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Discussion in 'Energy & Fuel' started by Harry Havens, Jun 28, 2017.
How do you gentlemen feel about nuclear power plants?
I personally, have no qualms or problems. Having said that, consider this...
Why nuclear power will never supply the world's energy needs
So it's a lot more complicated than you would think. How about "Clean coal technology"?
I am suspicious of its economic viability. A large part of its business model and electric costs per kW was based on using carbon capture to push out more crude oil in wells where output was dwindling and oil was still fetching $100+ per barrel. Considering the government grants, etc., I tend to believe it might not make the grade as a stand alone process, unless crude prices get back to levels of the business model. In other words, I don't think it is currently competitive with all the other options.
They are saying that gas prices will go up because of Hurricane Harvey. I guess I better go to town and fill my car gas tank up.
This is quite a disaster unfolding in Texas, as Tropical Storm and higher sticks around that area for at least 5 days.
The spaghetti models all seem to agree...
The odds are it drops to T.S. status quickly after landfall, but there is a substantial risk of lingering as a category one hurricane, for a few days...
Whether tropical storm or hurricane, it will linger for at least 5 days and relief efforts will be hampered until it clears out. A large metropolitan area will be on its own til labor day weekend. That's a week away.
I can't imagine the prices falling, so it would be a safe bet, in my opinion. It's hard to get a grip on prices, as they have not moved in my area. But they had jumped earlier in the week and had nothing to do with Harvey. The futures market seems to be easing back, but they are all trading in September and beyond deliveries. What the current spot market is doing, is beyond me. We have to remember 5% of the U.S. is going to be hunkered down for several days. A good many other Americans will be at home watching the Weather Channel and ordering pizzas. Gasoline consumption could likely drop to offset the shut refineries. Monday will have people outside the affected region beginnig to resume their normal activities.
Currently gasoline inventories are at the upper level of the 5 year range...
The data also shows the U.S. gasoline inventory is 2.8m barrels below last year's record pace. However, inside that data, it will show The midwest and Gulf coast are nearly 8 million barrels above last year. So in theory, a typical hurricane churning in the Gulf and making landfall would move on the impact could be absorbed with that inventory. However, Harvey isn't typical... so who really knows?
You might recall reading about concerns about the eclipse on energy demand as it was summer and the eclipse was taking place during the heating time of the day. It didn't happen because people acted abnormally, by going outside and viewing the eclipse.
What will gasoline prices be? This article jumps around and makes some possible scenarios. I didn't bother to review the 2008 hurricanes, as that was the summer with $4+ per gallon of gasoline and surprisingly the price was falling through those events.
However 2005 might be similar...
Contrary to what the article stated, the price was already on the rise prior to Katrina and had risen 30¢. Katrina seems to have added another 35¢. They eased back about 25¢ prior to Rita, then jumped about 12¢ the week after.
The problem with using any of these case studies, is hurricanes typically make landfall and then move inland or across Florida, etc. That makes it exceptionally difficult to determine probabilities for Harvey. In any case, I filled up Wednesday and with the amount of driving we do, I am good for about a month. The price has still not changed from Friday at $2.189
There was a pipeline bust a while back in Alabama(?) Not sure now where it was but it supplies gas up the eastern coast. My son filled his truck up with gas. I went to fill mine up thirty minutes later and the price had jumped by 30¢.
It is hard to fathom gas prices in my area, when gas buddy says the prices are falling, my observation is they are staying the same and the local news is saying it has jumped 20¢ due to Harvey. It did jump early this week, but not because of Harvey. We'll just have to wait and see.
A flurry of reports attempting to set a number on gasoline price hikes due to Harvey. (Am I the only one that thinks of Steve Harvey's "Miss whatever it was" screwup, when Hurricane Harvey is mentioned. I probably am the only one that has noticed the initials being similar to someone I know.)
Hurricane Harvey expected to send gasoline prices higher at pump across US this weekend
Hurricane Harvey forces controlled shutdowns at Gulf Coast refineries
Here’s how much more you might pay for gasoline because of Hurricane Harvey
No one really knows for sure, but attempting to put a number on it does provide opportunities to write articles (and posts).
Getting real information about refinery status is harder than obtaining nuclear launch codes, imo. (Clinton probably wishes her email were as secure as refinery info.)
What do we know? A bunch of refineries in Texas may or may not have curtailed operations. Seaborne shipping does seem to be at a standstill. That last statement is most relevant, imo. We export an average of 650,000 barrels of gasoline per day. Nearly all of that is from the Gulf Coast, as that is why some of the refineries were built and/or expanded. True, we do import about 550,000 barrels of gasoline per day, but primarily the East and Left Coast. No small amount of that flows into the New England area.
With Gulf Coast shipping at a standstill, those exports are largely landlocked at this point in time. So the locations that were expecting those exports must now enter the same international market as New England and the left coast to buy gasoline. That would drive the price up. How much? Who knows for sure.
I think we can all see prices move up, but some might move up more than others. Which are the most susceptible based on inventory status?
Can't remember who or if anyone is in the Houston Area....
Virtually all the gauges around Houston are in major flood stage, with many above record levels. If the predictions are correct, the peak flooding is today, but appears to be 3 or 4 days before falling below the major flood stage.
That sounds like catastrophic flooding. The one at Buffalo Bayou is above the record.
Here is the latest from near @Ina I. Wonder
This is about 2' above the early morning predicted crest and after a couple hours of slow rate rise, appears the rate of rise is increasing.
I sure hope @Ina I. Wonder and her guests are OK. I hope she can check in and tell us.
A quick note on gasoline prices. Colonial Pipeline has shutdown one of the main suppliers of gasoline to the east coast. $3 gasoline for the national average is now a very real possibility and could stretch even higher in the coming days. The problem for the east coast would be twofold... low inventories to begin with and the traditional source of Europe is already taxed to supply current gasoline levels. Additional requirements will need to come from Asia. In the interim, gasoline from the excess inventories in the Midwest and Gulf Coast will need to be shipped by means other than pipeline. The transportation costs will be significantly higher than pipeline.
This is interesting info from the weather boards I frequent. Irma is well out in the Atlantic and is already a 2 or even 3. Jose hasn't yet formed in the gulf, but is considered likely. If Jose gets big, then it would push Irma northward and likely away from the eastern seaboard. Of course if Jose does get big, it will possibly follow near the same track as Harvey. On the other hand if Jose develops slowly or stalls, then Irma will push more westerly across the D.R. etc. and possibly Florida. NOTHING is certain at this point. It should be noted that we are very near peak hurricane season.
Colonial now says the pipeline will be up and running again this weekend. It is a long weekend, so that could mean Saturday or even Monday. Colonial also said it anticipated its specific refinery suppliers to be up and running as well. As for inbound crude oil, the Port of Houston is set to reopen this weekend as well. Port Arthur early next week. Probably why the futures market fell from 2.18 to current 1.72, which is about 14¢ above 8-21-2017 number. The issue going forward will be how many of the remaining refineries can get back up and running. It should be noted that some of these refineries had scheduled maintenance shutdowns coming up, as the summer driving season and peak demand was supposed to be in the rear view mirror.
The weekly “This Week In Crude Oil Report” was just released. There should be an article tomorrow, dealing with the specifics of Harvey.
The chart does not give a true picture of Harvey as some information on my chart is averaged over 4 weeks.
Crude Oil... Production was slowed by 5.6M barrels, largely due to platform shutdowns, shipping stoppages, etc. Crude Oil imports slowed a whopping 6.3M barrels, due to shipping, etc. Crude Exports stalled by about 5.4M barrels as well, so the net was -6.5M barrels, yet the inventory increased roughly 5M barrels. Deduct about 280K barrels that were released from the SPR and the net inventory was 4.73M barrels. Not surprising if refineries can't operate.
Refineries nationally operated at just 79.7% last week, with the Gulf region at 63.4%. The previous week had the nation's refiners at 96.6% and the gulf region at 96%. The 79.7% national is the lowest since Hurricane Rita in 2005.
Gasoline... Inventories fell about 3.2M barrels. Gasoline exports declined by 2M barrels. Gasoline imports fell by nearly the same amount. Gasoline supply is ahead of year ago levels of consumption, just not in the right places. Remember the Colonial pipeline was shut down for a few days and it supplied the east coast. The east coast supplies were a bit tight ahead of that and are now about right for mid winter consumption, especially in the mid and lower Atlantic.
The overall numbers indicate we have plenty of crude and gasoline/diesel, but burrowing down suggests that are potential shortages in some areas. It would be akin to having a water main in front of your house broken and being told the water towers are full. What good is that information to you?
It's been a long time since I posted any of these updates to this website.
What was once a glut in crude is rapidly dissipating as evidenced by the figures in Yellow at top of accompanying chart. While still at a decent 26.4 days of supply (Orange), the trend is obviously decreasing.
The Gold at the bottom indicates current estimated global supply. What is not listed, is that demand has now reached that level, so any increase in demand will erode the current surplus.
Global demand is expected to increase to 99.3 million barrels per day by end of this year. The supply did drop due to OPEC cuts, however, much of this was simply the Venezuelan oil industry nearing collapse. Also, Mexico's older fields have lost their punch and new fields are in short supply.
While the U.S oil production (Blue) has increased nearly 1.3 million bbls per day, the old nemesis is back... how to get it from the fields to the refineries. After all the changes in pipeline routing, it falls back on the old reliable railroad to haul the crude. Pipelines, depending on distance, cost about $1 per barrel, versus $5~$15 for railroad. Warren Buffett must have mixed emotions, as he does own Burlington Northern Santa Fe, but may be kicking himself over selling Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific. Yet he still owns one of the largest tank car makers in the U.S. in Union Tank Car.
Just think Keystone and now you know why it didn't happen.
It should also be noted, that refiners have a preference of various blends of crude inputs to optimize refinery throughput. All Light Tight Oil is a money loser. Blending with much heavier crudes can achieve optimum conditions. Hence the "oddity" of exports being up and imports also being up (Red).
Musk needs to hurry up with those Teslas, as they will be in dire need rather soon. Ford might also take a hit with their announced intentions. It will be interesting to watch how all this impacts the overall economy, imo.
All data is derived from the Energy Information Administration website and the International Energy Agency website. Information is reused with their permission. (Unlike some, I have noted, that have opted to use copyrighted material without apparent permission or attribution).
@Harry Havens "Why nuclear power will never supply the world's energy needs"
I missed this 10 months ago, and found it now to be well-written, and conceived. The final conclusion seemed in agreement with my contention that solar power generation, however it is achieved, whether photoelectric conversion directly, or heated medium, will become a viable contender in electric power production.
Already is. Frank
The latest This Week in Petroleum is out and here is my busy chart...
More Data Sources:
U.S. Imports & Exports
Stocks of Total Crude and Petroleum, Including SPR
Refiner Operable Capacity
With the crude supply at 23.5 days, the glut is all but officially over. Historically this time of year ranges 21.7~22.1 days. Gasoline stocks are up a bit, so some good news.
On the refinery front, it is time to start thinking hurricanes. The southern and eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean are ripe for hurricanes, but lacking a trigger. Sand and dust off the Sahara had tamped down the temps in the traditional breeding ground for Atlantic Hurricanes. The weatherboards claim this is now ending and the breeding ground is now starting to heat up.
For anyone interested in detailed global energy consumption, BP has released a report online that contains some seriously interesting information.
BP Statistical Review of World Energy June, 2018