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Articles Posted by thackney

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  • Vermont Struggles With Renewables

    07/24/2015 7:21:30 AM PDT · by thackney · 25 replies
    Real Clear Energy ^ | July 23, 2015 | William Tucker
    When the Green Mountain power company, Vermont’s largest utility, announced earlier this year it will be buying nuclear power from New Hampshire’s Seabrook reactor, many environmentalists felt betrayed. “This is exactly why we closed Vermont Yankee, because we didn’t want any nuclear power,” they complained. But consumer demands left Green Mountain with no other choice. Nuclear is the ultimate reliable source of power – reactors operate more than 90 percent of the time – and Green Mountain needs back-up in case other sources stop working or if demand exceeds supply on a hot summer day. Vermont is struggling with its...
  • Midstream company secures funding for first leg of giant Houston crude oil storage facility

    07/24/2015 5:48:17 AM PDT · by thackney · 15 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | July 23, 2015 | Joshua Cain
    The midstream company planning to build one of the largest crude oil storage facilities on the Gulf Coast said Thursday that it had reached a deal to fund the first phase of construction on the project in southwest Houston. Fairway Energy Partners LLC said in a release that Houston private equity firm FBR & Co. agreed to fund the first leg of the Pierce Junction storage facility, which will convert three underground salt caverns near the intersection of the 610 and 288 Freeways into crude oil storage. Fairway is backed by Haddington Ventures LLC, a Houston investment firm that manages...
  • Here's why ocean shipping companies are switching to natural gas

    07/23/2015 10:04:02 AM PDT · by thackney · 40 replies
    Fortune ^ | JULY 23, 2015 | David Z. Morris
    The North American ocean carrier TOTE is deploying the world’s first container ships fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The move anticipates imminent environmental regulations that are likely to trigger large shifts in the maritime shipping industry. TOTE is making the move to comply with the international Marpol Annex VI maritime emissions standards, first implemented in 2005. Restrictions on emissions like sulfur and nitrogen oxide will tighten in 2016 within designated emission control areas (ECAs), including the waters surrounding North America. Sulfur and nitrogen oxides are generated in large volumes by conventional maritime ships, which have long relied on so-called...
  • Congress Eyes Sales From Nation's Oil Stockpile for Highway Funding

    07/23/2015 8:51:32 AM PDT · by thackney · 40 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | July 22, 2015 | AMY HARDER and NICOLE FRIEDMAN
    Lawmakers are eyeing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a piggy bank, but not without controversy. The Senate is considering legislation that would partly replenish the u.S. highway trust fund with $9 billion worth of sales from the reserve, which at 69S.1 million barrels of oil is close to its 713.S-million-barrel capacity. This month, the House passed a bill to sell 80 million barrels from the reserve to raise $7 billion to help pay for legislation to boost government drug approvals and research funding. But proposals to tap the nation's oil stockpile as a way to pay for unrelated government programs...
  • Iran Beckons: Massive O&G Project Backlog Quantified And New Contract Model Outlined

    07/23/2015 7:18:07 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Oil Pro ^ | 7/23/2015 | Jeff Reed
    On Thursday, Iran detailed plans to rebuild its main industries and trade relationships after last week's final nuclear deal with the P5+1. The country says it is targeting oil and gas projects worth $185 billion by 2020. Iran Wants 2-Way Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Iran's Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade, said Iran would focus on its oil and gas, metals and car industries with the goal of exporting to Europe following the easing of sanctions, rather than merely importing Western technology, Reuters reported Thursday morning. "We are looking for a two-way trade as well as cooperation in development, design...
  • US Senate energy bill to speed LNG exports, clarify SPR sales limits

    07/23/2015 5:58:37 AM PDT · by thackney
    Platts ^ | 22 Jul 2015 | Platts
    Key US senators have reached a deal on a broad package of energy sector reforms that if enacted would speed decision-making on liquefied natural gas exports, focus the intent of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and require reviews of how federal rules impact electric system reliability. The agreement on the bipartisan legislative package follows a number of Senate hearings in recent months and lawmakers' consideration of more than 100 bills offered for inclusion in the wider package. The bill unveiled Wednesday is also the result of negotiations between the two leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee -- Chairman...
  • Weatherford to boost job cuts to 11,000

    07/23/2015 5:34:02 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | July 22, 2015 | Collin Eaton
    Weatherford International says it plans to bump its job cuts from 10,000 to 11,000, about 20 percent of its workforce, with the increase coming mostly from its U.S. support staff. The oil field services firm, based in Switzerland with main offices in Houston, said the layoffs come as the North American market continues to weaken. It had completed all but 3 percent of its previously announced cut of 10,000 jobs, it said in its second-quarter earnings release late Wednesday. “The aggregate results of these measures will help mitigate the effects of the downturn, while at the same time, take advantage...
  • Opinion: The Strategic Petroleum Reserve IS NOT The Senate's Piggy-Bank

    07/22/2015 2:50:46 PM PDT · by thackney · 16 replies
    Oil Pro ^ | 7/22/2015 | Jeff Reed
    The US Senate showed a disturbing lack of respect for US energy security on Tuesday. The upper chamber introduced a highway bill that proposes selling oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to partially pay for a three-year extension of the highway trust fund. The bill is the result of a deal between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and California Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer. Legislators project that selling 101 billion barrels from the 693 billion barrel stockpile would raise $9 billion if the government sells the oil between 2018 and 2025. The bill assumes an average oil price of...
  • U.S. Winning Oil War Against Saudi Arabia

    07/22/2015 5:40:37 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    Forbes ^ | 7/22/2015
    ...“The EIA has global oil demand in 2020 and beyond being met with increased supplies from a region of the world stuck in a multi-decade crisis that is likely to get much worse before it ever gets better. Supply from the short-cycle U.S. oil market is required to balance the global crude market at a rate where U.S. shale should remain a growth industry.”... There have been several key developments that set the stage for the evolutionary phase that the world has now entered: 1) development of mature fracking technologies for oil and gas shale that have made previously uneconomic...
  • Obama's Scorched Oil and Gas Policy

    07/22/2015 5:30:02 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Real Clear Energy ^ | July 22, 2015 | Robert Bradley
    The clock is ticking on the Obama Administration. With only 18 months remaining in his final term, federal energy planners and agency regulators are working as quickly as possible to impose new rules on the oil and natural gas industry. As one industry lobbyist told the Houston Chronicle, “The agencies are all in hyperdrive to get the rules across the finish line or have them well-positioned in the regulatory queue so that their path forward past Jan. 20, 2017, is clearly established.” The rush to increase regulations on oil and natural gas is nothing but bad news for an industry...
  • Ridgewood launches huge deep-water Gulf fund, says it can find oil for $20 per barrel or less

    07/22/2015 5:23:50 AM PDT · by thackney · 15 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | July 21, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    Ridgewood Energy is not letting $50 oil shift its aim. The energy company focused on the deep-water Gulf of Mexico closed a nearly $2 billion private equity fund that it contends will still prove profitable. Houston- and New Jersey-based Ridgewood said its new $1.94 billion, Ridgewood Energy Oil & Gas Fund III is its biggest yet and exceeded its initial $1.5 billion target. As other companies slow down their expensive deep-water Gulf investments, Ridgewood says it can find and develop oil there for $20 a barrel or less, although the break even is closer to $35 a barrel with other...
  • TimnkenSteel to lay off 39 Houston workers

    07/21/2015 10:43:26 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | July 20, 2015 | Robert Grattan
    Manufacturer TimkenSteel Material Services LLC told state officials Monday it would lay of 39 workers at a Houston plant. The Canton, Ohio-based company, which manufactures steel bars and pipes, cited a “significant downturn in business” as the reason for the layoffs. Manufacturers and oil patch suppliers have suffered alongside drillers as lower crude oil prices have led producers to idle rigs and trim orders for the manufactured goods that support drilling. Timken has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Europe and China. In its 2014 annual report, the company indicated that its energy and distribution business segment accounted for about 43...
  • Another round of Slope methane hydrate research planned

    07/17/2015 9:11:34 AM PDT · by thackney · 12 replies
    ALASKA JOURNAL OF COMMERCE ^ | 2015.07.15 | TIM BRADNER
    Another test of methane hydrates on the North Slope, a potential huge new gas resource, is being planned. State officials are in discussions with the U.S. Department of Energy and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., or JOGMC on possible joint-sponsorship, and talks are planned with North Slope producers about potential sites for a test within one of the operating units on the Slope, Commissioner of Natural Resources Mark Myers said. A technical evaluation of different sites is now underway, Myers said. Drilling within an existing industry unit is preferable for cost reasons but sites on nearby unleased...
  • Study: Utica Shale Larger Than Previous Estimates

    07/17/2015 8:51:50 AM PDT · by thackney · 14 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | July 16, 2015 | Karen Boman|
    The size of the Utica shale play’s technically recoverable resources is larger than previously thought, a recent study by West Virginia University (WVU) has found. WVU found that the Utica play contains technically recoverable resources of 782 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas and around 1.9 billion barrels of oil. That’s higher than the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) 2012 estimate of technically recoverable resources at 38 Tcf of gas and 940 million barrels of oil. The study results indicate that the Utica – which spans West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York – is comparable to the Marcellus...
  • Why can't Texas export oil when Iran can?

    07/17/2015 5:43:24 AM PDT · by thackney · 14 replies
    Houston Chronicle ^ | July 16, 2015 | CHRIS TOMLINSON
    Now that the international community plans to lift the embargo on Iranian oil, it's time for Congress to lift the one on U.S. oil. For 40 years, the United States has banned almost all exports of U.S. crude in the mistaken belief that energy independence is the same thing as energy security. The result is that U.S. oil companies are forced to sell their product at a substantial discount to prevailing international prices to U.S. refiners who then export gasoline, diesel and jet fuel at a significant profit. Congress needs to repeal this misguided federal ban so that U.S. crude...
  • California gasoline prices rise further as lengthier supply chain is strained

    07/16/2015 5:42:06 AM PDT · by thackney · 25 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | July 15, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    West Coast spot prices for conventional gasoline increased sharply last week, while falling slightly on the Gulf Coast and remaining flat on the East Coast. The Los Angeles, California, spot price for conventional gasoline increased nearly 90 cents per gallon (cents/gal) between July 6 and July 13, while San Francisco, California, and Portland, Oregon prices increased 24 cents/gal and 5 cents/gal, respectively (Figure 1). This most recent price rise results from a delay in receipts of waterborne imports of gasoline blending components and a decrease in total motor gasoline inventories within an already constrained supply chain. West Coast spot gasoline...
  • U.S. chemical companies poised for growth as demand swells

    07/16/2015 5:35:31 AM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | July 15, 2015 | Rhiannon Meyers
    U.S. chemical plants are expected to grow in the coming months as they take advantage of cheap natural gas prices and a strengthening economy that has boosted domestic demand for raw materials used in housing and automobiles, a new credit rating analysis finds. But falling oil prices and a strong U.S. dollar threaten earnings for several domestic chemical companies, according to an economic and ratings outlook compiled by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services. Domestic chemical companies have been able to crank out chemicals at a lower cost because they rely primarily on natural gas to feed their operations while their...
  • Texas Flooding Reveals Deficient Infrastructure

    07/16/2015 5:33:01 AM PDT · by thackney · 39 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | July 15, 2015 | Brigham McCown
    Over 37.3 trillion gallons of water fell in Texas this past spring after heavy precipitation resulted in substantial flooding. While years of drought were literally washed away, the state experienced significant consequences of the flooding, including 21 deaths according to a report by NPR. The recent weather patterns exposed vital shortcomings in the state’s flood control infrastructure, which brings into question the appropriateness and level of investment in the state’s flood prevention infrastructure, the network of systems needed to protect the lives and property of citizens of the state. The rain Texas received during the single month of May broke...
  • Goldman Sachs: So far, cheap oil has been mostly bad for the economy

    07/16/2015 5:26:13 AM PDT · by thackney · 16 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | July 15, 2015 | Joshua Cain
    Cheap crude has hammered oil producing states to the point that they’re dragging down overall growth and erasing any positive effects from falling commodity prices on the economy, Goldman Sachs said in a report this week. While the dive in crude oil prices from more than $100 in June 2014 to a little over $50 this month has meant the cheapest gasoline prices since 2009, consumer spending from that windfall hasn’t outpaced deep cuts to the oil and gas sector. The research note said that slumping oil prices have meant dramatic declines in oilfield investments — fewer new wells are...
  • EIA’s estimates for state crude oil production account for incomplete, lagged data

    07/10/2015 6:16:08 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | JULY 10, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Market analysts have a keen interest in understanding how crude oil production in key states has been affected by recent changes in crude oil prices and drilling activity. EIA develops state-level production estimates for selected states that are based in part on state-level data. However, data published by state agencies are often incomplete when first published because of a combination of late reporting and processing delays, mainly due to the filing of production reports that do not contain all required information. Because EIA's methodology for state-level production estimates aims to anticipate and account for expected revisions to data collected by...
  • Enterprise building a new pipeline to connect Gulf Coast petrochemical network

    07/10/2015 6:04:58 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | July 9, 2015 | Robert Grattan
    Enterprise Products Partners said Thursday it would expand and retool two Gulf Coast petrochemical pipelines and build a new third line. Houston-based Enterprise said the new projects will bring the company’s polymer grade propylene distribution system to a total length of 587 miles and connect the system to more than 30 petrochemical facilities along the Gulf Coast. The system is fed by six propane/propylene fractionators at Mont Belvieu that Enterprise owns. Propylene is used as a feedstock for consumer plastics and other fibers, and comes in three grades. Refinery grade propylene is about 70 percent pure, chemical is 92-96 percent...
  • Deluge of refinery expansions run risk of cost overruns, delays, report finds

    07/10/2015 6:02:12 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | July 9, 2015 | Rhiannon Meyers
    Refineries are expanding for the first time in years to soak up a wave of cheap crude unleashed by the U.S. shale boom, but their lack of in-house construction experience puts the projects at greater risk for cost overruns and delays, a new report finds. More than 30 refining expansions worth $14 billion total are under development across the United States as the industry hustles to take advantage of the oil glut, according to a new analysis by Petrochemical Update, which analyzes construction trends for the industry. Texas alone has three refining projects under construction, including Kinder Morgan Energy Partner’s...
  • Net petroleum product exports continue to increase

    07/08/2015 5:15:47 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | JULY 8, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Over the past decade, domestic refinery output of petroleum products has grown significantly while consumption has declined, resulting in a major increase in product exports. Petroleum product exports averaged 4.1 million barrels per day (b/d) in the first four months of the year, an increase of 0.5 million b/d over exports the same time last year. Product imports are also higher than last year, but to a lesser extent, leading to an increase in net petroleum product exports. Import and export patterns vary by region, with most exports leaving from the Gulf Coast (Petroleum Administration for Defense District 3), and...
  • Saudi’s targeting of market share does not appear to be working

    07/06/2015 6:11:40 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | July 6, 2015 | Matt Smith
    Thirty-four years ago today, Indiana Jones was the number one movie at the box office with ‘Raiders of The Lost Ark’. 1981 was also the year in which Beyoncé was born. These two reference points are just to highlight how long ago 1981 was (even if a swashbuckling Harrison Ford doesn’t seem that distant a memory). But while the world was a very different place back in 1981, one thing is the same now as it was then: the level of Saudi Arabian oil production. According to OPEC data, Saudi oil production reached 10.3 million barrels per day in May,...
  • Iraq, Kurdistan Oil Deal Close to Collapse

    07/06/2015 4:57:49 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | July 3, 2015 | MATT BRADLEY
    An oil-sales deal between Iraq and the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government is close to collapse about six months after it was signed, undermining the country’s unity as it struggles to fight Islamic State and contain an escalating financial crisis. Months of acrimony between Baghdad and Erbil, the KRG’s capital, came to a head in June, when the Kurdish side reduced the amount of oil it sold through Iraq’s state-owned Oil Marketing Company, known as SOMO, and began ramping up its independent sales of oil through the Turkish port at Ceyhan. The sales undercut an agreement struck in December that gave...
  • As Saudis Keep Pumping, Thirst for Domestic Oil Swells

    07/03/2015 4:39:13 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | July 2, 2015 | SUMMER SAID and AHMED AL OMRAN
    Saudi Arabia is poised to break records for oil production this summer, analysts said, as domestic-energy needs soar during its scorching summer and the holy month of Ramadan and threaten its ability to ramp up exports. Saudi Arabia has said it produced a near-record 10.3 million barrels a day in May, a mark that industry observers said could increase to 11 million barrels this summer as air-conditioning use increases with temperatures reaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The country has the ability to produce 12.3 million barrels a day for 90 days, but it has never pumped this much. Saudi output averaged...
  • Pence says Indiana will not comply with coal plant regulations

    07/03/2015 4:20:10 AM PDT · by thackney · 34 replies
    Power Engineering ^ | 07/01/2015 | Power Engineering
    Indiana will not comply with President Barack Obama's plan to battle climate change by requiring reductions in emissions from coal-fired power plants, Republican Gov. Mike Pence said Wednesday. The proposal as currently written, known as the Clean Power Plan, will make Indiana electricity more expensive and less reliable and hurt economic growth in Indiana and across the nation, Pence wrote in a letter to Obama. The plan targets pollution from the coal-fired power plants that Indiana relies on. Pence said the Indiana coal industry employs more than 26,000 people. "If your administration proceeds to finalize the Clean Power Plan, and...
  • U.S. oil rig count jumps up by a dozen, the first increase in 2015

    07/02/2015 12:59:11 PM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | July 2, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    The amount of U.S. rigs drilling for oil increased for the first time this year after 29 consecutive weeks of declines. The number of actively drilling oil rigs jumped by 12 this week after several weeks of small decreases, which had indicated the streak of rigs being taken offline was nearing its end. The overall rig count, however, only grew by three rigs, because nine rigs drilling mostly for gas were taken out of service, according to data from oil services provider Baker Hughes. That is a switch from last week when three oil rigs were lost, but the gas-focused...
  • Obama administration delivers big blow to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans

    07/02/2015 5:25:39 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | June 30, 2015 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    The Obama administration delivered a major blow to Shell’s Arctic drilling plans on Tuesday, by ruling that wildlife protections bar the company from simultaneously boring two wells into the Chukchi Sea this summer. The decision will force Shell to scale back its hopes of completing two exploratory oil wells in waters north of Alaska this summer and is another setback for the firm that has spent seven years and $7 billion trying to find crude in the Arctic Ocean. At issue is the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to allow sound from Shell’s planned drilling to disturb walruses, polar bears...
  • Fossil fuels have made up at least 80% of U.S. fuel mix since 1900

    07/02/2015 5:20:44 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | JULY 2, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    While the energy history of the United States is one of significant change, three fossil fuel sources—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—have made up at least 80% of total U.S. energy consumption for more than 100 years. Recent increases in the domestic production of petroleum liquids and natural gas prompted shifts between the uses of fossil fuels (largely from coal-fired to natural gas-fired power generation), but the predominance of these three energy sources is likely to continue into the future. For the first several decades of American history, families used wood (a renewable energy source) as a primary source of energy....
  • Houston among top cities to find a job, despite oil slump

    07/01/2015 5:38:49 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Houston Business Journal ^ | Jun 30, 2015 | Olivia Pulsinelli
    Despite the economic effects of the oil slump, Houston is still among the top metropolitan areas to find a job, a new report says. The Bayou City was second only to Provo, Utah, according to new data compiled by Career Builder and summarized by Forbes. The list ranks the largest 150 U.S. metros based on multiple factors, including unemployment rates, job listings growth and the amount of high-paying new jobs. Raleigh, North Carolina; San Jose, California; and Salt Lake City, Utah, round out the top five. Two other Texas metros — McAllen at No. 6 and Austin at No. 9...
  • Four Factors Influencing the Energy Industry Labor Pool

    06/30/2015 5:51:16 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Power Engineering ^ | 06/18/2015 | MICHAEL P. MCMAHON
    The Center for Energy Workforce Development estimates that nearly half of the electric power generation, transmission and distribution workforce may be replaced in the coming years due to baby boomer retirements. As the demographics change, the energy industry is challenged with replacing a massive number of experienced workers all at the same time. While the scope and magnitude of the issue is widely recognized, there is no single solution to the problem. A closer look at the workforce challenge reveals social, cultural, and economic factors that should be considered when forming an effective solution. The following is a look at...
  • Bragging rights: So who is the world’s top oil producer?

    06/30/2015 5:16:39 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Platts ^ | June 30, 2015 | Robert Perkins
    Earlier this month, BP’s latest Statistical Review unintentionally reopened a debate into whether the US has regained the crown as the world’s top oil producer after decades of being out-gunned by Saudi Arabia and Russia. Ostensibly a straight-forward measure of which country tops the leaderboard on oil output, BP’s widely-read yardstick has the US eclipsing both Saudi Arabia and Russia for the first time last year since 1975. Fueled by booming shale oil, BP said, US oil output hit 11.64 million b/d last year, a narrow but decisive margin over Saudi Arabia’s 11.51 million b/d. The devil is in the...
  • U.S. Manufacturing costs are almost as low as China’s, and that’s a very big deal

    06/29/2015 8:41:40 AM PDT · by thackney · 47 replies
    Fortune ^ | JUNE 26, 2015 | Brian Dumaine
    “Made in the U.S.A” is becoming more affordable. The reason? Fracking. You don’t need to a Nobel Prize in economics to know that the fracking revolution has been good for the U.S. What’s not so well known is just how competitive cheap oil and gas has made American manufacturing. BCG, the Boston consultancy, estimates the average cost to manufacture goods in the U.S. is now only 5% higher than in China and is actually 10% to 20% lower than in major European economies. Even more striking: BCG projects that by 2018 it will be 2% to 3% cheaper to make...
  • Supreme Court rules against EPA power plant mercury limits

    06/29/2015 8:35:03 AM PDT · by thackney
    Fuel Fix ^ | June 29, 2015 | Associated Press
    The Supreme Court has ruled against federal regulators’ attempt to limit power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants. The rules began to take effect in April, but the court said by a 5-4 vote Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to take their cost into account when the agency first decided to regulate the toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired plants.
  • Foreign companies helping fund U.S. petrochemical expansions, analysis finds

    06/29/2015 4:23:29 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | June 26, 2015 | Rhiannon Meyers
    Foreign investors are helping fuel the U.S. petrochemical renaissance, as overseas companies scramble to take advantage of the surge of cheap domestic natural gas, according to a new industry analysis. Twelve of the 25 companies proposing to build or expand ethane crackers in the United States are international firms, underscoring the competitive advantage the U.S. continues to reap from the shale boom, according to Petrochemical Update, which analyzes construction trends for the petrochemical industry. Foreign interest in the U.S. petrochemical industry spiked after advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing unleashed a wave of natural gas. Prices collapsed, quickly transforming...
  • Marcellus Shale region to see wave of large pipeline projects

    06/26/2015 5:43:27 AM PDT · by thackney · 12 replies
    PowerSource P-G ^ | June 23, 2015 | Stephanie Ritenbaugh
    Over the next three years, the Marcellus Shale region can expect to see about 17 pipeline projects meant to ship about 17.3 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas out of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to end-users, according to IHS Energy. Those destinations “are varied, and in addition to New England, some are targeting the Midwest, eastern Canada and the South,” said Matthew Piatek, associate director of North American natural gas for IHS, which tracks energy markets. “Given the amount of production in the tri-state area currently, it will be able to satisfy the lion’s share of Mid-Atlantic...
  • Where is the Oil?

    06/26/2015 5:37:02 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    Real Clear Energy ^ | June 25, 2015 | Phil Verleger
    For several months, oil market pundits (economists, analysts, company spokespeople, and government officials) have warned of a developing global crude oil surplus. Early this year, IEA economists even asserted world storage capacity might be exhausted. Today pundits still suggest we will confront a serious imbalance by year’s end. The market data do not reflect these views. Since Saint Patrick’s Day, prices have increased as much as thirty-seven percent from their recent lows. Some of the rise can be attributed to passive investor and speculator buying. However, speculation is not the whole story. The sharp contango (when a future market price...
  • Debate intensifies over the nation’s gas pipeline needs

    06/25/2015 1:07:53 PM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | June 25, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    The numerous pipeline projects already in the works are more than sufficient to handle the increased natural gas demands in the U.S., with a federal push to limit carbon emissions, according to a new report from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute that urges for more clean power solutions. The new report attempts to counter claims by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. and other stakeholders that contend the nation’s increasing reliance on cheap natural gas for electricity will require more pipeline and power generation capacity. Such critics say the problems will be exacerbated and the nation’s grid reliability will suffer...
  • U.S. refinery capacity reaches 18 million barrels per day

    06/25/2015 9:48:54 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | June 24, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    U.S. operable atmospheric crude distillation (CDU) capacity increased by 0.2% in 2014, reaching 18.0 million barrels per calendar day (b/d) according to EIA's recently released annual Refinery Capacity Report (Figure 1). This was the second consecutive year of modest capacity growth following the 2.9% increase in 2012 that resulted from the restart of East Coast refineries that had closed in 2011. The capacities of secondary units that support heavy crude processing and production of ultra-low sulfur diesel and gasoline, including thermal cracking (coking), catalytic hydrocracking, and hydrotreating/desulfurization, also increased. The refinery capacity reported for the start of 2015 includes expansions...
  • Rigzone 2Q Survey Reveals Oil, Gas Companies Reluctant to Hire

    06/25/2015 9:40:23 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | 6/25/2015 | Valerie Jones|
    Still grappling with market uncertainty, 51 percent of global hiring managers decreased their hiring efforts in the past three months, according to Rigzone’s latest global hiring survey. Additionally, 13 percent have completely frozen their recruitment plans. Since oil prices bottomed out in mid-March, the industry has seen slight increases in oil price per barrel, but not enough for oil and gas companies to feel comfortable enough to actively increase hiring plans in the near future, the survey revealed. In fact, 54 percent of global hiring managers said they believe job cuts are more likely in the next six months and...
  • Slow sales cause Honda to scrub natural gas, hybrid Civics

    06/16/2015 9:47:52 AM PDT · by thackney · 21 replies
    Fox News ^ | June 16, 2015 | Associated Press
    Slow sales and falling gasoline prices have prompted Honda to stop selling gas-electric hybrid and natural gas-powered versions of its Civic compact car. The company also said that it will discontinue a plug-in rechargeable version of the midsize Accord. But it plans to roll out a new, more efficient version of the Accord hybrid early next year. And a new plug-in Accord will come later. Executive Vice President John Mendel said Monday in a statement that production of the natural gas Civic already has been halted, and hybrid Civic production will end after the 2015 model year.
  • Tropical Storm Bill Advances Toward Texas Coast

    06/16/2015 6:48:13 AM PDT · by thackney · 77 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | June 16, 2015 | Reuters
    Tropical Storm Bill hurtled toward the Texas coast from the Gulf of Mexico early on Tuesday with heavy rains and strong winds, the National Weather Service said, weeks after floods killed about 30 people in the state. Flash flood watches were in effect for central Texas and the Houston area, regions where floods last month swallowed thousands of vehicles and damaged homes. The storm was projected to hit the coast at Matagorda Bay and churn through central Texas toward Austin. Heavy rain had already drenched parts of Texas over the weekend, pushing already high rivers closer to overflowing their banks....
  • EIA’s mapping system highlights energy infrastructure across the United States

    06/16/2015 6:31:30 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | June 16, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    EIA's energy mapping system is a data-intensive visual reference tool that includes several map layers defining energy infrastructure components across the United States. Using this series of maps, viewers can see crude oil, petroleum, natural gas, or hydrocarbon gas liquid pipelines, terminals, and ports in their area, as well as high voltage electric transmission lines. The mapping system combines information from many government agencies as well as public and private sources. Understanding infrastructure components is helpful as energy supply and consumption patterns change. These map layers can be presented over several base layers with geographic, topographic, street, or satellite image...
  • Mideast oil powers Saudi Arabia, UAE to cut gasoline imports

    06/16/2015 6:03:46 AM PDT · by thackney
    Reuters ^ | Jun 15, 2015 | Seng Li Peng
    -Saudis, UAE to cut gasoline imports as refining capacity grows -Shrinking OECD refining capacity to replace some import demand -Asian demand pushes gasoline margins to over 6-year high ...Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will sharply cut or even halt costly gasoline imports next year after ramping up new refining capacities that put them a step closer to becoming exporters of the motor fuel. The estimated loss of at least 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) in shipments to Saudi Arabia and the UAE is expected to be mitigated by strong global demand that will help replace revenue lost by...
  • Oil exploration in the U.S. Arctic continues despite current price environment

    06/12/2015 5:49:05 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | JUNE 12, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Alaska's crude oil production has declined from 1.8 million barrels per day (MMb/d) in 1991 to 0.5 MMb/d in 2014, and it is expected to continue declining through 2040. Almost 75% of Alaska's crude oil production from 1990 to 2012 was from the Prudhoe Bay and Kuparuk River fields in the central North Slope, which respectively produced 4.9 billion and 1.7 billion barrels of crude oil over this period. Crude oil production in Alaska is sensitive to the challenging environment—including variable ice conditions and limited time without ice coverage—as well as pipeline economics. However, recent conditional approval granted to Royal...
  • IEA: Crude demand returns, and OPEC steps up

    06/12/2015 5:44:52 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | June 11, 2015 | Collin Eaton
    The world’s appetite for crude is making a comeback as economies improve and cheap oil draws out more buyers, the International Energy Agency says. In its monthly oil market report released Thursday, the IEA revised its estimate of daily global oil demand in the first half of the year by 400,000 barrels, as the United States and other developed nations reversed a “long declining, seemingly entrenched, trend to a rising one.” Worldwide, daily demand was 93.3 million barrels for the last six months, up 1.6 million from the same period last year. And the IEA believes demand could rise to...
  • Oil company Pemex has biggest exploration success in 5 years

    06/11/2015 5:32:37 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Financial Times ^ | June 11, 2015 | Jude Webber
    Mexican state oil company Pemex announced five new shallow­water discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico in what it said was its biggest exploration success in five years. Emilio Lozoya, Pemex chief, made the announcement at the inauguration of a national oil and gas conference one month before Mexico’s historic first oil and gas tender. The July 15 auction, of 14 shallow­water exploration blocks in the same area as the new discoveries, is expected to signal the start of billions of dollars in private investment flowing into the sector. “The certain prospect of 200,000 extra barrels of production is very good...
  • Ukraine battles deadly blaze after huge fuel depot blast near Kiev

    06/10/2015 1:18:18 PM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    BBC ^ | 9 June 2015 | BBC
    Emergency crews are continuing to battle a huge fire south-west of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, following a blast at a fuel depot. Four people were killed, including three emergency ministry employees. The fire at the depot, next to an army base near the town of Vasylkiv, sent huge plumes of smoke over the surrounding area. Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko warned that harmful substances in the air over the city exceeded maximum allowed levels. He urged residents with respiratory problems to limit their "exposure to the open air". The cause of the blaze about 30km (19 miles) from Kiev is being...
  • Oil Prices To Remain Capped In The Short Term, Despite Fewer Shale Oil Barrels

    06/10/2015 8:28:47 AM PDT · by thackney · 14 replies
    Forbes ^ | 6/10/2015 | Trefis Team
    The most recent Drilling Productivity Report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration reveals that the phased impact of lower oil prices on U.S. tight oil production growth, is finally starting to show up and is expected to increase in magnitude over the next couple of months. The agency estimates crude oil production from the seven key regions in the Lower 48 states to have declined by around 44,000 barrels per day, or 0.8% month-on-month in May, and expects the decline rate to increase to around 91,000 barrels per day, or 1.7% month-on-month by July of this year. According to the...