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Articles Posted by thackney

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  • Shale gas provides largest share of U.S. natural gas production in 2013

    11/25/2014 8:58:42 AM PST · by thackney · 5 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | 11/25/2014 | Energy Information Administration
    Total U.S. natural gas gross withdrawals reached a new high at 82 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2013, with shale gas wells becoming the largest source of total natural gas production. Natural gas gross withdrawals are a measure of full well stream production including all natural gas plant liquids and nonhydrocarbon gases after oil, lease condensate, and water have been removed. According to the Natural Gas Annual, gross withdrawals from shale gas wells increased from 5 Bcf/d in 2007 to 33 Bcf/d in 2013, representing 40% of total natural gas production, and surpassing production from nonshale natural gas...
  • Feds announce largest-ever competitive lease sale for offshore wind

    11/24/2014 11:42:10 AM PST · by thackney · 50 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 24, 2014 | Ryan Holeywell
    The federal government today announced that it will hold its largest-ever competitive lease sale for offshore wind development in January. The feds will allow a dozen developers to bid on access to more than 742,000 acres off the coast of Massachusetts (map) starting Jan. 29, the Interior Department said Monday. The sale would triple the amount of federal offshore acreage available for commercial-scale offshore wind development, the department said. That area — if fully developed — could support as much as five gigawatts of commercial wind generation, enough to power more than 1.4 million homes, according to the U.S. Department...
  • Q&A: Oil eventually will lose its place as leading auto fuel

    11/24/2014 4:54:32 AM PST · by thackney · 44 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 23, 2014 | Collin Eaton
    One day, crude oil will lose its grip on cars and trains and ships, but with costs to produce alternative energy still high, a change that big will likely take many decades. How long is anyone’s guess, says one man with a head start on most prognosticators. Henrik Madsen, the CEO of Norway’s international shipping and oil field equipment classifier DNV GL, says the commercial automobile market is the last bastion of crude oil, after its disappearance from power plants and heating fuels in the second half of the 20th century. Its days in vehicles and vessels are numbered. Searing...
  • Statoil Scuttles Ultra-deepwater Rig Contract; Pays $350mm To Back Away

    11/21/2014 10:10:17 AM PST · by thackney · 6 replies
    Oil Pro ^ | 11/21/2014 | Joseph Triepke
    Statoil announced this morning that effective today it is cancelling its contract for the Stena Carron, an ultra-deepwater drillship constructed in 2008. The Stena Carron was under contract to Statoil for a 3-year term, and is only about a half-a-year in. The 2.5 year contract cancellation will cost Statoil $350 million. Statoil signed the contract for the Stena Carron back in March 2013, and was paying a dayrate of around $630,000 per day for the rig. The total contract value remaining was about $585mm for the rig, and ancillary costs mean the total spread cost here likely would have run...
  • Apache to cut North American spending (US oil producer)

    11/21/2014 5:39:47 AM PST · by thackney · 41 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 20, 2014 | Ryan Holeywell
    Apache will cut its North American capital budget from $5.4 billion to $4 billion, the company told analysts at a presentation in New York, but said it will be able to spend that money more efficiently. The forecast comes at a time when oil prices continue to fall. Amid pressure from investors, Apache is working to shrink its portfolio to focus on North American liquids production. Still, company officials said despite the sliding oil prices, they believe they can be successful. “We’re very excited about what we can do at $80,” said Gary Clark, Apache’s vice president for investor relations....
  • Tribal head to speed North Dakota pipeline talks

    11/21/2014 5:26:48 AM PST · by thackney · 12 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 21, 2014 | Associated Press
    The new leader of North Dakota’s oil-rich Three Affiliated Tribes is pledging to speed negotiations on a proposed pipeline through tribal land that would curb the wasteful burning of natural gas in the state by more than 10 percent. North Dakota’s booming oil production has led to an unmanageable increase in the state’s output of natural gas, which is a byproduct of oil production. Oneok Inc., the biggest operator of natural gas pipelines and processing plants in North Dakota, wants to build a 20-mile-long pipeline to capture natural gas from oil wells in Dunn County and move it to an...
  • EIA releases new online tool to track crude oil imports

    11/21/2014 5:19:22 AM PST · by thackney · 3 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | NOVEMBER 21, 2014 | Energy Information Administration
    EIA's recently released U.S. Crude Oil Import Tracking Tool, designed to analyze crude oil imports in response to growing domestic production, allows users to sort and display imports by month or year, density (i.e., light, medium, heavy), country of origin, port of entry, processing company, processing refinery, and more. The tool features graphing and mapping capabilities and a built-in help function. Recent and anticipated increases in domestic crude production have sparked discussion about how rising crude oil volumes will be absorbed. To date, increased production has displaced some imported crude oil, which has fallen from 8.9 million barrels per day...
  • Commentary: The shakeout in US shale

    11/20/2014 5:12:35 AM PST · by thackney · 40 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 19, 2014 | Matt Smith
    My favorite quote by H.L. Mencken is ‘a cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin‘. A bit morose, I know, but this appeals to the contrarian in me. My second favorite is überly-applicable to US shale oil break-evens: ‘For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong‘. For there is no lack of estimates flying around as to the price level at which US shale oil production could be curtailed. The problem is, they all appear to be different. The debate was ignited by OPEC, after comments from...
  • Natural Gas Vehicles See Steady Growth

    11/19/2014 5:27:49 AM PST · by thackney · 51 replies
    Oil Price ^ | 14 November 2014 | Editorial Dept
    While everyone is watching to see how low oil prices will affect U.S. shale drillers, natural gas production continues to rise. Each month, the U.S. posts new production highs (see chart), and 2014 is shaping up to be a record year for natural gas drillers. With production ratcheting upwards, the U.S. has been able to achieve record levels of storage injections, building back inventories after last winter walloped the east coast and depleted supplies. The abundance of natural gas is allowing utilities to increasingly burn the fuel in power plants for electricity – a well-known trend that continues to accelerate....
  • TransCanada Showcases Automation on Keystone XL Pipeline

    11/19/2014 5:11:04 AM PST · by thackney · 4 replies
    Automation World ^ | November 14, 2014 | Aaron Hand
    Six years into a wait for the approvals to operate the newest section of the Keystone Pipeline system, TransCanada has already spent $2.4 billion on the project. TransCanada had hoped that it would have the permits for its Keystone XL pipeline within two years, since the first phase of the Keystone Pipeline system was reviewed and approved in 23 months. But it’s been more than six years since TransCanada filed its application to build the Keystone XL expansion, and it has still not been approved. Facing environmental pressures from his liberal base if he approves the pipeline and strife from...
  • Senate rejects Keystone XL bill {and Mary Landrieu}

    11/19/2014 5:00:29 AM PST · by thackney · 9 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    The Senate narrowly rejected legislation to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday, handing a defeat to the oil industry and dealing a major blow to Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu, who staked her political career on the outcome. The Senate voted 59-41 for the legislation, falling one vote shy of the 60 needed for passage under the deal bringing it to the floor. But Keystone supporters insisted the defeat would be short-lived. Republican leaders are vowing to try again after they take over the chamber in January — when they will have more than enough votes to get a measure...
  • What Bourbon Producers Can Teach the Oil Industry

    11/18/2014 8:56:11 AM PST · by thackney · 8 replies
    New York Times ^ | NOV. 18, 2014 | Neil Irwin
    The market for crude oil is in veritable free fall. The price of a barrel has dropped 30 percent since June, and the ripples have only begun, with analysts warning of everything from bankruptcies of Texas oil fields to economic troubles in big oil-producing nations like Venezuela and Nigeria. If oil prices stay low or keep falling, it will be one of the most important trends shaping the world economy in 2015, which raises the question: Why is this happening? To answer that, it is useful to look at the market for another fluid that is stored in barrels, one...
  • Kemp: OPEC's Options (None of Them Good) {Good for OPEC}

    11/17/2014 8:46:25 AM PST · by thackney · 15 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | November 17, 2014 | John Kemp
    As ministers from the 12 members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) prepare to fly to Vienna for their 166th meeting next week, the quiet consultations and soundings have already begun. OPEC must decide whether and how to respond to the 30 percent decline in oil prices since the middle of June, in what may be the organisation's toughest test in five years. Slower oil demand growth and rising competition from non-OPEC suppliers, especially U.S. shale producers, pose a common threat to all the organisation's members. But formulating a common response will be hard because the slowdown...
  • Repeal of U.S. oil export ban would lower gas prices, studies show

    11/17/2014 5:20:35 AM PST · by thackney · 22 replies
    Washington Times ^ | November 16, 2014 | Patrice Hill
    The U.S. government has banned oil exports since the energy crisis of the 1970s, but that could change next year as Republicans take control of Congress and are backed by new studies showing that repeal of the ban would actually lower gasoline prices and be a surprising boon to consumers. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican and the expected new chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, has been the leading proponent in Congress for ending the ban, arguing that a sea change in the way oil and gas prices are determined in global markets has turned it...
  • IEA Sees New Era, No Quick Rebound In Oil Prices

    11/17/2014 4:59:42 AM PST · by thackney · 4 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | November 14, 2014 | Alex Lawler & Dmitry Zhdannikov
    The oil market has entered a new era with lower Chinese economic growth and booming U.S. shale output, making a return soon to high prices unlikely, the West's energy watchdog said on Friday. The International Energy Agency, which typically refrains from predicting oil prices, said in its monthly report that prices could fall further in 2015 after declining to their lowest levels since 2010 below $80 per barrel. "While there has been some speculation that the high cost of unconventional oil production might set a new equilibrium for Brent prices in the $80 to $90 range, supply/demand balances suggest that...
  • Iraq forces break IS siege on key oil refinery

    11/16/2014 12:17:44 PM PST · by thackney · 10 replies
    Xinhua ^ | 2014-11-16 | Xinhua
    Iraqi security forces on Sunday broke the Islamic State (IS) group's months-long siege of the country's largest oil refinery in Salahudin province, a provincial security source said. "In the early morning hours, the security forces and allied tribal fighters took full control of the sprawling Baiji refinery after they secured the roads leading to the refinery buildings and met with those troops inside who have been fighting back the attacks of IS militants for more than five months," the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The army's armored vehicles deployed in the oil installation and started to expand to...
  • An Obama veto of Keystone XL could be pretty unpopular

    11/15/2014 7:33:34 AM PST · by thackney · 12 replies
    Washington Post ^ | November 13, 2014 | Aaron Blake
    President Obama is fond of telling Congress that it should pass things with the overwhelming support of the American people, including (among other things) comprehensive immigration reform, increasing the minimum wage, and increasing gun background checks. And yet, Obama could soon be in a position of vetoing something with a similar amount of support: the Keystone XL pipeline. Poll after poll has shown support for Keystone is somewhere between very strong and overwhelming. A Pew Research Center survey this month showed support for the project at nearly two-to-one, 59 percent to 31 percent. And that was about the lowest level...
  • Iraq wants tanker dispute to stay in U.S.

    11/15/2014 6:39:01 AM PST · by thackney · 3 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 14, 2014 | Rhiannon Meyers
    Iraq wants an international dispute over a tanker of crude floating for more than three months off Galveston’s coast to remain in U.S. courts because Kurdistan refuses to resolve the matter on Iraqi soil, according to recent court filings. “It appears to be Iraqi Kurdistan’s position that no court in the world may adjudicate this matter,” Baghdad’s attorneys argued in court filings Thursday. “While the issues should be decided in Iraq, they certainly may be decided here.” The Kurdistan Regional Government two months ago asked U.S. District Judge Gray Miller to dismiss Iraq’s pleases to seize more than 1 million...
  • Many moving parts, North Slope LNG project for Interior gas supply continues to take shape

    11/15/2014 5:57:05 AM PST · by thackney · 7 replies
    Petroleum News ^ | Week of November 16, 2014 | Alan Bailey
    With many stakeholders, several major interrelated components and an aggressive timescale, the Interior Energy Project presents something of a challenge. The project, with funding support from AIDEA, or the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, is designed to bring affordable natural gas to Fairbanks and the Alaska Interior via a to-be-constructed liquefied natural gas plant on the North Slope and an LNG trucking operation on the North Slope Haul Road. AIDEA has commissioned engineering firm MWH to manage the construction of the LNG plant. The Interior Gas Utility and Fairbanks Natural Gas, the two Fairbanks gas utilities, will arrange the...
  • House passes Keystone XL bill

    11/14/2014 10:25:07 AM PST · by thackney · 39 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 14, 2014 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday as Senate supporters worked to line up 60 votes to send the measure to the White House. The 252-161 House vote came amid jockeying by two Louisiana lawmakers — Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy and Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu — to be seen winning authorization for the pipeline before voters decide which of them serves in the Senate next year. Cassidy said it’s past time for the United States to authorize Keystone XL, six years after Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. first asked for permits to construct the pipeline...
  • SHORT-TERM ENERGY OUTLOOK

    11/13/2014 4:20:18 AM PST · by thackney · 6 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | Nov. 12, 2014 | Energy Information Administration
    Selected portions of the report, full report at the link: North Sea Brent crude oil spot prices fell from $95/barrel (bbl) on October 1 to $84/bbl at the end of the month. The causes included weakening outlooks for global economic and oil demand growth, the return to the market of previously disrupted Libyan crude oil production, and continued growth in U.S. tight oil production. Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $87/bbl in October, the first month Brent prices have averaged below $90/bbl since November 2010. EIA projects that Brent crude oil prices will average $83/bbl in 2015, $18/bbl lower than...
  • Oil and Gas Industry is a Leader in Veteran Employment

    11/12/2014 11:51:33 AM PST · by thackney · 5 replies
    Oil Pro ^ | 11/11/2014 | Jessica Fudge
    Many employers struggle to translate a military veteran’s service to the civilian workplace, and 2014 unemployment statistics still reflect a gap between general civilian unemployment rates and the younger, post-9/11 veteran unemployment rates. However, the oil and gas industry reflects a different story. Leading up to Veteran’s Day, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) made a statement regarding efforts to increase the hiring of U.S. military veterans in the U.S. oil and gas industry. "As Veterans Day approaches, we are reminded of the promise we made to our American heroes who have served at home and overseas - that we will...
  • OPEC Delegates Start Whispering About Potential Oil Cut

    11/12/2014 5:17:31 AM PST · by thackney · 40 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | November 11, 2014 | Rania El Gamal, Alex Lawler & David Sheppard
    A subtle shift may be taking place within OPEC as it heads into its most important meeting in years, according to delegates with the producer group, as the discussion over whether it needs to cut output to defend oil revenues quietly intensifies. OPEC's Secretary General Abudulla al-Badri this week urged markets not to panic over the drop in prices to a 4-year low near $81 a barrel, while Kuwait's oil minister said OPEC was unlikely to cut output when it meets on Nov. 27 in Vienna. But privately, more delegates within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are starting...
  • Iraqi forces retake most of strategic oil town

    11/11/2014 1:27:13 PM PST · by thackney · 3 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 11, 2014 | Associated Press
    Iraqi soldiers battling the Islamic State group recaptured most of the town of Beiji, home to the country’s largest oil refinery, state television and a provincial governor said Tuesday. The strategic town, 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of Baghdad, will likely be a base for a future push to take back Saddam Hussein’s hometown just to the south, one of the main prizes overrun by the extremists last summer. But troops backed by Shiite militias faced pockets of stiff resistance around Beiji, hindering their advance. There was no word on the fate of the refinery, which lies on Beiji’s northern...
  • KiOR files for bankruptcy, but not Mississippi unit

    11/10/2014 8:11:07 AM PST · by thackney · 10 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 10, 2014 | Ryan Holeywell
    Kior, Inc., the Houston-area biofuels maker that hoped to tap new technology to produce clean energy, filed for bankruptcy Sunday. The company listed $58.3 million in assets along with $261.3 million debts in its filing in the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, where the company is incorporated. The company was at one-time considered a leader in the development of what’s known as cellulosic fuel — gasoline and diesel that is made from inedible plant material like woodchips and grass clippings. Though other biofuels are made from plants — ethanol, for example, is made from corn or sugarcane — cellulosic fuels...
  • Saudis have reasons better than shale to let prices fall

    11/09/2014 6:06:10 AM PST · by thackney · 18 replies
    Oil & Gas Journal ^ | 11/07/2014 | Bob Tippee
    Only by overlooking important forces in markets and politics can anyone assert that Saudi Arabia is letting crude prices fall mainly to extinguish competition from North American shale oil. With oil, the Saudi regime always takes the long view. With security, however, its motivations are more immediate. The kingdom faces unusually intense threats: Islamic State (IS) militancy in Iraq and Syria, the chance that Iran won’t agree by a Nov. 24 deadline to suspend its nuclear ambitions, terrorist insurrections from restive Yemen, durability of the menacing government of Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus. Falling oil prices hurt the IS and Iran,...
  • After record injections, natural gas storage levels now within 7% of 5-year average

    11/07/2014 9:04:12 AM PST · by thackney · 6 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | NOVEMBER 7, 2014 | Energy Information Administration
    Working natural gas in storage ended October at 3,571 billion cubic feet (Bcf), a record increase of 2,734 Bcf during the April 1 to October 31 injection season, and within 7% of the average of the last five end-of-season storage levels. While end-October natural gas stocks are at a five-year low, increased natural gas production, which has reached an all-time high, and new pipeline projects will help meet winter natural gas demand. Higher production means that even if this winter were as cold as last year, EIA expects that natural gas storage at the end of March 2015 will be...
  • Guess which industry is fueling Houston’s office demand?

    11/07/2014 5:20:13 AM PST · by thackney · 13 replies
    Houston Business Journal ^ | Nov 6, 2014 | Paul Takahashi
    t's no secret that Houston's office market is driven by the energy sector. But how much of a boost is oil and gas to Houston's commercial real estate market? It's significant, according to CBRE Group Inc. The commercial real estate brokerage firm analyzed 33 cities across the world and found that the average prime office rental growth is up by 25.2 percent in energy dependent cities, compared to 4.5 percent in non-energy dependent cities. This means that oil and gas cities can see as much as five times the growth in office rental market than other non-energy cities. There are...
  • Canada's Oliver: Remains Committed to Keystone Pipeline Project

    11/07/2014 4:49:11 AM PST · by thackney · 31 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | November 07, 2014 | Reuters
    Canada's Finance Minister Joe Oliver said on Thursday the government remains committed to the Keystone XL pipeline project and that he believes "at the end of the day" it will gain approval. TransCanada Corp's $8 billion Keystone XL project would carry Alberta oil sands crude to the U.S. Gulf coast. The project has been awaiting presidential approval for more than six years, but this week's U.S. mid-term elections revived the issue after Republicans took control of Congress. U.S. Senate Republicans will push ahead early next year with a bill to approve the long-stalled pipeline. "We remain committed to the project,"...
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical eyes another expansion in Baytown

    11/07/2014 4:45:52 AM PST · by thackney
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 6, 2014 | Rhiannon Meyers
    Chevron Phillips Chemical is considering adding yet another expansion to its Baytown plant, joining a wave of other petrochemical companies scrambling to take advantage of cheap raw materials unleashed by the U.S. shale boom. The company, which is already building a $6 billion expansion at the same Cedar Bayou plant, this week said it’s studying how to increase the plant’s capacity to produce polyalphaolefins, synthetic lubricants used in high-performance motor oils. “There’s a pretty strong demand for that and fairly limited supply worldwide,” Mark Lashier, executive vice president of olefins and polyolefins, said in an interview with Fuel Fix. “It’s...
  • TransCanada proceeds with Canadian Mainline system enhancements

    11/06/2014 5:24:55 AM PST · by thackney
    Energy Global ^ | 05/11/2014 | Rosalie Starling
    TransCanada Corporation has announced that it is moving forward with its Vaughan pipeline project and associated facilities as part of CAN$ 475 million in pipeline and facility expansions within the Eastern Triangle portion of the Canadian Mainline system. This is the next step of development for natural gas infrastructure in southern Ontario and is the result of collaboration between TransCanada, Enbridge Gas Distribution, Gaz Metro and Union Gas. Construction of TransCanada's Kings North Connection, Parkway West Connection and Hamilton Area Project are expected to cost about CAN$ 255 million and be in-service in November 2015. The Vaughan pipeline and associated...
  • The Driving Force Behind the U.S. Oil Boom

    11/06/2014 5:13:43 AM PST · by thackney · 12 replies
    Real Clear Energy ^ | November 5, 2014 | James Stafford
    The shale revolution's sweet spot is oilfield services, the lower-risk backbone of the American oil and gas boom that pays off regardless of a play's economics. Behind the stardom of the explorers and producers who have put themselves on the revolutionary shale map and absorb most of the risk-are the service providers who make up a highly lucrative market segment. The US land-based rig count rose 3% over the last quarter, reaching a two-year high of 1,870 active rigs. A major factor in this growth has been an uptick in horizontal drilling in the Permian Basin, Texas' revived giant, where...
  • The Social Justice of Coal

    11/06/2014 5:05:02 AM PST · by thackney · 20 replies
    National Review Online ^ | Robert Bryce | Robert Bryce
    Demonize coal. Keep the poor in the dark. And, above all, keep pushing the fantasy that U.S. government action (with or without the approval of Congress) is essential to dealing with climate change. That — in a nutshell — is the climate-change strategy of the Obama administration and its environmentalist allies. Evidence of the third point can be found by looking at the “Clean Power Plan” — the 645-page set of rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency last June that, if it withstands legal challenges, will effectively outlaw the construction of new coal-fired power plants in the United States....
  • Gunmen Storm Libya's El Sharara Oilfield, Shut Down Production

    11/06/2014 4:48:45 AM PST · by thackney · 5 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | November 06, 2014 | Feras Bosalum & Ahmed Elumami
    Gunmen seized Libya's major El Sharara oilfield, looting equipment and shooting as frightened workers sought shelter, oil sources said on Wednesday, in another blow to the country's oil industry which has been subjected to protests and militia blockades. It was unclear exactly what happened at the field, which at maximum capacity produces about 340,000 barrels per day. It is Libya's biggest operational field, located in the remote south where rival tribes have clashed since Muammar Gaddafi was ousted three years ago.... The closure will lower the OPEC member's oil production, last reported at around 800,000 bpd, by at least 200,000...
  • Texas leads nation in oil field job growth

    11/06/2014 4:41:18 AM PST · by thackney · 6 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 5, 2014 | Rhiannon Meyers
    It’s a good time to be an oil field worker in Texas, a new government report finds. The resurgence in domestic drilling made possible by new techniques like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling has created thousands of new jobs since the recession, and nowhere is that more evident than the Lone Star State. Texas led the nation in the number of new oil and gas production jobs last year, adding 19,000 private positions in the field such as drilling, oil and natural gas extraction and support services, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That was nearly six times the...
  • Hoeven: Obama should approve Keystone XL

    11/06/2014 4:36:14 AM PST · by thackney · 10 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 5, 2014 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    President Barack Obama should demonstrate his commitment to working with Republicans in control of Congress by permitting the Keystone XL pipeline, Sen. John Hoeven said Wednesday. Hoeven and other Senate Republicans are making plans to advance a bill authorizing the controversial project early next year, as one of their first legislative moves after taking control of the chamber. While some Senate races are not yet decided, Hoeven, R-N.D., said he already counts at least 60 votes in favor of his legislation to approve the pipeline using Congress’ authority under the Foreign Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Although that’s enough votes...
  • Oil Below $80: The First Shoes Drop

    11/05/2014 5:09:15 AM PST · by thackney · 52 replies
    Forbes ^ | 11/04/2014 | Loren Steffy
    We’re beginning to see the effects that the low oil prices of the past few months is having on America’s domestic energy boom. On Thursday, ConocoPhillips became the first major producer to announce it plans to scale back drilling in some of the hottest U.S. oil plays, such as the Rocky Mountains and the Permian Basin of West Texas. While ConocoPhillips still expects to boost production from other areas, chief executive Ryan Lance told reporters the company also may cut exploration spending. Oil prices on the world market have fallen more than 25 percent since June, and the price of...
  • GOP Chairman: Keystone XL will get approval if Republicans win Senate

    11/05/2014 5:03:57 AM PST · by thackney · 15 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 4, 2014 | Joshua Cain
    Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus predicted Tuesday that the GOP regaining control of the Senate would mean a signature from President Barack Obama on a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Getting approval for TransCanada’s pipeline, which has been waiting six years to break ground on the project, would be among the top priorities for a Republican-controlled Senate, Priebus told MSNBC’s Daily Rundown. “We will pass a budget in both chambers, number one, and we will pass the Keystone pipeline, number two,” Priebus said. “And I actually think the president will sign the bill on the Keystone pipeline...
  • California company to build GTL facility in Houston by Q4 2015

    11/05/2014 5:00:49 AM PST · by thackney · 8 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | November 4, 2014 | Joshua Cain
    Greyrock Energy said it plans to build a small scale gas-to-liquids facility in Houston in late 2015, taking advantage of a glut of cheap natural gas to be converted into high grade diesel fuel. The company, based in Sacramento, California, has not announced where the plant will be set up, nor who its customers will be. But the project has backing from Sterling Private Capital and Eagle Oil & Gas Co., both based in Dallas. The facility will be able to process as much as 50 million cubic feet per day of natural gas to produce 5,000 barrels per day...
  • Refining Saudi Arabia’s Oil Strategy

    11/03/2014 5:04:58 AM PST · by thackney · 20 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Nov. 2, 2014 | LIAM DENNING
    Those banking on a rebound in oil prices shouldn’t look down. Downstream, that is. Judging by third-quarter results reported last week by the likes of Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell , the downstream business—oil refining and marketing—is doing just fine. But results are backward-looking, and the quarter that ended in September only partly reflected recent turmoil in oil markets. Since Oct. 1, the Gulf Coast “crack spread,” a proxy for the margins U.S. refiners make on each barrel of oil they process, has plummeted to about $5.50 from almost $16. That is despite the fact that the price of...
  • Largest Mainland US Crude Pipeline May Be Reversed

    10/31/2014 12:06:59 PM PDT · by thackney
    Oil Pro ^ | 10/30/2014 | Jeff Reed
    Marathon Petroleum says it's assessing options for the future of the largest mainland US oil conduit- the 1.2 M/bd Capline pipeline. In recent years, the pipeline, which runs from St. James, Louisiana (the delivery hub for Light Louisiana Sweet crude) to Patoka, Illinois, has seen sharp declines in shipping volumes as midwestern refiners access the growing supply of Bakken and Canadian crude to replace expensive imports via Capline. Crude flows through the US have effectively reversed as less expensive US (primarily Bakken) and Canadian production pushes out imports delivered to the US Gulf coast. Several reversals and newly-built pipelines now...
  • Exxon sees profit rise on refining strength

    10/31/2014 6:34:07 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 31, 2014 | Robert Grattan
    The world’s largest oil and gas company saw profits rise in the third quarter, as strong margins and operations at its chemical and downstream businesses offset a production decline. Exxon Mobil Corp. said its earnings rose 3 percent to $8.07 billion, from $7.87 billion in the same period a year prior. The Irving, Texas-based company reported an earnings per share of $1.89, up from $1.79 in Q3 2013. In a written statement, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson said that the earnings growth was “driven by higher margins and improved operations in the downstream and chemical businesses,” and had been “partially offset...
  • Energy Boom Can Withstand Steeper Oil-Price Drop

    10/30/2014 8:14:49 AM PDT · by thackney · 19 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Oct. 29, 2014 | RUSSELL GOLD, ERIN AILWORTH and BENOÎT FAUCON
    Some Smaller U.S. Producers Are Likely to Face Pinch From a More-Modest Decline Oil prices would need to fall at least another $20 a barrel to choke off the U.S. energy boom, industry experts say, though some smaller American producers would face serious problems from a more modest decline. Small and midsize companies—not global giants—are behind the surge in U.S. oil output, which hit 8.97 million barrels a day earlier this month, according to federal statistics. Some of these drillers have taken on a lot of debt, which was easier to justify when oil was going for as much as...
  • Texas RRC Issues New Regulations on Fracking Disposal Wells

    10/30/2014 5:33:35 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | October 29, 2014 | Gene Lockard
    New regulations covering disposal wells from fracking operations go into effect in Texas beginning in November 2014. The new regulations by the Texas Railroad Commission (Texas RRC, or Commission), the state’s regulating entity for oil and gas, are centered on the possible linkage between seismic activity and disposing wells. There are four main components of the new regulations: - Applicants for disposal wells must conduct a search on the U.S. Geological Survey seismic database to determine if there is a history of earthquakes within a 100-square-mile area around the site of the proposed disposal well - Clarify that the Commission...
  • Feds set ground rules for ConocoPhillips project in Alaska

    10/30/2014 4:52:12 AM PDT · by thackney · 19 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 29, 2014 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    ConocoPhillips’ plans for the first oil production facilities from federal lands in Alaska moved one step closer to reality Wednesday, as the Interior Department released a key environmental study on the project. Although it is not a final verdict, the assessment by Interior’s Bureau of Land Management sets the stage for approval later this year by outlining steps ConocoPhillips would have to take to mitigate environmental effects while boring up to 33 wells at its Greater Mooses Tooth site. “Reaching this stage of permitting is a major milestone for the project and for the future of balanced, responsible federal oil...
  • It's Coming: $65 Oil {Good News / Bad News}

    10/30/2014 4:47:37 AM PDT · by thackney · 90 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | OCT 28 2014 | DEREK THOMPSON
    Gas prices are falling below $3 a gallon across the United States for two big reasons: (1) the world economy is growing slower than we hoped, and (2) global oil production is improving faster than we expected. "India and China are slowing down,” said Charles K. Ebinger, director of the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings. "The IMF just downgraded Europe’s growth to less than 1 percent, and they're already quite energy efficient. Brazil’s a problem, too. All around the world there is no great growth story, and expectations are that things will stay that way or get worse." There is...
  • Phillips 66 profits double on crude price plummet

    10/29/2014 7:27:40 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 29, 2014 | Rhiannon Meyers
    Plummeting crude prices worldwide doubled Phillips 66′s profits in the third quarter, providing the company with a cheaper feedstock to run its refineries. Crude oil is, by far, the largest operating expense for the Houston-based company, which operates pipelines and refineries. Phillips 66 purchases about 2 million barrels of oil per day, spending more than $80 billion per year on crude, depending on the price. Falling prices can dramatically cut the company’s costs — a savings of $1 per barrel is worth about $450 million in net income, the company has reported. The company on Wednesday reported earnings of $1.2...
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission resumes license renewals for nuclear power plants

    10/29/2014 5:39:39 AM PDT · by thackney · 19 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | OCTOBER 29, 2014 | Energy Information Administration
    Following a two-year hiatus, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has resumed issuing license renewals for nuclear power plants. On October 20, the NRC renewed the operating licenses for Limerick Generating Station Units 1 and 2, located northwest of Philadelphia, extending their license expiration dates by 20 years, to 2044 and 2049, respectively. With this action, the NRC has granted license renewals providing a 20-year extension to a total of 74 of the 100 operating reactors in the United States. Nuclear power accounted for 20% of total power sector electricity generation in 2013. NRC has the authority to issue initial...
  • India keen to diversify oil exports, buy crude from US

    10/29/2014 5:21:12 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    The Economic Times ^ | Oct 28, 2014 | PTI
    Hit by uncertainly over oil supplies from West Asia, India is keen to diversify its imports and wants to buy crude from the US, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said. The new strategy is being planned to guard against disruption in supplies from its biggest sources in the Middle East - Iraq and Syria - as they are caught in problems relating to Islamic State movement. Asia's second-biggest energy user, which spends $143 billion on import of crude oil in 2013-14, wants the US to extend its policy of allowing gas exports to crude oil as well. "I met officials...
  • EU energy boss, Ukraine minister to hold talks on Russia gas dispute

    10/29/2014 5:07:17 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | Oct 27, 2014 | Barbara Lewis
    European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger and Ukraine Energy Minister Yuri Prodan will speak by phone on Monday to prepare for trilateral talks with Russia on resolving a gas pricing row, a Commission official said. Citing unpaid bills, Russia cut off gas flows to Kiev in mid-June, adding to East-West tensions triggered by Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea and conflict in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine. Last Tuesday, the latest round of talks between Russia and Ukraine, brokered by the Commission, to try to resolve the gas supply dispute ended without a deal. Since then, relations between Russia and Ukraine may have been...