Kurdish attempts to sell oil are not going to get support from the Obama administration

For two months now, the United Kalavrvta tanker holding 1 million barrels of Kurdish crude has idled in international waters off the coast of Galveston, Texas, awaiting a District Court ruling on whether the oil will be allowed to be sold in the US.

But if the Kurdistan Regional Government is hoping that the Obama administration will soften its stance in opposition to Kurdish oil exports, that doesn’t appear likely, even as the US seeks to aid the Kurdish peshmerga in their fight against the Islamic jihadist group IS.

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Regulation & Environment: Reading into the big BP Macondo decision

Gary Gentile, in this week’s Oilgram News Column Regulation & Environment, looked at the lengthy decision by a federal judge in the big civil action surrounding the Deepwater Horizon blowout.

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Keeping the electricity flowing in Europe and the UK…or at least trying

Among the many brilliant and baffling woodcuts by the Dutch artist MC Escher is a depiction of what appears to be a triangle made of three sections of wood, which is in fact an impossible construct owing to the way the joints appear to fit together.

If it existed at all, it would resemble the leg of an insect, which viewed from one position only would appear to enclose a triangle, but in reality it would form a three-part zigzag in space, two of its ends far apart.

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A physical attack at a steel conference, a metaphor for tight credit

There was blood on the floor at the China Iron & Steel Association conference in Dalian Thursday. Literally.

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EIA analysis: big draw in crude oil stocks

US crude oil stocks took an unexpected downturn last week. You can see our analysis of the latest Energy Information Administration inventory report here.

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One more time: Canadian Western Select crude oil headed from 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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