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EIA: Gas Prices Could Fall if Oil Exports OK'd

Fox business -- Gasoline prices in the U.S. would be left unchanged or even decline further if the ban on oil exports is lifted, according to an analysis by the Energy Information Administration.

As a result of growing oil production, some lawmakers have questioned whether the U.S. needs to maintain current laws that effectively prohibit companies from exporting raw oil out of the country. The ban has been in place since the 1970s.
Opponents of the potential move have argued that oil and refined products like gasoline would become more expensive if exports are given the green light. The EIA addressed these concerns in a new study, which examines the impact of crude exports on the U.S.

Based on EIA modeling, projections for oil supplies and other items remain the same with or without out export restricts  (go to article)

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Fired regulator: Brown pushed to waive oil safeguards.

Yahoo -- California's top oil and gas regulators repeatedly warned Gov. Jerry Brown's senior aides in 2011 that the governor's orders to override key safeguards in granting oil industry permits would violate state and federal laws protecting the state's groundwater from contamination, one of the former officials has testified.

Brown fired the regulators on Nov. 3, 2011, one day after what the fired official says was a final order from the governor to bypass safety provisions of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act in granting permits to oil companies for oilfield injection wells. Brown later boasted publicly that the dismissals led to a speed-up of oilfield permitting.

Brown's spokesman, Evan Westrup, said Thursday that the allegations, contained in a newly filed court declaration by Derek Cherno  (go to article)

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Clean up crews to go into Mississippi River after oil spill

yahoo News - AP -- COLUMBUS, Ky. (AP) — Clean up crews planned to go into the Mississippi River on Friday in Kentucky after a collision between two tow boats caused an oil spill that prompted the closure of that part of the river.

The collision Wednesday evening near Columbus, Kentucky, damaged at least one barge carrying clarified slurry oil. The cargo tank ruptured, causing thousands of gallons of oil to spill into the river, the U.S. Coast Guard said.  (go to article)

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Oil industry, environmentalists in ad war over bill to cut gasoline use

Los Angeles Times -- When Californians check their mailboxes or flip on their radios these days, they might be forgiven for thinking an election is around the corner.

It's not, of course. But with just a week left for lawmakers to finish their work this year, a heated ad war is being fought over a bill to cut state gasoline consumption in half.

The measure passed the state Senate but is the subject of a tough battle in the Assembly, where business-friendly Democrats hold more sway. If it succeeds, it will shift the state away from fossil fuels.

Oil companies want to kill the bill and have blanketed the state with warnings — one radio spot sounds like a public service alert — that the government wants to track residents' driving, ration their gas and charge them for owning gas-guzzling trucks or minivans.  (go to article)

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Enbridge pipeline protestors converging on Mackinac straits this weekend

M Live -- Expect to see some Enbridge pipeline protestors if you're headed to the Straits of Mackinac this weekend.

A "Pipe Out Paddle" flotilla of canoeists and kayakers will hit the water on Sunday, Sept. 6, to protest the controversial Enbridge Line 5 oil pipeline under the Mackinac straits in conjunction with the holiday weekend.

Teams of protest walkers will also traverse the Mackinac Bridge in stages on Monday, Sept. 7 during the annual bridge walk, said protest organizer Jannan Cornstalk, a Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians member from Petoskey.

The protesters are calling for the shut down of Line 5, a 62-year-old twin pipeline that carries light petroleum and natural gas liquids under the straits. The pipeline has been the focus of a recent state inquiry and increasing public scru  (go to article)

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Brent crude oil slips towards $50 on demand concerns

Reuters -- Oil prices fell on Friday, pushing benchmark North Sea Brent crude down towards $50 a barrel, after a cut in European growth forecasts heightened worries over the outlook for demand at a time of huge oversupply.

The European Central Bank (ECB) said on Thursday that economic troubles in China and emerging markets could drag the 19-member euro zone into deflation in the coming months.

The ECB now sees the euro zone economy growing 1.4 percent this year, below its previous 1.5 percent projection.

In a sign that banks increasingly expect oil prices to stay low for longer, BNP Paribas, Barclays and Commerzbank all cut their short-term price forecasts.

"Since it will take considerably longer to reduce the oversupply than previously anticipated, we are lowering our oil price forecast," said a  (go to article)

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Does your car provide technology you've never used?

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..allaccess.comIt's hard to believe that so many of us are willing to pay for a car an amount that our parents may have paid for their house, but the industry's price escalation speaks for itself.  And maybe one of the biggest surprises comes from the news that J.D. Power now tells us...

A new study from J.D. Power says that automakers are investing billions into technologies that a considerable number of drivers aren’t using.J.D. Power’s first 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience Report found that at least 20 percent of new-vehicle owners have never used 16 of the 33 technology features measured. So why are they buying those vehicles? ...  (go to article)

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Here’s How Much Drivers Will Save in Gas Money This Labor Day Weekend

TIME -- "... On Thursday, the national average stood at $2.438, almost exactly $1 less than it was a year ago at this time ($3.433). Considering that Labor Day is such a prime road trip weekend, and that the price of gas is so low compared to last year, it got us thinking: Just how much are drivers saving?

"Here’s some very quick, back-of-the-napkin math that, while admittedly flawed and probably simplistic, should give you a ballpark idea. ..."  (go to article)

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Obama Gains Leverage on Saudis as U.S. Oil Dependence Declines

Bloomberg -- The U.S.-Saudi relationship isn’t what it used to be.

One of the main reasons is oil. The U.S. needs a lot less of it from Saudi Arabia than it once did.

So when President Barack Obama welcomes Saudi King Salman to the White House Friday he’ll have more leverage than ever in a long-standing, and often fraught, strategic alliance.

Saudi Arabia isn’t the powerhouse it was when the U.S. and its gas-guzzling cars and industry demanded more and more imported crude. It relied on the desert kingdom to keep the spigot open. Booming U.S. energy production over the last decade has changed the balance along with falling prices for oil. From 2003 to 2015, the Saudi share of the U.S.’s oil supply declined by
half to six percent.  (go to article)

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Hedge Fund Manager Hall Says World Market ‘Not Awash in Oil’

Bloomberg -- Andy Hall, one of the best-known oil traders who’s bullish on prices, said the decline in the oil market isn’t a repeat of 1998 or 2008.

The absence of “extreme contango,” which occurs when commodities prices close to delivery are cheaper than those to be delivered at later dates, suggests that “the world, whilst moderately oversupplied, is not awash in oil,” Hall said in a letter to investors.

Oil prices, which plunged 32 percent in 1998 and 54 percent in 2008, are down more than 50 percent in the past year. Hall, who runs hedge fund firm Astenbeck Capital Management, said U.S. crude output through the remainder of 2015 will decline 6 percent from the first half’s average. He said he expects to see a decline in production forecasts by the International Energy Agency.

There is probably  (go to article)

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Oil price plunge prompts fuel tanker ships to take 6,400-km detour around Africa

FINANCIAL POST-Bloomberg News -- Slumping oil prices are spurring 4,000-mile (6,400-kilometre) diversions of tankers filled with diesel and jet fuel as the price of ship fuel plunges, opening up trading opportunities.

At least five tankers will deliver refined products to European ports in August and September, sailing around South Africa rather than using the normal shortcut through Egypt’s Suez Canal, ship tracking data show. The falling cost of fuel oil, used to power ships, has made longer voyages viable at a time when there are advantages for traders to keep cargoes at sea. Long-distance shipments between continents have increased this year, according to Torm A/S, world’s second-biggest publicly traded product-tanker owner.

Brent crude futures plunged about 50 per cent since August last year as OPEC nations kept...  (go to article)

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Where To Place Wind Turbines Without Killing Eagles

Popular Science, Energy -- Renewable energy generated by solar panels and wind turbines is great for humans, but not so awesome for flying creatures. There have been reports of solar farms vaporizing birds and wind turbines smashing bats who confuse the turbines for trees. States are now required to start incorporating more clean energy (and low carbon) solutions into their power supply, but no one wants cleaner air to come at the expense of wildlife populations. So what's to be done?One group of scientists may have found a solution, at least for the population of golden eagles in Wyoming. In a study published in PLOS One, researchers announced that they had figured out a way to chart locations where there was both plenty of wind, and fewer golden eagles, which are federally protected birds.

Instead of looking a  (go to article)

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Gas discovery gives Egypt dreams of becoming an exporter

The National -- Egypt’s largest natural gas discovery has given the country a fresh push to become a regional industry hub with plans for new processing facilities on the Red Sea.

Khaled Abubakr, the chairman of the Egyptian energy distribution company Taqa Arabia said yesterday that the country was looking to capitalise on this infrastructure to help send any extra gas to other markets.

“Egypt will need existing gas from new discoveries, but there are plans to build new facilities on the Red Sea to direct [any surplus] to the Asian market,” he said.

Mr Abubakr is also involved with the Egyptian gas association working closely with Egypt’s energy ministry.

Italy’s Eni said this week that the Zohr Prospect in the Mediterranean Sea could hold a potential of 30 trillion cubic feet (tcf), a potentially...  (go to article)

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Student with DWI using Barbie jeep to get around campus

Time -- When life handed this Texas State student a DWI-sized lemon, she made lemonade.

Tara Monroe, a junior at Texas State, was spotted zipping around campus in her tiny Barbie Jeep after having her license suspended for refusing to take a breathalyzer test after a rap concert, according to MySanAntonio.com. Her dad brought her a bike to replace the car she could no longer drive, but Monroe thinks biking around campus “sucks.”  (go to article)

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Ad war over oil exports heats up as vote nears

Marketwatch -- Congressional debate over the ban on U.S. crude oil exports is about to heat up, as lawmakers prepare to return to Washington from their summer break. For evidence, just turn on your TV or computer.

An advertising war is already blazing, as partisans on dueling sides of the issue try to convince Congress to keep the four-decade-long ban in place or scrap it. A House vote on the ban may come as soon as this month, and the Senate is expected to consider it next year.

On Tuesday, a non-profit named Allied Progress launched a TV and online ad campaign targeting senators in Colorado, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire and New Mexico. The ads ask residents to urge their lawmakers to oppose efforts to lift or weaken the ban, saying scrapping it could increase gasoline prices and cost American jobs.  (go to article)

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Jerry Brown proposes $65 driver’s fee, higher gas taxes

SF Gate -- California drivers would pay $65 a year in a new highway user fee plus higher taxes at the gas pump under a $3.6 billion plan Gov. Jerry Brown is pitching to help fix the state’s roads, bridges and highways.

The Brown administration shared the plan with Republican leaders Thursday morning. It requires a two-thirds majority vote in the Legislature because of the new taxes, and it has several elements meant to appease Republicans and Democrats. However, the plan will be a tough sell, particularly to Republicans.

The administration’s plan would create a highway user fee of $65 per vehicle, which would generate $2 billion and could be assessed during vehicle registration. Another $1 billion would be generated by raising the gas tax by 6 cents per gallon and the diesel tax by 11 cents per gal  (go to article)

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Cars surpass energy as Canada's biggest export

Bloomberg News -- Energy’s 8-year run as Canada’s biggest export is over
A Statistics Canada report Thursday showed shipments of motor vehicles surpassed those of energy in July for the first time since 2007, as oil prices plunged and demand for cars in the U.S. accelerates
The value of motor vehicles and parts shipped abroad was $7.6B in July, the most since 2006. Within the category, exports of passenger cars and trucks were the highest in July since December 2005
Exports of energy products fell to $7.3B, down 39% since the beginning of 2014
The end of energy’s dominance, at least for 1 month, will be a relief for policy-makers such as Bank of Canada Governor Poloz and Prime Minister Harper. They’ve been waiting eagerly for the rebound in non-energy exports, driven by a weaker currency and stronger U.S. d  (go to article)

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Finch running on fumes as the local gas station gets set to close

CTV News Ottawa -- A local gas station to close down because of the high cost of upgrading the aging gas station. Located southeast of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (go to article)

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Running on Empty in Nova Scotia

GasBuddy Blog -- Dartmouth Nova Scotia Terminal Receiving GasolineNot a day after last week's post on the topic of possible gas shortages and the reasons behind them, news broke that Nova Scotia gas stations were running dry. Not only was last week's article timely, the underlying reasons behind the draw down, triggered by a host of factors, included the province's closure of its last refinery in Dartmouth and its conversion into a fuel terminal....  (go to article)

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U.S. Navy Invests Big in Solar Energy Installation

Government Technology -- The United States Navy made the largest federal agency investment in renewable energy to date with a solar farm project known as Mesquite 3.

Officials with the Department of the Navy (DON), the Western Area Power Administration, and Sempra U.S. Gas and Power signed the formal agreement in July, but gathered at an event in Coronado, Calif., on Aug. 20 to celebrate the substantial investment in renewable energy.  (go to article)

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US oil settles up 1%, at $46.75 a barrel

CNBC -- Crude futures lost steam after rising more than 4 percent on Thursday on the strength of equity markets and as a respite in bad news out of China and the potential for more European monetary easing added to risk taking in oil.
But stock market rally faded in afternoon trading. Oil prices had come off the morning's highs by noon, likely factoring in the prevailing weak fundamentals for crude after Wednesday's data showing a big build in weekly U.S. inventories.  (go to article)

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America's terrible roads are good for Michelin's business: CEO

Yahoo -- Driving season may be winding down but for one the largest tire manufacturers, the busy season is just kicking off.

“The fact that fuel prices are low today is driving more driving miles…so our business right now is very strong,” claimed Pete Selleck, Michelin North America chairman and president.

Michelin's sales in North America tops $10 billion dollars annually. The company designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle from airplanes to bicycles. But Michelin's autos remain its base.

“Right now demand is extremely strong right in the core of our business which is passenger car and medium truck tires,” said Selleck.

And America’s deteriorating road conditions are helping the company's sales in that market. “Bad roads is actually good for our business because tires  (go to article)

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Damaged in giant sinkhole, 1 millionth Corvette returns to museum after restoration

M Live -- General Motors unveiled a completely restored, white 1992 Chevy Corvette Thursday and that would have perhaps seemed insignificant if not for two factors:

First, it is the one millionth Corvette built by GM.

And secondly, the Corvette had been entirely swallowed by a giant sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling, Ky. in February 2014.

It was about 5:44 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2014, when museum officials received a call because a motion sensor had detected things were amiss in the museum's sky dome area. The Bowling Green Fire Department arrived moments later to find a 40-foot wide and 30-foot deep sinkhole. No one was hurt.

Eight Corvettes had fallen into the newly opened hole, however, including two on loan from General Motors and six others owned by the museum.

GM sent the whit  (go to article)

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Rideshare Apps Reducing Drunk Driving Offenses

GasBuddy Blog -- (c) nyt.comAs peer-to-peer ridesharing mobile phone applications have grown in popularity, so has the number of rides the public has taken using them. Apps like Uber and Lyft are some of the biggest names around in the rideshare space. With a click of a button from any smartphone, a user can pinpoint their location using their phone’s GPS and a driver will whisk you away to the location of your choosing. A credit card number is saved in the mobile application, so no cash is transacted in the ride. The process is intentionally meant to be a simple, seamless process. Cab companies employing the traditional routine of calling for a cab and hoping it arrives has been in danger of losing ridership due to advances in technology.
While cab company bottom lines might be feeling the squeeze from ridesharing apps, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) argues the new technology is benefiting society by reducing the number of drunk driving arrests....  (go to article)

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Military, business and political voices all clamoring over oil exports

f -- WASHINGTON — Economists, national security experts and former policymakers have all joined the fray over crude exports, adding their voices to an intense debate over whether the United States should sell its oil bounty to foreign customers.

The cast of experts weighing in on the issue includes former Obama administration officials and military veterans.

Click through above for some of the notable public figures speaking out on exports.  (go to article)

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Jeep recalling 206K Cherokees over defective windshield wipers

The Associated Press -- Fiat Chrysler is recalling 206,668 Jeep Cherokee SUVs because the windshield wipers can stop working unexpectedly.
Cherokees from the 2014 model year are affected. There are 158,671 in the U.S., 18,366 in Canada and 3,582 in Mexico. The rest were sold outside North America.
 (go to article)

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Oil crash cut my pay and killed over 86,000 jobs

CNN Money -- Jason Butt is worried he's going to be the next casualty of the oil crash.

Last year the father of four young children was diagnosed with brain cancer. As he recovers from surgery, Butt has seen many of his friends and family members lose their jobs in an energy industry ravaged by cheap oil.  (go to article)

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Oil rises 2% as equity rally offsets inventory rise

Reuters -- Crude prices broke out of rangebound trading on Thursday and rosee more then 2 percent as optimism over equity markets helped offset a surprise increase in U.S. oil inventory levels and a firm U.S. dollar.
A respite from bearish economic news in China, where markets are closed for public holidays for the rest of the week, also helped after weeks of huge swings.
 (go to article)

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Car deals abound - if you want a 2015 model

Associated Press -- If you're looking for a bargain on a new car — and you're not too picky about getting the latest model — September is the time to buy.

At least 31 models are being redesigned for 2016, including big names like the BMW 3 Series and the Toyota Prius, according to the car buying site Edmunds.com. So, dealers are slashing thousands of dollars off the cost of 2015 models to clear them off their lots.  (go to article)

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Oil Export Bill Said to Be Set to Move as Price Fears Ease

Bloomberg -- Congress is set to begin consideration of a measure to lift the decades-old ban on U.S. crude exports after a government study concluded the move wouldn’t raise gasoline prices for consumers, people familiar with the plan said.

A panel in the House of Representatives is planning to vote on a measure to lift the ban, which dates back to the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, as early as next week, according to three lobbyists working on the matter, who asked not to be named because the markup hasn’t been announced yet. The full House may vote on it later in September, leaving ahead the more difficult task of gaining enough support for repeal in the Senate, they said.

Repealing the ban has gained new political potency as hydraulic fracturing has triggered a boom in domestic oil and natural  (go to article)

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Will oil's collapse kill the Keystone pipeline?

CBS News -- While some Wall Street analysts now think the probability of the U.S. economy going into recession are nearly 50 percent, Canada is already there. That bad news comes as Canada gears up for a general election in October and at a time when the slide in global oil prices could spell continuing trouble for Canada's energy-dependent economy. And that extends to the controversial Keystone pipeline to the U.S.

America's neighbor to the north is the planet's 11th-largest economy and the U.S.'s biggest trading partner. Last year the U.S. did $634 billion dollars in trade with Canada, booking a $31 billion dollar trade deficit in the process...

Back in 2012 Prime Minister Stephen Harper worked hard to close a trade deal with China in hopes of narrowing that lopsided deficit. Key to Harper's  (go to article)

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When crude is far cheaper than gasoline, middlemen win

CNBC -- The price of crude oil continues to slide, but we're not feeling the full impact at the pump.

In August, the price of a barrel of Brent crude dropped to under $42 a barrel, the lowest price since the recession. On average, each barrel costs 47 percent less this year than it did over the same period last year, but the average cost of a gallon of gasoline is down only 29 percent.

In July and August, the spread between the cost of crude and the average cost of gasoline was over $1.50. On a week-by-week basis, the gap is the biggest it's been since the Energy Information Administration started gathering data in the 1990s.  (go to article)

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Our Editorial: Invest in energy infrastructure

Detroit News -- Last month’s temporary spike in gas prices, caused by an unexpected shutdown of BP’s Indiana refinery, has subsided, but it serves as both a warning and reminder of how vulnerable Michigan and much of the Midwest is to an aging energy infrastructure.

The stress on pipeline, refineries and power plants is compounded by increasingly onerous federal regulations and pressure from aggressive environmentalist agendas.

State and federal lawmakers should encourage investment in the infrastructure, and be careful not to shackle the energy sector with regulations whose costs are not balanced by environmental benefits.

The gasoline price hike was particularly perplexing as it came the same week the price of crude oil hit a six-year low. But oil in its crude form needs to be transported and refined  (go to article)

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Oil down on stock builds, equity rally aids

Reuters -- Crude oil prices softened on Thursday after a surprise build in U.S. inventory levels and on a firm dollar, although stronger equity markets helped support commodities.

A respite from bearish economic news in China, closed for public holidays for the rest of the week, also helped stabilize oil prices that have seen volatile swings over the past two weeks.

Brent was 20 cents lower at $50.30 a barrel by 0840 GMT, having gained 94 cents in the previous session.

U.S. crude was just 5 cents lower at $46.20 a barrel, up from the day's low of $45.65, after settling up 84 cents on Wednesday.

Olivier Jakob, managing director of PetroMatrix, said the market was quietening down after the extreme moves, with public holidays in the world's two largest oil consuming countries - the United States and  (go to article)

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Effects of removing U.S. crude export restrictions depend on price, resource assumptions

EIA -- A new study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on the potential implications of allowing more crude oil exports finds that effects on domestic crude oil production are key to determining the other effects of a policy change. Gasoline prices would be either unchanged or slightly reduced. Trade in crude oil and petroleum products would also be affected.

The recent rise in domestic crude oil production from 5.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2009 to 8.7 million b/d in 2014 and the prospect of continued supply growth have sparked interest in the question of how the relaxation or removal of current policies, which restrict but do not ban exports of crude oil produced in the United States, might affect markets for both crude oil and petroleum products over the next decade. EI  (go to article)

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Shell president: ‘Oil will be required for a long time’

Haynesville.com-AP -- The president of Shell Oil Co. said exploratory drilling off Alaska’s northwest coast is going well despite stormy weather last week that caused the company to halt operations for a few days.

And in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press Marvin Odum said he expects further protests against the company’s plans for Arctic drilling like the ones in Seattle and Portland where activists in kayaks tried to block Shell vessels.

Arctic offshore drilling is bitterly opposed by environmental groups that say a spill cannot be cleaned in ice-choked waters and that industrial activity will harm polar bears, walrus and ice seals already harmed by diminished sea ice.

In Seattle, Shell faced protests on the water by “kayaktivists” upset over the company staging equipment in the city.
 (go to article)

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Jeep Wrangler pickup may be in the pipeline

Detroit Free Press -- Jeep enthusiasts who have long clamored for a pickup truck may soon get their wish.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to produce a Wrangler-based pickup and build it at the company's Toledo Assembly Complex, according to a person familiar with the automaker's plans. The truck wouldn't be sold for several years.

What would a Wrangler pickup look like? That's unclear at this point, but the automaker has shown a variety of interesting concepts over the years such as the Wrangler Red Rock Responder shown in March and the Jeep Gladiator it showed back in 2005.

News of a Wrangler pickup also is the latest in a string of developments in the small to midsize pickup segment that has been ignored by many automakers.

General Motors introduced the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon in 2014, Toyota...  (go to article)

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Crude-by-rail shows signs of life after losing steam in first half

Financial Post -- Even Canadian crude oil producers who have entered the railway terminal business wish they didn’t have to load their barrels on trains
“If I was just a rail player I would hope the [the discounts] stay wide,” said Bob Pease, executive VP, corporate strategy and president, downstream at Cenovus. “But as a producer I hope they are as narrow as they can be and I don’t move a lot by rail”
Interesting from a company that just bought a rail terminal, but such are the travails of the Western Canadian oil transportation business that rail serves as an insurance policy against pipeline bottlenecks and wide discounts between Canadian and U.S. oil benchmark
On Monday, the Calgary-based Cenovus completed its $75M purchase of Canexus Bruderheim Energy Terminal, giving it ready access to 70Kbpd rail cap  (go to article)

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Nova Scotia orders review of fuel supply system after gas shortages

The Globe and Mail - HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia government says it will review the province’s fuel supply management system after a gasoline shortage spread across the province on the weekend and extended into the middle of the week
Municipal Affairs Minister Zach Churchill said Wednesday he will appoint an independent public safety specialist under the Emergency Management Act to look at how the system failed and identify ways to prevent it from happening again
In particular, Churchill is calling for a new communication protocol with the petroleum industry
“We were not informed in an appropriate amount of time as to the nature of the challenge … and the magnitude of what was going on,” adding that the government was told about pending shortages on Friday
Churchill said he first learned about gas stations running dry on  (go to article)

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Financial Sector To Cut Credit Supply Lines For Oil And Gas Industry

Yahoo Finance -- More U.S. oil and gas companies could come under financial distress in the coming months as crucial hedging protection begins to expire.

Many companies had locked in high prices for their oil sales last year, allowing them a degree of protection as oil prices collapsed precipitously over the second half of 2014. Few, if any, hedged all of their production though, so revenues declined along with the oil price. Still, with some protection, the vast majority of companies (aside from a tragic handful) have not missed debt payments and have stayed out of bankruptcy.

That could become an increasingly tricky feat to pull off. As time passes, more and more hedges are expiring, leaving oil companies fully exposed to the painfully low oil price environment. “A lot of these smaller guys who had bad  (go to article)

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New technology allows workers to control oil wells with their smartphones

The Globe and Mail -- Monitoring and maintaining an oil well costs big bucks. “Some clients budget $250 to $500 dollars for an average well visit,” points out Nav Dhunay, president and CEO of Calgary-based Ambyint Technologies Inc. “If we can shave off a single visit per week then that’s significant cost savings across an entire organization.”

Dhunay is betting that Ambyint’s sophisticated artificial lift optimization technology can do just that – catching potential problems with pumps before they occur to boost oil production and lower operating and maintenance costs.
 (go to article)

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Refiners' Coalition Questions Assumptions of Pro-Crude Export EIA Study

Downstream Today -- Prices at the pump for American drivers have been substantially discounted because U.S. crude oil is kept in America, and that will continue to be the case as long as the export ban remains in place, according to a new study released Wednesday by The CRUDE Coalition. The study also reports that since the domestic oil boom, domestic gasoline prices are no longer tied to European pricing.

The study by the consultancy Baker & O'Brien examines historical relationships between the prices of crude oil and gasoline, undermining the assumptions of a study just released by the Energy Information Administration, as well as the assumptions of several pro-export studies that had argued gasoline prices would drop if the export ban were lifted. The study also provides further evidence that domestic ga  (go to article)

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Device used to break into electronic locking system of new-model vehicles

Local 10 Miami -- A car manufacturer recalled more than a million cars following security concerns about car hacking, as the National Insurance Crime Bureau issued an alert about a "mystery device" being used to break into vehicles by defeating the electronic locking system of later-model cars.

So-called connected car "convenience technology" could put consumers at risk.

 (go to article)

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Oil Exports Could Push U.S. Gasoline Prices Lower -EIA

Downstream Today (Reuters} -- The price of U.S. gasoline could fall if Washington were to allow crude oil exports, an independent government report on Tuesday concluded, adding political firepower for those who want to change the law to expand such trade.

Exports would put more crude on global markets and push down prices for international Brent oil "which in turn results in lower petroleum product prices for U.S. consumers," according to the report by the Energy Information Administration, entitled "Effects of Removing Restrictions on U.S. Crude Oil Exports.

A separate study from IHS Global Insight on Tuesday said that eliminating the export ban would stoke domestic production and support roughly 124,000 new jobs in the next 15 years.  (go to article)

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Google self-driving car hit again, so heads up, Austin drivers

USA Today -- If Google’s self-driving car test program is proving anything, it’s the obvious: Humans can’t drive as efficiently as computers. And those computers are only getting smarter.

That would appear to be the explanation for yet another rear-end collision suffered by a Google autonomous car last month, as reported by the company this week in its ongoing monthly updates on its 6-year-old program.

Other news in the blog post included the announcement that a few of Google’s pod-like prototypes will soon join the company’s gizmo-strapped Lexus SUVs for extensive testing on the streets of Austin. The bulk of Google’s testing has been near its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.  (go to article)

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10 cities with the most horrific traffic

MarketWatch -- You’re wasting more hours of your life sitting in traffic than ever before — and that’s not going to improve anytime soon.

In 95 of the 100 largest cities in America, traffic congestion worsened from 2013 to 2014, according to a study from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, a research institute that develops solutions for transportation problems, released this month; that’s compared to worsening traffic conditions in just 61 of the 100 cities from 2012 to 2013. “The national congestion recession is over,” the study authors conclude.

Cities with the worst traffic(2:35)
Traffic in big cities has gotten worse. Commuters waste 42 hours on average per year sitting in gridlock. Here are the top U.S. cities with the worst congestion.
Read: Allstate’s profit missed, because a stron  (go to article)

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Tesla’s Model X ‘Signature’ will set you back $132,000

MarketWatch -- Some future buyers of Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model X are configuring their vehicles this week, as details about the electric-car maker’s much-awaited SUV emerge.

Among the highlights: A Model X “Signature” edition will cost $132,000 and as much as $144,000 with upgrades such as the “ludicrous speed” mode. The car will be able to go 240 miles between charges, 7 miles more than a Model S P85D, the sedan’s top of the line, which starts at $108,000 but can also go north of $140,000 with upgrades.

The Model X Signature will be able to zoom to 60 miles an hour in 3.8 seconds, a tad slower than the Model S P85D’s 3.1 seconds to accomplish that same acceleration. The Model X top speed of 155 mph is the same as the Model S P85D and others.

See also: Tesla Model S scores 103 from Consumer Rep  (go to article)

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EIA: Crude oil inventories surge as refiners slow runs

GasBuddy Blog -- The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report today on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States.

Here are some highlights:

CRUDE INVENTORIES:
Crude oil inventories increased by 4.7 million barrels (mb) to a total of 455.4 million barrels. At 455.4 million barrels, inventories are 95.9 million barrels above last year (26.7%) and are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

GASOLINE INVENTORIES:
Gasoline inventories decreased by 0.3 million barrels to 214.2 million barrels. At 214.2 million barrels, inventories are up 4.2 million barrels, 2.0% higher than one year ago. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-0.6mb); Midwest (+0.4mb); Gulf Coast (-0.9mb); Rockies (+0.3mb); and West Coast (+1.0mb). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this  (go to article)

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Frackers change methods in 'imploding' oil market

CNBC -- Liberty Resources CEO Chris Wright describes himself as part science and tech geek, part oil-and-gas guy, and part entrepreneur.
Many in the American oil industry know him as one of the pioneers who made drilling more efficient on the cusp of the steepest crude oil downturn in decades.

U.S. drillers like Liberty have confounded expectations by driving down the break-even cost of producing a barrel of oil through innovation and cost-cutting. One of the tools producers are increasingly turning to is a type of high-intensity hydraulic fracturing that helps them produce oil and gas more economically.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the process of pumping water, minerals and chemicals into shale rock beneath the Earth's surface to break them up and release oil and gas. It has driven  (go to article)

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U.S. Drivers Will Put Oil Prices in Reverse

Yahoo -- It is nearly turnaround season, though not necessarily for your favorite baseball team.
Crude Oil Prices Fluctuate between $38 and $40 per Barrel Market Realist
Oil dips as gasoline build offsets big U.S. crude draw Reuters
Oil Prices Fall on Less Gas Demand, Growing Glut The Wall Street Journal
The greatest late-season surge in a quarter century is already in the books for the oil market. Through Monday, crude had its best three-day percentage gain since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. The rebound was attributed to investors covering negative bets in the futures market following a six-and-a-half year trough and an easing of deep pessimism about  (go to article)

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Poll: Most Americans back 10-cent gas tax hike

The Hill -- Seventy-one percent of U.S. residents would support a 10-cent increase in the 18.4 cents-per-gallon gas tax that is used to pay for federal transportation projects, according to a new poll released this week.
Support for increasing the gas tax to 28 cents-per-gallon drops to 31 percent if the money is used to "maintain and improve the transportation system" instead of "improve road maintenance," according to the group.
The gas tax has been used to pay for road and transit projects since the 1930s, but the levy has not been increased since 1993. Transportation advocates have been suggesting the idea of increasing the gas tax for the first time in more than decades to make up the difference.

The gas tax, which pre-dates the development of the Interstate Highway System by nearly two decad  (go to article)

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