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Articles Posted by thackney

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  • Changing US oil dynamics and cheaper gasoline

    09/04/2015 8:33:16 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 4, 2015 | Matt Smith
    ‘Clack! cla-cla clack-clack clack-clack CLACK!!’ (today’s fanfare for Nonfarm Friday was played on football helmets to celebrate the start of college football season). It is the first Friday in September, which means we see official US employment data, aka nonfarm payrolls. Today’s report has showed 173,000 jobs were created in August, which was less than the expected 220,ooo, but has been offset by a drop in the unemployment rate to 5.1%. Given the market response, it believes this report is good enough to usher in an interest rate hike later in the month….and crude is heading lower. Elsewhere in the...
  • Thai company confirms massive investment for Ohio cracker plant design work

    09/04/2015 6:09:31 AM PDT · by thackney · 37 replies
    Columbus Business First ^ | Sep 3, 2015 | Laura Newpoff
    Ohio is standing on third base and ready to cross home plate in the development of a proposed $5.7 billion ethane cracker plant in eastern Ohio, Gov. John Kasich said Thursday. Kasich joined the CEO of the Thai company that wants to build the plant in outlining plans for a $100 million outlay over the next year for engineering and design work at the site to determine the project's future. Columbus Business First broke the story in April that the plant was being considered in Belmont County, near the heart of oil and natural gas exploration in the Utica shale...
  • Saudi Khurais oilfield expansion expected to be delayed, start-up date unclear

    09/03/2015 10:26:43 AM PDT · by thackney
    GDN Online ^ | 02 Sep 2015 | Reuters
    Khobar: The expansion of Saudi Arabia's Khurais oilfield is expected to be delayed from the originally planned timeframe of 2017 and the start-up date is now unclear, industry sources said. The sources said authorities had not given reasons for the delay. However, since global oil prices started to fall sharply last year, national oil giant Saudi Aramco has slowed some projects, shelving less important ones and asking for discounts on some contracts which it had awarded. "The project is important because of the associated gas that comes with the expansion of the oilfield ... but Aramco has stretched the timeframe...
  • Nevada lawmakers frustrated by Tesla’s Mexican lithium deal

    09/03/2015 10:00:15 AM PDT · by thackney · 28 replies
    Washington Time ^ | September 3, 2015 | Associated Press
    Electric carmaker Tesla has announced that it will obtain lithium for its batteries from two companies in northern Mexico, leaving Nevada lawmakers who approved major tax incentives for the company frustrated. In 2014 the Nevada Legislature approved $1.3 billion in tax incentives for Tesla’s Reno gigafactory. The Las Vegas Sun reports that during legislative debates over the incentive package, there was speculation that Tesla would boost the state’s lithium industry...
  • Opec oil output in August falls to 31.71mn bpd

    09/03/2015 7:50:56 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Gulf Times ^ | 2 Sept 2015 | Reuters
    Opec oil output fell in August from the highest monthly level in recent history, a Reuters survey found on Wednesday, as disruptions to flows on Iraq's northern pipeline halted supply growth from the group's second-largest producer. Largely stable output from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries indicated they are not wavering in their focus on defending market share instead of prices. Opec supply fell in August to 31.71mn barrels per day (bpd) from a revised 31.88mn bpd in July, according to the survey, based on shipping data and information from sources at...
  • Venezuela's Maduro Tells Putin he has Ideas on Stabilizing Oil Prices

    09/03/2015 6:05:22 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | September 03, 2015 | Reuters
    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday he would talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin about what could be done to stabilize world oil markets and prices. Maduro made the comments as the two men, both leaders of major oil producing countries, began talks in Beijing, after attending a military parade to mark 70 years since the end of World War Two in Asia. "We can talk about what we can do to stabilize oil market and stabilize prices, what would allow us to overcome the current conditions," Maduro told Putin at the start of the meeting.
  • Texas and North Dakota grew at a torrid pace in 2014 — before crude busted

    09/03/2015 5:43:07 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 2, 2015 | Joshua Cain
    Robust oil and gas activity helped several states grow their economies in 2014, with the fastest growing states all heavy energy industry players, according to Commerce Department data released Wednesday. The Texas economy grew the second most among the states last year after it saw its gross domestic product increase 5.2 percent, making it one of a handful of states to outpace the U.S. economy overall. Only North Dakota was ahead of Texas last year after its GDP grew 6.3 percent. Wyoming, West Virginia and Colorado rounded out the top five. The steep fall in the price of U.S. crude...
  • Crude Swap with Mexico – The Heavy and The Light

    09/02/2015 9:52:19 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    drilling info ^ | September 1, 2015 | Eric Roach
    On August 14 the Obama Administration announced that the Commerce Department would approve applications to export up to 100,000 barrels of light crude per day to Mexico in a swap arrangement for an equivalent volume of heavy crude from Mexico. This type of export has previously been available between The US and Canada, and perhaps indicates willingness to eventually repeal the crude export ban. Here’s a quick little recap and analysis of the situation. WHY IS THIS A BIG DEAL? After the 1975 oil shock, The United States banned the export of crude oil in order to stabilize the price....
  • Engineering firm director: Industry is “living in the past”

    09/02/2015 8:24:10 AM PDT · by thackney · 41 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 2, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    Engineering and construction companies must finally embrace technology in order to meet the demand of petrochemical and manufacturing projects along the Gulf Coast, industry experts said. There are $147 billion in petrochemical and manufacturing projects underway or planned in the U.S. through 2023, according to the American Chemistry Council, and most of the companies that will construct the projects are still failing to utilize technological advances that could speed things up, said John Fish, director of project support services for Louisiana-based Ford, Bacon & Davis engineering and construction firm. “Our industry — I hate to say it — we’re living...
  • Venezuela Says China to Give $5 Billion Oil Loan

    09/02/2015 4:58:55 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Sept. 1, 2015 | Associated Press
    Venezuela’s government, facing a cash crunch amid a slump in oil prices, signed a deal to receive a $5 billion loan from China, President Nicolás Maduro said Tuesday. The funds will go to increase oil production in Venezuela in the coming months, Mr. Maduro said without offering more details during an address from China that was broadcast on Venezuelan state television. Support from Beijing—which also renewed a separate $5 billion loan to Venezuela earlier this year—may offer some relief to bond markets, where Venezuela’s debt securities are rated among the world’s riskiest. Wall Street analysts say the country could default...
  • Oil exports could lower gas prices, federal study says

    09/02/2015 4:56:44 AM PDT · by thackney · 22 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | September 1, 2015 | Ben Wolfgang
    The Obama administration confirmed Tuesday that ending the nation’s 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports will not drive up domestic gasoline prices and could even save consumers money at the pump. Tuesday’s report from the Energy Information Administration puts even more pressure on Mr. Obama, who so far has been reluctant to reverse the export ban and allow oil and gas companies to sell fuel abroad. The White House last month did approve limited crude oil sales to Mexico, but critics say the president should go much further and allow the U.S. energy industry — which has revitalized economies across...
  • Saudi Arabia refuses to bow to pressure to cut oil production

    09/02/2015 4:48:02 AM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Market Watch ^ | Sept 1, 2015 | Myra P. Saefong
    Market share continues to be Saudi Arabia’s main concern—and not even $40 oil prices will make it give into peer pressure to cut production. Major oil producers have been trying to convince Saudi Arabia, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ biggest producer, to take the lead and cut production to stem the price declines. But output from the nation instead climbed to about 10.45 million barrels a day in July from 10.1 million in April, according to an estimate from Platts, even though West Texas Intermediate and Brent oil prices are down roughly 15% year to date on the...
  • Ramp up delayed for Exxon Mobil’s Torrance refinery

    09/02/2015 4:43:14 AM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 1, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    The potential ramp up of Exxon Mobil’s massive refinery in Torrance, California will be delayed after a state regulatory hearing on the matter was pushed back indefinitely. The South Coast Air Quality Management District said it delayed the hearing scheduled for Wednesday morning to further study the matter and ensure the health of residents living near the Torrance refinery is protected when the refinery increases production. No new date has been set. Partly because of the pinch on refining, California is coping with the highest gasoline prices in the nation at an average of $3.35 a gallon on Sunday, compared...
  • Crude oil prices dive 7%

    09/01/2015 10:16:59 AM PDT · by thackney · 23 replies
    September 1, 2015 | Matt Egan and Chris Isidore
    A 7% dive to $45 a barrel comes after prices soared higher to close Monday above $49 a barrel -- a nearly 30% rise in three days. Just a week ago, oil plummeted below $38 a barrel for the first time since 2009. The drop in prices Tuesday following the Chinese factory report seemed to make more sense than the rapid rebound. Concerns about a slowdown in Chinese economic growth has been one of the factors driving prices lower. Concerns in markets about a supply glut may have been eased a bit on Monday with a new government report that...
  • Hawaiian Electric ponders next move after governor opposes use of LNG: source

    09/01/2015 6:09:15 AM PDT · by thackney · 25 replies
    Platts ^ | 31 Aug 2015 | Mary Powers
    Comments by Hawaii Governor David Ige this week has left Hawaiian Electric in a quandary regarding its plan to burn regasified LNG shipped from Canada in its oil-fired power plants, a source at the utility said Friday. "We're in a bit of a stew at the moment," the source, who asked not to be identified, said. Ige previously supported using LNG as a transitional fuel as the state moved to 100% renewable generation by 2045. "When it was first proposed, I was willing to support it as a transitional fuel because it had some clear advantages for Hawaii," Ige said...
  • The Saudis Gambled and Texas Won

    09/01/2015 5:42:24 AM PDT · by thackney · 23 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Aug. 31, 2015 | GLENN HEGAR
    In November 2014, the leaders of Saudi Arabia made one of the biggest bets in history. Their strategy was flawed, and they’ve already lost. In an OPEC meeting that month, Saudi Arabia announced it would maintain high oil-production levels despite falling prices. The Saudis were betting that by keeping prices low they could protect their market share and kill America’s energy renaissance—a rebirth driven largely by Texas, which produces 37% of America’s oil and 28% of its marketed natural gas. The Saudi strategy seemed to make sense. The conventional wisdom was that energy producers working in “tight” shale formations would...
  • GE’s Lufkin Industries closing plant, making layoffs

    09/01/2015 5:28:23 AM PDT · by thackney · 14 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | August 31, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    GE Oil & Gas is closing a plant in Lufkin and eliminating 262 positions at the plant and at one other facility. This is the third major job reduction by GE’s Lufkin Industries this year and the second at its Foundry plant, which is being closed through this mass layoff, the company said in a letter to the Texas Workforce Commission. Many oil field services companies have implemented major job cuts during the ongoing oil downturn. The reduction of 176 of the 187 jobs at the Foundry plant will begin Sept. 10 and conclude at the end of the month....
  • King Salman of Saudi Arabia to visit White House next week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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