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Oil Prices Drop to Four-Month Low on Supply Glut Concerns

Filed in Prices by on 3 August 2015

Oil prices slid to fresh four-month lows Monday as a rise in the number of U.S. oil rigs fueled supply glut concerns even as weak China manufacturing activity weighed on the demand outlook. The oil-rig count in the U.S. rose by five to 664 in the latest week, according to Baker Hughes Inc. BHI -0.92 % This offset the positive impact of signs that the country’s oil production might have peaked and has begun to decline in the past two months. The supply-side concerns also rose as Iran’s oil minister said the country can increase oil production in one week after international sanctions are lifted, ANZ said in a report. In China, the Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers’ index, a gauge of nationwide manufacturing activity, fell to a two-year low of 47.8 in July, compared with 49.4 in June. Though Chinese oil imports have held steady despite a stream […]

Oil Slumps to Six-Month Low on Iran Supply Plan, China Slowdown

Filed in Prices by on 3 August 2015

Oil fell to a six-month low in London as Iran vowed to boost production immediately after sanctions are lifted and manufacturing in China slowed. Futures declined as much as 2.6 percent in London after capping a 18 percent drop in July, the biggest since December. Iran can raise output by 500,000 barrels a day within a week of sanctions ending, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. A Chinese private factory gauge released on Monday fell to a two-year low in July, while an official index on Saturday slipped to the lowest in five months. Crude slid into a bear market last month as expanding supplies and concern demand in China may falter with slower economic growth sparked losses in raw materials. Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers has fueled speculation about when and by how much it will lift output. Sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation should be […]

Oil CEOs’ Grim Outlook Rubs Off on Speculators Fleeing Market

Filed in Prices by on 3 August 2015

The world’s biggest oil companies are painting a grim picture of the future and speculators are listening. Hedge funds reduced bullish bets to the lowest level in five years as oil capped the worst month since the financial crisis. The net-long position in West Texas Intermediate contracted 7 percent in the seven days ended July 28, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. BP Plc said oil prices will be lower for longer and Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it’s preparing for a prolonged downturn. Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. reported their worst earnings in years. Supply will outpace demand by 1 million barrels a day through 2016, according to Bank of America Corp. Prices need to stay below $40 a barrel for months for U.S. output to fall enough to erode the global surplus, IHS Inc. said. “The speculators are looking at the bad earnings and the […]

Oil to hit low $30s by the end of 2015: Kilduff

Filed in Prices by on 3 August 2015

The prospect of oil prices falling below $40 receded earlier this year amid a crude rally, but with futures sliding again, investors shouldn’t rule out a three-handle, Again Capital founding partner John Kilduff said Thursday. “Christmas time we’ll probably be rebounding off new lows off of the mid to low 30s,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We have a lot to go. We’re going to take out the March lows of $43 and trade down to the 30s in my view.” U.S. crude was trading around $49 Thursday morning. The benchmark touched a four-month low this week. A growing global glut of diesel fuel could be the next catalyst, he said, noting that Saudi Arabia and China have ramped up their refining capacity and are now flooding the Asian market with diesel. “You hear analysts come on all the time talking about this golden era for refiners,” he said. […]

Iran’s President Says Nuclear Deal Will Help Revive Domestic Economy

Filed in Iran by on 3 August 2015

Iran’s landmark nuclear deal will revive a domestic economy that has struggled under a decade of sanctions and help ease political tensions in a volatile region, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a nationally televised speech Sunday. “We must create jobs and seek economic improvement” on the back of the deal, Mr. Rouhani said in the speech, delivered on the eve of the two-year anniversary of his inauguration in 2013. “Economic growth must reach 8%.” “Our principles remain the same on regional issues, but this deal will certainly create a new climate for quicker political settlement of these issues,” he added. The speech appeared to show Mr. Rouhani laying out his administration’s political accomplishment in the deal, reached July 14 in Vienna between Iran and six world powers including the U.S. Mending ties with the West and removing sanctions have been central priorities for Mr. Rouhani, a moderate within […]

Saudis to raise September oil price, but wary of losing market share

Filed in Saudi Arabia by on 3 August 2015

 Saudi Arabia is expected to raise prices for crude it sells to Asia in September due to a stronger Dubai benchmark, traders and analysts said on Monday, adding that the top oil exporter will be wary of a hike so big it would threaten its market share. OPEC’s efforts to discourage growth from rival supply sources are bearing fruit as the group continued to pump at record levels in July. Still, raising prices when Asian refiners are cutting runs because of weak margins could hurt demand for Saudi oil, the traders and analysts said. “It’s an awkward decision,” a Singapore-based trader said. “They have to follow their formula to ensure price continuity, but at the same time they have to keep their prices competitive when compared with other grades in the market.” State oil giant […]

China July factory growth unexpectedly stalls: official PMI survey

Filed in China by on 3 August 2015

Workers install the chassis along a production line at a truck factory of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd (JAC Motors) in Hefei, Anhui province May 5, 2014. Growth at China’s big manufacturing companies unexpectedly stalled in July as demand at home and abroad weakened, an official survey showed on Saturday, reinforcing views that the economy needs more stimulus as it faces fresh risks from a stock market slump. The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stood at 50.0 in July, compared to the previous month’s 50.2. The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted another tepid reading of 50.2, pointing to expansion, albeit a sluggish one. However, both export and domestic orders shrank for the large firms covered by the survey, and in response they continued to cut jobs. It did not mention any impact from a savage 30 percent drop […]

Obama to unveil more ambitious climate change plan

Filed in Climate by on 3 August 2015

The proposal under the Clean Air Act to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants is seen before a news conference in Washington June 2, 2014. President Barack Obama will unveil on Monday the final version of his plan to tackle greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants as he aims to cement his legacy on climate change, a senior administration official said. The revised Clean Power Plan will seek to slash carbon emissions from the power sector 32 percent from 2005 levels in 2030, a 9 percent increase over a previous proposal. The regulation will usher in a sweeping transformation of the U.S. electricity sector, encouraging an aggressive shift toward more renewable energy away from coal-fired electricity. Industry groups and some lawmakers from states that have relied on coal-based energy have said they will challenge it in the courts and through Congressional maneuvers, accusing the administration of a regulatory […]

Asian Stocks Fall on China Factory Data as Energy Shares Retreat

Filed in China by on 3 August 2015

Asian stocks fell for the first time in four days as data showed a Chinese factory gauge slipped to a five-month low and energy shares retreated amid a drop in oil. Lotte Chemical Corp. sank 14 percent in Seoul, leading declines on the regional equities gauge. China Mengniu Dairy Co. declined 4.3 percent in Hong Kong after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. recommended selling the shares. Offshore energy explorer Cnooc Ltd. fell 1.5 percent. MediaTek Inc. tumbled 9.9 percent in Taipei amid a weak sales outlook. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index slipped 0.8 percent to 140.95 as of 5:36 p.m. in Tokyo. The measure lost 0.4 percent last week for a second weekly decline. The official China Purchasing Managers’ Index sat at 50 for July, compared with the median estimate of 50.1 in a Bloomberg survey and down from June’s 50.2. Energy shares sank as crude futures in New York slid […]

20-Ton Debris Removed From Fukushima Daiichi Fuel Pool

Filed in Japan, Nuclear by on 3 August 2015

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it successfully removed the largest piece of debris from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant’s Unit 3 reactor, which had fallen inside the spent-fuel pool following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami . According to Tepco, the company used two 600-ton cranes to lift the 20-ton fuel-handling machine , which was sitting on top of more than 500 fuel assemblies. While there were concerns that the procedure might damage the spent-fuel pool’s gates and reduce water levels, which could have heated up the radioactive fuel rods, Tepco said they experienced no trouble during the procedure. The lifting of the fuel-handling machine began at 11:55 a.m. on Sunday and ended at 1:18 p.m. A spokesman said that there was some fog in the area but that it didn’t affect the process. All other procedures at the nuclear power plant were halted while the debris was being removed. […]

EPA’s New Emissions Rule to Alter Energy Landscape

Filed in Climate by on 3 August 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new rules on carbon emissions from power plants will alter the way Americans make and consume electricity, accelerating a dramatic shift to cleaner fuels, renewable energy and consumer choice. Even as the new regulations on greenhouse gases face legal challenges, they will force sweeping changes to the once hidebound electricity business. Utility companies and state regulators will need to rewire the electric grid to accommodate more renewable power, much of it generated by customers. Cutting carbon emissions 32% by 2030 will require billions of dollars in investments to pay for new transmission lines that accommodate more solar and wind power and new pipelines to fuel natural-gas-fired generation, as coal becomes less important as a fuel for power plants. Utilities, which expect to spend more than $100 billion next year on capital projects, will adjust their spending programs to reflect the new rules even as court […]

Alpha Natural Resources to Seek Chapter 11

Filed in Coal by on 3 August 2015

The ailing U.S. coal industry is about to get another black mark. Alpha Natural Resources Inc. is expected to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday to cut its more than $3 billion debt load, according to people familiar with the matter, as a severe slump in coal prices continues to wreak havoc on the industry. The Bristol, Va., company, one of the largest U.S. coal producers, hasn’t completed the terms of a restructuring plan but will likely sell some of its best mines or turn them over to creditors and close others during its trip through bankruptcy court, the people said. Alpha has secured as much as $600 million in bankruptcy financing from senior lenders and secured bondholders to fund its operations during its chapter 11 case, some of the people said. A steep drop in coal prices has Alpha and its rivals bleeding cash and choking […]

Economy Takes Center Stage as Harper Kicks Off Canada Election

Filed in Canada by on 3 August 2015

Prime Minister Stephen Harper began Canada’s longest election campaign in more than a century by touting his economic stewardship as his main rivals jockeyed to be seen as the best agent of change. The incumbent Conservative leader fired the starting gun early on Canada’s 42nd election campaign Sunday morning, meeting Governor General David Johnston, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in Canada, to request parliament be dissolved. The visit marked the formal start of campaigning for an Oct. 19 vote, with polls showing Harper’s nine-year reign being threatened by a leftist party that’s never governed the country. “A national election is not a popularity contest,” Harper, 56, said outside Ottawa’s Rideau Hall. “Canadians will make a serious choice between proven, real-world experience and a dangerous approach that has failed before and is failing in other countries.” The Conservatives are locked in a three-way […]

Coal Left Fighting Over America’s Last Plants as Rules Mount

Filed in Coal by on 3 August 2015

U.S. power plants are burning the least amount of coal seasonally in more than a decade, and yet supplies continue to climb. For the latest front in the war on coal, look no further than the Coffeen Power Station, about 60 miles south of Springfield, Illinois. Trains roll into Dynegy Inc.’s plant hauling coal mined halfway across the country in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin — even though there’s a mine just a few miles down the road. That galls Illinois state representative John Bradley, who’s pushing for legislation that’ll boost the use of the state’s own supply. “Powder River Basin coal is not as good as coal from Illinois,” Bradley, a Democrat, said by phone. “Illinoisans are sitting on better coal than any other in the country.” America’s coal miners are getting so desperate, beaten down by the lowest prices in eight years, increasing competition and mounting environmental regulations, […]

Peak oil, Peak gold, Peak everything – coming disaster for everyone

Filed in Peak Oil by on 3 August 2015

The global financial and political scene is now undergoing a transition that goes largely unnoticed and escapes general comprehension. Many facts and indicators provide mounting evidence that the status of the US dollar as international reserve currency is being seriously threatened by the BRICS economic block and that alternative arrangements for international trade and commerce, planned two or three years ago, are being systematically implemented via the Asia Infrastructure and Investment Bank and the Shanghai Gold Exchange. It might seem puzzling to some why any change would be necessary. The only logical explanation is that the super-elite group of bankers and royal families that secretly control global affairs have come to realize what’s threatening the world’s future prosperity today. Even though governments are not discussing this, statistics that apply the correct accounting and forecasting methods show that we reached peak oil in 2014. Many industry experts contend that 2015 […]

Three Years Ago This Coal Mine Was Worth $624 Million. Now It Sold for $1

Filed in Coal by on 3 August 2015

The destructive force of a collapse in world coal prices has been underscored by the sale of a mine valued at A$860 million ($631 million) three years ago for just a dollar. Brazilian miner Vale SA and Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. sold the Isaac Plains coking-coal mine in Australia to Stanmore Coal Ltd., the Brisbane-based company said Thursday in a statement. Sumitomo bought a half stake for A$430 million in 2012. A slump in the price of coking coal, used to make steel, to a decade low is forcing mines to close across the world and bankrupting some producers. Alpha Natural Resources Inc., the biggest U.S. producer, plans to file for bankruptcy protection in Virginia as soon as Monday, said three people with direct knowledge of the matter. It was valued at $7.3 billion in 2008. Isaac Plains in Queensland “was one of the most exciting coal projects in Australia,” […]

Oil Drops For 5th Week; US Crude In Biggest Monthly Fall Since 2008

Filed in Prices by on 1 August 2015

U.S. crude posted its biggest monthly drop since the 2008 financial crisis on Friday after a string of losses in July triggered by China’s stock market slump and signs that top Middle East producers were pumping crude at record levels. A higher U.S. oil rig count for a second straight week added to the market’s downside Friday despite a weaker dollar, which would normally support commodities. Heavy hedging activity in gasoline and diesel futures ahead of front-month contract expiration dominated play on the petroleum complex, diverting some attention from crude. Oil prices fell for a fifth straight week. U.S. crude settled down $1.40, or almost 3 percent, at $47.32 a barrel. It slid more than 2 percent on the week. Through July, U.S. crude was down 21 percent, its largest monthly decline since October 2008, when oil had an epic collapse at the […]

Hedge funds’ bullish exposure to U.S. oil near five-year low

Filed in Prices by on 1 August 2015

Hedge funds and other speculators have slashed their bullish exposure to U.S. crude to the lowest in nearly five years, trade data showed on Friday, as local drillers continue to add rigs and pump at full throttle despite a global oil glut. U.S. crude prices posted their largest monthly decline since the 2008 financial crisis on Friday, ending down 21 percent, as global demand continued to trail production by about 2 million barrels. Corresponding with the price tumble, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed money managers’ net long position in U.S. crude futures and options at the lowest levels since […]

Oil Prices Fall to Multi-Month Lows as U.S. Rig Count Rises – WSJ

Filed in Prices by on 1 August 2015

Oil prices fell to new multi-month lows Friday as data showed U.S. producers put more drilling rigs to work despite a lingering world-wide glut.  Many analysts and investors have warned for months that crude production could keep rising even amid massive cutbacks from U.S. producers. U.S. prices have fallen into bear market territory in recent weeks as that scenario has started to play out.  Now U.S. producers are putting more rigs to work. Baker Hughes Inc.’s weekly oil rig count rose by 5 to 664 this week, on top of a 20-rig increase last week. Combined with larger-than-expected production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the move shows how a glut of oil may persist despite the slide in prices over the past year, analysts said.  “It’s just one more thing that adds to that bearish feel to the market,” said John Saucer, vice president of research and analysis at Mobius Risk Group in Houston. He said oil prices are likely to test their lows for 2015. Production “has really overwhelmed demand, even though demand is up.”

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Natural Gas Prices Slide to 3-Week Low on Milder Weather Forecasts

Filed in Prices by on 1 August 2015

Natural gas prices sank to a three-week low on Friday, as cooler weather forecasts convinced traders that summer demand won’t be enough to absorb near-record production. The front-month September contract lost 5.2 cents, or 1.9%, in price to $2.716 a million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It is the market’s lowest settlement since July 8. A two-day slide turned what had been a decent month for natural gas into its worst since January. Futures ended the month down 4.1%, with all the losses coming Thursday and Friday. Weather forecasts for the coming weeks show heat dissipating and large parts of the country likely to get cooler-than-normal temperatures. In the spring, prices had rallied about 20% from a three-year low, but that was partially dependent on expectations that hot weather would cause power plants to burn off high supplies of natural gas to […]

Options market sees oil price fall despite OPEC confidence

Filed in Prices by on 1 August 2015

OPEC policymakers seem confident in a sustained recovery of oil prices from this year’s lows as demand improves, but the derivatives market is geared for an alternative scenario: a fall below $50 a barrel by the end of the year. The level of volatility in the market, a broad measure of risk sentiment that determines the price of an option, has been edging higher. And for oil derivative contracts expiring in December, volatility has touched its highest in nearly four months, particularly for deeply bearish sell-options. Typically, December is when producers and consumers hedge their future requirements, prompting volatilities to rise. But it is also when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) holds its twice-yearly meeting. OPEC’s secretary-general said on Thursday the group expects increasing oil demand […]

OPEC Oil Production Falls as Iraqi Output Slips From Record

Filed in Iraq by on 1 August 2015

OPEC crude output declined this month as Iraqi production slipped from a record in June. Output by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decreased 362,000 barrels to 32.107 million a day this month, according to a Bloomberg survey of oil companies, producers and analysts. Last month’s total was revised 335,000 barrels higher, to 32.469 million a day, because of changes to the Saudi, Kuwaiti, Angolan and Nigerian estimates. Brent crude, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil, relapsed into a bear market this week on speculation that the global supply glut will grow. OPEC agreed on June 5 to retain its collective output target of 30 million barrels a day, a level that it’s exceeded for 14 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “Prices are going to remain under pressure because output is near record levels in several OPEC countries,” John Kilduff, a partner at Again […]

Iraqis protest over Baghdad heatwave power cuts

Filed in Iraq by on 1 August 2015

Protestors blame government corruption for the powercuts Hundreds of Iraqi protesters have taken to the streets of Baghdad to protest against power shortages as the country experiences a heatwave. They blamed government corruption for a lack of investment in infrastructure. On Thursday, the government declared a four-day public holiday after temperatures broke 50C (122F), with appeals for people to save power. Blackouts are common during the summer as Iraq’s electricity grid struggles to deal with the extreme temperatures. Analysts say that the country’s grid was severely damaged by US bombing during the 2003 invasion. The infrastructure has also been repeatedly targeted by insurgents. In some areas of the country it is common to have only a few hours of electricity each day. The government has admitted that at peak times during the summer it will only be able to provide half the country’s required power. On Wednesday, Iraqi Prime […]

Venezuela governor: 1 killed during supermarket looting

Filed in Venezuela by on 1 August 2015

A man was killed and dozens were arrested Friday as a mob looted a supermarket in an industrial Venezuelan city, Bolivar state authorities said. In announcing the looting, Gov. Francisco Rangel pushed back against opponents of Venezuela’s socialist government who attributed the unrest to widespread scarcities of basic goods across the oil-rich nation. He said more than two dozen people were arrested in connection with the looting in the southeastern city of Ciudad Guyana and added that there was no excuse for the behavior. “No one is starving,” he said. Rangel also suggested to the television station Globovision that the looting might have been driven by people with “political motives.” Tensions are running high in Venezuela as the country gears up for December legislative elections. Local newspaper Correo del Caroni said the dead person was a 21-year-old vendor had been shot in […]

Venezuela: Troops Suppress Riots in San Felix

Filed in Venezuela by on 1 August 2015

One man was killed and 15 people were arrested when a group of people looted businesses and attacked state-owned vehicles in San Felix, Bolivar state, Ultimas Noticias reported July 31. Unconfirmed reports indicated that up to 60 people were arrested. The National Guard deployed armored vehicles to San Felix, and the looting has reportedly subsided. The riots occurred in the midst of high inflation and food shortages as a result of the country’s economic crisis .

Beer shortages loom in Venezuela as troops occupy Caracas warehouse

Filed in Venezuela by on 1 August 2015

The head of Venezuela’s liquor store federation has warned beer production has reached ‘zero hour’ amid widespread shortages in raw materials. Photograph: Fernando Llano/AP Venezuela’s largest beer manufacturer is shutting some of its breweries, blaming a lack of imported barley, as its parent company remains locked in a wider dispute with the country’s government. The federation of beer brewers announced on Thursday that the beer-making subsidiary of Empresas Polar would suspend operations at two of its six plants owing to the shortage. Polar is Venezuela’s largest privately held company and distributes a majority of the country’s beer. Venezuelan troops, meanwhile, occupied a Caracas warehouse complex used by Empresas Polar and Nestlé, workers and company officials said on Thursday. The government says the land is needed for housing for the poor. A Nestlé spokesman, Andres Alegrett, said the company had been informed by the facility’s owner that the area was […]

U.S. oil drillers add rigs despite crude prices collapse: Baker Hughes

Filed in Oil Supply by on 1 August 2015

Stacked rigs are seen along with other idled oil drilling equipment at a depot in Dickinson, North Dakota June 26, 2015. U.S. energy firms added 5 oil rigs this week after putting 21 rigs into service last week, the most in over a year, despite a collapse in U.S. crude prices from recent highs in June, data showed on Friday. That was a sign some drillers followed through on plans to add rigs announced in May and June when U.S. crude futures were averaging $60 a barrel. U.S. crude futures so far this week however have traded around $48.Drillers added oil rigs in two of the four major U.S. shale oil basins, with three in the Permian in West Texas and eastern New Mexico and one in the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana. They cut one rig each in the Eagle Ford in South Texas and the Niobrara […]

U.S. Oil-Rig Count Increases to 664

Filed in Oil Supply by on 1 August 2015

The number of U.S. oil-drilling rigs, which is a proxy for activity in the oil industry, had fallen sharply since oil prices headed south last year. The rig count had dropped for 29 straight weeks before rising for two weeks and then falling again. Now it has risen for two straight weeks. Oil prices fell nearly 60% from June 2014 to a six-year low in March, as soaring production from the U.S. and other countries overwhelmed global demand. There are still about 59% fewer rigs working since a peak of 1,609 in October, though the pace of declines has slowed considerably recently. In late May, several U.S. shale-oil companies said they were ready to bring rigs back into service, setting up the first big test of their ability to quickly react to rising crude prices. According to Baker Hughes, gas rigs were down by seven to 209 this week. […]

BHI: Overall US rig count drops slightly, but oil rigs continue rise

Filed in Oil Supply by on 1 August 2015

A week after jumping by its highest margin since April 2014, the overall US drilling rig count lost 2 units during the week ended July 31 to settle at 874, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. Rigs targeting oil, however, continued their upward momentum, gaining 5 units. Since the week ended June 26, the oil-directed count has added 36 units. A primary indicator of rig count activity, 950 new well permits were issued last week in the US, representing a noticeable rise from the 806 issued during the previous week. In an energy update released earlier this week, however, Raymond James & Associates Inc. explained that it’s “hard to believe that this will translate into a large increase in activity” given the recent dip in oil prices . “This is more likely reflective of plans for increasing activity predicated on a $60[/bbl] oil price, seen just one month […]

Pain Worsens for Oil Giants Exxon and Chevron

Filed in Prices, USA by on 1 August 2015

Exxon’s second-quarter profit plunged 52% to $4.2 billion. The energy giant’s division that pumps oil and gas accounted for just $2 billion of that, the lowest level since 2002. Chevron eked out a quarterly profit of $571 million thanks to its fuel-making refineries, which made up for the company’s $2.2 billion loss from pumping oil and gas—the first such loss in nearly 20 years. Chevron lowered its outlook for crude prices and wrote down the value of its energy holdings by $2 billion. The hard landing fell short of analysts’ expectations, and Exxon and Chevron shares dropped nearly 5% Friday, making them the two worst performers in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Global oil prices have fallen more than 50% since last June, and settled Friday at $52 a barrel, the lowest since January. Exxon and Chevron have posted bigger profits during the 2009 downturn and earlier oil busts. […]

Florida Leans More on Natural Gas than Renewable Energy

Filed in Air Quality by on 1 August 2015

Natural gas is easily Florida’s main source of energy, offering up 1,300 Trillion Btu in 2014. Gas is 62% of Florida’s power generation, compared to 47% in 2008, when the “shale revolution” really took off. Florida is unique in that power generation accounts for nearly 90% of the state’s total natural gas demand, while the national average is 33%. Second place Florida uses around 3 Bcf/day to generate 145 billion kWh of gas-fired electricity, compared to Texas leading at 205 billion kWh and California third at 120 billion kWh. The “Sunshine State,” however, is being criticized by environmental groups for such a dramatic shift to natural gas, despite the known cost and environmental advantages. Florida today has no wind power and solar accounts for less than 1% of the state’s electricity. Natural gas provides 585 times more electricity in Florida than wind and solar combined . Florida though is […]

Texas Oil Production On Track To Break Record

Filed in Oil Supply, USA by on 1 August 2015

Economist Karr Ingham projects crude oil production in Texas will reach an all-time high in 2015. This opinion piece presents the opinions of the author. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Rigzone. Just about everyone knows that crude oil and natural gas production in Texas has been on the increase for several years. But the size of the increase – especially in crude oil production – has been lost until just a few days ago when economist Karr Ingham told a gathering of reporters in Houston that he projects crude oil production will reach an all-time high in 2015, breaking the old record set in 1972. Ingham, speaking to roughly a dozen reporters in Houston on July 27, pointed out that the decline in oil price, drilling rig count, drilling permits, and well completions would strongly indicate that oil production would decline, also. That has not been […]

Hess sees higher 2015 Bakken oil production on fewer rigs

Filed in Shale Oil by on 1 August 2015

Hess raised its 2015 production forecast for prolific Bakken shale oil formation in North Dakota to 105,000-110,000 boe/d as more efficient well completions counter a lower rig count, CEO John Hess said Wednesday. Earlier this year, Hess had estimated 2015 Bakken production would range at 95,000 boe/d-110,000 boe/d. The company had cut its rig count from the 12 operating in Q1 to the eight currently operating in response to sharply lower crude costs. The price of Bakken from the Clearbrook, Minnesota, oil hub averaged $56.98/b in the second quarter, Platts assessment data showed. So far in the Q3, it has averaged $48.40/b, touching $44.31/b on Tuesday. Crude movements by rail between the Midwest and the East Coast refineries, one of the largest users of Bakken crude, has been falling. It was 12.41 million barrels in April, down from 12.86 million barrels in March, US Energy Information Administration data shows. […]

Oil price collapse hammers big US energy groups

Filed in Oil Supply, USA by on 1 August 2015

Shares in some of the world’s biggest energy groups tumbled on Friday as the collapse in oil prices battered the profits of ExxonMobil and Chevron, capping a week in which European rivals announced thousands of job losses and slashed spending by billions of dollars.As Exxon, the US giant seen as best insulated from the crude price crash, reported its worst quarterly profits since 2009, its main US competitor Chevron suffered a huge $2.2bn loss in exploration and production in the three months to June 30.  For the first time, the biggest and strongest industry operators are feeling the full effect of a plunge in Brent crude since last summer that has led to an estimated 70,000 job losses worldwide and caused some $200bn of spending on major new oil and gas projects to be shelved.  The slide in the oil price, which began around this time last year, accelerated in November when Opec, the producers’ cartel, decided not to cut output in the face of a US supply glut.

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Solar-Power Fight Hits Home in Arizona

Filed in Solar by on 1 August 2015

Arizona, the epicenter of a nationwide fight between solar companies and utilities, is introducing new rules for firms that offer solar panel leases, which consumers increasingly prefer to buying the rooftop systems outright. But some solar companies call such rules unnecessary, contending that there have been few complaints. Instead, they say, the regulations are a new effort by traditional utilities to try to stop the spread of residential solar in the state. Claims about consumer protection are camouflage for opposition to solar power among utilities and some government officials, said Lyndon Rive, chief executive of SolarCity Corp. SCTY 2.64 % , which has sued the state and a Phoenix-area utility over measures the company says are meant to deter customers from adopting rooftop systems. These fights, and proposals from four other Arizona utilities to change their policies in ways that would hurt the solar industry, make Arizona “the most […]

Imperial Oil Profit Drops 90% on Tax Charge, Low Crude Prices

Filed in Canada by on 1 August 2015

Imperial Oil Ltd. IMO -0.56 % on Friday posted a 90% drop in its second-quarter profit, hurt by a large charge for a tax-rate increase in Alberta, slumping global oil prices and in the absence of a year-earlier gain on the sale of an asset. The Calgary, Alberta, integrated energy company, the Canadian subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -4.58 % , did get a boost from stronger production levels in the quarter, helped in part by the early startup of an oil-sands expansion project in northern Alberta. Overall production rose nearly 20% to 344,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, which the company said was its highest quarterly production level in nearly eight years. In June, Imperial Oil announced that production from the Kearl oil-sands expansion project had started earlier than scheduled. The 9 billion Canadian dollar ($6.9 billion) project is expected to add 110,000 barrels a day […]

SEC asked to review arctic oil exploration transparency

Filed in Arctic by on 1 August 2015

U.S. congressional leaders said they had questions about the disclosure of risks facing companies like Royal Dutch Shell targeting arctic oil and gas reserves. Ranking members of the House of Representatives Committees on Natural Resources and Financial Services issued a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission seeking a review of corporate financial disclosures by oil and gas companies with offshore operations, particular in arctic waters. When the federal government gave limited consent to Shell to start drilling operations off the coast of Alaska earlier this month, Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., ranking member of the House natural resources committee, said Shell’s campaign was “fruitless.” When issuing the letter to the SEC, Rep. Alan Lowethal, R-Calif., a member of the […]

Exxon, Chevron Brace for Darker Times as Earnings Slump

Filed in Oil Supply, USA by on 1 August 2015

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., the biggest U.S. energy producers, hunkered down for a prolonged stretch of weak prices after posting their worst quarterly performances in several years. Exxon reported its lowest profit since 2009 as crude prices fell twice as fast as the world’s largest crude producer by market value could slash expenses. Chevron recorded its lowest profit in more than 12 years after the market rout forced $2.6 billion in asset writedowns and related charges. The companies’ shares fell to multi-year lows. Stung by the worst market collapse since the financial crisis of 2008, oil explorers from The Hague to Calgary to Houston are firing staff, scaling back drilling, canceling rig contracts and reducing share buybacks to conserve cash. Chevron said the slump convinced it to lower its long-term outlook for crude prices. “This is the beginning, not the end, of the writedown process,” Paul Sankey, […]

TransCanada Alberta Pipelines Set Back by Oil Rout, Keystone Lag

Filed in Canada, Pipelines by on 1 August 2015

TransCanada Corp. is slowing work on two pipelines in Alberta because of reduced demand tied to lower crude prices and setbacks to its major oil export projects. TransCanada is indefinitely bumping back construction that was planned for earlier this year on its Heartland line from Edmonton to Hardisty since the Keystone XL and Energy East systems it would supply are delayed, executives said Friday on a conference call. Full expansion of the company’s Grand Rapids line from Fort McMurray to Edmonton, now under construction with startup planned for 2016, is being slowed as production rises more slowly in the oil sands. “A lot of the commercial underpinning for Heartland is tied to Energy East and Keystone XL,” said Paul Miller, president of liquids pipelines at TransCanada. “We do anticipate a slowing growth of throughput and build-out of the Grand Rapids system to align with the slowing pace of oil […]

Tumbling oil prices slam profit at Exxon Mobil, Chevron

Filed in Oil Supply, USA by on 1 August 2015

Weak oil prices CLc1 shriveled quarterly profit at Exxon Mobil Corp ( XOM.N ) and Chevron Corp ( CVX.N ), compelling both companies to rethink operations and plan for what many expect to be a sustained period of cheap crude. Earnings at Exxon and Chevron, two of the world’s largest oil producers, also missed analysts’ expectations, adding to concerns that perhaps executives had not acted quickly enough to mitigate the impact of an over-50-percent drop in oil prices since last summer. The results also highlighted how smaller and more nimble U.S. shale oil companies had slashed costs faster and more aggressively than global majors. Some shale producers have cut back drilling by 60 percent or more. Exxon’s profit fell by more than half, with the biggest drop in […]

Russia slows rate of cuts amid ruble weakness

Filed in Russia by on 1 August 2015

Russia’s central bank cut its key interest rate by 50 basis points on Friday, amid signs of renewed weakness in the country’s currency, the ruble . The move by Russia’s Central Bank (CBR) was as expected, according to a poll of analysts by Reuters, and eases the pace of cuts to its key interest rate. In a statement, the bank said it took the decision “taking into account that the balance of risks shifts towards the considerable economy cooling despite a slight increase in inflation risks.” The bank also forecast the Russian economy could weaken further. “Major macroeconomic indicators demonstrate further economy cooling. The Bank of Russia estimates gross domestic product (GDP) decrease in the second quarter of 2015 compared with the similar quarter last year to be more significant than that in the first quarter of 2015.” “The economic situation in Russia will further depend on the dynamics […]

The Aquaponics Solution

Filed in Renewables by on 1 August 2015

Brief Our current industrial food system is unsustainable. Demand for food continues to grow while soil erosion, groundwater depletion and climate change are constricting supply. In addition, intensive use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, water, fossil fuels, and genetic engineering are eroding human, community, and environmental health. The rise of local, sustainable food systems present solutions to many of these problems, but these approaches are unable to consistently provide quality food on an annual basis. Aquaponics holds the promise of solving this fundamental problem of local food systems, and does so while requiring far less land, water, fertilizers, pesticides, fossil fuels, and genetic engineering. This article reports on a novel, sustainable, and economically viable model for aquaponic food production year-round, even in locations with harsh winter climates. Key Concepts Our current industrial food system is environmentally and socially unsustainable. The rise of local, […]

Oil Heads for Biggest Monthly Drop This Year Amid Global Glut

Filed in Prices by on 31 July 2015

Oil headed for its biggest monthly drop this year on speculation that increased OPEC supplies and threats to demand in China will prolong a global glut. Futures slid as much as 1.5 percent in New York and are down 19 percent in July. U.S. crude stockpiles are almost 100 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average, while exports from southern Iraq rose to a record this month. Producers from BP Plc to Royal Dutch Shell Plc have started a new round of cost cutting as prices decline. Oil’s worst month since December paces a slump across raw materials amid expanding surpluses and concern slower economic growth in China will crimp demand. Commodities also dropped as the dollar gained on signs that the Federal Reserve may increase rates. Sanctions on oil exports from Iran, holder of the world’s fourth-biggest crude reserves, may be lifted following a nuclear accord on July […]

Commodities Drop as Dollar’s Best Month Since January Hits Ruble

Filed in Prices by on 31 July 2015

Friday’s markets told July’s story in a microcosm: Commodities extended their worst monthly slump since 2011, Chinese shares dropped and the dollar advanced against emerging-market peers as the Federal Reserve moved closer to raising interest rates. Crude oil led the Bloomberg Commodity Index down 0.4 percent by 10:25 a.m. in London, extending the gauge’s decline in July to 10 percent. The dollar headed for the biggest monthly gain since January while a gauge of emerging-market currencies dropped to a record low. Italian bonds headed for their best month since 2013 and Russia’s ruble weakened before a monetary policy decision. The dollar’s ascendance amid rising bets on a U.S. rate increase in September has spread across financial markets, hurting commodities already in retreat on supply gluts and slowing growth in China. Emerging markets have been a chief casualty, while stocks in the U.S. and Europe are poised for their biggest […]

Oil falls after OPEC comments imply no supply cut

Filed in Prices by on 31 July 2015

Oil prices fell on Friday as concern over global oversupply intensified after the head of oil producers’ cartel OPEC indicated there would be no cuts in production despite a huge global oversupply. Benchmark North Sea Brent crude LCOc1 headed for its fifth consecutive weekly fall after comments on Thursday in Moscow by Abdullah al-Badri, secretary-general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Badri said rising demand would prevent a further fall in oil prices and suggested cuts in OPEC output would not have much impact on the market. Brent LCOc1 was down 50 cents at $52.81 a barrel by 0825 GMT after settling 7 cents lower in the previous session. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 60 cents lower at $47.92 a barrel. OPEC members produced around 31.25 million barrels […]

Oil climbs on big U.S. stock draw; strong dollar caps gains

Filed in Prices by on 31 July 2015

Oil prices extended gains in Asian trade on Thursday, after a larger than expected draw in U.S. crude and gasoline stocks strengthened the outlook for oil demand. But gains were capped by a stronger dollar and despite the drop in oil stocks some commentators warn of a global supply glut, with OPEC members producing 3 million barrels per day more than demand in the second quarter. U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 4.2 million barrels in the week to July 24, more than twenty times analysts’ expectations of a decrease of 184,000 barrels, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed. Gasoline stocks dropped by 363,000 barrels against analysts’ forecasts of a 512,000-barrel gain with U.S. gasoline demand up 6.2 percent from a year ago. The large draw down in stocks could be short-lived, said […]

OPEC says oil should not fall further, sees stability in 2016

Filed in Oil Supply, Prices by on 31 July 2015

OPEC expects increasing oil demand to prevent a further fall in prices and sees a more balanced market in 2016, its secretary-general said on Thursday, the latest sign the group is sticking to its policy of defending market share. Oil LCOc1 has dropped about 15 percent this month and halved in value in the past year but neither OPEC nor Russia, the world’s top producer, have cut output to support prices, hoping cheaper oil will hit U.S. shale and other rival sources. “I would not expect they (prices) are going to fall because demand is growing,” OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri told reporters in Moscow. OPEC pumps around 40 percent of global oil production. “The current situation is a test for all producers and investors. While the prices … […]

Saudi Arabia to Cut Oil Production After Summer

Filed in Saudi Arabia by on 31 July 2015

The world’s top crude-oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, is planning to pull back from record-high levels of production at the end of the summer when domestic energy demand subsides, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The reduction could begin as soon as September and would amount to about 200,000 to 300,000 barrels a day, bringing production to about 10.3 million barrels a day, the people said. Saudi Arabia told the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that it produced 10.56 million barrels a day in June, a record high. “It is purely based on the [domestic] demand situation,” one of the people said, adding that “production is likely to hover around” 10 million barrels until the end of the year. Saudi Arabia—one of a handful of countries that generates electricity by burning crude oil—generally reduces production in the fall, when demand for the heavily subsidized energy to power […]

Kurdish oil secured, Norwegian company says

Filed in Iraq by on 31 July 2015

Norwegian energy company DNO says it’s still working as normal in northern Iraq despite the bombing of a pipeline running north to a Turkish port. File Photo by UPI/Mohammed al Jumaily OSLO, Norway, July 30 (UPI) — Norwegian energy company DNO International said Thursday its oil operations in the north of Iraq were isolated from violence raging across the border in Turkey. The company said operations at its Tawke oil field in the Kurdish north of Iraq “continued uninterrupted during this week’s shut down of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline in Turkey, given the flexibility to redirect volumes from exports to local sales.” Ankara confirmed Wednesday that a section of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline, running from northern Iraq to Turkish ports, was bombed in southern Sirnak province. The pipeline has a maximum capacity of around 400,000 barrels of oil per day and the bombing comes one day after an attack on […]

Iran’s Thirst for Energy Draws in Wind Developers – Bloomberg Business

Filed in Iran, Wind by on 31 July 2015

Iran’s quest to rejuvenate its energy industry after decades of sanctions is attracting renewable energy developers eager to plant turbines on windy ridges across the country.  Since 2012 the government has pushed renewables as an alternative to the fossil fuels that supply 94 percent of its electricity. Developers such as GI Umweltconsult and turbine suppliers including Nordex SE are preparing to enter the market.  While Iran’s renewables industry is concentrated mainly on hydro plants, the government plans to bolster wind as a way of preserving crude oil for export, and feeding the electricity needs of its more than 80 million people. With an ambition to install 5 gigawatts of renewable capacity by 2020, Iran would rank alongside France and the U.K. as an industry leader.

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