Articles Posted by thackney

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  • What happened to big savings at the gas pump?

    03/06/2015 7:02:17 AM PST · by thackney · 37 replies
    cnbc ^ | 4 Mar 2015 | John W. Schoen
    The plunge in gasoline prices has generated a windfall for American drivers. But so far, there's little evidence those savings are producing a widely anticipated boost in consumer spending. So where is all that money going?... Even though prices didn't fall until late last year, Americans saved some $14 billion on gasoline last year, or an average $115 per driver, according to estimates from AAA. The group figures if pump prices stay tame, those savings could amount to as much as $75 billion this year. That kind of saving—if consumers spend it elsewhere—could provide a powerful boost to the U.S....
  • Oil sector loses 9,300 jobs in February

    03/06/2015 6:19:30 AM PST · by thackney · 4 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 6, 2015 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    About 9,300 oil and gas workers lost their jobs in February, as low crude prices spurred energy companies to lay down rigs and lay off employees. The 1 percent decline in oil and gas payrolls adds to the 1,900 jobs that were already shed in January and may just be the beginning of things to come. Producers have been able to blunt some of the pain from the plummet in crude prices — down from a high of $107.26 last June — by stashing oil in storage tanks around the country. But available storage space is filling up, and analysts...
  • Can't We Just Throw Our Nuclear Waste Down A Deep Hole?

    03/06/2015 5:23:26 AM PST · by thackney · 50 replies
    Forbes ^ | 3/05/2015
    ...Deep_Borehole_Disposal and is pretty easy for some nuclear waste. Especially some highly radioactive materials that have sat in some fairly small capsules for almost 40 years. ...topic of discussion in Washington this week when Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz answered questions from Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) at a House Science, Space and Technology committee hearing. The answer from Moniz was positive. He discussed a pilot project that would demonstrate the idea of deep borehole disposal using these capsules. Deep borehole disposal is simple. Drill a very deep hole – 3 miles or so – put the waste in it and...
  • Witness: Islamic State Torches Oilfield East of Tikrit

    03/05/2015 10:47:27 AM PST · by thackney · 7 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | March 05, 2015 | Reuters
    Islamic State militants have set fire to oil wells in the Ajil field east of the city of Tikrit to try to hinder aerial attacks aimed at driving them from the oilfield, a witness and military source said. Black smoke could be seen rising from oil field since Wednesday afternoon, said the witness, who accompanied Iraqi militia and soldiers as they advanced on Tikrit from the east. Before the Islamic State took over the field in June it produced 25,000 barrels per day of crude that were shipped to the Kirkuk refinery, as well as 150 million cubic feet of...
  • Volatile Bakken crude expected to keep flowing through Texas

    03/05/2015 5:21:27 AM PST · by thackney · 15 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 5, 2015 | Michael Brick
    Despite falling oil prices, production cutbacks and persistent safety concerns, rail officials plan to continue shipping millions of gallons of volatile crude oil from the Bakken region of North Dakota through Texas, according to updated records provided by state officials on Wednesday. Average weekly volumes reflect little change from a first batch of disclosures released last week. Those disclosures, dated last summer, provided a limited view of forecasted shipments. Volumes in Harris County remain the highest, an average topping out at six million gallons a week. Federal emergency orders — approved last spring after a series of fiery derailments involving...
  • Steelworkers strike: More labor board charges filed

    03/05/2015 5:18:12 AM PST · by thackney · 2 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 4, 2015 | LM Sixel
    The National Right to Work Foundation announced Wednesday that three employees at LyondellBasell filed unfair labor practice charges against the United Steelworkers Union. The charges allege that union officials from Steelworkers Local 13-227 are harassing workers who are going back to work. The charges were filed Monday with the National Labor Relations Board, according to the foundation that is providing free legal help. The foundation accused an unnamed local union official of making threats toward workers who continue to work during the strike. The group also alleges that union officials have allowed a union Facebook page to threaten union-represented employees...
  • Delta's Trainer Refinery Calls In Federal Mediator, Hoping To Avoid Strike's Spread To Northeast

    03/04/2015 9:56:57 AM PST · by thackney · 5 replies
    Oil Pro ^ | 3/4/2015 | Jeff Reed
    At Delta Airlines' Philadelphia refinery, the local chapter of the United Steelworkers Union (USW) and Monroe Energy (a Delta subsidiary) have called in a federal mediator to resuscitate talks between the two parties in the hopes of averting the spread of the largest US oil worker strike in 35 years to the US east coast. National negotiations between Shell (on behalf of the oil companies) and the USW are set to resume Wednesday. In April 2012, Delta acquired the Trainer refinery (located near Philadelphia in Delaware County, PA) from Phillips 66 through subsidiary Monroe Energy for $180 million . The...
  • Shell Canada withdraws application for Pierre River heavy oil project

    03/04/2015 8:35:26 AM PST · by thackney · 4 replies
    Oil Gas Journal ^ | 03/03/2015 | OGJ editors
    Shell Canada Ltd. has withdrawn its regulatory application for the proposed Pierre River heavy oil mine north of Fort McMurray. The Pierre River Mine (PRM) application outlined a proposal for 200,000 b/d. The project “remains a very long-term opportunity for us, but it’s not currently a priority,” said Lorraine Mitchelmore, Shell Canada president and executive vice-president, heavy oil. “We will continue to hold the leases and can reapply in the future when the time is right,” she said. PRM had been joined with an application for a 100,000-b/d expansion of the Jackpine Mine, but Shell separated the applications in 2009....
  • Libyan Islamist forces bomb eastern oil ports

    03/04/2015 5:19:24 AM PST · by thackney · 12 replies
    Daiji World ^ | March 03, 2015 | Daiji World
    Two major oil-ports in eastern Libya, Es Sidra and Ras Lanuf, were hit by an air-raid on Tuesday launched by the Islamist armed forces, according to security sources. A warplane fired rockets at oil facilities in Es Sidra and the airport in Ras Lanuf but caused no severe damage or casualties, an official from the Petroleum Facility Guard (PFG) said. The Islamist armed alliance Libya Dawn did not confirm the attack. Since mid-December, Libya Dawn militants have mounted assaults trying to seize the oil terminals, aiming to cut off any oil income to the internationally recognised government and parliament, now...
  • Obama Administration Should Abide By 'All of the Above' Approach to Energy

    03/04/2015 5:10:06 AM PST · by thackney · 14 replies
    IAGC via Rig Zone ^ | March 03, 2015 | Ken Wells
    The administration released in late January its draft five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing, the game plan for what areas will be open for exploration and how they will be managed. By no small coincidence, opponents of offshore exploration are now beating the drum to close off areas to oil and gas and put the emphasis entirely on wind power. As a country, we cannot take an either/or approach to our energy needs by picking just one source, whether it is wind or hydrocarbons. That is why the Administration’s stated goals of an “all of the above” energy...
  • {Refinery} Company accuses USW of threatening returning workers

    03/04/2015 4:25:56 AM PST · by thackney · 22 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 3, 2015 | LM Sixel
    LyondellBasell announced Tuesday that it has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the United Steelworkers union, alleging that union representatives have made threats against employees who have returned to work and have used abusive language in social media. The company also contends it has witnessed threatening behavior at the gates of its Houston refinery as employees arrive to work, according to a letter to employees from Kevin Brown, executive vice president of global manufacturing, refining, global engineering services and global projects. The company filed the charge with the National Labor Relations Board. “This action by the USW is extremely...
  • Magellan Midstream and Plains All American plan crude line from Colorado

    03/03/2015 5:52:14 AM PST · by thackney · 1 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 2, 2015 | Robert Grattan
    Magellan Midstream Partners and Plains All American Pipeline are teaming up on a new $850 million, 550-mile pipeline to carry crude oil from Colorado to Cushing, Oklahoma. The new pipeline, called the Saddlehorn, will be built and owned by the Saddlehorn Pipeline Co., a 50-50 joint venture between the two companies. In an announcement Friday, Plains and Magellan said the new line has binding commitments from producers Noble Energy and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., and that Anadarko has an option to obtain a 20 percent stake in the venture. The line could be in service by mid-2016 if permitting and construction...
  • Oil production in federal Gulf of Mexico expected to continue increasing

    03/03/2015 5:29:25 AM PST · by thackney · 7 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | MARCH 3, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Because of the long timelines associated with Gulf of Mexico (GOM) projects, the recent downturn in oil prices is expected to have minimal direct impact on GOM crude oil production through 2016. EIA projects GOM production to reach 1.52 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2015 and 1.61 million bbl/d in 2016, or about 16% and 17% of total U.S. crude oil production in those two years, respectively. The forecasted production growth is driven both by new projects and the redevelopment and expansion of older producing fields. Five deepwater projects began in the last three months of 2014: Stone Energy-operated...
  • Warren Buffett criticizes Keystone XL delay, says U.S. 'thumbing nose' at Canada

    03/02/2015 6:50:21 PM PST · by thackney · 41 replies
    Calgary Herald ^ | 03.01.2015 | ALEXANDER PANETTA
    The Keystone XL pipeline got an emphatic endorsement Monday from a powerful backer of President Barack Obama who questioned the handling of the file. To billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the delay is a thumbing of the nose at Canada. "I would have passed Keystone," Buffett said in an interview with CNBC. "I think that we have an enormous interest in working with Canada, as they have in working with us. That oil is going to get sold. If we make it more difficult for them, who knows how they'll feel about making things more difficult for us someday." Because Buffett...
  • Lawmakers may end tax break on jet fuel, to Delta’s dismay

    03/02/2015 5:26:46 AM PST · by thackney · 7 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | March 1, 2015 | Associated Press
    Georgia lawmakers may eliminate a tax break for all airlines buying jet fuel at the world’s busiest airport. A bill filed in the House would cut the exemption at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport. Supportive lawmakers say it would help the state get federal money for aviation improvements throughout the state. They also argue the credit shouldn’t be kept in place forever....
  • Tesla should stop accepting subsidies says WSJ

    03/01/2015 6:40:39 PM PST · by thackney · 49 replies
    ecomento.com ^ | February 25, 2015 | STEVE HANLEY
    The European edition of The Wall Street Journal has said in an editorial that Tesla Motors should stop accepting federal and state subsidies. “Last year Tesla made a roughly $150 million killing from selling ZEV credits. That’s up from $130 million in 2013, $32 million in 2012, and $3 million in 2011. All told in 2014 Tesla sold about $216 million in credits,” the newspaper said. It goes on to say, Capitalism needs visionaries, but its reputation suffers when companies worth billions soak middle-class taxpayers for profits. Turn off the taxpayer tap, Mr Musk. It would earn you more friends...
  • Airstrikes, Oil Prices Hit Islamic State’s Funding

    03/01/2015 3:11:02 PM PST · by thackney · 21 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Feb. 27, 2015 | STACY MEICHTRY And SAM SCHECHNER
    Airstrikes against Islamic State militants and falling oil prices have hurt the group’s ability to fund operations across Iraq and Syria, according to an international agency that fights terror financing. In a report issued Friday, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, or FATF, said U.S.-led airstrikes targeting refineries and transport convoys have managed to disrupt Islamic State’s ability to deliver oil to the black market. Islamic State’s “ability to efficiently extract, refine and sell petroleum and petroleum products from the territory in which it operates has significantly diminished,” the report said. Bank looting, kidnapping and ransom have helped offset the...
  • Low Oil Price May Stifle Deepwater Drilling And Oil Sands But Not Fracking

    03/01/2015 8:53:15 AM PST · by thackney · 27 replies
    Forbes ^ | 3/01/2015
    Saudi Arabia and OPEC may have dropped oil prices to stifle production in the U.S. and other competing nations, but they didn’t drop it enough to stifle the U.S. oil and gas boom from fracking, a senior expert with McKinsey and Company said in Chicago. “If the Saudis think they’re going to put U.S. shale players out of business, they’re probably not, although there will be less drilling,” Joe Quoyeser told about 125 people, mostly graduate students, at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Energy Conference on Wednesday. ”But there are other elements of oil supply that are needed to balance the market...
  • Petroleum refinery outage in California highlights markets’ quick price reaction

    02/28/2015 7:40:48 AM PST · by thackney · 18 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | FEBRUARY 27, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    On February 18, an explosion and fire occurred at ExxonMobil's refinery in Torrance, California. The Torrance refinery, the third-largest refinery in Southern California, has about 20% of the region's fluid catalytic cracking capacity and is an important source of gasoline and distillate fuel oil supply for Southern California. Unplanned refinery outages can have noticeable effects on liquid fuel markets, disrupting supplies of gasoline and distillate, particularly in regions that are tightly balanced, such as the West Coast (defined as Petroleum Administration for Defense District (PADD) 5). When refineries undergo planned maintenance, they make arrangements for alternative sources of supply to...
  • Dresser-Rand to cut 8 percent of its workforce

    02/28/2015 7:21:12 AM PST · by thackney · 15 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | February 27, 2015 | Collin Eaton
    Diesel engine and gas turbine maker Dresser-Rand Group is cutting 8 percent of its 8,100-employee workforce around the world in coming weeks, the company said Friday, trimming operating costs as falling crude prices have crushed profits in the oil service sector. The Houston firm, which makes oil industry tools including compression equipment and steam turbines, said the plan will cost $50 million in severance and other charges as it divests assets this year. But its “flexible” manufacturing business will enable the company to start realizing savings from fixed costs this year, it said. “While current market conditions may generate discomfort...
  • Shell and USW 2015 Oil Bargaining - Just The Facts: Update

    02/27/2015 6:49:46 AM PST · by thackney · 4 replies
    Shell ^ | 02/26/2015 | Shell
    More than one month ago, Shell Oil Company sat down at the bargaining table with a negotiating team representing national leaders of the United Steelworkers International Union (USW). Shell’s goals were – and still are – to reach an agreement that respects the needs and interests of our employees and ensures the ongoing safety as well as economic health of Shell refineries and chemical plants. To that end, to date Shell has put seven offers on the negotiating table. The USW International Union leaders have rejected all seven of them. In addition, they have ordered their members to strike at...
  • Oil Storage Sinks as Price Bobs

    02/27/2015 6:27:18 AM PST · by thackney
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Feb. 26, 2015 | ERIC YEP
    Fewer oil tankers are being used to store crude than traders and shipbrokers had expected at the start of the year, as a recent run-up in oil prices upended a popular trading strategy. “There were around 25 to 30 large tankers taken last month, but only around 10 of these are being used for oil storage now,” a Singapore-based shipbroker said, citing industry data. Many market watchers had expected big commodity-trading firms to capitalize on the price gap between different oil-futures contracts by buying physical barrels, storing them on ships and locking in profits by selling futures contracts for delivery...
  • Texas Legislature Gets Down to Business

    02/27/2015 5:59:12 AM PST · by thackney · 3 replies
    Texas Alliance of Energy Producers via Rig Zone ^ | February 26, 2015 | Alex Mills
    Before the Texas Legislature got down to business a month ago, there was a strong feeling among insiders that the big issues would be water, transportation, and taxes. So far, the leadership has kept true to those projections. Already, Governor Abbott has called for a $2.2 billion reduction in property taxes and a $2 billion franchise tax decrease. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus also have stated their belief that a primary goal should be tax reduction, and funding for transportation. The House Energy and Natural Resources committees already have held a joint hearing on water and...
  • Bakken Decline Rates Worrying For Drillers

    02/27/2015 5:35:17 AM PST · by thackney · 9 replies
    Oil Price ^ | 26 February 2015 | Ron Patterson
    I have been supplied an Excel spreadsheet of all North Dakota wells back to 2006, thanks to Enno Peters and Dennis Coyne. I only used the data back to 2007 however. This is a wealth of information if we want to know how many wells came on line in a given month, we simply count them. We are given the monthly production data for each month. And since we have the monthly production data we can very easily figure the decline rate of each well, or any group of wells for any month or year. A note on the data....
  • How the US transports oil, in 5 graphics

    02/26/2015 5:30:15 AM PST · by thackney · 24 replies
    BROOKINGS INSTITUTION via Business Insider ^ | FEB. 25, 2015 | JOSEPH KANE, ROBERT PUENTES AND ADIE TOMER
    The proposed Keystone XL pipeline has stirred considerable debate about the future of American energy policy. While the Senate’s recent vote to block its construction tables the discussion for the time being, it does not resolve major questions about how the U.S. transports oil today. With the ongoing shale gas boom, the U.S. is set to pass Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer. Looking beyond KXL, such a rapid rise in production means American transportation networks are straining under new pressures to safely and efficiently move all this energy between different markets. The following figures show how Keystone...
  • Rise in salt cavern storage capacity for natural gas offsets declines in other capacities

    02/26/2015 5:15:37 AM PST · by thackney
    Energy Information Administration ^ | FEBRUARY 26, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    With natural gas storage at low levels in most of 2014 and production relatively high, minimal new natural gas storage capacity was built, except for salt facilities in the Producing region. Capacity in the East region of the United States fell slightly, resulting in relatively unchanged national total capacity. EIA measures natural gas storage capacity in November of each year, which is typically when storage withdrawals begin to exceed storage injections. From November 2013 to November 2014, EIA found that each of EIA's two measures of storage capacity within the Lower 48 states was virtually unchanged, as increases in salt...
  • Some contractors (unionized) not so bad, Steelworkers say {Refinery strike}

    02/26/2015 5:09:46 AM PST · by thackney · 1 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | February 25, 2015 | LM Sixel
    The building trades unions have taken exception to disparaging comments the United Steelworkers union have made during contract talks that contractor labor is neither high quality or safe. Many contractors use union-represented skilled crafts workers including electricians, plumbers, welders, iron workers and pipefitters. To resolve the simmering, and growing dispute, the leaders of the United Steelworkers union and the North America’s Building Trades Unions issued a joint statement Wednesday to clarify the scope of contractor responsibilities at the nation’s refineries and chemical plants. “We are issuing this statement to make clear that the scope of work USW is seeking in...
  • Potential market implications of outage at ExxonMobil's Torrance, California refinery

    02/25/2015 6:47:39 PM PST · by thackney · 8 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | February 25, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    On February 18, an explosion and fire occurred at the ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, California. The Torrance refinery, the third-largest refinery in southern California, has about 20% of the region's fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) capacity and is an important source of gasoline and distillate supply. Based on publicly available information, it can be estimated that Torrance produces about 117,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of gasoline (about 15-20% of southern California's supply) and about 50,000 bbl/d of distillate and jet fuel (about 10% of southern California supply). Unplanned refinery outages can have noticeable impacts on liquid fuel markets, disrupting supplies of...
  • Even Pickaxes Couldn't Stop The Nation's First Oil Pipeline

    02/25/2015 6:10:20 AM PST · by thackney · 2 replies
    NPR ^ | FEBRUARY 24, 2015 | Uri Berliner
    One-hundred-fifty years ago, a man named Samuel Van Syckel built the nation's first commercial oil pipeline in the rugged terrain of northwestern Pennsylvania. His pipeline transformed how oil is transported — and it would change the modern world, too — but not before a battle that makes the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline look meek by comparison. In January 1865, the place where this all happened, called Pithole, was nowhere, really — just a patch of wilderness in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Then drillers struck gushers at three wells and everything changed. By September, an estimated 15,000...
  • Fracking pushes New York towns to consider secession, join Pennsylvania

    02/25/2015 5:10:42 AM PST · by thackney · 38 replies
    NEWSDAY ^ | February 22, 2015 | NEWSDAY
    ...According to WBNG in Binghamton, 15 New York towns in the southern tier of the state are considering seceding from New York and joining neighboring Pennsylvania because of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's fracking ban. A local group called upstate New York Towns Association is examining whether such a plan is possible, and if it's worth the cost. James Finch, Conklin Town supervisor, told Capital New York that "everybody over the border has new cars, new four-wheelers, new snowmobiles," because of the stronger economy in Pennsylvania, which allows fracking.
  • Solar farm sets 130 birds on FIRE: Extreme glow of power plant ignites creatures mid-air

    02/24/2015 5:44:40 AM PST · by thackney · 47 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | 23 February 2015 | SARAH GRIFFITHS
    Solar farm sets 130 birds on FIRE: Extreme glow of power plant ignites creatures mid-air during tests Around 130 birds have been injured near Tonopah, Nevada - 'Streamers' caught alight while while entering an area of concentrated solar energy created by the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project - Experts think birds may have been attracted by glow of the farm's tower - Experts have previously claimed that a California solar array part owned by Google is killing nearly 30,000 birds per year More than 100 birds have been injured during testing of a new solar power farm. Biologists say...
  • Oil Flows Resume at Libya’s Largest Field

    02/22/2015 5:26:49 PM PST · by thackney · 2 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Feb. 22, 2015 | BENOÎT FAUCON
    Libya’s largest oil field and a key oil port were brought back online Sunday, though attacks by Islamic extremists have continued elsewhere in the war-torn nation. The resumption of oil flows from the Sarir oil field, which pumps about two-thirds of the country’s remaining output, was a rare piece of good news following renewed fighting in Libya’s civil war and a string of attacks by Islamic State militants. A pipeline carrying 185,000 barrels a day from Sarir to the Hariga terminal in eastern Libya was blown up about a week ago by unknown militants. “The pipeline was repaired. Production restarted...
  • Kemp: Shale Producers Postpone Oil Well Completions

    02/22/2015 5:10:17 PM PST · by thackney · 28 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | February 20, 2015 | John Kemp
    EOG Resources became the latest major shale producer to state that it would "delay a significant number of completions" when it announced fourth-quarter results. The company plans to end 2015 with 285 wells awaiting completion services, up from 200 at the end of 2014, it told investors during an earnings call on Thursday. Continental Resources has also announced plans to go slow on well completions in response to the slump in oil prices. Apache and Anadarko Petroleum are among other shale producers to announce a deliberate strategy of delaying completions. U.S. shale producers are postponing well completions to conserve cash...
  • WEST COAST DOCK STRIKE SETTLES JUST IN TIME FOR REFINERY STRIKE

    02/22/2015 11:41:56 AM PST · by thackney · 23 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 22 Feb 2015 | CHRISS W. STREET
    With the West Coast ports labor dispute involving 13,600 unionized dockworkers inflicting pain on 318 million Americans by causing billions of dollars a day in losses to the U.S. economy settling yesterday, now 30,000 unionized refinery workers across America intend to play the same leverage game by cutting off two-thirds of all U.S. diesel and gasoline supplies. Just after US Labor Secretary Tom Perez took to the television circuit to tout how the Obama Administration believes the US economy can “recover quickly” from the nine months-long port turmoil, the United Steel Workers (USW) launched the first nationwide oil refinery strike...
  • U.S. refinery strike spreads to one-fifth of national capacity

    02/22/2015 11:34:52 AM PST · by thackney · 12 replies
    Reuters ^ | Feb 22, 2015 | ERWIN SEBA
    The largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years entered its fourth week as workers at 12 refineries accounting for one-fifth of national production capacity were walking picket lines as of 12 a.m. CST on Sunday, according to union officials. A total of 6,550 members of the United Steelworkers union at 15 plants, including the 12 refineries, are involved in the work stoppage that began on Feb. 1 when talks for a new three-year contract between the USW and lead oil company negotiator Shell Oil Co stopped.... After the latest breakdown between the two sides, Steelworkers leaders targeted Shell, which is...
  • Natural gas inventory exceeds five-year average for first time since November 2013

    02/20/2015 5:48:29 AM PST · by thackney · 12 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | FEBRUARY 20, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Working natural gas in storage has surpassed five-year average levels for the first time in more than a year. At 2,157 billion cubic feet (Bcf) as of February 13, stocks are 58 Bcf greater than the five-year average. Recent extremely cold weather may result in high stock withdrawals for the week ending February 20, which could again push stocks below their five-year average. However, natural gas production in February and March that is forecast to average 5 Bcf/day above the year-ago level is likely to contribute to healthy inventories and moderate prices as the nation moves from winter into spring....
  • Storage Industry Benefits From Oil Contango

    02/20/2015 5:05:05 AM PST · by thackney · 6 replies
    TREFIS ^ | February 19th, 2015 | Tim Maverick
    One might think that the mood at the International Petroleum Week annual convention would be sour, considering the plunge in crude oil prices over the past six months. But quite the contrary . . . for oil traders, at least. They’re ecstatic, celebrating their best market since the 2008 oil price crash. That’s because there’s contango in the oil market – the price of oil for future delivery months is higher than the current spot market price. Storing Oil = Easy Money With the contango, traders can make huge profits simply by storing millions of barrels of oil for sale...
  • The Saudi project, part two Oil is back over $60 a barrel. Is the market returning to normal?

    02/20/2015 4:33:23 AM PST · by thackney · 61 replies
    The Economist ^ | Feb 21st 2015 | The Economist
    STAGE one of Saudi Arabia’s plan—or perhaps hope—to restructure the oil market is taking longer than expected. By refusing to rein in production while prices fell, the Saudis permitted a big surplus to grow and served notice on higher-cost rivals (Russia, Venezuela, American shale-oil producers) that they would not prop up other people’s profit margins at the expense of their own market share. That signal has been weakened by the growing amount of oil in storage, which is absorbing most of the glut. World oil stocks rose about 265m barrels last year and Société Générale, a French bank, reckons they...
  • As Oil Prices Tank, Firms Large And Small Feel The Pain

    02/20/2015 4:28:06 AM PST · by thackney · 15 replies
    FEBRUARY 19, 2015 | John Ydstie
    It's a painful time to be in the oil business. With the price of crude oil about half what it was six months ago, companies large and small are being pressured to cut costs. On the front lines are oil services companies that do everything from drilling to providing electrical power at well sites. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are threatened as companies try to adjust. Gary Evans, CEO of the oil and gas company Magnum Hunter Resources, has a tough message for the people who provide critical services to companies like his: "We've got to lower our cost," he...
  • Senators push for oil export deal with Mexico

    02/19/2015 5:07:12 AM PST · by thackney · 7 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | February 18, 2015 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    Twenty-one senators on Wednesday urged the Obama administration to swiftly authorize an exchange of heavy Mexican crude with light U.S. oil. At issue is a Pemex affiliate’s request to export 100,000 barrels per day of light U.S. oil and condensates in exchange for heavy Mexican crude — a transaction that can be approved by U.S. regulators on a case-by-case basis under existing trade laws. “We encourage the Department of Commerce to approve any such applications it has received or may receive from adjacent foreign states such as Mexico,” the senators said in a letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. “These...
  • LyondellBasell: Strikers, come back to work

    02/18/2015 12:18:21 PM PST · by thackney · 8 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | February 18, 2015 | LM Sixel
    In an open letter to employees, the manager of LyondellBasell’s Houston Refinery is asking its striking employees to come back to work. The workers, who walked out of the refinery on Feb. 1 as part of a nationwide strike after national oil bargaining talks broke down, have left the refinery scrambling to operate with supervisors. The United Steelworkers union is on strike against 11 refineries and chemical plants nationwide, including five in the Houston area. The letter outlined the negotiating efforts both sides made before the strike began and how the company had requested a rolling 24-hour extension to keep...
  • Study: Oil Price Downturn Creates Need for 'Cost Culture' in Industry

    02/18/2015 9:53:36 AM PST · by thackney · 2 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | February 17, 2015 | Karen Boman
    Companies across all sectors of the oil, gas and chemicals industry will need to better plan and manage projects to ensure their survival during the recent downturn in oil prices, according to a recent study by global business advisory firms AlixPartners. Oil and gas companies not only need to improve their ability to plan and manage projects, but create a “cost culture” inside of their companies. Only 30 percent of respondents in a study of 250 high-level industry executives across the world said their companies had explicit return-on-capital targets for projects before the oil price collapse. Perhaps most surprising is...
  • The Federal Lands Freedom Act: Empowering States to Control Their Own Energy Futures

    02/18/2015 8:56:45 AM PST · by thackney · 5 replies
    The Heritage Foundation ^ | February 18, 2015 | Katie Tubb and Nicolas Loris
    Abstract The United States is now the world’s leader in both natural gas and oil production— centuries’ worth of oil, natural gas, and coal resources lie beneath private property as well as under lands owned by state governments. While federally owned lands are also full of energy potential, a bureaucratic regulatory regime has mismanaged land use for decades. The tremendous economic benefits of open energy markets and the proven track record of the individual states’ regulatory structures dictate a re-examination of the way the federal government manages resources on federal lands. The Federal Lands Freedom Act gives states the...
  • West Virginia Combined Cycle Plant Will Be First to Burn Ethane and Natural Gas

    02/18/2015 8:24:46 AM PST · by thackney · 3 replies
    Power ^ | 02/17/2015 | Gail Reitenbach
    On Monday, the West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the siting certificate for Moundsville Power LLC to construct a 549-MW combined cycle natural gas power plant in Marshall County. It will be the first to also burn ethane. The company is also touting the project’s role in helping to offset the effect of area coal plant closings. With the PSC approval in hand, Moundsville Power’s next step is financing. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2015, and the plant is expected to be operational in early 2018. The Moundsville Power facility will be a wholesale generator for the...
  • Drilling to start at Golan Heights oil exploration site

    02/18/2015 5:46:57 AM PST · by thackney · 8 replies
    Jerusalem Post ^ | 02/16/2015 | SHARON UDASIN
    The project involves three years of exploration for conventional oil, north of Nahal El Al near Moshav Natur, a former kibbutz on the southern Golan Heights. Drilling was set to begin at a Golan Heights oil exploration site in the late night hours of Monday, the company announced that evening. The project, which is being implemented by Afek Oil and Gas, involves three years of exploration for conventional oil using up to 10 wells. The company chose site No. 5 out of 10 to start with, located north of Nahal El Al near Moshav Natur, a former kibbutz on the...
  • Why Oil Prices Must Go Up

    02/18/2015 4:31:56 AM PST · by thackney · 57 replies
    Real Clear Energy ^ | February 18, 2015 | Nick Cunningham
    It may be difficult to look beyond the current pricing environment for oil, but the depletion of low-cost reserves and the increasing inability to find major new discoveries ensures a future of expensive oil. While analyzing the short-term trajectory of oil prices is certainly important, it obscures the fact that over the long-term, oil exploration companies may struggle to bring new sources of supply online. Ed Crooks over at the FT persuasively summarizes the predicament. Crooks says that 2014 is shaping up to be the worst year in the last six decades in terms of new oil discoveries (based on...
  • The White House walks away from clean coal

    02/18/2015 4:23:44 AM PST · by thackney · 29 replies
    McClatchyDC ^ | 1/17/2015 | MATTHEW PHILLIPS, JIM SNYDER AND MARK DRAJEM
    On the banks of the Illinois River, about 60 miles west of the state capital in Springfield, an old coal-fired power plant sits waiting for its future to arrive. First opened in 1948, it's been dormant since 2011, when its owner, St. Louis-based Ameren, shut down the plant rather than retrofit it to meet federal standards. Last year workers came to give it a makeover. Using almost $1 billion in stimulus money, the project was supposed to become the poster child for clean-coal technology. Rather than spewing into the sky, the carbon dioxide produced as the plant burned coal would...
  • BLM clears way for petroleum reserve development

    02/16/2015 5:07:21 AM PST · by thackney · 7 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | February 14, 2015 | Associated Press
    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a final decision Friday that it said will open the way for the first oil and gas production from federal lands in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The decision is a shift from the alternative that BLM had earlier selected as its preferred option. But it aligns with the alternative chosen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. BLM-Alaska spokeswoman Lesli Ellis-Wouters said BLM had indicated it would take into account the Corps’ decision in making its final determination. If the two agencies were not on the same page, ConocoPhillips Alaska would not have...
  • Train Carrying Crude Oil Derails in Ontario

    02/16/2015 5:01:03 AM PST · by thackney · 12 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Feb. 15, 2015 | CAROLYN KING And RITA TRICHUR
    A train carrying crude oil and operated by Canadian National Railway Co. derailed near the town of Timmins in northern Ontario just before midnight on Saturday, causing a fire but no reported injuries. The train derailed in a remote wooded area, according to a spokesman for Montreal-based CN, Canada’s largest railroad company. He said the railway company had deployed firefighting and environmental crews to the scene. The cause of the incident wasn’t yet known, he said. “Our emergency crews continue to conduct a full site assessment to determine the number of rail cars derailed and involved in the fire, and...
  • Shell, union spar over picket line etiquette

    02/14/2015 6:24:51 AM PST · by thackney · 15 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | February 13, 2015 | LM Sixel
    Tensions escalated Friday in the nearly two-week strike after picketers were told to get off the Shell Deer Park Refining property. The order puts the strikers in danger because the refinery fronts the feeder road on Texas 225 and there is no sidewalk on which to stand, said Lee Medley, president of the United Steelworkers Local 13-1. He said Shell gave the strikers walking the picket line 30 minutes to get themselves, their chairs, ice chests and other equipment off the property. Shell issued its order in response to unsafe behaviors by the picketers including blocking entrances with picketers and...