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Supply cuts necessary to shore up oil prices: Credit Suisse

Platts -- Should world crude prices continue to weaken into 2015, any forward price support will likely have to come from supply cuts, rather than increased demand, Credit Suisse analysts said Tuesday.

And even though there has been no evidence yet of a pullback in Saudi Arabian production, the investment bank's top oil economist Jan Stuart said in a conference call that Saudi Arabia will play a key role in balancing the market.

Amid a steadily bearish fundamental picture, Credit Suisse analysts this week cut their 2015 forecasts for ICE Brent and NYMEX crudes to $97/barrel and $89/b, respectively.

"Oil market fundamentals have continued to weaken," the analysts said. "The real problem, in our view, is supply. In contrast to the consensus, we find that oil demand growth is tracking close enough t  (go to article)

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Electric Vehicles Sell Power Back to the Grid

Wall Street Journal -- In the 1990s, Willett Kempton, a professor at the University of Delaware, proposed in a paper that electric vehicles could help pay for themselves by selling power back to the grid. When no one jumped on the idea, he decided to develop the technology himself.

Now, the pilot project he spearheaded at the university in conjunction with power-plant operator NRG Energy Inc. brings in roughly $110 a month per electric vehicle. The operation uses software to link a minimum of nine electric vehicles, mostly Mini Coopers, together into a virtual power plant on wheels that can both draw energy from the grid and discharge energy when needed.

"We're not earning enough money to get rich," says Dr. Kempton. But "it earns money, and it earns more money than it costs to do it."  (go to article)

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Enbridge to start filling reversed 9B pipeline with crude Nov 1

Platts -- Enbridge's plan to start filling its reversed 9B pipeline in Eastern Canada will provide a much-needed option for refineries in Quebec to source competitively priced crude, Guy Jarvis, the company's president for liquids pipelines, said Tuesday.

"The pipeline will provide access to light crude [from Western Canada and the Canadian Bakken] and also an alternative for the more expensive rail option," he said...

Enbridge is due to start filling the reversed pipeline on November 1, which will result in 300,000 b/d of primarily light crude flowing north from Westover in Ontario to Montreal, Quebec, he said.

A major beneficiary of the pipeline reversal will be oil sands producer Suncor, which also owns a 137,000 b/d refinery in Montreal. The company, which has traditionally relied on imports  (go to article)

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Oil, Rail Industries Want 7 Years To Fix Tank Cars

RigZone -- WASHINGTON (AP) — The oil and railroad industries are urging U.S. regulators to allow them as long as seven years to retrofit existing tank cars that transport highly volatile crude oil, a top oil industry official said Tuesday. The cars have ruptured and spilled oil during collisions, leading to intense fires. Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, told reporters in a conference call Tuesday that the institute and the Association of American Railroads are jointly asking the Department of Transportation for six to 12 months for rail tank car manufacturers to gear up to retrofit tens of thousands of cars and another three years to retrofit older cars. The two industries — which were at odds until recently over how best to prevent oil train collisions and fires — also wa  (go to article)

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Honda CR-V goes high tech to prevent crashes

USA TODAY -- In a class of family vehicles where safety can be a big selling point, Honda is betting on high tech to avoid wrecks in its 2015 CR-V.

The 2015 CR-V will be the first vehicle in Honda's lineup to get what the automaker has named Honda Sensing, a bundle of six technologies that the brand hopes will put it a step ahead of the razor-sharp competition in the compact crossover segment.
 (go to article)

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EPP completes first segment of Aegis ethane pipeline

Oil&Gas Journal -- Enterprise Products Partners LP reported that construction has been completed of the first segment of the Aegis ethane pipeline between Mont Belvieu and Beaumont, Tex. This 60-mile segment of 20-in. pipeline is part of the 270-mile Aegis ethane pipeline that when complete will create a 500-mile header system that extends from Corpus Christi, Tex., to the Mississippi River in Louisiana. Including EPP’s existing South Texas infrastructure, this system is now in service from Corpus Christi to Beaumont. The remainder of the Aegis pipeline will be completed in two phases. The next segment between Beaumont and Lake Charles, La., is slated for completion in third-quarter 2015. The final segment from Lake Charles to the Mississippi River is expected to be completed by yearend 2015. Aegis will have  (go to article)

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Drivers, Put Your Google Glass Away: Another Study Proves That Hands-Free Texting Isn't Safe

The -- As of today, 44 states prohibit texting and driving. (The six outliers: Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas.) Twenty-two place at least some restrictions on using handheld devices to make or take calls behind the wheel.

No state in the U.S.A. prevents drivers from using a cell phone at all -- the assumption being that going hands-free is a-okay. However, a new study from the University of Central Florida confirms what many have suspected: that even hands-free devices constitute a dangerous distraction for drivers.

BACKSTORY

Three years ago, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that drivers be prevented from using cell phones at all. Study data suggested that hands-free devices weren't really any safer than their handheld equivalents, because the  (go to article)

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Crude Oil Price Crashes, Gasoline at 4-Year Low

Yahoo Finance -- Shortly after 9:00 a.m. ET Tuesday morning, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil started dropping from an intra-day high of $94.93 to reach a low point of $91.02 shortly after noon, a drop of more than 4%. WTI traded at around $91.30 in the early afternoon, down about 3.3% from Monday’s closing price of $94.57.

A report from Reuters that OPEC had increased its output to a level not seen in nearly two years, combined with a stronger dollar, torched crude prices following the report. OPEC produced nearly 31 million barrels of crude per day in September, according to Reuters, up from 30.15 million barrels in August.

ALSO READ: 10 Companies Cutting the Most Jobs

In the United States, AAA reported that drivers paid the lowest average September price in four years for a gallon  (go to article)

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ConocoPhillips tanker carrying Alaska crude oil headed to S. Korea

Alaska Dispatch News -- An oil tanker left Valdez on Friday with a crude oil shipment bound not for the West Coast of the United States but for South Korea, the first export shipment of Alaska oil in a decade, according to Genscape, which operates a vessel tracking business providing market information to traders.

Genscape said the Polar Discovery, owned by ConocoPhillips, is expected to arrive Oct. 10 at Yeosu, the home of the fourth largest refinery in the world.

ConocoPhillips on Monday confirmed the shipment to Asia.

"This will enable the state of Alaska and ConocoPhillips to potentially realize a higher value for this important natural resource," the company said in a statement.

The oil company said terms of the deal are confidential and that future shipments would be "primarily determined by market co  (go to article)

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Study reveals most ticketed vehicles in U.S.

Detroit Free Press -- The Subaru WRX is the most ticketed car by percent in the United States, according to a study Insurance.com released today.

One out of every three WRX drivers — or 33.6% — has reported receiving a traffic citation recently.

The Pontiac GTO came in second with or 32.7%.

Rounding out the top five are the Scion FR-S with 32.6%, the Toyota Supra with 30.8% and the Subaru Tribeca with 29.7%.

Three other American cars also made the list: the Mercury Topaz ranked seventh with 28.8%, the Pontiac G8, 15th with 27.7%, and the Saturn Aura, 18th with 27.1%

None of the four cars are manufactured anymore; Ford has discontinued the Mercury brand and the Topaz was last produced in 1994. General Motors abandoned Pontiac and Saturn in its 2009 bankruptcy restructuring.

The most-ticketed brand by perce  (go to article)

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U.S. Crude Futures Slide Most in 17 Months; Brent Falls

Bloomberg -- headline says it all - -3.5%!!!  (go to article)

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The top 10 ticket magnets

Insurance,com -- Cars don't get tickets. Drivers do. But lead-footed drivers like certain cars a lot.

Here are the top 10 ticket-getters, based on an analysis of more than 550,000 car insurance quotes delivered through Insurance.com. (You can find .) Most of the tickets were for speeding, but all types of violations were included in the rankings.

One in three drivers of the Subaru WRX reported a recent traffic violation. For all models, the average was 19.9 percent.

Unlike accident claims, which ultimately drive up rates for everyone insuring that particular model of car, tickets jack up the premium for only the driver involved - but those penalties can be huge.Every insurance company looks at cars, drivers and violations based on its own experiences, and their rates reflect huge differences of opinion.  (go to article)

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The Cheapest Generation

The Atlantic -- In 2009, Ford brought its new supermini, the Fiesta, over from Europe in a brave attempt to attract the attention of young Americans. It passed out 100 of the cars to influential bloggers for a free six-month test-drive, with just one condition: document your experience online, whether you love the Fiesta or hate it.

Young bloggers loved the car. Young drivers? Not so much. After a brief burst of excitement, in which Ford sold more than 90,000 units over 18 months, Fiesta sales plummeted. As of April 2012, they were down 30 percent from 2011.

Don’t blame Ford. The company is trying to solve a puzzle that’s bewildering every automaker in America: How do you sell cars to Millennials (a?k?a Generation Y)? The fact is, today’s young people simply don’t drive like their predecessors did. In 2  (go to article)

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Ford F-Series launch critical after lowered guidance

msn money-CNBC -- With investors questioning Ford (F)'s near-term outlook, the American automaker heads into the fourth quarter needing a shot in the arm from its bread and butter truck: The F-Series.

The new pickup, which is a dramatic shift incorporating aluminum panels, rolls into showrooms later this year and comes at a time when Ford finds itself dialing back earnings expectations.

Ford could have played it safe and refreshed the pickup with steel panels and it would likely have seen solid sales for the next few years.

"That is the big gamble with changing something as radical as they are changing it. Not only could it affect sales in the short-term, but sales down the road," said Nerad.  (go to article)

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Beware of Zombie Drivers in Allergy Season

GasBuddy Blog -- Beware of the zombie drivers with allergies! We blogged back in July about how drivers with allergies are similar to drunk drivers, so its time to follow up on this issue.Americans who spend half their time sneezing, rubbing itchy eyes and wiping their noses know all too well the reality of hay fever and the allergies that strikes both in spring and fall. In the United States, it is estimated that a whopping 60 million people suffer from pollen allergies.And where you have people irritated by allergies you can also have motorists who might be too drowsy to drive. According to hay fever solutions.com, some of the most pollen-heavy trees are Oak, Ash, Elm and Mountain cedar....  (go to article)

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Permian Producers Get No Relief as BridgeTex Start Seen Slow

Bloomberg -- Producers in the largest U.S. oil field got little relief from a pipeline startup as bottlenecks in West Texas make it difficult to transport surging crude production to market.

West Texas Intermediate crude in Midland, Texas, weakened by 75 cents relative to the same grade in Cushing, Oklahoma, to a discount of $8 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Midland is the pricing point for the Permian Basin, which produces 1.76 million barrels of oil a day.

Magellan Midstream Partners and Occidental Petroleum Corp. started delivering crude today to Houston from Colorado City, Texas. The pipeline wasn’t able to alleviate prices because of a lack of capacity remaining between Midland and Colorado City, about 80 miles apart. Plains All American Pipeline LP plans to start the Sunris  (go to article)

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Safety agency studying Toyota acceleration problem

Yahoo News -- DETROIT (AP) -- A U.S. safety agency is looking into a car owner's allegations that older Toyota Corollas can accelerate unexpectedly at low speeds and cause crashes, reviving a problem that appeared to be in the automaker's past.

The inquiry by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers about 1.69 million Corolla compact cars from the 2006 to 2010 model years. The agency said in documents posted Monday on its website that the inquiry will determine whether a formal investigation is needed.  (go to article)

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US poised to become world’s leading liquid petroleum producer

The Financial Times Limited 2014 -- The US is overtaking Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of liquid petroleum,  (go to article)

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Israel's Leviathan gas field group submits $6.5 bln development plan

Yahoo News -- JERUSALEM, Sept 30 (Reuters) - The partners in Leviathan, Israel's largest natural gas field, have submitted their initial development plan to Israeli authorities, which one source said on Tuesday envisages producing 16 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year.

The group, led by Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel's Delek Group, handed in its proposal after months of trying to determine the best way to develop the Mediterranean field, which lies in about 1500 metres of water about 80 miles (130 kilometres) off Israel's coast.  (go to article)

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Sun may be our main energy source by 2050: IEA

CNBC -- Solar power could trump alternatives like fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear to be the world's largest source of electricity by 2050, according to a prominent energy watchdog.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), which is best known for its monthly oil updates, published two reports on Monday detailing how greater use of solar energy could radically cut the need to use polluting carbon dioxide. The Paris-based agency said that if countries embraced solar energy, carbon dioxide emissions could be cut by more than 6 billion tons per year by 2050.
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Oil Set for Biggest Quarterly Drop Since 2012 on Adequate Supply

Bloomberg.com -- rent and West Texas Intermediate headed for the biggest quarterly decline in more than two years as abundant crude supplies offset the risk of disruption from conflict in the Middle East.

Futures were up 0.2 percent in London, trimming a drop of 13 percent since the beginning of July. The U.S. and its European and Arab allies have conducted thousands of air missions since starting a bombing campaign to counter Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer. U.S. crude stockpiles probably expanded by 1.5 million barrels last week, a Bloomberg News survey showed before an Energy Information Administration report tomorrow.

“There’s plenty of supply but no demand,” said Michael Hewson, a London-based market analyst at CMC Markets Plc, who forecasts that Brent could  (go to article)

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New Orleans East company says 'good-bye' to the gasoline pump

Fox8live.com -- The future has come to the Metro Service Group yard off Old Gentilly Road in Eastern New Orleans.

On Monday, the company cut the ribbon on its brand new compressed natural gas fueling station, which will power its fleet of 85 trucks. For the Woods family, which owns Metro, it's a $14 million investment.

"It's happening across the country," Jimmy Woods said. "We happen to be the first private fleet to do it in this market."

In New Orleans, Woods said only the RTA will have a larger fleet of natural gas-powered vehicles.

"We're in a game-changing situation with the United States having over a 200-year supply of natural gas," said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-Louisiana, who joined in the ribbon-cutting.

The natural gas industry touts itself as a greener alternative to gasoline and diesel  (go to article)

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Gasoline Prices Look Set To Stay Low

OilPrice.com -- To the delight of American drivers, gasoline prices are continuing to slide downwards. The national average price of gasoline hit $3.35 per gallon at the end of September, which is about 14 cents lower than at the same time a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Better yet, gasoline prices could drop further in the coming months.

In recent years it has become commonplace for many drivers to see a gallon sell for well over $4 per gallon. Why have gas prices dropped to such low levels all of a sudden?

There are a complex set of factors that determine the price at the pump, but the largest contributor is the global price of crude oil. Oil prices have plummeted by more than 17 percent since peaking in June of this year, when the Islamic State, also known  (go to article)

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Audi receives first autonomous driving permit issued by the State of California

Toronto Star --

Audi will be the first company to receive a newly established autonomous driving permit issued by California. A range of new regulations that govern the testing of automated driving on the state’s roads is now in effect.

Audi has conducted research over tens of thousands of miles in Europe and various U.S. states, where such testing is permitted.

The research is aimed at preparing a highly automated Piloted driving system for freeway traffic conditions. Audi envisions this technology could be ready for consumer introduction within five years.
 (go to article)

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Saudi focus on Asia may result in cheaper crude

Reuters -- Asian refiners may be about to get a welcome boost from major oil producer Saudi Arabia, which is likely to keep lowering the cost of crude to the region.

Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's state oil producer, looks set to again cut the official selling prices (OSPs) for November cargoes when details are published early in October.

There are several reasons this may be the case, but chief among them is probably concern over market share in Asia.

It appears that Saudi Aramco has decided to make Asian markets its main focus, which makes sense given that the region takes about two-thirds of the producer's output.

The Saudis aren't exactly retreating from the North American and European markets, but they seem to have read in the tea leaves the trend that physical oil flows are moving toward ...  (go to article)

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Oil stays rangebound; Brent-WTI spread narrows further

MarketWatch -- Crude-oil futures traded sideways in Asian hours Tuesday with the premium of Brent crude over Nymex WTI crude narrowing further.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November traded at $94.59 a barrel, up $0.02 in the Globex electronic session. November Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange rose $0.06 to $97.25 a barrel.

The Brent-WTI spread has been narrowing on the back of gains in the U.S. oil benchmark this week. The spread narrowed to $2.63 a barrel at the overnight close, and was at around $2.61 a barrel in Asian trading hours.

WTI crude prices rose 2.9% after last week’s preliminary U.S. manufacturing data, and as markets anticipate a positive final reading Wednesday, analyst Howie Lee at Phillip Futures said.  (go to article)

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Electric Rates Soar in New England

U.S. News -- Bargain-basement natural gas prices are sending New England's electricity bills through the roof – and House Republicans warn it's an omen of worse to come nationwide.

Last week, barely half a year after the polar vortex sent frigid weather swirling across much of the country, utility National Grid announced that rates in New England would leap by 37 percent, ratcheting up a household’s average bill by about $33 a month over last year.

The reason: gas prices are way down, and as a result, demand is way up – but the region’s two major natural gas pipelines are already practically filled to the brim, constricting supply and sending already-elevated rates ever higher.

“We’re a stranded region,” says Gilbert Metcalf, an economics professor at Tufts University. “We have a major bottleneck fo  (go to article)

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Honda introduces its self-driving vehicle

GasBuddy Blog --

Image From ..design-engineering.comAs part of the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, an annual gathering of engineers and other researchers in Detroit, Honda announced plans to introduce a car that safely drives itself on the freeway while the driver's hands are off the wheel.
While the car is just a prototype, Honda says the technology could start appearing on Honda cars in 2020 and beyond. The prototype -- an Acura RLX sedan -- has cameras that monitor lane marking and multiple radar sensors on the front and sides. On top is a beacon that uses laser beams to continually scan the car's surroundings, similar to self-driving prototypes already introduced by Google, Ford and Toyota. GPS also helps the car stay on a previously mapped course and follow the speed limit....  (go to article)

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Chevrolet Corvette security system device could be illegal to use

FoxNews.com -- Stealing a car is illegal, but keeping an eye on it could be too.

The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette is available with a Performance Data Recorder system equipped with cameras and GPS tracking that’s meant to capture your on-track antics, but also has a password-enabled Valet Mode that monitors the vehicle when you hand over the keys to someone else, like a parking attendant.  (go to article)

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Dominion's liquefied natural gas export project gets federal approval

Richmond VA Times-Dispatch -- Dominion Resources Inc. has received approval from federal regulators to export liquefied natural gas from its terminal on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

The decision by the FERC, announced late Monday, was the last major regulatory hurdle the Richmond-based company needed to clear for its Cove Point LNG export project, which is expected to cost between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion to build.

It also marks the first LNG export project approved for the East Coast.

“This order is based on more than two years of thorough, exhaustive analysis by FERC along with numerous other federal and state agencies,” Leopold said.

Construction of the export project is expected to create thousands of construction jobs, 75 permanent jobs and an additional $40 million in annual tax revenue to Calvert Cou  (go to article)

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Why Peak-Oil Predictions Haven't Come True

WSJ -- Have we beaten "peak oil"?

For decades, it has been a doomsday scenario looming large in the popular imagination: The world's oil production tops out and then starts an inexorable decline—sending costs soaring and forcing nations to lay down strict rationing programs and battle for shrinking reserves.

U.S. oil production did peak in the 1970s and sank for decades after, exactly as the theory predicted. But then it did something the theory didn't predict: It started rising again in 2009, and hasn't stopped, thanks to a leap forward in oil-field technology.

To the peak-oil adherents, this is just a respite, and decline is inevitable. But a growing tide of oil-industry experts argue that peak oil looks at the situation in the wrong way. The real constraints we face are technological and ec  (go to article)

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Wireless electric car charging tested for in-motion vehicles

Chicago Tribune -- A university in Utah has broken ground on the country's first electric vehicle test track fitted for in-motion, wireless electrical charging.

Workers at Utah State University began contruction Tuesday on a state-of-the-art facility that will include an electrified track, a quarter-mile long oval, that will demonstrate the effectiveness of wireless power charging.

This technology will help address at least one of the principal blocks to more widespread adoption of electric vehicles -- range, and the range anxiety that accompanies drivers afraid they'll run out of juice before they have time to recharge.
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Smart, eco-friendly new battery made of seeds and pine resin

Science Daily -- Present-day lithium batteries are efficient but involve a range of resource and environmental problems. Using materials from alfalfa (lucerne seed) and pine resin and a clever recycling strategy, Uppsala researchers have now come up with a highly interesting alternative. Their study will be presented soon in the scientific journal ChemSusChem.

'We think our discovery can open several doors to more environment-friendly, energy-efficient solutions for the batteries of the future,' says Daniel Brandell, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, Uppsala University, one of the researchers behind the idea.

Lithium-ion batteries are, thanks to their high energy content, highly promising for various products -- not least, electric vehicles or large-scale energy storage  (go to article)

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A U-Turn for a Terminal Built in Texas to Import Natural Gas

NYT -- The giant Golden Pass natural gas import terminal here, meant to bring Middle Eastern gas to energy-hungry Americans, sits eerily quiet these days, a sleepy museum to a bygone era.

Its 5,000 valves, 50 million pounds of steel and ship berth as big as 77 football fields — representing a $2 billion investment by Qatar Petroleum, Exxon Mobil and Conoco Phillips — have been dormant for nearly three years. The unexpected American shale fracking frenzy produced such a glut of domestic gas that the United States does not need Qatari gas anymore.

But the Golden Pass story is only beginning.

Qatar Petroleum, the state oil company, is now requesting permission to export American gas, proposing with its partner Exxon Mobil an audacious conversion of the facility to export from import. The...  (go to article)

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Fracking boss bribes locals with promise to share of natural gas income if they agree to drilling un

dailymail.co -- A fracking company has been accused of offering local people bribes of 6 per cent of its revenues if they agree to drilling under their homes.

..Campaigners, who say fracking pollutes and causes earthquakes, condemned the offer, which comes days after ministers agreed a proposed law change so oil and gas firms will not need owners’ permission to drill 300 metres under their properties.

..‘With one hand the fracking industry goads the Government into steamrolling people’s right to oppose fracking under their homes, with the other it offers bribes.

‘People have legitimate concerns about fracking that won’t be easily assuaged by cash sweeteners.

The fact that the shale lobby can’t win the argument on safety but has to buy up consensus will help convince people that nothing good will come  (go to article)

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Anti-frackers want Cuomo to visit Pa.

D&C -- Opponents of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make good on a promise to visit fracking sites in other states, sending him a letter urging him to travel to Pennsylvania.

“As previously noted, the New Yorkers Against Fracking coalition has set up many such tours for everyday New Yorkers, elected officials, and journalists,” the group wrote. “We would be honored to organize one for you as well.”

But there are two types of tours: Ones organized by anti-fracking protesters with like-minded activists in Pennsylvania, and tours hosted by gas companies —supporters of fracking — on the actual drilling sites.

 (go to article)

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Falling price of solar panels leads utilities to lobby for taxes

Bangor Daily News -- MADRID — A year after Spain, the sunniest country in Europe, issued notice of a law forcing solar energy-equipped homes and offices to pay a punitive tax, architect Inaki Alonso reinstalled a 250-watt solar panel on a beam over his Madrid roof terrace.

“The government wanted people to be afraid to generate their own energy, but they haven’t dared to actually pass the law,” Alonso said as he tightened screws on the panel on a sunny summer day this month. He had removed solar panels from the roof last year.

“We’re tired of being afraid,” he said.

Halfway across the globe, in the “sunshine state” of Queensland, Australia, electrical engineer David Smyth says the war waged by some governments and utilities against distributed energy, the term used for power generated by solar panels, is alr  (go to article)

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Shale boom benefitting non-shale production areas

fierceenergy.com -- Firms supplying goods and services to shale oil and gas producers will create more than 233,000 new jobs in the United States over the next 10 years, according to a report prepared for the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA) by IHS Global, Inc. That is in addition to the 524,000 already existing shale energy supply chain jobs -- bringing the total to more than 757,000 over the next decade, with the sector's workforce predicted to grow 44 percent by 2025.

The report notes that shale energy supply chain jobs account for 41 percent of all employment attributable to shale energy activities in the country throughout the report's forecast period from 2015 to 2025.
 (go to article)

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Third firm courts Maine regulators for cash to back natural gas pipeline expansion

Bangor Daily News -- PORTLAND, Maine — Three companies have formally offered natural gas pipeline capacity to state regulators, who are considering whether they should charge a new fee to all of Maine’s electricity customers to help pay for projects designed to bring more natural gas into the Northeast.

On Monday, Houston-based Spectra Energy presented a plan for expanding existing pipelines spanning the Northeast, a shot back at the Houston-based Kinder Morgan, which delivered details of its proposal for a new pipeline to regulators last week.

“We wanted the state to understand that we have real tangible proposals for them to consider,” said Greg Crisp, Spectra’s director of business development.

Days before Kinder Morgan sent its plan to the Maine Public Utilities Commission, Spectra had announced Northea  (go to article)

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New Eagle Ford wells continue to show higher production

EIA -- Increased drilling and improved drilling efficiency have led to significant crude oil production increases in the Eagle Ford region in southern Texas. These increases have occurred despite the region's relatively high well decline rates. However, by offsetting the natural declines through the use of new recovery techniques, further production increases are possible.
Horizontal drilling combined with an increasing number of hydraulic fracturing stages in tight formations like the Eagle Ford typically enhance initial production rates when compared to past results. These higher initial production rates are often accompanied by initially larger decline rates, before gradually leveling off to a consistent level of decline for the remaining years of the well life.
While initial production rates  (go to article)

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What Happens When Oil Drops Below $90 a Barrel?

24/7 Wall -- U.S. pump prices are expected to fall below $3 a gallon in many U.S. states and cities by the end of 2014. Consumers will finally get some relief from prices that rose above $4 a gallon in many cities earlier this year.

And it's not just gasoline pump prices. Airline fuel consumption has dropped almost 15% since its peak in 2005, partly due to cutting down on the number of flights, but also due to flying at slower speeds and reducing weight in order to consume less fuel. Between 2004 and 2011, the average ground speed of seven major U.S. air carriers decreased by 1.1%. Planes have cut weight by eliminating magazines, heating ovens and even safety equipment for water landings if the planes don’t fly over water.

Domestic jet fuel prices have fallen from around $2.90 a gallon to around $2.7  (go to article)

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Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid to premiere in Paris

Yahoo News -- Part of the entirely restyled Cayenne family, the new plug-in hybrid version of Porsche's premium SUV will be unveiled in a world premiere in Paris. The model will share the spotlight on the Porsche stand with two other hybrids: the Panamera S E-Hybrid and the 918 Spyder.

The Cayenne S E-Hybrid houses exactly the same technology as the Panamera S E-Hybrid: a 333hp V6 engine paired with a 95hp electric motor, which allows the SUV to travel 36km in all-electric mode. Porsche announces 0 to 100km/h acceleration in just 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 243km/h. The battery charges in just two and a half hours through an industrial power outlet, or just under four hours through a standard outlet.  (go to article)

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Rosneft, ExxonMobil Open New Oil Field In Arctic Ocean

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty --
R
ussia's largest oil company, Rosneft, says it has opened a new oil field in the Kara Sea region of the Arctic Ocean with U.S. partner ExxonMobil.

The announcement comes after the United States targeted Rosneft and its chief Igor Sechin with sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine conflict.

Rosneft said in a statement September 27 that the estimated deposits exceed 100 million tons of light crude oil.

Light crude oil is has a low density and is more expensive than heavy crude oil because it produces a higher percentage of gasoline and diesel fuel when refined.

It said the new field, named Pobeda (Victory), also contains an estimated 338 million cubic meters of gas.

However, it remained unclear if commercially viable quantities of oil could be recovered from the well and its d  (go to article)

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Pioneer Natural Resources Plans to Double U.S. Oil Exports in 2015

Reuters -- Pioneer Natural Resources plans to double its U.S. exports of condensate, an ultra-light oil, to 50,000 barrels per day next year, its chief executive said on Monday.

The U.S. shale resources explorer, along with Enterprise Product Partners, received the green light from the U.S. government in March to ship the ultra-light crude as the country softened a 40-year ban on oil exports.

"We operate 50,000 bpd and we're selling probably about 20-25,000 bpd, but eventually we'll get up to 50,000 bpd," Scott Sheffield told Reuters, saying this would happen next year.

"After the elections, I see a lot more companies having the same agreement with the Commerce Department," he said.

Another 20-25 companies are seeking approval to export U.S. condensate, Sheffield said.

"So we'll see a lot more e  (go to article)

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$845,000 Porsche supercar catches fire at gas station

FOX News -- A rare, Porsche 918 Spyder supercar caught fire at a gas station in the Toronto suburb of Caledon Sunday night, mostly destroying the vehicle and damaging a fuel pump.
The aftermath of the incident was caught on video by a passing motorist and shows the car engulfed in flames under the edge of the Esso station’s canopy.

Caledon Fire Chief Dave Forfar told FoxNews.com that that the fire was apparently the result of a refueling overflow issue, but that the vehicle is currently in police custody and an investigation is ongoing. There were no injuries and the inferno was quickly extinguished with foam when firefighters arrived on the scene.  (go to article)

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Crude Oil Rail Shipments To Worsen Traffic, Congestion In Communities Nationwide, New Report Finds

International Business Times -- Life is slowing down in Bozeman, a small city in southern Montana near a major railroad. More shipments of Bakken Shale oil and local coal are passing through, and it’s taking drivers more time to cross the tracks and get around town. Fire trucks, ambulances and police cars have to wait while carload after carload chugs along. “It takes longer for those public safety services to get to us,” says Beth Kaeding, a Bozeman resident and conservationist.

The U.S. shale boom and a rise in coal exports is having a similar effect nationwide, according to a federal transportation report released late last week. If freight flows continue to rise as expected, it could “exacerbate congestion issues” and raise new safety concerns in communities near train tracks, the U.S. Government Accountability Offi  (go to article)

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Man Refused To Move Car For Emergency Helicopter Landing: Cops

Daytona Beach Journal -- James Allen, 52 — who works at Urgent Care in Ormond Beach — was charged Thursday with failure to obey police/fire department and resisting an officer without violence, both misdemeanors, court records show. After spending the night at the Volusia County Branch Jail, he was released Friday morning on his own recognizance. Allen could not be reached for comment Friday.

Volusia County sheriff's deputies and later the Florida Highway Patrol responded to State Road 40 and Church Street in Barberville early Thursday after 26-year-old Tessa George of Pierson had struck a tree after losing control of her sport utility vehicle. George had been traveling west on S.R. 40 and failed to negotiate a curve just east of Pine Street, FHP Sgt. Kim Montes said. She over-corrected her Hyundai Santa Fe, and  (go to article)

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Australia Heat Wave Is Tied to Climate Change

NY Times -- The savage heat waves that struck Australia in 2013 were almost certainly a direct consequence of the human release of greenhouse gases, researchers said Monday. It is perhaps the most definitive statement climate scientists have made that ties a specific weather event to global warming.

Five groups of researchers, using distinct methods, analyzed the heat that baked Australia for much of last year and continued into 2014, shutting down the Australian Open tennis tournament at one point in January. All five came to the conclusion that last year’s heat waves could not have been as severe without the long-term climatic warming caused by human activity.  (go to article)

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US July crude imports climb, but no Nigerian barrels for first time

Platts -- US crude imports rose 569,000 b/d in July, though imports of Nigerian crude fell to zero for the first time on record, data from the EIA showed Monday.

US imports rose to 7.623 million b/d, up from 7.054 million b/d in June.

The one refinery that accounted for all of the June Nigerian imports turned to Azerbaijan in July. Philadelphia Energy Solutions brought in 2.088 million barrels of light sweet Azerbaijani crude, likely Azeri, in July.

US Atlantic Coast refiners have been increasingly turning away imported light sweet crudes in favor of domestically produced barrels, mostly railed from North Dakota.

Atlantic Coast refining margins largely favored Bakken crude in July, although with more light sweet crudes getting backed out into the Atlantic Basin, spot prices for imported crudes  (go to article)

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D.C. testing streetcar

The Richmond Times Dispatch -- WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia's first modern streetcar is now sharing the road with cars, bicyclists and pedestrians. The D.C. Streetcar began simulated service Monday morning along a 2.4-mile segment in the H Street Corridor in the city's Northeast. The streetcar vehicles are running at their proposed hours between 6 a.m. and midnight Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. There are no passengers in the streetcars yet. That's not expected until at least November. The District Department of Transportation says the testing phase is a crucial milestone for the streetcar. The streetcar segment set to open soon is just a small portion of the planned 37-mile system.  (go to article)

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UVa researchers see promise in 'synthetic biology'

The Richmond Times Dispatch -- CHARLOTTESVILLE — The phrase “synthetic biology” may sound like science fiction, but some biology students at the University of Virginia say this field will play an important role in lives over the next few years. Scientists in the field are producing cheap malaria drugs, using bacteria to clean up chemical waste and reducing resistance to antibiotic drugs. In the future, people could be eating vanilla and cheese produced from yeast or using laundry detergent and makeup derived from algae. “It’s something we’re going to see a lot more of,” said Tom Moss, a second-year biology major. “(And) there’s a lot of misconceptions about it.” Moss is in a small group of students and faculty members that organized a recent public meeting on synthetic biology at U.Va.’s OpenGrounds building. The goal i  (go to article)

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