney · 51 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 6, 2015 | Joshua Cain
    Texas power users broke a record for the second time in two days this week after electric demand peaked at 68,912 megawatts on Thursday between 4 and 5 p.m. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which runs the state’s electric grid, said the preliminary estimate for power demand during that hour was the highest it has ever recorded. Thursday’s peak was just ahead of the record set on Wednesday, when demand registered 68,538 megawatts. ERCOT noted that one megawatt is enough to power 200 homes during peak demand. Much of Texas is under a heat advisory this week, with triple-digit...
  • Commercial start eyed for late 2016 on Texas carbon capture project

    08/07/2015 5:21:26 AM PDT · by thackney · 17 replies
    Power Engineering ^ | Aug 5, 2015 | Barry Cassell
    NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) said in its Aug. 4 quarterly Form 10-Q report that it and partners are aiming for a late-2016 commercial start-up of a seminal carbon capture facility (CCF) at NRG's coal-fired W.A. Parish power plant in Texas. In July 2014, NRG, through its wholly owned subsidiary Petra Nova Holdings LLC, sold 50% of its interest in Petra Nova Parish Holdings LLC to JX Nippon, a wholly owned subsidiary of JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp. As a result of the sale, NRG no longer has a controlling interest in and has deconsolidated Petra Nova Parish Holdings...
  • U.S. refineries run at record high throughputs {This Week in Petroleum}

    08/05/2015 12:53:52 PM PDT · by thackney · 8 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | August 5, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Gross inputs to U.S. refineries exceeded 17 million barrels per day (b/d) in each of the past four weeks, a level that had not previously been reached or exceeded in any given week since EIA began publishing the data in 1990. The rolling four-week average of U.S. gross refinery inputs has been above the five-year range every week so far this year (Figure 1). The record high gross inputs reflect both higher refinery capacity and higher utilization rates. Lower crude oil prices and strong demand for petroleum products, primarily gasoline, both in the United States and globally have led to...
  • The US Independents Didn't Get The "Oil's Too Low To Grow" Memo

    08/05/2015 10:52:37 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Oil Pro ^ | 8/5/2015 | Joseph Triepke
    Tuesday was a busy announcement day for the US independent E&Ps. After processing Pioneer Natural Resources' plans to ramp production on a $90-oil-price growth trajectory (see our take here), the operational updates released by Devon, Oasis and Cimarex sounded like an echo. Each of these three are also planning for production expansion in spite of oil price weakness. Several times in the past couple months, we've noted the grit of the independents showing up in the one-off datapoint or the operations outlook. This week, we are hit with a flood of new evidence that the US independents are shirking their...
  • Oil & Gas Scandal - The Penn Square Bank Fiasco Of The 1980s

    08/05/2015 10:43:59 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Oil Pro ^ | 8/5/2015 | Thomas Field
    Located in the rear of the Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City, this quite small commercial bank made a name for itself in the high-risk energy loans in the late 1970s and early 1980s during the Oklahoma and Texas oil boom. The bank's assets grew 15-fold (to $525 million) and its deposit base rose to $475 million from $25 million in the eight-year period ending 1982. On the latter point, most of the bank's deposits were derived from loans from other financial institutions funded by uninsured and high-interest-rate jumbo certificates of deposit. With more than $1 billion of syndication sales...
  • Don't Be Surprised If Oil Prices Hit $20

    08/05/2015 7:40:15 AM PDT · by thackney · 86 replies
    Oil Pro ^ | 8/4/2015 | William Edwards
    Is $20 oil Possible? This question has been asked, and answered, in previous Oilpro posts. Yes, $20 oil is possible. Will it happen? I don't know. But it is worthwhile to understand why a $20 price is not out of reason. Further, it might be instructive to understand why recent oil price commentators are suggesting a low-thirties number. A year ago it was almost impossible to get an article published that talked about $60 oil. That price was believed to be completely unreasonable. Now we are flooded with commentaries speculating on "How low will it go?", with $30-40 numbers quite...
  • U.S. Gas Exports: The Pipe Dream

    08/05/2015 5:49:29 AM PDT · by thackney · 33 replies
    Real Clear Energy ^ | August 5, 2015 | Gal Luft
    The Obama Administration is often accused of being sluggish in granting permits for projects to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that do not have a free trade agreement with the U.S. Critics claim it has thus denied the U.S. a historical opportunity to become a leading natural gas exporter on par with Russia and Qatar. Whether ten approvals out of forty applications in four years is sluggish or not is a matter of perspective. But the debate on the pace of approvals has masked a much more important fact: American gas is no longer desired abroad, no matter...