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Automakers to gearheads: Stop repairing cars

autoblog -- Automakers are supporting provisions in copyright law that could prohibit home mechanics and car enthusiasts from repairing and modifying their own vehicles.

In comments filed with a federal agency that will determine whether tinkering with a car constitutes a copyright violation, OEMs and their main lobbying organization say cars have become too complex and dangerous for consumers and third parties to handle.

Allowing them to continue to fix their cars has become "legally problematic," according to a written statement from the Auto Alliance, the main lobbying arm of automakers.
 (go to article)

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Do You Really Know Where Your Gasoline Comes From?

AOL money and finance -- Do you know where the gasoline you use every day comes from?

Most people probably think most of the country's gasoline comes from Saudi Arabia or maybe Iraq. Maybe you know about the shale plays in North Dakota or Texas that have also been growing domestic production. But "foreign oil" still accounts for most of the gasoline you use, right? The answer may surprise you.

Most Gasoline Comes From Our Own Backyard

As recently as 2005, 60.3 percent of the oil consumed in the U.S. each year came from foreign suppliers. We were literally dependent on foreign oil to fuel our economy, but that picture has changed rapidly in the last decade.

In 2014, the U.S. imported just 26.5 percent of the net oil it consumed -- and there's now so much oil that there are calls for opening up exports t  (go to article)

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Iran wants OPEC to pave way for its extra oil production when sanctions lifted

Yahoo -- Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) should prepare for extra Iranian crude production when Western sanctions on Tehran are lifted, Iran's oil minister was quoted on Tuesday by state news agency IRNA as saying.

"We expect the members of OPEC to pave the ground for (an) increase of Iran's oil production that will reach global markets when sanctions are lifted," Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said during a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Asdrubal Chavez in Tehran, the agency reported.

Iran, once OPEC's second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia, hopes to boost crude exports by as much as 1 million barrels per day (bpd) if Tehran and six major powers finalize a nuclear agreement by a June 30 deadline.

Sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United  (go to article)

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$134M proposed for 10 BP-funded oil spill recovery projects

Janet Mcconnaughey and Jeff Amy | The Associated Press -- JACKSON, Miss. — State and federal officials overseeing $1 billion provided by BP PLC to spur recovery from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill said Monday that they’re proposing another 10 projects totaling $134 million.
About $700 million to repair environmental damage and enhance recreational access has been allocated previously, although some of that work has yet to begin.
 (go to article)

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Wall Street bets on oil price rally

USA Today -- If the whims of speculators are anything to go by, then oil markets are poised for a rebound.

Data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission show that bullish positions on WTI have reached their highest levels in eight months. Speculators make bets on the price of crude – long or short – depending on where they think prices are heading. Not since the end of the summer in 2014 have so many investors put money on the line, betting on a price rise.

Obviously, elite investors are not always right. Few saw the bust coming. But the mounting belief that the worst is over for oil provides a bit of evidence that prices could be on the mend.
That is also reflected in lending and equity positions in actual oil companies. Sensing a massive opportunity to buy up valuable assets on the cheap, big  (go to article)

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Baker Hughes increases layoffs to 10,500

Fuel Fix / Houston Chronicle -- HOUSTON — Oil field service company Baker Hughes says it has decided to increase its job cuts to 10,500 workers, about 17 percent of its workforce, as it works through a slump in North American drilling.  (go to article)

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California State Senator Jim Beall's SB 16 Paves the Way for California's Roads and Bridges by Raisi

Sierra Sun Times -- The state’s failure to keep pace with repairs is due to several factors, including the diversion of road maintenance revenues for other uses and the failure of the gas tax revenue, a key source of funding for repairs, to keep pace with the mounting maintenance costs. The gas tax revenue has dwindled over the years due to the proliferation of fuel-efficient vehicles and all-electric cars, which do not contribute to the gas tax. The tax also has not been adjusted for inflation since 1994.

Under SB 16 everyone who uses the roads will share in paying for the cost of these essential repairs. The bill is projected to raise $3 billion or more annually over its five-year life, which allows time for the state to work out a long-term funding solution.  (go to article)

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Oil plunge to dim sparkle of Canada’s first balanced budget in 7 years

Reuters -OTTAWA -- WA — The dive in oil prices last year means the budget that Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver delivers on Tuesday will contain fewer big treats for voters in October’s election than the Conservative government had hoped.

When Oliver releases a fiscal plan at about 4PM that will end a 7-year run of deficits just in time for October elections, as the governing Conservatives prepare to run on their reputation as fiscally responsible tax-cutters.

The Conservatives, seeking a rare 4th consecutive election win, had initially forecast a $6.4B budget surplus for the 2015-16 fiscal year and made no secret that they would put forward some hefty tax cuts.

But oil is a major Canadian export and with oil prices roughly halving between June 2014 and January 2015, government revenues were cut so he  (go to article)

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Fuels Institute expects further decline in gasoline usage; increase in hydrogen

GasBuddy Blog --
forbes.comDescribing Millennials and the even younger Generation Z consumers  as having “low drive” isn’t a swipe at their motivational level – it’s more about how little they will be getting behind the wheel. 
Highlighting the trends behind the evolving fuels landscape, John Eichberger, executive director of the Fuels Institute and vice president of government operations at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), says that fuel demand in general is down 4%, and he cited data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) with projections putting demand down 22% by 2030. “That’s one out of every four fill-ups that will be gone,” he said. ...  (go to article)

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El Pasoans say they'll fight fracking

EL PASO-KTSM -- "There seems to be an air of amnesia in the house of representatives who passed bills just on Friday which ban fracking bans, stripping municipalities of any voice or authority in our decision making process regarding the ground beneath our feet," said Cemelli DeAztlan, El Paso Equal Voice Network.

House bill 40, also known as the Denton Fracking Bill, says that cities don't have the right to ban fracking in their community. Instead, the laws regarding fracking would be made by the state. It's a decision that has many El Pasoans worried.

"Something as fundamental to our well being as our water supply really cant be left in the hands of people who live a thousand miles away from this community," said Aurolyn Luykx, an Anthropology Professor at UTEP who came to Commissioners Court to voi..  (go to article)

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Activists want city, county to take a stand against fracking

ABC-7 -- Local residents want the county and the city to take a stand against fracking near El Paso. But this comes as some state lawmakers work to strip local governments of the power to stop fracking.

Torch Light Energy Company recently began drilling test wells on land, which the UT system has leased to the company for fracking miles outside of east El Paso.

Last Friday, the Texas House passed House Bill 40, which would prohibit cities from banning fracking. In Denton, for example, residents voted to ban fracking in their city.
Many lawmakers want to make sure no other city follows those steps.

Fracking is when oil companies extract natural gas from deep in the earth. They do this by drilling deep into the ground and releasing up to 7 million gallons of water with hundreds of chemicals....  (go to article)

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Big Oil Wants You to Help End U.S. Export Ban

Bloomberg -- In a quest to overturn the decades-old restrictions on exporting American crude, the oil industry is seeking the help of an unlikely ally: consumers.

ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Officer Ryan Lance wants to convince the public that allowing exports would actually help push U.S. gasoline prices down.

Existing policy hurts consumers because, while it keeps U.S. oil prices lower than the global crude benchmark, it doesn’t do much to pass that savings on at the pump, he said. Instead, refiners capable of processing the oil produced by the shale boom profit from lower prices, and then can sell their refined products overseas.

“The ban on exports is anti-consumer,” Lance told reporters after giving a speech at the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston. The industry “needs to educate people  (go to article)

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Oil up on drop in U.S. crude stockpiles, Middle East tensions

REUTERS -- Oil prices ended in positive territory on Monday after a drop in stockpiles at the delivery point for U.S. crude in the second half of last week outweighed pressure from near record high production in Saudi Arabia.

Tensions after the dispatch of U.S. Navy ships to waters near Yemen and an alert issued by Saudi Arabia for a possible militant attack also put a floor beneath U.K. North Sea Brent and U.S. crude prices traders said..

Brent the more widely-referenced benchmark, settled flat at $63.45 a barrel, after falling more than $1 earlier in the session.

U.S. crude finished up 64 cents at $56.38, after swinging in a band of more than $2.

"There were certainly competing influences with the U.S. crude draw inspiring the bulls while the bears pounced on the record high Saudi output,"...  (go to article)

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Rebound of oil pushes up gasoline prices in Pittsburgh area

TRIBLIVE -- Gasoline prices rose 7 cents over the past week in the Pittsburgh area, hitting an average of $2.62 per gallon as oil prices continue to creep up.

The national average has increased 6.6 cents per gallon in the past week to $2.45 per gallon, according to online analyst GasBuddy.com. Prices remain $1.09 per gallon lower than a year ago in Western Pennsylvania, according to GasBuddy's survey of 731 Pittsburgh area stations.

All 50 states experienced pump price increases, said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy. The average hike was 10 cents, he said.

“Oil prices saw notable gains last week, rising to new 2015 highs,” he said. “That translated into some hefty gasoline price increases in some states. The largest price increases were witnessed in the Northeast and East, with  (go to article)

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Crude steady; US inventories seen up again

CNBC -- U.S. crude futures held steady on Tuesday as a drop in stockpiles at a key U.S. delivery point offset near record high production in Saudi Arabia and an expected build in U.S. oil inventories.

NYMEX crude for May delivery, which expires later in the day, was down 4 cents at $56.34 a barrel by 0000 GMT, after settling up 64 cents at $56.38 on Monday.
Crude prices have risen around 18 percent since the start of April, on speculation about falling U.S. output after the domestic oil rig count hit 2010 lows.

London Brent crude for June delivery was up 1 cent at $63.46, after settling flat on Monday.

Oil services firm Genscape reported a drop of more than 900,000 barrels at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for U.S. crude between Tuesday and Friday last week, market sources who saw the dat  (go to article)

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Ryan Lance at CERAWeek: Production cuts now could lead to big price swings later

Fuel Fix -- Even if oil prices rebound, volatility is here to stay, ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance predicted Monday.

Companies that are deferring drilling and well completions — in hopes of producing oil into a higher-priced market — may widen those swings if they swiftly restart that activity once prices climb again, Lance suggested at the IHS Energy CERAWeek conference.

“If they get a price signal that a high price is coming back . . . you’ll see more supply come back on and that certainly has the opportunity to exacerbate the problem, depending on where the demand is at,” Lance told reporters.

“As we look forward over the next few years, we see a more volatile world,” Lance added. “If 80 or 90 dollars is coming back, there’s a good chance of 50 and 60 dollars coming back as well.”

The oil price  (go to article)

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Canada’s GHG emissions rose in 2013, leaving little room to meet 2020 targe

The Globe and Mail - OTTAWA -- Canada’s GHG emissions rose in 2013, propelled by higher oil and gas production, Environment Canada said in a report to the UN that suggests the country has little hope of meeting its international commitments.

Ministers in the Conservative government have frequently touted the fact that the production of GHGs has declined since 2005, but that decrease reflects the steep losses during the 2008-09 recession.

The report released Monday shows that Canada’s annual GHG emissions rose by 1.5% in 2013, and were up 4% between 2009 and 2013 to a level nearly 20% above Ottawa’s 2020 target. The country’s production of GHG rose by 27 Mt between 2009 and 2013.

The oil sands were the country’s fastest-growing source of emissions between 2005 and 2013, though still far lower than transportation or th  (go to article)

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Halliburton cuts 9,000 jobs as oil slump takes toll

FuelFix -- Halliburton has cut 9,000 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of this year amid crashing oil prices, and will likely have to lay off more employees by the end of June, the firm’s interim chief financial officer told investors Monday.

Those 9,000 jobs represent more than 10 percent of the oil field service company’s global workforce, said Christian Garcia, interim CFO for the firm, during a quarterly conference call. It comes a few days after Schlumberger announced it would cut up to 20,000 workers and it bumps up its previously disclosed job cuts up from 6,400.

It absorbed $823 million in asset impairments and other charges as the energy slump forced it to write down the value of its oil equipment and record severance costs related to layoffs.
 (go to article)

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If you think oil’s going up, then you’re better off not buying it

Bloomberg News -- Oil bulls may be better off buying stocks and currencies, according to Societe Generale SA.

While U.S. crude has jumped 27% from a 6-year low in March, returns are being eroded by a market structure called contango, whereby contracts for delivery in coming weeks are lower than later ones. Investors wanting to bet on prices rising need to sell the cheaper, expiring contracts at the end of each month and buy more expensive futures, reducing gains because of what’s known as a negative roll yield.

Bullish investors can avoid this conundrum by instead buying a combination of oil-related equities and currencies including the Canadian dollar or Mexican peso, according to the French bank, which forecasts crude will continue to advance this year as U.S. production slows and demand accelerates.  (go to article)

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10-Cent Gas Tax Increase Proposed for Road Maintenance in California

Planetizen -- The Golden State is long overdue for an increase in the gas tax. The last time the tax was increased was after Californians voted to increase it after they approved Proposition 111 in June, 1990, doubling the 9-cents excise tax over a five-year period. As Sen. Beall states, the ten cents is meant to compensate for "the decline in value lost to inflation" since 1994.  (go to article)

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Natural Gas Prices Drop on Increasing Inventory Data

Yahoo Finance -- Natural gas price action
Below is our natural gas price fundamental analysis. For an in-depth look at natural gas and related companies, sectors, and drivers, please refer to our Energy and Power page.

Natural gas futures for May delivery declined by 1.86%—led by warm weather estimates and rising inventory. Prices closed at $2.63 per MMBtu (British thermal units in millions) on Friday, April 17, 2015. The United States Natural Gas Fund LP ETF (UNG) tracks natural gas prices. UNG also declined by 1.63% and closed at $13.24 on Friday’s closing.Last week, the EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) reported that weekly natural gas in storage rose by 63 Bcf (billion cubic feet) on April 16. This was the highest weekly inventory increase since November 6, 2014.  (go to article)

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US oil export ban is 'sanction against ourselves': Murkowski

CNBC -- Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska plans to offer energy legislation this year that would lift the ban on U.S. oil exports, in place since the 1970s.
"If the U.S. intends to lift sanctions on Iranian oil, restrictions should be lifted on U.S. oil," Murkowski, a Republican who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said at the IHS CERAWeek conference on Monday in Houston.

She said that with the Obama administration's deal on Iran's nuclear program, 1 million barrels a day of Iranian crude would ultimately be back on the market. "This equates to a sanctions regime against ourselves," she said. "It is time to lift America's ban on oil exports," Murkowski, who also calls for more drilling on federal land, said. "This year should be the year of legislation," she said.
As oil pri  (go to article)

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Battered Caretakers of the Oil Patch are Ready to Rise Again, If Only Oil Would Do the Same

Associated Press -- While Americans have cheered tumbling prices at the pump, the companies that work the fields that draw the oil that eventually becomes gasoline have been caught in a vicious price squeeze.

After thousands of job and cost cuts, however, there are signs that oilfield service companies may have weathered the worst of the storm even as major oil companies continue to pare back spending.
 (go to article)

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Toronto man gets second chance to prove he chugged mickey of Fireball Whisky after he caused massive

National Post -- Like many self-described alcoholics, Danny Kahl had a routine. Each time he arrived at a Toronto jail to serve a weekend toward his intermittent sentence, he would park his car and chug a mickey of Fireball Whisky, a cinnamon flavoured schnapps of 33% alcohol, originally marketed as “Dr. McGillicuddy’s.” He believed the cinnamon would mask the liquor on his breath, and because the booze would take a few minutes to reach his brain, the guards would not realize their incoming inmate was drunk.
The gambit appears to have worked, risky though it was. As the Canadian maker of the drink describes its trademark odour: “just imagine what it feels like to stand face-to-face with a fire-breathing dragon who just ate a whisky barrel full of spicy cinnamon”
Kahl’s final weekend in custody was meant to  (go to article)

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MMA Railway and three ex employees have pleaded not guilty to 47 charges related to the Lac-Mégantic

Montreal Gazette -- Thomas Harding, Richard Labrie and Jean Demaître have been charged as well as their former employer Montreal, Maine and Atlantic.

The parties will appear in court Sept. 8 to set a trial date. On July 6, 2013, a runaway MMA train carrying volatile crude oil derailed in Lac-Mégantic, set off huge fireballs and wiped out much of the town core. The disaster killed 47 people.

More to come.
 (go to article)

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OPEC Says U.S. Oil Boom Will End This Year

Time -- OPEC says the demand for oil – its oil – will rise during 2015 because the cartel is winning its price war against U.S. shale producers by driving them out of business.

“Higher global refinery runs, driven by increased [summer] seasonal demand, along with the improvement in refinery margins, are likely to increase demand for crude oil over the coming months,” the cartel said in its Monthly Market Report, issued, April 16.

OPEC forecasts demand at an average of 29.27 million barrels per day in the first quarter 2015, a rise of 80,000 bpd from its previous prediction made in its March report. At the same time, it said, the cartel’s own total output will increase by only 680,000 barrels per day, less than the previous expectation of 850,000 barrels per day, due to lower U.S. and other non-O  (go to article)

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U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increase in past two years

EIA -- For the second year in a row, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States have increased. However, unlike 2013, when emissions and gross domestic product (GDP) grew at similar rates (2.5% and 2.2%, respectively), 2014's CO2 emissions growth rate of 0.7% was much smaller than the 2014 GDP growth rate of 2.4%.
Energy-related CO2 emissions are the largest component of overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. On March 31, 2015, the United States officially submitted its emissions-cutting target to the United Nations, committing to reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 26%-28% from 2005 levels by 2025. This follows President Obama's 2009 pledge to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
As discussed in a previous article, changes in CO2 emiss  (go to article)

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Murkowski to introduce bill to lift US export restrictions this year

Platts -- Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, a key congressional Republican, plans to introduce legislation later this year to repeal restrictions on US crude exports, but is also pressuring the Obama administration for exemptions to the current export regime which would allow export to global allies.

"If last year was the year of the report, this should be the year of legislation," Murkowski said in prepared remarks for her speech Monday at the annual IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston. "So I am announcing today -- right here, right now -- that I plan to introduce a bill that fully repeals our nation's outdated export ban, while still preserving the emergency authority of the president."

Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said it was unclear if the bill would be  (go to article)

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U. S. Steel to increase job cuts in Harris County

FuelFix -- U.S. Steel will cut more workers in Texas, the company said Monday, as the oil and gas supplier continues to scale back amid a slump in the industry.

U.S. Steel, which makes pipes used in oil and gas wells and in construction, told the Texas Workforce Commission it would start one new round of layoffs and increase the number of jobs cut in two previously announced layoffs.

The newly announced round of cuts will eliminate 200 workers from the U.S. Steel Harris County Offshore Operations facility, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

U.S. Steel’s tubular products division said it would cut 28 more jobs from its separate Harris County operations. Those cuts bring the total number of tubular products jobs cut to 198 workers...
 (go to article)

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Colorado's "Drive High, Get a DUI" message is shared at pot shops

GasBuddy Blog -- Image From ..consumerist.comNow that marijuana is legal in Colorado, state officials want to make sure that drivers know it’s not just alcohol that shouldn’t be with you behind the wheel, but pot as well. The state’s Department of Transportation is publicizing that message ahead of today's  April 20 celebrations in the state by way of a fake driving game installed at various dispensaries.Officials are warning drivers in the state that they don’t belong the wheel after partaking or puffing as part of their 2015 “Drive High, Get A DUI” campaign, reports CBS Denver. Ten Denver dispensaries feature a fake video game called “End Game,” where at first, it seems to be just another racing adventure. That’s until a public service announcement pops up, reminding players that driving while stoned is illegal. ...  (go to article)

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More gas found in Algeria region hit by 2013 hostage-taking

FuelFix -- Spanish oil company Repsol has found more gas in southeastern Algeria, a region made infamous by a 2013 attack on a gas complex by al-Qaida-linked militants.

Repsol’s consortium, which included Enel, GDF-Suez and Algerian state oil company Sonatrach, said Monday they found gas at 1,307 meters with a flow rate of 175,000 cubic meters per day in the southeast Illizi block.

An al-Qaida splinter attacked the nearby Ain Amenas gas plant in January 2013, holding hundreds hostage before they were overwhelmed by Algerian forces, resulting in the death of 40 plant workers, mostly foreigners.

The plant, which once processed more than 11.5 percent of Algeria’s gas, only resumed full operation in September 2014. Despite new security procedures, many foreign workers have yet to return.
 (go to article)

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The world's most important oil producer is now

CNBC -- U.S. oil companies have quickly become the new swing factor on the world energy stage, and their ability to handle price volatility could be key in determining future oil prices.
"This is a market that's far from settled down, and it's a market that's going to be a lot more volatile," said Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS. "What kind of prices do you need to keep it going?" Yergin said. "What does it mean when you say the U.S. is the new swing producer? It's much easier to swing down than swing up."
Following Saudi Arabia's lead, OPEC put the onus on U.S. shale production when it declared last November that it would not cut output unless its high-cost rivals did. Oil prices, already in decline, plunged.

"The shale industry produces 4.5 million barrels a day, exceeding the c  (go to article)

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Russia Seen Maintaining Oil Output Even After Collapse in Prices

Bloomberg -- Russia will maintain oil output for at least two years as increased use of technology and tax breaks will counter falling prices, Oxford University researchers said.

“Russian production may stay flat for the next few years and could even rise towards the end of the decade,” James Henderson, an analyst at the university’s Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, wrote in a report. That assumes fields that have yet to begin output are delayed for two years on spending cuts.

Russia has slowed the rate of decline in production at its mature fields to as low as an annual 2 percent from as much as 10 percent thanks to use of technology and tax policy, Henderson said.

The government eased taxes on crude exports, about half of national output, this year to support its largest budget earner.  (go to article)

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Iran Oil Return Seen No Closer as Obama Seeks Creative Approach

Bloomberg -- The return of embargoed Iranian crude oil to global markets looks no more imminent than before President Barack Obama appeared to leave open the possibility of lifting most sanctions from the outset if a nuclear deal can be reached, BNP Paribas SA and UBS AG said.

Obama said April 17 that “creative negotiations” are needed if a deal with Iran is to be reached over its nuclear program. He’s considering “how we snap back sanctions” if the Persian Gulf country violates its side of any accord, he said. Obama hasn’t changed his position and was only emphasizing the importance of being able to reinstate sanctions if necessary, according to a White House official, who asked for anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Brent crude futures for June and through the rest of the year rose  (go to article)

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Iran: We Won’t Allow ‘Foreigners’ to Inspect Our Sites

Israel national news -- A top Iranian commander on Sunday said that his country will never permit “foreigners” to inspect its military sites. “Not only will we not grant foreigners the permission to inspect our military sites, we will not even give them permission to think about such a subject,” Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the second-in-command of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), was quoted by Press TV as saying. “They will not even be permitted to inspect the most normal military site in their dreams,” he declared. Salami added that a harsh response awaits anyone who talks about such inspections. “Visiting a military base by a foreign inspector would mean the occupation of our land because all our defense secrets are there. Even talking about the subject means national humiliation,” he said,  (go to article)

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National average rising, to continue this week

GasBuddy Blog -- The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has moved higher in the last week, and will likely continue rising in the next week as advances in oil prices hit retail pumps. Today's average of $2.458/gallon stands 6.7c/gal higher than last week's average of $2.391/gallon, with prices today up some 2.5c/gal versus a month ago, when the national average stood at $2.433/gal.

While the short term in gasoline prices has seen some red as gasoline prices advance, motorists are still coming out well ahead of gasoline prices a year ago, when the national average stood at $3.67/gallon. By the end of this week, gasoline prices will likely stand at their highest level since mid-December 2014....  (go to article)

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Here’s what could point to more upside for oil

CNBC -- Crude oil has already bounced back by 30 percent over the past month. But according to Richard Ross of Evercore ISI, currency market moves are predicting more upside for the battered commodity.  (go to article)

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Electric vehicles lose buzz

The Detroit News -- It's a buyer's market for drivers interested in new or used electrics and hybrids.  (go to article)

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Fracking blamed for earthquakes shaking US city near Dallas, Texas

International Business Times -- Seismologists are investigating whether a series of earthquakes in Texas near Dallas have been caused by fracking for oil and gas.

The area surrounding the small city of Irving has had hundreds of small earthquakes since fracking began several years ago.

The Irving School District has had to produce a video to show schools how to carry out earthquake drills, and although no significant damage has occurred as a result of the small quakes, residents are concerned.

Resident Thor Johnson, showed Sky News a video showing water flowing through his neighbourhood after a quake ruptured the mains.

He said: "I don't think it is such a good idea just to get cheap energy. Short-term gains for long-term problems is not very wise." Last month the energy industry news website EnergyWire revealed  (go to article)

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Oil Falls as Saudi output remains high

Yahoo news -- By Himanshu Ojha LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices fell to under $63 a barrel on Monday after Saudi Arabian Oil  (go to article)

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For crude oil, this looks like 2009 all over again

CNBC --
To one market technician, crude oil is trading like it's 2009 all over again. And that could be very good news for the oil bulls.

Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer, looked back to crude oil's massive decline in 2008. After losing nearly 80 percent of its value, oil prices rallied from the lows in 2009.

And Wald says that crude oil today looks very similar the oil chart of six years ago.

"If you look at that surge in February, we see a lot of similarities to the low for crude back in late 2008," he said.
Just as it did at this point on the chart in 2009, crude is set to rise further from here, Wald says.

"We've been saying that we need crude to start to stabilize. Well, it stabilized, and the most compelling piece of evidence was the breakout above $54."

 (go to article)

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5 years after BP spill: What's changed in offshore drilling

Yahoo -- As oil gushed from BP's ruptured well five years ago and public outrage built by the day, the Obama administration issued a six-month moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

When the well was finally capped after nearly three months, political and industry pressure mounted on the White House to lift the ban, which it did about a month earlier than planned.

Since then, oil and gas drilling Gulf has bounced back strongly and the number of deep-water drilling rigs has actually increased from 35 to about 48. Drillers are pushing into even deeper water and greater depths below the sea floor to reach reservoirs considered riskier than the Macondo field, the source of the nation's worst offshore spill.

Elsewhere, the Obama administration has pushed to open up offshore waters in Alaska an  (go to article)

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Oil pares early gains as Saudi output remains near record high

Reuters --

Oil prices eased from early highs to under $64 a barrel on Monday after Saudi Arabian Oil said production in the world's biggest crude exporter would stay near record peaks around 10 million barrels per day (bpd) in April.

Brent crude was trading up 33 cents at $63.78 by 6:30 a.m. EDT (1030 GMT), down from an intraday peak of $64.34. U.S. crude for May delivery was up 39 cents at $56.13 a barrel, down from an earlier high of $56.65.

"I have said many times we will always be happy to supply to our customers with what they want. Now they want 10 million," Naimi told Reuters on Monday in South Korea's capital Seoul, where he is due to attend a board meeting of the state oil firm Saudi Aramco.

Naimi earlier this month said Saudi Arabia produced 10.3 million bpd of crude in March, eclipsin  (go to article)

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Shale as World’s Swing Producer Signals ‘Jagged’ Oil Future

Bloomberg -- With OPEC ceding control for the first time since the 1980s, U.S. shale oil has been anointed the world’s new “swing producer” by everyone from ConocoPhillips and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.

But can America’s oil really swing it?

Producers cut billions in spending, idled half the country’s rigs and kept more than 3,000 wells off the market, and it still took five months for U.S. production to start dropping. Analysts and banks say a recovery in production will also prove slower and more difficult than it would be for a single producer like Saudi Arabia.

“When you think of a swing producer, you think of OPEC and you think of spare capacity that can be turned on and off,” said Trisha Curtis, director of oil and gas research  (go to article)

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China Adds Solar the Size of France’s Capacity in First Quarter

Bloomberg -- China’s solar installations in the first quarter were almost equal to France’s entire supply of power from the sun.

China connected 5.04 gigawatts of solar capacity to grids in the three months ended March 31, the National Energy Administration said in a statement on Monday. The Asian nation now has a total 33 gigawatts of solar-power supply.

China is seeking to install as much as 17.8 gigawatts of solar power this year, or nearly 2 1/2 times the capacity added by the U.S. in 2014. The push is part of the Asian nation’s plans to cap carbon emissions in the next decade and a half.  (go to article)

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Saudi's SABIC signs deal to use U.S. shale gas at British plant

REUTERS -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp has signed a deal to use shale gas from the United States at its Teesside petrochemical plant in Britain, acting chief executive Yousef Abdullah al-Benyan told Reuters on Sunday.

"In fact we did sign the contract - we have not yet agreed with the supplier to publicly announce it, but we did firm up a contract for gas supply," Benyan said, declining to name the supplier.

He said the timing and other details of the project, which he described as the first use of shale gas exported from the U.S. Gulf in Britain, should be available by next quarter.

"It is going to meet our full demand for the next ten years and is renewable beyond ten years," Benyan said.

SABIC has previously said scarce gas supplies at home have forced it to look at investment opportunies...  (go to article)

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Nigeria, Algeria See Oil Prices Staying Low for a Long Time

Bloomberg -- Oil prices are likely to stay low for a long time after falling more than 40 percent in the past year, said officials from two OPEC nations.
Nigeria and Algeria both warned that oil prices, currently at around $60 a barrel, probably won’t recover to the 2011-2013 level of more than $100 a barrel.
“You forecast at your own risk, but it seems to me that we should be regarding this as a permanent shock,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Nigerian finance minister, said on a panel discussion Sunday in Washington near the end of the International Monetary Fund’s spring meetings. “We should prepare our economies for that eventuality.”
The comments highlight a growing worry among oil-producing nations ahead of an important meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in June in Vienna. Bre  (go to article)

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Report: Kuwait discovers 4 new oil fields in kingdom

Yahoo -- Kuwait's state news agency says the state-run Kuwait Oil Co. has discovered four new oil fields.

The Kuwait News Agency quoted KOC's CEO Hashim Hashim on Sunday as saying that the discovery of these fields will "fortify Kuwait's standing as an international producer of oil."

Hashim said that the discovery is the culmination of a two-year oil exploration mission. He noted that one of the reservoirs contains light crude oil, the first such reservoir in Kuwait.

He told KUNA that this will increase Kuwait's oil reserves and further strengthen its position among the world's top exporters of oil.

There was no information on the size of the fields in the north and west of the OPEC nation.  (go to article)

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DOT accused of 'bait and switch' on gas tax hike

Des Moines Register -- It's been less than two months since Gov. Terry Branstad signed a gasoline tax increase, but controversies have already developed over how the money should be spent.

Iowans for Tax Relief, a Muscatine-based advocacy group, last week accused advocates of the gas tax hike of using "bait and switch" tactics. The organization pointed out that during a lobbying campaign for the tax increase, Iowans heard a constant theme that roads and bridges were unsafe for school buses and ambulances. Auto repair bills would be cut if the tax were approved, supporters said.

But the Iowa Department of Transportation's priorities for immediate improvements include $4.5 million to buy land for future highway expansion on U.S. Highway 20 in northwest Iowa and $2.7 million for highway guardrails, Iowans for ..  (go to article)

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5 ways to protect yourself from credit card fraud at gas stations

Las Vegas Review-Journal -- Consumers typically worry about credit card fraud when making purchases online or conducting ATM transactions, but over the past few years, fraudulent credit card activity has taken the form of gas station scams that use technology to victimize patrons.

...

It’s moments like these that frighten consumers into avoiding credit card use altogether. But by practicing a short ritual of security measures before swiping a credit card at the gas pump, you can safeguard sensitive card information.

1. Look for Tamper-Evident Stickers

Criminals usually infiltrate credit card mechanisms through the front panel of gas pumps

2. Beware of Gas Station Credit Card Skimmers

Gas station credit card skimmers are external devices thieves attach over a real credit card slot at a gas station pump.

...  (go to article)

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BMW Brings Back Old-School Goggles With a Twist

Bloomberg -- Car drivers stopped wearing goggles almost a century ago. BMW wants to bring them back.

The German automaker's Mini unit is showing off a system that's a throwback in looks and a step forward in technology to give drivers a better all-round view of what's going on outside their car. The Mini Augmented Vision, to be demonstrated this week at the Shanghai auto show, feeds motorists information while their eyes remain fixed on the road.
 (go to article)

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