UK power margins tighten further for winter, but gas stocks high

A fire broke out Sunday at the UK’s 1,400 MW Didcot B gas-fired power station, in the latest of a series of unexpected problems that have considerably tightened the margin of spare supply available to the country’s electricity market this winter.

Damage to the cooling towers has resulted in the shutdown of 50% of the station’s output, removing some 700 MW from the grid.

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The Oil Big Five: Your comments about oil prices worldwide

This is a busy time of year, and between conferences and of big news events, we’ve been running in several directions at once here at The Barrel. That’s part of the reason why we’re just now getting to your comments about the October version of The Oil Big Five, when we got our analysts and editors to share their biggest issues in the global oil industry.

Today, though, we want to highlight some of your comments. Remember you can always tell us your thoughts through a comment here on the blog, or on Twitter with the hashtag #oilbig5.

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EIA analysis: big build in crude oil stocks

The weekly data from the Energy Information Administration showed a significant build in crude oil stocks. Our analysis of those numbers is here.

Leave it to $80 crude to shake up US petrochemicals

There’s something about $80/barrel crude that gets petrochemical markets in the US all riled up.

As the energy complex slowly emerges from its latest dip, let’s take a look at how some of these key markets fared over the past two weeks.

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For US airline industry, a penny saved on jet fuel is $180 million earned

I flew two different airlines last week. Both were packed.

Despite Ebola fears. Despite high ticket prices. Despite a slowing global economy. Despite high jet fuel prices.

Wait. Scratch that last one.

Spot market jet fuel prices have plunged as much as 50 cents below the 2014 average.

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New Frontiers: Cutting back natural gas flaring in North Dakota hits a bump

North Dakota has aggressively sought to cut the amount of natural gas flaring going on in the state. It’s made strides, but it has a new hurdle, as Brian Scheid discusses in this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers.

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The 10% ethanol blendwall is once again looming

Don’t look now, but the ethanol blendwall is back.

That 10% cap of how much ethanol can be blended into the US gasoline pool was a fiery issue in the Big Oil vs. Big Farm battle in 2013.

And believe it or not, the number has quietly but quickly crept back up into dangerous territory.

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Another big petrochemical project in the US might hit some supply constraints

With the announcement of yet another new cracker project this week — this time, to be built in North Dakota — the US petrochemical industry could be reaching a tipping point in the shale gas revolution.

It’s hard to imagine a time when the US could run out of ethane, particularly in the current environment where ethane rejection is expected to climb as high as 450,000 b/d during the next two years. But the announcement Monday that Badlands NGL’s LLC is planning to produce 1.5 million metric tons of polyethylene per year in North Dakota could cause the country to have an ethane deficit by 2021.

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EIA analysis: big build in crude oil stocks

A sagging crude oil market got another big hit of bearish news today with the weekly EIA statistics showing a big build in crude stocks. You can read our analysis here. 

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Ed Morse and his team on the oil price slide

A few snippets from a conference call Ed Morse and his team at Citi held today on the decline in oil prices.

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