One more time: Canadian Western Select crude oil headed Montreal to the US Gulf

The Greece-registered Minerva Glory oil tanker is expected to load another parcel of Western Canadian Select from Sorel, Montreal, Quebec.

This is the second parcel of WCS heavy sour crude to move out of Montreal. The destination of the Minerva Glory is not clear but players say it is most likely bound for the US Gulf Coast. The first parcel of WCS was shipped end-July to Louisiana .

Suncor has confirmed it is the seller of the parcel. Its need for the crude is probably diminished; it has begun maintenance work at its 137,000 b/d Montreal refinery. The maintenance is scheduled to last 11 weeks.

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Energy Economist: The shifting fundamentals of commodity demand

Below is an excerpt from this month’s issue of Platts Energy Economist.

Economic growth in emerging markets has driven energy commodity demand over the last decade, but that growth is now slowing. According to the IMF, GDP growth in emerging markets fell from 7% a year on average in 2003-2008 to 6% in 2010-13.

The Fund forecasts that emerging market growth will dip further to 5% from 2014-2018. The medium-term outlook is no better. The IMF writes: “In the past, we expected growth to bounce back (and it did). This time seems different.”

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The great new oil and gas frontier of Myanmar, warts and all

Myanmar, the Southeast Asian country still called Burma by many people, is rapidly emerging from almost 50 years of military rule and related economic isolation.

The country, which is slightly smaller than Texas and home to more than 50 million people of many ethnicities, religions and language groups, has great potential. Apart from known and hoped-for oil and gas resources the country also has substantial tin, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead and coal resources, as well as jade, other gemstones and hardwoods.

A few days spent in the former capital Yangon earlier this month proved a real eye opener. Those five decades of isolation have led to a many idiosyncrasies and problems, making it a struggle for most foreign investors to do business there.

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US shale boom writes a tale of two emerging classes of gas carriers

Growing natural gas liquids production spurred by the US shale gas boom has stoked interest in new classes of ships to move ethane and LPG across oceans: very large ethane carriers and ultra large gas carriers.

The first VLEC orders have been placed and could keep shipyards busy for years, even as more are built to move cheap US ethane to Asia and Europe. But the time for ULGCs is yet to come.

After years of uncertainty because of economics, paltry demand and ballooning supply, the future is looking bright for ethane as appetite emerges in Europe and Asia, and with it the need for longer-haul and larger vessels.

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At the Wellhead: The legal battle over a possibly big Ecuador oil field

Like a lot of other oil producers, Ecuador is seeing flagging levels of output. One field holds promise to reverse that, but its development has become controversial. In this week’s Oilgram News column, At the Wellhead, Quito correspondent Stephan Kuffner discusses the challenges facing the field’s development.

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MPG OMG! What’s behind the gasoline demand drop?

Over at ESPN, there’s a podcast called “Numbers Never Lie.” 

The name’s something sports types like to throw around when making a point.

Like this: Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera is one of only four players with 300 total bases in 11 straight seasons. It would be hard for even a Kansas City Royals fan to punch a hole in that.

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Up or down in OPEC, its oil supply all comes back to the Saudis

Oil prices have found some support from the potential for lower production from OPEC next year, as suggested by the group’s secretary general, Abdalla el-Badri.

Speaking to Platts by telephone from Vienna earlier this week, Badri was at pains to stress that he was not predicting the outcome of OPEC’s next scheduled meeting on November 27. Nor was he talking about a 500,000 b/d reduction in the group’s current 30 million b/d ceiling. He was, he said, talking about an outlook that pegged the call on OPEC crude at 29.5 million b/d. He was not talking about a decision by OPEC.

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The shipping business gets ready — with new fees — for the dawn of cleaner fuels

The bunker fuel market in the Atlantic Basin is just a bit more than 100 days away from the next shift in the sulfur emissions cap on ships traveling within 200 miles of shore in North America and North West Europe, a designated Emissions Control Area. And some of its impact on costs is starting to show up.

After several months of vague rumblings about higher costs, we’re beginning to see a clearer picture of just how much more shippers expect to pay to comply with this stricter rule. MSC on Monday became what we believe is the third company to announce per-container surcharges intended to offset its expected higher fuel bills come January.

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Steel-government nexus evolving in the US

Two key areas where the US steel industry and the federal government intersect are global trade and antitrust measures. These critical safeguards appear to be moving in opposite directions, the former becoming less helpful to the industry and the latter becoming more helpful.

Fittingly, two stories drove American steel news coverage recently: the government’s surprising dismissal of US dumping duties on rebar imports from Turkey, a major offshore supplier, and Nucor’s planned acquisition of sheet maker Gallatin Steel, which would further consolidate US sheet steel production.

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China hails new deepwater natural gas find, done all on its own

China National Offshore Oil Corp. has plenty to get excited about these days. After years of touting the unexplored and hidden depths of the South China Sea, the company has finally scored a coup with its first independent deepwater discovery.

The company earlier this week announced the success of the Lingshui 17-2-1 wildcat well, hailing it as a major breakthrough in exploration efforts.

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