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Articles Posted by thackney

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  • Energy Boom Can Withstand Steeper Oil-Price Drop

    10/30/2014 8:14:49 AM PDT · by thackney · 8 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 · 8 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 · 64 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 · 8 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 · 1 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...
  • Why lower crude prices are good for the oil industry

    10/29/2014 5:01:17 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Houston Chronicle ^ | October 28, 2014 | Chris Tomlinson
    The quickest way to ruin a barbecue chicken is to let the fire get too hot. The same is true in business, and until a few weeks ago, nothing had been hotter than oil this year. High crude oil prices have certainly fueled innovation and economic growth over the last four years, and the dozen or so major construction projects in downtown Houston are driven by the oil boom. But allow me for a moment to sing the praises of the 25 percent pullback that has dropped prices to two-year lows. No analyst can confidently predict where oil prices will...
  • Opec Plots US Shale Oil Takedown

    10/29/2014 4:57:19 AM PDT · by thackney · 43 replies
    IBTimes Co ^ | October 28, 2014 | Nigel Wilson
    Opec is likely to let the price of oil slide further as it gambles that US shale oil producers will be forced to slow production first. The oil cartel, which includes a number of Persian Gulf states, as well as Nigeria and Venezuela, has remained silent as oil prices have tumbled over recent months. Some analysts have predicted the oil producers club will decide to reduce production at its next meeting, scheduled for November, in a bid to maintain price levels at around $100 a barrel. Yet, with a barrel of crude oil currently at $82.37 (Ł50.90, €64.69), the member...
  • Norway's Fred. Olsen Energy Sees Tough Rig Market Ahead

    10/28/2014 10:17:31 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | October 28, 2014 | Reuters
    Norway's Fred. Olsen Energy said the global rig market would struggle with lower demand and oversupply as it reported third-quarter profits below expectations on Tuesday. Rates in the offshore rig market have fallen from a 2013 high as oil companies cut spending and as newly built rigs enter the market, creating overcapacity. "(There is) continued low contracting activity in all market segments," the firm said in presentation material. "An increase in number of idle rigs is seen, predominantly in international mid water and deepwater markets ... As a result, dayrates have decreased in all market segments." Rival Maersk Drilling, a...
  • OPEC: Hobbit Or Orc?

    10/28/2014 5:32:13 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Forbes ^ | 10/28/2014 | Michael Lynch
    The recent drop of $20 or so in oil prices from near all-time highs has pundits racing for their typewriters. Okay, laptops or something. Many have declared OPEC dead or ineffective, and one academic has noted that OPEC almost always produces over quota, proving it’s not a competent cartel. Needless to say, aged methane emissions like me tend to sign in our beards when we read this. OPEC has been declared dead more times than Mark Twain or the Boston Red Sox (next year for sure!) and yet it continues to hold meetings and set production quotas, as if thousands...
  • Natural Gas Flaring In Bakken Reduced Following New Regulations

    10/28/2014 5:19:29 AM PDT · by thackney · 24 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | October 24, 2014 | Gene Lockard|
    A month after implementing new rules regarding the flaring of natural gas, the state of North Dakota was near compliance with the new limits as oil and gas production companies in the Bakken work to reduce flaring, according to the United States Department of Energy (DOE). In August, 28 percent of North Dakota’s natural gas was flared, the state reported. That was near North Dakota’s flare-rate goal of 26 percent in 4Q 2014, despite an increase in oil production in the Bakken in August, according to the website Bakken.com. Following criticism from royalty holders regarding extensive flaring that made North...
  • Oil Price, Industry Costs Dominate Debate at SPE Amsterdam Meet

    10/28/2014 5:16:19 AM PDT · by thackney
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 27, 2014 | Jon Mainwaring
    The oil price and need for the energy industry to reduce costs dominated debate at the opening session of the Society of Petroleum Engineers' Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Amsterdam Monday. The session, titled "Affordable Energy", included panelists from the International Energy Agency (IEA), ExxonMobil, PEMEX and Technip. The recent fall in the price of oil – with Brent Crude plunging below $85 per barrel – prompted questions among an audience of hundreds of SPE delegates as to the viability of many oil and gas projects around the world. Chris Besson, senior energy analyst at the IAE, believes it...
  • Goldman Sachs: Expect U.S. crude to fall to $70 next year

    10/27/2014 2:02:27 PM PDT · by thackney · 19 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 27, 2014 | Ryan Holeywell
    U.S. benchmark crude prices will fall to $70 per barrel next year, according to a new forecast published by Goldman Sachs Monday, suggesting that the recent and pronounced slide in oil prices isn’t a temporary phenomenon. The decline is due to oil production growing at a faster pace than demand, leading to global oil market that’s oversupplied. The report called the change inevitable, noting that “getting to a point where the market shifted back into surplus was only a matter of time.” The report predicts that West Texas Intermediate will fall to $70 per barrel in the second quarter of...
  • Kuwait Says Technical, Not Political, Reasons Behind Oilfield Closure

    10/27/2014 4:59:11 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | October 27, 2014 | Reuters
    A senior Kuwaiti official said on Sunday the Khafji oilfield, run jointly with Saudi Arabia, had been shut down for "purely technical and not political" reasons, state news agency KUNA reported. Crude production from the Khafji oilfield had been halted temporarily to comply with environmental rules, according to an industry source and an internal letter seen by Reuters. But the closure of the offshore field, which has an output of between 280,000 to 300,000 barrels per day, revived speculation of renewed tensions between the two countries. Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry undersecretary Khaled al-Jarallah, speaking in Riyadh after a meeting of Gulf...
  • A hive of activity, Drilling rig returning to Point Thomson as field development continues

    10/26/2014 6:06:01 PM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Petroleum News ^ | Week of October 26, 2014 | Alan Bailey
    ExxonMobil is activating the powerful Nabors 27E drilling rig, for transportation by ice road in the coming winter to the company’s huge Point Thomson gas condensate field on the North Slope, company executives told Petroleum News Oct. 16. The rig will continue drilling operations that were started at the field several years ago. With up to 1,200 people and 70 Alaska companies involved in activities ranging from gravel laying to pipeline installation, field development has been moving steadily ahead, said Nathan Sanborn, project manager for the Point Thomson Initial Production System. The company has spent the last couple of years...
  • Fracking Revolution Cuts Prices, Drives A Stake Through OPEC's Heart

    10/26/2014 7:02:45 AM PDT · by thackney · 49 replies
    Investors Business Daily ^ | 10/24/2014 | HAROLD HAMM
    We have heard the story before: political turmoil in the Middle East, disruption of global oil supplies by members of OPEC. In the past, the unrest in Iran would be causing oil prices to spike up. Instead they have been falling by more than 25%. Gas prices at the pump have fallen to less than $3 a gallon in many markets. That's quite a change from the past 40 years, when OPEC and other foreign oil producers have wielded oil as a political and economic weapon to slow down and even cripple the U.S. economy. Saudi Arabia was by far...
  • Pemex loss widens as private investment nears

    10/26/2014 6:57:02 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 24, 2014 | Robert Grattan
    State-owned, Mexican oil company Petróleos Mexicanos reported a stiff loss and declining production in the third quarter of 2014, as Mexico nears a historic transition to an open energy industry. Pemex said it lost 59.8 billion pesos or $4.4 billion during the July to September period, compared with a year earlier loss of 39.2 billion pesos or $2.9 billion. The loss was driven by falling oil prices and declining production, among other reasons, executives told investors on a Friday conference call. Pemex said it pumped an average of 2.4 million barrels per day in the most recent quarter, down about...
  • BNSF to add surcharge to older tank cars

    10/26/2014 6:53:44 AM PDT · by thackney · 8 replies
    , JournalStar.com ^ | October 24, 2014 | JournalStar.com
    BNSF Railway Co. plans to apply a $1,000 surcharge for each older tank car that hauls oil, as the railroad owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. encourages shippers to scrap the puncture-prone cars. The charge, which will take effect Jan. 1, will add about $1.50 per barrel to the cost of shipping oil across the country. It’s the first surcharge announced by a major U.S. railroad for older cars known as DOT-111s, and won’t apply to cars called CPC-1232s that are built to higher standards adopted in October 2011, according to a BNSF notice. The Obama administration in July...
  • Study: Oil, Gas Drilling Activities Provide Major Economic Stimulus for US

    10/24/2014 8:10:41 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | October 24, 2014 | Gene Lockard
    The economic benefits to the United States from the energy industry have more than doubled in just the past ten years, even after accounting for inflation, according to a new study by The Perryman Group. The growth in the industry is worth about $1.2 trillion in gross product each year, the study noted, adding that the growth in the oil and gas industry since the economic recession has been “dramatic.” In fact, since the start of the economic recovery, the energy industry has contributed about 30 percent of the total job growth for the nation, Dr. Ray Perryman, president and...
  • Senator: Time to rethink our emergency oil stockpile

    10/23/2014 10:33:18 AM PDT · by thackney · 19 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 23, 2014 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    Sen. Ron Wyden wants the United States to rethink the size and scope of its emergency oil stockpile. Because a surge of domestic oil production has pared the United States’ reliance on foreign crude, the country may not need to stash as much away in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Wyden, D-Ore., said in a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “The recent shale boom is having a profound effect on United States energy policy” and making even relatively recent rules “at best irrelevant,” Wyden said. “In the case of the SPR, estimates on size are no longer in line with...
  • Routes for proposed Houston-Dallas bullet trains unveiled

    10/23/2014 6:06:57 AM PDT · by thackney · 64 replies
    Houston Chronicle ^ | October 20, 2014 | Dug Begley
    Observers have long known that only a few options were available for the route of the privately funded high-speed train line between Houston and Dallas. Now a firmer picture of where the trains might run is emerging. (Photo courtesy of JR Central) (Photo courtesy of JR Central) As part of the federally required process to evaluate the line, the Federal Railroad Administration and Texas Department of Transportation released maps of the nine routes they are considering and the two chosen for deeper evaluation. The lines that didn’t make the final cut seem to be a bit longer, or else have...
  • Norway Wants to Be Europe’s Battery

    10/23/2014 5:26:23 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    IEEE ^ | 21 Oct 2014 | Peter Fairley
    A new HVDC line will let Europe store more wind energy in Norway’s hydropower system Norway’s hydropower reservoirs make up nearly half of Europe’s energy storage capacity. European grid operators need energy storage to cope with an ever-mounting, always-shifting torrent of wind power. See the connection? So does Norway. In December, engineers will energize a new subsea power cable that will begin to bridge the gap between need and opportunity, greatly expanding European power systems’ access to Norway’s hydropower-rich power grid. The 240-kilometer cable across the Skagerrak Strait separating southern Norway and northern Denmark is Norway’s first new power link...
  • To solve worker shortage, Dow offers apprenticeships

    10/23/2014 4:36:17 AM PDT · by thackney · 62 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 23, 2014 | Rhiannon Meyers
    As refineries and petrochemical plants struggle to find enough skilled workers to fill a surge of new jobs, Dow Chemical is considering an old solution to solve a new problem. The multinational chemical corporation plans to launch a pilot apprenticeship program next year at eight of its plants, including manufacturing sites in Freeport, Bayport, Deer Park, Seadrift and Texas City. The company expects to hire 60 apprentices, who will receive two to four years of training and on-the-job experience to prepare them for jobs as chemical process operators, instrumentation and equipment technicians and analyzer technicians. The apprenticeship positions will be...
  • How will Saudi Arabia Respond to Lower Oil Prices?

    10/21/2014 5:02:59 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    Wall Street Pit ^ | Oct 19, 2014 | James D. Hamilton
    Oil prices (along with prices of many other commodities) have fallen dramatically since last summer. Some observers are waiting to see if Saudi Arabia responds with significant cutbacks in production. I say, don’t hold your breath. When oil demand fell in the 1981-82 recession, the Saudis cut production by 6 million barrels a day in an effort to soften the decline in oil prices. They also cut production in response to lower demand in the 2001 recession and the most recent recession. On the other hand, the kingdom boosted production quickly beginning in August 1990 and January 2003 in anticipation...
  • Why Harold Hamm Isn't Worried About Plunging Oil Prices

    10/21/2014 4:58:36 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Forbes ^ | 10/20/2014 | Christopher Helman
    Count Harold Hamm, the billionaire CEO of Continental Resources CLR +1.34%, as one oil man not worried about the plunge in crude prices to $82 a barrel. “Notice how it happened all at once,” he says, starting off our phone call. The suddenness of oil’s plunge followed the Saudi assertion a week ago that oil was in oversupply, they could live with $80 oil for a couple years, and didn’t plan to cut their own output. Empty talk, not market fundamentals, moved the price, says Hamm. ”It’s not supply-demand related.” On the contrary, “this is one country, the Saudis, attempting...
  • North Dakota aims to reduce natural gas flaring

    10/20/2014 6:12:03 AM PDT · by thackney · 12 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | OCTOBER 20, 2014 | Energy Information Administration
    About one-third of the natural gas North Dakota has produced in recent years has been flared rather than sold to customers or consumed on-site. The rapid growth in North Dakota oil production, which rose from more than 230,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) in January 2010 to more than 1,130,000 bbl/d in August 2014, has led to increased volumes of associated gas, or natural gas that comes from oil reservoirs. These increased volumes require additional infrastructure to gather, process, and transport gas volumes instead of flaring them. These additions can take time to build, and well operators are often reluctant to...
  • BHI: US drilling rig count drops 12 units to 1,918

    10/20/2014 4:59:53 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Oil & Gas Journal ^ | 10/17/2014 | OGJ editors
    The US drilling rig count declined 12 units to settle at 1,918 rigs working during the week ended Oct. 17, Baker Hughes Inc. reported. BHI’s average US onshore rig count for the third quarter totaled 1,842 units, up 46 from the second quarter and up 133 from third-quarter 2013. The US onshore well count for the third quarter totaled 9,566, up 110 from the second quarter and up 491 from third-quarter 2013. Average US onshore drilling efficiencies dropped to 5.19, primarily caused by fewer wells/rig being generated in the Permian during the quarter, BHI indicated. The Permian accounted for 54%...
  • COLUMN-Oil market proves mightier than OPEC: Kemp

    10/17/2014 5:11:41 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    Reuters ^ | Oct 15, 2014 | John Kemp
    There is nothing remotely surprising about the sharp fall in oil prices over the last four months, except perhaps the timing. The fundamental forces driving prices lower (rising supply outside OPEC from shale and sluggish demand growth as result of conservation and substitution) have been clearly visible for at least two years. "If the shale revolution can be sustained in the United States, and successfully exported to other countries, some combination of OPEC production cuts or lower oil prices to encourage demand and forestall more investment, will be inevitable by 2015-16," I wrote last year ("Saudi Arabia must decide response...
  • Cheap Oil Pops the Green Policy Bubble

    10/17/2014 5:04:17 AM PDT · by thackney · 14 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Oct. 14, 2014 | HOLMAN W. JENKINS, JR.
    ...Tesla’s stock promptly dropped 8%... At $2.99, the price to which gasoline had fallen at some California stations last week, electric cars becoming a mass-market taste and not just an item for wealthy hobbyists recedes from probability. If Democrats especially start to find it politically no longer saleable to subsidize a toy for the rich, the company may be in real trouble. Since World War I, the retail price of gasoline has fluctuated in a band between $2 and $4 (using 2006 dollars as a benchmark). Since the 1970s, though, politicians have repeatedly wedded themselves to policies premised on the...
  • Eagle Ford expected to hit 1.6 million barrels next month

    10/16/2014 11:12:30 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 16, 2014 | Jennifer Hiller
    The Eagle Ford Shale is expected to make 1.61 million barrels of oil per day in November, up 42 percent from the year before, according to a new government report. The field is making around 1.58 million barrels of oil daily this month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The EIA shows production from the Eagle Ford and other major shale fields increasing even as the price of crude oil dips. The Permian Basin remains the nation’s most prolific oil field. It’s expected to make 1.8 million daily barrels of oil in November, up 30 percent from the same...
  • Report: Oil exports could drive manufacturing renaissance

    10/16/2014 4:31:04 AM PDT · by thackney · 20 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 15, 2014 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    The oil and gas drilling boom has been good news for U.S. manufacturing, keeping factories supplied with cheap chemical feedstocks and powered by inexpensive energy. Now, a new report from The Aspen Institute and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation says the United States can further drive the domestic manufacturing renaissance — and keep drill bits turning — by allowing energy companies to sell oil overseas. The paper hinges on the notion that if the United States eases longstanding restrictions on oil exports, it will prompt further crude production inside the country. “Higher levels of oil production require higher...
  • Oil And Gas Prices: How Low Will They Go?

    10/16/2014 4:21:33 AM PDT · by thackney · 30 replies
    Forbes ^ | 10/15/2014 | Brigham A. McCown
    Crude oil prices continue to slide with surging production and weakening economic news. Key benchmarks are near to at a four year low, with West Texas Intermediate (“WTI”) closing at $81.84, well below the $100 to $120 range reached between 2010 and 2012. In fact, the drops have been startling, with WTI closing down $3.90, or 4.77% today alone, and other key benchmarks have not fared better. Until recently, Brent Crude Oil has traded significantly higher than WTI. Surging production and better transportation options have significantly whittled away at the typical $10 to $20 per barrel spread over the last...
  • Kemp: The Saudi Oil Enigma

    10/14/2014 5:22:07 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | October 14, 2014 | John Kemp
    ...In almost 20 years of writing about oil markets and the Middle East I have not come across anyone who could consistently offer a deep insight into the government's policymaking.... Diplomats and even some economists often assert Saudi Arabia upholds its part of the bargain, in part, by holding spare production capacity with which to meet disruptions in oil supplies from other producers. Only Saudi Arabia has the financial capability and the foresight to invest in spare capacity to help stabilise global oil prices. The problem is that there is almost no evidence to support this claim. Since the kingdom's...
  • Iran Slashes Oil Prices to Asia Following Saudi Cut, Lowest Level Since December 2008

    10/10/2014 5:58:40 AM PDT · by thackney · 21 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Oct. 10, 2014 | BENOÎT FAUCON
    Iran has reduced its oil prices to Asia to its lowest level since December 2008, hard on the heels of a similar Saudi cut last week, people familiar with the pricing said Friday... The National Iranian Oil Co. has cut its light crude oil price for Asian deliveries in November to a discount of 82 cents a barrel below the Oman/Dubai benchmark, the people said. The cut, which compares to a premium of 18 cents in October, is identical to a Saudi reduction of $1 a barrel last week for the Arab Light grade to Asia....
  • Price Fall Hastens Decline Of 'Big Oil' As Western Majors Retreat

    10/10/2014 5:29:11 AM PDT · by thackney · 22 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | October 09, 2014 | Ron Bousso & Dmitry Zhdannikov
    This year's fall in energy prices is hastening the decline of big oil, as the seven Western majors sell-off assets, cut investment, return money to shareholders and shrink in size, leaving ever more output to small producers and state firms. Companies that were already deep in the red when the price of Brent was at $109 a barrel last year are having to redraw business plans for prices as low as $90. With promised shareholder dividends probably untouchable for now, they will have to divest, cut costs and borrow more against a smaller business just to make ends meet. And...
  • Venezuela Ordered To Pay Exxon $1.6B For Nationalization

    10/10/2014 5:18:06 AM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | October 09, 2014 | Corina Pons & Alexandra Ulmer
    A World Bank arbitration tribunal on Thursday ordered Venezuela to pay Exxon Mobil Corp around $1.6 billion to compensate for the 2007 nationalization of its oil projects in the country. The amount is far below the up to $10 billion that Exxon had originally sought and the $6 billion at which the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) capped the case, excluding a tax claim. "The Tribunal has found that the expropriation was conducted in accordance with due process, that it was not carried out contrary to undertakings given to the claimants in this respect and...
  • Heating oil and propane expenditures projected to be lower than last winter

    10/09/2014 5:44:19 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | Oct. 8, 2014 | Energy Information Administration
    Heating oil and propane expenditures projected to be lower than last winter Autumn arrived in the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic states last week as temperatures turned noticeably colder and snow fell across Wisconsin and Minnesota. Notwithstanding triple-digit temperatures in parts of California, the winter heating season has begun for much of the country, including the Midwest and the Northeast, where heating oil and propane are important heating fuels. Each October, EIA publishes an outlook for winter energy supply, demand, and prices as part of its October Short-Term Energy and Winter Outlook (STEO). EIA projects the retail price of heating oil...
  • Lower petrochemical use of propane driven by wider price spread between propane and ethane

    10/09/2014 5:37:47 AM PDT · by thackney · 14 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | OCTOBER 9, 2014 | Energy Information Administration
    Propane demand (measured as product supplied) is expected to be 100,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) lower on average in 2014 compared to 2013 because of reduced demand from petrochemical plants, according to EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook. In contrast to propane used as a heating fuel in buildings during colder months and as a crop-drying fuel during the harvest season, both of which are highly seasonal and weather dependent, petrochemical consumption of propane has relatively little seasonality. Beginning in mid-2013, higher propane prices reduced demand from petrochemical users. This decline is evident after accounting for the seasonal variation in annual consumption:...
  • More efficient fracking means more oil and natural gas

    10/09/2014 5:22:18 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Star Telegram ^ | Oct. 06, 2014 | SEAN COCKERHAM
    ...U.S. fracking boom is getting even bigger with advances in drilling... Each drilling rig in the Eagle Ford shale of south Texas is pumping an average of more than 400 barrels a day than in the dawn of the fracking boom seven years ago, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. The more efficient drilling has helped Texas to more than double its oil production in the past three years, topping three million barrels a day for the first time since the late 1970s. “The productivity of oil and natural gas wells is steadily increasing in many basins across the...
  • RPT-COLUMN-US refineries fast running out of flexibility on crude: Kemp

    10/09/2014 5:16:27 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Reuters ^ | Oct 8, 2014 | John Kemp
    The United States imported more than 7 million barrels per day of crude oil during the first seven months of the year, despite the shale boom, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Crude imports have fallen from a peak of almost 14 million barrels per day in 2006, but they still account for almost half the barrels processed by U.S. refineries. Some observers have expressed unease about lifting the ban on crude exports while the United States continues to rely on imports to meet such a high proportion of its needs. "With regard to the oil export question,...
  • Petrochemical boom pumps cash into local communities but strains infrastructure

    10/08/2014 5:06:14 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 7, 2014 | Rhiannon Meyers
    The surge of new construction projects in the petrochemical corridor east of Houston is pumping millions into local economies and adding thousands of new jobs, but also clogging area roadways and sending companies scrambling to find enough skilled workers. As chemical plants rush to take advantage of the cheap, abundant natural gas unleashed by the U.S. shale boom, industry and local communities like Baytown and Mont Belvieu have been forced to strike a delicate balancing act between embracing the flurry of new construction activity while maintaining good quality of life for residents. “We have problems 99 percent of the country...
  • EU Policy Makers Propose Scrapping Mandatory Tar Sands Label

    10/07/2014 1:42:01 PM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone | October 07, 2014 | Barbara Lewis
    The European Commission on Tuesday proposed scrapping a mandatory requirement to label tar sands oil as highly polluting after years of industry opposition. The new proposal abandons one obstacle to Canada shipping crude from tar sands to Europe and is likely to draw strong criticism from environmental campaigners and Green politicians. It is suggested in a revised draft law on how refiners report the carbon intensity of the fuel they supply. The debate about labelling tar sands, also known as oil sands, dates back to 2009 when EU member states approved legislation with the aim of cutting greenhouse gases from...
  • EIA Sees Lower OPEC Output, Weaker Demand Growth In 2015

    10/07/2014 11:41:59 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | October 07, 2014 | Jessica Resnick-Ault; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and W Simon
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration trimmed its forecast of world oil demand growth next year and made even deeper cuts in its outlook for OPEC production, the latest signs of a shift toward surplus supplies next year. The EIA cut its 2014 global demand forecast to 91.47 million barrels a day, compared with 91.55 million bpd expected last month, according to a monthly report from the agency on Tuesday. As a result, it now expects consumption to rise by 1.24 million bpd, down 100,000 bpd from the previous month's report but still higher than the 1 mln bpd increase estimated...
  • Essay: Life as a female roughneck

    10/07/2014 11:36:11 AM PDT · by thackney · 17 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 7, 2014 | Ryan Holeywell
    Carla Restivo, 61, is a drilling fluids technician working in Colorado for Sugar Land-based Hydro Resources. Oil and gas drillers pump lubricating liquid — known in the industry slang as “mud” — to their drill bits to help them move through layers of rock. Fluids technicians like Restivo help monitor and manage the type of mud that’s used in different phases of drilling process. Restivo started her career as a roughneck in 1976. That makes her relatively unique in the oil and gas industry, where, according to the American Petroleum Institute, fewer than 5 percent of blue collar jobs are...
  • Projected Winter Fuel Expenditures by Fuel and Region

    10/07/2014 7:53:22 AM PDT · by thackney · 17 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | October 7, 2014 | Energy Information Administration
    The average household winter heating fuel expenditures discussed in this STEO provide a broad guide to changes compared with last winter. However, fuel expenditures for individual households are highly dependent on local weather conditions, market size, the size and energy efficiency of individual homes and their heating equipment, and thermostat settings (see Winter Fuels Outlook table). Forecast temperatures based on the latest forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are much warmer than last winter east of the Rocky Mountains, with the Midwest 16% warmer, the South 12% warmer, the Northeast 11% warmer. However, last winter provides a...
  • How Low Can Oil Go? {Crude oil suffered a major technical breakdown in August...}

    10/07/2014 5:38:37 AM PDT · by thackney · 33 replies
    Barrons ^ | October 6, 2014 | MICHAEL KAHN
    In March, Barron’s Gene Epstein wrote a cover story arguing that crude oil prices were heading for a 25% decline, to $75 per barrel over the next few years (see Barron’s, “Here Comes $75 Oil,” March 29). It was a bumpy road to start, but it does look as if that prediction is going to be coming true perhaps as soon as next year. Light, sweet crude, recently near $90 a barrel, suffered a major technical breakdown in August. The next level of major support is in the $75-$79 area on the charts. Let’s start with a long-term chart to...
  • Proposed LNG plant aims to fuel drilling rigs, pressure pumpers

    10/07/2014 5:31:22 AM PDT · by thackney · 31 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 6, 2014 | Rhiannon Meyers
    Drilling companies in the booming Permian Basin may soon have an option to power their heavy-duty equipment with the same stuff they’re pumping from the ground. Stabilis Energy, a Beaumont-based company that has been marketing liquefied natural gas to oil field companies, plans to partner with Flint Hills Resources to build a LNG plant in Odessa tailored toward providing fuel for high horsepower engines in drilling rigs and pressure pumpers. The companies did not disclose the cost of the project, which is expected to have a capacity of about 100,000 gallons of LNG per day. Pending final approval by the...
  • OPEC Members’ Discord Adds to Slide in Oil Prices

    10/06/2014 11:56:35 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Oct. 5, 2014 | BENOÎT FAUCON and SUMMER SAID
    Discord at OPEC is turning into a price war, loosening the cartel’s grip on the oil market and exacerbating a recent steep selloff. Fissures have widened as Mideast turmoil frays political alliances and producers vie for customers amid a flood of oil from the U.S. and slowing growth in Asia. “No one is telling anyone what they are up to,” one Gulf oil official said. Saudi Arabia this week unilaterally lowered the price it charges for crude scheduled for delivery next month—without the typical consultation with other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, according to OPEC officials....