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Articles Posted by thackney

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  • Household heating costs are expected to be lower than previous two winters

    10/06/2015 8:11:44 AM PDT · by thackney · 17 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | OCTOBER 6, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Most U.S. households can expect lower heating expenditures this winter (October through March) compared with the past two winters. In most regions, the decline in expenditures is attributed to the combination of warmer weather and lower fuel prices. According to EIA's Winter Fuels Outlook, average household expenditures for homes heating primarily with natural gas will total $578 this winter, a $64 decline from last winter's average. Homes primarily using propane are expected to spend $1,437 this winter ($322 less). Homes heating primarily with heating oil are expected to spend $1,392 ($459 less). Homes heating primarily with electric heat are expected...
  • UAE's Oil Storage Hub Of Fujairah Taking On Established Ports

    10/06/2015 6:16:50 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    Forbes ^ | OCT 6, 2015 | Gaurav Sharma
    Going back two decades, the quaint United Arab Emirate of Fujairah, some 130km east of Dubai, started carving out its own unique place in the oil and gas industry under the benign shadow of Abu Dhabi; custodian of the world seventh-largest proven oil reserves. Fujairah had what the other six of constituents of the UAE did not – a shoreline on the Gulf of Oman and not the Persian Gulf. Any ships loaded on the latter coastline remained vulnerable to Iranian belligerence and threats to close of the Strait of Hormuz, a maritime outlet from the Persian Gulf to the...
  • Global Oil to Cut Spending by $130 Billion, OPEC Says

    10/06/2015 6:08:48 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Oct. 6, 2015 | BENOÎT FAUCON
    Global oil investments are set to be slashed by a staggering $130 billion this year, crimping supplies and ultimately boosting prices, OPEC’s chief said Tuesday, and added that he was open to discuss the current oil market turmoil with the U.S. The remarks come as many members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have been running deficits as they fight for market share against American tight oil instead of oil prices. Speaking at the Oil and Money conference here, OPEC secretary-general Abdalla Salem el-Badri said global investments in petroleum projects will be reduced by 22.4% to $521 billion...
  • In Canada, Miniature Heavy-Oil Sites Overcome Slump in Crude Prices

    10/06/2015 5:45:29 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Oct. 6, 2015 | CHESTER DAWSON
    ...What’s unusual about this project is the speed with which it is being built—in a matter of months—and its compact, football field-size. Oil-sands sites typically take years to build and require hundreds or thousands of acres of land. At a time when slumping crude-oil prices have shelved most new oil-sands projects in neighboring Alberta and halted drilling for all but the most productive shale oil wells in the Bakken formation on both sides of the border, pint-size sites are proliferating in Saskatchewan’s oil patch. ...three other similarly size heavy-oil projects are rising on a landscape filled with cattle pastures and...
  • Official: Libya's Oil Output Down To 300,000 Bpd

    10/05/2015 12:37:30 PM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | October 05, 2015 | Ahmed Elumami
    Libya's oil production has dropped to 300,000 barrels per day, less than a quarter of what it produced before the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddafi, mostly because of insecurity and closed pipelines, a top official said. The North African state is caught in a conflict between two rival governments and their armed allies -- one internationally recognised, and the other a self-declared administration that took over Tripoli last year. Naji Moghrab, the top state oil official with the recognised government, told a local television channel late on Sunday output was at 300,000 bpd because of fighting between various armed factions...
  • Russia ready to meet OPEC to talk oil prices

    10/05/2015 5:13:52 AM PDT · by thackney · 23 replies
    CNBC ^ | Oct 5, 2015 | Holly Ellyatt
    Russia is ready to meet with members of the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) -- as well as non-member oil producers -- to discuss the situation facing global oil markets, according to the country's oil minister. Alluding to a possible meeting with the 12-member oil producer group OPEC, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Saturday "if such consultations are to happen, we are ready to take part," Reuters reported, although he did not say when and if such a meeting may take place. In addition, he told reporters that a meeting between officials from Russia and Saudi Arabia was being planned...
  • Independents must negotiate with banks as falling oil price shows little signs of abating

    10/05/2015 4:59:52 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Financial Times ^ | October 5, 2015 | Kiran Stace
    A little-noticed announcement last week from explorer Tullow Oil kicked off a month-long process that could have significant ramifications for the entire industry. On Thursday, Tullow, which drills for oil in west Africa, told the market it had negotiated with its banks to keep its lending facility at $3.7bn after its reserves were revalued. The fact that its share price rose by 7 per cent afterwards showed how worried investors had been by what otherwise seemed like a technical exercise. Since the 1970s, oil companies have put up their own reserves as collateral for loans as a way to secure...
  • BHI: US rig count plunges 29 units to lowest total since May 2002

    10/03/2015 2:41:12 PM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Oil & Gas Journal ^ | 10/02/2015 | Matt Zborowski
    In a shift reminiscent of the freefall that occurred earlier this year, the overall US drilling rig count plunged 29 units during the week ended Oct. 2 to a total of 809, the lowest since May 3, 2002, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. The count has now fallen in 6 consecutive weeks, giving up 76 units during that time. The recent decline follows a small summer rebound in which the total climbed 28 units over a 9-week period from a nadir of 857 to a plateau of 885. The count is now down 1,113 units year-over-year and 1,122...
  • U.S. a net oil exporter to Mexico for first time in decades

    10/01/2015 9:52:36 AM PDT · by thackney · 18 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | October 1, 2015 | Robert Grattan
    The U.S. sent more crude oil and petroleum products to Mexico than it received for the first time in at least two decades in July, according to the latest government data. The switch from net importer to net exporter underlines a new reality for oil markets: After decades of sourcing oil from south of the border, the U.S., and especially Texas, has plenty of oil. Simultaneously, Mexican production has declined even as the country’s need for oil and the products that come from it have risen. U.S. net imports of oil and petroleum products from Mexico peaked in June of...
  • Shell’s Arctic miss is just the oil industry’s latest dry hole

    10/01/2015 5:55:54 AM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 29, 2015 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    Shell’s $7 billion flop in the Arctic Ocean stands out as one of the industry’s costliest missed bets, even for an industry used to gambling big. “There are few $7 billion zeros in the industry, so it’s fairly unique,” said Dave Pursell, head of securities at Houston energy investment bank Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. It’s even more unusual for a single well to take down an entire exploration project. On Monday, the company said that it was walking away from Arctic drilling after a just-finished well in the Chukchi Sea turned up indications of less oil and gas than...
  • Exxon Mobil to sell troubled Torrance refinery to New Jersey buyer for $537.5 million

    10/01/2015 5:25:48 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 30, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    Exxon Mobil Corp. said Wednesday it will sell its refinery in Torrance, California to PBF Energy, a New Jersey-based refining company, following an explosion at the facility in February. PBF said it will buy the refinery, a nearby lubricants distribution center and associated terminals and pipelines for a total of $537.5 million. Exxon Mobil said in its announcement that it expected the company, which has long admitted having an eye on moving into California, to take control of the refinery by mid-2016. PBF said it will finance the deal with a combination of cash, debt and equity. Exxon Mobil also...
  • Sen. Pat Toomey seeks to shred biofuel mandates as part of oil exports bill

    09/30/2015 12:29:54 PM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 30, 2015 | Jennifer A. Dlouhy
    If the Senate is going to lift the nation’s longstanding ban on oil exports, Sen. Pat Toomey wants to make sure a federal biofuels mandate vanishes at the same time. The Republican from Pennsylvania is advancing a plan — cosponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. — that would lift the requirement to blend traditional ethanol-based renewable fuels into U.S. gasoline. Toomey is set to offer the measure as an amendment to legislation that would authorize widespread oil exports when it is considered by the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. The biofuel change is sought by some refiners — including a...
  • Shale gas development in China aided by government investment and decreasing well cost

    09/30/2015 5:52:22 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    Energy Information Administration | SEPTEMBER 30, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Decreases in the cost to drill shale gas wells and continued investment into domestic production have allowed China to increase its development of shale gas. Although reliance on natural gas imports has increased in the Chinese energy market, future shale gas production in China would help to meet natural gas demand as the country faces difficulties in developing other natural gas resources, including coalbed methane (CBM). Over the past 25 years, China has attempted to develop its substantial CBM resources, estimated by China's Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) at more than 1,000 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). Currently, there are...
  • TPH: Production from Big Three shale plays will suffer with $50 oil

    09/30/2015 5:46:33 AM PDT · by thackney · 10 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 29, 2015 | Rhiannon Meyers
    For the top U.S. shale plays that once seemed immune to the downturn, persistently low oil prices are starting to take their toll. The lingering crude slump is expected to drive down production next year in the nation’s premiere oil patches — West Texas’ Permian Basin, South Texas’ Eagle Ford and North Dakota’s Bakken shale — as operators spend less to stay within cash flow, according to a report by investment banking firm Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. With oil hovering around $50 per barrel, or less than half the price it fetched last year, output from the so-called Big...
  • Chesapeake to cut workforce 15 percent

    09/30/2015 5:27:34 AM PDT · by thackney · 15 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 29, 2015 | Collin Eaton
    Chesapeake Energy Corp. is shedding 740 jobs, about 15 percent of its workforce, as part of an effort to trim costs as low oil prices linger, the company said Tuesday. It may be the Oklahoma oil producer’s first round of mass layoffs since the plunge in crude prices began last year, according to a tally of industry job cuts kept by consultancy Graves & Co. The company says it will have about 4,000 after the cuts. “While this was extremely difficult, we are acting decisively and prudently to enhance the long-term competitiveness and strength of Chesapeake,” CEO Doug Lawler told...
  • Energy Transfer to buy Williams in $32.9 billion deal

    09/29/2015 5:19:24 AM PDT · by thackney · 7 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 28, 2015 | Robert Grattan
    The Williams Cos. said Monday it will accept an offer from rival Energy Transfer, ending months of tortuous negotiation with a deal worth $32.9 billion. The purchase is the second-largest energy deal announced this year, behind only Royal Dutch Shell’s $70 billion acquisition of natural gas producer BG Group in April, and it’s the largest combination announced since oil prices slid from near $60 per barrel highs earlier this year. Including debt and other fees, Williams’ final price tag will climb to $37.7 billion. The new company will be the third largest energy business in North America and the fifth...
  • OPEC’s Family Feud

    09/28/2015 5:47:49 AM PDT · by thackney · 17 replies
    Hellenic Shipping News ^ | 9/28/2015 | Hellenic Shipping News
    When Venezuelan Oil Minister Juan Pablo Pérez Alfonso resigned in 1963, he blasted the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, at the time torn by internal rivalries, for failing to produce any benefits for his country. Half a century later, OPEC is still split and Venezuela is again unhappy, this time at the unwillingness of the organization’s top producer, Saudi Arabia, to rescue oil prices from a six-year low that’s dragging the battered Venezuelan economy into an even deeper crisis. On Sept. 10, Venezuela’s oil minister, Eulogio del Pino, tweeted appeals for OPEC and non-OPEC countries “to have a discussion on...
  • Oil industry workers seek unemployment benefits

    09/28/2015 5:39:11 AM PDT · by thackney · 22 replies
    Bismarck Tribune ^ | 9/28/2015 | Jessica Holdman
    As Halliburton officials confirmed laying off workers at its Williston offices earlier this month, many in the industry are anticipating more layoffs to come as the price of oil and the state drilling rig count continue to drop. "I think the next four to five months are going to be a struggle," said North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness. From September 2014 to as recently as August, 4,552 individuals working for oil-related companies received unemployment benefit payments, according to North Dakota Job Service data. These include positions related to drilling, extraction and support activities, according to Michael Ziesch, Job...
  • Halliburton plans more layoffs, now targeting management

    09/24/2015 5:26:27 AM PDT · by thackney · 11 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 23, 2015 | Rhiannon Meyers
    Oil field services giant Halliburton is planning more cuts to its workforce, including management positions in North America where the crude slump has been particularly brutal, on top of thousands of layoffs already announced this year. In an internal memo from the company that was posted on the website of an Austin-based consultant, Halliburton laid out a plan to “flatten” its North American business by eliminating multiple layers of management — a decision that will undoubtedly affect Houston-area employees where the company is headquartered. Halliburton also said it will pursue additional cuts to its headcount as oil patch activity continues...
  • Ohio Valley Labor Crunch Puts Ethane Cracker Project on Hold

    09/23/2015 5:59:32 AM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | September 22, 2015 | Matthew V. Veazey
    The underlying economics are still good and the concept remains solid, but the prospect of finding enough qualified people to actually build and staff it is too daunting – at least for now. Such are the conclusions of Houston-based Appalachian Resins, Inc. (AR), whose board earlier this month decided to put its "less-than-world-scale" ethane cracker project in Monroe County, Ohio, on hold. "Looking at the timing, we are not able to get ahead of the two other projects," Bob Mifflin, AR's president, told Rigzone. The "two other projects" to which Mifflin refers are world-scale ethane crackers proposed by PTT Global...
  • Ambitious LNG Project Could Revive Alaska's Fortunes

    09/23/2015 5:36:13 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Forbes ^ | SEP 22, 2015 | Brigham A. McCown
    Alaska was long at the vanguard of America’s energy industry. At one time the State of Alaska accounted for as much as one-quarter of the entire country’s domestic oil production. Alaska’s vast fields also served as a source of pride – and the backbone of the state’s economy. As production surged, it was common to hear industry men revel in the United States’ diminishing reliance on foreign supplies as they worked rigs up and down regional reserves. Yet, as energy development in the lower 48 has burgeoned over the past decade, those refrains have waned – as has production. Fed...
  • Seven years later, Keystone XL decision is due

    09/22/2015 6:29:27 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    The Hill ^ | September 19, 2015 | Luke Hilgemann
    How’s this for American exceptionalism: It has now officially taken longer for the federal government to review the Keystone XL pipeline’s permit application than it did to build the entire transcontinental railroad 150 years ago. Yes, you read that right. Today marks the seven-year anniversary of what has become one of the most embarrassing examples of bureaucratic You’ve no doubt heard of the Keystone XL pipeline by now. On September 19, 2008, the company planning to build it filed a routine permit application with the State Department. The pipeline would transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil from Canada and...
  • Chicago Adds Ridiculous 9% “Cloud Tax” on Netflix and Other Streaming Services

    09/21/2015 8:06:53 AM PDT · by thackney · 29 replies
    Daily Signal ^ | September 18, 2015 | Jason Snead
    Streaming companies like Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime are revolutionizing how Americans consume media content. These wildly popular services enable ubiquitous and virtually instantaneous access to expansive catalogues of music, movies, and TV shows. Streaming is big business, and Chicago wants a piece of the action. On Sept. 1, the city’s controversial new “cloud tax” went into effect, extending a 9-percent “amusement tax” into the digital realm. Streaming the latest Taylor Swift album and binge-watching House of Cards is about to get a whole lot more expensive in the Windy City. In addition to its amusement tax, Chicago is extending...
  • Partners submit application for 3-state natural gas pipeline

    09/21/2015 8:02:31 AM PDT · by thackney · 6 replies
    AP via Blue Ridge Now ^ | September 20, 2015 | JOHN RABY
    Four energy partners formally asked the federal government on Friday for permission to build a 564-mile natural gas pipeline in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina. The 348-page application was submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline is intended to deliver cleaner burning natural gas to the Southeast as utilities move away from coal-burning power plants amid tighter federal rules on pollution that contributes to climate change. Richmond, Virginia-based Dominion Resources Inc. and Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy would have 45 percent and 40 percent ownership stakes in the pipeline, respectively. Charlotte-based Piedmont Natural...
  • Hillary Clinton Promises Views on Keystone Pipeline ‘Soon’

    09/18/2015 5:24:56 AM PDT · by thackney · 13 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Sep 17, 2015 | LAURA MECKLER
    Mrs. Clinton has refused to say whether she supports building the pipeline, saying it would be wrong to weigh in because she was involved in the deliberations when she was in the administration. The White House has yet to announce a decision even though the issue has been pending for years. Asked again about the matter at a town hall Thursday, she said she has deferred because she thought it was “right thing to do.” But she said she thought it would have been decided by now and would give her view soon even if the issue remains unsettled. “I...
  • In U.S. shale fields, oil production sliding fast

    09/17/2015 5:29:54 AM PDT · by thackney · 29 replies
    Dallas Morning News ^ | September 15, 2015 | James Osborne
    The flow of crude from what had been the country’s fastest-growing oil and gas regions, like Texas’ Eagle Ford shale, is declining rapidly, according to new data released by the federal government this week. The Energy Information Administration reports that across the country’s seven largest shale deposits oil production is expected to fall to 5.2 million barrels a day next month, the sixth consecutive month of decline and a six percent drop since April. The fall marks a dramatic turnaround for a U.S. oil industry that had almost doubled its production since 2010. Through the use of advanced hydraulic fracturing...
  • Valley fire consumes five Calpine power plant towers

    09/17/2015 5:14:34 AM PDT · by thackney · 5 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 16, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    The ongoing California Valley fire sweeping across communities has destroyed or badly damaged five of Calpine’s power plants that part of the company’s large geothermal complex. The wildfire has taken out several of the 14 geothermal power plants in the complex known as The Geysers, said Calpine Corp. spokesman Brett Kerr, but some of the remaining plants are still contributing electricity to the northern California region. The cooling towers at five of the plants are damaged or destroyed, Kerr said, but the steam turbines are unharmed, which should allow for quicker repairs and replacements. “We are confident we will have...
  • Chinese methanol project to break ground in Louisiana

    09/16/2015 2:07:06 PM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 16, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    The groundbreaking of a $1.85 billion Chinese investment for a Louisiana chemical plant is slated for Friday with London-based Amec Foster Wheeler newly signed on for engineering services and more. China’s Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Co. formed the Yuhuang Chemical Inc. in Houston last year to develop the large methanol plant in Louisiana’s St. James Parish, which is between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Methanol is primarily used to make other commercial chemicals. The project is part of the massive growth of petrochemical projects in Texas and Louisiana as companies seek to take advantage of cheap natural gas feedstocks coming from...
  • Texas Railroad Commission: Drilling Permits in Texas Down 65% in August

    09/15/2015 2:10:42 PM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | September 15, 2015 | Deon Daugherty
    Along with oil prices and the rig count, the issuance of new drilling permits has dropped off dramatically in the last 12 months, according to numbers from the Texas Railroad Commission report of 864 permits issued in August. The commission, which regulates oil and gas activity in the state, said in a release that the issuance of drilling permits declined 65 percent year-over-year in August 2015. Among the 864 permits, the breakdown for August this year included 222 oil wells; 59 for gas; 518 for oil or gas; 54 injection wells and 11 other permits. Total well completions for 2015...
  • US Oil Output: More Buffer Provider Than 'Swing' Producer

    09/15/2015 5:39:33 AM PDT · by thackney · 4 replies
    Forbes ^ | SEP 14, 2015 | Gaurav Sharma
    As oil prices continue to stay low, conjecture on whether or not the US could be given the title of the world’s new swing producer continues to gain traction. There are fierce arguments on both sides fanned by recently published data and the hitherto stubborn oil supply glut. August 2015 became the first month for which the Energy Information Administration published production data using its new survey based method. As a result of the move, US oil production for January to May was revised down by 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) on average. The EIA’s revised data now suggests production...
  • Iraq Warns Foreign Oil Firms Of Cut In Funds

    09/15/2015 5:35:36 AM PDT · by thackney · 12 replies
    Reuters via Rig Zone ^ | September 14, 2015 | Rania El Gamal
    Iraq has told foreign companies developing the country's southern oilfields that they may need to slash development spending next year because it has less money to pay them due to a slump in crude prices. In a letter dated Sept. 6 sent to international oil companies and seen by Reuters, the oil ministry said "because of the drop in our oil sales revenues, the Iraqi government has sharply reduced the funds available to the Ministry of Oil." "This will result in corresponding reductions of spending within the Ministry of Oil but will also reduce the funds available for the reimbursement...
  • BHI: US rig count hits lowest level since January 2003

    09/14/2015 9:40:05 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Oil & Gas Journal ^ | 09/11/2015 | Matt Zborowski
    The overall US drilling rig count declined 16 units to 848 during the week ended Sept. 11, representing a new low point during the current downcycle, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. With 1,083 fewer units operating year-over-year, the current overall count is the lowest since the week ended Jan. 17, 2003, and remains below the bottom of 876 during the 2009 downturn. The overall drop was again anchored by oil-directed rigs, which fell by double-digits for a second consecutive week (OGJ Online, Sept. 4, 2015). The third straight week of overall declines follows across-the-board gains in monthly average...
  • Construction worker shortage raising costs of new projects

    09/14/2015 6:23:51 AM PDT · by thackney · 61 replies
    Houston Business Journal ^ | Sep 11, 2015 | Kent Hoover
    More than 80 percent of construction companies are having a hard time finding qualified workers, according to a survey of 1,386 companies by Associated General Contractors of America. Carpenters, sheet metal installers and concrete workers are in especially short supply, but construction companies also are having difficulty filling salaried positions such as project managers, estimators and engineers. These jobs pay well: The mean average wage for carpenters in the U.S. last year was $45,590; sheet metal installers made an average of $48,700, and cement masons and concrete finishers made made an average of $40,970. Construction managers made an average of...
  • Saudi Arabia says no need for oil summit

    09/14/2015 5:25:36 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Reuters via Al Arabiya ^ | 11 September 2015 | Rania El Gamal
    Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia sees no need to hold a summit of producing countries’ heads of state if such discussions would fail to produce concrete action toward defending oil prices, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The comments followed a meeting of Gulf Arab oil ministers with Qatar’s emir in Doha, at which a Venezuelan proposal for an OPEC and non-OPEC summit was discussed. Oil prices have more than halved since summer last year on an oversupplied market as well as a decision by OPEC to defend market share and discourage competing supply sources, rather than cut...
  • Can the Molten Salt Reactor Break Through?

    09/11/2015 9:48:35 AM PDT · by thackney · 50 replies
    Real Clear Energy ^ | September 11, 2015 | William Tucker
    The big worry about nuclear reactors is that the solid fuel rods are going to melt down. If the core of the reactor loses its cooling water – as it did both at Three Mile Island and Fukushima – then the fuel rods overheat. Even though the nuclear reaction may stop, the decay heat is enough to melt the zirconium fuel rods so that the uranium pellets inside get exposed. If there is some water remaining, the heat may be enough to split off hydrogen, which can cause a hydrogen explosion, as occurred at Fukushima and was feared at Three...
  • Natural gas use features two seasonal peaks per year

    09/11/2015 7:40:17 AM PDT · by thackney · 17 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    Use of natural gas has two seasonal peaks, with consumption patterns predominantly driven by weather. The largest peak occurs during the winter, when cold weather increases the demand for natural gas space heating in the residential and commercial sectors. A second, smaller peak occurs in the summer when air conditioning use increases demand for electric power, an increasing portion of which is provided by natural gas-fired generators. The electric power sector is the largest consumer of natural gas, having surpassed the industrial sector in 2009. Consumption of natural gas in the power sector peaks in the summer when demand for...
  • In historic first, US icebreaker reaches North Pole: What will it do there?

    09/10/2015 11:03:13 AM PDT · by thackney · 60 replies
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | SEPTEMBER 10, 2015 | Kevin Truong
    Our nation's youngest icebreaker – US Coast Guard Cutter Healy – is all grown up, becoming the first US surface ship Saturday to make the trip to the North Pole unaccompanied. Submarines normally follow ships underneath the ice. Admittedly, "all grown up" might be the wrong phrase, Healy is a 420-foot, 16,000-ton, 30,000-horsepower ship, that’s capable of breaking more than 10 feet of ice. The vessel made the journey from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in less than a month, powering through the frigid water and enormous blocks of ice one week ahead of schedule. In addition to helping the Coast Guard’s...
  • North Dakota oil spill cleanup slowed by lack of natural gas

    09/10/2015 5:02:14 AM PDT · by thackney · 14 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 10, 2015 | Associated Press
    The cleanup of a massive 2013 oil spill in northwestern North Dakota is being hampered by a lack of natural gas needed to power special equipment that cooks hydrocarbons from crude-soaked soil, a state regulator said. Crews have been working around-the-clock to deal with the Tesoro Corp. pipeline break that spilled more than 20,000 barrels of oil into a Tioga wheat field two years ago this month. Bill Suess, an environmental scientist with the state Health Department, said Wednesday that workers will be at the site at least another two years baking oil from the soil using a process called...
  • Three $150k robots replaced 60 welders: how Cox Industries keeps making mowers in Queensland

    09/09/2015 11:37:35 AM PDT · by thackney · 49 replies
    BRW ^ | 09 September 2015 | Michael Bailey
    Ride-on lawn mower manufacturer Cox Industries might only employ 60 people today from 160 a decade ago, and has suffered three break-even years because it hasn’t rained enough, but co-owner Ken McColl says the Australian economy still can’t afford businesses like his to disappear. “We have 400 separate suppliers, almost all of them local small businesses,” McColl tells BRW from Cox’s 20,000 sqm factory headquarters at Acacia Ridge, Queensland. “From the makers of a specialist washer, to the electricians and plumbers and maintenance people here at the factory. I’m not even counting our bank, insurer or sandwich shop around the...
  • Barclays: Oil companies to cut North American spending up to 15 percent next year

    09/09/2015 10:02:19 AM PDT · by thackney · 1 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 9, 2015 | Collin Eaton
    Oil companies are planning to cut $12.6 billion to $18.9 billion in capital spending in North America next year on top of a $68.3 billion reduction this year amid falling oil prices, a Barclays survey found. Cutting spending by another 10 to 15 percent next year would bring North American oil investments down to as low as $106.9 billion. The same corporate budgets totaled $194.1 billion in 2014 and $125.8 billion last year, the British bank found in its breakdown of spending plans by about 175 oil companies this week. Even so, technological advances in drilling and bringing wells into...
  • ‘Strippers’ Pose Dilemma for Oil Industry

    09/09/2015 5:18:43 AM PDT · by thackney · 37 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Sept. 7, 2015 | NICOLE FRIEDMAN
    Steve Plants, vice president of Plants & Goodwin Inc. in Shinglehouse, Pa., still pumps crude oil from wells drilled in the 1890s. But with the price of crude below $50 a barrel, some of those low-producing wells, known as stripper wells, don’t turn a profit. Mr. Plants has permanently closed 10 wells, he says, and plans to plug another 10 by the end of the year. “We’re losing money every day,” said Mr. Plants, who operates about 200 wells in Pennsylvania and New York. “If we were pumping wells every day, we might be pumping them once a week now,”...
  • Canadian Oil Sands Evaluates Selling Some of Its Production Stream

    09/08/2015 1:14:35 PM PDT · by thackney
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Sept. 8, 2015 | BEN DUMMETT AND CHESTER DAWSON
    Canadian Oil Sands Ltd., one of Canada’s largest producers of crude, is looking into selling some of its future production amid low crude oil prices and a growing debt load. Canadian Oil Sands owns 37% of the Syncrude oil-sands mining consortium, one of the country’s largest producers of crude from the Alberta oil sands. Production snags at Syncrude’s operations and oil prices that recently fell to six-year lows have hit Canadian Oil Sands particularly hard because the Syncrude project is its only producing asset. In July, Canadian Oil Sands said it swung to a second-quarter loss, and last month Moody’s...
  • Maduro: Global Oil Price Should be a Minimum of $70

    09/08/2015 9:11:00 AM PDT · by thackney · 51 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | September 08, 2015 | Reuters
    The global price of oil, which has slid more than half in the last year, should be a minimum $70 per barrel in order for necessary petroleum investments to be maintained, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said. OPEC member Venezuela relies on crude for more than 95 percent of revenues and is one of the worst-hit producers by the fall in prices from more than $100 a year ago. Brent futures were at $48.43 on Tuesday, while U.S. crude was at $45.05 a barrel. "All the big oil investments need, at a minimum, a price of $70 to be sustainable," Maduro...
  • OPEC Accepts Indonesia’s Return to Oil Group

    09/08/2015 8:12:59 AM PDT · by thackney · 2 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Sept. 8, 2015 | I MADE SENTANA, BENOIT FAUCON and SUMMER SAID
    OPEC has notified Indonesia that the country can rejoin the oil-producing group when it next meets in December, officials on both sides said Tuesday. Indonesia had been a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries for 47 years until it suspended its membership in Jan. 1, 2009 after it turned into a net oil importer in the early 2000s. Its readmission into the world’s biggest club of oil exporters could complicate OPEC’s decision making as the group grapples with surging production from the U.S. and elsewhere. Sudirman Said, Indonesia’s oil minister, said in May that the country would...
  • Energy job cuts approaching 200,000 worldwide

    09/08/2015 6:19:54 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | September 8, 2015 | Collin Eaton
    The oil bust’s toll on corporate payrolls continues to grow. Job cuts in the petroleum industry reached nearly 196,000 globally last week, according to a Houston energy consultant, after ConocoPhillips said it would cut 10 percent of its workforce and other energy firms announced more layoffs. Nearly half of the oil industry’s reductions over the past year have come from the oil field service industry, firms that provide oil and gas producers with drill bits, well casing, hydraulic fracturing pumps and other technology, says John Graves, president of Graves & Co., who has tracked the layoffs closely. Though most of...
  • RPT-In Canada's prairies, crude slump puts first oil patch in reverse

    09/08/2015 5:20:20 AM PDT · by thackney · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | Sep 8, 2015 | Nia Williams
    Amid the corn and canola fields of eastern Saskatchewan, oil foreman Dwayne Roy is doing what Saudi Arabia and fellow OPEC producers are loath to do: shutting the taps on active wells. Inside a six-foot-square wooden shed that houses a basic hydraulic pump, the Gear Energy Ltd employee demonstrates how shutting down a conventional heavy oil well in this lesser-known Canadian oil patch is as simple as flipping a switch. His company has already done so hundreds of times this year, making the Lloydminster industry among the first in the world to yield in a global battle for oil market...
  • This summer’s high gas demand could lead to a heavier maintenance season for refineries

    09/08/2015 5:10:57 AM PDT · by thackney · 16 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | eptember 5, 2015 | Jordan Blum
    A heavier-than-usual season of refinery maintenance will begin after a busy summer driving season ends this Labor Day weekend. The summer saw high gasoline demand and falling prices at the pump, but the coming months could see up to 1.3 million fewer barrels of crude oil a day processed into gasoline as some refineries are temporarily shut down, said analyst Brad Heffern of RBC Capital Markets. “Gasoline demand has been phenomenal and better than I ever thought,” Heffern said. Many refineries ran at higher capacities and for longer periods of time than usual partly because of demand, but also because...
  • Gasoline prices in week before Labor Day lowest in 11 years

    09/07/2015 7:05:40 AM PDT · by thackney · 30 replies
    Energy Information Administration ^ | SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 | Energy Information Administration
    The U.S. average retail price for regular gasoline was $2.51/gallon (g) on August 31, the lowest price for the Monday before Labor Day since 2004, and 95¢/g lower than the same time last year. Declines in crude oil prices are the main driver behind falling U.S. gasoline prices. Lower crude oil prices reflect concerns about economic growth in emerging markets, expectations of higher oil exports from Iran, and continuing actual and expected growth in global crude oil inventories. The U.S. average retail gasoline price increased 47¢/g since the last week of January, when it was $2.04/g, driven by rising crude...
  • Changing US oil dynamics and cheaper gasoline

    09/04/2015 8:33:16 AM PDT · by thackney · 14 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 · 42 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...