Posts Tagged ‘diesel’

Regulation and Environment: Malaysia’s clean fuel goals run into its subsidies

Malaysia wants to introduce cleaner fuels. But that isn’t easy in a country where fuel prices are subsidized. Jonathan Nonis and Yen Ling Song teamed up to look at the issue in this week’s Oilgram News column, Regulation & Environment.

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Do you want to know an oil refinery secret? Look to Twitter

It’s hard to keep the cat in the bag when you’ve got a few hundred people pulling its tail.

Consider what goes on behind the fence at a refinery. Sure, there’s always flaring, and steam being released, and hard-hatted workers rushing to and fro.

But what’s really up? The companies would rather the public didn’t know the nitty-gritty, mainly for the cause of staying competitive in a business where regulation and a general downdraft in gasoline prices always put considerable pressure on the bottom line.

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New Frontiers: Now it’s crude oil from algae that is being tested

Turning algae into a distillate-type fuel has long been one prospective area of renewable liquid fuels; it’s even the renewable project where ExxonMobil has been the most aggressive in its investments. Turning algae into a crude-like substance is the target of another company, as Herman Wang discusses in this week’s Oilgram News column, New Frontiers.

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When the bunker fuel pool cleans up, it will be good ol’ diesel doing the job

The bottom of the barrel — residual fuel, bunker fuel, asphalt and petroleum coke — take up a little more than 5% of total US consumption. But because of new rules affecting the second of that group, bunkers, it’s about to undergo an upheaval that could easily spill over into other markets.

The consensus on day one of the Platts 10th Bunker & Residual Fuel Conference in Houston is that despite significant talk about the shipping industry getting to mandated lower sulfur levels through a variety of means — LNG or desulfurizing onboard scrubbers being the most prominent alternatives — it’s almost certainly going to be marine gasoil or marine diesel that gets the shipping industry across the finish line.

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Making money in Hawaii’s oil market is like pushing a boulder up a volcano

They like to say around the Platts office in Houston that California is an island.

An economic island, that is. The kind where the spot prices of gasoline and other refined fuels are insulated from the bob and weave of trades in the rest of the United States.

It’s an interesting analogy. But consider how fuel economics are affecting a real-live island right now: Oahu.

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Diesel, diesel everywhere; time to stop and think?

Ancient, historic, glorious Venice became the latest European location to lob a brick into the spokes of diesel’s dominance across the continent, with a stage-managed, short-lived but thought-provoking ban on all powered vessels using the legendary Grand Canal. Is Europe’s most romantic city signaling the beginning of the end for Europe’s diesel love affair? Read the rest of this entry »

Europe’s high sulfur gasoil: reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated

Scouring through the official stock and consumption data published by European governments is one of the glamour aspects of the job. While it might present the average oil analyst, trader, refiner etc. with an invaluable insight into the state of demand for the various oil products, every now and then sifting through the data throws up an interesting conundrum.

Data released by the German Mineralölwirtschaftsverbrand (MWV) has thrown an interesting light (no, really) on the health of an oil product that has been under some threat:  the high sulfur 0.1% gasoil that has been the mainstay of German domestic heating oil. In fact, 2012 was something of a bumper year for the out-of-fashion grade, so have reports of its death been greatly exaggerated?

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France’s fuel cut fails to find favor amongst l’automobiliste

Generally it’s an accepted view that it is good intentions that pave the road to hell. Doubtless, the French government had the very best of intentions when it followed through on an election promise and announced it would ride to the aid of hard-pressed motorists by hacking a full six euro cents off the cost of road fuels.

In the spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity, the government was not alone in making sacrifices to ensure the cut came through. France’s treasury accepted a three cent cut in fuel duty, with the country’s retailers chipping in the other three cents.

The one snag is that it doesn’t seem to have worked.

According to data from France’s petroleum body, UFIP, and in common with a trend seen across other parts of Europe, road fuel consumption is in decline,  a decline which is starting to border on free fall. As economies continue to struggle across Europe, was the cut too little, too late? Read the rest of this entry »

Now we are one: Europe’s 10 ppm gasoil contract marks its first anniversary

It may well have passed your attention, but the low sulfur ICE gasoil contract marked its first birthday this week. How come this wasn’t marked on my diary? Is my smart phone playing up? Has my secretary let me down? Should I send flowers? Chocolates? How do I mark this occasion? Or you might think… ‘Er… And…?’

Well, hold hard there; this is important. New futures contracts come along from time to time, and most are rapidly consigned to the dustbin of history, passing unremarked and–critically–untraded. Not this one. This is widely touted to be the future, the apprentice to one of the most successful futures contracts that’s currently out there. Read the rest of this entry »

Feast to famine: Europe’s diesel market remembers the feel of the lean years

Europe’s middle distillate market has long been seen as the cradle of the successful refining margin. Bolstered by legislation that has driven out sulfur and installed the road fuel as the premium product for the region, diesel demand across the continent has by far outstripped the local capacity to produce it.

That’s brought a world of change to the very heart of refining economics, fundamentally recasting diesel as the powerhouse for successful refiners. It has seen those who can’t maximize their middle distillate production fall dramatically by the wayside.

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