Weekly U.S. Fuel Ethanol/Livestock Feed Production
Jeff Wilson - May 22, 2013 2:27 PM MT
Corn futures jumped the most in a week as demand rose for exports from the U.S., the world’s biggest shipper, and inventory of grain-based ethanol dropped to the lowest since November 2010. Wheat and soybeans gained.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported sales of a combined 540,000 metric tons of corn to China and unknown destinations for delivery in the 12 months that start Sept. 1. Ethanol output rose to the highest in 11 months, and stockpiles dropped for the fourth straight week, government data showed.
Supplies of ethanol, a gasoline additive, “are now as low as they usually are coming out of the end of the driving season in late August,” Jerry Gidel, the chief grain-market analyst at Rice Dairy LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “There is little reason to expect production to slow as U.S. driving demand will increase demand the next several months.”
Corn futures for July delivery rose 2.9 percent to settle at $6.585 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain for a most-active contract since May 13.
U.S. supplies of the grain left from last year are forecast to fall to the lowest since 1996 before the 2013 harvest, the government said on May 10.
Wheat futures for July delivery advanced 1.2 percent to $6.885 a bushel, the biggest gain since May 9, partly on signs of increasing use in livestock feedstock.
“Wheat is a cheaper feed alternative to corn on a per-pound and protein basis,” Dave Marshall, a farm-marketing adviser at Toay Commodity Futures Group LLC in Nashville, Illinois, said in a telephone interview. “Wheat supplies are not positioned where mills and exporters need them, and because of the shortage of corn, there is increased feed demand.”
Soybean futures for July delivery climbed 1.1 percent to $14.9425 a bushel. The price rose for the
On time and on budget, Monea says
By Bruce Johnstone, Leader-Post May 22, 2013
After more than a decade of study, over a billion dollars of investment, a few missteps and a couple of surprises, SaskPower's $1.24-billion Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage project at Boundary Dam's Unit 3 is on schedule and on budget, a CCS symposium was told here Tuesday.
And SaskPower wants to share the lessons learned from the world's first commercial-scale clean coal project through a global consortium of businesses, government agencies, research groups, educational institutions and environmental organizations with an interest in CCS.
"It is the world's first commercially based carbon capture facility for a power (generating) unit,'' SaskPower president and CEO Robert Watson said. "What we want to do (with the consortium) is bring Boundary Dam to the world.''
To that end, about 100 delegates from a dozen countries are attending the three-day Carbon Capture and Storage Information and Planning Symposium, which includes a tour of the Boundary Dam Unit 3 project in Estevan on Wednesday.
Following completion of the construction phase, testing of BD3 will begin this fall, Watson said. When fully operational in April 2014, BD3 will reduce 90 per cent of the CO2 emissions from Unit 3, or one million tonnes of CO2 per year, which is equivalent to taking 250,000 vehicles off the road for a year.
The million tonnes of CO2 captured by BD3 will be sold to Cenovus and shipped by pipeline to the Weyburn area, where it will be used in the Alberta-based company's CO2 enhanced oil recovery project.
Mike Monea, president of carbon capture and storage initiatives for SaskPower, said the CCS project, which is about 70 per cent complete, should meet its capital budget of $1.24 billion.
"I want to hit that target," Monea said after his presentation to the symposium. "I'd like to be below if I can."
Officials promote Sask. carbon capture project
Posted: May 21, 2013 9:13 PM CST
Last Updated: May 21, 2013 10:08 PM CST
A project aimed at reducing harmful emissions from a coal-fired power plant in Saskatchewan is the focus of a government-sponsored symposium.
The Boundary Dam, near Estevan, is home to SaskPower's most important electricity generating station.
The facility burns coal to spin the turbines which produce electricity and tonnes of greenhouse gases in the process.
Saskatchewan's carbon capture technology is being tested at the plant in a project estimated to cost about $1.24 billion.
"This one facility that is being constructed right now will be the equivalent of taking off the road about 250,000 vehicles," Bill Boyd, the provincial minister responsible for the venture, said Tuesday. "So that's pretty significant. And then the next ones after that could add obviously to that total."
The project is expected to be up and running by this fall with a final completion date set for April, 2014.
Saskatchewan work in the area was recently promoted by Premier Brad Wall, during a visit to Pittsburgh May 9.
"We have a great story to tell," Wall said just before leaving, calling the technology a potential "game-changer for countries that are still going to have coal in the mix."
Wall was also asked about the ongoing controversy surrounding the University of Regina's oversight of carbon capture research on its campus.
Wall praised the research work, but added some of the issues at the U of R were serious.
Wall noted the issues included sole-sourced contracts and conflicts of interest.
According to the government, more than 60 representatives from governments and organizations from 12 countries are in the province to learn about SaskPower's carbon capture project.
The symposium runs for three days.
May 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm by Emily Pickrell
The United States’ newfound energy prosperity unleashed by shale discoveries should be used for energy security rather than energy independence, according to a report released by Deloitte on Tuesday.
The relatively new abundance of shale-sourced energy has left many believing that it could set the United States on a course to energy independence. As oil production from domestic shale plays has surged, imports have dropped from 60 percent of the nation’s oil supply in 2005 to less than 40 percent today, Deloitte author Joseph Stanislaw wrote in the report.
But Stanislaw cautioned that nation’s shale resources are finite and should be used in part to finance longer-term investment in renewable energy.
“We are in a world of energy abundance, not energy scarcity. But abundance doesn’t mean that we should make mistakes,” Stanislaw told FuelFix. “Abundance means we have the time to make alternative investments, both from the private sector and through government involvement.”
Shale effect: Global oil boom forcing Saudi Arabia to cut oil production
While the U.S. arguably could produce enough energy to sustain itself, its economic and geopolitical ties to the rest of the world make energy independence meaningless, Stanislaw wrote. The danger of climate change and the impact of increased carbon use throughout the world will affect the entire globe. Renewable energy could be the answer to both these issues, providing both economic wealth and a long-term energy future for the country, Stanislaw said.
While knowledge of shale oil and the hydraulic fracturing technology have existed for decades, recent technology advancements have driven the boom, and Stanislaw expects that it is new technology that will make renewable energy advances more achievable.
There are several ways the federal government can speed up the
Joe Romm on May 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm
Dr. Ernest Moniz was sworn in as the new Energy Secretary this week. Last week, the previous Secretary, Dr. Steven Chu, gave an interview to Stanford where he is returning as a physics professor.
The Nobel laureate was asked “What’s the No. 1 problem on your list?” His answer:
Climate change. We’re heading into an era where if we don’t change what we’re doing, we’re going to be fundamentally in really deep trouble. We’re already in trouble. So we have to transition to better solutions.
We’re not too far away from producing a lot of renewable energy, and doing it cheaply. Solar power is going to become cheaper and cheaper – costs have plummeted three-fold in six years, partly because of the dropping price of modules and electronics. Wind energy is within 15 percent of the cost of new natural gas energy, and the DOE predicts that that cost will cross over within one or two decades, so we need to start to plan the transition system that can conduct more wind energy.
But right now, we’re not prepared. As technology continues to race forward – battery technology has advanced faster in the past five years than what I’ve seen in the [previous] 15 years – we need policy to guide and anticipate development. It takes decades to change things like infrastructure, and so people have to think about that today. Otherwise, progress slows down, and we emit more carbon and get into more trouble environmentally.
Back in 2009, Chu said “Wake up,” America, “we’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California.”
Chu did keep talking about climate change in the past 4 years, but neither the media nor the White House were paying much attention. And so we are “already in trouble” with much, much worse to come if we don’t act now.
Katie Valentine on May 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm
China is taking steps to tackle its huge carbon output. Today, the country announced the details of its first carbon trading program, which will begin in the city of Shenzhen next month. The southern city is one of seven cities and provinces, including Beijing, which will take part in the pilot program, set to be completely implemented by 2014.
And according to one local news source, China could implement an absolute, nation-wide cap on its carbon emissions by 2016. China’s 21st Century Business Herald reported this week that the country’s State Council still needs to approve the carbon cap proposal submitted by the National Development and Reform Commission, a government entity that controls much of the Chinese economy. The proposal, which the State Council is reportedly likely to support, would ensure China’s emissions would not increase past the country’s target cap, regardless of economic growth — though it’s still unclear what that cap would be. The paper reported that the NDRC also predicts China’s greenhouse gas emissions will peak in 2025, rather than 2030, as earlier predictions stated.
If the cap is adopted, it would be a major step for the world’s top CO2 emitter, which desperately needs to slow its carbon production. China is experiencing the world’s fastest growth in energy production and CO2 emissions, while production and emissions in the U.S. and Europe are flat-lining or decreasing. China uses 47 percent of the world’s coal, a number that’s only going up: in 2011, China’s coal consumption grew by 9 percent, accounting for 87 percent of the world’s 374 million ton increase in coal consumption that year.
The country’s emissions aren’t just a major contributor to climate change worldwide — they’re causing serious local problems as well. In Beijing, pollution has reached record levels, topping 775 in January — a number
May 22, 2013 5:35 PM MDT Updated: May 22, 2013 5:36 PM MDT
By Jack Gerfen, Weekend Weather/News Reporter
ST. JAMES, Minn. -
With the holiday weekend almost here, and two refineries down in the Chicago area, the price of regular unleaded is historically high statewide.
When gas is this high, many think about filling up with E85. E85 prices around the area range from 50 to over 80 cents cheaper than the price of regular unleaded, and in some places closer to a dollar cheaper.
E85 is 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline and can be used for vehicles whose engines are designed for it. Vehicles that use it may have an emblem on the rear of the vehicle that says Flex Fuel, if not, the gas cap is usually yellow with E85 on it.
Since it has become more popular, many engines are able to run the corn blend in new vehicles.
"It's not the first question they ask, but as we go through the process, yeah, it comes up to ask if its capable of burning both fuels the E85 and regular unleaded and I think a lot of times it does kind of add into the equation when they start making their choice," says Mark Nibbe, Sales Manager at Lager's Chrysler World.
E85 is cheaper than regular gas because the ethanol blend is cheaper. Its price is determined from supply of the corn and refinement. It's also home grown.
"It helps the entire state of Minnesota because our ethanol in Minnesota comes from Minnesota and we talk about it as being cleaner, renewable, and home grown and it provides economic activity and jobs and so on in the state of Minnesota," says Dale Busch, Regional Representative for Minnesota Corn Growers Association.
Busch says that while E85 is less efficient, a spread of around 40 cents is the break even point, but it does depend on the vehicle.
Gas prices look to remain high through the holiday weekend due to the start of the summer driving months and
Absolute Energy Offers Drivers Relief at the Pump
Joanna Schroeder – May 22nd, 2013
As Memorial Day approaches marking the beginning of summer driving season, gas prices have spiked. Last week, gas prices went up .19 cents per gallon in Iowa with ending average prices at $3.70 per gallon. Spikes were even higher in Minnesota/St. Paul with prices averaging $4.21 across the state while the national average is around $3.60 per gallon.
In response Absolute Energy, an ethanol plant located on the Iowa-Minnesota border, is offering Minnesota drivers some relief at the pump in the form of ethanol. Absolute Energy is offering E85, (85 percent ethanol / 15 percent gasoline), in bulk to gas marketers impacted by the recent shut-down of three oil refineries for mostly seasonal reasons. According to E85Prices this week, the published average statewide E85 price is averaging $3.08 and has been reported to be as low as $2.39 per gallon in Eagan, Minn.
Rick Schwarck, CEO of Absolute Energy, said, “With gas prices spiking and ethanol plentiful in the Midwest, this will be the summer of the flex-fuel vehicle. Drivers of FFVs should be able to take advantage of serious savings at the pump by using E85. Not only will they be saving money, they will be choosing a fuel alternative that creates jobs and opportunities throughout Minnesota, Iowa and other states. E85 will drive us toward a cleaner, brighter summer sky thanks to lower greenhouse gas emissions while also strengthening our national security and economy.”
Obama's new Energy chief: Climate change ‘not debatable’
By Ben Geman - 05/22/13 11:03 AM ET
New Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz doesn’t want to spend his tenure battling over climate science.
“Let me make it very clear that there is no ambiguity in terms of the scientific basis calling for a prudent response on climate change,” Moniz told Energy Department employees shortly after his swearing-in.
“I am not interested in debating what is not debatable,” Moniz said in his remarks at the Tuesday ceremony. “There is plenty to debate as we try and move forward on our climate agenda.”
The comment was part of much wider-ranging remarks, available here, on Moniz’s overall agenda.
He also addressed the Energy Department’s missions around power grid resilience, oversight of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, nonproliferation, scientific research and more.
Moniz is stepping into the Cabinet job at a time when President Obama has vowed new executive-level actions on climate.
Moniz, in a separate speech Tuesday, vowed to focus heavily on energy efficiency initiatives, which he called a vital tool in addressing greenhouse gas emissions.
Vicki Needham - 05/22/13 10:44 AM ET
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned Congress that the central bank's actions will be insufficient to stave off a drag on the economy caused by rising taxes and spending cuts.
Bernanke told the Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday that a bevy of fiscal policy issues are creating headwinds and will "exert a substantial drag on the economy this year."
The expiration of the payroll tax cut, other tax increases, budget caps on discretionary spending, billions in sequestration and the declines in defense spending will weigh on the economy, and the Fed won't be able to stop the effects.
"Taking them all together, they have the effect of being a drag on economic growth, perhaps more than necessary," he said.
With interest rates near zero, "monetary policy does not have the capacity to fully offset an economic headwind of this magnitude."
Bernanke told lawmakers that instead of focusing on near-term budget cutting, Congress must take "more aggressive action to address the long-term issues that puts the budget on an unsustainable path."
"The objectives of effectively addressing longer-term fiscal imbalances and of minimizing the near-term fiscal headwinds facing the economic recovery are not incompatible," he told the panel.
"To achieve both goals simultaneously, the Congress and the administration could consider replacing some of the near-term fiscal restraint now in law with policies that reduce the federal deficit more gradually in the near term but more substantially in the longer run."
Bernanke argued that the still fragile economic recovery would have been "much weaker without the aggressive monetary policy" of the Fed, but said that "monetary policy is not omnipotent" and is unable to do all the work to boost growth.
He said the after effects of the financial crisis, the ongoing fiscal crisis
May 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm by Jennifer A. Dlouhy
Wednesday’s congressional debate on the Keystone XL pipeline will be a forum for a host of other contentious topics, including climate change, oil spills and protectionist policy.
The debates will come as the House of Representatives takes up legislation to speed approval of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry diluted bitumen from Canadian oil sands developments to Gulf Coast refineries.
Although the bill sponsored by Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., probably will pass the House, it faces a presidential veto threat, and is unlikely to advance in the Senate anyway. Nevertheless, the legislation represents a new opportunity for Keystone XL’s congressional supporters to pressure the White House into approving TransCanada Corp.’s pipeline, eight years after the company first proposed it.
And to congressional Democrats — including some who support the pipeline — Wednesday’s debate is a chance to get lawmakers on record on politically sensitive issues surrounding the project.
For instance, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., wants the House to vote on an amendment that would add a provision stating that using oil sands crude would boost heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions as much as 4.3 million passenger vehicles. Waxman’s proposal also would make the streamlined approval of Keystone XL under the bill contingent on oil sands producers or TransCanda fully offsetting greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project.
Read more: Activists threaten massive protests if Obama approves Keystone XL
Other lawmakers are using amendments to highlight the risk of leaks along the pipeline’s path, after recent spills of diluted bitumen have proved more difficult to clean up than anticipated. TransCanada has acknowledged that oil sands-derived crudes can be driven to the bottom of turbulent water, sticking to rocks and making...
Global oil BOOM forcing Saudi Arabia 2 cut oil production
May 22, 2013 at 10:30 am by Jeannie Kever
Saudi Arabia has cut crude oil production this year and will have to cut it further if it wants to prevent a significant drop in the global oil price, according to the latest Global Crude Oil Outlook from Energy Security Analysis Inc.
The Massachusetts-based consulting firm said Saudi Arabia, perhaps with help from Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, will need to drop production by a million barrels a day from 2012 levels to defend $100 Brent crude, the global benchmark oil price.
The prediction is in line with a report from the International Energy Agency, which said last week that most of the world’s new oil production over the next five years would come from outside OPEC.
South Texas boom: Eagle Ford barrels hit record high
Much of that shift is due to the North American shale oil boom, according to the IEA, but also growing production in Brazil and Iraq.
The Energy Security Analysis outlook said Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar produced an average of 15.2 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2013, down from an average of 15.8 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Halfway through the second quarter of 2013, it said production appears to be about 15.1 million barrels per day.
Other OPEC countries are maintaining average production at 15.2 million barrels per day.
Saudi Texas: Oil’s new reign in Texas draws comparisons to the Kingdom
Looking forward, the report said, in order to prevent surplus inventories, producers along the Arab Gulf, excluding Iran and Iraq, will need to cut production during the second half of the year, despite expected lower production in Libya and Nigeria.
“OPEC can manage supply effectively this year, but not through benign neglect,” Sarah Emerson, energy principal at Energy Security Analysis Inc., said in a statement.
... the week ending May 17, 2013, 4 thousand barrels per day below the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 87.3 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production increased last week, averaging over 9.2 million ...
U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged over 15.2 million barrels per day during the week ending May 17, 2013, 4 thousand barrels per day below the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 87.3 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production increased last week, averaging over 9.2 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production increased last week, averaging 4.8 million barrels per day.
U.S. crude oil imports averaged over 8.1 million barrels per day last week, up by 507 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged 7.9 million barrels per day, 932 thousand barrels per day below the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 1.1 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 101 thousand barrels per day last week.
U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 0.3 million barrels from the previous week. At 394.6 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories increased by 3.0 million barrels last week and are near the upper limit of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and blending components inventories increased last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 1.1 million barrels last week and remained in the lower half of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 2.2 million barrels last week, and are in the middle of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories increased by 4.2 million barrels last week.
Total products supplied over the last four-week period have averaged 18.6 million barrels per day, down
Data Overview (Combined Table 1 and Table 9)
May 22, 2013
The USDA's May 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report contained supply and consumption projections for the 2013-14 marketing year for U.S. corn and soybeans. For the most part, the market focused on the projections of crop size, but according to University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good, the most important information is in the projections of marketing year consumption.
"The U.S average corn yield is projected at 158 bushels per acre, below our calculation of trend yield near 161.5 bushels, and production is projected at a record 14.14 billion bushels," Good said. "The U.S. average soybean yield is projected at 44.5 bushels per acre, above our trend-yield calculation near 44 bushels, and production is projected at a record 3.39 billion bushels. The projected corn yield reflects the expectation that yield potential has been compromised by the likelihood that a much larger-than-average percentage of the 2013 crop will be planted later than is optimal for maximum yield potential. The soybean yield forecast reflects an opportunity to plant much of the crop in a timely fashion with much improved soil moisture conditions in many areas," Good said.
According to Good, the yield of both crops will be determined by weather conditions yet to unfold so considerable uncertainty will persist for another three months. In addition, the magnitude of planted acreage is not yet known with more information to be available in the USDA's June Acreage report.
"The consumption projections for both crops reflect judgment about the size of the market under conditions of ample supplies and much lower prices," Good said. "These projections are valuable because they provide context for evaluating the price implications of production potential as it unfolds over the next few months," he said.
For corn, use for ethanol and by-product production is forecast at 4.85
NIST Tech Beat: May 14, 2013
Chances are you know how many miles your car logs for each gallon or tankful of gas, but you probably have only a foggy idea of how much energy your house consumes, even though home energy expenditures often account for a larger share of the household budget.
This disparity in useful energy data is just one of several information gaps that must be bridged as the United States transitions towards residences that generate as much energy as they use over the course of a year—so-called net-zero houses.
Gaps—and strategies to overcome them—are summarized in Strategies to Achieve Net-Zero Energy Homes: A Framework for Future Guidelines, a new publication* from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) based on the discussions at a 2011 workshop convened by the agency.
One such strategy, proffered by experts who attended the workshop, is to require that energy costs be listed in all real-estate transactions.
"This means incorporating energy in the appraisal process, and the valuation of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI), so that it incorporates energy cost considerations to become the valuation of principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and energy cost considerations (PITIE)," the report says.
The report breaks out three categories of challenges: design, technology and equipment, and the needs and behaviors of homeowners and the building industry.
With regard to design, one workshop recommendation is to establish a scoring system for new and used homes so that prospective buyers can "compare energy, durability, indoor air quality, accessibility, and other factors relative to their needs."
In net-zero energy homes, energy loads will be substantially lower than current heating and cooling equipment is built to deliver and existing product performance standards are designed to test. According to the
Quick, everyone invest heavily on LNG before the BOOM BUSTS!
Anyone see a BUBBLE?