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By Robert Rapier on May 10, 2007 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 5-9-07

Tale of the Stone Yes, I know I am late getting this out. Some of you may have read about my visit to the hospital about a month ago. Long story short, I have a very large (9 mm) kidney stone that sent me to the hospital with acute renal colic, which has been described as the worst pain a person can endure. While the pain eased off over the past 4 weeks, the stone never came out. And on Tuesday morning, it once more got stuck, and I ended up back at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. This time they did surgery to get the stone out, but they couldn’t retrieve it so they put in a ureteric stent which… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 7, 2007 with no responses

Let’s Confiscate Venezuela’s U.S. Refineries

I recall reading this story a while back: Chavez Considers Sale of U.S. Refineries The implications just sank in today. Chavez, having confiscated the property of U.S. companies and torn up contracts, has property here in the U.S. Why don’t we just confiscate Venezuela’s Citgo refineries as compensation, or make them sell the refineries for half price? Isn’t turnabout fair play? From the article above: “Not one Venezuelan works at these refineries,” Chavez said in Buenos Aires yesterday, according to Venezuela’s Communication and Information Ministry. “They don’t give us one cent of profit. They don’t pay taxes in Venezuela. This is economic imperialism.” Citgo Petroleum Corp., the U.S. fuel-making unit of Petroleos de Venezuela, owns four U.S. oil refineries and… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on with no responses

Gas Boycotts and Gas Prices

Gas BoycottsYou have probably gotten the e-mails. “Don’t buy gas on Wednesday of next week and force the oil companies to lower prices.” Or, “Boycott Shell this week, ExxonMobil next week, etc.” Sometimes I explain to people why these schemes won’t work, but most of the time I just delete them. But MSNBC took time out today to address the issue: Why one-day gasoline ‘boycott’ won’t work But suppose that, through some magical force of nature, you managed to shut down every gasoline-powered vehicle and device for one day. Let’s look at how much money would be involved and what would happen to it: Based on current demand of about 386 million gallons a day, at $3 a gallon, the… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 4, 2007 with 4 responses

Surviving Survival Training

I just finished 3 days of survival training with a company in Aberdeen called Falck Nutec. The purpose of the training is to prepare people to survive offshore in the North Sea, and is required before you are able to go offshore in the U.K. or in Norway. A big portion of the course involved learning how to evacuate a helicopter that ditches in the North Sea. What this entailed was being strapped into a helicopter simulator, being plunged under water, and then getting out and to the surface. The pictures below are from the actual simulator I was trained on. The Helicopter Simulator at Falck Nutec I had heard horror stories about this simulator. In fact, one guy who… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on with no responses

Irony and Gas Price

I think this is what you call irony. From: Gas Prices Spike We find the following picture accompanying the article: Today’s Bargain: Gatorade at $12 a Gallon Then from the next story we have a tragic tale of a guy who can no longer afford gas for his 5 Cadillacs: Gas zooms past $3 a gallon; record prices blamed on refinery outages, inventory Robert Mechanic of Sylvania said gasoline’s rising price has put a squeeze on his enjoyment of five Cadillacs he owns. “It’s too high. I’ve gotta have premium and it’s killing me,” Mr. Mechanic said while fueling one of the Caddies at a Clark station at Dorr and Hoag streets. Premium grade cost him $3.399 a gallon there…. Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 1, 2007 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 5-2-07

12 Weekly Declines in a Row: Not a Pretty Picture Update: My Limb Has Cracked Two weeks ago, I went out on a limb and said that gasoline inventories would turn up within two weeks. Last week saw a pretty steep 2.8 million barrel draw. I stuck to my prediction for this week, and while the draw did drop to 1.1 million barrels (a month ago it was in the 5 million barrel range) it was a draw nonetheless. So, my limb broke. But there was a reason I included the section “Why I Might Be Wrong.” There is a lot of art involved in this forecasting, and many factors to consider. Otherwise, the analysts would always get it right,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 30, 2007 with no responses

Vinod Khosla in a Solar Fight

Thanks to Bob Rohatensky for bringing this story to my attention. I got a real chuckle out of reading the response of Khosla’s opponent in this debate, PV solar advocate Herman Scheer, because I am all too familiar with some of his observations. First, I want to make it clear that I am a big, big fan of solar energy. I don’t write much about it, because it isn’t an area of expertise, and I do know my limits. But solar power is #1 on my list of sustainable alternative energy technologies. In fact, when I talked with Mr. Khosla on the phone, I made that argument. He was not nearly as enthusiastic, suggesting that solar could not compete with… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on with no responses

My Ideal Presidential Candidate on the Environment

I did not get to watch the first debate of the Democratic candidates for president, but I have seen some coverage of it. The Wall Street Journal’s Energy Roundup had a write-up on it a couple of days ago: Leavin’ on Eight Jet Planes…From the coverage I have seen, the answers to questions on energy and the environment were underwhelming. Let’s look at what they did say, and what I wish they would have said. One good answer that I read was by John Edwards, when asked why gas prices are still rising: Edwards noted the “extraordinary demand” in the U.S. for gasoline and took the opportunity to state his plan for dealing with climate change. “[W]e ought to cap… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 29, 2007 with no responses

$4 Gasoline Has Arrived

Gas Prices in San Francisco We no longer have to talk about the possibility of $4 gasoline. It is here. $4 Gasoline in San Francisco Thanks to Stuart Staniford for providing this picture. He lives in San Francisco, and said he drove past this station and saw the price for himself. It is going to be very interesting to see the inventory report from the EIA this week. How high do gas prices have to go before demand starts to drop? And will imports hit the shores in time to save the day, as they did at this time last year? The Senate Stops By Occasionally my Site Meter shows some very noteworthy domains, and last week I spotted 2… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 25, 2007 with no responses

Vinod Khosla and The Truth

One thing I noted during my previous debunking of Vinod Khosla’s claims was that he was very careless with information he presented as fact. I have seen numerous incorrect or grossly exaggerated claims in his presentations. Why should I care? As I have stated before, he is free to invest his money into whatever scheme he desires. That’s no skin off my nose. But he has aggressively lobbied the government to fund and support his schemes. And since I believe energy policy is too important to be influenced by false claims, I take exception. Yesterday in my inbox I was presented with another example of Khosla making reckless claims. I have mentioned it in passing, but last week a study… Continue»