Crude oil stocks at Cushing, Okla., continue growing: EIA analysis

Total US commercial crude oil stocks built for the 12th consecutive week, rising 4.766 million barrels for the week ended March 27, according to data released today by the US Energy Information Administration.

Stocks now top more than 471 million barrels, and stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, increased 2.63 million barrels to 58.94 million barrels. Since mid-June 2014, when NYMEX crude oil future prices began falling, production has decreased on a weekly basis only five times, indicating that the wave of US oil is no joke. (The terrible April Fools’ allusion was required.) To read the full Platts analysis — with a promise of no more terrible jokes — click here.

A stark moment of truth for Europe’s power plants

A mirthless laugh from Enel CEO Francesco Starace greeted Platts’ question on European power markets March 18.

The Italian utility likes to do things in style, flying in dozens of immaculate assistants and glamorous foreign correspondents for its annual investor day, laying on breakfast and lunch for the assembled hacks and analysts.

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Guest post: A driving force behind the Low Carbon Fuel Standard sees credit prices rising

John Kingston is President of the McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute and Director of Global Market Insights. He continues to observe energy markets after his many years with Platts.

The price of Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits is going to rise. It’s just a question of when.

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UK election kicks off an uncertain period for energy investors

The UK’s general election kicked off Monday with the official closure of parliament, heralding 38 days of campaigning ahead of the May 7 vote. With clear policy differences between the parties and the polls too-close-to-call, energy investors could be set for an uncertain year ahead.

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Dubai’s national oil company considers expanding upstream presence: Petrodollars

Many have been waiting for mergers and acquisitions— particularly in E&P sectors — to pick up in light of low oil prices, and one case of a downstream-focused company considering acquiring an oil producer caught the attention of Tamsin Carlisle in this week’s Oilgram News column, Petrodollars.

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Coal may burn bright, but which Asian market has the lights left on?

If you are a coal producer focused on the Chinese market, I am sure you will be scratching your head thinking about the future. Ever since China started imposing restrictions on imports, suppliers have gone on a wild hunt for buyers.

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Nigerian elections 2015: Oil, militancy and subsidies

On March 28, Africa’s biggest economy and also the continent’s largest oil producer, Nigeria, will go to the polls to elect its new president.

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US commercial crude stocks continue build: EIA analysis

While US crude oil production was almost flat for the week ended March 20, total commercial stocks increased 8.170 million barrels to 466.678 million barrels, according to data released today from the US Energy Information Administration.

Refineries were slightly more active during the week, with the utilization rate increasing 0.9 percentage point to 89% of operable capacity. Maintenance season has kept utilization rate under 90% since January 16, with the exception of one week. To read a total breakdown of the latest EIA data, see the Platts analysis here.

Energy Economist: King Coal faces the end of its reign

The coal industry is in crisis. It has failed to recognize the structural shift in power generation driven by regulation rather than price and has missed the window of opportunity to invest in clean coal technologies. Now it faces a slow King Canute style demise, as elaborated by Ross McCracken, managing editor of Platts Energy Economist.

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The UK may lose a large part of its gas storage, but does it matter?

It went largely unnoticed by the general media, but last week there was a significant announcement for the UK gas industry: the country’s main gas storage site may have its capacity cut by around a quarter, reducing the volumes that can be held in reserve next winter.

Just two years ago, during a cold winter, there were warnings that the country “was just six hours away from running out of gas.” So why would storage capacity be cut now, and does it matter? Read the rest of this entry »