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Oil price drop will drive Russia into Recession

Bloomberg -- Russia will sink into recession at a Urals price of $80 a barrel, seven years after its economy grew 8.5 percent when its chief export oil blend averaged near $70, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

Urals at $80, or about $3 cheaper than its average in the month through November 15, will tip Russia into a contraction, according to the median estimate of 32 economists. The probability of a recession in the next 12 months rose to 75 percent, the highest since the first such survey more than two years ago, according to another poll  (go to article)

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Venezuela Says Will Push OPEC Until Oil Reaches $100

Voice of America -- ARAGUA, VENEZUELA—

Venezuela will keep campaigning until oil prices rebound to $100 per barrel, president Nicolas Maduro said Thursday night after OPEC refused to cut output, as the cash-strapped South American country had aggressively pushed for.

Saudi Arabia blocked calls from poorer members of the OPEC oil exporter group for production cuts to arrest a slide in global prices, sending benchmark crude plunging to a fresh four-year low of around $71.25.

The decision is a blow to Venezuela's flailing economy, widely believed to be in recession, and also highlights the country's diminished influence in OPEC, which it helped found.

But Maduro said the country with the world's largest crude reserves is undeterred.

“For now, it wasn't possible to achieve the proposal we supported with vari  (go to article)

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Will Chrysler's 300 resurrect interest in full-size sedans?

GasBuddy Blog -- Reports from Detroit say Chrysler is hoping that it can boost sales of its 300 sedan with an overhaul of its exterior design that takes the car back to its 2005 styling.  The company also overhauled the interior, which now includes a standard 7-inch full color driver information display, the industry's only electronic rotary shifter, and Chrysler's new three-spoke steering with larger vehicle controls and optional die-cast paddle shifters.

Chrysler left both the 3.6 liter V-6 Pentastar and 5.7 liter V-8 Hemi engines largely unchanged.  The Chrysler 300 will get a class-leading 31 miles per gallon on the highway with the V-6 engine and fuel economy improves by 6% with the V-8 compared to the outgoing version. Most importantly, the starting price of $31,395 remains unchanged. ...  (go to article)

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Best Black Friday New-Car Deals

Forbes -- The day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday – has become so much more than the official start to the holiday shopping season. It’s something of a tribal adventure, a challenge to see who can rise the earliest and withstand the highest degree of actual physical pain in search of an unbeatable bona fide bargain. While most of the action has traditionally taken place at department stores and electronics dealers, the high holy day of shopping has also become a major event at new-car showrooms. According to TrueCar, Inc., Black Friday and the Thanksgiving weekend are among the top five or six days of the year in which to leverage the deepest new-car discounts (with New Year’s Eve remaining the best day of the year in which to buy a car.)

Most brands are launching their “season of savings” promot  (go to article)

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Asian energy shares slide after OPEC output decision; Nikkei rises after economic reports

Star Tribune -- HONG KONG — Crude oil and Asian energy shares tumbled Friday as OPEC's decision to keep production steady rippled across the globe. Japanese stocks rose after a slew of economic data releases but other regional indexes were mixed.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.1 percent to 17,437.69 while South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.2 percent to 1,978.85. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged 0.1 percent lower to 23,978.58 while in mainland China the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7 percent to 2,649.57. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 tumbled 1.4 percent to 4,323.10. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines rose while in Thailand, Indonesia and New Zealand they fell.

ENERGY: The oil cartel decided to maintain production at 30 million barrels a day despite global oversupply, as th  (go to article)

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OPEC decision will keep oil prices low & hit Russia, Iran, US – experts

RT -- Russian officials and experts warned that oil prices will remain below $80 per barrel for some time, after OPEC’s decision not to cut output. It will hurt the economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela – and deal a blow to shale oil production in the US.

OPEC announced on Thursday that it will not be changing production levels, leaving the daily output ceiling at 30 million barrels despite oversupply concerns and soft oil prices.  (go to article)

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Crude oil drops over $4 a barrel on OPEC not cutting output

REUTERS -- Brent crude oil futures fell more than $4 on Thursday to below $73 a barrel after producer group OPEC said it would not cut crude production despite global oversupply.

Brent fell as low as $72.74 per barrel, its lowest since August 2010, and was last trading down $4.75 at $72.98.

U.S. crude oil futures also fell sharply to a low of $69.11 a barrel, down more than $4 on the day and its lowest since May 2010.  (go to article)

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Will OPEC bankrupt US shale producers?

CNBC -- The OPEC's contentious decision to keep its production target, leaving the market with a supply glut, could trigger a wave of debt defaults by U.S. shale oil producers, warn analysts.

The 12-member oil cartel on Thursday said it would stick to its output target of 30 million barrels a day, triggering a sharp decline in oil prices, with U.S. crude futures tumbling nearly $6 to $67.75 on Friday - the lowest since May 2010.

Neil Beveridge, senior oil analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, told CNBC the plunge in oil prices raises the risk of bankruptcy for U.S. shale players.

"$68 a barrel is not economical for a lot of these shale oil wells. CDS [credit default swap] spreads and yields on some of the debt are rising very quickly, because at these kinds of oil prices you are going to see produ  (go to article)

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Gasoline in Canada: 99 cents/Liter soon??

Yahoo Finance -- It’s been a while since it’s been this cheap to fill up your car, and it’s about to get even cheaper.
Following a move by OPEC to maintain oil production at elevated levels, Ontario gas prices that have already been flirting with the $1 a litre level in some towns could fall below it for the first time in about five years.
In the prairie provinces, where gas is typically cheapest, prices have already dipped below the magic, and in Edmonton are coming close to 90 cents.
The rest of Canada pays more for the privilege of clogging the nation’s highways, and on Thursday Toronto’s cheapest litre was running about $1.04 at Costco and $1.06 at Pioneer. Prices were lower outside of the city, touching $1.01 a litre in Peterborough.
Gas costs have been diving over the last four months as a global sup  (go to article)

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Alberta Producers With World’s Cheapest Oil Face Cascading Woes

Bloomberg -- Canada’s biggest energy producers now face the same prospects of shrinking budgets and declining profit as their smaller rivals as prices drop for what’s already the world’s cheapest oil.

Producers including Suncor Energy and Canadian Natural Resources, which each fell the most in at least three years yesterday, operate in one of the most expensive places on earth to produce oil. If crude prices continue sinking following OPEC’s decision not to cut global oil supplies, Canada’s producers big and small will have to tighten their belts to prepare for declining profits.

“This is a pretty big shock,” said Justin Bouchard, an analyst at Desjardins Securities in Calgary. “There’s no question there’s going to be a slowdown. Even the big guys will have to look at their capital spending plans."
 (go to article)

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SD producers: Keystone XL pipeline not a cure-all for rail delays that have plagued farmers

Fox Business News -- South Dakota farmers are nearing the end of a record corn harvest this week, but they have serious concerns about grain prices, storage options and rail congestion heading into spring. And they're looking for more options than the Keystone XL pipeline to help.

When producers run out of storage space and rail cars aren't available, they store certain grains on the ground — which can reduce the quality of the grain and affect the price, said Steve Domm, general manager of Central Farmers Cooperative in Marion, South Dakota.

"I'm looking out the window as the conveyor is piling corn on the ground as we speak," Domm said Wednesday.

The amount of rail capacity the Keystone XL would free up would be "a blip on the radar," added Keith Alverson, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Associ  (go to article)

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Only 4 percent of U.S. shale production needs $80 or more to be profitable

Bloomberg -- Most production in the Bakken formation, one of the main drivers of shale oil output, remains profitable at or below $42 a barrel, the IEA says. The agency expects U.S. supply to grow by almost 1 million barrels a day next year, with increasing flows to international markets. “OPEC’s decision means it is over to you America,” Miswin Mahesh, a London-based commodities analyst at Barclays Plc, wrote in an e-mail. “This opens the window for the U.S. to be the new swing producer.”  (go to article)

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EL-ERIAN: The Oil Market Seems Surprised By OPEC — It Shouldn't Be Read more: http://www.businessin

Business Insider -- Judging from today’s sharp reaction, the oil market is surprised by OPEC’s decision not to reduce its production ceiling in order to curtail the accelerated price decline which now totals 25% for the year. It shouldn’t be. OPEC has a history of opting for strategic rather than tactical decisions; and, this time around, it may have done so from a position of caution rather than overwhelming strength.  (go to article)

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OPEC decision sends energy stocks and Canadian dollar into tailspin — with no sign of bottom yet

National Post Wire Services | -- Energy stocks on the TSX slid the most since 2011 Thursday as oil prices plummeted following the outcome of an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The OPEC meeting was the market’s focus as it came after months of depressed oil prices, which have been weighed by concerns about increasing supply and sluggish demand for the commodity. The cartel did not announce the output cut investors were hoping for. Oil prices tumbled to a four-year low.
 (go to article)

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Black Friday car sales explode in popularity

CNBC -- Karl Regalado calls it crazy.

In the span of a few years, Black Friday has gone from being a day he dreaded spending in the showroom to one of the busiest days at the Buick/GMC dealership he manages just outside Chicago.

"This year we're expecting business to be so strong it will be incredible," said Regalado who manages the Bill Kay Buick GMC dealership in Downers Grove, Illinois. "This weekend our sales will probably be up 200 percent"

Welcome to Black Friday, the fastest growing day for auto sales.  (go to article)

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Oil prices crash below $70

CNN Money -- Oil prices came crashing down Thursday to trade below $70 per barrel after OPEC announced it was leaving oil production levels unchanged.

WTI crude trading in the U.S. fell by roughly 7% to just below $69 -- a level not seen since May 2010.  (go to article)

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Montrealers 'don't need a PR campaign' on pipelines, Mayor Denis Coderre writes

The Gazette -- On Dec 2, 2013, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal’s municipalities said “Yes, but …” to Enbridge’s Line 9B reversal plan. The Yes underscores the importance of regular, cheaper oil supplies to E Montreal’s industries. The all-important “but” means the plan must ensure public safety and preserve the ecosystem’s integrity — particularly rivers, lakes and streams

Enbridge wrote to the CMM Nov 14 in response to concerns expressed earlier in the fall about requirements for pipeline water crossings and for emergency responses. The CMM is unyielding on this matter

"Companies must have a perfect score when it comes to oil transport. There is no room for error. Enbridge must respond to each of our concerns. We have said this repeatedly over the past year. And we are saying it again today  (go to article)

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How Saudi Arabia Could Spoil Christmas

The Fiscal Times (Via Yahoo Finance) -- On Thanksgiving morning, when millions of Americans rise bright and early to start preparing their turkey dinners and draw up their post-meal shopping strategies, Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC, could deliver a surprise that may very well spoil the holiday shopping season for many.

I'm talking about the potential for a surprise crude oil production cut, which if it happened, would catch investors on Wall Street wrong footed and pinch consumer confidence heading into the most important time of the year for retail sales.

Focus has shifted to what's happening with crude oil ahead of the most important OPEC meeting in years on Thursday. Oil futures are down more than 32 percent from their high in June, putting pressure on Saudi  (go to article)

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Full steam ahead for Hyundai’s hydrogen-fuelled vehicles

The Globe and Mail -- Hyundai Corp. is looking to revive the dream of a fleet of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles driving on Canadian highways as it becomes the first auto manufacturer to launch in Canada a fuel cell version of an existing car model.

Hyundai will announce Wednesday that it is offering three-year leases for the Tucson FCEV to drivers in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, one of the few areas in the country that have hydrogen fuelling stations that were put in place as B.C. sought to demonstrate the fuel cell hydrogen technology during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“We believe Hyundai has passed the tipping point in fuel cell technology development and that it’s ready to be driven by customers interested in pioneering a zero-emissions automotive future,” Don Romano, president of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.  (go to article)

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OPEC output decision ensures U.S. shale industry will crash, says Russian oil tycoon

Bloomberg News -- OPEC policy on crude production will ensure a crash in the U.S. shale industry, a Russian oil tycoon said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept output targets unchanged at a meeting in Vienna Thursday even after this year’s slump in the oil price caused by surging supply from U.S shale fields
 (go to article)

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Saudis block OPEC output cut, oil price sinks further

Reuters -- Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez left the meeting visibly angry and declined to comment on the outcome.

Wealthy Gulf states have made clear they are ready to ride out the weak prices that have hurt the likes of Venezuela and Iran - OPEC members that pressed for output cuts to stabilize the market and ease pressure on their budgets, but cannot afford to make any themselves.

A price war will also seriously hurt top non-OPEC exporter Russia, which has clashed with Saudi Arabia over Moscow's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia is already suffering from Western sanctions over its actions in Ukraine and needs oil prices of $100 per barrel to balance its budget.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries accounts for a third of global oil output.
 (go to article)

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Mexico emerging as powerhouse in luxury car production

The Globe and Mail -- NACHA CATTAN -- Bloomberg News

Mexico’s German auto history began with small, cheap cars. Now it’s becoming a place where top-of- the-line German brands roll out of billion-dollar factories.

By decade’s end, Mexico will claim fourth place worldwide for German luxury output after the carmakers’ home country, China and the U.S., according to estimates compiled for Bloomberg by IHS Automotive consultant Guido Vildozo, surpassing Belgium, Spain and Brazil.  (go to article)

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U.S. Regulator Demands Nationwide Takata Air-Bag Recall

Bloomberg -- U.S. regulators formally demanded Takata Corp. (7312) implement a nationwide recall of defective air bags, saying the company’s piecemeal approach to fixing a potentially deadly flaw in millions of cars is insufficient.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Takata in a letter yesterday to declare a recall by Dec. 2 that identifies a defect in “driver’s side air-bag inflators and is nationwide in scope.” Failure to do so may lead NHTSA to force a recall and issue civil fines of $7,000 per violation.

The company last week pushed back against calls by NHTSA to expand regional repair campaigns that primarily focused on 8 million cars in high-humidity U.S. states. Takata said recalling vehicles in other areas, where the risk of air bag malfunctions is lower, would aggravate  (go to article)

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OPEC Policy Ensures U.S. Shale Crash, Russian Oil Tycoon Says

Bloomberg.com -- OPEC policy on crude production will probably ensure a crash in the U.S. shale industry, a Russian oil tycoon said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries appeared unlikely to make significant cuts in output targets at a meeting in Vienna today even after this year’s slump in the oil price caused by surging supply from U.S shale fields.

American producers risk becoming victims of their own success. At today’s prices of just over $70 a barrel, drilling is close to becoming unprofitable for some explorers, Leonid Fedun, vice president and board member at OAO Lukoil, said in an interview in London.

“In 2016, when OPEC completes this objective of cleaning up the American marginal market, the oil price will start growing again,” said Fedun, who’s made a fortune  (go to article)

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U.S. Ethanol Production Hits Record High on Profit Margins

Reuters -- U.S. ethanol makers produced a record amount of the biofuel last week, government data showed on Wednesday, as plentiful corn supplies and high ethanol prices resulted in the best profit margins in about six months, traders said.

Ethanol production rose more than 1 percent to an average of 982,000 barrels per day in the week ending Nov. 21, the EIA said. That is the largest weekly total since EIA started tracking the data in 2010.

Stocks of the grain-based biofuel decreased by 263,000 barrels to 17.07 million barrels, the smallest in about a month.

Many ethanol plants perform annual maintenance before the autumn corn harvest, allowing them to run near-capacity when supplies of the grain are cheapest and most plentiful. Ethanol makers are earning as much as $2 per bushel of corn on the e  (go to article)

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Cosmo Oil Bought U.S. Condensate at About $4/bbl Discount

Reuters -- The first Japanese purchase of U.S. oil from shale fields was priced at a discount of around $4 a barrel to comparable grades from the Middle East, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data released on Thursday.

The discount was possible because differentials between U.S. crude and Middle East oil were at about $5 when refiner Cosmo Oil Co bought almost 300,000 barrels of condensate in mid-July.

A similar discount now would not be possible because the gap beween Nymex crude and Qatar deodorised field condensate has narrowed to less than $1 and freight rates have increased, according to trading sources.

More cargoes of condensate from the United States are unlikely to flow to Asia in the near future unless differentials return to July levels, according to trading sources.

 (go to article)

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Ottawa drivers line up as gas dips below $1 a litre

Ottawa Citizen -- Motorists, start your V-8 engines: Gasoline in Ottawa on Wed, for however briefly, fell below $1/L

A Costco gas bar at W Hunt Club and Merivale was selling a litre for 99.9c, spurring long lineups at the pumps

Nnearby Esso and Ultramar were the next cheapest at $1.015 at 6PM

Gasoline prices have been falling steadily since peaking at an average $1.38 in Ottawa in Jun, and a quick turnabout is unlikely. The emergence of the U.S., China and other as major oil producers has reduced the ability of OPEC to control prices by cutting supply

The slide is affecting the Canadian oil industry. On Wed, AB said it will be forced to trim spending because of declining oil revenue. It reduced its oil price prediction by 8%

The last time 1L in the capital was less than a loonie was in late 2010  (go to article)

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The Flying Car Is (Almost) For Real

Bloomberg -- More than a hundred people have paid deposits of $10,000 each for the Transition, which will be capable of 70 miles (110 kilometers) per hour on the road and 100 mph in the sky when it finally comes to market sometime within the next three years. Dietrich is refining details on the third-generation prototype of his $279,000 vehicle before attempting certification by both the FAA, which regulates planes, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which oversees cars.  (go to article)

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Puerto Rico threatened with transit shutdown in political spat

Reuters -- Puerto Rico's public transit system will shut down on Monday if lawmakers do not increase a tax on oil, the U.S. commonwealth's Government Development Bank said, accusing politicians of taking an "irresponsible" gamble on the island's economy.

The possible shutdown of Puerto Rico's buses and commuter train services, affecting 75,000 commuters, would be a major escalation of the island's debt crisis and would threaten its fragile economy.
 (go to article)

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Oil prices plummet as OPEC meets

USA Today -- Oil prices fell sharply Thursday amid expectations the powerful oil collective OPEC will decide against intervening in global markets by cutting production levels.

Crude oil prices plummeted over 2% to $72.15 a barrel. In June, prices were as high as $115 a barrel.
 (go to article)

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Henry Ford’s pickup camper — the first RV

Detroit News -- Think of Henry Ford as you travel this Thanksgiving weekend.

Not because of the cars, but because he followed his yearning to roam. Back in 1916 he and pals Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and conservationist John Burroughs set out on the first of several annual road trips in Model Ts outfitted in the style of “glamping” (glamor camping).

Henry had designed a car with a built-in stove and cooler, and a truck with show-quality custom bins for tents, beds and lawn chairs. Destinations were mountains and back roads of New York, Vermont (where the four stopped in at President Calvin Coolidge’s home), New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and northern Michigan.

Most believe that the road trips of these four, known as the Vagabonds, were intended to promote road constructi  (go to article)

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For cup holders, Alfa, McConaughey ... we give thanks

Detroit News -- At the first Thanksgiving, the denizens of Plymouth Rock had many things for which to be thankful. Alas, motorized transportation was not among them. Four hundred years later, we 21st century pilgrims have trains for commuting, planes for vacation getaways, and rockets for space travel. Yet the automobile is our personal transportation. Our manufacturing base. Our favorite toy. The last year gave us another bountiful harvest.

We give thanks for ...

Seat heaters. It’s not even December yet and Detroit has set a record low temperature of 11 degrees and roads left slick by snowfall. Yet commute we must. Fortunately, heated seats and steering wheels have become common in our horseless carriages. While engine-heated ventilation systems can warm slower than a child to broccoli, the electrical  (go to article)

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Oil falls $2 to four-year low as OPEC production cut seen unlikely

REUTERS -- Brent crude oil fell $2 to a four-year low under $76 a barrel as traders speculated that OPEC was unlikely to cut output to support prices at its Thursday meeting.

Gulf producers Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates said they had reached a consensus on oil output policies. Sources said those countries agreed not to press ahead with output cuts.

"The consensus is increasing that they will not provide any significant cut in this meeting," said Olivier Jakob, oil market analyst at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland.

Some fund analysts have said that oil prices could slide to $60 per barrel if OPEC does not agree to a significant output cut. Reuters analyst Wang Tao said he expected U.S. oil to drop to $63.85 per barrel over the next four weeks.

Benchmark Brent futures  (go to article)

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Oil Volatility Here to Stay Regardless of OPEC Decision

Bloomberg -- Whatever the outcome of tomorrow’s OPEC meeting, options traders are betting on oil-price swings.

That’s because the decision from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries isn’t likely to make much difference. Slowing global demand and a U.S. shale-drilling boom has created a glut that won’t fade any time soon, said Torbjoern Kjus of DNB ASA in Norway.

Half of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect a cut in production at the meeting in Vienna tomorrow; the rest don’t see a deviation from OPEC’s 30 million barrel-a-day target. Yet an index tracking expectations for moves in oil prices reached the highest ever versus a gauge that measures equity volatility, according to data compiled by Bloomberg going back to May 2007.

“We are still talking about a market that is 2-million barrel  (go to article)

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Happy Thanksgiving To All!

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..Norman RockwellNo matter what any of our own circumstances may be, Thanksgiving Day unites us.  That's because we can all be grateful for who we have, not what we have... and frankly, any day above ground is a very good one.

Your friends at GasBuddy are especially grateful for all of you and all that you do!  We're grateful for all of our volunteer price spotters who collectively help the GasBuddy community nationwide save money on every fuel purchase. Hopefully you're enjoying some of the savings today at your dinner table!

We're also thankful that gas prices in most parts of the country are below $3 per gallon, and in many places now, well below!  If you're traveling today, we'd like to share just a few thoughts to stay safe... ...  (go to article)

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Why Russia Said 'No Deal' to OPEC on Cutting Oil Production

Business Week -- No country is suffering more from plunging oil prices than Russia. The world’s biggest producer of crude, it’s set to lose $100 billion a year as prices hover below $80 a barrel. President Vladimir Putin says a “catastrophic” further slump is “entirely possible.” So why has Moscow ruled out a possible deal with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to shore up prices by cutting production?

Igor Sechin, chief executive of state-controlled oil giant Rosneft (ROSN:RM), traveled to Vienna ahead of OPEC’s Nov. 27 meeting, prompting speculation that Russia, which isn’t an OPEC member, might agree to curb production in tandem with the cartel... the four countries agreed only to “monitor oil prices over the next year.”
 (go to article)

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U.S. EPA Seeks Tighter Ozone Standards to Cut Pollution

Reuters -- The Obama administration proposed stricter curbs on ground-level ozone, a pollutant linked to several serious health conditions, in a move industry groups and congressional Republicans said would place a heavy burden on the U.S. economy.

The [EPA] said it would set National Ambient Air Quality Standard between 65 and 70 parts per billion concentration of ozone and consider public comments on standards within a 60 to 75 ppb range.

The proposed rule would lower ozone-forming emissions from power plants and car exhaust pipes, leading to slightly cleaner air.

Industry groups had braced for a standard as low as 60 ppb and estimated annual costs of $270 billion at that level, according to the National Association of Manufacturers.
 (go to article)

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Oil Wars? Read This Saudi Official’s Ambivalent Sentence and Understand Why OPEC’s Meeting Tomorrow

TheBlaze-Reuters -- It’s an understated sentence with huge implications: He expects the global oil market “to stabilize itself eventually.”

Those were the words of Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi on Wednesday, Reuters reported, as the 12 members of OPEC geared up for a Thursday meeting to discuss the precipitous decline in oil prices.

Al-Naimi’s sentiment could mean cheap oil for the world and tough times for countries including Venezuela and Russia as Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s three biggest oil-producers, refuses to cut production as prices fall.

Oil prices have declined precipitously since the summer in the face of increased global (and especially U.S.) production and a dip in global demand.

For more than a month Saudi Arabian officials have been saying that they are OK with falling oil  (go to article)

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Market-share wars and a plunging price loom as OPEC nations meet

The Globe and Mail -- Global oil producers could face a bleak winter unless OPEC heavyweights reverse course as they head into a critical meeting and reach an agreement on production cuts to boost sagging prices.

Ministers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates signalled Wednesday that there would be no deal reached in Vienna, although the cartel’s leaders may have been employing scare tactics in order to persuade fiscally-strapped members that they must participate in production cuts or face steep price declines.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said Wednesday that he expects the oil market “to stabilize itself,” leading to speculation that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will be unable to implement a substantial production cut. UAE Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui...  (go to article)

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Snow and rain ground flights, make Thanksgiving driving 'a little hairy' in the Northeast

Star Tribune -- MINEOLA, N.Y. — A sloppy mix of rain and snow rolled into the Northeast on Wednesday just as millions of Americans began the big Thanksgiving getaway, grounding hundreds of flights and turning highways hazardous along the congested Washington-to-Boston corridor.

By early evening, more than 700 flights had been canceled, the bulk of them in the Northeast, during what is typically one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Thousands of flight delays were also expected as the snow from the nor'easter piled up.

Some travelers tried to change their plans and catch earlier flights to beat the storm, and major airlines waived their re-booking fees. But most planes were already filled.

Numerous traffic accidents were reported across the Northeast, where by midafternoon the line between rain  (go to article)

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Holiday travelers are in for 'roller-coaster' weather

Star Tribune -- Twin Citians might be able to deep-freeze their turkeys Thursday as temperatures stay cool for the Thanksgiving holiday only to yo-yo throughout the weekend.

While Thanksgiving is predicted to be mostly sunny during the day, high temperatures in the metro are expected to hover around 10 degrees, said Rick Hiltbrand, a meteorologist for the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service. But that will change over the weekend as Saturday warms up to highs around 40 degrees and then drops down to highs around 20 on Sunday.

“It’s kind of a roller coaster this weekend, up and down,” he said.

Black Friday shoppers in the Twin Cities can expect about an inch of snow Thursday night and half an inch early Friday, Hiltbrand said.

“It just may end up causing some more slick roads again,” he s  (go to article)

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Change of Heart for OPEC?

FOX Business -- What is 2Mbpd of overproduction between friends?

The market should laugh off any pledge to rigididly comply to existing quota’s because the NON-OPEC players have no quota. It seems that the market is not buying into the fact that this decision is final as they agreed to monitor market conditions and keep in touch if say perhaps emergency measures may need to be taken

They may need to be taken in if we get a very bearish EIA report. The expectations are for a slight build in crude supply. If the API is any indication we might get a bearish surprise. The API report that crude supply increased by 2.8Mb. Distillates dropped on the gold but gas supply rose. Demand was poor due to bad weather or perhaps because the excitement of lower gasoline prices is wearing off just a bit

So for OPEC it  (go to article)

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Dutch Seek to Harness Energy From Salt Water Mix

ABC News -- Dutch researchers are seeking to add a new, largely untapped renewable energy source to the world's energy mix with the opening of a "Blue Energy" test facility on Wednesday.

Blue energy takes advantage of the difference in salt concentration between sea water and fresh water to produce electricity.

Rik Siebers of REDstack BV, the company overseeing the project, said the goal is to improve the technology to the point where it will be profitable to build blue energy plants commercially in the 2020s.

Siebers said blue energy will one day have its own niche.

"For wind turbines you need wind, and solar panels work in the day, but water is always flowing," he said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

The Dutch plant has a theoretical maximum capacity of 50 megawatts, about enough to power 1  (go to article)

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Crude Oil Futures Decline Before Tomorrow’s OPEC Meeting

Bloomberg -- Oil futures closed Wednesday at the lowest level in more than four years amid skepticism OPEC ministers will come to an agreement that trims a supply glut behind a five-month slide in prices.

Futures dropped 0.7 percent in London and 0.5 percent in New York after Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said tumbling crude prices will stabilize on their own. Naimi later said that Persian Gulf countries have reached a consensus on output and OPEC will take a “unified position,” without elaborating on what they agreed to do.
Gasoline futures climbed 0.33 cent to close at $2.0351 a gallon in New York. Ultra-low sulfur diesel rose 0.17 cent to settle at $2.3965

Regular gasoline at U.S. pumps fell to the lowest level since November 2010. The average retail price fell 0.2 cent to $2.81 a gallon Tuesday  (go to article)

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Oil price drop brings back memories of 1986

Bloomberg -- NEW YORK—The last time that U.S. oil drillers got caught up in a price war orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, it ended badly for the Americans.

In 1986, the Saudis opened the spigot and sparked a four-month, 67 per cent plunge that left oil just above $10 (U.S.) a barrel. The American industry collapsed, triggering almost a quarter-century of production declines, and the Saudis regained their leading role in the world’s oil market.

So while no one expects the Saudis to ramp up output now like they did then, and U.S. shale oil companies are pledging to keep drilling regardless, the memory of that bust looms large for American industry executives on the eve of OPEC’s meeting Thursday. As the Saudis gather with officials from the 11 other OPEC nations in Vienna, analysts are split on whether the  (go to article)

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U.S. Refiners Looking Closer to Home to Buy Their Crude

Bloomberg -- The U.S. is relying the most in four decades on oil from the Americas as the shale revolution reduces imports from the Persian Gulf and Africa.

Countries outside North, Central and South America supplied the smallest portion of foreign crude in August to the U.S. in government records dating back to 1973. Surging production in Canada and the U.S. has reduced the need for cargoes of light oil, with the remaining imports of heavy crude more likely to be from Mexico or Venezuela than Nigeria or Saudi Arabia.

The shift is another sign of how the North American energy revolution is affecting some suppliers more than others.

U.S. refiners built the capacity to use heavy crude, so this is the natural home for Latin American heavy oil, said John Auers, executive vice president of the Dallas-bas  (go to article)

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US House To Hold Hearing On Oil Export Ban

Reuters -- A House of Representatives panel will hold a hearing on Dec. 11 to explore whether a decades-old law that prohibits the export of crude oil makes sense in an era of domestic energy abundance.

The House subcommittee on energy and power, chaired by Representative Ed Whitfield, will hone in on the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act, drafted in response to the 1973 oil crisis. The law prohibited the export of most crude oil, created the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules for cars and trucks, also known as CAFE standards.

"We need to take a comprehensive look at where we came from, where we are today, and where we want to go from here," Whitfield said in a release.

The debate over whether Washington should lift its nearly 40-year crude oil export ban wi  (go to article)

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Ultra-Strong Graphene's Weak Spot Could Be Key to Fuel Cells

NBCNews -- In a discovery that experts say could revolutionize fuel cell technology, scientists in Britain have found that graphene, the world's thinnest, strongest and most impermeable material, can allow protons to pass through it.

"We are very excited about this result because it opens a whole new area of promising applications for graphene in clean energy harvesting and hydrogen-based technologies," said Geim's co-researcher on the study, Marcelo Lozada-Hidalgo.
 (go to article)

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Saudi Oil Minister Naimi suggests OPEC does not need to cut output in effort to drive up price

Associated Press -- Ali Naimi said Wednesday he expects the oil market to eventually "stabilize itself." That suggests the Saudis, who effectively determine OPEC's policy as its top producer, will not back any calls for reducing output by other nations at Thursday's oil ministers' meeting  (go to article)

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US oil ends lower after report says OPEC won't cut production

Reuters -- U.S. oil prices settled lower on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia's oil minister said he expects OPEC members to reach a unified decision later this week, but he would not disclose details on the decision, according to Dow Jones reported.
A Gulf OPEC delegate told Reuters the GCC had reached a consensus not to cut oil output. Three OPEC delegates separately told Reuters they believed OPEC was unlikely to cut output when the 12-member organisation meets on Thursday.
 (go to article)

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NTSB demands nationwide Takata Recall

Detroit News -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday formally demanded the Japanese auto supplier Takata Corp. declare that millions of vehicles sold with driver-side air bags nationwide are defective — the first step toward forcing the company to recall the vehicles.

Takata has until Dec. 2 to respond. If it refuses, the next step will be for NHTSA to issue an initial decision demanding a recall and to schedule a public hearing. If Takata refuses following the hearing, the agency would have to go to court to enforce the recall demand.  (go to article)

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