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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EIA analysis: US crude oil stocks increase

The US West Coast was the main driver of the crude oil stock increase this week, partly due to a decrease in refinery runs, which fell 82,000 barrels per day to 2.37 million b/d.

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Bank commodity trading and the US Fed: An unfolding relationship

Last week something serendipitous happened. I went to what was ostensibly a briefing and news broke out.

The news was that the big French bank BNP Paribas, after some high-level recruitment from a decamping JP Morgan Chase, intends to try and rebuild North American physical electricity trading to go along with its existing natural gas trading operations done primarily through its offices in New York.

BNP’s decision bucks the trend set by a number of other big banks—most notably JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and Barclays Plc– who have pulled out of several areas of physical energy commodity trading due to a combination of changing market conditions and flagging revenues, but perhaps most importantly, due to mounting regulations.

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Utica shale’s big natural gas flows, and Edvard Munch

Did you ever feel like that kid in the poster for the classic movie “Home Alone” who is clutching his face with both hands, mouth agape in shock at having to foil two nitwit burglars?

I did when I saw the initial natural gas production rates that have come out of some recent Utica Shale wells.  Although it wasn’t out of shock but sheer awe at the volumes being yielded by wells the Northeast US natural gas-prone play.

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Petrodollars: What do Russian oil companies do in the wake of sanctions?

Sanctions against Russia are moving closer to the country’s big oil companies. In this week’s Oilgram News column Petrodollars, Rosemary Griffin looks at the choices that companies such as Rosneft face.

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Fracking dollars help save a sports icon in fracking-free New York

Another chapter in the never-ending love/hate relationship between New York and fracking. The former has banned the latter, as we’re sure you know.

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