Posts Tagged ‘prices’

“Maddening” US ethanol prices mimic RINs volatility

US ethanol prices in 2014 have become what RINs were in 2013 — volatile and downright wacky.

In the opening three months of 2013, biofuels RINs went from the nerdy kid in freshman biology to a menacing and eccentric upper-classman that scared all the other kids in the cafeteria. The previously lesser-known renewable credits generated by physical gallons of biofuels became a household name of infamy as finger-pointing linked them to rising prices at the pump.

And if there’s one thing an array of industries, commodities, and political dealings have learned over the years, you don’t mess with prices at the pump.

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An SPR bazooka and the central bank of oil

In a perfect world of crude pricing, there would exist a mechanism to soak up excess length when prices were low, and add length into the market when prices were high.

In the world of money, this is called a central bank, with a dual mandate of keeping inflation low and employment as full as possible. There is no central bank for crude oil. But if there were, its dual mandate would be a price floor for producers and a price ceiling for consumers. Read the rest of this entry »

Natural gas prices jumped after TransCanada pipeline explosion

An explosion that occurred on TransCanada’s natural gas lateral pipeline on January 25 led spot natural gas prices in the frigid US Midwest and southern Canada regions to skyrocket.

Ventura prices averaged in the low $53.90s/MMBtu on IntercontinentalExchange after a more than $44 increase in trading on January 27. Deals went as high as $85/MMBtu.

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Platts and the history of oil: an infographic

It could be argued that the history of oil is the history of the modern world. And Platts, a leading provider of analysis, news and prices for the industry, has played a significant role in this amazing story.

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Lost in translation? Why the US feedstock advantage might not mean lower prices for buyers of polyethylene

Talk to a plastics processor or buyer in South America, and watch their eyes light up when the subject turns to the shale gas boom and resulting petrochemical renaissance to their north.

For the better part of three years, they have heard constantly about how North America, and the United States in particular, will benefit greatly from lower feedstock costs thanks to shale, aggressively expand its production capacities for key chemicals and plastics, and further grow its presence in South America through a sharp increase in exports to the region.

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Getting enough premium gasoline remains a grade-A challenge at the rack

OK, raise your hand if you have done one of these things, ever:

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A few thoughts on winter and US natural gas

Granted the market is only now just in the throes of hurricane season, but given the volatility already present in natural gas financial basis markets, I offer up a few thoughts on winter.

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Supply risks threaten runaway global oil output picture

With oil production in North America on a seemingly unstoppable upward trend, it is not uncommon these days to hear how the world might be able to relax a little in the knowledge that its oil demand is more or less guaranteed to be met in the short to medium term.

But there is no room for complacency, with the International Energy Agency warning on Friday that supply continues to be disrupted across the world, both within OPEC member countries and elsewhere.

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Recent crude-carrying train derailments in US heat up crude by rail safety debate

Two trains carrying crude oil derailed in the US this month, making headlines that garnered more attention to a recent debate over the in-vogue shipping method’s environmental impact.

The popularity of crude by rail shipments has opponents of major proposed crude pipeline projects (like Transcanada’s Keystone XL) asking the question: is rail transport safe?

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How afraid should you be of ethane rejection?

If you have any dabblings in the natural gas or natural gas liquids business: be very, very afraid.

Because it is growing and it is *everywhere*.

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