Energy Demand

How Tesla Just Tripled Its Earnings In China

21 Mar 2017   China, Electric Cars

Earlier this month, Tesla Inc reported that its revenues in China topped $1 billion in 2016, more than triple the revenues it generated there in 2015. The Chinese market was only second to the U.S. in terms of revenue generation for Tesla last year. The electric carmaker is not breaking down revenues by items, and has not offered any explanation for the triple revenues in China. The revenue jump could have been the result of China’s license plate-issuing policies in major cities that fast track EV license plates issuing as the country grapples with perpetual pollution and traffic jams. Tesla’s Chinese revenues last year were $1.065 billion, compared to $318.5 million in 2015, and $477 million in 2014, the EV carmaker’s regulatory filing from March 1 shows. According to Reuters Breakingviews ’ Robyn Mak, one of the key contributors to Tesla’s soaring Chinese revenues is the local green-car, or […]

Why Oil Demand May Be Higher Than Expected

17 Mar 2017   Energy Demand, Prices

Investors fretting about too much oil supply may get some cheer from demand, or at least the statistics that consistently underestimate it. The International Energy Agency’s closely watched annual estimates of global crude demand have been revised up for the past seven years by an average of 880,000 barrels a day, according to a Wall Street…

Trump reopens review of US fuel efficiency standards

Donald Trump on Wednesday ordered the reopening of a review of future fuel economy and emissions standards for US cars, in a move that could slow down development of electric vehicles and new efficiency technologies. Regulations confirming standards for vehicle emissions in 2022-25, which were hurried through in the final fortnight of Barack Obama’s administration, will instead be reviewed next year. The Obama administration estimated that the rules would cost car manufacturers in the US $33bn. The new administration’s move, which had been sought by the large car manufacturers, coincided with a visit by the president to Michigan to meet industry executives and workers. Addressing autoworkers bussed to a disused factory outside Detroit which the President said had been used during the second world war to build B-24 bombers, Mr Trump promised to “make Detroit the car capital of the world again” adding: “we are going to restore the originally scheduled midterm review and ensure that any regulations we have protect your jobs.” Jessica Caldwell, analyst at Edmunds, said the emissions targets had forced manufacturers to shift research and development budgets from the trucks and SUVs consumers most wanted towards electric vehicles and hybrids, whose sales are shrinking. “Trump is likely scoring points with the auto executives by promising to rethink these regulations, but he’s making it clear he expects the automakers to return the favor by ramping up investments here in the US,” she said.

EPA re-opens Mid-Term Evaluation Process for light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas standards 2022-2025

Administrator Scott Pruitt and Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that EPA intends to reconsider its final determination issued on 12 January 2017 which recommended no change to the greenhouse gas standards for light duty vehicles for model years 2022- 2025. ( Earlier post .) EPA will reconsider that determination in coordination with NHTSA as part of a renewed Mid-Term Evaluation process. This process was established as a part of the 2012 final greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2017-2025, requiring EPA to determine no later than 1 April 2018 whether the greenhouse gas standards for model years 2022-2025 established are appropriate. In coordination with EPA, the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is evaluating its fuel economy standards for that period. In accord with this schedule, […]

U.S. crude oil sales to Asia quickly growing

11 Mar 2017   exports

The growing influence of U.S. crude oil exports to Asia was a topic at a recent oil conference in London. It had been 40 years since crude oil was exported from the United States to points outside North America. Export restrictions were repealed in 2015. Virtually no crude oil was sent to Asia in 2015, but between January and November 2016 the figure rose to 50,000 barrels per day, U.S. Energy Information Administration figures said. Exports to Singapore, China, Japan, Thailand and South Korea have already grown in 2017 as well. Demand for benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil is now about 14 percent […]

Oil Trader Vitol Sees `a Lot More’ Growth in U.S. Crude Exports

10 Mar 2017   exports

Vitol Group BV , the trader that shipped the first cargo of U.S. crude after export restrictions ended in late 2015, predicts the country’s oil exports will grow “a lot more” because of rising production in Texas. U.S. crude shipments briefly surged to a record 1.21 million barrels a day in mid-February, up from 32,000 in 2010, when most of the country’s production couldn’t be sold overseas because of a 40-year-old ban. “We will see a lot more growth in U.S. crude exports,” Mike Loya, the head of Vitol in the Americas, said in an interview in Houston. Loya, a 25-year Vitol veteran, said that oil production in the Permian shale, which extends from western Texas into southeast New Mexico, will rise by 600,000 to 700,000 barrels a day in the year through December. “A lot of that is going to be exported,” he said. The export boom is […]

U.S. Refiners Look Abroad As Domestic Competition Increases

10 Mar 2017   exports

U.S. oil refiners are going global. That’s the message that has been coming from the industry over the past year when a lot of refining capacity abroad was shut down for various reasons, making way for imports from the U.S. Bloomberg reports that in 2016, American companies exported 3 million barrels of refined petroleum products daily – a record high – and sector players seem determined to continue expanding their export capacity. Exxon, for example, recently announced a $20-billion investment program for the Gulf coast, to consist of refining and petrochemical production facilities and infrastructure. The output is planned to be exported. Exxon is far from alone in this. According to Bloomberg, many are looking abroad for new markets to take advantage of the cheap supply of crude and gas domestically, which makes the product more competitive internationally. For now, however, refiners seem to be focusing mainly on Mexico, […]

Self-driving car numbers double on California roads

10 Mar 2017   Electric Cars

The number of autonomous vehicles on California’s roads has more than doubled as carmakers and big tech companies race against secretive start-ups to test their self-driving cars. Two new permits granted for autonomous testing on Wednesday by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has taken the total number of companies licensed to drive their prototype vehicles in Silicon Valley’s home state to 27 — more than twice as many as a year ago and up from just seven in early 2015, according to the state’s automotive regulator. The latest entrants to the increasingly crowded market are Uber, whose testing vehicles were forced off the roads in San Francisco in December after it initially refused to apply for the DMV’s approval, and PlusAI, a 15-person start-up based in California and Beijing whose existence has until now been little known beyond a select group of automotive executives and tech investors. Earlier this month Renovo Motors, a Silicon Valley start-up developing “automated mobility on demand”, and Navya, the French creator of an autonomous electric shuttle, were both added to the DMV’s approved list. The group looks set to increase further still as companies from all over the world flock to Silicon Valley to develop their technology and tap its sought-after talent pool. Didi, the Chinese ride-hailing service, opened a new R&D centre in Mountain View on Wednesday to work on intelligent driving, cyber security and artificial intelligence.

US crude exports hit record levels in January, February

9 Mar 2017   exports, USA

US crude exports hit record highs in January and February, as domestic crude price discounts to Brent and Dubai widened significantly, an S&P Global Platts analysis of government data showed Tuesday. US Census Bureau data showed US crude exports rising by 304,000 b/d to 746,000 b/d in January, which was followed by a report by the US Energy Information Administration showing US crude exports averaging 900,000 b/d in the four weeks ending February 24. Congress’ December 2015 decision to lift restrictions inaugurated a new era in US oil trade, with exports averaging an annual record of 521,000 b/d in 2016. Additionally, rising production from the Permian Basin in West Texas, in combination with a significant buildout in infrastructure to access export markets, has deepened price discounts for US light sweet crudes, allowing US crude exports to take off. “It’s pure economics,” said Tony Starkey, manager of energy analysis at […]

Norwegian transport sector tapped for fast-charging EV stations

A German utility company said it was launching a collaborative effort to develop ultra-fast charging stations for electric vehicles across Norway. German company E.ON said it was working through partnership with Denmark based e-mobility service provider CLEVER to develop networks for electric vehicles on main European motorways. The partnership said it was now teaming up with the Norwegian and Danish retail gas station chain YX Energi to build dozens of charging stations across Norway. “This network will also connect Norway with the rest of Scandinavia and Europe,” the German company explained in a statement . “The ultra-fast chargers will be installed from 2018 to 2020.” Norway leads Europe with deployment of electric vehicles, with about 100,000 on the road already. In terms […]

Electric cars: China’s battle for the battery market

The headquarters of CATL, China’s fastest growing battery maker, lie on the edge of the city of Ningde, a stone’s throw from ponds where farmers raise carp and a street of cheap noodle restaurants and vehicle repair shops frequented by migrant workers. Inside the vast factory, battery parts move silently on automated conveyor belts. Signs on the walls encourage workers not to waste materials or time, or indulge in “unnecessary bending” for their own safety. The plant looks like lots of others dotted across the country. But with a valuation of $11.5bn, Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd, to give it its full name, is anything but mundane. It is set to become China’s Panasonic — a national champion — and a key part of Beijing’s ambitious plan to remake the global battery market and exploit rising demand for electric cars. “We want to become a leading enterprise, like the front carriage of a train, driving an entire supply chain,” says Neill Yang, CATL’s marketing director. His office overlooks cranes and cement mixers, which are building a dormitory and offices to house 20,000 workers.

The EV Myth – Electric Car Threat To Oil Is Wildly Overstated

3 Mar 2017   Electric Cars

At the outset of the 2014 oil collapse, slacking oil demand growth was often cited as a major contributor to the sharp decline in oil prices. In September 2014, the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated “The recent slowdown in demand growth is nothing short of remarkable”. The IEA doubled down and expanded on its weak demand thesis in its Medium-Term Oil Outlook report issued in February 2015: The global economy, reshaped by the information technology revolution, has generally become less fuel intensive. Concerns over climate change are recasting energy policies. And the globalisation of the natural gas market, coupled with steep reductions in the cost and availability of renewable energy, are causing oil to face a level of inter-fuel competition that would have seemed unfathomable a few years ago …. the recent price decline is expected to have only a marginal impact on global demand growth for the remainder […]

U.S. Oil Snares New Buyer as China Private Refiner Takes a Taste

2 Mar 2017   exports, USA

U.S. oil that’s pumped in the Gulf of Mexico has found a new buyer in China. Shandong Dongming Petrochemical Group, a Chinese independent refiner, has bought U.S. Southern Green Canyon crude for the first time ever, according to two traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. The shipment, due to arrive in April, will follow another cargo of the same grade that will be received by a Japanese processor this month. While supplies from American shale fields have made their way to Asia several times over the past year, the arrival of crude drilled off the southern U.S. coast is a more recent phenomenon spawned by output curbs in the Middle East. The lesser amount of crude leaving from the Persian Gulf has given the opportunity for similar types of oil from the Gulf of Mexico to sneak toward the biggest oil buyers in […]

Battery Pioneer Debuts New Fast-Charging Battery

2 Mar 2017   Electric Cars

The co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery has developed the first all-solid-state battery cells that could lead to safer, faster-charging and longer-lasting rechargeable batteries. John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, believes the development of a low-cost all-solid-state battery that is non-combustible with a high volumetric energy density and fast rates of charge and discharge could be used for handheld mobile devices, electric cars and stationary energy storage. “Cost, safety, energy density, rates of charge and discharge and cycle life are critical for battery-driven cars to be more widely adopted,” Goodenough said in a statement. “We believe our discovery solves many of the problems that are inherent in today’s batteries.” The new batteries have at least three times as much energy density as the lithium-ion batteries currently being used. A battery cell’s energy density gives an electric vehicle its driving range, […]

U.S. Oil Exports Hit Record Levels

2 Mar 2017   exports

The bill contained an important provision for oil producers that read “to promote the efficient exploration, production, storage, supply, marketing, pricing, and regulation of energy resources, including fossil fuels, no official of the Federal Government shall impose or enforce any restriction on the export of crude oil.” This provision ended a crude oil export ban dating back to 1975. Despite the huge surge in U.S. shale oil production since 2008, crude oil producers had to sell their product to U.S. refiners, who were free to sell refined products on the world market. Even though the U.S. was (and remains) a net importer of crude oil, the longtime premium on West Texas Intermediate (WTI) over internationally traded Brent crude vanished in response to the shale boom. Meanwhile, refiners were exporting finished products that were more representative of Brent crude pricing. Refiners loved this arraignment, and lobbied to keep the ban […]

Goodenough and UT team report new strategy for all-solid-state Na or Li battery suitable for EVs; plating cathodes

2 Mar 2017   Electric Cars

A team of engineers led by John Goodenough, professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin and co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery, has developed a new strategy for a safe, low-cost, all-solid-state rechargeable sodium or lithium battery cell that has the required energy density and cycle life for a battery that powers an all-electric road vehicle. An open-access paper on the work is published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science . The cells use a solid glass electrolyte having a Li + or Na + conductivity >10 -2 S cm -1 at 25 ˚C with a motional enthalpy ≈ 0.06 eV, which promises to offer acceptable operation at lower temperatures. Using the new glass, the cathode consists of plating the anode alkali-metal (e.g., (lithium, sodium or potassium) on a copper–carbon cathode current collector at a voltage of more than 3.0 V. […]

Conditions right for U.S. oil exports

1 Mar 2017   exports, USA

A global market looking to balance OPEC output declines and an expected increase in U.S. pipeline capacity could make oil exports attractive, analysis finds. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported last week that total crude oil production at just over 9 million barrel per day, showing the regional market is gaining ground despite crude oil prices at about half their peak from 2014. Total crude oil exports, meanwhile, passed 1 million barrels per day for their highest level ever. A 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports was overturned by President Barack Obama during his second term in office. U.S. oil transport is limited by the pipeline capacity feeding southern ports, though if the Dakota Access Pipeline is completed, that could move up to […]

U.S. Crude Exports Surge to a Record

24 Feb 2017   exports

Another week, another record for U.S. crude exports. Producers and traders shipped out 1.21 million barrels a day of U.S. crude in the week that ended February 17, the most in Energy Information Administration data going back to 1993. Domestic output increased to 9 million barrels per day last week, the fastest pace since April, while U.S. refiners used the least crude since October 2015. Shale output has surged and tankers loaded in the Middle East during the last days of all-out production by OPEC nations arrived this month in the U.S., swelling stockpiles to a record. Prices for West Texas Intermediate crude have averaged $2.24 a barrel below global marker Brent this year, making U.S. oil more attractive to refiners around the world. Local refiners are using as much domestic crude as they can and the remaining incremental production is being exported, Gary Morgan, director for Clarksons Platou […]

The US is transitioning into a natural gas exporter

24 Feb 2017   exports

The United States is on track to become a net exporter of gas next year, driven largely by the growth of liquefied natural gas exports, according to the U.S. Energy Department. The U.S. started exporting LNG last year, courtesy of Houston-based Cheniere Energy, and the country is increasingly piping more natural gas to Mexico while, simultaneously, importing less gas via pipeline from Canada. The U.S. was still an overall net importer last year. The nation is projected to become a net exporter of total energy products shortly after 2020, the Energy Department said, which was a virtually unheard of proposition just a decade ago. Cheniere’s first LNG export facility at Louisiana’s Sabine Pass near the Texas border came online a year ago. Houston-based Freeport LNG Development’s export terminal is slated to start shipping LNG in 2018. Three other LNG export projects will be completed or under construction by 2021, […]

Driving Hyundai’s electrified Ioniq line-up; cost-effective efficiency and dynamics

22 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

The Ioniq Hybrid offers up to the highest fuel economy in the US (up to 58 mpg / 4.05 l/100 km) for a non-plug-in vehicle and the Ioniq Electric is the industry’s most efficient EV (136 mpge / 25 kWh/100 miles). In addition to efficiency and value, a key design goal for the Hyundai team was driveability: specifically, a fun-to-drive, “segment-appropriate” driving experience. During the media launch last week in Santa Barbara, California, Hyundai provided production versions of the hybrid and battery-electric vehicle, and a pre-production version of the plug-in hybrid. Based on relatively short drives in all three variants, we conclude that Hyundai nailed its goals. In […]

Royal Dutch Shell places bet on hydrogen cars going mainstream

22 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

With the constant din of traffic noise from London’s M25 orbital motorway and the smell of diesel wafting in the air, Cobham service station in Surrey does not feel like a frontier in the clean energy revolution. Yet, it is here that Britain will get its first public filling station for hydrogen-powered cars on Wednesday as part of a bet by Royal Dutch Shell on a technology vying with battery-powered electric vehicles to replace fossil fuels in road transportation. Shell is already part of a public-private consortium planning 400 hydrogen filling stations across Germany by 2023, together with partners including its French rival Total. The Cobham facility marks the start of a wider effort to support growth of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in north-west Europe. “We see more carmakers putting focus on hydrogen and the first vehicles are beginning to arrive in key markets, particularly Japan, Germany and California,” says Matthew Tipper, head of new fuels at Shell. “That gives us confidence to begin building out infrastructure.” Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have so far struggled to gain momentum in the race with battery-powered cars to become the dominant challenger to the internal combustion engine. The faltering progress was epitomised by Toyota’s recall last week of its entire global fleet of 2,800 Mirai hydrogen vehicles to fix a software glitch.

Is Big Oil Underestimating Autonomous Vehicles?

20 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

Companies like Tesla, Uber and Google have sparked a lot of interest in the roll out of autonomous vehicles (AVs), or driverless cars, and while it is still early days, the transition to AVs could have enormous implications for the oil industry. There is a great deal of logic in AVs. For instance, an estimated 4 percent of total household vehicles are in use at any one time. AVs promise to make the transportation system much more efficient by allowing for the shared use of vehicles. Instead of every single person needing their own car, which they use only a fraction of their day, a single AV could service multiple households. Or, more specifically, a pool of AVs could provide enough transit service for a much larger number of people. This will cut down on fuel consumption, traffic, air pollution, and potentially provide an economic jolt from the savings. […]

Exclusive: GM plans to build, test thousands of self-driving Bolts in 2018

18 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

General Motors Co plans to deploy thousands of self-driving electric cars in test fleets in partnership with ride-sharing affiliate Lyft Inc, beginning in 2018, two sources familiar with the automaker’s plans said this week. It is expected to be the largest such test of fully autonomous vehicles by any major automaker before 2020, when several companies have said they plan to begin building and deploying such vehicles in higher volumes. Alphabet Inc’s Waymo subsidiary, in comparison, is currently testing about 60 self-driving prototypes in four states. Most of the specially equipped versions of the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle will be used by San Francisco-based Lyft, which will test them in its […]

Electric Car Sales Undaunted By Low Gasoline Prices

16 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

While oil and gasoline prices have traditionally determined the fate of electrified vehicle sales, plug-in vehicles are seeing other forces shaping global markets. When oil prices plunged in 2014, hybrid vehicles took a hit along with their residual values in several global markets. Plug-in electrified vehicles – battery electric and plug-in hybrid – saw similar trends emerging at first. However, PEVs have seen unit sales rise significantly in the U.S., Europe, and China during the past two years – as gasoline prices have stayed down. It appears that other market dynamics are influencing PEV sales now more than oil and fuel pump prices. Government-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) has projected 800,000 “ new energy vehicles ” (PEVs) will be sold this year in China – a 58 percent increase over 2016. Last year, there were about 507,000 new energy vehicles sold, growing by more than 50 percent […]

Electric car boom spurs investor scramble for cobalt

15 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

Investors are buying up physical cobalt anticipating that shortages of the metal, a key component of lithium-ion batteries used in electrical cars, will spur prices to their highest levels since the 2008 financial crisis. Prices for cobalt metal have climbed nearly 50 percent since September to five-year peaks around $19 a lb as stricter emissions controls boost demand for electric vehicles, especially in China, struggling with ruinous pollution levels in some cities. (For a graphic on how Lithium-ion battery works click tmsnrt.rs/2kOUBNQ ) Consultants CRU Group say electric car and plug-in hybrid vehicle sales could hit 4.4 million in 2021 and more than six million by 2025, from 1.1 million last year. By 2020, 75 percent of lithium-ion […]

U.S. Oil Exports Are Rising

11 Feb 2017   exports

U.S. oil exports are on the rise, fueled by comparatively higher prices for foreign oil they compete with and lower shipping rates. But analysts say any further increases in exports will be slow and the prospect of American energy independence remains a lofty goal. Crude-oil sales abroad were prohibited for decades until the government lifted the export ban 14 months ago in the hopes of reducing a bulging oversupply that had helped…

US’ Sabine Pass LNG exports hit record high in January

11 Feb 2017   exports

LNG exports from the US’ Sabine Pass hit a record in January this year, according to data from Platts Analytics, Friday. Export volumes reached 1.476 Bcm of gas equivalent, versus a monthly average of just under 0.5 Bcm since the plant started loading cargoes in February 2016. The increase in production coincides with the ramp up of the facility’s second 4.5 million mt/year train which completed commissioning and was handed over to the operator, Cheniere, in September last year. Following a period of planned maintenance from September into October, when both trains were brought offline, export volumes have been increasing steadily. Article continues below… LNG Daily is essential reading as LNG supply dynamics continue to change in big markets like Japan, China, India and the U.S. This premier independent news publication for the global LNG industry gives readers information on every aspect of the global market from new LNG […]

Volkswagen Forms U.S. Unit for Zero-Emission Vehicles

8 Feb 2017   Electric Cars, USA

Volkswagen AG launched a U.S. subsidiary Tuesday designed to oversee $2 billion in investments to promote zero-emission vehicles such as electric cars, a commitment the German auto giant made in the wake of cheating on U.S. emissions tests for several years. Dubbed Electrify America LLC, the organization is an attempt to show a renewed commitment to clean vehicles by pouring money into electric-vehicle charging stations in the U.S….

Cheaper renewables to halt coal and oil demand growth from 2020: research

The falling cost of electric vehicle and solar technology will halt demand growth for oil and coal from 2020, according to research published on Thursday, posing a threat to fossil fuel companies unprepared for the transition. The Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and independent think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative analyzed cost forecasts for electric vehicle (EV) and solar photovoltaic (PV) technology, government policies and the impact on road transport and power markets, which account for half of global fossil fuel consumption. “Fossil fuels may lose 10 percent of market share to PV and EVs within a single decade. This may not sound much but it can be the beginning of the end once demand starts to decline,” Carbon Tracker said in a statement. A 10 percent […]

Electric Cars – An Existential Threat For Oil?

7 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

Nobody would have predicted ten years ago, back when everyone was talking about Who Killed the Electric Car, that oil would someday have to fear the future of General Motor’s EV1. Practically none of the 1,117 units were still in commission in 2006 when the movie first aired, but today there’s a whole new fleet. In fact, oil majors are worried that electric powered cars could soon replace traditional combustion engines. Electric cars are becoming more numerous every day. This past October, EVs represented over 5 percent of energy consumption in the transportation sector. A recent study shows that EV prices are declining faster than anticipated and that oil demand could peak by 2020. This would be brought on by EVs reaching price parity with ICEs. Carbon Tracker and the Imperial College of London were quoted saying “This growth trajectory sees EVs displace approximately two million barrels of oil […]

Volvo receives order for 8 all-electric buses in UK; OppCharge opportunity charging

Volvo Buses has received an order for eight electric buses, the Volvo 7900 electric, from Transdev Blazefield, the owner of the Harrogate Bus Company in the UK. Operations start in 2018 in Harrogate, 90 km northeast of Manchester. When the vehicles enter service in 2018, the project will be the first of its kind in the UK introducing full electric vehicles using opportunity charging via the common interface OppCharge, whereby the charging stations can also be used by electrified buses from other vehicle manufacturers. OppCharge is now starting to be used as a common interface in more than 12 countries. ( Earlier post .) Opportunity charging takes place via an overhead mast, which connects to the bus […]

US Could Export More Oil Than OPEC Countries In 2017

6 Feb 2017   exports, USA

The U.S. may export more oil in 2017 than four OPEC member states produce, according to a survey of energy analysts by Bloomberg. The U.S. is already outproducing Libya, Qatar, Ecuador and Gabon; in 2017, U.S. companies could ship more oil overseas than those OPEC nation pump out of the ground, according to Bloomberg . “The United States has dramatically increased energy production and use even as emissions continue to decline,” Reid Porter, a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute (API), told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “For the first time in our lifetime, we can now say that North America has the potential to become a net energy exporter,” Porter said. “That’s a revolutionary change, a significant shift from where we were just a few short years ago.” The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects oil production to top nine million barrels a day in 2017. The U.S. […]

Why The Electric Car Boom Could Cause Another Oil Price Crash

3 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

A 2014-style oil price meltdown could occur again. Only this time, instead of a sudden surge of supply, the culprit will be the fast adoption of electric vehicles, which will cut into oil demand enough to cause prices to fall. That prediction comes from Carbon Tracker , a think tank that has repeatedly warned about the prospect of fossil fuel “stranded assets,” due to the rise of clean energy and increasingly restrictive climate policy. In its latest report, Carbon Tracker envisions a scenario in which 2 million barrels per day of oil demand are erased by 2025 because of the penetration of EVs in the transportation sector. Reducing global oil demand by 2 mb/d may not seem like much, but it is equivalent to the supply overhang that triggered the 2014 oil price meltdown. It does not take a massive discrepancy between supply and demand to crash prices. The […]

U.S. May Export More Oil in 2017 Than Four OPEC Nations Produce

2 Feb 2017   exports, USA

U.S. crude exports are poised to surpass production in four OPEC nations in 2017 and may grow even more if President Donald Trump honors pledges to ease drilling restrictions and maximize output. The world’s largest oil-consuming country could sell as much as 800,000 barrels a day of crude overseas this year, according to four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That’s more than OPEC producers Libya, Qatar, Ecuador and Gabon each pumped in December. The U.S. exported 527,000 barrels a day in the first 11 months of 2016, Energy Information Administration data show. Chalk it all up to a resurgence in shale oil and gas, which Trump is counting on to create jobs and rebuild roads, schools and bridges. U.S. output will rebound to more than 9 million barrels a day in 2017 after sliding 5.6 percent to 8.87 million in 2016, the EIA estimates . And since restrictions on U.S. […]

Electric Cars Could Cause Big Oil This Much Damage

2 Feb 2017   Electric Cars

The growth of battery-powered cars could be as disruptive to the oil market as the OPEC market-share war that triggered the price crash of 2014, potentially wiping hundreds of billions of dollars off the value from fossil fuel producers in the next decade. About 2 million barrels a day of oil demand could be displaced by electric vehicles by 2025, equivalent in size to the oversupply that triggered the biggest oil industry downturn in a generation over the past three years, according to research from Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think tank, published Thursday. A similar 10 percent loss of market share caused the collapse of the U.S. coal mining industry and wiped more than a 100 billion euros ($108 billion) off the value of European utilities from 2008 to 2013, the report said. Major oil companies are waking up to the potential disruption plug-in […]

U.S. Enjoys First-Ever Oil Trade Surplus With Latin America

1 Feb 2017   exports

The U.S. for the first time is pushing more crude and refined petroleum products into Latin America than it brings back, signaling a change in the global trade map that could be tested if President Donald Trump introduces border taxes. The scales tipped in favor of the U.S. in October, when it recorded a surplus of 89,000 barrels a day of petroleum, the first gain for the U.S. since records began in 1993, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In November, the surplus grew to 184,000 barrels a day, the EIA said Tuesday. That compares to a 4.3 million barrel deficit in 2005. The change comes as Latin America, led by Mexico, is importing unusually large amounts of gasoline as aging refineries fail to keep up with soaring demand. At the same time, the region’s output of heavy crude, once a staple for U.S. refiners, is declining just […]

BP: Global Energy Demand to Grow by a Third

27 Jan 2017   Energy Demand

Global energy demand will grow by around a third, driven by a burgeoning Asian middle-class, according to BP’s latest energy outlook. “Global demand grows by around a third in the base case, with virtually all of this increase consumed by fast growing emerging economies,” Spencer Dale, BP’s group chief economist, said. In terms of the fuels meeting this increased demand, BP’s outlook points to a continuing shift in the fuel mix, with non-fossil fuels providing half of the increase in primary energy, Dale said. “Even so, oil and gas, together with coal, continue to meet the majority of the world’s energy needs, accounting for more than three quarters of total energy supply in 2035,” he added. Natural gas is also expected to grow more quickly than either oil or coal, overtaking coal to be the second largest fuel source by 2035. BP’s Energy Outlook sets out a base case […]

As Oil Prices Climb, China and India Curb Their Enthusiasm for Reserves

23 Jan 2017   China, Energy Demand

The world’s oil producers are counting on a production cut to boost crude prices, but a slowdown in stockpiling by China’s and India’s governments could offer obstacles to that plan. For years, the governments of emerging oil consumers like China and India have been stockpiling crude, looking to build buffers like those long held by the U.S. and other developed countries. These stockpiling efforts have been important—if…

Will the US Really Be a Major Energy Exporter?

17 Jan 2017   exports, USA

The analytical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy now says the United States will become a major energy exporter in a few years. Will this eventually prove to have been an accurate prediction? The forecast is contained in the Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) for 2017 , released on January 5th. In the publication’s Reference Case scenario, America is energy self-sufficient by 2026 and a net exporter thereafter. Prominent news organizations have understandably reported the EIA forecast uncritically: after all, to question it might seem to require independent and sophisticated data analysis. Nevertheless, it should be noted that past AEO reports have erred, often spectacularly. A recent peer-reviewed study examined 630 renewable energy forecasts by the EIA between 2004 and 2014 and found that most sharply under-estimated solar/wind generation or capacity growth, and that the inaccuracy of forecasts has actually worsened in recent years. EIA’s […]

China, Europe drive shift to electric cars as U.S. lags

16 Jan 2017   Electric Cars

Electric cars will pick up critical momentum in 2017, many in the auto industry believe – just not in North America. Tighter emissions rules in China and Europe leave global carmakers and some consumers with little choice but to embrace plug-in vehicles, fuelling an investment surge, said industry executives gathered in Detroit this past week for the city’s annual auto show. “Car electrification is an irreversible trend,” said Jacques Aschenbroich, chief executive of auto supplier Valeo ( VLOF.PA ), which has expanded sales by 50 percent in five years with a focus on electric, hybrid, connected and self-driving cars. In Europe, green cars benefit increasingly from subsidies, tax breaks and other perks, while combustion engines face mounting penalties including driving and parking restrictions. China, struggling […]

Lithium Prices Set To Jump As Tesla Doubles Global Battery Production

9 Jan 2017   Electric Cars

Tesla fired up the gigafactory in the first week of 2017, which could mark a turning point for the energy storage industry. The gigafactory in Nevada will begin mass production of lithium-ion batteries for the use in both Tesla’s Model 3 electric vehicle as well as its energy storage systems. Tesla, and its partner in the gigafactory, Panasonic, plan on hiring 4,000 people to work at the factory in 2017. By 2018, Tesla predicts that it will be churning out 35 gigawatts of lithium-ion batteries per ear, equivalent to what the rest of the world produces combined. In other words, this single factory will lead to a doubling of global battery production capacity next year. Up until now, battery production has been dominated by companies outside the United States. An estimated 88 percent of battery production in 2015 was located in China, South Korea and Japan, dominated by companies […]

EIA: US On Track To Export More Energy than It Imports by 2026

6 Jan 2017   exports, USA

One year after Congress lifted a ban on US oil exports, the federal Energy Information Administration finds the nation is set to become a net energy exporter. A net energy importer for more than 60 years, the United States is poised to flip that trend and become a net exporter by 2026, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its Annual Energy Outlook 2017, the agency said declining petroleum imports coupled with an increase in natural gas exports is driving the change. That’s based on eight reference cases that model a variety of pricing, technological and economic factors. In most of those cases, U.S. production is likely to decline in the 2030s, which will slow or reverse energy export growth, EIA said. “EIA’s projections show how advances in technology are driving oil and natural gas production, renewables penetration, and demand-side efficiencies and reshaping the energy future,” EIA […]

US ports prime themselves for expected uptick in petchem exports

5 Jan 2017   exports

The world’s second-largest petrochemical port in Houston may command 75% of all US polyethylene exports, but expected growth in international shipments as a slew of new ethane crackers and associated derivative units start coming online this year has US ports a thousand miles or more away gearing up to nab a piece of the action. Last month Georgia’s Port of Savannah increased its ship-to-shore crane total to 26 — one more than the 25 at the Port of Houston’s Bayport and Barbour’s Cut terminals — with the arrival of four new post-Panamax cranes that cost about $15 million each. Resin packagers and distributors, such as New Jersey-based A&R Bulk-Pak and Mobile, Alabama-based SeaPac Inc., are setting up operations at or near the Port of Charleston in South Carolina. The Port of New Orleans also is adding post-Panamax cranes, resin packaging capacity and taking empty containers from Memphis shipped via […]

US gasoline exports to Mexico hit record high on refinery issues, strong demand

31 Dec 2016   exports, Mexico, USA

Mexico’s record-low refinery production and growing consumer demand helped push US gasoline exports there to a new high in October, a trend that has boosted prices in both countries. Gasoline exports to Mexico climbed 1.86 million barrels to 12.08 million barrels in October, according to US Energy Information Administration data released Friday, the highest total since that data started being tracked in 1993. The previous peak was 11.42 million barrels in December 2010. Mexico is by far the largest importer of US gasoline, taking in 45.8% of the 177.4 million barrels of finished gasoline the US exported through October of this year. That export demand has pushed prices to unseasonably strong levels in the US Gulf Coast, which typically sees demand weaken during the fall and winter months. The outright price for Gulf Coast pipeline-delivered conventional gasoline was assessed at $1.7098/gal Thursday, its highest price since August 18, 2015. […]

Electric Cars: Still Unpopular with Buyers and Unprofitable for Sellers

29 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

Tesla, which sells only electric vehicles, has posted a net loss of $550 million so… The car of the future will be electric, connected and, eventually, self-driving. But where does that leave the car industry of the future? In a series of articles this month, Heard on the Street takes a look at how investors should approach the biggest technological disruption the car industry has faced in decades. A new generation of long-range, affordably priced electric cars is about to hit the market, showing that auto makers can produce alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles. What auto makers haven’t shown is that they can actually sell these vehicles and earn real profits. That will be the test in 2017 for General Motors , which has begun selling its all-electric Bolt, and Tesla Motors , which says it will begin building its Model 3 later in the year. Both will be priced […]

Could Santa’s Sleigh Go Electric?

26 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

Indeed, it’s time to give Santa’s reindeer a break, so this year, rumor has it, they’re just along for the ride as Santa goes electric, pleasing both the animal welfare watchdogs and environmentalists who would be keen to see this go down with a minimal carbon footprint. And what better year than 2016, when electric vehicle poster boy Elon Musk, of Tesla Motors Inc., is being wooed by President-elect Donald Trump. It would seem almost inevitable that Santa would go electric, now that electric vehicles are preparing to enter the mainstream in a very big way. But every major transition like this comes along with its challenges, so this is what is in store for Santa as he purportedly prepares for his first magical magic-less around-the-world sleigh ride, powered by lithium-ion batteries. The Charging Challenge Santa will still need to bring his reindeer along for back-up—so we’ll call this […]

Silicon Valley Dominating Self-Driving Tech? Motor City Says Not So Fast

23 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

FOR decades, automakers have been able to count on a fundamental fact of American life: You pretty much need a car to get around. But lately, novel technologies, including ride-hailing services like Uber and advances in self-driving cars, are creating new alternatives for commuting, shuttling children and going to the store — particularly in urban settings. There are also demographic and economic trends in play. Many younger Americans do not consider owning a car a goal or necessity — or a necessary expense. So carmakers are looking ahead to a day when the automobile plays a smaller role, or even no role at all, in many people’s daily routines. “The historical model is you buy a car and it’s in your garage most of the time,” said Glen DeVos, vice president for engineering and services at Delphi Automotive , a big developer and supplier of automobile technology. “It’s the […]

Oil Consumption Is Immune To A Transport Transformation

23 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

96 percent of new vehicle sales in 2016 featured combustion engines The implementation of electric vehicles and ride-sharing may have long-term effects on oil demand, but the speed at which changes to the vehicle fleet takes place are likely to ensure that it happens at a slow pace, according to a report by IHS Markit. While IHS and many other prevailing long-term global energy forecasts expect oil demand to continue to grow over the next two decades, the potential for disruptive changes to transportation—a sector that accounted for half of the 96 MMBOPD of oil consumed globally in 2016—have added a level of uncertainty, according to IHS Canadian Oil Sands Dialogue report. Transportation sector changes: peak oil demand, or just a beginning? The report says that the potential proliferation of increasingly stringent vehicle ownership and use policies, changes in consumer behavior, new technologies and the pace of economic growth, […]

The Highly Charged Way to Play Electric Cars

21 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

The financial spotlight is on the auto companies that will produce electric cars, especially on… The next automotive revolution will be electric, or so they say. The financial spotlight is on the car companies that will produce them, and especially on pioneer Tesla Motors , but are investors getting things wrong? Isn’t there equal or perhaps far greater value in enabling electric vehicles? Today internal combustion or diesel engines still power almost everything that moves on the road. Making that possible are 150,000 gas stations in the U.S. alone that dispensed more than $300 billion of motor fuels last year. The nation’s largest oil company, Exxon Mobil —just one of many and a midget in global terms—is worth seven times as much as its biggest car company, General Motors . By contrast, even with its vehicles comprising well under half of 1% of light vehicle sales this year, Tesla […]

Electric vehicle market footprint growing

10 Dec 2016   Electric Cars

 Europe and China are expected to dominate the consumer electric vehicle market as the footprint grows into double-digit percent, a market report finds. “Significant advances in battery technology, financial support from governments, regulations and values of millennials will be key factors leading to increases in electric vehicle adoption,” Jim Burkhard, a energy research for IHS Markit, said in an emailed statement. IHS finds that, with the right policies in place, electric vehicles could account for at least 15 percent of total new vehicle sales by 2040. The report finds the current market share is about 1 percent, but up more than 1000 percent in terms of sales in the six years ending this year. New Zealand was among the most recent movers on the incentive front, forming a special counsel tasked with accelerating the deployment of electric vehicles on the road this summer The […]