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EIA Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook
U.S. Energy Information Administration
The U.S. Energy Information Administration released its 2013-2014 Winter Fuels Outlook. Here are some highlights:
- Heating oil customers can expect to pay 2 percent less to heat their homes this winter (currently, heating oil prices are 5 percent lower than last year).
- Customers that rely on other heating fuels, however, are expected to pay more.
- Natural gas leads the way ... consumers can expect to pay an average of 13 percent more than last winter (18 percent for the Northeast).
- The EIA warns of even higher natural gas costs if the winter is worse than expected.
- New England pipeline constraints continue. These constraints led to "extreme spikes" in natural gas spot prices in January and February of 2013.
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PMAA PAC fundraiser at Omni La Costa Resort
PMAA Small Business Committee PAC Co-Chairs Gerry Ramm and Michael Fields invite you to attend an event in beautiful Southern California benefitting PMAA's SBC PAC. The event will be held at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa ($209 per room) from Nov. 20-21.
PMAA Sets Industry Priorities
The following is an executive summary of issues prioritized by the PMAA Executive Committee and standing committees.
Call for contributors
In an effort to enhance the overall content of MEMA Randoms, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of MEMA, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.
Oil and gas industry won't feel much pain from government 'shutdown'
So the federal government is "shut down" — and several folks have inquired about what, if any, impact this will have on the continuity of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. The short answer is, not much. A longer answer came via email from an industry trade association in Washington, in the form of the following report on impacts to various federal agencies that have regulatory authority over the industry in some form or fashion.
EPA finalizes heating oil rule
In an alert from Paul Nazzarro and the National Biodiesel Board — EPA issued a final rule to expand the definition of heating oil in the regulations for the Renewable Fuel Standard. The new definition confirms that biodiesel can be used for heating oil under the RFS to generate RINs. Additionally, it clarifies that biodiesel used to generate process heat, power generation, or other stationary functions are also approved for RIN generation. For our industry, the rule simply broadens the types of uses under which biodiesel can generate RINs under the RFS.
Natural gas company eyes contract for UMaine Machias
Bangor Daily News
A winning proposal submitted by Boston-based Xpress Natural Gas is expected to lead to an agreement to supply compressed natural gas for the University of Maine Machias campus, company officials announced. The company's top-scoring proposal was submitted in response to a request from the University of Maine System for a multi-campus thermal energy agreement.
In South Portland campaign, oil allies outspend opponents 10-1
Portland Press Herald
Petroleum-handling companies and their allies in South Portland have donated tens of thousands of dollars to defeat the contentious Waterfront Protection Ordinance on the Nov. 5 ballot, raising nearly 10 times as much money as their opponents.In the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, the Working Waterfront Coalition, which represents the Maine Energy Marketers Association, received $70,000 in cash donations from four corporate donors.
Panama Canal expansion to put more US LPG into Asian markets
The biggest beneficiary when the expanded Panama Canal opens for business in 18 months' time will be arbitrage flow of LPG from the U.S. to Asia, according to a Bernstein Research report released. The canal's expansion, when completed by 2015, will allow the passage of larger vessels, including very large gas carriers or VLGCs and LNG vessels, for the first time.
Federated Insurance promotes Fire Prevention Week with resources for businesses
Every year, business owners experience property losses totaling billions of dollars due to fire. Investigation into the cause of these fires found that, if consistent attention had been paid to a few very specific exposures, most of these losses could have been prevented. Fire Prevention Week — running Oct. 6–12 — is a great opportunity to remember that managing an exposure like fire is not a yearly, monthly, or even weekly activity — it is a daily activity. Fires can destroy not only buildings and property, but also people's livelihoods, sense of security, succession plan and community at large.
Propane use on rise in local beer, wine and spirits industry
Sometimes we overlook smaller opportunities for propane sales when we chase those large markets such as home heating and autogas. The local beer, wine and spirits industry is a good example of a somewhat hidden, but growing, private and commercial market for propane sales. Homebrewers or hopheads, as they fondly call themselves, usually use lots of propane in the beer brewing process. Brew kettles require large capacity high-pressure propane burners for the mash cooking process. High output burners of 60,000 to 100,000 Btus are commonly used by homebrewers. They also use a large quantity of hot water for bottle washing, equipment cleaning and other processing uses. There is no better answer for a homebrewer's hot water needs than a propane tankless water heater.
Energy pipeline: Aims college ups the ante on oil, gas education
As with any new program, Aims' oil and gas classes started rather shaky. Just seven students enrolled last year in the first certificate level courses offered at Aims Community College in Greeley, Colo. Flash-forward one year, and the program is on its way — 30 students are enrolled this fall, attending classes in a spanking new home, complete with a field-tested lab that could put students at the top of the recruiting list in the surrounding oil fields of northeastern Colorado — or, as some students see it, a program that could all but guarantee them a job upon graduation.
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VPIRG takes fracking case to VTGas' doorstep
The Vermont Public Interest Research Group released a report on the environmental dangers of hydraulic fracturing in an effort to build a case against Vermont Gas Systems' proposed pipeline expansion. The report was released during a news conference outside Vermont Gas' South Burlington offices, marking VPIRG's latest move against the 43-mile, $86.6 million natural gas pipeline that would pass through Addison County if approved by the Public Service Board.
Iran to train Iraqi oil workers
A national energy company in Iran said it signed a deal with Iraqis to train them in field operations for oil and natural gas fields. Hamid Reza Golpayegani, managing director of the National Iranian Drilling Co., told the Iranian Oil Ministry's news agency Shana a training memorandum of understanding was signed with the Iraq Drilling Co. Golpayegani said NIDC workers would train Iraqi apprentices in drilling operations, power engineering and other field development activities.
Central Maine responders get natural gas emergency management tips
The arrival of natural gas is expected to dramatically reduce the annual cost of heat for thousands of people in central Maine who rely on oil and provide an economic boost to communities as construction crews continue to work on installing pipelines. But just as with propane gas, natural gas comes with the risk of leaks that can potentially lead to emergencies, said Keith Lincoln, director of gas operations for Summit Natural Gas, one of two companies laying pipeline in central Maine.
Don't blame the cargo: Improve railway safety
Bangor Daily News
Railroad tank cars are unloaded on a loop track at a refinery in Delaware City, Del. The refinery receives 110,000 barrels of crude oil a day, which is about 150 cars, or two trainloads. The shipments originate in the Bakken region of North Dakota, the center of a new American oil boom. With a shortage of new pipeline capacity, oil producers have been using rail as an alternative, and in some cases it's the preferred mode.
Turnover rates rise for c-store associates, assistant managers
Convenience Store News
The convenience store industry has come a long way in improving its image as a place where one can find a long-term career that's rewarding both personally and financially. Today, the average c-store manager remains in his or her position for seven years, up from 5.6 years in 2011, and the industry turnover rate for store managers is just 10.5 percent. At the industry's single stores, these figures are even more impressive as the average single-store manager is employed for 9.1 years and the turnover rate is a mere 1 percent.
Sean Stormes: Want more sales? Quit selling
Kansas City Business Journal
Sean Stormes, Contributing writer for the Kansas City Busines Journal, writes: "'If you want to double sales in the next 12 months, then stop selling!' I begin most every speech with that disruptive blast — and this from a guy who spent 25 years leading sales organizations. When you're in the eye of the hurricane year after year as I was, the crutch doesn't become evident until the carnage can be assessed objectively."
Gilbarco Veeder-Root launches play at the pump
Gilbarco Veeder-Root announced the launch of Play at the Pump in partnership with Linq3, an application that allows consumers to purchase lottery tickets via the dispenser. According to Gilbarco, this new service gives retailers access to would-be lottery players, increases lottery sales opportunities among consumers who may not enter the store and encourages repeat business.
Irish Health Minister launches plan for tobacco-free country
Recently, Irish Health Minister James Reilly revealed his radical vision for Ireland: To be tobacco-free by 2025, the Irish Independent reports. The policy's more than 60 recommendations would "denormalize" smoking in society. Such a country would see smoking lowered to 5 percent of the population.
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