Pennsylvania’s natural gas production growth led the United States in 2018 — and helped set a national record.
Two weeks ago, following statements against future development of cracker plants made by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald went on KDKA radio and gave an interview full of boosterism for natural-gas drilling, aka fracking, and of potential future cracker plants.
Petrochemical plants, aka cracker plants, refine natural gas into plastic pellets. The region’s first cracker plant is currently being constructed in Beaver County by oil giant Shell, which will likely be fueled by natural gas fracked in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region
Gasoline prices are down in Pittsburgh and across the nation, according to price tracking service GasBuddy.
In the Pittsburgh region, gas prices are down 4.1 cents per gallon in the past week, to an average of $2.83 per gallon, according to GasBuddy’s survey of 731 stations. That’s 5 cents per gallon more than a month ago, but 30.3 cents per gallon less than a year ago.
The national average price has come down 2.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.63. That’s up 6.5 cents per gallon from a month ago, but 25.1 cents per gallon lower than a year ago
CNN)A natural gas leak has forced the evacuation of homes Friday morning in Lawrence, Massachusetts, one of the communities hit last year by a string of gas explosions that killed at least one person.Power has been cut to 1,900 homes in the city, about 30 miles north of Boston, due to the gas leak, National Grid spokesman John Lamontagne told CNN. About 80,000 people live in Lawrence.Gas service also has been cut to homes.
According to GasBuddy.com, gas prices in Connellsville on Wednesday averaged $2.69 per gallon, $2.74 in Rostraver and ranged from $2.66 to $2.89 in Uniontown, and $2.79 to $2.99 in Monongahela.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission expects 3.6 million motorists to travel the turnpike for Labor Day weekend as reports have summer travel on the system up 1.5% over last summer.
Tehran claims Iraqi tanker was smuggling fuel; Lucas Tomlinson reports from the Pentagon. #FoxNews
Iran seized a vessel it accused of smuggling fuel in the Persian Gulf, the third time the Iranian Revolutionary Guards detained a ship in the waterway in recent weeks as the stalemate between the Islamic Republic and the US continues.
The Iranian forces intercepted the ship Wednesday near Farsi Island, which is used by the Revolutionary Guards as a navy base, state media reported on Sunday.
“The IRGC’s naval forces have seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel for some Arab countries,” the paramilitary’s forces commander Ramezan Zirahi said, according to state-run media.
Exxon Mobil Baytown Area said a unit processing propane and propylene burst into flames late Wednesday morning at the Olefins plant, forcing the city to issue a shelter-in-place order, according to Fox 26. Black smoke from the fire could be seen for miles. The explosion happened shortly after 11 a.m. and was contained by the afternoon.
There are some who believe that these dirty monoliths of the oil age can be rehabilitated – they want to transform them into sources of clean, renewable energy. Engineers believe it is possible to use the vast hull of oil tankers to create floating power stations that can convert the ocean swell into electricity. This is the ambitious plan to create the world’s first “waveships”.
“The current problem with most wave energy projects is that they are fixed in place, close to the shore so they can be connected to the electricity grid,” says Andrew Deaner, managing director of ShipEco Marine, the company behind the waveship project. “This isn’t necessarily where the best waves are. With a ship you are mobile, so you can move to the edge of low-pressure weather systems where the waves are bigger and there is more energy.”
A massive fireball lit up the night sky in South Philadelphia early Friday in what was apparently an explosion at a local refinery. Early reports gave the location as 31st Street and Passyunk Avenue, not far from the city’s sports complex.
Officials in Philadelphia confirmed that the early morning fire started at the 150-year-old Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex.
Shortly after 5 a.m. Friday, Philadelphia’s FOX 29 reported that the fire had been contained with no reports of injuries or evacuations.
Reports of the fire began spreading on social media shortly after 4 a.m. Friday.
The controversial oil pipeline expansion project stalled after a court quashed previous approval.
New York (CNN Business)Oil prices climbed on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia reported “armed drones” attacked two pumping stations in the kingdom, underscoring rising tensions in the Middle East.US oil prices rose 1.4% even though Saudi Aramco told CNN that the attack caused “no damage to oil production, no oil spills or injuries.” Brent crude, the global benchmark, jumped 1.6%.The Saudi Energy Ministry told the kingdom’s state-run press agency that the attack caused a fire that has since been contained.The apparent drone attack comes just a day after Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.
Two Saudi oil tankers were the targets of a “sabotage attack” off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister says.
The incident near Fujairah port, in the Gulf just outside the Strait of Hormuz, caused “significant damage” to the ships, according to Khalid al-Falih.
The UAE said four ships were targeted, but that there were no casualties.
Iran, which borders the strait, called the incident “worrisome and dreadful” and called for a full investigation.
It is not known who carried out the alleged attack, which comes amid heightened tension in the area.
Four injured in the explosion were taken to Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital hospital.
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State police opened a criminal investigation at the behest of local authorities. However, Garletts emphasized that every investigation by his bureau is a criminal inquiry until the facts prove otherwise.
A collision between a massive tanker and two oil barges has resulted in as much as tens of thousands of gallons of a gasoline product leaking into a shipping channel near Houston.
The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed the accident, which took place about 3:30 p.m. local time, in the Houston Ship Channel, near Bayport, Texas. A 755-foot tanker collided with a tug pushing two barges filled with 25,000 gallons of reformate each.
Brent crude futures were at $74.16 per barrel at 0223 GMT, down 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $64.83 per barrel, down 38 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their previous settleme
Sunoco Logistics Partners announced today that its Mariner East 1 pipeline is now carrying both ethane and propane from Washington County shale fields to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County.
“Mariner East 1 is an important milestone for the natural gas and manufacturing industry in Pennsylvania,” said Sunoco Logistics CEO Michael Hennigan.
By Catey Hill
You’re wasting more hours of your life sitting in traffic than ever before — and that’s not going to improve anytime soon.
In 95 of the 100 largest cities in America, traffic congestion worsened from 2013 to 2014, according to a study from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, a research institute that develops solutions for transportation problems, released this month; that’s compared to worsening traffic conditions in just 61 of the 100 cities from 2012 to 2013. “The national congestion recession is over,” the study authors conclude.
Cities with the worst traffic
Data for the study came from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the individual states, and the study methodology is described in detail here.
This is thanks in large part to the fact that the U.S. economy has added more than 9 million jobs since the recession began, which means more people are now commuting to work. The unemployment rate was just 5.3% in July compared to 7.3% at the end of 2008.
The congestion problem isn’t going anywhere anytime soon either: A report by the U.S. Travel Association found that commuters on many cities highways will soon experience Labor Day-like gridlock — Labor Day is typically one of the busiest travel days of the year — on the average day of the week. Some already are: “Within many cities, already almost every day is like Labor Day,” says Erik Hansen, who managed the study, referencing the summer holiday that traditionally generates the nation’s worst traffic jams.
Millions of Americans waste more hours of their lives in traffic than they did three decades ago: Those traveling during peak travel hours will spend an average of 42 extra hours each year on the road (up from 18 in 1982) thanks to traffic, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute report revealed. That’s 6.9 billion hours for commuters on the whole — “more than the time it would take to drive to Pluto and back, if there was a road,” the authors note.
What’s more, in cities with more than one million people, commuters experienced an average of 63 hours of extra travel time each year. And in some cities, that’s even worse. Here are the 10 cities in which residents waste the most hours of their lives sitting in traffic:
1. Washington, D.C.
Commuters in our nation’s capital spend an average of 82 hours extra a year on the road thanks to traffic gridlock, making this the most congested city in America. This extra drive time costs the average auto commuter $1,834 per year (this number was calculated using a combination of the value of the travel delay — estimated at $17.67 per hour per person — and the average cost of gas in the state).
2. Los Angeles, Long Beach and Anaheim
The L.A. area comes in a close second when it comes to traffic congestion: Residents there spend an extra 80 hours a year in the car and $1,711 thanks to clogged roadways.
3. San Francisco and Oakland
Auto commuters in the Bay Area are wasting an extra 78 hours of their year in traffic — and that’s costing them $1,675. That may make working for some of the more high-profile tech companies (ahem, Facebook and Google) in the area even more appealing, as many provide you with swanky buses to get to and from the office.
4. New York and Newark
While the New York metro area ranks No. 4 in terms of the extra hours per year spent commuting (74), it ranks No. 2 in terms of what that costs residents ($1739).
5. San Jose, Calif.
Though it’s not an exceptionally large city, it has outsized traffic congestion: Commuters here waste 67 hours in traffic at a cost of $1,422 per commuter each year. It’s one of only two cities in the top 10 that has fewer than three million residents.
As anyone who’s sat (and sat) on I-90 or I-93 knows, it’s slow moving in Boston. Indeed, Bostonians waste 64 hours a year in traffic gridlock at a cost of $1,388.
In rainy Seattle, commuters who travel during peak times are forced to spend an extra $1,491 a year (in extra gas costs and the cost of lost time) thanks to gridlock as well as 63 additional hours in the car.
Residents of the Windy City spend an average of 61 extra hours in the car each year at a cost of $1,445.
Houston ties with Chicago in terms of the number of wasted commuter hours each year (61), though residents there spend a little more in terms of gas costs and the costs of their lost time than in Chicago ($1,490 vs. $1,445) because of it.
10. Riverside and San Bernardino
This is the fourth metro area in California to make this list, and one of only two cities with fewer than three million residents to make it (the other was San Jose). Commuters here waste 57 hours a year and spend $1,316, thanks to traffic gridlock.
After 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, diplomats on Tuesday declared that world powers and Iran had struck a landmark deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions Time
Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate, or WTI, oil futures both fell about 2% as the deal was announced on Tuesday. Oil prices also fell in the prior session.
Brent crude is an international oil benchmark that reflects global prices, and any related turmoil, whereas WTI is focused on the North American market.
WTI cut some of its early losses and was trading down 1.2% at $51.58 a barrel.
Iran has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves with about 157,530 million barrels, or 10% of the world’s proven oil stores, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, of which it is a member.
But Tehran’s ability to export those reserves was severely curtailed by crippling international sanctions that bludgeoned its economy and targeted its industries.
Iran’s oil exports have fallen in half since 2012 to about 1 million barrels a day. Its oil will now reach world markets at a time when crude prices have been under pressure for months due to a global supply glut.
Sara Vakhshouri, Washington-based energy analyst at SVB Energy International, said that with Iran’s sanctions lifted it would be able to boost its oil production from 2.9 million barrels a day to 4.2 million barrels a day by 2020.
Iran’s oil production is worth about $60 billion a year on the world market.
Oil prices can also be expected to drop, Vakhshouri said, because Iran has as much as 37 million barrels of crude in storage on tankers floating in the Persian Gulf.
By Jonathan Saul
(Reuters) – An Iranian supertanker with two million barrels of oil is heading to Asia after sitting in Iranian waters for months, the first vessel storing crude offshore to sail after a nuclear deal this week, data showed on Thursday.Iran and six major world powers reached a landmark nuclear deal on Tuesday, clearing the way for an easing of international sanctions on Tehran and higher oil exports.While oil analysts do not expect Iran to make a major return to the market until next year, it has been parking millions of barrels of oil on tankers for months.The fully laden Starla, operated by Iran’s top tanker group NITC, had been used for floating storage since Dec. 12, 2014, a tanker tracking source said.”This is the first tanker to come off floating storage,” the source said. “One of the scenarios is it could do an STS operation, although nothing is known at the moment,” the source said, referring to ship-to-ship transfers of oil between two vessels, usually at sea.Reuters Eikon data showed the vessel was sailing from the Middle East Gulf with a Singapore destination.Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said last month the country was aiming to add 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) to production within two months of Western sanctions being eased, and as much as 1 million bpd in six to seven months.The sanctions have halved Iran’s shipments to as little as 1 million bpd. Years of under investment mean Iran may struggle to get its oil industry anywhere near full potential, analysts say. It will also take time to raise output while nuclear inspectors verify Iran’s compliance with the terms of the deal, and sanctions are slowly removed.Last month, tanker tracking sources said Iran was storing as much as 40 million barrels of oil, mostly crude, on board tankers at its anchorages, which could flood the oil market.Windward, a Tel Aviv operated maritime data and analytics company, estimated this week that Iran was storing 51.4 million barrels of crude and condensate on 28 vessels at sea.Condensate is a type of very light oil and can be used as a diluent for extra heavy crude and as a feedstock for petrochemical plants and refineries. (editing by David Clarke)
California gas prices to soar this week
By Gary Richards firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re one of those California drivers who already resents having to pay a lot more to fill your tank than most Americans, you’re going to be sputtering mad this week.Prices at the pump have already begun creeping up in recent days, and they may soar this week as much as 30 cents a gallon in the Bay Area and 50 cents in Southern California as refinery issues and a lack of imported crude oil slam the Golden State.That means the average cost of regular gas will soon exceed $4 a gallon in the Southland and get uncomfortably close to that mark in the Bay Area.GasBuddy.com analysts say the
price hikes are occurring because of “an extraordinary convergence of fuel supply problems” that have caused “severe spikes with no immediate relief in sight.” Other analysts blame California’s special blend of less-polluting gasoline, as well as problems at three refineries in the southern part of the state.The $2.76 average across the country is a whopping 83 cents less than in California. Usually the gap is in the 20-30-cent range.The U.S. Department of Energy says the world remains “massively oversupplied.” American drivers paid the lowest price for July 4 travel since 2010, saving 90 cents a gallon.California drivers have also enjoyed lower gas prices than in years past. But state supplies are now at a 12-month low, and federal energy officials say California refiners had to use 1.1 million barrels from their storage tanks. It’s so bleak that imports to the West Coast sank to zero last week after averaging more than 100,000 barrels a day over the previous four weeks.Regular gas in Los Angeles hit $3.79 on average Saturday, up 24 cents since Thursday. Oakland stood at $3.48, 9 cents more than Thursday. And San Jose’s $3.46 average was 10 cents more than 48 hours earlier. The state average of $3.59 jumped 16 cents during the two-day period.”Holy cow — I’m scratching my head,” David Hackett, president of Stillwater Associates in Irvine told Bloomberg News. “Gasoline inventories are on the low side, but we’re not at the bottom of the tank yet.”Some energy analysts are hoping that the increase may last only a week or so. But the less optimistic ones say all bets are off.Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at Gas Buddy, took the unusual step of urging state drivers not to rush out to fill up.”Filling up unnecessarily may further strain gasoline supply and exacerbate the situation,” he warned. “We have no gasoline as of Monday heading for the California coast. It’s a dire situation.”Problems with California’s crude oil supplies began before Memorial Day when a series of refinery problems in the Midwest led to more oil being sent there than here. Without the ability to get relief from other U.S. regions because California doesn’t have major pipelines, the West Coast has been forced to wait for large vessels from around the world to arrive.The price changes at California’s pumps are getting noticed.”What’s the deal?” asked Eric Itani of San Jose, who has seen his favorite Chevron station boost prices 8 cents in recent days. ‘We’re conserving on electricity, we’re conserving on water — and now I need to conserve on my gas usage.”I am aware that gas prices are much lower compared to one and two years ago, but I am as greedy as the oil companies.”Bill Casilla forked over $3.69 a gallon at the ARCO station on International Boulevard and 98th Avenue in Oakland on Friday. That meant his pickup cost $15 more to fill up than the last time.”Too much,” the landscaper said. “I just pray it stays where it is because I spend a lot for gas.”For Bay Area residents, it could be worse.Tom Robinson, the president of the Rotten Robbie stations, said he’s having no problems getting fuel, but prices have been jumping up and the Southern California market appears to be particularly turbulent.”I think SoCal spot prices are 70 cents higher than NorCal prices,” he said. “Crazy.”Follow Gary Richards at Twitter.com/mrroadshow or Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at email@example.com or 408-920-5335.gas prices RISINGCity Thursday SaturdayLos Angeles $3.55* $3.79 San Diego $3.54 $3.75San Francisco $3.52 $3.58Bakersfield $3.47 $3.57Vallejo $3.41 $3.50Oakland $3.39 $3.48San Jose $3.36 $3.46Santa Cruz $3.32 $3.38California $3.43 $3.59United States $2.76 $2.76* Average price for a gallon of regular gas.