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Dickinson diesel refinery ‘a fantastic achievement’

Fargo Moorhead Forum -- DICKINSON, N.D. - Wisconsin native Dave Podratz has logged 33 years in the oil refining business, but the refinery rising from the frozen North Dakota prairie here carries a distinction from anyplace else he’s worked.

To put a finer point on it, the Dakota Prairie Refining facility four miles west of Dickinson is the first greenfield refinery of notable size built in the United States since Marathon Oil’s Garyville Refinery in Louisiana was completed in 1976.  (go to article)

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As oil skids towards $65, companies forced to recalculate

The Globe and Mail -- After five months of skidding crude prices, energy players and politicians who depend on oil and gas revenue are finally warning a slowdown in Canada’s oil patch is on the way – one that will crimp growth and the economy.

The push came this week after OPEC decided to keep its production at 30 million barrels a day.

That move, coupled with soaring supplies from the United States and no cut back from Russia sent the price for North American oil down 10 per cent this week to $66.15 (U.S.) a barrel. The price is off more than 30 per cent since June.

Now, senior decision makers are preparing for a rocky future with some predicting energy projects will stall, small companies will fold and economic growth will shrivel.

“What I do believe is that you will have now a pause in some activities...  (go to article)

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South Central Ohio gas prices fall 9 cents

Pike County Daily -- South Central Ohio gas prices dropped nine cents to $2.814 a gallon, according to AAA East Central’s Fuel Gauge Report.

This week’s South Central Ohio average price: $2.814

Average price during the week of Nov. 18, 2014: $2.905

Average price during the week of Nov. 27, 2013: $3.226

The average price for unleaded regular gasoline in Ohio is $2.806.

On the National Front:

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has fallen for 60 consecutive days, reaching today’s price of $2.81 per gallon. This is seven cents less than one week ago, one quarter less than one month ago and 46 cents less than one year ago. Today’s price is the least expensive since November 4, 2010 and motorists are on target to pay the lowest averages at the Thanksgiving holiday since  (go to article)

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Venezuela Looks to Cut Spending as Oil Prices fall

AP -- President Nicolas Maduro is ordering a cut in government spending as Venezuela grapples with a plunge in world oil prices that threatens to bring more hardship for the petroleum-dependent economy.

Speaking on television Friday Maduro said that under no circumstances will social programs be affected by the belt tightening.

Maduro didn't say where he'll find fat to cut. But the socialist leader offered up his own paycheck for the culling and said a special commission he's named will look at reducing salaries at state companies and ministries.

More than 95 percent of Venezuela's export earnings come from crude oil exports, and economists say the recent decline in prices will reduce the amount of dollars available for imports when Venezuelans are already suffering from widespread shortages  (go to article)

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Oil crash may see drillers cut spending to shield dividends

Star Tribune -- LONDON – For the world’s largest oil companies, the accelerating crash in crude prices will probably mean scrapping investments from America’s shale fields to the seas off Brazil as CEOs protect dividend payments.

The parts of the industry most exposed to cutbacks include certain U.S. shale deposits, where break-even costs vary from $40 to more than $100 a barrel. While some, like Russian oil tycoon Leonid Fedun, say the slump will halt a good deal of production, others argue that the shale industry will be able to maintain production for some time at these price levels.

In the longer term, the greater dilemma for oil producers is that even as crude drops, the costs of developing new reserves remain higher than ever. An extended period of lower prices will prevent companies from being ab  (go to article)

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How low can it go? Gas prices about to fall a lot more

CNBC -- OPEC may be trying to cause pain for the U.S. shale drillers, but it's providing a holiday gift for consumers, with another 25-cent drop in gasoline prices possible by Christmas.

Oil plunged Friday, with West Texas Intermediate down 10 percent to $66.15 per barrel, after OPEC refrained from cutting back production at its Thursday meeting. Gasoline at the pump, meanwhile, was at $2.79 per gallon nationally, its lowest Thanksgiving holiday price since 2009.

"I think the national average will drop to between $2.55 and $2.60 a gallon by Christmas," said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates. The national average was $2.79 per gallon of unleaded on Friday, down 4 cents from last week, according to AAA.  (go to article)

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Return of $2 Gas Seen for Some in U.S. as OPEC Stands Pat

Businessweek -- For the first time in five years, $2 gasoline is making a comeback in some areas of the U.S., just in time for the Dec. 25 Christmas holiday.

Retail stations scattered across the U.S. South and Midwest are about 20 cents shy of the $2-a-gallon mark. In New York, gasoline futures slid more than 13 cents Nov. 27 after OPEC failed to cut oil production to stem a glut. That decline alone could drag down pump prices by as much as 20 cents a gallon, Michael Green, a spokesman for the Heathrow, Florida-based motoring club AAA, said yesterday by phone.

“We could see the cheapest 1 percent of stations get within a few pennies of $1.99 over the next two weeks,” Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy Organization Inc., said yesterday by phone from Chicago. “We’ll see at least one st  (go to article)

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Surge in crime committed by newly arrived workers accompanies eastern Wyoming oil boom

Star Tribune -- DOUGLAS, Wyo. — Law enforcement officials in east-central Wyoming say they're seeing more crimes committed by workers newly arrived to the area's booming oil fields and don't have enough police and jail space to handle the problem.

Serious crimes including aggravated assault and larceny are up 17 percent in the Douglas area since 2009, according to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.

Emergency calls are up 9 percent from last year. Drug arrests are up from 37 in 2009 to 64 last year. And police were involved in two vehicle pursuits in September — the first in the city in three years, according to the Douglas Police Department.

"The industry is not picky," police Sgt. Matthew Schmidt said. "They need people who can physically stand the job, so they're not concerned about thei  (go to article)

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Why the collapse in oil prices is such a huge win for China

The Globe & Mail -- The slowdown in China’s economy is so significant that oil prices, already in a free fall... stand to remain weak for years to come, a prominent Chinese economist is warning...

Andy Xie, the often-contrarian former top Asia-Pacific economist for Morgan Stanley, warned that the massive investment overhang in China, valued at more than $6-trillion, will dramatically affect its energy demand growth, and will, as a result, rein in oil prices for a long time to come.

“China’s energy demand, the only source of growth for a decade, has fallen sharply,” he said in an interview.

In mid-September, more than a month before Goldman Sachs rocked markets with its prediction that oil prices would fall to $70 a barrel, Mr. Xie told a conference in Kuwait that he expected oil prices to nosedive to $60.  (go to article)

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The Time Chrysler Tried To Steal Their Customers' Cars

carbuying.jalopnik.com -- Remember when Chrysler went bankrupt? During the early days of that financial catastrophe, Chrysler tried stealing a bunch of customers' cars, including my client's.

Chrysler and GM both went bankrupt in 2009 and shock waves rolled through the automotive community. I handle lemon law claims in Michigan and, at that time, was curious about how this would affect the people I worked with – consumers and other attorneys. At any given time, I have pending cases against each of the Big Three and at the exact date and time Chrysler was getting ready to pull the trigger on their filing, I had a client whose defective car was being bought back by Chrysler.

Now, I understand that in a huge corporation like that, not everyone knows what is going on in every other department of the company. So it is  (go to article)

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The Price Of Oil Exposes The True State Of The Economy

Zero Hedge -- We should be glad the price of oil has fallen the way it has (losing another 6% today as we write this). Not because it makes the gas in our cars a bit cheaper, that’s nothing compared to the other service the price slump provides. That is, it allows us to see how the economy is really doing, without the multilayered veil of propaganda, spin, fixed data and bailouts and handouts for the banking system.

It shows us the huge extent to which consumer spending is falling, how much poorer people have become as stock markets set records. It also shows us how desperate producing nations have become, who have seen a third of their often principal source of revenue fall away in a few months’ time. Nigeria was first in line to devalue its currency, others will follow suit.  (go to article)

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Top 10 Worst Cars That Should've Never Been Made

Auto Blog Canada -- While there are plenty of "worst cars lists" floating around the Internet, this time around we're going beyond just bad cars or poor sales. We're talking about cars considered to be so bad, that we think they should've never been made in the first place.

This list of worst cars includes the type of automotive blunders, flops and utter failures that are largely the result of colossal management ineptitude, ego-maniacal incompetence and in many cases horrific design and engineering.

After putting our heads together, we came up with the Top 10 Worst Cars That Should've Never Been Made. This list includes cars of all shapes and sizes, but the one thing they have in common is they've all left us wondering "What were they thinking?"  (go to article)

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Circle K, QuikTrip Form CNG Partnerships

Convenience Store News -- HOUSTON and GREER, S.C. — Circle K Stores Inc. and QuikTrip Corp. will both offer compressed natural gas (CNG) in the near future as part of separate transactions.

Circle K, a division of Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., will team up with VNG.co LLC to offer CNG at its new Houston facility, located at 12300 Veterans Memorial Highway on the northwest side of the city. In addition to the VNG fast-fill CNG dispenser that will be open to the public 24/7, the Circle K location will feature a 4,400-square-foot convenience store offering fresh foods.  (go to article)

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Why oil prices will bounce back … eventually

The Globe and Mail -- When an asset class takes a swan dive off the cliff, fortunes can be lost trying to call the bottom. It’s often impossible to tell whether the asset in question is on a suicide run or undergoing a short-term correction. And so it is with oil.

Oil prices are down by a third since June and are less than half of their 2008 high of $147 (U.S.) a barrel. So time to buy? If I knew how to call bottoms, I would not be a miserable, ink-stained wretch; I would be filthy rich and living in a villa on the Amalfi Coast or Côte d’Azur, martini in each hand. But allow me to present four ideas of why the foundation for a compelling oil price bounce-back is being set even as prices tumble. I’m just not going to tell you when that might happen, because I have no clue.

The best cure for low prices is ...  (go to article)

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After OPEC sends oil prices plunging, what’s ahead?

McClatchy DC -- WASHINGTON — Global and U.S. oil prices tumbled sharply to four-year lows Friday on news that the oil-producing cartel OPEC has opted not to cut production, raising the prospects of a world oversupplied with crude for the foreseeable future.

The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. oil reference price, fell by $7.70 to $65.99 in post-Thanksgiving trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a dizzying drop considering it was above $100 a barrel over the summer.

The price for Brent crude, an international reference price that U.S. gasoline producers use to set their own prices, tumbled $1.01 to $71.57 in European trading Friday after falling 6.7 percent the previous day.

The drops follow a decision by the oil cartel Thursday to ...  (go to article)

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U.S. crude down seven percent to May 2010 low on OPEC, new low likely

Yahoo News -- U.S. crude fell 7 percent on OPEC's decision to not cut output, but light trading on Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday meant there could be more losses when markets return to full strength next week, traders said.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light U.S. crude hit a four-and-half-year low of $67.75 a barrel overnight after Saudi Arabia blocked calls on Thursday from poorer members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce production. U.S. markets were officially closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving, with only electronic trading.

Traders said if WTI takes out the May 2010 low of $64.24, it could technically be headed for a test below $60, toward the low of $58.32 set on July 2009.

"There's a notion that yesterday's selling was overdone, but not everyo  (go to article)

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OPEC’s decision ushers in new world of oil

Bloomberg News | -- The 12-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept its output target unchanged even after the steepest slump in oil prices since the global recession, prompting speculation it has abandoned its role as a swing producer. Thursday’s decision in Vienna propelled futures to the lowest since 2010, a level that means some shale projects may lose money.  (go to article)

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Oil price loss seen as gain for consumers: ‘What is saved at the pumps will be spent at malls ’

Financial Post -- OTTAWA — The federal government isn’t fretting, just yet, over the drain on Canada’s finances caused by a seemingly endless weakening in oil prices, a situation aggravated by OPEC’s decision Thursday not to cut its production levels.

But there will be some obvious benefits to four-year-low oil prices — cheaper gasoline at the pumps, for one, and a possible knock-on buying effect for some consumer-dependent sectors of the economy.

“What is saved at the pumps will be spent at the malls,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets.
 (go to article)

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OPEC Gusher to Hit Weakest Players, From Wildcatters to Iran

Bloomberg -- The refusal of Saudi Arabia and its OPEC allies to curb crude oil output in the face of plummeting prices has set the energy world on a painful course that will leave the weakest behind, from governments to U.S. wildcatters.

A grand experiment has begun, one in which the cartel of producing nations -- sometimes called the central bank of oil -- is leaving the market to decide who is strongest and how to cut as much as 2 million barrels a day of surplus supply.

Oil patch executives including billionaire Harold Hamm have vowed to drill on, asserting they can profit well below $70 a barrel, with output unlikely to fall for at least a year. Marginal producers in less profitable U.S. shale areas, as well as countries from Iran to Russia and operations from Canada to Norway will see the knife  (go to article)

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The best Black Friday deal of 2014 is arguably at the gas station

CNN Money -- The average price in America for a gallon of regular fell to $2.79 on Friday, according to AAA. That's nearly 50 cents lower than this time last year.

That kind of savings adds up quickly and it's why economists and CEOs of retailers like Target (TGT) and WalMart (WMT) predict that consumers will be willing to spend more this holiday season.

It's likely to go even lower soon. Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo (WFC), forecasts prices will fall below $2.70 and could go as low as $2.50.

Cheap gas may be a factor in why more Americans are feeling better about the economy overall. In a recent CNN poll, 52% think things are going very well or fairly well in the country now, the first time a majority of Americans have felt that way in eight years.

In states such as  (go to article)

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OPEC's message to US shale: Drop dead

CNN -- OPEC just fired a shot at the U.S. shale industry.

Despite tumbling prices -- the lowest since 2010 -- the cartel surprised the energy industry by deciding to keep pumping oil at current levels. One motivation is to squeeze higher-cost producers in North America, including the booming U.S. shale industry that has reshaped the global energy landscape.

It's a move Tony Soprano would be proud of. OPEC is betting lower oil prices will force U.S. producers to throw up the white flag and cut back on production because they won't be able to turn a profit.

"The gauntlet has been thrown down for Western Hemisphere producers like Brazil, Canada and the United States," Bespoke Investment Group wrote in a note to clients on Friday.  (go to article)

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Oil price plummets 7.4%

USA Today -- Wall Street kicks off the final trading day of November trying to separate the winners and losers tied to plunging oil prices and keeping a close tab on how Black Friday sales are going as Americans flock to the malls and the Web in search of deals at the start of the crucial holiday shopping season  (go to article)

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Oil prices in freefall as OPEC fails to agree output cut

Fortune -- Oil futures fall nearly 8% to their lowest in five years as Saudi Arabia tries to squeeze U.S. shale industry.

Oil prices fell to their lowest level in over five years Thursday as the cartel that produces one third of the world’s output failed to agree on measures to tackle the current glut.

In what had been billed as their most important meeting in decades, ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to keep their self-imposed output ceiling at 30 million barrels a day, but promised each other they would cheat less on their agreed quotas.

Such promises have rarely held in the past, and the markets reacted by driving the price of the benchmark crude futures contract down nearly 8% to below $69. Oil hasn’t been that cheap since August 2009.  (go to article)

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Russian oil oligarch: '$60 and below is possible'

CNBC -- Russia's most powerful oil official Igor Sechin said in an interview with an Austrian newspaper that oil prices could fall below $60 by mid-way through next year.

Sechin, chief executive of Rosneft, Russia's largest oil producer, also said U.S. oil production would fall after 2025 and that an oil market council should be created to monitor prices, the same day the OPEC cartel met in Vienna and left its output targets unchanged.

"We expect that a fall in the price to $60 and below is possible, but only during the first half, or rather by the end of the first half (of next year),'' Sechin told the Die Presse newspaper.  (go to article)

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Inside OPEC room, Naimi declares price war on U.S. shale oil

Reuters -- Saudi Arabia's oil minister told fellow OPEC members they must combat the U.S. shale oil boom, arguing against cutting crude output in order to depress prices and undermine the profitability of North American producers.

Ali al-Naimi won the argument at Thursday's meeting, against the wishes of ministers from OPEC's poorer members such as Venezuela, Iran and Algeria which had wanted to cut production to reverse a rapid fall in oil prices.

They were not prepared to offer big cuts themselves, and, choosing not to clash with the Saudis and their rich Gulf allies, ultimately yielded to Naimi's pressure.

"Naimi spoke about market share rivalry with the United States. And those who wanted a cut understood that there was no option to achieve it because the Saudis want a market share battle,"  (go to article)

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OPEC keeps oil output steady despite falling prices

Fox News -- VIENNA – Reflecting its lessening oil clout, OPEC decided Thursday to keep its output target on hold and sit out falling crude prices that will likely spiral even lower as a result.

Oil prices fell sharply on the news. Even though the decision was largely expected, it showed the once-powerful cartel is losing the power to push up markets to its own advantage.

OPEC has traditionally relied on output cuts to regulate supply and prices. But it appeared to realize Thursday that with cheap crude in oversupply, a reduction would only cut into OPEC's share of the market without a lasting boost in prices and with others outside the cartel making up the difference.

Instead, the move to maintain a production target of 30 million barrels a day appeared to reflect acceptance of the Saudi view with  (go to article)

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2015 Ford Mustang runs laps around American competitors

Detroit Free Press -- The ???? 2015 Ford Mustang redefines the affordable American sporty car.

New from the ground up, the Mustang runs laps around traditional competitors like the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. The first Mustang developed to be sold all over the world, it can also compete with luxury sport coupes that cost thousands of dollars more.

The Mustang's architecture, its basic structure, is all new. Barely a nut or bolt carried over from the 2014 model, chief engineer Dave Pericak told me before putting a V8 Mustang GT through its paces on a twisty track near Ford headquarters in Dearborn.

The difference is immediately apparent. A new independent suspension absorbs bumps better than ever before. This is the smoothest-riding Mustang ever, and the best handling, thanks to the suspension's  (go to article)

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10 U.S. shale-oil stocks getting crushed the most today

MarketWatch.com -- The decision by OPEC on Thursday not to cut oil production, despite a price decline of over 30% since June, means U.S. shale-oil producers may soon find business to be unprofitable.

Hydraulic fracturing is far more expensive than simply pumping from oil wells that tap into huge reserves close to the surface. That is why Saudi Arabia is perfectly willing to let oil prices fall even further as it defends its market share. That country has another clear advantage: The kingdom at any time can easily raise or lower its production.

For U.S.-shale companies, long-term expansion plans may have to be severely curtailed, especially if OPEC and major non-OPEC oil producers, including Mexico and Russia, continue on their current path.  (go to article)

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The World's Oil Giants Are Getting Crushed

businessinsider.com -- On Thursday, oil prices crashed.

And now, on Friday, shares of oil companies around the world are following suit.

Here are some of the biggest losers in early trade Friday:

BP (BP), down 4%
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), down 6%
Total (TOT), down 7%
Statoil (STO), down 13%
Exxon Mobil (XOM), down 3%
ConocoPhillips (COP), down 6%
Marathon Oil (MRO), down 11%
Occidental Petroleum (OXY), down 7%
Anadarko Petroleum (APC), down 8%
Linn Energy (LINE), down 13%
Whiting Petroleum (WLL), down 18%
Oasis Petroleum (OAS), down 27%
Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG), down 17%

And this list goes on.

All areas of the oil space, from international behemoths like BP, to state-controlled companies like Statoil, to US shale producers like Whiting and Kodiak  (go to article)

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Here Are The Breakeven Oil Prices For Every Drilling Project In The World

businessinsider.com -- Oil is getting slammed.

On Thursday, OPEC announced that it would not curb production to combat the decline in oil prices, which have been blamed in part on a global supply glut.

And now that oil prices have fallen more than 30% in just the last six or so months, everyone wants to know how low prices can go before oil projects start shutting down, particularly US shale projects.

In a note last week, Citi's Ed Morse highlighted this chart, showing that for most US shale plays, costs are below $80 a barrel.

Morse writes that if Brent price move towards $60 — they're currently around $72 — a "significant" amount of shale production would be challenged.

But Morse also highlighted this dizzying chart, listing the breakeven price for every international oil company project through 2020.  (go to article)

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Nigeria says too much boom time oil savings spent on state governors

Reuters -- Nigeria's finance minister said on Thursday that a significant portion of the billions of dollars drained from the oil savings account over the past two years was distributed to powerful governors instead of being saved for a rainy day.

Nigeria, Africa's biggest oil producer, is grappling with financial difficulties owing to a 30 percent fall in the price of oil since June, which has added pressure on the government's already depleted fiscal buffers.
 (go to article)

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Need to fill up on gas? Best to wait until Sunday

CBC -- Drivers in the GTA can expect some serious relief at the pumps this weekend.

Gas prices are already lower at their lowest in three years, but according to Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst with gasbuddy.com and founder of Tomorrow's Gas Price Today, prices will plummet to about $1.10 per litre on Sunday.

The impending savings are a direct result of OPEC announcing earlier this week that it will not halt oil production despite an estimated global glut of two million barrels per day, McTeague said. The result has been a drastic decrease in oil prices worldwide.  (go to article)

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Oil Steadies After OPEC Spurs Biggest Slump in 3 Years

Bloomberg -- Brent crude steadied after OPEC triggered the biggest one-day plunge in three years yesterday by failing to cut its output in response to a glut. Oil in New York headed for its biggest weekly drop since 2011.

Futures rose 0.6 percent in London, having declined 9.1 percent this week. OPEC will maintain its collective output target at 30 million barrels a day, Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said after discussions in Vienna yesterday. The group’s policy will ensure a crash in the U.S. shale industry, predicted Leonid Fedun, the vice president of Russia’s OAO Lukoil.

Crude has collapsed into a bear market amid the fastest pace of U.S. production in three decades and signs of weakening global demand. OPEC wants a fair price and isn’t “sending any signals to anybody,”  (go to article)

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Will OPEC bankrupt US shale producers?

CNBC -- OPEC's contentious decision to keep its production target, leaving the market with a supply glut, could trigger a wave of debt defaults by U.S. shale oil producers, warn analysts.

The 12-member oil cartel on Thursday said it would stick to its output target of 30 million barrels a day, triggering a sharp decline in oil prices, with U.S. crude futures tumbling nearly $6 to $67.75 on Friday - the lowest since May 2010.

Neil Beveridge, senior oil analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, told CNBC the plunge in oil prices raises the risk of bankruptcy for U.S. shale players.
$68 a barrel is not economical for a lot of these shale oil wells. CDS [credit default swap] spreads and yields on some of the debt are rising very quickly, because at these kinds of oil prices you are going to see producers go  (go to article)

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OPEC decision spells trouble for Russia

CNBC -- The decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to keep production at its current limits in the face of slumping oil prices means trouble for the Russian economy, analysts believe.
Despite hopes from members Venezuela, Iran and Iraq that the 12-counrty oil cartel would cut production from its current 30 million barrels a day, the committee, led by Saudi Arabia, sent out the message that it could cope with lower oil prices.
 (go to article)

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Honda admits under-reporting serious US accidents since 2003

Reuters -- Honda failed to notify U.S. safety regulators of 1,729 claims of injuries and deaths related to accidents in its vehicles since 2003, the automaker acknowledged on Monday.
Honda said in a statement that its count of underreported claims came from a third-party audit.
 (go to article)

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OPEC’s line in the sand rocks oil prices, slams Canadian dollar as ‘new era dawns’

The Globe and Mail -- OPEC’s decision to draw a line in the sand is roiling oil, currency and stock markets again this morning.

More importantly, it marks a dramatic shift in crude politics and pricing.

“It would suggest that the politics of oil are changing,” said chief currency strategist Camilla Sutton of Bank of Nova Scotia.

To recap, as The Globe and Mail’s Shawn McCarthy and Eric Reguly report, the OPEC nations decided yesterday to hold their production ceiling at 30 million barrels a day despite the recent collapse in prices.

With nothing to bolster the market, crude prices slumped, hitting oil-linked currencies like the Canadian dollar, Norway’s krone and the Russian ruble, and the stocks of energy companies.
 (go to article)

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Oil price drop will drive Russia into Recession

Bloomberg -- Russia will sink into recession at a Urals price of $80 a barrel, seven years after its economy grew 8.5 percent when its chief export oil blend averaged near $70, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

Urals at $80, or about $3 cheaper than its average in the month through November 15, will tip Russia into a contraction, according to the median estimate of 32 economists. The probability of a recession in the next 12 months rose to 75 percent, the highest since the first such survey more than two years ago, according to another poll  (go to article)

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Will Chrysler's 300 resurrect interest in full-size sedans?

GasBuddy Blog -- Reports from Detroit say Chrysler is hoping that it can boost sales of its 300 sedan with an overhaul of its exterior design that takes the car back to its 2005 styling.  The company also overhauled the interior, which now includes a standard 7-inch full color driver information display, the industry's only electronic rotary shifter, and Chrysler's new three-spoke steering with larger vehicle controls and optional die-cast paddle shifters.

Chrysler left both the 3.6 liter V-6 Pentastar and 5.7 liter V-8 Hemi engines largely unchanged.  The Chrysler 300 will get a class-leading 31 miles per gallon on the highway with the V-6 engine and fuel economy improves by 6% with the V-8 compared to the outgoing version. Most importantly, the starting price of $31,395 remains unchanged. ...  (go to article)

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Best Black Friday New-Car Deals

Forbes -- The day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday – has become so much more than the official start to the holiday shopping season. It’s something of a tribal adventure, a challenge to see who can rise the earliest and withstand the highest degree of actual physical pain in search of an unbeatable bona fide bargain. While most of the action has traditionally taken place at department stores and electronics dealers, the high holy day of shopping has also become a major event at new-car showrooms. According to TrueCar, Inc., Black Friday and the Thanksgiving weekend are among the top five or six days of the year in which to leverage the deepest new-car discounts (with New Year’s Eve remaining the best day of the year in which to buy a car.)

Most brands are launching their “season of savings” promot  (go to article)

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Asian energy shares slide after OPEC output decision; Nikkei rises after economic reports

Star Tribune -- HONG KONG — Crude oil and Asian energy shares tumbled Friday as OPEC's decision to keep production steady rippled across the globe. Japanese stocks rose after a slew of economic data releases but other regional indexes were mixed.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.1 percent to 17,437.69 while South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.2 percent to 1,978.85. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged 0.1 percent lower to 23,978.58 while in mainland China the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7 percent to 2,649.57. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 tumbled 1.4 percent to 4,323.10. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines rose while in Thailand, Indonesia and New Zealand they fell.

ENERGY: The oil cartel decided to maintain production at 30 million barrels a day despite global oversupply, as th  (go to article)

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OPEC decision will keep oil prices low & hit Russia, Iran, US – experts

RT -- Russian officials and experts warned that oil prices will remain below $80 per barrel for some time, after OPEC’s decision not to cut output. It will hurt the economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela – and deal a blow to shale oil production in the US.

OPEC announced on Thursday that it will not be changing production levels, leaving the daily output ceiling at 30 million barrels despite oversupply concerns and soft oil prices.  (go to article)

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Crude oil drops over $4 a barrel on OPEC not cutting output

REUTERS -- Brent crude oil futures fell more than $4 on Thursday to below $73 a barrel after producer group OPEC said it would not cut crude production despite global oversupply.

Brent fell as low as $72.74 per barrel, its lowest since August 2010, and was last trading down $4.75 at $72.98.

U.S. crude oil futures also fell sharply to a low of $69.11 a barrel, down more than $4 on the day and its lowest since May 2010.  (go to article)

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Will OPEC bankrupt US shale producers?

CNBC -- The OPEC's contentious decision to keep its production target, leaving the market with a supply glut, could trigger a wave of debt defaults by U.S. shale oil producers, warn analysts.

The 12-member oil cartel on Thursday said it would stick to its output target of 30 million barrels a day, triggering a sharp decline in oil prices, with U.S. crude futures tumbling nearly $6 to $67.75 on Friday - the lowest since May 2010.

Neil Beveridge, senior oil analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, told CNBC the plunge in oil prices raises the risk of bankruptcy for U.S. shale players.

"$68 a barrel is not economical for a lot of these shale oil wells. CDS [credit default swap] spreads and yields on some of the debt are rising very quickly, because at these kinds of oil prices you are going to see produ  (go to article)

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Gasoline in Canada: 99 cents/Liter soon??

Yahoo Finance -- It’s been a while since it’s been this cheap to fill up your car, and it’s about to get even cheaper.
Following a move by OPEC to maintain oil production at elevated levels, Ontario gas prices that have already been flirting with the $1 a litre level in some towns could fall below it for the first time in about five years.
In the prairie provinces, where gas is typically cheapest, prices have already dipped below the magic, and in Edmonton are coming close to 90 cents.
The rest of Canada pays more for the privilege of clogging the nation’s highways, and on Thursday Toronto’s cheapest litre was running about $1.04 at Costco and $1.06 at Pioneer. Prices were lower outside of the city, touching $1.01 a litre in Peterborough.
Gas costs have been diving over the last four months as a global sup  (go to article)

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Alberta Producers With World’s Cheapest Oil Face Cascading Woes

Bloomberg -- Canada’s biggest energy producers now face the same prospects of shrinking budgets and declining profit as their smaller rivals as prices drop for what’s already the world’s cheapest oil.

Producers including Suncor Energy and Canadian Natural Resources, which each fell the most in at least three years yesterday, operate in one of the most expensive places on earth to produce oil. If crude prices continue sinking following OPEC’s decision not to cut global oil supplies, Canada’s producers big and small will have to tighten their belts to prepare for declining profits.

“This is a pretty big shock,” said Justin Bouchard, an analyst at Desjardins Securities in Calgary. “There’s no question there’s going to be a slowdown. Even the big guys will have to look at their capital spending plans."
 (go to article)

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SD producers: Keystone XL pipeline not a cure-all for rail delays that have plagued farmers

Fox Business News -- South Dakota farmers are nearing the end of a record corn harvest this week, but they have serious concerns about grain prices, storage options and rail congestion heading into spring. And they're looking for more options than the Keystone XL pipeline to help.

When producers run out of storage space and rail cars aren't available, they store certain grains on the ground — which can reduce the quality of the grain and affect the price, said Steve Domm, general manager of Central Farmers Cooperative in Marion, South Dakota.

"I'm looking out the window as the conveyor is piling corn on the ground as we speak," Domm said Wednesday.

The amount of rail capacity the Keystone XL would free up would be "a blip on the radar," added Keith Alverson, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Associ  (go to article)

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Only 4 percent of U.S. shale production needs $80 or more to be profitable

Bloomberg -- Most production in the Bakken formation, one of the main drivers of shale oil output, remains profitable at or below $42 a barrel, the IEA says. The agency expects U.S. supply to grow by almost 1 million barrels a day next year, with increasing flows to international markets. “OPEC’s decision means it is over to you America,” Miswin Mahesh, a London-based commodities analyst at Barclays Plc, wrote in an e-mail. “This opens the window for the U.S. to be the new swing producer.”  (go to article)

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EL-ERIAN: The Oil Market Seems Surprised By OPEC — It Shouldn't Be Read more: http://www.businessin

Business Insider -- Judging from today’s sharp reaction, the oil market is surprised by OPEC’s decision not to reduce its production ceiling in order to curtail the accelerated price decline which now totals 25% for the year. It shouldn’t be. OPEC has a history of opting for strategic rather than tactical decisions; and, this time around, it may have done so from a position of caution rather than overwhelming strength.  (go to article)

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OPEC decision sends energy stocks and Canadian dollar into tailspin — with no sign of bottom yet

National Post Wire Services | -- Energy stocks on the TSX slid the most since 2011 Thursday as oil prices plummeted following the outcome of an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The OPEC meeting was the market’s focus as it came after months of depressed oil prices, which have been weighed by concerns about increasing supply and sluggish demand for the commodity. The cartel did not announce the output cut investors were hoping for. Oil prices tumbled to a four-year low.
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Black Friday car sales explode in popularity

CNBC -- Karl Regalado calls it crazy.

In the span of a few years, Black Friday has gone from being a day he dreaded spending in the showroom to one of the busiest days at the Buick/GMC dealership he manages just outside Chicago.

"This year we're expecting business to be so strong it will be incredible," said Regalado who manages the Bill Kay Buick GMC dealership in Downers Grove, Illinois. "This weekend our sales will probably be up 200 percent"

Welcome to Black Friday, the fastest growing day for auto sales.  (go to article)

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