The Paul Revere of ethanol sounds the cry

The imports are coming, the imports are coming!

Just two months ago, we were at the National Ethanol Conference in Grapevine, Texas, talking about how the US ethanol industry was “going global.”

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China’s thermal coal imports overstay their welcome

Ever had a house guest who has outstayed their welcome? It could be a family member, old school friend or acquaintance who has taken up residence in your house for longer than expected. They said they would stay only for a few days, then a week goes by and you begin to get impatient and frustrated. Politeness and your good manners keep you from broaching the subject of their stay. What to do?

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IHS CERAWeek 2015, Day 4: Power ballad ending

Thursday is not the final day of IHS CERAWeek, but it is the final day focused on a particular commodity. It’s also Platts’ final day at CERAWeek this year. Thursday’s focus on electric power allows for a wide variety of topics, though, from coal to actual power generation to natural gas and everything in between.

We had two editors roaming the sessions Thursday, one to focus on coal and one to focus on electric power. Some of what we heard was shared from @PlattsPower, although @PlattsCoal, @PlattsGas and @PlattsOil also got some fodder from various officials sharing their plans. Just as a good power ballad has to come to an end, our coverage of this year’s CERAWeek is ending, and here are some thoughts from our editors about Thursday’s events.

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Gazprom, oil-link vs spot gas prices, and storage

Europe’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager is taking on some tough battles. Last week she accused US technology giant Google of abusing its dominant position in the internet search market. This week she has laid charges against Russian gas producer Gazprom over its sales practices in eastern Europe.

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IHS CERAWeek 2015, Day 3: The gas guys take the stage

While Wednesday was supposedly natural gas day at IHS CERAWeek, oil topics still leaked into some of the discussions from executives and officials, such as during a discussion with Richard Kinder of Kinder Morgan.

On the other hand, some companies centered on other commodities (*cough cough coal*) are looking to gas as a way to round out their opportunities in a rapidly changing global energy landscape.

We tweeted tidbits from @PlattsGas, as well as from @PlattsOil and @PlattsCoal today, and also shared stories from our three natural gas and LNG editors who were in attendance at various sessions. Below are some of their thoughts about Wednesday’s events.

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IHS CERAWeek 2015, Day 2: Other observations from our oil editors

Second verse, same as the first . . . in some ways.

Many of the themes raised Monday at IHS CERAWeek were reprised Tuesday, the second day of the conference. But Tuesday’s offerings were decidedly more global, and our oil editors here share some of their thoughts on what they saw and heard.

You can find news stories and tweets from Tuesday shared on @PlattsOil (including one tweet that we felt needed a retweet from @PlattsCoal). You can also read thoughts from our reporters on the first day here.

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IHS CERAWeek 2015, Day 1: Thoughts from our oil editors

As we have in years gone by, we’re highlighting parts of the IHS Energy CERAWeek here on The Barrel. We have a rotating cast of editors coming this week to the Houston energy conference, from oil to natural gas to power, and each day we’ll have a post in which we share what stood out to us.

You can follow more of the coverage by following @PlattsOil, @PlattsGas and @PlattsPower and looking for the hashtag #CERAWeek, as well as by checking Platts.com for news stories. At the end of the conference, we’ll also have a Storify feature about the conference, compiling all our coverage in one location.

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Canadian oil producers need to learn lessons from Keystone XL saga: New Frontiers

Canada is pursuing projects that will have a major impact not only on national production, but on the North American oil landscape as a whole, as Ashok Dutta explains in New Frontiers, this week’s Oilgram News column.

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Quantifying the oversupply of US natural gas

This time a year ago, the United States produced about 66 Bcf/d of natural gas and the national average price of next-day delivered natural gas was $4.59/MMBtu. Today, the US is producing roughly 72 Bcf/d of natural gas and the average national price of next-day delivered gas, as of April 13, was $2.35/MMBtu. It is safe to say that we are in an environment of depressed prices and surplus supply.

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Oil and biofuels vehicles, check your mirror; the car behind you might be electric…

Time was when humanity seemed to take endless leaps forward in terms of technology. There was a sense that everyone was pushing forward at the same time and in the same direction. In today’s world, when investing in the next big tech, the great diaspora of ideas can be a challenge that divides investment funds, and has the ability to muddle that sense of direction, that notion of collective tech-progress.

Which brings us to cars. Combustion engines surely can’t go on for ever, that much is clear, but in that maelstrom of ideas, could the electric car now be attaining a critical mass? And could the two great energy and transport rivals — oil and biofuels — be developing a blind spot around their rise?

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