Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Oil At $100 -- Futures; Houston Ship Channel Closed Indefinitely, More Than 60 Ships Waiting To Off-Load

Active Rigs:

Active Rigs197186206170105

RBN Energy: ethane exports to Europe.
The large and growing surplus of U.S. ethane is leading producers and shippers to step up efforts to export ethane to Europe and eventually to Asia. But there are several hurdles, including the need to construct specialized dock and loading facilities, special ships required to move ethane in overseas trade, unloading and storage facilities at the receiving end, and the need for ethylene crackers in the global market —most of which now use naphtha as their feedstock—to make costly modifications before they can switch to ethane. It may be costly, but it could happen.  There are those that hang on to the belief (a mistaken one, we think) that the ethane surplus will disappear later this decade as planned U.S. crackers come online and use increasing amounts of ethane.   It is true that those plants will use a lot of ethane.  But not nearly enough. Today in the first episode of this blog series we begin to explore the ethane-export issue.
Billings Gazette

Got coal? The Gazette is reporting:
A coal impact fund already on the books could be tapped to help Montana cities deal with an anticipated increase in the number of coal trains bound for the Pacific Northwest.
Montana Senate Majority Leader Jeff Essmann, R-Billings, told The Gazette he would like to see the state’s coal impact fund used on projects like railroad crossings in Montana cities affected by coal trains. Rail traffic is expected to increase in coming years as coal from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming is shipped to the Pacific Northwest for export to China.
Coal trains are more than a mile long and, as Billings drivers know, can take several minutes to clear downtown crossings. It’s exactly the kind of problem the coal impact fund was intended to address, Essmann said. But larger cities haven’t fared so well in the past when asking the Montana Coal Board for impact funds. The board, which appropriates impact fund money raised through coal taxes, has favored small communities over the years, Essmann said. Billings applications have been turned down repeatedly.
The Wall Street Journal

Top story: world leaders shun Russia. Well, that will do a lot of good come next winter.

Ukraine battles to boost its military (flashback: Obama negotiated gutting the Ukrainian army as part of guarantee of country's sovereignty; thrown under the bus).

It ends with a whimper: yes, the plane crashed in the ocean.

This is too much: rainbow loom bands. Check the link. This is the fad at my granddaughters' school, and yes, I have a rainbow loom band.

Growing debt burden for graduate students contributing to weak economy. Anything to get our minds off Obamacare.

Houston ship channel closed indefinitely. It will be interesting to watch price of gasoline. Boon to Buffett's railroad? Too bad we don't have the Keystone XL to get Canadian oil all the way to the coast seamlessly in new pipelines.

It will be interesting to see how Ms Sotomayor "votes" on the Hobby Lobby / Obamacare / contraceptive pills case. I don't have a dog in this fight.

Indiana drops common core

Detroit seeks private water partner to run its regional water and sewer system -- plans stall.

Egypt sentences 529 to political activists to death. That was easy. 

Got Ebola? ObamaCare's got you covered. LOL.

Who wants to bet the Afghanistan Army is co-opted by the Russians as soon as the US leaves? This is not rocket science. Russia has the money and the will. The US has neither.

Everyone I've talked to in Starbucks agrees GM needs to be hung out to dry on the ignition-switch cover-up, but because it was the "old" GM -- nothing will happen. There will be a lot of media attention but at the end of the day, Government Motors gets off without even a fine.

Pension plans brace for a one-two punch.

Supreme Court rejects Arch Coal challenge to EPA rules. The Supreme Court does not want to get involved with being the referee for every EPA rule and regulation. They wouldn't get anything else done. This is where Congress needs to step in. This is where the local congressman needs to put in an amendment excluding the company's coal mining project in West Virginia. If Congress won't step in to stop the EPA, then Congress has let us down.

Heard on the street: the market thinks oil is good, natural gas is bad. Don't go with the herd.

The Los Angeles Times

The next test for Obama: soothing the Saudis. LOL.

As required by law, the state of California will sent out voter registration cards to ObamaCare applicants. Something tells me this will go smoothly.

This reporter needs to get a life. He goes to Wal-Mart and notes: "Original Aquaphor was $14.26, while Baby Aquaphor was $14.97. Are these not the same products?" Hello, marketing does this all the time with "new and improved" and then raising the prices on the same product. Hellooooo...don't go to the link. The story was worthless.

The Dickinson Press

Nothing shows up but the ads. I'm sure that will be fixed in another hour or so. But that's pretty clever marketing also: just the ads.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune

No mention of global warming. One winter does not make a climate, but there has been no warming for 18 years now. The lakes are staying frozen longer than usual in the land of 1,000 lakes, and the fish are dying off like never before. No mention of global warming.  

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