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Lastest Energy News

Old 09-07-2006, 07:48 PM
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BP Optimistic for Normal Alaska Pipeline Production

Thursday , August 31, 2006 (Fox News)

PRUDHOE BAY, Alaska — BP officials are growing increasingly optimistic that Prudhoe Bay oil production may be returned to normal levels earlier than expected, believing a portion of the pipeline idled by corrosion concerns may be useable at least temporarily and that other sections can be bypassed.

The flow of oil from Prudhoe Bay has been cut in half to 200,000 barrels a day as BP prepares to replace 16 miles of pipeline after discovering extensive internal corrosion that resulted in spills in March and early August.

Oil deliveries resumed earlier this month through the western half of the pipeline system by bypassing the damaged sections of pipe. But the eastern section remains idled as BP conducts extensive tests to determine whether at least some of that pipe can be used.

"The idea that there was widespread corrosion simply was not correct," David Peattie, London-based BP PLC's (BP) vice president for exploration and production told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

He said the corrosion was isolated and that ultrasound tests now being conducted — foot-by-foot in some sections of pipe — are to determine how much of the shut down pipeline might be returned to service temporarily.

BP officials emphasized that any resumption of oil flow in the closed eastern section will depend upon whether the company can convince the federal Transportation Department that such a move can be made without risk of another spill.

"We are working together with them," Kemp Copeland, BP's Prudhoe Bay field manager, said Wednesday, referring to the Transportation Department. "Neither one of us wants to see another leak at Prudhoe Bay.

With three congressional hearings scheduled for early September on Prudhoe Bay chrosion, BP officials want to avoid any suggestion that they are playing down the extent of pipeline damage, or be perceived as wanting to return pipes to use prematurely.

But in briefings given Wednesday to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, who is on a three-day tour of North Slope oil facilities, and in separate interviews, BP officials clearly were optimistic that the pipeline system can be returned to normal production of 400,000 barrels a day, using a temporary fix.

The company still plans to begin work on replacing the 16 miles of pipe with new pipe early next year.

At the same time, BP is aggressively gathering test data along a five-mile stretch of the idle pipeline. BP engineers believe the tests will show the pipe is sound enough to resume use until the new system is completed. The three-mile section where extensive corrosion was discovered in early August would be bypassed using a nearby pipeline, the officials said.

BP officials took Kempthorne to the site of the most recent spill and to areas along another section of pipe that is undergoing intensive ultrasound testing to determine its integrity.

Copeland said that 2,700 ultrasound tests and an additional 4,000 tests using other technology have been done so far along the five miles of pipe officials hope to reopen and that the most severe degradation of pipe wall found so far has been 28 percent. By comparison, the wall loss was 78 percent or more in 16 areas of extensive corrosion near the August spill that prompted the August shutdown.

While Copeland and other BP officials cautioned that more testing needs to be done, they also said the results so far suggest strongly the pipe corrosion is not as widespread as some people had thought.

The final say on whether the eastern leg of the pipeline system can be reopened will be up to the Transportation Department, said spokesman Daren Beaudo of BP Alaska, the local subsidiary of the London-based parent company. But he added, "We're getting more and more confident that the tests will show some of the pipeline now shutdown will be deemed fi
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:49 PM
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This should help the fuel prices go down once they fix them.
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:54 PM
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U.S. Retail Gas Prices Hit 5-Month Low

Tuesday , September 05, 2006 (Fox News)

WASHINGTON, Calif. — U.S. retail gasoline prices hit a five-month low, with the cost at the pump falling 11.8 cents over the last week to an average $2.73 a gallon, the government said on Tuesday.

The national price for regular unleaded gasoline is down 34 cents from a year ago, according to the federal Energy Information Administration 's weekly survey of 800 service stations.

It was first time in a year that current pump prices were lower than 12 months earlier, but that was due to fuel costs jumping to a still-record $3.07 a gallon a year ago when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and disrupted petroleum supplies.

Gasoline is now at the lowest level since April 10 and has declined 27 cents a gallon in the last three weeks alone, the Energy Department's analytical arm said.

With the peak summer driving season now over and gasoline supplies plentiful, motor fuel prices are expected to keep falling.

Cheaper crude oil, which accounts for about half the cost of making gasoline, should also mean more price breaks at the pump for drivers.

Oil for delivery in October settled down 59 cents to $68.60 a barrel on Tuesday at the New York Mercantile Exchange,

Separately, the EIA said the price truckers paid for diesel fuel dropped 6 cents to $2.97 a gallon, up 7 cents from a year ago but the first time diesel fell below $3 in five weeks.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,...usiness/energy
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:57 PM
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Western Refining to Buy Giant Industries for $1.23 Billion

Monday , August 28, 2006 (Fox News)

EL PASO, Texas — Western Refining Inc. (WNR) said Monday it is buying Giant Industries Inc. (GNI) for $1.23 billion in cash, creating the fourth-largest publicly traded independent oil refiner in the United States.

The combined company will have the capacity to handle about 216,000 barrels per day from four refineries. That is about 84 percent more than Western's current capacity.

Western already has a refinery in El Paso, Texas, where it is based. The deal will give it an East Coast presence with a refinery in Yorktown, Va., and two refineries in northern New Mexico.

In addition to its refineries, Giant Industries, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., owns a crude oil gathering pipeline system based in Farmington, N.M., a fleet of crude oil and finished product truck transports and a chain of retail service station and convenience stores in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. It also is the parent company of Phoenix Fuel Co. Inc. and Dial Oil Co., both of which are wholesale petroleum products distributors.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, pending customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

Under the terms of the deal, Western Refining will pay $83 per share for Giant. That represents a 16 percent premium over Giant's share price of $71.79 at the close of trading Friday.

Western Refining will also assume $275 million in debt in the deal.

Western expects Giant to add to cash flow and per-share earnings immediately following closing.

Western plans to finance the deal with $250 million in existing cash and a $2 billion loan from Bank of America (BAC).

The company plans to continue paying a dividend of 4 cents a share each quarter.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,...usiness/energy
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:02 PM
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This one is older, but an interesting and humorous. You got to hand it to them. It's an original idea

Cow Manure Powering Hundreds of Vermont Homes

Friday , June 30, 2006 (Fox News)

BRIDPORT, Vt. — The cows at the Audet family's Blue Spruce Farm make nearly 9,000 gallons of milk a day — and about 35,000 gallons of manure.

It's long been the milk that pays, but now the Audets have figured out how to make the manure pay as well. They're using it — actually, the methane that comes from it — to generate electricity.

With the help of their power company, Central Vermont Public Service Corp., the Audets have devised a way to extract the methane from the manure and pipe it to a generator.

They make enough electricity to power 300 to 400 average Vermont homes. It's renewable energy, and they're not the only ones interested in it.

Four other Vermont farms now have similar projects in the planning or early construction stages, power company officials said.

The Audets "deserve to be congratulated. They're the pioneers among Vermont farmers," said Dave Dunn, a senior energy consultant with CVPS who worked with them on the cow power project.

Elsewhere in the country, farmers are using similar technology to make energy, said Corey Brickl, project manager with Wisconsin-based GHD Inc., which built a device that the Audets use to harvest the methane.

One in Washington uses tomato waste from a salsa factory and waste from a fish stick plant as fuel, Brickl said.

For the Audets, the electricity has created an important new income stream at a time when low wholesale milk prices have squeezed their margin. The utility pays 95 percent of the going New England wholesale power price for electricity from the Audets' generator.

In addition, the utility charges customers willing to pay it a 4-cents-per-kilowatt-hour premium for renewable energy and then turns the money over to the Audets.

So far, more than 3,000 CVPS customers have signed up to pay the premium to support the renewable energy effort.

The bottom line is more than $120,000 a year from electricity sales. When they add in other energy savings enabled by the project, the Audets expect their $1.2 million investment in project equipment to pay for itself in about seven years.

The program has piqued interest.

Marie Audet, who describes herself as a wife, bookkeeper and milker, has become a tour guide, showing people from the United States and a handful of other countries around the farm's cow power operation.

Managing the hundreds of milking Holsteins — as well as young stock — is a high-tech operation.

In their stalls, cows munch contentedly on a mix of hay and silage while they make an occasional contribution of fuel for the Audets' power plant.

An "alley scraper," which looks like a big squeegee on wheels, comes by to push their manure down the row and through grates to a conveyor belt below.

From there, the manure goes to an anaerobic — meaning oxygen-free — digester, a 100-foot-by-70-foot structure similar to a covered swimming pool built by Brickl's company.

The manure spends 20 or 21 days in the digester, being pushed slowly from one end to other as more is added.

Three products result: a liquid that contains enough nutrients that it can be used as fertilizer for the farm's feed crops; a dry, odor-free, fluffy brown substance that is used as bedding for the cows and some of which goes to a local firm that bags and sells it as fertilizer on the home-and-garden market; and methane.

The methane is piped into an adjacent shed that contains a big Caterpillar engine that powers the 200-kilowatt generator.

Audet said the farm was saving the $1,200 a week it formerly spent on sawdust bedding for the cows, as well as some of the cost of heating the milking barn. A study by agricultural scientists from the University of Vermont found that the bedding pro
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:25 PM
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BP Report: Key Job Vacant at Time of Pipeline Spill

Friday , September 08, 2006 (Fox News)

WASHINGTON — By the time a massive oil-pipeline spill was discovered in March on Alaska's North Slope, the job of BP's senior corrosion engineer had been left unfilled for more than a year, according to an internal company audit.

This vacancy, and others, hindered BP's (BP) ability to maintain a "strategic view" of its corrosion prevention activities, the audit found.

The audit also noted that BP Exploration Alaska Inc. had left vacant the top job in its pipeline-corrosion oversight division in Alaska for more than six months in 2005. That division, formally known as the Corrosion, Inspection and Chemicals Group, was headed until the end of 2004 by Richard C. Woollam, who on Thursday refused to testify under oath before a House subcommittee.

Despite Woollam's silence, lawmakers blasted other executives of the London-based oil giant on Thursday for pipeline maintenance lapses and sought explanations for what may have caused the March discharge of more than 200,000 gallons of oil in the Alaskan tundra.

In responding to lawmakers, Steve Marshall, the president of BP Exploration Alaska, said at one point during the hearing that Woollam's "abrasive nature" may have intimidated workers from raising questions about pipeline safety and integrity. Marshall refused to make a direct link between Woollam's behavior and what he admitted were "in hindsight" inadequate pipeline maintenance procedures on the North Slope.

Lost in that exchange with lawmakers, however, was the fact that after transferring Woollam to a non-supervisory job in Houston in January 2005, the company did not fill the vacancy he left until July of that year.

As of June 2006, when the internal audit was completed, BP still hadn't filled the vacancy left by its former senior corrosion engineer. A BP spokesman could not immediately say whether that position has been filled yet.

The audit said BP Exploration Alaska's "operations integrity" position was also vacant as of June, and it noted that the leader of its "maintenance and reliability team" was "fairly new" to the job.

"Such factors reduce the capacity of the teams to take a broader strategic view of the corrosion management programme," the audit concluded.

The audit was conducted by a team of BP PLC employees that were led by John Baxter, the company's director of engineering.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,212982,00.html
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Old 09-09-2006, 09:22 AM
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http://www.discover.com/issues/apr-0.../anything-oil/

Anything Into Oil
Turkey guts, junked car parts, and even raw sewage go in one end of this plant, and black gold comes out the other end.

The smell is a mélange of midsummer corpse with fried-liver overtones and a distinct fecal note. It comes from the worst stuff in the world—turkey slaughterhouse waste. Rotting heads, gnarled feet, slimy intestines, and lungs swollen with putrid gases have been trucked here from a local Butterball packager and dumped into an 80-foot-long hopper with a sickening glorp. In about 20 minutes, the awful mess disappears into the workings of the thermal conversion process plant in Carthage, Missouri.

Two hours later a much cleaner truck—an oil carrier—pulls up to the other end of the plant, and the driver attaches a hose to the truck's intake valve. One hundred fifty barrels of fuel oil, worth $12,600 wholesale, gush into the truck, headed for an oil company that will blend it with heavier fossil-fuel oils to upgrade the stock. Three tanker trucks arrive here on peak production days, loading up with 500 barrels of oil made from 270 tons of turkey guts and 20 tons of pig fat. Most of what cannot be converted into fuel oil becomes high-grade fertilizer; the rest is water clean enough to discharge into a municipal wastewater system.

For Brian Appel—and, maybe, for an energy-hungry world—it's a dream come true, better than turning straw into gold. The thermal conversion process can take material more plentiful and troublesome than straw—slaughterhouse waste, municipal sewage, old tires, mixed plastics, virtually all the wretched detritus of modern life—and make it something the world needs much more than gold: high-quality oil....

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Old 09-09-2006, 09:29 AM
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This is starting to sound like Soylent Green?

I'll let you figure out what I am talking about.

Good luck.
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:04 PM
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LOL!!! Before you know it they will try to convence people to give their corpuses to energy instead of to science.
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:36 PM
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Oil Drops on OPEC Production Decision

Monday , September 11, 2006 (Fox News)

NEW YORK — Oil prices fell on Monday after OPEC agreed to keep pumping at high rates to ensure world consumers were well-supplied despite a 20 percent slide in prices since mid-July.

U.S. light crude for October delivery settled down 64 cents at $65.61 a barrel, rebounding from an intraday low of $64.85, the lowest since March 28. London Brent crude fell 78 cents to $64.55 a barrel.

Iran's offer to halt temporarily its atomic work also pressured the market, as did robust fuel stocks and a sluggish hurricane season. Oil's six-day fall is its longest losing streak in nearly three years.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided Monday to keep current production limits unchanged at 28 million barrels per day, but left the door open to a supply cut before the end of the year.

"There is no need to cut now but if there is a deterioration in the global economy and prices fall quickly, then we will need a meeting before December," Algerian Energy and Mining Minister Chakib Khelil told Reuters after Monday's talks.

For a year, OPEC has been pumping close to its fastest rate for 25 years to guard against price shocks and ease pressure on consumer economies. But forecasts that demand for OPEC oil will decline in 2007 are beginning to worry some in the group that pumps a third of the world's oil.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi, OPEC's most influential voice, sought to calm those fears, saying oil demand would remain healthy next year.

"Market fundamentals are very sound," he told reporters. "We are beginning to see a slight decrease in economic growth, very slight ... It is nothing alarming."

Some analysts predicted that prices have peaked.

"Although risks remain, we now think that the $80 peak we had called is indeed the peak and that the ebb of crude oil and refined products prices has started," said Morgan Stanley in a research note.

IRAN PRESSURE

Oil's losses came amid a wider fall in commodity prices, led by gold and copper as fund selling picked up pace and investors weighed the longer-term prospects for the asset class.

Big money funds piled into energy and commodities markets in recent years to take advantage of surging prices. Experts said oil prices could fall another $10 before finding a new floor.

"We're probably in the camp that this is a correction down to $55-$60 level and don't see it as an end to the energy bull market," said Erik Simpson of the Vantage Energy Hedge Fund.

"Our view is that overall demand is remaining at reasonable enough levels that the demand relative to supply equation remains tight."

Monday's bearish sentiment was exacerbated on cautious optimism over Iran's nuclear dispute with the West.

Iran, seeking to stave off sanctions, could be willing to suspend uranium enrichment during any new talks with world powers over its nuclear program, an EU diplomat said on Monday.

"When negotiations are under way, Iran would suspend its program during the negotiations. People estimate the negotiations would take two to three months," the diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

But it was unclear if Iran would meet the Western demand it suspend enrichment before the start of any talks on trade incentives aimed at ending the nuclear stand-off.

The United States said on Monday it still aimed to seek U.N. sanctions against Iran this month.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,213296,00.html
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