US LNG positioned for anchor role in global markets
The U.S. is positioned to play a new and important role in the global natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets, thanks to the nation’s shale revolution and the resulting increase in exports of U.S. LNG, according to S&P Global Platts. LNG exports are growing in importance as a market driver in the U.S. natural gas markets with special emphasis on LNG values at the U.S. Gulf Coast, home to the country’s largest concentration of liquefaction plants and largest storage hub for export-bound natural gas.
For more information about the methodology in the Platts LNG Gulf Coast Marker, click here.
Value, life cycle and durability top priorities for oil companies
A recent independent survey of oil and gas professionals making procurement decisions found the price of products and services was less important as a purchase priority than significant factors including value, life cycle and durability. The survey was conducted on behalf of Trelleborg’s oil and marine operation.
Respondents asked to rank different factors affecting their purchase decision for oil hose, listed “durability and lifecycle” as “vital” more than 80 percent of the time. “Aftersales support and service” and “ease of installation” were the next most “vital” factors at 32 percent and 28 percent respectively. Price was listed as “vital” on 19 percent of the time.
US ethanol exports rise to second-highest level on record
U.S. exports of fuel ethanol increased by 26 percent in 2016 over 2015, with exports of more than $1 billion gallons (68 barrels per day), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). U.S. imports of ethanol dropped 60 percent to 36 million gallons in 2016. For the seventh consecutive year, the U.S. remained a net exporter of fuel ethanol.
US biomass-based diesel imports set new record
U.S. imports of biomass-based diesel reached a record level of 916 million gallons in 2016, an increase of 65 percent, according to the EIA. Strong drivers of biomass-based diesel demand last year were due to increasing renewable fuel standard (RFS) targets and the recently expired biodiesel blender’s tax credit, which has expired several times in the past only to be retroactively reinstated.
US crude oil exports went to more destinations in 2016
U.S. crude oil exports in 2016 exceeded crude oil exports in 2015 by 12 percent despite a year-over-year decline in production. But the rate of U.S. crude oil export growth has slowed significantly since 2013-2015, when annual U.S. crude production was growing at a rapid pace, according to the EIA.
Natural gas spot prices rise with forecasts of colder temperatures
Below average temperatures throughout the eastern U.S. March 9 and 10, resulted in an increase in natural gas spot prices. New England saw the largest spot price increases On March 10, when the Algonquin Citygate (Boston) price climbed to $7.92 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu). It was the highest recorded since January 6. Additionally, a significant late-winter storm off the Mid-Atlantic predicted by the National Weather Service to hit March 13-14, brought with it lower-than-normal temperatures that carried through March 16.
Increasing exports contribute to large draw on propane inventories this winter
U.S. propane inventories had been above the historical normal since mid-2014, but they dropped 59 million barrels from the beginning of October 2016 through early March 2017. It was the largest decline on record for this period, despite unseasonably mild temperatures, according to the EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report.