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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»

By Robert Rapier on with no responses

Ethanol from Carbon Monoxide?

October 16, 2014 — I have published an update to this story based on a story that linked to it in Biofuels Digest called Junk or treasure? Looking at carbon monoxide and LanzaTech. My update to the story is LanzaTech’s Vulnerability. ————————————————————– I have been asked about this several times, so I figured I might as well post a reply. Recent news reports have Vinod Khosla making a new investment: LanzaTech NZ Ltd Secures Series A Funding From Khosla Ventures for Ethanol Production From Carbon Monoxide in Waste Gases First, the obligatory hype we have all come to expect: This technology could produce 50 billion gallons of ethanol from the world’s steel mills alone, turning the liability of carbon emissions into… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on with 2 responses

Tyson Slocum is Wrong

Time to debunk another perpetual myth. In a story today in CNN – Big Oil’s Money Machine – consumer advocate Tyson Slocum makes the following claim: “Are we getting any bang for our buck with record gas prices?,” asked Tyson Slocum, energy program director at Public Citizen, a national consumer advocacy organization. “They aren’t building any new refineries. If they’re not going to translate the high prices into investment for the consumer, why should they be allowed to charge high prices?” What is it with these consumer advocates and not being able to get their facts straight? Here are the facts for Mr. Slocum. According to the Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ) the oil industry invested $176 billion in capital… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 24, 2007 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 4-25-07

2nd Update: The gasoline supply situation in the U.S. is just about unprecedented, and for April it is unprecedented. If I go back to 1991 (as far back, it appears, as the EIA maintains a statistic on “days of supply”) then this week’s inventory is the 7th lowest out of 842 weeks. The lowest 6 all happened at the end of summer driving season (late August and early September). In other words, 99.2% of the time we have been in a better inventory situation than we are in right now. More importantly – again going back to 1991 – we have never had inventories this low in the month of April; just when we need to be building supplies for… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 23, 2007 with no responses

Are Subsidies to Oil Companies Ever Justified?

Should We Ever Subsidize an Oil Company? “Of course not!” might be the immediate reaction of most people. But doesn’t it depend on the objectives you are trying to achieve or the behaviors you wish to influence? Are there no cases in which it would be warranted? What if the end result was a reduction in our fossil fuel consumption? I think most people would like to see us move away from fossil fuels. But fossil fuels are money-makers for the oil companies, and the cheapest option (strictly in terms of dollars at the pump) for consumers. So how do we wean off of fossil fuels? Reducing Fossil Fuel Usage There are really two options. By far the most efficient… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 20, 2007 with no responses

Democrats Plan to Reverse Tax Break

As someone said to me just now by e-mail, “It ain’t about the fuel… it’s about a piece of the pie.” Democrats Plan to Reverse Tax Break for ConocoPhillips, Tyson April 20 (Bloomberg) — Democrats in Congress plan to reverse an Internal Revenue Service ruling that allowed ConocoPhillips and Tyson Foods Inc. to benefit from a tax break for producing alternative energy. If adopted, the legislation would threaten a joint venture announced this week by ConocoPhillips and Tyson to produce diesel fuel from animal fat. ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Jim Mulva said the companies wouldn’t proceed if they didn’t qualify for the tax credit, worth $1 per gallon of renewable diesel produced. “It’s not profitable without the $1 tax credit,” Mulva… Continue»