Author Archives for Megan

After the Deluge: Gasoline supply constraints following Harvey and Irma

September 14, 2017 8:16 am Published by Comments Off on After the Deluge: Gasoline supply constraints following Harvey and Irma

September 13, 2017 Our hearts go out to our friends and colleagues in Texas and Florida as they start to rebuild after the destruction from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Stillwater’s Houston-area associates were able to weather Hurricane Harvey in good shape, managing to stay safe and dry while helping their neighbors. According to Barry Schaps,...
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IMO 2020 Part 1: The evolution of the marine sulfur regulation

September 14, 2017 7:37 am Published by Comments Off on IMO 2020 Part 1: The evolution of the marine sulfur regulation

September 13, 2017 by Ralph Grimmer Stillwater is following the progress and impact of the International Maritime Organization’s Global Maximum Sulfur Content of Marine Fuel Rule, or IMO 2020. This is our first article in the series. Our second article, IMO 2020 Part 2: Shipowners’ Perspective, appeared on the website in October 2017.  The International...
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The RFS Point of Obligation Part 3: Will moving the point of obligation significantly increase the use of renewable fuels?

July 12, 2017 3:33 pm Published by Comments Off on The RFS Point of Obligation Part 3: Will moving the point of obligation significantly increase the use of renewable fuels?

July 12, 2017 by Michael Leister As we continue our RFS Point of Obligation series, we look at the RIN obligations calculated in the simple example last month using 100,000 gallons of gasoline and 50,000 gallons of diesel, we need to remember typical refineries produce much larger volumes of these products.  A typical refinery processes...
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Forecasting LCFS Credit Prices

June 22, 2017 3:31 pm Published by Comments Off on Forecasting LCFS Credit Prices

Dave Hackett’s presentation to CARB’s June 22, 2017 board meeting. Dave provided comments to the board on the forecasted rising LCFS cost, or hidden tax, in gasoline and diesel price. This analysis first appeared in Stillwater’s June 2017 Monthly LCFS Newsletter. You can download a copy of the presentation here.

War Stories: Leigh Noda’s Advice that Can’t be Erased

June 7, 2017 11:01 am Published by Comments Off on War Stories: Leigh Noda’s Advice that Can’t be Erased

June 7, 2017 by Jessica Loomis In 1972, young Leigh Noda had just begun his career as a refinery engineer with Atlantic Richfield Company. It would be the beginning of a 28-year long journey with the company, but as a young man just starting out, Leigh felt overwhelmed and in awe of the Operations Supervisor...
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The LCFS Cost in Transportation Fuels – The Growing Hidden Tax

June 6, 2017 6:54 pm Published by Comments Off on The LCFS Cost in Transportation Fuels – The Growing Hidden Tax

June 7, 2017 by Leigh Noda The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) increases the cost of the gasoline and diesel fuels produced from crude oil by requiring credits to offset the LCFS deficits.  Stillwater projects that this program will add another 20 cpg to the consumer price of gasoline by 2020. To date, the LCFS...
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The RFS Point of Obligation Part 2: How are RINs generated and RFS compliance achieved?

June 6, 2017 6:06 pm Published by Comments Off on The RFS Point of Obligation Part 2: How are RINs generated and RFS compliance achieved?

June 6, 2017 by Michael Leister Last month in the first edition in our RFS Point of Obligation series, we discussed the general RFS rules, this month we get more specific about RIN generation and RFS Compliance.  When a renewable fuel producer like an ethanol production facility or biomass-based diesel manufacturing plant produces a compliant...
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War Stories: Where in the World is Jim Langley?

May 16, 2017 8:37 pm Published by Comments Off on War Stories: Where in the World is Jim Langley?

May 1, 2017 by Jessica Loomis For this edition of War Stories, we interviewed Senior Associate Jim Langley about one of his international projects. Several years ago, Jim was retained by a Latin American oil and refining company to evaluate two environmentally driven process technologies. One was the old, proven technology that accomplished 95% of...
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RFS Point of Obligation Part 1: How Does the RFS Work?

May 16, 2017 8:34 pm Published by Comments Off on RFS Point of Obligation Part 1: How Does the RFS Work?

May 1, 2017 by Michael Leister For the past year or more, there has been a lot of discussion in the transportation fuels industry on moving the current Renewable Fuels Standard 2 (RFS2) point of obligation to the point where rack blending occurs. Currently the point of obligation is with refiners and importers, however the...
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IMO 2020: The Next Big Thing for the Oil Supply Chain

May 16, 2017 8:29 pm Published by Comments Off on IMO 2020: The Next Big Thing for the Oil Supply Chain

May 1, 2017 by David Hackett The term “oil supply chain” is a way to describe the activities that are required to produce crude oil out of the ground, move it to the refinery, transform the crude oil into fuel, and move the fuel to consumers.  The chief air pollutant in crude oil is sulfur....
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Gasolinazo! What’s going on with gasoline prices in Mexico?

January 26, 2017 8:40 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

January 26, 2017 by David Hackett The recent rise in gasoline prices in Mexico has driven significant unrest early this month. However, north of the border (where gasoline prices are higher than they were last summer), they are still cheap. What’s going on in Mexico? There are several factors contributing to the crisis. The Mexican...
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Second Quarter 2016 LCFS Credit Trends

November 17, 2016 6:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

November 17, 2016 Each quarter, our Stillwater LCFS Quarterly Newsletter takes an in-depth look at one aspect of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and other low carbon standard efforts around the country. In our latest LCFS Quarterly Newsletter, Leigh Noda analyzes the LCFS credit trends. The following is an excerpt from the latest Stillwater Quarterly...
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Another upset at the Torrance Refinery

November 17, 2016 3:48 am Published by Leave your thoughts

November 16, 2016 The former ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, CA experienced an upset this week. As news helicopters circled above, the local fire department fought a fire that appeared to be in the alkylation unit. Thankfully, the media were reporting yesterday that there were no serious injuries. Today, OPIS reported that the refinery was back...
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War Stories: The devil is in the details

November 16, 2016 9:48 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

November 16, 2016 by Jeff Kennedy No matter what, refiners want to run crude, the more the better. It doesn’t matter what comes out of the crude, and if you can get a refiner to process a secondary unit feedstock, then the stars have aligned, or you’ve died and gone to heaven! The trick is...
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Bubble Map Update: Imports on the Rise

October 12, 2016 6:51 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

October 12, 2016 This month in Wisdom from the Downstream Wizard we thought it might be a good idea to dust off the Bubble Map and take a look at the differentials around the country. Back in January when we declared the Mid Continent crude oil arbitrage closed, WTI was $29 a barrel. While prices...
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Oregon’s First Quarter of Clean Fuels Program Compliance

October 11, 2016 12:23 am Published by Leave your thoughts

October 10, 2016 Each month, our Stillwater LCFS Monthly Newsletter takes an in-depth look at one aspect of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and other low carbon standard efforts around the country. In our latest LCFS Monthly Newsletter, Jim Mladenik compares the first quarter of Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program with California’s LCFS first quarter. The...
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LCFS Credit Price: What’s behind the nose dive?

August 9, 2016 4:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

August 9, 2016 Back in February, LCFS credit prices were trading for about $130 per metric tonne (MT). Prices were fairly steady through the spring, and then something happened in July to make the price drop. LCFS credits lost more than half of their value from February, hitting the $56/MT mark in the last week...
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When Good Term Contracts Go Bad – Lessons Learned

June 7, 2016 4:15 am Published by Leave your thoughts

June 6, 2016 by Michael W. Bloch, with contributions from David Bulfin and David Wilshin Stillwater recently worked with several clients and their attorneys to resolve term contract disputes that led to litigation or arbitration. These disputes were grounded in the poor structure and understanding of the terms and conditions of the contracts. Often, the...
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Recap from Stillwater’s 2016 Annual Meeting

May 2, 2016 8:29 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

May 2, 2016 On April 2nd Stillwater held our 6th Annual Meeting in Irvine, CA. The Annual Meeting originated in 2011 with a handful of people sitting around a kitchen table discussing the future of the company. Since then it’s grown to a weekend-long event with 29 attendees, starting with a kick-off party at Stillwater...
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Subscribe to Stillwater’s LCFS Newsletter Today!

May 2, 2016 4:42 pm Published by 1 Comment

Is your company impacted by California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard? The LCFS is well under way, and it’s important that Covered Entities and the companies that support them have the right information to make smart Credit Market decisions. Stillwater’s LCFS Newsletter is a powerful tool for Covered Entities to use as they navigate the standard....
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Politics at play as CFTC tries to regulate excessive speculation of energy commodities

March 29, 2016 6:13 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

March 29, 2016 by Barry Schaps The Federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) began addressing the issue of excessive speculation and its effects on energy commodities since Congress enacted the Dodd-Frank Act following the financial meltdown of 2008. The legislation, passed in 2010, ordered the CFTC to set limits on the number of futures contracts...
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Bubble Map Update: Crumbling Crude Prices Flip Logistics

January 19, 2016 5:14 pm Published by 1 Comment

January 18, 2016 The first Bubble Map of 2016 shows crude oil prices continuing to fall. Prices on January 15th have WTI dropping from $37 to $29 since our last blog in December. The Brent price has also dropped to $29, driving the Brent differential just cents under WTI. The Western Canadian Select discount has...
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California Gasoline Inventory Woes Keep Retail Prices High

January 18, 2016 8:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

January 17, 2016 by John Faulstich California’s gasoline prices were often in the news in 2015 and the trend will continue in 2016. Dave Hackett of Stillwater is one member of the California Energy Commission Petroleum Market Advisory Committee which continues to look into the gasoline prices in California. A topic of discussion at the last PMAC...
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Deregulation in Mexico: Changes to the Petroleum Supply Chain

December 11, 2015 1:49 am Published by Leave your thoughts

December 10, 2015 Major changes in Mexico’s energy markets will start happening next year and it is important to understand what the landscape will look like in order to take advantage of the opportunities. On November 17th, Dave Hackett spoke about the state of the Mexican petroleum products market at the OPIS Mexico – U.S....
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Pemex Privatization: Something to Keep Your Eye On

December 3, 2015 1:08 am Published by Leave your thoughts

December 2, 2015 by Barry Schaps Around this time of year, many newsletters and blogs post screaming headlines about the “hottest” items to watch for next year. This is more of a “keep your eye on this space” notice as Stillwater Associates focuses its attention on the planned transformation of Petroleos de Mexico (Pemex). Make...
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Stillwater Provides Research and Analysis to EIA PADD 5 Transportation Fuels Report

October 6, 2015 10:49 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

October 5, 2015 On September 30th, EIA released the PADD 5 Transportation Fuels Markets report, the first in a series of studies on U.S. regional fuels markets. Stillwater was privileged to provide our expertise for this study which examines U.S. West Coast petroleum product markets. Our research and analysis for this report covers: Demand, including...
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California could be PBF’s biggest refinery challenge yet

October 4, 2015 8:36 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

October 1, 2015 by Kristen Hays, Reuters PBF Energy Inc.’s purchase of Exxon Mobil Corp.’s California refinery marks Chairman Tom O’Malley’s biggest bet yet on U.S. refining in the country’s toughest market. The $537.5 million deal to buy Exxon’s 155,000 barrels per day plant in Torrance with dock, storage and pipeline infrastructure will mark PBF’s...
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Gasoline Price Spike: What Caused the Latest Rise in Southern California Retail Prices?

August 6, 2015 1:09 am Published by 2 Comments

August 5, 2015 by David Hackett There are three major refining centers on the West Coast, the Pacific Northwest (PNW), the San Francisco Bay (SFB), and Los Angeles (LA). The refineries in the PNW supply Washington, Oregon and California with gasoline. The SFB plants supply Northern California, Northern Nevada and Southern California with gasoline. Excess...
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Petroleum Product Flows by Region

June 28, 2015 12:03 am Published by Leave your thoughts

June 27, 2015 by David Hackett Clients frequently ask us to explain the flows of petroleum from one region to another. Our Bubble Map is often used to explain the flows of crude oil, for example. The chart below illustrates the flow of petroleum products in and out of the U.S. by Petroleum for Administration...
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What Accounts for the Recent Surge in Cellulosic Biofuels Production?

May 19, 2015 6:11 pm Published by 1 Comment

May 7, 2015   by Dave Hirshfeld, MathPro Inc. EPA has pledged to issue proposed renewable fuels volume requirements for 2014, 2015, and 2016 by June 1 and final renewable fuels volume requirements for all three years by November 30. These volume requirements set the annual Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) for refiners and other obligated...
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Notes from the AFPM Annual Meeting

April 15, 2015 3:00 am Published by 1 Comment

April 14, 2015 by David Hackett The AFPM Annual Meeting was back in San Antonio this year. Every year I find this four-day event educational, fun and exhausting. It seems like every day goes from 7 AM to Midnight and is filled with meetings, eating and drinking. The San Antonio hometown oil companies host big...
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Bubble Map Update: Is the Discount Party Over?

February 26, 2015 4:59 am Published by Leave your thoughts

February 25, 2015   The February Bubble Map finds crude oil prices creeping back up. While the WTI price remains at $49 per barrel, Brent has risen to $9 over WTI. The spike in the price of Brent can be attributed to concerns over lower supply levels due to the unrest in Libya, which has...
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What Happened to California’s Cap-and-Trade Gasoline Price Hike?

January 19, 2015 10:54 pm Published by 2 Comments

January 19, 2015 by David Hackett Oil industry observers, including the Downstream Wizard, predicted that California retail gasoline prices would go up around New Year’s Day as transportation fuels would come under California’s Cap-and-Trade regulation. At current prices for carbon, Covered Entities like refiners and marketers who pay the tax on fuels, should be passing...
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Gas Price Slide Will Boost Bay Area Consumer Spending

January 13, 2015 11:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

January 11, 2015 by Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News Bay Area drivers are already celebrating the recent collapse in oil prices, but if it lasts it will have broader economic implications, putting billions of dollars a year directly into the wallets of residents and helping to stimulate the region’s already robust economy. And a...
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Very Merry Bubble Map: A Gift at the Gas Station

December 11, 2014 4:16 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

December 11, 2014   Filling up the Stillwater Honda Odyssey cost a very jolly $45 this week, the delightful effect of a glut of crude oil supply. The drop in prices at the pump is giving consumers a little unexpected year-end bonus. Crude oil spot prices are the lowest they’ve been since we started this...
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The Changing Landscape of Crude Oil Movements to the West Coast

December 11, 2014 12:56 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The Changing Landscape of Crude Oil Movements to the West Coast. Dave Hackett’s presentation to the Moving Crude Supplies to West Coast End Markets conference on December 3, 2014. With the shale boom, and the surge in crude-by-rail, crude oil movements to the west coast have changed significantly in a short time. This presentation gives...
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The CBO Finds Future RFS Volume Mandates Pose “Significant Challenges”

December 10, 2014 9:47 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

December 5, 2014   by Dave Hirshfeld, MathPro Inc. In June 2014, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published an analysis of the feasibility and economic implications of achieving future annual renewable fuel mandate volumes1 for the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). Here in Regulation City, refining industry advocates praised the CBO analysis; ethanol industry advocates...
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Oil Import Decline to U.S. Revealed by Louisiana as Truth

November 6, 2014 7:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

November 5, 2014 by Dan Murtaugh, Zain Shauk and Lynn Doan, Bloomberg Things are slowing down at the U.S.’s largest oil-import hub. Just six years after importing more than 1 million barrels a day from countries including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Iraq, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port is receiving just half of that from overseas,...
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Highlights from the 2014 OPIS Supply Summit

October 31, 2014 12:20 am Published by Leave your thoughts

October 30, 2014 by David Hackett The presentations at this year’s OPIS National Supply Summit reflected the dynamics of petroleum markets in North America. Much of the conversation was on the impact of continuing growth of crude oil production in the Mid Continent. The topics include crude oil pipeline development, crude-by-rail and plenty of discussion...
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ANS Feels the Squeeze on the West Coast

October 30, 2014 6:28 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

October 30, 2014   On Monday with WTI priced at $81 per barrel, Eagle Ford and WTI-Midland were listed at parity with WTI. Bakken at Clearbrook came in at $13 under WTI. While the Western Canadian Select differential has narrowed to $7 under WTI. While we’re seeing discounts in the Mid Continent, prices on the...
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Alaska’s Oil Piles Up at Port as Barrels Wait for a Ride

October 27, 2014 11:56 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

October 21, 2014 by Lynn Doan and Dan Murtaugh, Bloomberg Stockpiles of oil from Alaska’s North Slope have surged to a five-year seasonal high as tanker maintenance slows loadings, forcing the grade to trade at a discount to U.S. crude for the first time since 2010. Inventories at the Valdez terminal, the northernmost ice-free port...
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Shale Boom Helping American Consumers as Never Before

October 20, 2014 5:18 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

October 17, 2014 by Dan Murtaugh and Lynn Doan, Bloomberg Oil traders might see the 27 percent slide in global prices as a bear market. For U.S. consumers, it’s more like an early holiday gift. The drop in crude has pulled retail gasoline down more than 50 cents a gallon from the year’s high in...
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Pump Prices Fall to Lowest Since 2011 Amid Oil Slump

October 20, 2014 4:45 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

October 15, 2014 by Dan Murtaugh and Lynn Doan, Bloomberg Regular gasoline in the U.S. fell to the lowest level in more than three-and-a-half years as shale oil production and weak global demand spurred a four-month slump in oil prices. The average retail price fell 0.9 cents a gallon to $3.177, Heathrow Florida-based motoring group...
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Orphaned Russian Oil Heads to U.S. West on Asia Overflow

October 8, 2014 10:56 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

October 3, 2014 by Lynn Doan, Bloomberg One of Russia’s prized oils, facing increased competition in Asia, is traveling to a rather unlikely destination: the U.S. West Coast. As the U.S. threatens President Vladimir Putin with further economic sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, light Sokol oil from Russia’s Far East is showing up in...
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Lone Star State Makes it Inside the Bubble

September 26, 2014 9:00 pm Published by 1 Comment

September 26, 2014   Crude oil prices in the Texas tight oil producing regions are suffering from the same over-supply problem as the Mid Continent. There’s a lot of crude oil in Texas and prices reflect the oversupply. For that reason, the Bubble has been stretched a bit to include the Lone Star State. Prices...
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California Replaces Oil by Rail from Canada with Domestic

September 17, 2014 10:55 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

September 8, 2014 by Lynn Doan, Blooomberg California, the nation’s largest gasoline market, has cut its oil-by-rail volumes from Canada by 86 percent this year while buying more crude made in America. The most populous U.S. state received 3,142 barrels a day by rail from Canada in July, down from 6,669 in June and a...
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Catching Up with Crude-by-Rail

September 10, 2014 8:58 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Advances in drilling have brought about an energy boom in the U.S. This boom has led to a dramatic shift in crude oil logistics. To make up for the lack of pipeline capacity, producers have turned to moving crude-by-rail (CBR). In this complimentary webinar, we will discuss the rapid growth of CBR from production in...
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Kern County mounts defense of oil train shipments

August 25, 2014 9:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

August 24, 2014 by Tony Bizjak and Curtis Tate, The Sacramento Bee KERN COUNTY – In Sacramento and the Bay Area, recent plans to run trains laden with crude oil through downtowns to coastal refineries have prompted fears and protests this summer. But, here in the southern San Joaquin Valley, where oil has served as...
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Why fracking boom isn’t driving down Seattle gas prices

August 25, 2014 8:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

August 23, 2014 Angel Gonzalez, The Seattle Times In Seattle, America’s energy boom can be seen but not felt. At least not at the gas pump. Trains bearing crude oil cross the city’s busy core every day, connecting North Dakota’s prolific oil fields to refineries on the coast. Yet gasoline prices here have remained stubbornly...
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Global Wins, Tesoro Waits on Bringing Bakken Oil West

August 20, 2014 9:02 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

August 20, 2014 by Lynn Doan, Bloomberg Just as Global Partners LP (GLP) gained approval to unload more oil from rail cars at a marine terminal in Oregon, Tesoro Corp. (TSO) learned its plans for a similar project in neighboring Washington will have to wait. The projects are among several oil-by-rail proposals facing rising opposition...
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Casino Royale: California’s Fuels Under the Cap Program

August 19, 2014 11:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

August 19, 2014 by David Hackett Market participants are starting to speculate about the next phase of Cap & Trade under California’s AB32 the Global Warming Solutions Act. That phase, Fuels Under the Cap, is designed to control Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from transportation fuel, including gasoline, diesel, propane and natural gas. The first phase...
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Crude oil is crude oil – right? Wrong!

August 19, 2014 6:02 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

August 19, 2014 by Barry Schaps Recently, veterans in the oil industry have been questioning their long held assumptions about what really constitutes crude oil produced at the wellhead. One may ask, with everything else going on in the world, “Why is this important?” The short and simple answer is that “traditional crude oil” (loosely...
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San Francisco Gets Fuel from Los Angeles as Gap Widens

August 19, 2014 4:40 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

August 18, 2014 by Lynn Doan, Bloomberg Spot gasoline in San Francisco at the highest premium to Los Angeles in two weeks has opened an arbitrage for fuel to flow north. Spot California-blend gasoline in the San Francisco Bay area gained 1 cent a gallon versus the same fuel in Los Angeles to a premium...
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Permian’s Newest Gusher Creating Wave of Investments

August 7, 2014 6:34 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

August 6, 2014 by Dan Murtaugh, Bloomberg The gusher of crude from the Permian Basin has spurred new investments from refinery and pipeline companies trying to take advantage of low prices caused by rising supplies. Delek US Holdings Inc. (DK) expects to expand its refinery in Tyler, Texas, by 25 percent in early 2015, and...
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Obama’s Safer Oil Train Plan Faces Rule Making Hurdles

July 29, 2014 10:57 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It could take more than three years to fully halt the shipment of them most flammable liquids in the most dangerous rail cars. By Elizabeth Douglass, Inside Climate News The Obama Administration’s proposal Wednesday for making oil-laden railcars safer runs 203 pages and includes a host of new rules for carrying flammable fuels by train...
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Stillwater Offers Webinars on Petroleum Logistics

June 25, 2014 8:22 am Published by 2 Comments

June 24, 2014 by Michael Soares Stillwater Associates has begun to offer webinars on subjects related to the distribution of refined petroleum products. We have found that webinars are a great way to conveniently offer our expertise in a manner that is a lot less expensive than a residence seminar. In this way we can...
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The Low Carbon Fuel Standard Continues to Evolve

June 25, 2014 12:15 am Published by Leave your thoughts

June 24, 2014 by Leigh Noda Now in its fourth year to meet a ten-year target, the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) continues to be an evolving regulation. With the extension of the 2013 standard to 2014, and the concepts discussed below that CARB introduced in March, we see a regulatory trend of CARB expanding...
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California and Crude-by-Rail

June 24, 2014 9:44 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

June 24, 2014 by David Hackett The success of drilling technology in North America’s Mid Continent has lead to a huge increase in crude oil production. In 2010, crude oil production in North Dakota was about 310 thousand barrels per day (kbd). This year, production is expected to reach 1 million barrels per day. Light...
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