Posted October 23, 2013
Posted October 18, 2013
Amid Oil Boom, Petroleum Exports Surge
National Journal: RICHMOND, Calif. – It takes about a month for oil to arrive from the Middle East to a refinery here on the edge of the San Francisco Bay. On a clear day, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance from the refinery's pier, but you will probably notice first and foremost the massive tankers docked and unloading oil into a web of pipes.
About 60 percent of the oil processed by this refinery, owned and operated by Chevron, comes from the Middle East. Most of the rest comes from Alaska, also by tanker. But the oil coming in is not as interesting as what is going out. Many companies are beginning to turn around and export the refined gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.
"As the economy has taken a hit, as vehicle efficiency standards have lowered the demand for fuel, California refineries in aggregate can now produce more than the local demand and therefore products are beginning to be exported," said Dave Reeves, president of global supply and trading at Chevron.
Read more: http://bit.ly/H1RtaF
Posted October 16, 2013
U.S. Becomes World’s Top Oil Producer in 2013, Group Says
Bloomberg: The U.S. is expected to overtake Saudi Arabia as the world biggest total supplier of oil this year when natural gas liquids and biofuels are added to crude, PIRA Energy Group said.
The U.S. is projected to produce an average of 12.1 million barrels a day of liquids in 2013, 300,000 barrels a day higher than Saudi Arabia and 1.6 million more than Russia, according to data presented at PIRA’s Retainer Client Seminar Oct. 10 and Oct. 11 in New York.
The U.S. position has improved because of surging “shale oil” output, the New York-based energy consultant said. The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has unlocked supplies in shale formations in the central part of the country. Shale liquids output has climbed 3.2 million barrels a day in the last four years, the biggest gain since Saudi Arabia raised production between 1970 and 1974.
“This isn’t a big surprise but notable all the same,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts. “This is another sign of the successful story that is horizontal drilling.”
Read more: http://bloom.bg/1fDiyzu
Posted October 14, 2013
Interesting analysis from Reuters, citing a leaked EPA document in which the agency indicates it may significantly reduce its biofuels mandate for 2014. The same document acknowledges that the refining “blend wall” is an “important reality,” according to Reuters. If accurate, the report suggests EPA is starting to hear what the oil and natural gas industry and a host of other voices have been saying about the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Posted October 14, 2013
Posted October 11, 2013
Analysis: Lawsuits Likely as EPA Declares U.S. Ethanol Blend Wall a ‘Reality’
Reuters: With two words, the U.S. environment regulator may be handing oil refiners the biggest win of a long battle to beat back the seemingly inexorable rise of ethanol fuel.
In a leaked proposal that would significantly scale back biofuel blending requirements next year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the blend wall - the 10 percent threshold of ethanol-mixed gasoline that is at the crux of the lobbying war - is an "important reality".
The agency's rationale for a cut in the volume of ethanol that must be blended echoes an argument the oil industry has been making for months: the U.S. fuel chain cannot absorb more ethanol.
Read more: http://reut.rs/1hIy6OU
Posted October 9, 2013
A tactic used by ethanol backers trying to defend the relatively defenseless Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is attempting to frame the RFS debate as one between America’s oil and natural gas companies and renewable energy.
That’s faulty for a couple of important reasons. First, we’re Big Ethanol’s biggest customers, buying billions of gallons a year, as a useful additive in E10 gasoline. Second, our companies are for renewables, not against them, investing $81 billion in renewables and carbon-reduction efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 2000 and 2012 – nearly as much as all other U.S. industries ($91 billion) and more than the federal government ($80 billion).
Posted October 3, 2013
Thanks for your recent invitation to your “Ride & Drive” event. We agree that teaching the public about cylinder leakage in engines using E15 is valuable. Unfortunately, your invitation was sent to the wrong recipient.
You say that the Coordinating Research Council (CRC), which has been the gold standard in terms of vehicle testing for the better part of a century, used an “arbitrary threshold” for cylinder leakage during E15 testing. You seem upset about the results on vehicle damage. Surely you meant to address the invitation to the auto manufacturers, who have stated their concerns that E15 will damage engines, void warranties and reduce fuel efficiency.
Posted October 2, 2013
Results from a new public opinion poll strongly suggest that action by EPA and Congress is warranted on the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Key findings from the Harris Interactive survey of more than 1,000 registered voters:
- 77 percent said they’re concerned that using fuels containing ethanol blends above a 10 percent level can cause severe damage to car engines and fuel system components. They’re concerned that most auto manufacturers do not warranty their vehicles if the car’s owner runs it on fuels with a 15 percent ethanol blend.
- 69 percent are concerned that diverting more and more corn into making ethanol will result in higher food costs.
- 66 percent say regulation by the federal government could drive up the cost of gasoline for consumers.
Posted September 24, 2013
Progress, Not Perfection, in Tackling Global energy Challenges: WEC Report
Breaking Energy: The US, which ranks at number 15 on the 2013 Energy Sustainability Index, is facing serious challenges to improving its place on the index, and more importantly, its energy sector investment outlook, because of policy uncertainty. The recent moves by the Obama Administration to regulate carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants are, despite the President’s good intentions, “the worst kind of thing that can happen” in energy policy design, Mark Robson said. “The value of … doing nothing has gone up.”
“It’s not enough for the policy to be good, it needs to be implemented well,” MacNaughton said, echoing Robson’s point. Companies can now expect a period of lobbying and litigation over the EPA carbon rule adjustment proposal that delays investment and corporate decision making still further in a country with a rapidly aging power sector, MacNaughton said.
Read more: http://bit.ly/18nRBZQ