RBN Energy: Houston area crude oil storage under-utilized despite regional record levels. Archived.
Close analysis of Houston area crude storage indicates it is only 52% utilized today even as regional crude inventories have reached record levels. Meeting refinery operational needs appears to be the main use of area storage – rather than speculative gains from buying today’s cheap oil to store and sell later. Today we continue our analysis of Houston area refinery infrastructure.
Very Long-Term Readers Know My Feelings On Flaring
The Bismarck Tribune reports that a proposed delay of the flaring rules in North Dakota spurs debate. Well, duh.
A decision to push back a Jan. 1 benchmark for the reduction of natural gas flaring was delayed Wednesday by the North Dakota Industrial Commission.
Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, cited industry concerns over being able to meet the 15 percent target as part of regulations put in place by the commission just over a year ago. His recommendation called for extending the benchmark to Oct. 1, 2016. A flaring task force that includes industry officials had asked for a delay of two years.
The three-member commission will consider the matter at its Sept. 17 meeting, with NDIC chairman Gov. Jack Dalrymple saying they need to see documentation from industry laying out a clear case for the need to delay.My suggestion: just ban drilling in North Dakota until we sort this all out. A lot of operators are probably "walking dead" anyway. Years ago, when breaking up with a close friend, she said we could either pull the band-aid off quickly or pull it off very, very slowly. Seems like North Dakota is about at that same point in its relationship with the oil and gas industry. It's been real, it's been fun, but it's not been real fun.
Not a bit unexpected as more pipelines come on-line: CBB declining:
The inland US crude-by-barge market was a promising one at the start of 2014. Kirby, the leading operator in the field, announced it would add 29 barges to its inland fleet by the end of 2014, and Kirby CEO David Grzebinski said as late as July of that year that the waterborne transportation markets had “strong fundamentals,” and a “good long-term outlook,” with inland contract pricing on the rise.
But the rapid crude price decline has caused long-term inland crude-by-barge contract prices to stall and renewals to wane.
A second price dive earlier this year pummeled market confidence in an early-2016 crude recovery and sent the contracts into a slide.
On top of all that, barged crude volumes have faced deep cuts since their 2013 peak after a slew of pipeline projects eased midstream congestion.Obama's Clean Power Plan. This is a heck of a good story; great news. I'm not sure if I will do a stand-alone post on this one or not but this is filled with positive story lines. Put me a good mood all evening. Obama's Clean Power Plan will mean huge opportunities for North Dakota.
Quick! What's the most interesting thing about this graph?
From the EIA:
The domestic market for distributed wind turbines has weakened since the record capacity additions in 2012. Last year's installations of mid-size and small wind turbines were the lowest in a decade. Relatively low electricity prices, competition from other distributed energy sources, and relatively high permitting and other nonmaterial costs have presented challenges to the distributed wind market in the United States.And for the intermittent energy advocates, wind blows away solar in terms of acceptability across the US.