Recent Legislation Mandates Additional Sales of U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve Crude Oil – Why?

 

While we are looking the other way, Congress is managing to sell off our strategic reserves. Why might I ask? While the recent boon in energy finds in the USA is great, it still needs to be refined. The recent hurricanes have caused shortages requiring a release. We are one terrorist away from possibly needing our reserves again. I include a list of recent releases. As if that was enough, keep this old post in mind.

U.S. giving away ownership and control of our Energy and refineries 

Yes, let’s put the USA at risk.

US omnibus bill mandates sale of 10 million barrels of government …

PlattsMar 21, 2018
The bill also calls for lowering the threshold where the US government can drawdown crude from its emergency stocks. Under the threshold, set in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, the Department of Energy cannot take or sell crude from the SPR “if there are fewer than 350,000,000 barrels … then in February they were chipping away US mandates biggest non-emergency strategic oil sell-off ever

A little history on the stockpile:

The largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world, the SPR was established to help alleviate the effects of unexpected oil supply reductions. Located in four storage sites along the Gulf of Mexico, the SPR held more than 695 million barrels of crude oil at the beginning of 2017, or about 97% of its 713.5 million barrel design capacity. Prior to FY 2017 sales, the SPR inventory level had remained nearly constant for several years.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Note: Volumes sold in fiscal years 2017 through 2020 under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 Section 404 are estimates based on projected prices of West Texas Intermediate crude oil in the February 2018 Short-Term Energy Outlook and Annual Energy Outlook 2018.

Previous releases:

2012 Hurricane Isaac Exchange  |  2008 Hurricanes Gustav and Ike Exchanges  |  2006 Ship Channel Closure Exchange  |  2006 Barge Accident Exchange  |  2005 Hurricane Katrina Exchange  |  2004 Hurricane Ivan Exchange  |  2002 Hurricane Lili Exchange  |  2000 Heating Oil Exchange  |  2000 Ship Channel Closure Exchange  | 1999 Maya Exchange  |  1996 Pipeline Blockage Exchange 

Non-Emergency Sales Although the Reserve was established to cushion oil markets during energy disruptions, non-emergency sales of oil from the Reserve can be authorized to respond to lesser supply disruptions or to raise revenues.

2011 IEA Coordinated Release  |  1996 Weeks Island Sale  |  1996-1997 Sales to Reduce the Federal Budget Deficit

Continued:

A previous Today in Energy article described the three bills enacted in 2015 and 2016 that collectively call for the sale of 149 million barrels in FY 2017 through FY 2025. Most of these sales set volumetric requirements, and revenues from those sales go to the U.S. Department of Treasury. A section of one of those bills—Section 404 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015—included authorization for funding an SPR modernization program by selling up to $2 billion worth of SPR crude oil in FY 2017 through FY 2020. In that act, the sales are based on revenue targets that must be authorized by Congress.

Exchanges Agreements Oil can also be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve under exchange arrangements (similar to loans) with private companies.  Exchange contracts provide for a loan of crude oil to be repaid, in kind, within a date certain, with additional premium barrels (similar to interest).

 

For information resources:

H/T: Global Energy Post

U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

A previous Today in Energy article described the three bills enacted in 2015 and 2016 that collectively call for the sale of 149 million barrels in FY 2017 through FY 2025

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Natural Gas from Putin’s Russia has to be imported to New England

 

Earlier this year, New England had to import a cargo of Russian liquefied natural gas, even though it is located just a few hundred miles from one of the largest natural gas fields in the world.

So reads the caption. An excellent example of just what has been allowed to happen that puts Americans at risk by a few nitwits. There, I said it and I cut to the chase.

Even the Boston Globe opined that “Massachusetts’ reliance on imported gas from one of the world’s most threatened places is also a severe indictment of the state’s inward-looking environmental and climate policies.”

Better yet, the Jones Act precludes Americans helping out other Americans:

The U.S. has several LNG export facilities that are already operational or will come online in the coming years. Why can’t we ship American LNG to Boston?

One reason is an antiquated federal law from 1920 – the Jones Act – that prohibits cargoes from being transported between U.S. ports unless they are carried on American-flagged ships.

The stupid thing:

There are about 150,000 miles of oil pipelines and more than 1.5 million miles of natural gas pipelines in theUnited States. ALREADY! 

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently announced that in 2017, for the first time since 1957, the U.S. exported more natural gas than it imported.

Yet, even as we become a global energy superpower, political barriers prevent us from maximizing the benefits of the shale revolution.

Earlier this year, New England — located just a few hundred miles from the Marcellus Shale, one of the world’s largest natural gas fields — was forced to import a cargo of Russian liquefied natural gas. This was necessary because anti-energy activists have convinced local elected leaders to block new energy infrastructure, including pipelines that could bring American gas to the region. This is making households in the Northeast more dependent on imported energy, and forcing them to pay among the highest energy bills in the country. More at Washington Examiner

 

Here are a couple of sites where one can find out pipeline locations down to the county.

Pipeline101 – Where-Are-Pipelines-Located

 

Interactive map of pipelines in the United States | American …

The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) Public Viewer from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration allows users to view pipelines and related information by individual county for the entire United States. The map includes: Gas and hazardous liquid pipelines.

Trump overturns Obama’s ‘fracking’ rules but the story is not what you think

 

I slid over to one of the “other” news channels for a sec…. of course I heard all of the doom and gloom that Trump was over turning Obama’s fracking rules and would allow undisclosed chemicals into God’s green earth… then I caught this from the Daily Caller which gives us the back story,. (Trump has as well solved the coal regs problem already) I nominate this as one of the best fake news stories of the year….

President Donald Trump’s administration will give a belated gift to American energy producers and repeal former President Barack Obama-era regulations for hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands.

The Interior Department is expected to publish a repeal of the rule in the Federal Register on Friday, and already the oil and gas industry are celebrating. Producers challenged were locked in court battles over the rule since it was finalized in 2015.

“It was clear from the start that the federal rule was redundant with state regulation and politically motivated, as the prior administration could not point to one incident or regulatory gap that justified the rule,” Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance, said in a statement.

Interior will publish the repeal of the rule two days after the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed an attempt to revive the Obama-era regulation. The court gave Interior until mid-January to repeal the rule.

Keep reading…

U.S. giving away ownership and control of our Energy and refineries

While we have been puffed up feeling good about our new energy finds, the continued eroding of its control and ownership has been slipping away. I first started reporting on the story when the major refineries closed in Philadelphia, once known as a major hub. What I found several years ago was chilling. We may have lots of oil, but  between the EPA bearing down, and the sale to foreign entities, mainly China, we have much to be concerned about, particularly our refineries.. First the update, then we take a look at the industry as a whole.

Aug 5 (Reuters) – Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA will sell North American unit Citgo Petroleum if it receives a good offer, Petroleum Minister Rafael Ramirez told reporters on Tuesday in what would be its biggest pullback ever from the U.S. refining market.

Citgo has three U.S. refineries with combined capacity of some 750,000 barrels per day. They are in Lemont, Illinois, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Corpus Christi, Texas.

Separate from Citgo, PDVSA has a stake in the Chalmette refinery in Louisiana with Exxon Mobil. The Venezuelan company also owns the Merey Sweeny unit of the Sweeny, Texas, refinery with Phillips66, which was spun off from ConocoPhillips.

Ramirez did not directly address the possible sale of PDVSA’s other refining assets in the United States, although bankers have said Chalmette is for sale. Ed:(Anyone want to bet China will step up?) More over atReuters

I decided to scout around to see what was going on with our refineries and our energy specifically. Here is what I came up with in just a bit of time back in 2012.

The Philadelphia company, which owns two refineries in Pennsylvania, announced plans to sell those refineries and focus on its pipelines and retail gas stations that provide a steadier cash flow.

“We have made progress in increasing the efficiency of our refineries over the last several years, but given the unacceptable financial performance of these assets, it is clear that it is in the best interests of shareholders to exit this business,”

Sunoco’s refineries in Philadelphia and Marcus Hook, Pa., can process a combined 505,000 barrels of oil per day. If it cannot sell its refineries, the company will shut down its main processing units in July 2012.

The move is one more step in a major transformation for U.S. refining. Marathon Oil Corp. and ConocoPhillips decided to distance themselves from refining, announcing plans earlier this year to spin off their downstream businesses. CNS News

Earlier, we have Valero:

Valero Energy, the top independent American refiner, is working to sell its remaining plants on the East Coast and in the Caribbean, The Wall Street Journal said Deal Book NY Times

Then we have this unpleasant business of China involved in Texas”

China stakes claim to S. Texas oil, gas

HOUSTON – State-owned Chinese energy giant CNOOC is buying a multibillion-dollar stake in 600,000 acres of South Texas oil and gas fields, potentially testing the political waters for further expansion into U.S. energy reserves.

With the announcement Monday that it would pay up to $2.2 billion for a one-third stake in Chesapeake Energy assets, CNOOC lays claim to a share of properties that eventually could produce up to half a million barrels a day of oil equivalent.

As part of the deal, the largest purchase of an interest in U.S. energy assets by a Chinese company, CNOOC has agreed to pay about $1.1 billion for a chunk of Chesapeake’s assets in the Eagle Ford, a broad oil and gas formation that runs largely from southwest of San Antonio to the Mexican border.

CNOOC also will provide up to $1.1 billion more to cover drilling costs.

The deal represents China’s second try at making a big move into the U.S. oil and gas market, following a failed bid five years ago to buy California-based Unocal Corp.

Intense political opposition over energy security concerns derailed that $18.4 billion deal. But analysts expect few political or regulatory hurdles to the CNOOC-Chesapeake deal. My San Antonio

Let us check out Wyoming:

China’s Niobrara Shale deal part of complex U.S. relationship

CHEYENNE — It’s more about greenbacks and less about the Red Menace.

China’s recent deal for assets and exploration in the Niobrara Shale should be viewed as part of a complex energy relationship between China, the United States and the rest of the world, some Wyoming energy experts say.

“It’s part of the mix. To me, that is the reality we’re working in, it’s a mutual dependency,” said Jean Garrison, director of international studies and professor of political science at the University of Wyoming. “These are people we’re going to be dealing with in a business setting.”

China’s $1.3 billion Niobara Shale deal with Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy is just one of many cooperative deals recently inked between the country’s state-owned oil companies and businesses in the U.S., Canada, Australia and South America.

Mark Northam, director of UW’s School of Energy Resources, said he would be more concerned if Chinese state-owned firms tried to buy companies such as Chesapeake outright.

Read more: Trib Com News

Check out what Mexico and Citgo were up to decades ago, and who knew?

State-run Oil Company Mexico’s PEMEX Looking into Purchase of Oil Refineries in U.S.. By Carlos Navarro. The state-run oil company PEMEX is exploring the possibility  Repository UNM EDU

Between 1986 and 1989, PDVSA, through its subsidiary CITGO Petroleum Corporation, acquired the Lake Charles and Corpus Christi refineries in the USA with a refining capacity of 485,000 b/d. The investment was made to enhance the value of Venezuela’s heavy crudes which, with a high sulphur and metal content, had been selling at a considerable discount to light crudes. http://www.petroleumworld.com/sati10061201.htm

China Enters California Oil Market With 50% Purchase of Coastal Corp. Refinery

China agreed Wednesday to buy half of a Hercules, Calif., oil refinery in a move that will put Chinese crude oil into competition with Alaska and California oil. The investment is the first of its kind by China’s state-owned oil industry and mimics recent actions by several OPEC nations.

The joint venture with Coastal Corp. of Houston, owner of the small refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area, also signals a move by Coastal into California’s huge gasoline and convenience-store market, the U.S. company saidhttp://articles.latimes.com/1988-08-04/business/fi-10283_1_oil-markets

 Then we have Israel:

ALON USA acquired ownership of the Big Spring, Texas refinery in August 2000, when ALON Israel Oil Company Ltd. purchased the U.S. fuels marketing and refining assets of Atofina Petrochemicals, Inc. (FINA). The 70,000-barrels-per-day Big Spring refinery delivers products to our customers from Ft. Smith, Arkansas to Phoenix, Arizona via owned/operated and third-party pipelines. Alon USA

China and our Oil Leases

China’s state-owned energy firm just closed a deal to buy interests in four development leases on the American Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal, which requires approval of the U.S. government, is between Norway’s Statoil and China National Off-Shore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). This is the same CNOOC that would have bought Unocal four years ago for $18.5 billion but for pressure from Congress, according to The New York Times, quoting an energy industry trade publication.

Because it must be approved by the U.S. government, the Statoil/CNOOC deal puts President Obama and Ken Salazar, his Secretary of the Department of the Interior, which controls OCS leasing, in a difficult position.

UPDATE: Bishop says Obama policy aids foreign nations, not U.S.

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-UT, says the Statoil/CNOOC deal is indicative of the Obama administration’s failure to protect U.S. consumers from foreign nations seeking to tap into this country’s abundant energy resources:

“Unemployment will continue to exceed acceptable levels and the economy will continue to suffer until this administration reverses its anti-energy policy.  China and other foreign countries are gaining access to the abundant natural resources located in the American OCS, meanwhile an energy starved U.S. continues to experience the detrimental effects of Secretary Salazar’s decisions to place special-interests before the American people.  Since taking office this administration has made great strides in helping countries gain access to American energy resources, it’s just too bad the U.S. isn’t one of them

Read more at the Washington Examiner: Washington Examiner

BONUS INFO!  Just to make our heads spin.

Recall: Russians to Control Uranium Mines in Wyoming? – Yep, I posted this in 2010!

Russians to control Uranium mines in Wyoming:

Two uranium mines in Wyoming are on their way to control by a Russian company now that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved transferring the mines’ licenses.

The NRC last week approved the license transfer to a Russian company known as ARMZ which expects to obtain a controlling interest in Canadian-owned Uranium One by year’s end. Uranium One holds the licenses for a proposed uranium mine and an existing uranium mine in northeast Wyoming.

The transfer raised concern from Wyoming’s congressional delegation, who said the uranium could in theory go overseas and serve against U.S. interests.

So who has the interests of the United States? Do not count on our government.

 

Soviet born Boris Bershteyn, Cass Sunstein’s replacement a sleeper cell

Recall my post Cass Sunstein replaced by Soros’s Soviet born Boris Bershteyn? He never got brought forward for a Senate confirmation hearing as required apparently. Or so we thought. But Obama seems to have managed a round about way of letting him slip by without one. First a bit of the back story, then the update. Just where are our GOPers on this? His position more powerful than the EPA. This sure will put energy on a fast track now won’t it?

Boris Bershteyn, the budget office’s general counsel, will replace Sunstein as acting director. Bershteyn is a natural choice. He was born in the Soviet Union, earned his law degree at Yale, and was selected as a 2001 “fellow” by the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. Paul Soros is the elder brother of the notorious globalist and darling of the financial class, George Soros.

Boris Bershteyn

Between his tours at OMB, he served as Special Assistant to the President and Associate White House Counsel, with responsibility for legal issues in regulatory, economic, health, and environmental policy.ACUS Gov

 The new Administrator of OIRA will have powerful influence on any proposed energy and environmental policies, in addition to proposals or new regulations in any other sector. The OIRA has already exercised plenty of revisions to Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency proposals involving issues such as coal mining, fracking, energy exports and renewable energy sources. The Administration’s proposed new regulations involving air quality, emissions controls on power plants, and regulations addressing climate change increase pressure on Obama to choose a new administrator as these issues need to be addressed quickly

President Obama is now under pressure to appoint a new administrator at the OIRA. The position of OIRA administrator has been unfilled since August, when Cass Sunstein stepped down after serving for three years. A lawyer named Boris Bershteyn has been serving as Acting Administrator in the interim, but there is a time limit on how long the position can remain vacant. Bershteyn is approaching his limit of 210 days as acting Administrator, and Obama must soon appoint someone to the position permanently. The appointment also needs to be approved by the Senate. Because Bershteyn’s 210 days will be up sometime next week and no successor has been named, the White House may simply remove his “Acting Administrator” title.

.More at The energy collective

Women arrested for refusing ‘Smart’ energy meter installation

While the story opines that the use of these meters may permit criminals to know when folks are home, I would say that is the least of our worries. No doubt with the planned energy shortage that Obama is implementing, the so-called Smart Meters will be turning our power on and off at will, and better yet, we will be seeing the start of rationing. Good news all around.

In Naperville, IL, two mothers were arrested last week for refusing to allow utility workers to install controversial smart meters on their homes.

 The city’s new Naperville Smart Grid Initiative requires new controversial smart meters to be installed in every home. Residents opposed to the smart meters have been fighting the initiative for over two years.

Jennifer Stahl, an advocate against the smart meters initiative, told The Blaze she “was protecting” her property when she refused to allow the smart meter installer install the device. She felt “like a momma bear protecting her babies,” she recalled.

 According to the Chicago Tribune, Malia “Kim” Bendis was also arrested on two misdemeanors for resisting a police officer and attempted eavesdropping, when she filmed police on scene, despite a recent federal court ruling that the state of Illinois’s ban on recording police officers in the line of duty was “unconstitutional.” The U.S. Supreme Court upheld that ruling in November.

 

More videos over at Breitbart

Posted by Bunkerville: God, Guns Guts, Comrades

Sierra Club to Break Law to Stop Keystone Pipeline

This might portend for an interesting quandary for Obama. He would like nothing better than to stir up a bit of anarchy. If he approves the pipeline he may believe that the anarchists will keep it in check, and cause more upheaval, and every revolution requires social unrest. Pit those who are paying through their teeth for their energy, against the “Greenies”. It solves his Union problem. It will dominate the news. I say he goes for it and approves the XL Pipeline and sits back and puts up his feet, and gives out a broad smile. What is your take?

The Sierra Club has announced its approval for a “one-time” use of civil disobedience. The civil disobedience is intended to step up their efforts to oppose the Keystone pipeline.

Many of the other groups opposing Keystone have been engaging in civil disobedience as a tactic, including arson-based ecoterrorism. This will be the first time in the Sierra Club’s history that they have approved violating the law.

In a January 22, 2013 press release, the Sierra Club states:

The Sierra Club Board of Directors has approved the one-time use of civil disobedience for the first time in the organization’s 120-year history.

The Club went as far as implying Hurricane Sandy was the result of humanity and stated:

Recognizing the imminent danger posed by climate disruption, including record heat waves, drought, wildfires and the devastation of superstorm Sandy, the Sierra Club board of directors has suspended a long-standing Club policy to allow, for one time, the organization to lead a group of environmental activists, civil rights leaders, visionaries, scientists, and other high-profile individuals in a peaceful protest to dirty and dangerous tar sands. The action will be by invitation only and is being co-sponsored by 350.org.

It remains to be seen if the Sierra Clubs’ civil disobedience will encourage their more ideological counterparts to move even further into radicalism. H/T: Breitbart

Posted by Bunkerville: God, Guns Guts, Comrades

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