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Recent Gas News/GasBuddy Blog

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RememberTheOil - Car Maintenance ***Featured in AppsGoneFree. Your daily free app resource.***

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* Each vehicle can be configured in miles (U.S. or U.K) or kilometers
* Fuel fill-ups  (go to article)

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From Seoul to Mexico City, pressure mounts to ease US oil export ban

25CNBC-REUTERS -- Washington is facing growing international pressure to ease its long standing ban on crude oil exports, with South Korea and Mexico joining the European Union in pressing the case for U.S. oil shipments overseas.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye told a visiting U.S. delegation of lawmakers on the House of Representatives energy committee on Aug. 11 that tapping into the gusher of ultra-light, sweet crude emerging from places like Texas and North Dakota was a priority, the lawmakers said.

One of South Korea's leading refiners has opened discussions with the government in Seoul over how to encourage Washington to open the taps, three sources in South Korea with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Mexico is also eagerly awaiting word from the U.S. Department of Commerce on...  (go to article)

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Dodge Ram 1500 Tops Consumer Reports MPG Test

Gas2 -- Consumer Reports says the Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has the best fuel economy of any full size pickup truck sold in America. In their testing, it got 27 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg overall. Those numbers compare quite favorably with the EPA rating of 28 highway, 2o mpg city and 23 mpg overall. The CR numbers are probably closer to what owners should see in real world driving.

Ram’s brand director Bob Hegbloom said recently that improved fuel economy ratings have definitely helped sell more Ram 1500 trucks. He also said that the first manufacturer to offer a full size pickup that actually gets 30 mpg will “win the pick up truck war.” Others are getting close. Staff member Jo Borras recently took a Chevy Tahoe on a 1000 mile road trip with his family and all their stuff and averaged 25 mpg  (go to article)

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Coal Miners See Signs of Recovery as Prices Stabilize

WallStJournal -- For two years, the world's coal miners have been plagued by a glut that has battered prices and led to the closure of mines, straining tiny towns from Australia to South Africa.

Now, some of the largest coal exporters are signaling the worst may be over as prices stabilize.

Coal-mining executives say a string of pit shutdowns should finally kick-start the market by curbing supply, while demand from buyers such as China and India appears to be picking up. The optimism is a reversal from past months when companies warned of a sustained market surplus, although they are stopping short of predicting a sharp rebound and see any recovery as gradual.

Coal is one of the world's most important energy products and is the biggest source of electricity generation, supplying about 40% of global need  (go to article)

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Massive cyber attack on oil and energy industry in Norway

Naked Security -- As many as 300 oil and energy companies have been targeted by hackers in the largest ever coordinated cyber attack in Norway.

The Local reports that 50 companies in the oil sector have already been breached while another 250 are at risk.

Nasjonal Sikkerhetsmyndighet - Norway's National Security Authority (NSM) - has issued warnings to the companies it believes may be targeted including Statoil, the country's largest oil company. The identities of other firms that have been breached or targeted have not been disclosed at this time.  (go to article)

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Solar project showcases innovation between Minnesota Power, military

Fierceenergy.com -- Minnesota Power is joining forces with the Minnesota National Guard to build a major solar energy project at the state's largest military base, Camp Ripley. If approved, the project will be the largest solar energy installation on military property in the state.

A recently signed memorandum of understanding between the two outlines plans to build a 10 MW utility-scale solar array at the central Minnesota camp, which would cover nearly 100 acres of underutilized government property with photovoltaic panels on racks. The National Guard and Minnesota Power will work together to identify and complete programs that will help Camp Ripley meet its energy savings goal of 30 percent over 2003. In fact, they have already identified more than 50 energy conservation measures.
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Capturing value from oil and gas land operations

Fierceenergy.com -- The continued increases in oil and gas transaction volume and drilling activity have strained oil and gas land organizations, leading to missed opportunities in building efficiencies and capturing value, according to PwC's 2014 Land Management Benchmarking study based on responses from more than 70 oil and gas professionals from different functions across 20 top oil and gas companies in the U.S.

Rapid shifts from land acquisition to development has intensified the resource and organizational gaps in land administration and operations, according to PwC.

"Land functions are being challenged to do more and provide greater value, yet they are finding it difficult to keep pace with today's accelerated rate of deal and drilling activity as leases change hands at greater levels than in the past  (go to article)

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Surge In U.S. Oil Production Finally Reflected At Pump

Oil Price.com -- Geopolitical turmoil, particularly in oil-producing regions, usually means higher retail costs for petroleum products, specifically gasoline.

Not so this year. Oil analysts say American drivers taking their last summer road trips cars will enjoy the lowest pump prices this Labor Day weekend than they have in four years. That’s despite ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and between Russia and Ukraine.  (go to article)

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13 Sweet, Affordable Cars to Take Back to School

Wired -- As a student, you need your car to handle a few essential tasks. It should be able to haul sports gear, get student-budget-ready gas mileage, be reliable enough to avoid costly repairs, have a solid safety rating, and still stand apart from the rest of the crowd. Sure, you could just pick up a Corolla or Civic, but there are way less boring cars to have for not too much money.

To mark the end of summer and the start of a new school year, we've picked out 13 new and used cars that hit all those marks, a few of which have some sly tech to keep students from driving like hellions.  (go to article)

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Russia breaks ground on new gas pipeline to China

APF -- Russia launched construction Monday of a 770 billion ruble ($20.8 bn) gas pipeline that will help bring gas from the far east of the country to China. "We are today starting the biggest construction project in the world," President Vladimir Putin said at the ceremonial joining of the first sections of the 3,968-kilometre (2,466-mile) Siberian Strength pipeline outside the eastern Siberian city of Yakutsk. "But it is not about records, it is the fact that it is an extremely important project for the Russian Federation and for the People's Republic of China," he said, according to comments broadcast on national TV. China's Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, who was also in attendance at the ceremony, said he hoped the pipeline would be completed within four years. "China already plans in the first ha  (go to article)

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5 simple steps to saving for a new car

USA Today -- It sounds so simple: If you want to build up your savings, just spend less than you earn.

But while a fourth-grader can do the math on paper, even 40-year-olds can have trouble putting that basic idea into practice.

If you're trying to save up a few thousand bucks for a new car – or a used car that is at least new to you – it helps to have a plan that keeps you disciplined and on schedule if unexpected expenses pop up.
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Can Tesla Be More Valuable Than GM?

247wallst.com -- Tesla Motors Inc.’s market capitalization is $35 billion. That of General Motors Co. is $55 billion. Can Tesla pass GM by this measure? It is not out of the question, because Tesla’s shares are surging and GM’s legal woes due to recalls and the impact this could have on earnings are not over.

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Researchers at work on using liquid nitrogen instead of water in fracturing

Fuel Fix -- Petroleum engineers in Colorado are working on a process called cryogenic fracturing, which replaces water with searing cold liquid nitrogen or liquid carbon dioxide. And natural gas fields in the state may serve as a laboratory for testing this different way to fracture shale rock formations – one that doesn’t pump millions of gallons of water underground or result in contaminated wastewater. Reporter Collin Eaton looks at how scientists at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden hope that the ultra-cold thermal shocks that occur when liquid nitrogen meets shale rock will have a similar effect as water, creating the needed stress to crack open the subterranean stores of oil and gas. And, Eaton found, that because the liquid nitrogen would evaporate underground, cryogenic fracturing could f  (go to article)

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As Solar Power Grows, Dispute Flares Over U.S. Utility Bills

National Geographic -- An energy revolution is happening atop homes in the United States, with one new rooftop solar system being installed every four minutes in 2013.

Great for the environment. Not so good for the U.S. electric companies that happen to be in solar energy hot spots.

So-called "net metering" policies are adding up to a headache for electric company officials, who are watching monthly utility income shrink as more and more solar panels crown the homes in their service areas.  (go to article)

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Oil futures slip as markets weigh Ukraine, Chinese data

MarketWatch -- Crude-oil futures traded in a narrow price range Monday as markets weighed events in Ukraine and China’s manufacturing data that pointed to further slowing of the economy.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at $95.67 a barrel at last check, down $0.29, or 0.3%. October Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange fell $0.53, or 0.5%, to $102.66 a barrel.

Nymex crude ended 2.25% lower in August, and Brent crude lost 2.67% during the month. Both oil benchmarks are down for two consecutive months, but recovered slightly in the final week of August on the back of positive U.S. economic data and Russia-Ukraine tensions.

Amid reports of further incursions by Russian soldiers into Ukraine over the weekend, the European Union is ...  (go to article)

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Oil prices dip on faltering demand but Libya chaos threatens output

Reuters -- Brent crude oil prices dipped on Monday as manufacturing growth faltered in Europe and China at a time of ample supply, although the risk of production setbacks remained high in Libya where the government has lost control of most of the capital.

Euro zone manufacturing growth slowed more than expected last month and factory activity in several key countries appeared to be stagnating. French factory output fell at its fastest in 15 months in August.

Chinese factory growth slipped to a three-month low in August as foreign and domestic demand cooled, and the country's huge construction sector is also seeing a slowdown, muddying the outlook for demand from the world's key consumer of most commodities.

"In China, diesel demand growth has been pressured by a slowdown in construction activity  (go to article)

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Speediest and slowest states: Where does yours rank?

Yahoo! Autos (from autos.com) -- This year marks four decades since President Richard M. Nixon signed into law a mandate that set the maximum national speed limit at 55 mph, helping to fend off an oil crisis, diminishing Americans' ability to make good time on a cross-country road trip and inspiring rocker Sammy Hagar's signature song. It's been nearly two decades since that law's repeal and, since then, two-thirds of U.S. states have picked up the pace significantly, raising their speed limits to 70 mph or higher on stretches of their roadways.

So which state is the fastest? Put another way, which states have the highest average top speed limit?  (go to article)

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How Australia Perfected Solar Power and Then Went Back to Coal

NewsVice -- There was a time in the 1980s when Australia led the world in solar technology. To begin with, Australia receives more solar radiation per square foot than anywhere on the planet, and that presents an obvious advantage. But the true catalyst was geography: two thirds of the country consists of uninhabited desert. This posed problems for engineers tasked with constructing a national telephone network in the early 1970s. The solution was to build remote relay stations powered with solar energy, which at the time was a fledgling, expensive technology. Yet by 1978 the national provider, Telecom, had developed reliable solar cells that could be installed affordably across the country and be infrequently maintained. International recognition came in 1983 when Perth was tapped...  (go to article)

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Construction continues at Dakota Prairie Refinery

KFYR -- The city of Dickinson has had a record amount of rainfall in the month of August, but all that precipitation hasn't stopped construction at the Dakota Prairie Refinery.

As the summer construction season winds down, hundreds of workers at the Dakota prairie refinery are speeding up, placing the final touches on the plant.

"We are three months away from finishing our 3 year journey," says John Stumpf of WBI energy. The refinery is the first plant to be build in the United States in over three decades.

"This is the perfect spot for a plant, we are close to the crude oil, close to a big market for the diesel," according to plant manager Dave Podratz. Each day the plant will convert 20,000 barrels of crude oil into 7,000 barrels of diesel fuel.
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5 things to know about driving on marijuana

Associated Press -- The legalization of recreational marijuana in two states — Colorado and Washington — and medical marijuana in more than 20 others has raised concern that there will be more drivers stoned behind the wheel. What's not clear is whether that will translate into an increase in fatal crashes.  (go to article)

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Libyan crude oil output ramps up to 700,000 b/d despite political chaos

Platts -- Libya's crude production has rallied to 700,000 b/d, a spokesman for state-owned National Oil Corp said Monday, its highest level since June last year when the most recent crisis to hit the country's oil sector first began.

The increase comes, however, as Libya faces arguably its biggest political challenge since the killing of former leader Moammar Qadhafi in 2011 with its outgoing government forced to take refuge in the east of the country after armed militias took control of government offices in Tripoli.

"Libyan oil production is 700,000 b/d," the NOC spokesman said on Monday.

Libyan production has been steadily ramping up in the past month after exports finally resumed from the eastern ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf in August after one year of rebel occupation.
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Oil prices will not fall below $100 mark for rest of 2014

Arab Times -- KUWAIT CITY, Aug 31, (KUNA): There should be no anxiety over the global price of oil for the rest of 2014, predicted an expert, who viewed that prices would not fall below the $ 100 mark in spite of their recent drop to just below that. The recent drop as Kuwaiti crude slid by 64 cents to $ 99.14 a barrel is attributed to several factors, including supply exceeding demand, Mohammad Al-Shatti suggested. One of the main reasons of this is the significant increase of global production leading to an overwhelming output, he argues. The recovery of production in Libya, after their recent political revolution, has increased output from 70,000 barrels a day to around 550,000 barrels.
Meanwhile in Iraq, production has not been affected by the threat of armed terror Islamic State jihadists, formerl  (go to article)

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Speculators Turn More Bullish on Oil Before Labor Day

Bloomberg -- Hedge funds increased bullish positions on crude oil for the first time in more than a month, benefiting from a rally before the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Money managers increased net-long positions in U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil by 0.6 percent in the seven days ended Aug. 26, boosting bullish wagers from a 16-month low, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed. WTI climbed 2.5 percent last week, the first gain since July.

U.S. refineries operated at the highest rate for this time of year since 2005 before the Labor Day weekend, which AAA estimated would see the most drivers in six years. Oil demand in the U.S. is at the strongest seasonal level in six years. The nation’s economy expanded more than previously forecast in the second quarter, increasing expectations  (go to article)

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Tesla SUV Could Outshine The Model S – Morgan Stanley

Detroit News -- Tesla Motors Inc achieved a big hit with its Model S saloon, but according to investment bank Morgan Stanley, its next model, an SUV, will do even better.

Tesla has achieved much with the four-door $70,000 plus Model S, sweeping up awards and generally wowing the motoring press. Tesla built 8,763 Model S cars in the second quarter, and expects to deliver about 35,000 this year.

Tesla expects to build more than 60,000 vehicles in 2015. The next vehicle on the launch pad is the Model X, and, according to Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas, this will feast on the premium SUV market.

“Despite the success of the Model S, we think Model X has the potential to be far more successful and a much better value. Some in the market have described Tesla as a ‘one hit wonder’ with the Model S. We expect the  (go to article)

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Happy Labor Day to All!

GasBuddy Blog -- A little history never hurts...
According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.But more than 100 years later, there's still disagreement about which union leader deserves the credit... ...  (go to article)

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Where Jaguar Land Rover may take EVs, hybrids

Automotive News -- Wolfgang Ziebart, 64, head of product development for Jaguar Land Rover, is guiding the expansion of the Land Rover and Jaguar ranges. The former BMW product development chief shared thoughts about Jaguar Land Rover's plans for hybrid and electric vehicles in a chat with Automotive News Europe's Nick Gibbs.
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Exelon opposes renewal of wind subsidy

delawareonline -- Wind power advocates are expressing concern over Exelon Corp.’s proposed merger with the company that owns Delmarva Power, saying its opposition to the major subsidy for wind could hurt the development of onshore and offshore wind farms.

Exelon owns such distribution utilities as PECO in Pennsylvania and BGE in Baltimore. It has filed papers to merge with Pepco Holdings Inc., owner of Delmarva Power in Delaware and Maryland, Pepco in Maryland and the District of Columbia, and Atlantic City Electric in New Jersey.

Exelon, the largest operator of nuclear power plants in the United States, has been vocal in opposition to the Production Tax Credit a subsidy to wind farm developers that drives down the cost of construction, and thus the cost of the power.

The tax credit expired at the end...  (go to article)

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The 10 Best-Selling Vehicles of 2014 Thus Far

Wall St. Cheat Sheet -- We’re well into the 2014 calendar year, and auto sales data is starting to roll in. While there are few surprises on the list, the numbers do provide some valuable insight into consumer habits for manufacturers to consider going into the future. The big names are present, including Honda (NYSE:HM), Ford (NYSE:F), Chevrolet (NYSE:GM), and Toyota (NYSE:TMC). There is a solid mix of consumer cars, trucks and even some SUVs, indicating the varying tastes and trends across sales segments as well.

Our list comes courtesy of the folks at Kelley Blue Book, who supplied the top ten. Wall St. Cheat Sheet has supplemented KBB‘s figures with our own sales data to ensure accuracy. The figures are accurate through the month of July, meaning there’s plenty of time for reshuffling as the year goes on...  (go to article)

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Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles poised to get rolling

Earthtechling -- A convergence of factors is propelling a market rollout of the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, according to a new study from the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis. A key to hydrogen’s potential success is a new smart solution that clusters hydrogen fuel infrastructure in urban or regional networks, limiting initial costs and enabling an early market for the technology before committing to a full national deployment, suggests the study.
The researchers behind the study, “The Hydrogen Transition,” probe the variety of factors combining to increase the likelihood of successful hydrogen-powered car commercialization. These include new thinking by government and industry on strategies for developing fuel station infrastructure,  (go to article)

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Wind Power Can Improve Resiliency of Electrical Grids

Earthtechling -- Today, at the CIGRE Session 45 in Paris, GE’s Energy Consulting business (NYSE: GE) presented the findings of its frequency response study on wind power and grid resiliency. The study, which was sponsored by the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, modeled the country’s Eastern Interconnection—one of the largest electrical systems in the world—and determined that when equipped with the appropriate modern plant controls, wind applications can substantially enhance grid resiliency.
Increased Wind Integration Positions Electrical Grids to Better Respond to Major Disturbances
Finding Based on Model of Eastern Interconnection of U.S. with Aggressive 25-Percent Wind Power Integration
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Texting while driving, woman impaled through buttocks

USA Today -- ELIZABETH, Colo. — A woman says she was texting and driving when she hit a pole that went through her car, piercing her thigh and buttocks.

Elizabeth firefighters had to saw off the front and back end of the pole to get the woman out.

Christina Jahnz says she was in the parking lot of Elizabeth Middle School on Wednesday morning to deliver her daughter's saxophone, which had been left at home. As she was driving away from the school, Jahnz started texting her friend.

"I was running late for a business meeting, so I did a voice text. I looked down to make sure it was all right. The next thing I knew, I was looking up, there was white powder from the air bags deployed," Jahnz said.  (go to article)

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Global crude shortages now outweighed by US production

Haynesville.com -- The results of a multi-year EIA study of America’s effect on the global energy market were released yesterday. The organization concluded that the country’s growing liquid fuel industry, which produces crude oil, natural gas liquids and biofuels among other types, has become substantial enough to insulate the global market against crude price fluctuations caused by unforeseen circumstances.  (go to article)

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Nicaragua’s Becoming a Green Energy Powerhouse

Business Insider -- Nicaragua—How quickly can a nation wean itself from fossil fuels & move toward reliance on renewable energy? In the case of Nicaragua, very, very fast.

Nearly as breathtaking as the speed Nicaragua embraced private renewable-energy plants is its emergence in less than a decade from an energy crisis of constant rotating blackouts.

“We were facing power rationing of up to 12 hours a day”. High global prices for oil had socked Nicaragua. Legislators passed a 2005 law giving renewable-energy companies a tax holiday and permitting imported equipment duty-free.

“We were going to move from around 80-percent dependency on oil for our energy to around 80-percent dependency on renewables over the course of a 10-year period,”
What happened next surprised even the gov't. Private capital poured in  (go to article)

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Black gold buccaneers: Oil piracy in the Gulf of Guinea

Hayneville.com -- While pirates do not solely hijack oil vessels, tankers are often the primary targets. As recently as July 25, oil tanker Hai Soon 6 disappeared off the coast of Ghana. The ship was released shortly afterward, but had been relieved of her cargo.  (go to article)

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Thank Fracking For Falling Gas Prices This Labor Day Weekend

The Daily Caller -- Good news for families trying to get in one last road trip before school starts: Gas prices are falling ahead of Labor Day weekend, thanks to booming U.S. oil production from shale formations.

The current average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.44, according to AAA. A good sign for the 34.7 million Americans who will be traveling this Labor Day weekend — 29.7 million of which will be travelling by car, notes AAA.

“As the economy makes modest gains, more Americans are joining the labor force this year,” said AAA COO Marshall Doney in a statement. “With Labor Day symbolizing the American workers’ contributions to the strength and prosperity of our country, it’s only fitting that millions are choosing to celebrate this positive direction with an all-American road trip.”

This is more t  (go to article)

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Drilling Furiously: Chinese Energy Giants Turn Upbeat On Shale Gas

RigZone -- HONG KONG, Aug 29 (Reuters) - China's energy heavyweights Sinopec Corp and PetroChina have upgraded their outlook on the country's shale gas industry, citing steadily declining costs, but stopped short of predicting a near-term boom.

China, estimated to hold the world's largest technically recoverable shale resources, is hoping to replicate the shale boom that has transformed the energy landscape of the United States. Industry experts caution that it would be much more difficult for China to monetise its shale gas reserves than the U.S. as it faces serious challenges from water shortages to complicated geological structure and a lack of infrastructure. But top executives at China's two biggest energy companies conveyed a bullish assessment of the country's shale gas potential this week, c  (go to article)

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Is BP Too Big To Punish?

Forbes -- Yes. But maybe not for much longer. Last year, a federal judge approved a criminal settlement between BP and the U.S. Department of Justice under which the oil giant pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other criminal charges. They agreed to pay over $4 billion in fines for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The blowout of BP’s Macondo Well killed eleven people and created one of the worst environmental catastrophes in the world (CBS News).

Attorney General Eric Holder and Lead Prosecutor Lanny Breuer could be forgiven for being happy with the largest settlement of its type in history. But more telling is the fact that investors really, really liked this deal. That’s because a mere $4 billion is a drop in the bucket to companies with annual revenues of a quarter trillion dollars.  (go to article)

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Crude oil futures - weekly outlook: September 1 - 5

NASDAQ -- Crude oil prices ended the month lower, despite posting their first weekly gain in five weeks on Friday bolstered by concerns over worsening tensions in Ukraine and as broadly upbeat U.S. data lifted the demand outlook.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for delivery in October added 1.34% to end the week at $95.82 a barrel late Friday. Nymex oil futures rose 2.58% last week, but ended the month with losses of 2.11%.

Crude oil moved higher after data showed that U.S. consumer sentiment rebounded to a seven year high in August, with the final reading of the University of Michigan's consumer confidence index rising to 82.5 from 81.8 in June.

Another report indicated that manufacturing activity in the Chicago region continued to expand in August, pointing to underlying strength  (go to article)

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A Mountainous Reminder Of Fracking's Link To Cheap Gasoline

Forbes -- I’m doing some driving in Colorado this weekend, and every gas station I pass is a reminder that gasoline prices this Labor Day weekend are at their lowest in four years. Prices were running just under$3.50 a gallon heading out of Denver, which was about the average based on the prices being reported on GasBuddy.com.

Pump prices will probably drop after this weekend, as driving demand wanes. Futures prices have been falling thanks to a stable crude oil market and increased gasoline production from U.S. refineries. For a summer marked by political unrest in the Middle East, we’ve been spared price spikes and “staycations.”

From Denver, I’ve traveled westward into parts of the state in which the reason for this stability can be found — hydraulic fracturing. Fracking activity has accelerate  (go to article)

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Is the Latest Round of Russia Sanctions a Threat to ExxonMobil?

The Motley Fool -- The latest round of U.S. and EU economic sanctions against Russia, which target strategically important banking and energy companies, are aimed at choking off its access to Western debt and equity financing. They also impose restrictions on the sale or transfer of Western technologies and equipment to Kremlin-controlled energy companies like Rosneft.

What impact will these sanctions have on ExxonMobil, which is working closely with Rosneft to explore for oil and gas in various parts of Russia, and its future in the country?
 (go to article)

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Tesla Motors dealing as states play factory poker

Associated Press -- From the start, little has been typical about Tesla Motors' plan for a $5 billion factory to make batteries for a new generation of electric cars.

It's not just the project's massive scale, the cutting-edge technology, or even the bonanza of 6,500 good-paying jobs.

It's how Tesla is deciding where to build.
 (go to article)

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Elon Musk May Use 'Wonder Material' Graphene To Push Tesla Performance To The Next Level

Yahoo Finance -- Mike Nudelman/Business Insider

Tesla’s critically acclaimed all-electric Model S sedan can travel roughly 265 miles on a single charge, according to the EPA, but CEO Elon Musk last month said “it will be possible to have a 500-mile range car,” adding “in fact, we could do it quite soon.”
According to China’s Xinhua news agency (via Gas2 and Clean Technica), Tesla could soon achieve this 500-mile battery thanks to a development in graphene-based anodes, which can reportedly quadruple the density and output of lithium-ion batteries.
Graphene, for those who don’t know, is a carbon-based “super material” that’s roughly 200 times stronger than steel but nearly transparent when laid out in sheets.  (go to article)

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Materials and Processing for Lithium-ion Batteries

Claus Daniel -- Lithium-ion battery technology is projected to be the leapfrog technology for the electrification of the drivetrain and to provide stationary storage solutions to enable the effective use of renewable energy sources. The technology is already in use for low power applications such as consumer electronics and power tools. Extensive research and development has enhanced the technology to a stage where it seems very likely that safe and reliable lithium-ion batteries will soon be on board hybrid electric and electric vehicles and connected to solar cells and windmills. However, the safety of the technology is still a concern, service life is not yet sufficient, and costs are too high. This paper summarizes the state of the art of lithium-ion battery technology for non-experts. It lists materi  (go to article)

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Where Did the Carter White House's Solar Panels Go?

ScientificAmerican -- One of the 32 solar-thermal panels that captured energy on the roof of the White House more than 30 years ago landed this week at a science museum in China
Here is what Carter predicted at the dedication ceremony: "In the year 2000 this solar water heater behind me, which is being dedicated today, will still be here supplying cheap, efficient energy…. A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people."  (go to article)

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Why The Solar Roadway Is A Terrible Idea

Jalopnik -- A company called Solar Roadways has been making the news lately. They are working on putting solar power generation into our streets, highways parking lots and sidewalks.

Against all odds, the crowd-funded solar road project was a remarkable money-acquiring success. It's clear there are some pretty significant technical hurdles, so we reached out to electrical engineer David Forbes to help us put it all in perspective.  (go to article)

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An old question rises to surface. Fracking vs. earthquakes in Colo. studied AGAIN.

Denver Post -- As in the 1970's, earthquakes are on the rise as when oil shale was booming in the late 1970's. (The online version is a bit different from the print version on the front page)  (go to article)

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Why Canadians are savvy car consumers

The Globe and Mail -- Americans have a true love affair with their vehicles, believing to the core that it’s a God-given right to own a new one, says auto analyst Dennis DesRosiers. But in Canada, he adds, vehicles are generally viewed as a necessary evil.

And that in large part explains why Canadians “are the smartest car consumers perhaps in the world,” says the president of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants.

We buy less on emotion and more on logic and need. We also retain our vehicles far longer than the typical American, so vehicles have fewer owners.

DesRosiers notes that the average Canadian who buys new keeps that vehicle for eight to nine years. In the U.S., buyers hold onto their vehicles between four and five years.  (go to article)

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Utah fracking fine highlights wastewater pond threat

Aljazeera America -- When fracking causes controversy, it’s often because of wells — either the ones used to inject chemicals and water into the ground to break up gas-rich shale rock or the ones used to dispose of all the waste and water left over from the injection process.

Often overlooked is a another way to dispose of that waste: massive surface ponds in which fracking water is stored until it can be recycled or buried or is left to slowly evaporate. Those ponds, which can grow to several acres in size, dot the landscapes of virtually every state that produces natural gas.

Now environmentalists say a recent controversy over the ponds in Utah highlights their increasing impact across the U.S.  (go to article)

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15 highest-scoring American vehicles

Yahoo! Autos (originally from Consumer Reports) -- There are many ways to view the Consumer Reports Ratings to find the highest-rated vehicle in a given category or price range. But we get many questions from journalists and our readers regarding the best current American-branded vehicles.

To answer that popular query, we sorted vehicles into 15 key categories. We found that Ford Motor Company has six slots. General Motors captures five entries, Chrysler has three and Tesla has one. Reviewing the scores, we find that most of these American models are quite competitive, scoring well in most cases. Unfortunately, some models are not recommended due to below average or unknown reliability. Check our Ratings (available to online subscribers) to see which ones are top scoring and reliable.  (go to article)

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Three museum ‘Sinkhole’ Corvettes to be restored

Sports Car Illustrated -- Chevrolet and the National Corvette Museum will restore three of the Corvettes damaged earlier this year when they tumbled into a sinkhole that developed beneath the floor of the Museum.

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at 5:44 a.m., National Corvette Museum (NCM) personnel received a notification from their security company about motion detectors going off in the Skydome area of the museum. When those personnel arrived on site, a sinkhole was discovered, measuring about 45 feet wide, 60 feet long and up to 30 feet deep. The sinkhole swallowed eight historic Corvettes – two on loan from GM and six owned by the museum.  (go to article)

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Mercedes-Benz Reveals Pricing for the New SL400

InsideCarNews.com -- Prior to the revealing of the SL400, the cheapest SL-Class on the market was the $106,900 SL550, which featured a 429-horsepower, 4.7-liter, biturbo engine. Apparently wanting to spread its flagship roadster to more buyers, the SL400 offers the look and feel of the SL550 but with a V-6 engine and a much lower price point. So, how low did Mercedes go with this new model?  (go to article)

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