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Former Exxon President On Mission To Clean Up Oil Sands

OilPrice.com -- Canada has given oil sands a dirty reputation, but a breakthrough, commercially viable technology has caught the eye of a former Exxon Mobil president who is putting it to use to clean up Utah’s billions of barrels of oil sands.

Imagine extracting high-quality oil out of the estimated 32 billion barrels buried in Utah’s oil sands, without creating the toxic wastelands that have resulted from oil sands projects in Western Canada. And imagine doing it at a cost that can still turn a profit in today’s oil price slump.

That would be highly enticing to some of the large operators in the Uinta Basin, Utah’s emerging tight oil play. As shale production has soared across the country, operators have moved to Utah to try to coax oil and gas from shale rock in ways that have been done on such a lar  (go to article)

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Oil prices plunge amid ample supplies

Business Standard -- Data showed a weekly rise of five in the number of active US oil drilling rigs to 664, according to oil services company Baker Hughes' Friday report.

The downbeat earnings of US petroleum giants added woes to the industry.

ExxonMobil, the largest US oil company reported on Friday that its second-quarter profits fell by 52% to $4.2 billion.

Chevron reported about a 90% drop in profit, the worst quarterly result in several years.

Traders also anticipated more Iran crude would come to the already well-supplied oil market as the sanctions would be lifted.  (go to article)

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Global Warming? U.S. Farmers Race to Guard Crops from July Snow

The Weather Channel -- Ski resorts in parts of Montana and Wyoming fired up their webcams to capture images of something they don't usually see on their slopes: snow falling in late July.

"An abnormally powerful low-pressure system is winding up near the Montana-Saskatchewan border – something more typical of the cold-weather season than mid-July," said weather.com senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen. "As a result, it's yanking some pretty cold air southward quickly enough to bring subfreezing temperatures into the Northern Rockies at elevations above 10,000 feet or so. Throw in some moisture and boom, snow."

The system dumped several inches of wintry precipitation on the higher elevations of the Northern Rockies, but also brought much-needed rain in a parched region. For some residents, it was the first time th  (go to article)

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State treasurer gives warning about BP money

Thibodaux Daily Comet, --

Even though the BP oil spill settlement is a step in the right direction there are still several threats to the billions of dollars the state is to receive, the state treasurer said.

Louisiana is expected to get more than $6.8 billion for claims of environmental damage stemming from the 2010 spill, state officials said. Money already paid by the England-based oil giant would bring the total the state has received to about $10 billion.

A majority of the money is promised to coastal restoration projects, with a portion put in a trust to benefit health care and higher education and another part to fill the state's "rainy day" account.

That money is at risk of being picked apart by lawmakers, State Treasurer John Kennedy said Thursday.

Because the money isn't dedicated through a  (go to article)

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Big cars kill: ‘Monster’ vehicles may make Canadians feel safer, but they’re more likely to cause fa

Financial Post -- Michelle Taylor’s last words, before she was crushed to death by a truck tire, were, “What does this idiot think he’s doing?”

With her 83-year-mother in the passenger seat, the 53-year-old high school teacher was driving along Ontario’s Highway 9 in a Buick Regal when a truck started to drift over from the opposing lane.

The vehicle was a burgundy Ford pickup customized with off-road tires and an aftermarket “lift kit.” And at the wheel was a teenager who had fallen asleep.

In the split second before impact, Taylor slowed almost to a stop and pulled as far off the shoulder as she could. The first thing the truck’s bumper would have hit was the Buick’s hood.

“The thing just rolled right up and into the cab and crushed her,” says her husband, James Taylor.  (go to article)

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'Confusion' and 'miscommunication' slowed Vancouver fuel spill response: report

Canadian Press -- VANCOUVER - Misunderstandings, uncertainty and technical difficulties slowed the emergency response to a toxic fuel spill in Vancouver's English Bay by nearly two hours, a review has found.

The review released Friday also found that Canadian Coast Guard staff were unsure of their roles and a faulty provincial alert system meant the city was not notified until 12 hours later.

"The MV Marathassa incident was an operational discharge of a persistent fuel oil with high consequences," said report author John Butler.

"The response was delayed by one hour and 49 minutes due to confusion of roles and responsibilities, miscommunications and technology issues."

The report was commissioned by the coast guard after a malfunction on the grain carrier MV Marathassa caused about 2,700 litres  (go to article)

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With protest over, Shell prepares for Arctic Ocean drilling

Platts -- DENVER, July 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Oil production from key shale formations in North Dakota and Texas increased marginally in June versus May, according to Bentek Energy, an analytics and forecasting unit of Platts, a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information.

Oil production from the Eagle Ford shale basin in Texas remained strong in June, jumping 18,000 barrels per day (b/d), or less than 1%, vs May, the latest analysis showed. This marked the fourth consecutive month of production growth, albeit small, since February when production dipped nearly 10,000 b/d month on month. Meanwhile, crude oil production in the North Dakota section of the Bakken shale formation of the Williston Basin remained relatively flat, increasing 6000 barrels b/d,  (go to article)

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Areva Agrees To Sell Nuclear Assets To EDF

Nuclear Power Industry News -- French nuclear build and engineering giant Areva on Thursday agreed to sell its nuclear division to utility company Electricite de France (EDF) for about $3 billion or about $1 billion shy of its asking price. EDF said Areva had signed a memorandum of understanding – a purchase offer – on June 30 that allowed for the utility company to buy 51 to 75 percent of Areva's nuclear division, which was valued at $3.03 billion. The Local.com reported that Areva had valued the division at $4.3 billion.

The French government owns 87 percent of Areva and 84 percent of EDF, two companies that put France at the top of countries dependent on nuclear power. However, just 10 days prior to Thursday's announcement, French ministers voted to drop the country's reliance on nuclear power from 75% to 50%...  (go to article)

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Delaware City oil train deliveries slow

Delaware Online -- Western wildfires and shifting oil markets have drastically trimmed the number of oil train cars coming into the Delaware City Refinery, company officials said Thursday.

Tom Nimbley, chief executive officer of plant owner PBF Energy Inc., in a second-quarter earnings conference call with investors Thursday, said rail-delivered North American crudes are too expensive compared with other sources that can be shipped in by water.

“Factoring in transportation costs, it is plainly evident that these [Midwestern and Canadian] barrels cannot find an economic home on the East Coast, or a lot of other places” at current levels, Nimbley said.

“We buy our crude basically two to three months early, so the crude we’re running in the third quarter is based on prices that exist in the second quarter, a  (go to article)

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Crude oil pipeline serving Twin Cities refineries to get $125M upgrade

Minneapolis Star Tribune -- Minnesota regulators on Thursday approved a $125 million upgrade to a pipeline that delivers North Dakota and Canadian crude oil to the Twin Cities’ two oil refineries.

Unlike other pipeline projects, this one provoked almost no controversy. The construction, to begin next year with 40 to 50 workers and finish in 2017, doesn’t require laying new pipe, and won’t significantly increase the overall flow of crude oil from a terminal in Clearbrook, Minn.

The pipeline company is co-owned by Flint Hills Resources, owner of the Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount; Northern Tier Energy, owner of the St. Paul Park refinery; and a third investor. The pipelines are operated by Koch Pipeline Co., which like Flint Hills Resources is a unit of Koch Industries.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission vot  (go to article)

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Woman gets $200 speeding ticket on Alberta highway. One problem, the man who gave it to her isn’t a

Canadian Press - OKOTOKS, Alta. -- RCMP say they’re looking for a man who has been playing at being a police officer.

They say a woman pulled over on a road west of Okotoks, Alta., recently when she saw flashing red and blue lights in her rear-view mirror.

A man with a badge came out of the car, asked for her licence and registration, then walked back to his vehicle.

When he returned, he handed her a $200 ticket and told her she should slow down.

It wouldn’t seem like a big deal, except that RCMP say he’s not an officer of the law.

The man is described as being in his 20s or 30s with short dark hair, a slim build and short, dark facial hair. He was wearing a tan uniform with a badge pinned to it.

Anyone with information is asked to call police — the real ones, that is.  (go to article)

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Oil refinery profits set a record in California

LA Times -- Oil refinery profits set a California record of $1.61 a gallon in July as consumers in the Los Angeles region paid as much as a dollar more than the rest of the nation.

The refineries' gross profits, the amount they collect on a gallon of gasoline, was the highest on record since the California Energy Commission began collecting data in 1999, said Gordon Schremp, a senior fuels specialist at the commission.

The record $1.61 was set during the week of July 13, when gasoline prices reached as high as $5 a gallon in downtown Los Angeles. Schremp said the next report for the period ending July 20 could go even higher.

Refineries are charging more because of low gasoline inventories following a February explosion at Exxon Mobil's Torrance plant that cut production at the facility to less tha  (go to article)

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UPS Agrees to Buy 46 Million Renewable Diesel Gets Huge Boost from UPSGallons of Renewable Diesel

Planetizen -- Renewable diesel, a biofuel that differs from biodiesel by the feedstock used and its chemical makeup, making it indistinguishable from petrodiesel, is a small but growing industry. The announcement from UPS was welcome news for three companies.

"On (July 29), UPS plans to announce that it will buy as much as 46 million gallons of renewable diesel over the next three years, helping the company reach a goal of displacing 12 percent of the petroleum-based fuels in its ground fleet by 2017," writes Diane Cardwell, Business Day reporter for The New York Times.  (go to article)

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Washington State increases gas tax by 7 cents

KOIN TV -- State needs more money. Beacuse we are buying less gas (more efficient) they are not collecting enough money for all projects (roads, bike lanes & other non-road items).  (go to article)

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Three Years Ago This Coal Mine Was Worth $624 Million. Now It Sold for $1

Bloomberg -- The destructive force of a collapse in world coal prices has been underscored by the sale of a mine valued at A$860 million ($631 million) three years ago for just a dollar.

Brazilian miner Vale SA and Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. sold the Isaac Plains coking-coal mine in Australia to Stanmore Coal Ltd., the Brisbane-based company said Thursday in a statement. Sumitomo bought a half stake for A$430 million in 2012.

A slump in the price of coking coal, used to make steel, to a decade low is forcing mines to close across the world and bankrupting some producers. Alpha Natural Resources Inc., the biggest U.S. producer, plans to file for bankruptcy protection in Virginia as soon as Monday, said three people with direct knowledge of the matter. It was valued at $7.3 billion in 2008.

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Senate OKs Rental Car Safety Bill Named for Sisters Killed in Crash

NBC News -- Family and friends of two sisters killed in a 2004 rental car crash received a bit of good news on Thursday, when the Senate passed long-delayed legislation named in their honor that would ban rental car companies from keeping cars in operation that are subject to recall until the necessary fixes are made.

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EPA Clean Power Plan Could Drop Hammer On Natural Gas

cleantechnica -- For those of you new to the topic, the EPA Clean Power Plan was proposed on June 2, 2014, in support of the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan.

The goal, set for 2030, is to reduce carbon pollution from power plants in the US by 30% compared to 2005 levels.

Here’s why EPA is targeting power plants:

Power plants are the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S., accounting for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

The proposal will also cut pollution that leads to soot and smog by over 25 percent in 2030.

The Clean Power Plan doesn’t issue a one-size-fits-all solution for states to replace coal with other sources. The video that accompanied the 2014 announcement translates into a “main compliance strategy” that relies on a transition to natural gas be  (go to article)

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Michigan gas prices expect to drop to below $2 by Christmas

Detroit Free Press -- t's Christmas in July -- for gas prices.

Michigan motorists can expect to see their per-gallon prices plummet to $1.99 or less before Christmas, according to a GasBuddy.com forecast released today.

Nineteen other states are also most likely to see a decrease; August is when those at-the-pump costs will start to drop. GasBuddy.com predicts the national average will be $2.54 a gallon in August, $2.43 in September, $2.28 in October, $2.10 in November and $1.98 in December.

"We're confident that our projections give consumers more than accuracy; we think they'll help them identify some savings that should come in handy at Thanksgiving and Christmas," Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, said in a statement.
 (go to article)

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Enbridge expects Line 9B pipeline testing to wrap up by year-end

Canadian Press - CALGARY -- The Calgary-based company had hoped to begin shipping Alberta crude through the line last fall, but NEB isn't allowing it to start up yet
In June, the regulator ordered Enbridge to conduct hydrostatic testing on 3 densely populated segments of the pipeline, though some groups in Ontario and Quebec are demanding testing along the whole line
The tests involve filling the pipe with water at high pressure to ensure there aren't any leaks
Earlier, NEB raised concerns about the placement of shut-off valves, which it says Enbridge has now addressed
The CEO of Suncor, whose refinery in Montreal would process crude from Line 9, expressed disappointment with the delays on a conference call Thursday
The original Line 9 has been in the ground for decades, most recently shipping imported crude westward  (go to article)

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Penn West Petroleum Ltd CEO warns of ‘lower-for-longer’ oil prices until ‘the end of the decade’

Financial Post -- New management at Penn West Petroleum Ltd. has already spent the past two years trying to remake the company into a low-cost producer while addressing an accounting scandal. Now, CEO Dave Roberts is warning it could be years more before business conditions improve
“While I think the current macro (environment) is generally unsustainable, we continue to view a recovery to a more normal, longer-term replacement-cost world – in my view $85 WTI – as being skewed toward the end of the decade. In other words, a lower-for-longer scenario,” Roberts said Thursday in a conference call with analysts to discuss his company’s Q2 results
Such pessimism has spread like wildfire since oil prices retreated below $50 this month on worries about new Iranian supplies and China’s stock market rout, causing co  (go to article)

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This Startup Wants To Help Insurers Track Your Driving Habits Through Your Phone

Forbes -- Plenty more goes into driving safely than simply going accident-free. So increasingly, big insurers are asking drivers to connect their cars for their habits to be tracked in real time in exchange for the promise of a discount. Allstate and Progressive offer devices to their drivers to plug in; State Farm connects to new cars’ software. But one startup is betting that drivers will find it easier–and more fun–to use their app instead.  (go to article)

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This gas station bathroom is nicer than your apartment

Fortune -- Gas station bathrooms are likely where your parents taught you to flush the toilet with your foot, and open the door using a paper towel. They’re known more for their lack of soap and cleanliness, and not so much for being an elegant pit stop.

But one Shell bathroom in Bohol, an island province of the Philippines, refuses to conform to the norm.

Rather than fearing that you may have somehow been transported into a horror movie, you’re pleasantly greeted with wooden trim, walls lined with paintings, model boats, an array of books and magazines, for some reason tiki torches, and, yes, even soap.  (go to article)

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Survivor recalls horrific shooting, unaware parents are dead

MSN -- Bullets whizzed past a woman's head as she fled from an 18-year-old gunman who had posed as a stranded motorist to convince her family to help him on the roadside of a Montana Indian reservation, the woman recounted to relatives.

The man claimed he had run out of gas, then pulled a gun, demanded money and opened fire when Jorah Shane followed her mother's order to run, Ada Shane said, relaying the story as told to her by her wounded niece.

The relatives listened to Jorah Shane's story, made sure the television in her hospital room was kept off, and struggled with how to tell her that the man had killed her mother and father in Wednesday's shooting, Ada Shane told The Associated Press Thursday.  (go to article)

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Tumbling oil prices slam profit at Exxon Mobil, Chevron

Reuters -- Weak oil prices CLc1 shriveled quarterly profit at Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N), compelling both companies to rethink operations and plan for what many expect to be a sustained period of cheap crude.

Earnings at Exxon and Chevron, two of the world's largest oil producers, also missed analysts' expectations, adding to concerns that perhaps executives had not acted quickly enough to mitigate the impact of an over-50-percent drop in oil prices since last summer.

The results also highlighted how smaller and more nimble U.S. shale oil companies had slashed costs faster and more aggressively than global majors. Some shale producers have cut back drilling by 60 percent or more.
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Group: Close Great Lakes oil pipe

Lansing State Journal -- A few dozen black-clad demonstrators on Thursday formed themselves into the shape of a giant drop of oil to call for the closure of a much-maligned pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.

“Enbridge lies everybody dies!” the group shouted in formation at the foot of the Capitol’s west steps, criticizing Canadian company Enbridge Inc.’s decades-old Line 5 which runs underwater for nearly five miles in the straits connecting lakes Michigan and Huron.

Earlier this month, a task force led by Attorney General Bill Schuette and state Department of Environmental Quality Director Dan Wyant called for more pipeline transparency more study and a ban on heavy crude in the straits pipe. Enbridge, the company responsible for a 2010 pipeline rupture near Marshall that was called the worst inland spill...  (go to article)

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Gas Price Drops to Accelerate from Labor Day through Autumn

GasBuddy Blog -- 2015’s second half represents a strong commitment that motorists will spend even less on gasoline this year than they did in 2014.  GasBuddy experts say that before Christmas, as many as 20 states could have average gas prices below $2 per gallon as the national average for December slips to $1.98.

“We’re confident that our projections give consumers more than accuracy; we think they’ll help them identify some savings that should come in handy at Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

“It’s interesting to remember that last year the national average shed more than $1.27 from August 1 through December 31 when the U.S. average was $2.24,” DeHaan pointed out. “This year, if we see just half of that decline it will bring us to below $2 per gallon.  Monthly National Average and Projections


Projected Monthly U.S. Average
(Per Gallon)   August:   &  (go to article)

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Police dress up as construction workers to catch distracted drivers -

WSB-TV -- Some drivers call it sneaky, but one metro police department says going undercover is an effective way to bust drivers texting tweeting or checking emails behind the wheel.

Marietta Police dressed up as a construction crew at a busy Cobb County intersection Wednesday to catch distracted drivers in the act.

Most drivers paid no attention to the road crew working at Cobb Parkway at Roswell Road but the crew wasn't radioing in survey readings -- they were busting distracted drivers.

“What we've done here is we're able to put officers in the roads so we're able to get close enough almost inside their cars so we can look down and see exactly what they're doing on their phones,” said Marietta police Officer Nick Serkedakis.

Police say making good distracted driving cases are tough because...  (go to article)

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Exxon, Chevron Brace for Dark Times Ahead

BloombergBusiness -- Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., the biggest U.S. energy producers, hunkered down for a prolonged stretch of weak prices after posting their worst quarterly performances in several years.  (go to article)

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Michigan Lottery players can enter to win free gas for a year

WNEM -- MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) -

The Michigan Lottery has teamed up with Speedway to give away free fuel for a year.

The contest starts on Aug. 3. Lottery players can be entered to win the prize by purchasing instant game tickets at a Speedway convenience store. Players must scan their registered Speedy Rewards card upon purchase to be entered.

Read more: http://www.wnem.com/story/29679180/michigan-lottery-players-can-enter-to-win-free-gas-for-a-year#ixzz3hTx11Bm2
 (go to article)

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Chevron profit tumbles 90 percent, misses estimates; shares drop

Reuters -- Second-quarter profit at oil producer Chevron Corp tumbled 90 percent, missing analysts' expectations, amid weakness in oil prices.

Chevron would have posted a loss had it not been for its downstream unit, which makes gasoline, lubricants and other refined products, where profit quadrupled to $2.96 billion.

Refining units tend to be far more profitable when oil prices are low, a key advantage for Chevron and other large energy companies as an internal hedge for times when core operations, such as oil production, is weighed down by weak prices.

Chevron's upstream unit, responsible for the company's oil and natural gas output, lost $2.22 billion, after earning more than $5 billion in the same quarter last year.

Chief Executive John Watson bluntly said the results were "weak" and that he  (go to article)

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Oil turns positive despite OPEC supply comments

Reuters -- Oil prices fell on Friday as concern over global oversupply intensified after the head of oil producers' cartel OPEC indicated there would be no cuts in production despite a huge global oversupply.

Benchmark North Sea Brent crude headed for its fifth consecutive weekly fall after comments on Thursday in Moscow by Abdullah al-Badri, secretary-general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
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Exposes Weak Underbelly of High-Tech Cars

Bloomberg Business -- The Jeep Cherokee brought to a halt by hackers last week exposed wireless networks as the weakest link in high-tech vehicles, underscoring the need to find fast over-the-air fixes to block malicious intrusions.  (go to article)

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Scientist: Oil slick drifting off California coast likely from natural seafloor seepage

U.S. News and World Report -- Coast Guard officials say it will likely be a couple more days before they can definitively say what caused a miles-long oil slick to materialize off the Santa Barbara County coast this week, but an expert said Thursday it was more than likely the result of ocean-floor seepage.  (go to article)

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Refiners Herald the Return of King Gasoline in the U.S.

Bloomberg -- After years of trying to reduce gasoline production in favor of diesel, U.S. refiners are once again relying on America’s favorite motor fuel to drive profits.

Gasoline is the best-performing member of the Bloomberg Commodity Index this year. Demand is the highest since 2007 as Americans drove the most miles ever over the first five months of 2015. The price at the pump is 24 percent less than a year ago, thanks to a global oil rout.

“We certainly expected some price demand elasticity for gasoline,” Gary Simmons, senior vice president for Valero Energy Corp., said on a conference call Thursday. “As long as we see the lower prices I think we expect the demand response to continue to be good.”

Valero, the second-biggest U.S. independent refiner, said Thursday it’s maximizing gasoline prod  (go to article)

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TransCanada Corp profit rises on Alberta power and pipe volumes

Bloomberg News -- TransCanada, which divides its business between pipelines and power plants, reported higher Q2 profit as electricity prices in Alberta rose and the company transported more fuel
Net income increased to $429M, or 60c a share, from $416M, or 59c a share, in the same period last year, the Calgary-based energy company said Friday in a statement. Excluding one-time items, per-share earnings were 4c more than the 52-c average of 11 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg
The company that’s seeking to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline derived 37% of its revenue from its power unit last year. Alberta spot electricity prices rose 35% from a year earlier, on hotter weather and an unplanned outage of a coal power plant, to average $57.22/MWh in the Q2, according to data from the Alberta Electric S  (go to article)

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Cenovus and Shell slash jobs and spending, Suncor profit surprises

Financial Post - CALGARY -- Deeper cuts among oilsands companies are causing more pain in Alberta, as major producers announced reduced spending and more layoffs during second quarter earnings calls Thursday
Cenovus, which cut 800 jobs earlier this year, announced that it had identified as many as 400 more positions that are “no longer required because of a decrease in work due to the continued low oil price environment,” according to a release
The company did not come to its decision lightly
However, the continued fall in oil prices has forced Cenovus executives to focus on reducing its costs and Ferguson said Thursday’s additional job cuts will save the company $100M annually
Those cuts are part of a global downsizing Shell announced in Europe Thursday, when the company said it has been cutting 6,500 jobs worldwide  (go to article)

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Exxon quarterly profit slides 52 percent on low prices

Reuters -- Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N), the world's largest publicly traded oil company, on Friday reported a 52 percent slide in second-quarter profit as tumbling crude oil prices weighed on results.

Exxon, based in Irving, Texas, said its profit in the quarter was $4.2 billion, or $1.00 per share, compared with $8.8 billion or $2.05 per share.  (go to article)

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Ford posts major profits despite massive discount on top-selling vehicle

The Globe and Mail -- Walk into any Ford dealership in Canada today and you should be able to drive away with more than $10,000 in discounts off the sticker price of, say, a Ford F-150 XLT 4x4 SuperCab. All that money on Ford’s flagship model, one in this case wearing a $41,299 MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price).

Nothing unusual in that, though. All across Canada and the United States, Ford Motor is putting the boots to posted MSRPs. As figures from Unhaggle.com show, these days it’s commonplace for Ford and its dealers to offer $10,000 or more in combined discounts on the F-150 – the crown jewel pickup line that accounts for about eight per cent of light truck sales in Canada and the U.S.  (go to article)

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Gas tax hard to predict

The Spokesman Review -- Washington’s gasoline tax goes up 7 cents Saturday but your price at the pump won’t automatically jump by that amount at 12:01 a.m.

It could go up that much or more. Or less. Or it could stay the same. Or go down.

One thing to remember is that motorists don’t directly pay the tax on an individual purchase at the pump; it’s not like a sales tax on a pair of shoes. It’s collected from distributors and passed on to retailers, who ostensibly factor it into their prices. For a gas station, the 7-cent tax increase – which will drive the total federal and state tax on a gallon of regular or premium to 62.9 cents in Washington – is just part of the equation that goes into setting the price at the pump.

“The price doesn’t change with the tax, the tax is built into the price,” said Tim Hamilton,  (go to article)

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OPEC frets over oil price volatility

Bloomberg -- MOSCOW, July 31 (UPI) -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a joint statement with Russia price volatility and oversupply was damaging the market for crude oil.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak hosted OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri to discuss short-term market tends and long-term prospects in the crude oil market.

"It was stressed during the meeting that price volatility and the general oversupply in the oil market observed in recent quarters have been less conducive for market stability," both parties said in a joint statement. "Despite current uncertainties, signs of a more balanced market in 2016 may provide much desired stability to the oil market in the longer-term, a prerequisite for the continuity of timely and adequate investments."

 (go to article)

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Michigan's first alternative energy fueling station coming to Ottawa County

MLive -- BORCULO, MI – Michigan's first alternative energy fueling station is coming to a contaminated site that once held a traditional service station.

Borculo Fuel Services, LLC, an affiliate of Zeeland Farm Services, Inc., will build an "Anew" station and convenience store that will offer customers four types of ethanol-blended fuel options.

The options will include regular E-10 gasoline, E-15 approved for vehicles built in 2001 or newer, an E-30 blend and an E-85 blend for flex fuel vehicles.

Anew will invest more than $2.4 million to remove contaminated soil and groundwater from the property and build the fueling station with a 3,070-square-foot convenience store.

"Ottawa County is where we wanted to invest in our flagship facility, selling fuel made from grain grown and processed in West  (go to article)

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This Gadget Hacks GM Cars to Locate, Unlock, and Start Them

Wired -- GM’s Onstar service offers some of the most futuristic features on any connected car, including the ability to locate the vehicle, unlock it, and even start its ignition—all from a smartphone app. But if a hacker like Samy Kamkar has hidden a small, $100 box anywhere on your Onstar-equipped car or truck, those same conveniences could fall into unintended hands.

At the DefCon hacker conference next week, Kamkar plans to present the details of a new attack on GM’s OnStar RemoteLink system he’s developed that can allow a hacker to track a target vehicle, effortlessly unlock it, trigger the horn and alarm or even start its engine—everything but put the car in gear and drive it away, one function that thankfully still requires the presence of the driver’s key. Kamkar’s shown that if a hacker c  (go to article)

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Fuel prices may not influence vehicle purchases as much as we think

GasBuddy Blog -- A newly released report by the Fuels Institute suggests that fuel prices do not appear to significantly influence the types of vehicles consumers choose to purchase. Over the past five years, the average price per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has fluctuated dramatically, and some media outlets have suggested that when gas prices escalate, consumers shift to purchasing more fuel-efficient vehicles. Conversely, when gas prices drop, consumers shift to purchasing vehicles that are less fuel-efficient. The Fuels Institute’s report, which evaluates market data and analyzes the relationship between vehicle sales and retail fuel prices, indicates that this relationship may not be as direct as some have inferred....  (go to article)

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Level the Playing Field for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

The Energy Collective -- It is expected that, by 2016, three major automakers will have FCEVs commercially available in the United States, and several more will be available by 2018. Despite the benefits FCEVs offer – driving range and refueling time comparable to today’s gasoline engine cars – the lack of a fuel cell tax credit will create a playing field that favors battery vehicles, significantly hindering the FCEV prospects for commercial success  (go to article)

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Congress sent President Barack Obama a three-month bill to keep highway and transit money flowing

AP -- Congress sent President Barack Obama a three-month bill to keep highway and transit money flowing to states on Thursday, one day before the deadline for a cutoff of funds.  (go to article)

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Crash tests find injury risk with Ford’s all-aluminum F-150

Driving -- In a crash test of Ford‘s new aluminum-bodied F-150, an extended-cab version suffered damage that presented a risk of serious injury to the driver, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety said.

In a 40-mph crash designed to mimic a partial head-on collision, the 2015 F-150 SuperCab sustained damage to the passenger compartment that “seriously compromised the driver’s survival space,” said the insurer-funded group, which conducted the test. Ford’s larger SuperCrew F-150, equipped with an extra steel safety structure, passed with low risk of injury.

Ford said it plans to add the extra steel to deflect energy in all F-150 versions for the 2016 model year. The F-Series pickup is Ford’s top-selling and most profitable model and is the first mass-market vehicle with an all-aluminum body.  (go to article)

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TransCanada quietly wooing First Nations leaders ahead of Energy East project

Montreal Gazette -- TransCanada has quietly been meeting with First Nations leaders ahead of its Energy East pipeline project, signing 32 “capacity funding agreements” with aboriginal communities in the past two years.

Through these agreements, the energy firm donates money to a reserve and, in return, gets to pitch its $12 billion pipeline to community members.

TransCanada is heavily invested in these deals but insists none of its contributions to First Nations are meant to entice support for Energy East. However, Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon says that accepting said money comes with stipulations he isn’t prepared to honour.

Simon met with representatives from the firm last summer when they discussed the possibility of signing a capacity funding agreement.  (go to article)

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Senate panel passes bill lifting crude oil export ban

FuelFix.com, the energy section of the Houston Chronicle -- WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel approved energy legislation Thursday that would lift the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports and open more areas of the Arctic, Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas exploration.

Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, chairman of the panel, championed the bill, which passed by a party-line vote of 12-10. She said lifting the ban would turn the U.S. into an energy superpower.

Democrat Maria Cantwell of Washington said after the vote that she has questions about what lifting the ban would mean for gasoline prices in her state, which she said are among the highest in the nation.

The committee also passed a comprehensive energy bill, but with bipartisan support.

The legislation includes measures designed to make energy cheaper, such as streaml  (go to article)

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U.S. judge rules Greenpeace in contempt for Oregon protest

FuelFix.com, the energy section of the Houston Chronicle -- PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal judge in Alaska on Thursday ordered Greenpeace USA to pay a fine of $2,500 for every hour that protesters dangle from a bridge in Oregon and block a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving for oil drilling in the Arctic.

There was no sign that the protesters were going to abandon the blockade in Portland after the ruling in Anchorage by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason that Greenpeace is in civil contempt.

Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said the activists will stay in place for now.

“We are confronted with a huge decision, one we cannot make alone,” she said in a statement. “Right now we’re asking the activists what they think we should do next.”

Gleason in May granted Shell’s request that activists protesting Shell’s Arctic dr  (go to article)

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Batmobile causes traffic chaos on Ontario highway

Canadian Press - TORONTO -- When the Dark Knight has car trouble it's a recipe for traffic chaos
Drivers returning from Ontario's cottage country clogged Hwy 401 near Napanee on Sunday evening as they watched Batman, in his Batsuit, working on his Batmobile
Julie Toole said she watched Batman "in full garb standing at the back (of the car). We only saw it for a few seconds as we were driving. It was cool. And confusing"
Stephen Lawrence — who prefers to be called the Brampton Batman — was returning from a charity gig at a Kingston, Ont., mall when he heard a disconcerting noise in his car
So he pulled off to the side of the road to inspect the problem, which turned out to be a loose hatch
But by then, traffic had nearly stopped to get a glimpse of the caped crusader with car troubles
"I try my best to baby that car a  (go to article)

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DuPont: Iowa cellulosic biorefinery mechanically complete

Ethanol Producer Magazine -- DuPont has released second quarter financial results, reporting an 11 percent drop in sales and a slight increase in earnings per share. The company also noted its cellulosic refinery in Iowa is now mechanically complete.

DuPont reported second quarter sales of $8.6 billion, down 11 percent from the same period of last year. The company’s agriculture segment reported sales of $3.22 billion, down 11 percent, while the industrial biosciences division reported sales of $288 million, down 9 percent.

Quarterly operating earnings were $1.18 per share, up from $1.17 per share during the
 (go to article)

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