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Posts tagged “twip”

By Robert Rapier on Apr 13, 2009 with no responses

The 2009 EIA Energy Conference: Day 2

Energy and the Media This was the panel I had been asked to participate in. My fellow panelists were Steven Mufson (one of my favorite mainstream energy reporters), from the Washington Post; Eric Pooley from Harvard, (the former managing editor of Fortune); and Barbara Hagenbaugh from USA Today. The panel was moderated by John Anderson of Resources for the Future. I can only imagine that a number of people looked at the lineup, looked at my inclusion, and thought “What’s that guy doing up there?” So here’s the background on that. When I was working at the ConocoPhillips Refinery in Billings, Montana, we followed the weekly release of the EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report very closely. We included this information… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 11, 2009 with no responses

Gasoline Demand Has Recovered

It’s been taking place slowly, week after week, but low gas prices have brought gasoline demand back up. There has been anecdotal evidence that suggested demand might be heading higher, such as recovering sales of gas guzzling cars. But for watchers of This Week in Petroleum, the data confirm the anecdotes: Gasoline demand has recovered to the point that it is now higher in the U.S. than it was a year ago. This week’s Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data (off of which This Week in Petroleum is based) shows that the 4-week rolling average has for the first time in recent memory increased above (albeit slightly) the level of a year ago. Another factor to keep an eye on as… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 27, 2009 with 5 responses

Why Gas Prices are Rising Again

Every time gas prices start to go up, my essay “Why Are Gas Prices Rising?” gets a lot of hits from Google searches by people looking for an explanation. Because the supply/demand dynamics have changed, that essay needs dusting off, especially in light of stories like this: Pros puzzled by gas prices Fuel industry pundits have been left scratching their heads at the recent jump in gas prices, which have increased despite plummeting crude prices. “The nationwide average retail price of self-serve regular gasoline seems to be defying gravity this month,” according to American Automobile Association (AAA) Director of Public Relations, Geoff Sundtrom, “as it continued to rise in the face of sharply lower prices for crude oil and wholesale… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 19, 2008 with no responses

Haven’t We Seen This Before?

At this year’s ASPO conference, I was twice asked about the gasoline supply situation – once at a panel session and once by a reporter. At the time, there were gas shortages throughout the southeast, and some of the speakers gave the impression that this was the beginning of the end: Gas shortages are here to stay, and we are on the verge of the entire country running out of gasoline. There were a number of predictions along the lines of “It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.” While first discussing the source of the gas shortages – low inventories followed by a hurricane that sidelined a significant source of refining capacity – I answered the… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Sep 24, 2008 with no responses

Rationing by Running Out

This looks ominous: Gasoline Inventories at Lowest Levels Since 1967. Source: This Week in Petroleum Of course we used a lot less gasoline in 1967, so on a ‘days of supply’ basis, this is probably the lowest level ever. I just got back to Dallas from the ASPO conference, and we are having shortages here as well. My cab driver said he had been to several stations that had no gas, and my wife told me that the Texaco near our house is out of premium. Someone asked during a panel discussion at ASPO whether we were going to have rationing by price. I answered that we are having that now. But prices aren’t going up nearly as much as… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 1, 2008 with no responses

A Mixed Bag of Oil Projections in the MSM

Update: One more noteworthy story from Newsweek: The Coming Energy Wars Oil drives so much of the global economy, it’s almost impossible to fully imagine the world of $200 oil. No question, the shock will force nations to go greener much faster than now, particularly by conserving energy and developing and adopting new non-fossil fuels. But none of this can happen full stop in six to 24 months. So the predictions tend to be gloomy: some analysts see a shift toward regional trade, and even a major reversal of globalization itself, as rising transport costs make it too expensive to ship many kinds of goods long distances. A major acceleration in the transfer of wealth that has, in the past… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 29, 2008 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 1-30-08

Updated Gasoline inventories did in fact edge upward, as gasoline imports were very strong. Had that not been the case, gasoline inventories would have definitely come down, as utilization continues to trend down. In fact, just glancing over the data, more gasoline may have been imported this January than in any other January before. As long as that continues, gasoline prices won’t gain much traction. But European refiners have to take turnarounds as well, so gasoline imports typically fall off in February and March. Here is the summary: Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending January 25, 2008 U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.6 million barrels per day during the week ending January 25,down 302,000 barrels per… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 24, 2008 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 1-24-08

Updated: Not too much to get excited about. Those reports of some refineries coming down early for turnarounds due to low margins look to be accurate, given the drop in refinery utilization. That would also explain the rise in crude inventories, but typically you start to see gasoline inventories coming down as the refineries come offline. Gasoline production did fall, as one would expect as turnaround season begins. However, gasoline inventories increased on the back of very strong gasoline import numbers. The highlights: Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending January 18, 2008 U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 14.9 million barrels per day during the week ending January 18, down 91,000 barrels per day from the previous… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 16, 2008 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 1-16-08

With all of the traveling, and then trying to catch up after the holidays, I haven’t had time to do a proper TWIP. Anyway, mostly what we saw for the past month were crude draws, and gasoline inventories climbing back up and getting in pretty good shape prior to spring turnaround season. Part of the draw down in crude was tax-related. Many countries, including the U.S., tax crude inventories at year end. So, there is a bit of a balancing act as refiners try to draw down inventories while still maintaining enough on hand to weather any supply disruptions. This week saw a large gain across the complex, and crude prices are falling as a result. Summary of Weekly Petroleum… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 11, 2007 with no responses

This Week in Petroleum 12-12-07

Updated: You would think if last week’s large inventory drop was due to fog-induced delays, all of that crude would show up this week. Not so, as another drop in crude inventories was recorded: U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) dropped by 0.7 million barrels compared to the previous week. At 304.5 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 1.6 million barrels last week, but are near the lower end of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and gasoline blending components inventories increased during this period. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 0.8 million barrels,… Continue»