Saturday, February 17, 2018

U.S. Senator's Biofuel Overhaul Faces Resistance

Texas Senator John Cornyn (Photo: John Cornyn Senate)

Texas Senator John Cornyn’s plan to overhaul U.S. biofuels policy faces resistance from the oil and ethanol sectors, reducing chances of a reboot to the controversial regulations, sources familiar with the matter said. The plan, which…

UPM May Build New Biofuel Plant in Finland

Pulp and paper maker UPM is looking at building a new renewable fuel plant in Finland, it said on Monday, part of efforts to find new sources of growth in response to falling paper demand in Europe. UPM is the world's largest maker of graphic papers such as newsprint and magazine paper…

Shell in Buying Spree for Clean Energy

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Tomasz ZAjda)

Shell spends $400 mln in recent weeks on renewables, power. Royal Dutch Shell has spent over $400 million on a range of acquisitions in recent weeks, from solar power to electric car charging points, cranking up its drive to expand beyond…

Trump Plans to Meet Oil Industry Reps on US Biofuel Policy

President Donald Trump  (Photo: The White House)

U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with representatives of the oil refining industry and their legislative backers to discuss the nation's biofuels program, according to two sources briefed on the matter. The White House…

U.S. to Export Large Ethanol Volume to Brazil

The United States will export a large volume of ethanol to Brazil in 2018 despite the 20 percent import tax implemented by the Brazilian government this year, analyst Platts Kingsman said on Wednesday. Platts estimates the United States…

Refinery State Lawmakers Stump for Biofuel Meeting

File Image: A midwest Biofuel Refinery (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jason Lee)

Nine U.S. senators from states that have oil refineries sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Thursday urging changes to the country's biofuels policy and asking for a meeting to discuss the issue. The letter reflects growing tensions between refiners that oppose the U.S.

EPA Abandons Biofuel Program Changes

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jason Lee)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has backed off a series of proposed changes to the nation's biofuels policy after a massive backlash from corn-state lawmakers worried the moves would undercut ethanol demand, according to a letter from the agency to lawmakers seen by Reuters.

BP Eyes Smaller Renewable Investments

BP is targeting smaller and wider-ranging investments in renewable energy to avoid large losses in the sector like those it suffered earlier in the decade, Chief Executive Bob Dudley said on Wednesday. BP and peers including Royal Dutch…

Philadelphia-Area Refiners Push Biofuels Program Reform

File Image: A midwest Ethanol Plant / CREDIT AdobeStock / (c) Jason Lee)

Oil refinery workers, executives and local politicians gathered near Philadelphia on Monday to urge the White House revamp the nation's renewable fuels program, arguing the future of their plants are at stake. The U.S. renewable fuel…

Senators Object to EPA's Planned Biofuel Changes

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

A group of 38 U.S. senators asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday to abandon plans to lower biofuels requirements for oil refiners in 2018, according to a letter made public by the office of Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Solar PV Grew Faster Than Any Other Fuel in 2016

New solar PV capacity grew by 50% last year, with China accounting for almost half of the global expansion, according to the International Energy Agency's latest renewables market analysis and forecast. For the first time, solar PV additions rose faster than any other fuel…

OTC Snaps up Rival Oil Brokerage as Consolidation Heats Up

Commodities broker OTC Europe has agreed to purchase rival Oil Brokerage in the latest consolidation in a sector squeezed by rising competition and smaller margins. OTC Europe, a subsidiary of OTC Global Holdings, said it concluded its purchase of Oil Brokerage…

EPA Mulls Changes to Biofuels Policy

File Image: a midwest ethanol plant. CREDIT: AdobeStock) / (c) Jason Lee:

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a change to U.S. biofuels policy that would allow exports of ethanol to count toward the country's annual biofuels volumes mandates, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

Coal's Problem is Not Climate Change: Kemp

© EyeMark / Adobe Stock

U.S. coal companies blame climate campaigners and the Obama administration for waging a war on coal that has cost thousands of jobs and threatened struggling mining communities. But coal’s long-term problems stem not from politics but…

Shell eyes Asia Moves, Vehicle Recharging Stations

File Image: AdobeStock / (c) Dariaren

Shell is world's biggest fuel station operator; will focus on downstream earnings as crude price falls. Royal Dutch Shell aims to expand marketing operations in Asia and wants 20 percent of sales from its fuel stations worldwide to come…

Argentine Biodiesel Industry: U.S. Duties Will Halt Exports

File Image: A typical U.S. based ethanol plant.

Argentine biodiesel exports will be priced out of the U.S. market, its leading industry body said, after Washington decided on Tuesday to impose steep duties on imports that it said were unfairly subsidized. The countervailing duties…

U.S. Biofuels Mandates Under High Stakes Scrutiny

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

U.S. biofuels regulations, which mandate mixing corn-based ethanol into gasoline, have lately drawn together a diverse cast of political opponents. They include an upstart gas station owners' trade group, a former Obama administration…

U.S. Court Says Regulator Incorrectly Set Renewable Fuel Standard

A U.S. court on Friday said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency erred when setting standards for how much renewable fuel must be included in fuel sold in the United States and ordered the agency to try again, according to a court filing.

France to Restrict Use of Palm Oil in Biofuels

© Aisyaqilumar / Adobe Stock

France will take steps to restrict the use of palm oil in producing biofuels in order to reduce deforestation in the countries of origin, French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said on Thursday. France has opposed other uses of palm oil in the past.

Gunvor Sounded Out Rivals to Sell Itself - WSJ

Gunvor Group Ltd, one of the world's largest oil traders, has discussed a possible sale of the company with at least two competitors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. Any potential deal…

As Trump Targets Energy Rules, Oil Companies Downplay their Impact

President Donald Trump (Official White House photo)

President Donald Trump’s White House has said his plans to slash environmental regulations will trigger a new energy boom and help the United States drill its way to independence from foreign oil. But the top U.S. oil and gas companies…

U.S. Military Marches on Green Energy

File Image (CREDIT: 孤飞的鹤 AdobeStock)

President Donald Trump and his top advisors have often scoffed at government support of green energy. But the largest U.S. government agency - the Department of Defense - plans to forge ahead under the new administration with a decade…

Trump to Shift Biofuel Blending Burden Off Refiners

The head of the Renewable Fuels Association said on Tuesday that it had been informed by President Donald Trump's administration that it would order a change to the U.S. biofuels program, lifting the responsibility for fuel blending off refiners.

Oil Industry Infighting Heats up as EPA Weighs Biofuels Rule Change

Oil companies showed deepening divides on the future of the U.S. biofuels program in solicited comments from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over a plan sought by some refiners to shift the program's financial burden to retailers and blenders.

U.S. Ethanol Production Robust as Policy Clouds Loom

Credit: AdobeStock

U.S. ethanol producers pumped out the biofuel at a record pace last week, but higher output belies growing concern in the industry that policy changes in the United States and China could upend demand for their product. The ethanol industry…

EPA Denies AFPM Biofuel Petition

U.S. environmental regulators have denied a request from oil refiners to waive some of their advanced biofuels use requirements from 2016, in what is likely to be one of the Obama Administration's final decisions on the controversial program.

Major Step Forward to a Vibrant Australian Biofuels Industry

Southern Oil Refining will build an advanced biofuels pilot plant at Gladstone Photo ARENA

Australia’s first advanced green fuels laboratory has opened its doors in regional Queensland, thanks to support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), allowing researchers to test biocrude on our shores for the first time.

Bomin Strengthens Regional Hub Structure

Image Courtesy Bomin

The Bomin Group, a leading global physical supplier and trader of marine fuels, today announced the establishment of four regional hubs to support its worldwide operations, in line with its strategy. The regional hubs are located in Hamburg, Houston, Dubai and Singapore.

Suez, Total Team-up to Recycle Cooking Oil into BioFuel

Suez and Total partner to recycle cooking oil into biofuel. Photo Total

SUEZ and TOTAL are joining forces to collect and recycle used cooking oil in France. As part of their 10-year partnership, SUEZ will supply 20,000 metric tons of used cooking oil a year to TOTAL. Collected throughout France, the oil…

Death of Castro Could Free Cuba to Produce Biofuels

The death of Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro, a fierce critic of biofuels like ethanol, has raised hopes among industry experts that some of Cuba's vast tracts of fallow land may soon be used to ease its dependence on fuel imports.

Biofuel Producers Blast EU for Slashing Crop-based Fuel Use

European biofuel producers said a proposal by Brussels to nearly halve the level of crop-based biofuel used in the European Union by 2030 was a U-turn in policy that would threaten jobs and boost animal feed and crude oil imports. The…

US Government to Raise 2017 Biofuels Target

The U.S. government is expected to finalize targets for biofuel use for next year at 19.28 billion gallons, up from the volumes proposed in May, according to two sources. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to announce the final volumes on Wednesday.

Petrobras Completes Sale of BM-S-8 Exploration Block

Exploratory block BM-S-8, Photo Petrobras

Today, Petrobras announced that the company has completed the sale of its stake in the exploration block BM-S-8 to Statoil Brasil Óleo e Gás LTDA, as announced on July 29, 2016. The deal was completed with a payment of USD 1.25 billion…

In Tesoro's buy of Western Refining, a bet on Texas

U.S. oil refiner Tesoro Corp's $4.1 billion purchase of Western Refining Inc is a bet on many things, but above all it may be a bet on Texas. The largest refining acquisition since 2011, announced earlier on Thursday, will make Tesoro the fourth-biggest U.S. refiner by capacity.

US EPA Set to Deny Refiner Requests to Change Biofuels Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Thursday it plans to deny several petitions from oil groups to start the process towards making a change to the country's biofuels program. EPA said it did not believe it should initiate a full rulemaking…

IEA's Medium-Term Renewable Energy Report

Image Singapore International Energy Week

In its Medium-Term Renewable Energy Report IEA pointed out that the rapid spread of renewable energy is a bright spot in the global energy transition toward a low carbon economy. Despite lower fossil fuel prices, renewable power expanded…

Another Quarter of Weak Results Looms for U.S. Refiners

U.S. independent refiners such as PBF Energy and Phillips 66 are expected to report another quarter of disappointing profits in coming weeks, as hopes that a record summer driving season would turn the industry's fortunes around do not appear to have materialized. U.S.

LR, SCC Release Low Carbon Pathways 2050 Study

Photo: Lloyd's Register

Lloyd’s Register (LR) and Shipping in Changing Climates, a $4m multi-university and cross industry research project funded by EPRSC, have today released Low Carbon Pathways 2050 – a new study that details a number of potential pathways…

Petrobras Approves 90% Stake Sale in NTS to Brookfield

Transportation Courtesy Petrobras

Petrobras Board of Directors approved, in a meeting held yesterday, the sale of 90% of the shares in Nova Transportadora do Sudeste (NTS) to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIP) and its affiliates, through a Private Equity Investment…

Navy Tests 100-percent Advanced Biofuel

Cmdr. Bradley Fairfax, project officer and test pilot with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, takes flight in an EA-18G Growler on 100-percent alternative biofuel during the first test flight at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. (U.S. Navy photo by Adam SkoczylasReleased)

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus' energy vision came to fruition in September when the EA-18G "Green Growler" completed flight testing of a 100-percent advanced biofuel at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. "From takeoff to landing, you couldn't tell any difference," said Lt. Cmdr.

VTTI Resumes Operations at Malaysia Terminal


VTTI, the storage unit of world's largest oil trader Vitol, said late on Friday it has resumed operations at its Malaysia terminal ATT Tanjung Bin (ATB). "The suspension has been lifted. ATB will resume its operations as normal, with immediate effect…

U.S. Refineries in Worst Year Since Shale Boom Started

U.S. independent refiners such as Valero Energy Corp and Phillips 66 look set to post another quarter of disappointing earnings, putting the industry on track for its worst year since the U.S. shale boom began in 2011. The companies…

First Step Towards an Australian Green-fuel Biorefinery

If all of Australia’s collected waste oil was re-refined instead of burned, greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by about 1 million tonnes per year. ARENA

Australia’s first ‘biorefinery’ capable of producing renewable diesel and jet fuels from plant material could become a reality in Queensland with support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). ARENA is providing $2.4 million…

Investors Turn Bullish on US Ethanol Shares

After a weak start in 2016, investors are rediscovering shares of biofuels companies that make ethanol, a grain alcohol that can be used as fuel. Demand and profit margins are up, regulators are helping the industry, and consumers are embracing ethanol for new uses…

US EPA Proposes Rise in 2017 Biofuels Targets

U.S. environmental regulators proposed on Wednesday that fuel companies have to mix 18.8 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol and biofuels into the country's diesel and gasoline next year, according to an official document seen by Reuters.

Total Acquiring Saft for $1.1 bln

Deal will strengthen Total's renewables business. Total said on Monday it has agreed to buy France based battery manufacturer Saft Groupe for 950 million euros ($1.1 billion), as it seeks to expand its renewable energies business and…

Exxon Fends off Climate Change Charges, Plans Fuel Cell Venture

Exxon Mobil Corp, which has been fighting accusations it misled investors and the public for years about the risks of climate change, said on Thursday it will expand a research project with FuelCell Energy Inc that aims to cut the cost of collecting carbon emissions from power plants.

Green Plains sees 2016 US Ethanol Exports Little-changed

U.S. ethanol exports are likely to total 800 million to 1 billion gallons this year, the chief executive of Green Plains Inc said on Tuesday, a number that would be little-changed from 2015 levels. Exports started strong this year but buyers have been slow to book ahead this quarter…

ARENA Boost for Australia’s Mega Bio-energy Project

CEO, Ivor Frischknecht Photo ARENA

An $800 million bio-energy project in Queensland could become a reality thanks to early stage funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). ARENA is providing $3 million support for Renewable Developments Australia…

Total Targets Gas, Renewables and Power Expansion

French oil and gas company Total announced the creation of a gas, renewables and power division on Tuesday, which it said will help drive its ambition to become a top renewables and electricity trading player within 20 years. The new business division…

Valero Energy Sues US EPA over Biofuels Plan

Valero Energy Corp filed lawsuits against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday to push the regulator to alter a U.S. policy designed to boost use of renewables in transportation fuels. The country's top refiner and No. 3 ethanol producer filed a challenge with the U.S.

API Challenges EPA's Plan on Biofuels

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has filed a challenge to the U.S. environmental regulator's plan for biofuels use, the group said on Thursday, on the heels of a lawsuit from another oil association. API is challenging the Environmental…

US Oil Group File Lawsuit against EPA over Biofuels Policy

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) said on Wednesday it has filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. environment regulator's biofuels policy, the latest industry body to join a legal battle over the controversial program.

Renewables to Grow Faster Than Expected to 2035

Renewable energy will grow at a greater annual rate than previously forecast and account for over one third of the growth in global power generation by 2035, oil company BP said on Wednesday. Renewables, including biofuels and wind power…

Petrobras’ Proven Reserves in 2015

Courtesy Petrobras

Petrobras announces its proven reserves of petroleum (oil, condensate and natural gas), assessed at the end of 2015 according to ANP/SPE (National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency / Society of Petroleum Engineers) and SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) criteria.

Highest RSB Certification for GoodFuels Marine

GoodFuels Marine, the first marine biofuel company focused on the global commercial fleet, has received the highest standard of certification from the Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), enabling the company to actively sell…

Crude Price Impacts Southeast Asia's Biodiesel Plans

Indonesia, Malaysia plan to use more palm oil to make biofuel. Industry, analysts sceptical of targets. The world's top palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia may have to curb plans to channel more of the commodity into biodiesel…

Groups Kick Off legal Challenge to U.S. Biofuels Standard

Image Courtesy US Courts

Seven biofuel and agriculture groups have asked a U.S. court to a review the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standards for 2014, 2015, and 2016, according to a court filing on Friday, kicking off a widely-expected legal battle over the controversial program.

EU Drops Shell, BP, Statoil from Pricing Investigation

EU antitrust regulators have dropped Shell, BP, and Statoil from an investigation into suspected rigging of ethanol benchmarks, focusing instead on three producers of the biofuel. The European Commission said on Monday it had opened…

EU Drops Shell, BP, Statoil From Ethanol Benchmark Investigation

EU antitrust regulators have dropped Shell, BP, and Statoil from an investigation into suspected rigging of ethanol benchmarks, focusing instead on three producers of the biofuel. The European Commission said on Monday it had opened…