History of U.S. Biofuel Mandate Provides Opening for Legal Challenge

Friday, October 31, 2014 Probable legal challenges to proposed cuts in the 2014 U.S. biofuel mandate could focus on a two-word phrase.
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  Current Downstream Headlines

Outlook & Insights
COLUMN-EIA Study Removes Final Barrier to U.S. Oil Exports
(Friday, October 31, 2014) EIA's study removes the last principled objection to lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports - namely that it would lift domestic oil prices and through them the cost of filling up at the pump.

COLUMN-US Manufacturing Renaissance Proves Elusive Despite Cheap Gas
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) The downstream gains that have occurred have been narrowly concentrated in industries like fertilizers, petrochemicals, iron and steel.

Total's New Boss Says Europe Must Fight US Oil Export Ban
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) The new head of French energy major Total challenged Europe to fight Washington over the U.S. oil export ban, in his first public appearance since his predecessor Christophe de Margerie was killed in a Moscow plane crash last week.

U.S. Natgas Exports Would Raise Energy Prices but Boost Economy -EIA
(Wednesday, October 29, 2014) Expanded U.S. liquefied natural gas exports would mean a modest price increase for domestic consumers, but those higher costs would be outweighed by a boost to the economy, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Iran Gas Exports to Europe Would Take at Least 5 Years - Experts
(Wednesday, October 29, 2014) Iran would take at least five years to start exporting natural gas to the European Union if sanctions were removed, industry experts said on Wednesday.

Refining
Exxon, Chevron Results Boosted by Refining As Oil Prices Slip
(Friday, October 31, 2014) A surge in refining profits boosted quarterly results at Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp, helping to offset declining oil and gas production and falling crude oil prices.

European Oil Majors' Q3 Refining Boost to Be Short Lived
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Refining was a unusual bright spot for European oil majors in the third quarter, but its support is quickly evaporating as the convergence of rapidly declining oil prices and high refinery outages fades in the last quarter of the year.

API: Proposed Refinery Reg Could Raise Greenhouse Gas Emissions
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) Despite EPA's conclusion that existing refinery regulations protect public health, the agency has proposed additional regulations that could cost an initial $20 billion and could actually lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions, API told the agency.

Carlyle-Vitol Joint Venture Looks to Buy European Refining Assets
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) A joint venture by private equity firm Carlyle Group and oil trader Vitol is looking to buy more midstream and downstream assets in Europe, including at least one refinery and storage facilities, the head of the venture said.

China's Hengyi Petrochemical Delays Start-up of Brunei Refinery
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) China's Hengyi Petrochemical Co has delayed the start-up of its 160,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery in Brunei to late 2017, the company's director said on Thursday.

Biofuels
History of U.S. Biofuel Mandate Provides Opening for Legal Challenge
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Probable legal challenges to proposed cuts in the 2014 U.S. biofuel mandate could focus on a two-word phrase.

Alevo Pulls Back the Curtain on Its Batteries for the Grid
(Tuesday, October 28, 2014) Alevo Group, which has kept its energy storage technology secret for a decade, unveiled it on Tuesday, and said it has struck deals aimed at deploying its batteries in power grids in China and Turkey.

Boeing and Chinese Partner to Make Jet Fuel from 'Gutter Oil'
(Wednesday, October 22, 2014) Gutter oil - a form of cooking waste - has long been a public health concern in China due to its widespread use in restaurants.

Platts Says Not Charged with Wrongdoing After EU Ethanol Trade Raids
(Monday, October 20, 2014) Platts has not been charged with wrongdoing in connection with European Union antitrust regulator raids on ethanol trading companies, a spokeswoman for the energy pricing agency said on Monday.

Abengoa Opens Commercial-scale Cellulosic Ethanol Plant in Kansas
(Friday, October 17, 2014) The Hugoton plant opening marks the first-ever commercial deployment of Abengoa's proprietary enzymatic hydrolysis technology, which turns biomass into fermentable sugars that are then converted to ethanol.

Petrochemical
Williams Partners: Louisiana Plant Should Produce Ethylene Next Month
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) Williams Partners L.P. Wednesday announced it expects its expanded Geismar Olefins plant to begin manufacturing ethylene for sale in November.

Big Polish Users Cut Back on Gas Supplied Direct from Russia
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) Some of Poland's biggest industrial users of natural gas are reducing their use of gas directly supplied from Russia's Gazprom, increasing the amount they buy from other sources.

U.S. EPA Seeks More Input on Sweeping Power Plant Rule
(Tuesday, October 28, 2014) U.S. regulators said on Tuesday they wanted more input on elements of a sweeping plan to reduce pollution from power plants and about the role natural gas can play to achieve emissions cuts.

Gulf Coast Growth Spurs Demand for Cleaning, Environmental Services
(Tuesday, October 28, 2014) Acquisition gives Texas-based industrial cleaning and environmental services firm capital to meet growing demand at Gulf Coast refineries, petchem plants.

Louisiana Ethane Cracker Project Goes to Fluor-Technip JV
(Monday, October 27, 2014) Fluor Corp., in a joint venture with Technip, was awarded a contract to continue to support Sasol with the detailed design, procurement and construction of its world-scale ethane cracker and derivatives complex in Westlake, Louisiana.

Pipelines
Kinder Morgan's Sierrita Pipeline Now Serving Mexican Customers
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. Friday announced that the fully subscribed Sierrita Pipeline has begun service.

Snam Could Take Stake in TAP Pipeline, But Not Now
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Italian gas grid operator Snam could eventually take a stake in the Trans Adriatic Gas Pipeline (TAP) scheduled to carry Azeri gas to Europe by 2020, Snam's CEO said on Friday.

Gazprom to Resume Gas Supply Once Ukraine Pays $2.2 Bln
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Russia could resume natural gas deliveries to Ukraine as soon as next week if Kiev pays $2.2 billion in debt and pre-payments, gas exporter Gazprom said on Friday, under a deal that also safeguards winter deliveries to Europe.

EU Mulls Financing of New Gas Pipelines in CEE, Poland Says
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Gas pipeline operators in Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Slovakia may get 1.3 billion zlotys ($388 million) from the European Union to build connections between them, Polish state operator Gaz-System said.

Capline, Biggest U.S. Crude Conduit, to Study Future Options
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) The 1.2-million-barrel-a-day Capline crude pipeline, the biggest in the mainland United States, is reviewing its future operations, its owners said on Thursday, as the North American oil boom upends the flow across the continent.

Terminals & Storage
Asia Buys Less Iran Crude, but Volumes Back Above 1 Mln Bpd
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Asian buyers of Iranian crude imported 6.6 percent less in September than a year ago, the first on-year decline since December, but shipments rose back above the 1 million barrels-per-day mark allowed under a deal that eased Western sanctions.

Capline, Biggest U.S. Crude Conduit, to Study Future Options
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) The 1.2-million-barrel-a-day Capline crude pipeline, the biggest in the mainland United States, is reviewing its future operations, its owners said on Thursday, as the North American oil boom upends the flow across the continent.

Suncor to Regularly Consider Shipping Western Canada Crude Overseas
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) Suncor Energy Inc will look regularly at the economics of shipping Western Canadian crude from the country's East Coast to markets overseas, Chief Executive Officer Steve Williams said on Thursday.

New York State to Set Up Upstate Fuel Reserve in November
(Wednesday, October 29, 2014) A strategic fuel reserve at six locations in upstate New York is expected to be operational in November to ensure gasoline and diesel fuel are available to emergency responders in the event of an emergencies like 2012's Hurricane Sandy.

Canada Toughens Train Brake Rules, to Impose 'Audit Blitz'
(Wednesday, October 29, 2014) Canada has issued an emergency order to railways detailing how many handbrakes they must set on unattended trains to prevent deadly runaways, and will hire new staff to conduct an "audit blitz" of rail companies' safety systems.

LNG / LPG
Global LNG-Prices Grind Lower on Weak Demand, Rising Supply
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Asian spot liquefied natural gas prices this week extended a slide that started in late September, overwhelmed by weak demand, falling oil prices and growing supplies, while traders said there was no relief in sight.

Dominion Begins Cove Point Project Construction
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) Dominion has begun construction-related activities for the Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas Export project, one of the largest private investments ever in Maryland and one designed to deliver significant economic and environmental benefits.

Exmar Optimistic About Gas Carrier Market into 2015
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) Belgian gas shipping group Exmar said on Thursday that the market for its very large and midsize gas carriers was at historically high levels in the third quarter and was expected to remain good in spite of new vessels being delivered in 2015.

U.S. Natgas Exports Would Raise Energy Prices but Boost Economy -EIA
(Wednesday, October 29, 2014) Expanded U.S. liquefied natural gas exports would mean a modest price increase for domestic consumers, but those higher costs would be outweighed by a boost to the economy, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

BG Group to Delay LNG Terminal on Canada's Pacific Coast - WSJ
(Wednesday, October 29, 2014) British oil and gas producer BG Group Plc will delay until the next decade a proposed liquefied natural gas export terminal on Canada's Pacific coast, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting the head of the company's Canadian unit.

Commodities
Gas Ready to Drop Below $3 for 1st Time in 4 Years
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Gasoline is cheaper than milk again.

Weak Oil Prices to Continue, Demand Outlook Bleak-Industry
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Oil prices are likely to be mired near their lowest levels in more than four years in 2015 and investments will take a backseat, underlining a gloomy outlook for the industry.

Mexico Has Made Good Progress on 2015 Oil Hedge-Official
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Mexico has made significant progress on hedging next year's expected crude oil output, a Mexican finance ministry official said on Friday.

Brent Oil Price the Main Factor in U.S. Gasoline Prices -EIA
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) U.S. gasoline prices are mainly set by global oil prices, a government report said on Thursday, a conclusion that should ease concerns among some lawmakers that lifting a crude oil export ban would mean pain at the pump for American motorists.

Oil Slips On Dollar, Rate Fears After 2-day Gain; Brent Below $87
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) Oil prices closed down 1%, resuming their downtrend after a two-day climb.

Finance & Acquisition
Exxon, Chevron Results Boosted by Refining As Oil Prices Slip
(Friday, October 31, 2014) A surge in refining profits boosted quarterly results at Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp, helping to offset declining oil and gas production and falling crude oil prices.

Imperial Oil Profit Jumps 45 Pct as Income from Refining Surges
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Imperial Oil Ltd, Canada's second-largest integrated oil producer and refiner, reported a 45 percent jump in third-quarter profit on Friday as it refined more crude oil at higher margins.

Carlyle-Vitol Joint Venture Looks to Buy European Refining Assets
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) A joint venture by private equity firm Carlyle Group and oil trader Vitol is looking to buy more midstream and downstream assets in Europe, including at least one refinery and storage facilities, the head of the venture said.

Marathon's 3rd Qtr Profit Rises 75 Pct on Shale Boost
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) Marathon Petroleum Corp. on Thursday posted third- quarter net income of $672 million, a 75 percent jump from the same period a year earlier, as cheap inland crudes from the shale revolution boost the profits of U.S. refiners.

Shell Midstream Partners' Shares Rise 45 Pct in Debut
(Wednesday, October 29, 2014) Shares of Shell Midstream Partners LP , a master limited partnership formed by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, rose as much as 45 percent in their market debut, in the latest MLP offering to win investor confidence.

People on the Move
British Gas Manager to Replace Centrica Downstream Director in Dec.
(Friday, October 31, 2014) Chris Weston, managing director of international downstream at Britain's largest energy supplier Centrica, will leave the company on Dec. 31, the company said.

Next Shell Chairman Brings U.S. Corporate Experience, Green Agenda
(Thursday, October 30, 2014) Chad Holliday, the former chairman of Bank of America and DuPont widely credited for his sustainable energy vision, will become the first American chairman at Royal Dutch Shell, an oil major with tense relations with green groups.

Gorder to Succeed Klesse As Valero's Chairman
(Tuesday, October 28, 2014) Valero Energy Corp. announced Tuesday that Bill Klesse, 68, has chosen to step down as Chairman of the Board effective December 30, 2014.

Total Names Refining Boss to Replace de Margerie
(Wednesday, October 22, 2014) Total has appointed refining head Patrick Pouyanne as chief executive and former CEO Thierry Desmarest as non-executive chairman.

Saudi's Sipchem Blames Plant Shutdowns for Q3 Net Profit Drop
(Tuesday, October 21, 2014) Saudi International Petrochemical Co (Sipchem) blamed plant shutdowns as it reported a 13.3 percent drop in third-quarter net profit on Tuesday that missed analysts' forecasts.






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