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Saturday, November 01, 2014

Propane shippers shift from pipelines to rail

Star tribune -- More propane is shifting from pipelines to railways this fall as Minnesota marketers bulk up supplies of the fuel for crop-drying and winter heating.

At least three rail terminals in the state have expanded their unloading and storage areas in recent months, and a new rail terminal in central Wisconsin is scheduled to open in two weeks.

Driving the changes was the closure in May of the Cochin Pipeline from Canada that carried 40 percent of the propane used in Minnesota. An estimated 230,000 homes, farms and businesses in the state depend on the product.

The pipeline’s owner, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners of Houston, halted propane shipments late last spring and began sending light petroleum condensate the other direction: from Illinois to Canada’s booming oil industry in Alberta.

Helpi  (read more)

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Russia warns it’s coming for the Arctic’s oil, including area Canada claims as its own

The Telegraph -- MOSCOW — Russia has warned that it will revive its claim to a huge swathe of the Arctic in the hope that it can secure the rights to billions of tons of oil and gas.

Moscow has long seen the seabed off its northern coastline as a mine of valuable hydrocarbons and is keen to fend off rival bids for control over the region’s resources.

Sergei Donskoy, the minister for natural resources, said Russia had completed research on its submission to the United Nations, under which it hopes to gain an extra 740,000 kilometres. “That is a big increase to the country’s territory, that’s why we call this application an application for the future – an application for the future sustainable development of our country,” said Mr. Donskoy after greeting scientists returning home this week from the Arctic t  (read more)

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$2.80 gas by Thanksgiving, pro predicts

CNBC(VIDEO) -- Drivers got good news on Friday, with the average price of gasoline in the United States hitting $3 a gallon.

That's exactly what Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, had predicted would happen by Halloween. Now he has a new prediction for prices by Thanksgiving.

"We're going to continue going down and by Thanksgiving I'm seeing $2.80 a gallon," Lipow said in an interview with CNBC's "Street Signs."

"In fact you look at gasoline futures today, they're getting hit hard, another 4 cents a gallon and that's going to be passed on to the consumer over the next few weeks."

The price at the pump fell 33 cents in October, thanks mainly to plunging oil prices, according to AAA. Gas is now cheaper than milk. In September, consumers were paying an average of $3.37 per gallon of milk.

 (read more)

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Hundreds turn out for Olympia oil trains hearing

The Spokesman Review -- OLYMPIA — More than 750 people turned out for a Thursday night public hearing in Olympia on the safety of oil train shipments through Washington. Most of the crowd was opposed to increased oil train traffic in the state.

About 200 people signed up to speak. The Seattle Times reports the state Ecology Department listened to comments about the potential for spills that could foul tribal fisheries in the Columbia River, drinking water aquifers for Olympia and sensitive coastal waters near Bellingham.

Other speakers were concerned about the potential for exploding tank cars that could kill residents living near rail lines.

A Grays Harbor County commissioner, Frank Gordon, said he fears what an oil spill would do to the salmon runs in his area.  (read more)

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Finance minister says balanced budget on track despite falling oil price, dip in GDP

CBC News -- Harper government has planned for the headwinds currently buffeting the Canadian economy

“Bottom line, we are very confident we are going to have a surplus. We can afford the measures we’ve taken and we’ll be able to take others

But the economy is not looking as strong as it could, with GDP shrinking by 0.1% in Aug

“What we’re waiting for is for confidence to come back to Canadian companies, and they’ll start spending all the cash they have sitting there at almost no interest. That will help create Canadian jobs

He said he’s not worried about oil prices, which have fallen by 20% since Jul

“It’s something we’re watching, obviously because falling oil prices do impact oil companies, they impact our royalties. On the other hand they advantage a lot of manufacturing companies and consumer  (read more)

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween requires extra caution: Be watchful of Trick-or-Treaters & stay safe!

GasBuddy Blog -- Milky Ways. Nestle's Crunch.  Hershey's. Almond Joy. Twizzlers. Reese's. Kit-Kats. Charleston Chews.  It's very important that the kids arrive home safely tonight!

Whether you're walking with young kids who'll be Trick-or-Treating, or driving home after work or stepping out, it's critical to remember some important Halloween tips to keep everybody safe... ...  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:

Crude Falls on Federal Reserve Stimulus Halt, U.S. Supply

BLOOMBERG -- West Texas Intermediate oil fell after the Federal Reserve ended its asset-purchase program and U.S. crude production surged to the highest level since the 1980s. Brent declined in London.

Futures slipped 1.3 percent in New York. The dollar strengthened a second day against the euro after the Fed’s announcement, curbing the appeal of commodities priced in the U.S. currency as a store of value. U.S. crude supplies rose for a fourth week as output increased to 8.97 million barrels a day, Energy Information Administration data showed yesterday.

“Yesterday’s Fed announcement is pushing the dollar higher, which is putting selling pressure on commodities,” Gene McGillian, an analyst and broker at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, said by phone. “The supply build yesterday may have...  (read more)

Submitted Yesterday By:

First Time Since 2010: National Average Dips Below $3 per Gallon

GasBuddy Blog -- It’s no trick, but a very big treat: the average price of gasoline has just fallen below $3 per gallon in the United States for the first time over 46 months, according to GasBuddy.

“We have been watching the average fall since June, a rare feat that we had predicted in our 2014 forecast, but to see the magnitude of the decline over the last month has been astounding,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.  “And to cap it off, the U.S. average dipped below $3.00 per gallon just minutes ago, and currently sits at $2.999.”

The last time the national average was under $3 was on December 22, 2010, when it stood at $2.995 per gallon....  (read more)

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Russia warns it’s coming for the Arctic’s oil, including an area Canada claims as its own

The Telegraph -- Russia has warned that it will revive its claim to a huge swathe of the Arctic in the hope that it can secure the rights to billions of tons of oil and gas

Moscow has long seen the seabed off its N coastline as a mine of valuable hydrocarbons and is keen to fend off rival bids for control over the region’s resources

Russia had completed research on its submission to the United Nations, under which it hopes to gain an extra 290,000 sq.mi

Russia’s application, which could net it at least 5B tons of hitherto unexploited oil and gas reserves, would be submitted to the UN in the spring

The announcement came as the Kremlin increases its military presence in the far N. Russia is going to build 13 new military airfields and 10 radar stations in the Arctic in case of “unwelcome guests

Vladimir  (read more)

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Canadian Oil Sands profit plunges 65% in quarter

The Globe and Mail -- “Unplanned outages” at its only project continue to dog the company – troubles that forced it to again axe production expectations for 2014

Production reductions have become the norm for this aging mining project. Syncrude chopped production guidance 3 times in 2013 because of hiccups at its major facilities

The company brushed off falling oil prices. “With spending on major capital projects coming to an end, [Canadian Oil Sands] is positioned to fully fund its business in this current environment of lower crude oil prices,” the press release said

Canadian Oil Sands’ cash flow from operations also fell in the quarter, hitting $302M, down from $340M this time last year. Syncrude produced 22.5M barrels of synthetic oil in the quarter, compared to 20.9M un the same quarter last year  (read more)

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crashes double at Houston intersections after red light cameras pulled

Houston Chronicle -- Auto crashes more than doubled at busy Houston intersections after red light cameras were pulled from those areas, according to figures released by the Houston Police Department.  (read more)

Submitted Oct 30, 2014 By:

OPEC Head Tells Oil Market to Stop Panicking About Prices

Bloomberg News -- Everyone in the oil market should stop panicking because crude supply and demand will return to equilibrium, OPEC’s Secretary-General said.

Members of OPEC, who pump about 40 percent of the world’s oil, aren’t waging a price war and haven’t demanded an emergency response to the plunge in crude futures, Abdalla El-Badri said at the Oil & Money conference in London yesterday. While the direction of oil prices, which have collapsed about 25 percent since June, remains unclear in the short term, they will have to rebound to guarantee long-term supply, he said.

“We don’t see really fundamental changes in the supply side or the demand side,” El-Badri told reporters during a briefing at the event. “Unfortunately everyone is panicking. The press is panicking, consumers are panicking. We really s  (read more)

Submitted Oct 30, 2014 By:

Fracking-well explosion forces 400 families from homes in eastern Ohio

Columbus Dispatch -- From his fishing boat on a rural Jefferson County pond, Mike Poole could see the natural-gas wellhead less than a tenth of a mile away.

Poole spent part of his Tuesday afternoon on that boat with a friend and his dog. The well, at that time, was just part of the landscape.

By Tuesday evening, though, it had forced him from his home in Bloomingdale, Ohio.

Poole, who lives above the Mingo Sportsmans Club less than a mile from the well, was one of about 400 families to be evacuated after the well ruptured on Tuesday night, spewing natural gas and methane into the air.

Jefferson County’s emergency-management officials worried about what those gases could do to people and homes.

Methane can become explosive in small amounts, and can cause headaches and dizziness.

 (read more)

Submitted Oct 30, 2014 By:

NY state to open upstate fuel reserve in November

25CNBC-REUTERS -- A strategic fuel reserve at six locations in upstate New York is expected to be operational in November to ensure gasoline and diesel fuel are available to emergency responders in the event of an emergencies like 2012's Hurricane Sandy.

Approximately 2.5 million gallons of gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) will be kept in the reserve in terminals in Rensselaer, Brewerton, Rochester, Marcy, Vestal and Buffalo, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office said in a release.

Sandy battered the Northeastern coast at the end of October 2012, destroying homes and buildings, closing refineries and leaving motorists without fuel and exposing vulnerabilities in the fuel distribution network.

The reserve will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority using $10...  (read more)

Submitted Oct 30, 2014 By:

Bank of Canada’s Stephen Poloz says low oil prices could cut quarter point off nation’s growth

Canadian Press -- If the low price of oil persists, it will knock a quarter-point off the growth of Canada’s gross domestic product in 2015

Losing a 0.25% off the country’s economic growth would be big enough to make him concerned

Slowing the economy by 0.25% is significant when the bank is predicting moderate growth in the 2-2.5% range

The central banker says a quarter point matters a lot when Canada needs more than 2% growth to help close the output gap and help create jobs
 (read more)

Submitted Oct 30, 2014 By:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

It May be Lights Out for the Wind Energy Come the Midterms

Fox Business -- For government-backed industries such as wind energy, the relationship is directly the opposite -- the more they produce, the more it costs ratepayers and taxpayers. Recent analysis shows that states with the largest use of wind power have the highest electricity bills. Such factors have caused private investors to largely bypass wind companies and leave them largely dependent upon the government for their survival.  (read more)

Submitted Oct 29, 2014 By:

Billionaire oilman: I'm not cutting production...yet

25CNBC(VIDEO) -- Oil titan Harold Hamm told CNBC on Tuesday: Don't believe the hype. "There's not a glut in the market at all."

The billionaire founder of Continental Resources took issue with the reason mostly given for crude's slide to multi-year lows and said he's not cutting production yet. But even if he did he said, "You don't cap producing wells. What you do is cut back on new drilling."

"What we see here is people projecting next year that we might see [oversupply]" he said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "It would have to be a perfect world to see that. I frankly don't believe that's going to happen"

He disputed contentions from Goldman Sachs which on Sunday predicted oil at $70 a barrel in the U.S. in the second quarter because of oversupply. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was trading $81...  (read more)

Submitted Oct 29, 2014 By:

While You Were Getting Worked Up Over Oil Prices, This Just Happened to Solar

Bloomberg -- Every time fossil fuels get cheaper, people lose interest in solar deployment. That may be about to change.

After years of struggling against cheap natural gas prices and variable subsidies, solar electricity is on track to be as cheap or cheaper than average electricity-bill prices in 47 U.S. states -- in 2016, according to a Deutsche Bank report published this week. That’s assuming the U.S. maintains its 30 percent tax credit on system costs, which is set to expire that same year.

Even if the tax credit drops to 10 percent, solar will soon reach price parity with conventional electricity in well over half the nation: 36 states. Gone are the days when solar panels were an exotic plaything of Earth-loving rich people. Solar is becoming mainstream, and prices are will continue to drop as  (read more)

Submitted Oct 29, 2014 By:

EIA: Crude oil, gasoline inventories sink

GasBuddy Blog -- The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report today on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States.

Here are some highlights:

Crude oil inventories increased by 2.1 million barrels to a total of 379.7 million barrels. At 379.7 million barrels, inventories are 4.1 million barrels below last year (1.1%) and are near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

Gasoline inventories decreased by 1.2 million barrels to 203.1 million barrels. At 203.1 million barrels, inventories are down 10.7 million barrels, or 5.0% lower than one year ago. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-1.4mb); Midwest (-0.4mb); Gulf Coast (+0.9mb); Rockies (-0.1mb); and West Coast (-0.3mb). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling inventories), or  (read more)

Submitted Oct 29, 2014 By:

Why aren't gas prices the Democrats' October surprise?

CBS News -- Good news for the wallets of Americans across the country: Gas prices are hovering around $3 a gallon, the lowest they've been in nearly four years. But it's a fact you won't hear Democrats mention on the campaign trail.

At first glance, it seems like the kind of news any Democrat would be happy to brag about, another sign of economic recovery under President Obama's leadership. A recent report by Morgan Stanley predicted that sustained low gas prices could mean households could have as much as $40 billion extra to spend this quarter. And if the tides were turned and gas prices were on the rise, history shows Republicans wouldn't hesitate to blame the president for high prices at the pump.

So why are Democrats so hesitant to take any credit? Three Democratic strategists who spoke with CB  (read more)

Submitted Oct 29, 2014 By:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sewage, beer & food scraps power Chevy's Bi-fuel Impala

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..topspeed.comBelieve it or not, the 2015 Bi-fuel Chevrolet Impala can run on leftovers, table scraps and, grains from brewing beer.Cleveland-based Quasar Energy Group uses organic waste to produce a renewable energy source known as biogas, which is then converted into Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) – one of two fuels that can power the 2015 Chevrolet Bi-fuel Impala.Here's how: Biogas is the raw mixture of gases given off by the breakdown of organic materials kept in an oxygen-less environment. The resulting methane gas is then processed, removing all carbon dioxide and impurities to make Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). When compressed, RNG is a direct replacement for CNG....  (read more)

Submitted Oct 28, 2014 By:

Floating Gas Terminal Anchored in Lithuania

abcNEWS-AP -- A giant floating natural gas terminal arrived Monday in the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda as the Baltic country tries to further reduce its reliance on energy supplies from Russia.

The South Korean-built 300-meter (984-foot) vessel — the size of an aircraft carrier — will be able to provide 4 billion cubic meters (141 billion cubic feet) of gas a year when it becomes operational, expected in December.

The three Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia get all their natural gas from Russia and lack connections to the wider European pipeline system that would allow them to import from elsewhere.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said the terminal will be able to cover 90 percent of the gas needs of three countries, importing about 1 billion cubic meters of gas via the terminal  (read more)

Submitted Oct 28, 2014 By:

Two million barrels of oil on ocean floor after BP spill

MSN News -- According to a study Mon, the fate of 2M of the nearly 5M barrels that gushed into the open waters has remained a mystery until now, said the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal

Researchers analyzed samples collected at more than 500 locations around the Macondo Well, and found it settling down like dirt in a bathtub

The oil was found to have spread as far as 1,235 sq.mi from the site, and may have gone even further

Researchers came to this conclusion by studying seafloor sediment cores for residual hopane, a hydrocarbon that comes from crude oïl

BP took issue, saying the impacted area was overestimated

- Sea-life damaged -

Long lasting harm was done to dolphins, sea turtles, tuna, loons and other animals in the region
 (read more)

Submitted Oct 28, 2014 By:

WTI Falls for Third Day as U.S. Supply Seen Rising; Brent Drops

Bloomberg News -- West Texas Intermediate fell for a third day amid speculation crude inventories increased to near a four-month high in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent slid in London.

Futures dropped as much as 0.7 percent in New York. Crude stockpiles are forecast to have expanded by 3.8 million barrels to 381.5 million last week, a Bloomberg News survey shows before government data tomorrow. OPEC is unlikely to reduce its production target when it meets next month, said Mohsen Qamsari, a director for international affairs at National Iranian Oil Co., according to the Oil Ministry’s news service.

“It’s clear that the supply situation is at a record in terms of stockpiles, so it’s going to take some time to clear that excess,” Michael McCarthy, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydne  (read more)

Submitted Oct 28, 2014 By:

Over Half the Nation’s Gas Stations Now Below $3

GasBuddy Blog -- The U.S. average price of gasoline ($3.03/gal) continues its slide to levels last seen in December 2010... and today, more than one-half of the nation’s gas stations offer regular gasoline at prices below $3 per gallon. GasBuddy reports that of more than 133,000 gas stations from which it gathers retail price data via crowd-sourcing, the ‘tipping point’ in this year’s autumn price decline was reached over the weekend when the number of stations selling gas below $3 climbed to 50% of all retailers across the U.S.   The last time 50% of the nation’s fuel retailers were priced below $3 was Dec. 28, 2010. “It may seem difficult to believe but gasoline below $3 per gallon can now be found at stations in 47 states,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.   “With multiple factors pushing retail prices lower in most parts of the country, we expect we’ll see the national average fall below $3/gal before Halloween.”...  (read more)

Submitted Oct 28, 2014 By: