Energy Demand

U.S. gasoline exports overshadow strong production

18 Aug 2017   exports

The production of gasoline in the United States is near a record high, though supply levels are under pressure from exports, a federal report said. “Gasoline production by U.S. refiners and blenders has run near record levels over the first seven months of 2017, with four-week rolling average production well above its five-year average and close to the top of its five-year range,” a daily brief from the U.S. Energy Information Administration read. Motor club AAA reports a national average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $2.34 for Thursday, about 2 cents less than one week ago. The summer travel season in the United States, which runs through […]

Will EV’s Break The Grid?

17 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

While the UK government has vowed to end the sale of all new conventional gasoline and diesel cars by 2040, as part of a wider plan to fight air pollution, there is talk that electricity demand will lead to a fast and dirty response to a strained power grid. But here’s what everyone’s missing in that debate: While EV sales are going to rise and electricity demand to power them will strain the grid and lead to less-than-ideal power generation solutions, the whole plan will help clean power generation to increase its market share. Nothing is black and white. And big transformations are never immediate. We’re not talking about an overnight elixir that will magically clean up the air; we’re talking about a step-by-step process that is gradually less dirty. Overloading the Grid (Mind the Gap) The UK’s National Grid anticipates peak demand from electric vehicles alone being around […]

Asia Takes The Lead In The Hyperloop Race

16 Aug 2017   Transportation

Elon Musk’s orphaned hyperloop project may soon be Asia’s next transportation superstar, but competitive prices from fossil fuel-heavy options could derail the new technology’s business model. CEO Dirk Ahlborn of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) says he sees a working hyperloop, which would propel passengers across vast distances in pods at speeds of up to 750 miles per hour, within the next three or four years. Introducing the magnetic transit technology, which was first described by Musk conceptually, but released to be developed by competing agents in the private sector, is now the subject of a feasibility study in South Korea. The study stems from a licensing agreement between HTT and the government for a 200-mile hyperloop between Seoul and Busan. “The biggest hurdle is to get government approval, so we have been working with governments around the world to advance the legislative framework,” Ahlborn told CNBC last week. India […]

United States expected to become a net exporter of natural gas this year

11 Aug 2017   exports

EIA’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook projects that the United States will export more natural gas than it imports in 2017. The United States has been a net exporter for three of the past four months and is expected to continue to export more natural gas than it imports for the rest of 2017 and throughout 2018. The United States’ status as a net exporter is expected to continue past 2018 because of growing U.S. natural gas exports to Mexico, declining pipeline imports from Canada, and increasing exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The United States is currently the world’s largest natural gas producer , having surpassed Russia in 2009 . Natural gas production in the United States increased from 55 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2008 to 72.5 Bcf/d in 2016. Most of this natural gas—about 96% in 2016—is […]

Tech Guru Unveils New Battery To Challenge Lithium-Ion

The rise of electric vehicles and the quest to find solutions to energy storage for the renewables industry have created a breeding ground for tech experts to develop battery technologies. Last week, Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy and the company he currently backs, Ionic Materials, unveiled a solid-state alkaline battery design that they claim would be cheaper and safer than the lithium-ion battery. “What people didn’t really realize is that alkaline batteries could be made rechargeable,” Joy told Bloomberg in a phone interview last week. “I think people had given up,” Joy noted. The three main possible applications of the new alkaline battery technology would be consumer electronics, electric cars, and energy storage for the power grid, according to the developers. However, also according to Joy, the company just has the material, and the technology is not ready to go commercial right away. The rechargeable alkaline battery technology could […]

Rise of electric cars challenges the world’s thirst for oil

9 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

In the early years of US oil production in the late 19th century, gasoline was considered a useless byproduct of kerosene that would be burnt off or dumped in rivers. That changed when the first mass-produced automobiles hit the road. But just over a century later, the symbiotic relationship between oil and cars which transformed society is beginning to fray. Recent announcements by the UK and France of plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 have amplified two critical questions for the petroleum industry: will electric vehicles (EVs) cause oil demand to decline and, if so, when? Executives at the world’s biggest oil companies have offered some answers — sceptics would call them guesses — in recent days, after revealing generally strong second-quarter results which raised optimism about near-term prospects even as doubts grow about the long term. Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell, made no attempt to disguise the challenge facing “Big Oil”. Companies must become more discriminating about which oilfields to develop, he said, with only the most low-cost and productive likely to remain competitive. “We have to have projects that are resilient in a world where demand has peaked and will be declining,” he said. “When will this happen? We do not know. But will it happen? We are certain.” Mr van Beurden said “peak demand” could come as soon as the late 2020s in the most bullish scenarios for EV uptake. But that would require “much more aggressive” policy action on climate change and faster innovation in battery technology than seen so far.

Global momentum underway for electric vehicles

3 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

The drive toward electric vehicles gained international momentum with Germany and the United States making strides on the sea change in the automotive industry. Two million electric vehicles were on the road globally last year, though nearly all of those were in China, the European Union and the United States. A report from the International Energy Agency found that dense metropolitan areas were taking leadership roles in encouraging electric vehicles because of pollution concerns. Beijing this week said it would expand the number of electric vehicles in the public transportation sector. In Germany, energy company E.ON said it would place an ultra-fast charging station at a motorway between Frankfurt and Nuremberg. Dorothee Bär, the federal transport minister, said the government has set […]

A Pod Races Through the Hyperloop for the First Time Ever

3 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

The future sounds a bit like a witch crying over a dead cat. That spooky wail is the sound hyperloop makes—at least, the version of the high-speed transportation system designed by Hyperloop One, which just took a big stride toward the day it flings you between cities in near-vacuum tubes. The Los Angeles company leading the race to fulfill Elon Musk’s dream of tubular transit tested its pod for the first time last weekend. That pod is 28 feet long and made of aluminum and carbon fiber. It looks a bit like a bus with a beak. A fast bus with a beak. Once loaded into a 1,600-foot-long concrete tube in the Nevada desert, the pod hit 192 mph in about 5 seconds, using an electric propulsion system producing more than 3,000 horsepower. As the pod accelerated through the tube 11 feet in diameter, the 16 wheels retracted as […]

IMF: Auto industry facing EV learning curve

2 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

The automotive industry may have some retooling to do in order to keep pace with emerging trends for electric vehicles, the International Monetary Fund reported. File photo by Brian Kersey/UPI Aug. 1 (UPI) — The automotive industry may need to play catch up in order to cope with the growth in electric vehicles, a report from the International Monetary Fund found. A review of trends in the electric vehicle market from the IMF found that, in the four years ending in 2015, the pace of growth in EV sales was 120 percent. Using the transition in the 20th century from horse-drawn carriages to fuel-powered vehicles as a benchmark to measure progress, the report found that pace suggests motor vehicles could vanish from markets in advanced economies within the next 20 years. A snapshot from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds there are fewer employers working on motor vehicles […]

VW — Electric Cars

2 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

VW’s CEO Knows the Future Is Electric—His Company Isn’t So Sure Goldman Sachs’s 40% decline in fixed-income activity has rattled executives, sparking a charm offensive designed to showcase a more customer-friendly Goldman. It has also tipped the scales in favor of more immediate action at the firm. DEA Official Rebuts Trump’s Talk on Police Use of Force Sprint: Merger Decision Near Jonathan Bush, founder and head of Athenahealth, will cede his chairmanship but stay as CEO in a shake-up that has the backing of two of his biggest shareholders, months after activist investor Elliott Management Corp. piled into the stock.

Alphabet’s Secret Lab Develops Competitor For Lithium-Ion Battery

1 Aug 2017   Electric Cars

A decade ago, this lab made headlines for its driverless car. Now the lab’s leaders claim its Malta project could store energy anywhere around the world, while boasting a longer lifespan than lithium-ion batteries. “If the moonshot factory gives up on a big, important problem like climate change, then maybe it will never get solved,” said director Obi Felten, referring to his lab’s shoot-for-the-stars process in picking new projects. “If we do start solving it, there are trillions and trillions of dollars in market opportunity.” Bloomberg describes the facility as a four-tank power plant that can be adjusted in size to fit the needs of the facility it powers. The collision of hot and cold air spins a massive turbine that generates electricity for the buildings to which the tanks are connected. “The thermodynamic physics are well-known to anyone who studied it enough in college,” Malta product manager Julian […]

Oil tycoon promises his next car will be electric

31 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Yes, you heard that right, the boss in charge of Europe’s biggest oil company says his next car will be electric. Does this revelation from the CEO at Shell say a lot about the future of fossil fuels? It seems so, with Ben Van Beurden, 59, saying the demand for oil could peak within the next 15 to 20 years. It came just as the Anglo-Dutch oil company said it was investing up to £1bn a year on renewables. Elektrobay charging points for electric cars are popping up across London (Picture: Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty) Shell is making serious inroads into new energy sectors, including wind and solar, with major projects on biofuels planned in Brazil. It is also helping install 400 hydrogen fuel stations across Europe, and is working with UK Power Networks to improve the grid for electric cars. When asked in an interview on Bloomberg […]

Tesla’s Musk hands over first Model 3 electric cars to early buyers

29 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Friday the Model 3 had over half a million advance reservations as he handed over the first 30 to employee buyers, setting the stage for the biggest test yet of the company’s strategy to become a profitable, mass market electric car maker. Outside Tesla’s Fremont, California factory, Musk showed off the $35,000 base vehicle with a range of 220 miles (350 km) on a charge that marks a departure from the company’s earlier luxury electric cars. Musk took to the stage driving a red Model 3, and said Tesla has produced 50 of the vehicles so far, including 20 for testing purposes. Hours before the event, Musk acknowledged it would be “quite a challenge” to build the car during the early days of production. “We’re going to go through at least six months of manufacturing hell,” Musk […]

So how on earth are we going to power nine million electric cars

Earlier this year, car buyers were encouraged to take advantage of the Government’s new environmentally friendly decision to exempt from road tax all electric cars with zero carbon emissions that cost less than £40,000. Intrigued to see the choices that might be available, I visited a Mitsubishi dealer. The hottest model on the forecourt in this category was the latest hybrid Sports Utility Vehicle. A salesman told me that if I was interested in buying it and wanted to avoid the slow process of recharging the car overnight using my domestic electricity supply, he could install a more powerful charger on my driveway for free. I had never realised that owning an electric car involved such a daily palaver. So, put off by the idea of having to plug in the car every night and the potential for overloading our house’s electric circuits, I did not proceed any further. […]

GM Cadillac chief outlines plan for fewer sedans, more electrics

28 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

The head of General Motors Co’s Cadillac luxury division said on Thursday the brand will shrink its lineup of sedans and expand its offerings of sport utility vehicles and hybrid and electric vehicles in response to market shifts. Expanding Cadillac’s global sales is central to GM’s overall profit strategy, and Cadillac has reported a 27 percent increase in worldwide sales through the first half of the year. However, in the United States, now the brand’s second largest market behind China, Cadillac sales are down 1.6 percent and combined sales of the brand’s four sedan models have plummeted 16.3 percent through the first half of the year. That has forced GM to order layoffs at two Michigan factories that build Cadillac cars, and raised questions about the long term future of the plants. “We have to rebalance our sedan” portfolio, Johan de Nysschen told Reuters in interview, […]

Self-Driving-Car Legislation Clears U.S. House Panel

28 Jul 2017   Transportation

A U.S. House panel approved legislation regarding self-driving cars, a significant step aimed at clarifying the rules of the road for manufacturers developing vehicles that pilot themselves. The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee cleared the bill, which would bar states from setting driverless-car rules that conflict with federal standards, on a 54-0 vote Thursday morning. Auto makers have been concerned about a patchwork of…

Oil barons face a slow death by electrification

28 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Opec, Russia and Big Oil thought they had half a century to prepare for the end of the internal combustion engine. At best they have a decade before the threat turns deadly serious. The twin announcement by France and Britain – within two weeks of each other – to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 is an earthquake in the energy world. Others are moving in parallel. A non-binding resolution of the German Bundesrat has called for a prohibition by 2030. Norway already has such a target by 2025 and the catalytic effect is spectacular: sales of electric vehicles (EVs) reached 42 per cent of all cars in July. France is to ban petrol and diesel cars by 2040. China’s new plan stipulates that zero-emission vehicles must make up 8 per cent of total sales next year, rising to 10 per cent in 2019, and 12 […]

Electric Vehicles No Threat To Oil Prices Anytime Soon

28 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Hardly a day goes by without another media report about the impending demise of the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) as petroleum powered cars and trucks are replaced by uber-clean Electric Vehicles (EV). It is just a matter of time before EVs start to materially reduce global oil demand thereby capping a meaningful oil price recovery now and creating an ever-shrinking industry in the future. EVs are yet another reason why the decline of petroleum production and consumption is inevitable. Except it isn’t true. Your writer read dozens of articles and attended a conference on the future of EVs. The evidence overwhelming proves they pose no threat to oil prices anytime soon. Following is a summary of the major points. • The forecasts for EV growth are all over the map. Late last year investment research outfit Morningstar figured EVs will be 10% of new vehicle sales by 2025 (only […]

Shell sees oil demand peaking by late 2020s as electric car sales grow

28 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Ben van Beurden, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell company, speaks during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia June 21, 2017. Sergei Karpukhin LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s oil consumption could peak as early as the end of the next decade as electric vehicles become more popular, Royal Dutch Shell RDS.A Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said on Thursday. The prospect of a decline in oil consumption after more than a century of growth as the world switches to burning cleaner fuels is gathering pace. On Wednesday Britain announced plans to ban diesel and gasoline vehicles by 2040, following a similar move by France. “I think they are very welcome announcements, they are also very needed announcements,” van Beurden told reporters after Europe’s biggest oil company reported a sharp rise in quarterly profits. Under the Anglo-Dutch company’s most aggressive scenario of battery-powered vehicles replacing traditional internal […]

Royal Mail to buy 100 Peugeot electric vans for delivery vehicles

28 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Royal Mail has signed an agreement with Peugeot to purchase 100 Partner L2 Electric vans, to be used as delivery vehicles. The vans will go into service from December 2017 at delivery offices around the UK, supported by a comprehensive rollout of charging infrastructure. Royal Mail—since 2003 a quoted company with shares traded on the LSE—is the UK’s designated Universal Postal Service Provider. The Partner L2 Electric was launched in February; this is the first major fleet order for the van. The lithium-ion battery pack is fitted under the load floor, ensuring there is no loss of load space compared with gasoline and diesel-powered Partner L2 models. The Partner L2 Electric will carry a gross payload of 552 kg (1,217 lbs). Power comes from a compact permanent magnet synchronous motor producing 49 kW (67 hp) at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 200 N·m. The front wheels are driven […]

The Market Will Kill Oil Before the Government Does

European governments are making a big splash, pledging an assault on traditional cars to help clean up polluted air in cities. The latest strike came Wednesday in the U.K., which says it will ban the sale of diesel- and gasoline-powered cars by 2040. Those plans might not be quite as ambitious as they first seem. Consumers, automakers, and even some oil companies are already preparing for a battery-powered future. The U.K. government’s plan to tackle record levels of air pollution was announced two weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron announced a similar plan to cut smog and become a carbon neutral nation. While the targets will send a strong signal to automakers in Europe about the kinds of vehicles they should be producing over the next quarter century, they’re more likely to confirm that companies like Nissan Motor Co., Volvo Car Group , and BMW AG are on the […]

The Next Big Catalyst In The U.S. Oil Export Boom

27 Jul 2017   exports, USA

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port plans to start exporting crude by early next year, in the latest indication there’s an oil export boom in the world’s top oil consumer. According to media reports citing an emailed LOOP statement, the private company operating the port is currently looking for potential producers interested in shipping their crude from LOOP. LOOP is certainly not the only port eyeing exports as shale output continues to grow. Yet it is the deepest one: it is the only port on the U.S. Gulf Coast capable of handling Very Large Crude Carriers, or VLCCs, which have a capacity of up to 2 million barrels of crude. As we noted earlier, the Gulf Coast is bustling with port-expansion activity as producers rush to send their crude overseas. Until relatively recently, the Port of Houston was where all the oil action in Texas took place. Now, things are […]

Why record U.S. oil exports are poised for even more growth

27 Jul 2017   exports, USA

U.S. refineries are producing more fuel than ever as they seek to meet rising demand – from overseas, rather than the drivers on nearby roadways. Last year, the U.S. became the world’s top net exporter of fuel, an outgrowth of booming domestic production since the shale oil revolution started in 2010. That’s a fundamental shift from the traditional U.S. role in global markets as a top importer and consumer. Net exports are on track to hit another record in 2017, making foreign fuel markets increasingly important for the future growth prospects and profit margins of U.S. refiners. Shale oil producers have provided refiners with abundant and cheap domestic crude supplies, giving them the raw material they need to produce internationally competitive fuel. The nation set a record in 2016 by sending a net 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of petroleum products to foreign markets. […]

US ERCOT record July power peakloads expected through weekend

27 Jul 2017   Energy Demand, USA

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas was expected to set new load highs three days in a row from Wednesday, propelled by the continued heat in the region. ERCOT forecast the power demand to peak at 68.9 GW at 5 pm CDT Wednesday, a potential record for July after it set a new high of 68.8 GW last Thursday. Looking ahead to the end of the week, demand was forecast to peak at 69.4 GW Thursday and 70.3 GW Friday, both higher than the current all-time high for July. Article continues below… Platts Megawatt Daily provides you with timely and relevant North American electric power information. This market report is a valuable asset for any player in electric power and will provide clarity in this dynamic market. Platts Megawatt Daily is the only publication that delivers fundamental data, thorough news and analysis and Platts benchmark prices to participants in […]

Green Car Congress: Stanford, CMU, MIT team reviews challenges to practical implementation of solid-state Li-ion batteries

26 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Toyota, which has been working on solid-state batteries for EVs for a number of years (earlier post), is in the news with a report by the Wall Street Journal that it will be ready to commercialize a solid-state battery by 2022. Solid-state lithium-ion batteries, with higher volumetric energy densities than currently available lithium-ion batteries, offer a number of conceptual advantages including improved packaging efficiency; improved safety; and long cycle life. However, there remain a number of unresolved issues precluding commercialization at this point. A team from Stanford, Carnegie Mellon University, and MIT recently published an open-access paper in the Journal of the Electrochemical Societyreviewing the practical challenges hindering the development of solid-state Li-ion batteries.

GM Eases Summer Production of Chevrolet Bolt

21 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Workers assembling General Motors Co.’s Tesla fighter are taking a month off this summer amid lukewarm demand, a sign American car buyers are showing little interest in vehicles that rely solely on battery power to get from Point A to B. The Detroit auto giant’s plant in Orion Township, Mich., began producing the Chevrolet Bolt late last year, with output hitting more than 15,000 vehicles before the company’s typical summer shutdown at the start of July. That break usually spans two weeks, but workers at the Bolt…

Volvo Accelerates Toward Electric Future With China’s Geely

Volvo Car Corp., the Swedish auto maker, and its Chinese parent Zhejiang Geely Holdings on Thursday unveiled plans for wide-ranging collaboration to develop new technology that aims to accelerate Volvo’s transformation into an all-electric auto brand and fuel Geely’s global ambitions. Volvo and Geely Holdings have signed an agreement to create a joint technology venture with headquarters in China that expands their current…

A Brighter Future for Electric Cars and the Planet

19 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

There is simply no credible way to address climate change without changing the way we get from here to there, meaning cars, trucks, planes and any other gas-guzzling forms of transportation. That is why it is so heartening to see electric cars, considered curios for the rich or eccentric or both not that long ago, now entering the mainstream. A slew of recent announcements by researchers, auto companies and world leaders offer real promise. First up, a forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance said that electric cars would become cheaper than conventional cars without government subsidies between 2025 and 2030. At the same time, auto companies like Tesla, General Motors and Volvo are planning a slate of new models that they say will be not only more affordable but also more practical than earlier versions. And officials in such countries as France, India and Norway have set aggressive targets […]

Electric Vehicles Won’t Topple Oil…Yet

18 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

While governments around the world are starting to mandate electricity over oil for powering motor vehicles, what are the chances of oil supply being severely impacted in the next quarter century? Electric vehicle demand appears ready to be increasing in key markets like China, Europe, and the U.S., but it is something to keep in perspective with overall global demand. France has committed to banning gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040. Germany and the European Union are cracking down on automakers for violations of diesel emissions rules and reporting with Daimler most recently pulled into the fray. Cities such as Paris and London are concerned about climate change, and are pursuing policies restricting cars and trucks from causing more heavy traffic and air pollution. China appears to be moving away from its “new energy vehicle” subsidies and would like to adopt the zero-emissions vehicle policy that California Gov. Jerry […]

US crude exports are the gift that keeps on giving: Fuel for Thought

18 Jul 2017   exports, USA

Share Favorable price differentials are leading to growing US crude exports from the Gulf Coast, which in turn is helping to fuel an infrastructure buildout that will encourage even more exports and new entrants into the US market. Crude oil exports have increased recently amid widening discounts for both WTI Midland and WTS (West Texas Sour) Midland. So far in July, the average discount of WTI Midland was WTI cash minus $1.05/b, down 21 cents from June. WTS Midland discounts over the same time have fallen to WTI cash minus $1.18/b, down 9 cents, according to Platts data. A wider discount makes grades like WTI and WTS more attractive to export. Arbitrage economics have been reinforced by a widening WTI/Dubai spread. Month on month, the swap spread between WTI and Dubai widened 20 cents/b to $1.22/b last week. As this spread widens, WTI-based crudes like Bakken become more economic […]

Oil imports help feed US export powerhouse

17 Jul 2017   exports, USA

The US oil industry is rapidly turning the country into an energy export powerhouse, tipped last week by one prominent consultancy to start shipping more oil overseas than the majority of Opec countries by 2020. But this export flurry, brought on by the rejuvenation of the shale oil revolution and the lifting of decades-old export restrictions, has a flip side: as more oil flows out of the US more is also flowing in. In the first six months of 2017, as US crude exports have at times crested 1m barrels a day, imports of crude oil US have risen 5 per cent, or more than 300,000 b/d, compared with the same period last year. The data, from the US Energy Information Administration, illustrate that, while rising US exports are often portrayed as a straightforward threat to Opec, the emerging reality is more nuanced. The US remains the world’s biggest consumer of crude, burning almost 20m b/d, or more than one in every five barrels globally. As one of the world’s biggest importers of crude, even though domestic supplies are rising, domestic oil refiners will need to source alternatives from elsewhere if they are to pursue large-scale exports. “Ships will start passing in the night again,” said Stephen Wolfe, US analyst for Trafigura, the Swiss-based independent trading house that has been one of the largest shippers of US crude overseas. “With more barrels going out you need more coming in.” About two-thirds of the rise in US imports this year has come from Canada, where investments made in the oil sands region before prices fell from more than $100 a barrel in early 2014 to less than $50 a barrel today, have led to rising supplies of heavy bitumen-like crude.

US crude exports are the gift that keeps on giving: Fuel for Thought

17 Jul 2017   exports, USA

Share Favorable price differentials are leading to growing US crude exports from the Gulf Coast, which in turn is helping to fuel an infrastructure buildout that will encourage even more exports and new entrants into the US market. Crude oil exports have increased recently amid widening discounts for both WTI Midland and WTS (West Texas Sour) Midland. So far in July, the average discount of WTI Midland was WTI cash minus $1.05/b, down 21 cents from June. WTS Midland discounts over the same time have fallen to WTI cash minus $1.18/b, down 9 cents, according to Platts data. A wider discount makes grades like WTI and WTS more attractive to export. Arbitrage economics have been reinforced by a widening WTI/Dubai spread. Month on month, the swap spread between WTI and Dubai widened 20 cents/b to $1.22/b last week. As this spread widens, WTI-based crudes like Bakken become more economic […]

Big Oil Just Woke Up to Threat of Rising Electric Car Demand

15 Jul 2017   Electric Cars, OPEC
Big Oil Just Woke Up to Threat of Rising Electric Car Demand

The world’s biggest oil producers are starting to take electric vehicles seriously as a long-term threat.  OPEC quintupled its forecast for sales of plug-in EVs, and oil producers from Exxon Mobil Corp. to BP Plc also revised up their outlooks in the past year, according to a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance released on Friday. The London-based researcher expects those cars to reduce oil demand 8 million barrels by 2040, more than the current combined production of Iran and Iraq.  Growing popularity of EVs increases the risk that oil demand will stagnate in the decades ahead, raising questions about the more than $700 billion a year that’s flowing into fossil-fuel industries. While the oil producers’ outlook isn’t nearly as aggressive as BNEF’s, the numbers indicate an acceleration in the number of EVs likely to be in the global fleet.

To see BNEF’s report comparing long-term EV adoption forecasts, click here.

“The number of EVs on the road will have major implications for automakers, oil companies, electric utilities and others,” Colin McKerracher, head of advanced-transport analysis at BNEF in London, wrote in a note to clients. “There is significant disagreement on how fast adoption will be, and views are changing quickly.”

 

Tokyo Tech team develops low-cost germanium-free solid electrolyte for Li-ion batteries

15 Jul 2017   Electric Cars, Japan

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have devised a low-cost, scalable approach to developing all-solid-state batteries, improving prospects for scaling up the technology for widespread use in electric vehicles, communications and other industrial applications. Described in a paper in the ACS journal Chemistry of Materials , the approach involves substituting germanium in the solid electrolyte for two more readily available elements: tin and silicon. The new material achieved an ionic conductivity that exceeds that of liquid electrolytes. Reporting the findings, Ryoji Kanno and colleagues stated: “ This germanium-free lithium conductor could be a promising candidate as an electrolyte in all-solid-state batteries. ” All-solid-state systems with solid electrolytes (SEs) are potential candidates for next-generation batteries […]

Electric Alice

Eviation’s Orca surveillance drone at 2017 Paris Air Show Israeli startup Eviation plans to build an all-electric short-haul 9-pax airliner capable of flights up to 600 miles and have it flying by 2020. Interview with co-founder and CEO Omer Bar-Yohay A decade ago, talk of electric airplanes was more fantasy than fact. Sleek sailplanes might sport a small motor and battery for extend their time in the air, but beyond that, the concept just wasn’t practical at a commercial level. Then Solar Impulse circled the planet on solar-power alone. Industrial titans like Siemens and Airbus took serious interest in the idea. A handful of startups like Aero Electric Aircraft Corporation jumped into the electric trainer plane market. Most recently, a trio of firms have gotten funding to build pure electric and hybrid-electric commercial aircraft, including a three year-old startup in Israel called Eviation . What began as a drone […]

Will The EV Hype Actually Help The Oil Business?

14 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Then France amped up the newswire by switching on a ban: No more combustion car sales by 2040. To cap off a trilogy of electric vehicle (EV) proclamations, Elon Musk lit up the twitter feed with a photo of Tesla Motor’s first Model 3 production car. Oil companies and investors should take note. These announcements are impacting the industry and will increasingly do so. But it’s not because electric cords are going to replace pump hoses anytime soon. The demand for oil is as robust as it’s ever been, thanks to barrels that are priced 60 percentage lower than they were three years ago; the linkage of petroleum to the world economy is actually strengthening not weakening. But it doesn’t matter. EV mania is affecting the psychology of investors who finance oil assets, services and infrastructure. Fog lights of reason are finding it increasingly difficult to see the future […]

Are Supermajors Spooked By Peak Oil Demand?

13 Jul 2017   Energy Demand

Will the world’s appetite for crude oil ever be sated? For decades, it was widely presumed that demand for petroleum would grow steadily in line with the expansion of the global economy, as more people drove, more cities were built and more energy was needed to fuel industrial expansion. But a number of major energy companies now believe peak demand to be just around the corner, and are preparing to meet it head-on. At the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, BP CEO Bob Dudley was asked when peak oil demand would be reached. He quoted a precise date: June 2, 2042. The company’s annual Energy Outlook estimates demand for crude will max out in the next twenty-five to thirty years. The most important factors affecting peak demand include global GDP growth (stronger economies mean higher energy demand), the pace of climate policy and expansion of electric vehicles (EV), […]

EIA World Oil Demand Prediction Drops By 70,000 Barrels

World oil demand growth will fall by 70,000 barrels per day to 1.47 million barrels per day this year, according to a new forecast published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency also cut its projection for 2018 oil demand growth by 10,000 bpd to 1.61 million bpd. The report also noted that oil prices averaged $46 a barrel in June – $4 lower than the month prior, marking it as the lowest average since last November. The EIA expects natural gas’ share of U.S. total utility-scale electricity generation to fall from 34 percent last year, to 31 percent in both 2017 and 2018 due to higher prices that will render the fuel more expensive than coal. Oil prices have entered bearish markets again as new output from Nigeria, Libya and the United States counteracts the impact of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) 1.2 million-barrel production […]

Is This Year’s Driving Season Over Before It Began?

Exactly six months ago, when oil bulls still held on to some fleeting hope that OPEC may somehow stabilize the crash in oil prices despite the shift in marginal oil production from low-cost OPEC producers to U.S. shale (a hope which is now gone as the just disclosed letter from Andy Hall demonstrates), Goldman noticed something troubling : an unprecedented collapse in gasoline demand. As the firm’s energy analyst Damien Courvalin said on February 8, when discussing the 6 percent fall in U.S. gasoline demand, such a plunge “would require a U.S. recession” and add that “implied demand data points to U.S. gasoline demand in January declining 460 kb/d or 5.2 percent year-on-year. In the absence of a base effect, such a decline has only occurred in four periods since 1960 during which time PCE contracted.” Now, 6 months later, the situation is very much different: with the U.S. […]

US crude exports forecast to exceed most Opec members by 2020

11 Jul 2017   exports, USA

The US will quadruple its crude oil exports to volumes greater than those of most Opec members within three years, an influential consultant has forecast, as Texas producers seek customers for seemingly unstoppable supplies. By 2020, exports of US crude would reach 2.25m barrels per day, according to PIRA Energy. By comparison, last year Kuwait exported 2.1m b/d, Nigeria 1.7m b/d and the US itself 520,000 b/d. The forecast suggests the Opec exporters’ cartel faces a drawn-out struggle as it tries to raise crude prices by curtailing output in the face of a prolific US shale oil industry. “The US will become one of the top 10 exporters in the world,” said Gary Ross, PIRA’s global head of oil. “They’re not a member of Opec, and they’re not about to control production in an effort to keep prices up. This is very bad news for Opec.” The US prohibited most exports of crude oil until late 2015, when Barack Obama signed legislation overturning the 40-year-old ban. Since then, American barrels have been flowing to new markets such as Europe and China. The Trump administration has embraced the trend as it pursues a vision of “energy dominance.”

Electric Cars Need More Than Fans

10 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Last year, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries conveniently predicted that in 2040, electric vehicles would make up just 6.7% of the car fleet. The owners of four-fifths of proven oil reserves also said the number of cars on the road would double. Right now, electric cars make up about 1% of sales in the U.S., Europe and China, though growing rapidly. But this week brought news from two quarters with the ability to shape that future in a way that OPEC can’t: a mainstream auto manufacturer and a major…

Study concludes US CAFE regulation can accelerate EV market penetration

10 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

In a new study, a team from the University of Central Florida and MIT has found that the US Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards is an effective policy solution that does increase the adoption of EVs, whether it is implemented alone or in conjunction with another policy such as government incentives. In a study published in the journal Energy Policy , the researchers developed an agent-based model to estimate the potential future market shares of EVs considering the existing inherent uncertainties under different policy scenarios, including the current footprint-based CAFE regulation. Under the current CAFE standards, the determination of a manufacturer’s compliance is based on the annual production volume-weighted average fuel economy of a manufacturer’s vehicle fleet. If the average mpg of […]

U.S. crude oil exports in May reached 1.02 million bpd: U.S. Census Bureau

7 Jul 2017   exports, USA

U.S. crude oil exports reached 1.02 million barrels per day in May, slightly higher than the 1.00 million bpd in April, foreign trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed on Thursday Exports to Canada were 372,000. Exports to China were 147,000. Exports to Netherlands were 108,000. Exports to Malaysia were 68,000. Exports to United kingdom were 63,000. Exports to Colombia were 48,000. Exports to Curacao were 32,000. Exports to Peru were 25,000. Exports to Bahamas were 23,000. Exports to Spain were 23,000. Exports to Norway were 22,000. Exports to Italy were 22,000. Exports to France were 21,000. Exports to Korea, south were 16,000. Exports to Dominican republic were 16,000. Exports to Japan were 10,000. Exports to Argentina were 9,000. U.S. Census’s foreign trade oil data is published weeks earlier than closely watched U.S. Energy Information […]

BNEF forecasts EVs to hit 54% of new car sales by 2040; decreasing importance of PHEVs

7 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Electric vehicles will make up the majority of new car sales worldwide by 2040, and account for 33% of all the light-duty vehicles on the road, according to a new forecast published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). This represents an aggressive jump compared to BNEF’s previous forecast of 35% EV new car market share by 2040. Under the new forecast, EVs will displace 8 million barrels of transport fuel per day and add 5% to global electricity consumption (1,800 TWh by 2040 up from 6TWh in 2016). The forecasters said that while plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales will play a role in EV adoption from now to 2025, puer battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) will subsequently take over and account for […]

Tesla Loses Stranglehold As EV Revolution Accelerates

7 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Volvo became the first major auto company to announce the phase out of the internal-combustion engine from its lineup. The Chinese-owned Swedish car company announced on July 5 that every car it builds beginning in 2019 will have some sort of electric motor, “marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business,” the company said in a press release. “This is about the customer,” Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO, said in a statement. “People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish.” Volvo’s entire lineup will either be fully electric or hybrid-electric by 2019. Volvo laid down a marker, becoming the first company to announce the beginning of the end of gasoline and diesel-powered cars. […]

Lightyear One solar car charges itself and will have a 500-mile range

7 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

A Dutch startup is planning to bring a completely solar-powered electric car to market, which could theoretically let some drivers go for months without plugging it in. The ne plus ultra of electric cars might be in the works, thanks to a team of alumni from Solar Team Eindhoven , which has been developing prototypes of 4-seater solar family cars for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge since 2012. The startup Lightyear promises to combine onboard solar cells with an efficient battery pack and an optimized design to deliver a road legal 4-seat electric car that can charge itself from sunlight. We’ve heard claims like this before , but have yet to see one of these electric unicorns fully come to life, other than as entries into events such as the World Solar Challenge. According to the company, its Lightyear One model will not only be capable of driving between […]

Oil Exports, Illegal for Decades, Now Fuel a Texas Port Boom

6 Jul 2017   exports, USA

In a twist that would have been unthinkable only two years ago, the oil tanker that arrives in China today may be carrying crude that left the South Texas port of Corpus Christi instead of Saudi Arabia. Chinese drivers most certainly don’t care where their fuel comes from, but the export of American crude oil to dozens of countries over the last year is the latest chapter in a remarkable turnaround for the American oil and gas industry, about the only good news in three years of plummeting commodity prices, bankruptcies and layoffs. For 40 years it was virtually impossible to sell American oil to any country except Canada because of an export ban that was a bedrock of United States energy policy. The Obama administration slowly loosened the ban and Congress finally ended it in late 2015 in a compromise that also extended tax […]

Every Volvo car launched from 2019 to have an electrified powertrain; “the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car”

Volvo Cars announced that every Volvo it launches from 2019 on will have an electric motor, marking the historic end of cars that only have an internal combustion engine (ICE) and placing electrification at the core of its future business. Volvo Cars will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug in hybrid cars and mild hybrid cars. The announcement represents one of the most wide-reaching moves by any car maker to embrace electrification. The company said that its decision highlights how—more than a century after the invention of the internal combustion engine—electrification is paving the way for a new chapter in automotive history. This is about the customer. People increasingly demand electrified cars and we want to respond to our customers’ current and future needs. You can now pick and choose whichever electrified Volvo you wish. —Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief […]

Volvo Gives Tesla a Shock, As Others Plan Electric Push

6 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Volvo, the auto maker that spent 90 years polishing a reputation for safety, indicated Wednesday it is mounting an ambitious challenge to Tesla Inc.’s electric cars. But the even tougher news for Tesla’s billionaire founder, Elon Musk, is that the Scandinavian company isn’t the only deep-pocketed rival planning to compete with the Silicon Valley pioneer. Nearly all global vehicle makers are mounting their own electric-car push,…

Volvo delivers an electric shock to carmakers

6 Jul 2017   Electric Cars

Two events this week signalled a step change in the pace at which electric vehicles are taking to the road. Elon Musk announced that Tesla’s first mass-market Model 3 car will start rolling off production lines tomorrow, ready for launch at July’s end. That was followed by Volvo’s pledge on Tuesday that the Swedish carmaker, owned by China’s Geely, will cease manufacturing combustion engine-only vehicles altogether by 2019. Thenceforth, every Volvo model will be powered solely by batteries or by a battery/petrol hybrid. Less than 1 per cent of cars on the road today are electric powered. What is significant, and the context in which Volvo’s declaration was made, is the rate at which that is changing. Electric car sales were up 42 per cent in 2016, about eight times faster than growth in the overall market. There is a healthy debate within the motor and energy industries as to whether battery-powered vehicles or fuel cell cars, powered by hydrogen, represent the future. The latter are behind in their evolution, held back by (among other things) the energy-inefficient process used to extract hydrogen for fuel. Either way, it is possible to foresee a future where fossil fuels play a limited role in personal transport. We are still far from realising the broader dream of a green, low-carbon economy. Nonetheless, it is becoming ever easier to envisage a world with strong economic growth alongside cleaner air, lower carbon emissions and less dependence on oil. Already, the rate at which green technologies are being adopted has far exceeded the expectations of many of the world’s experts, bringing hope that Donald Trump’s nostalgic affair with fossil fuels will represent an aberration rather than a reversal in global efforts to tackle climate change. There remain, however, significant obstacles to more rapid adoption of electric cars. The first is technological. At present the range of these vehicles, at a maximum of about 300km. remains a disincentive, particularly in countries such as the US where drivers are used to driving long distances on a tank of “gas”. Batteries remain a wild card. They need to become more powerful and cheaper. The amount of investment towards that goal is encouraging. However, even Tesla has suffered hiccups along the way.