The two sides of the refining equation pulled in separate directions last week, with crude stocks dropping an enormous amount, and products stocks rising. You can see Platts analysis here.
By News Desk | December 11, 2013 01:50 PM Comments (0)
By Joseph Innace | December 10, 2013 09:28 AM Comments (0)
A few weeks ago, at a luncheon meeting in New York of steel traders, the discussion turned to the fact that spot prices of most finished steel prices were a lot calmer this year than last. “Who says it always has to be a roller-coaster market?” asked a long-time steel trader. “A period of price stability can be a good thing.”
Whether volatility versus stability is good or bad is not the focus of this article. But the comment itself was enough to prompt a study of this year’s steel prices compared with last year. After quantifying the steel trader’s comment, the look was extended to an analysis of some other key commodities assessed by Platts.
By Rodney White | December 10, 2013 12:01 AM Comments (3)
Solar can become competitive internationally with natural gas by 2025, claims a study authored by Lux Research. But there are several caveats to that assertion.
For example, the study said, solar becomes competitive if there is a 39% decline in utility-scale system costs by 2030 and accompanied by barriers to shale gas production, such as anti-fracking policies in Europe and the high cost of capital in South America.
By News Desk | December 9, 2013 12:01 AM Comments (1)
It’s been a long time in coming, but Canada’s gigantic Northwest Territories is about to get a degree of sovereignty that will allow it more control over its natural resources, including oil and gas. Gary Park discusses the implications of the change in this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers.
By Starr Spencer | December 6, 2013 12:01 AM Comments (0)
Raging snow and ice storms and temperature plunges across much of the US’ midsection last week brought to mind Hardin’s First Law of Human Ecology, as unruly winter weather debuted early in West Texas’ rapidly expanding Permian Basin.
The law was named for Garrett Hardin, who observed the interconnectedness of human behavior and events. It was Hardin who theorized the now often-repeated maxim that “You can never do just one thing.” He was basically postulating that unintended consequences can stem from one event–typically human behavior–which touches off or falls prey to assorted other events and eventually causes impacts that were never initially envisioned.
By Margaret McQuaile | December 5, 2013 03:09 PM Comments (0)
OPEC has often been criticized in the past for failing to cut crude output until the tide of oversupply is washing up at its shores. On Wednesday, the cartel ignored all the latest tidings of doom and gloom and rolled over for at least another six months the 30 million b/d output ceiling that has been in place since January last year. What else could it have done?
Undoubtedly, there is a long list of possible developments that could put heavy downward pressure on oil prices.
By Melanie Wold | December 5, 2013 01:50 PM Comments (0)
Among American and British football fans there is a popular competition known as Fantasy Football, where wannabe managers choose virtual teams that are made up of actual football players.
These teams compete against each other, with the statistics published online so that the ‘managers’ can see how they are doing with their bets. (Money appears to be involved.)
The idea of creating something of value from real elements is one of the reasons ETFs, exchange traded funds, are so popular as investment vehicles. An investment bank picks a few representative stocks in a sector, bundles them together and voila: you can sink money into your favorite team.
By News Desk | December 4, 2013 02:38 PM Comments (0)
By James Bourne | December 3, 2013 12:01 AM Comments (1)
Many people are only just getting used to the idea that Burma is now called Myanmar, that after almost 50 years of military rule it is moving quickly toward full democracy and that, following the easing of US and EU sanctions, it is open for business.
But in Asia, the rich business opportunities in Myanmar are well understood. The former capital Yangon is a construction site as, and to the dismay of some, colonial-era buildings are torn down to be replaced by new malls, hotels and office blocks. New cars, a rarity a few years ago, cruise the streets. A rising number of businesses accept credit cards.
Part of the boom is likely to be in hydrocarbons, most probably natural gas. During western sanctions China was Burma’s biggest business partner and as a result got first mover advantage. The deepwater Shwe gas field (operated by South Korea’s Daewoo) started producing in July and first exports reached China, via a newly built pipeline, in September.
By John Kingston | December 2, 2013 11:17 AM Comments (1)
The price of gasoline in the US usually goes up before every holiday. At least, so sayeth a blog post by The Atlantic, an august publication if there ever was one.
That declaration was made without any hesitation in this blog post by Todd Woody, described as an environmental and technology journalist: “Gasoline prices typically rise during holidays—and that’s particularly true for Thanksgiving, when the roads are the most crowded.”
It takes about five minutes of playing on the EIA website and with Excel to reveal that claim is absurd.