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BusINess » Oil Industry

Posts Tagged ‘Oil Industry’

Whiting Refinery’s project start-up delayed until 2013

A worker builds around the current refinery at BP Whiting Refinery in Whiting, IN, Monday, November 29, 2010. The work is part of BP's $3.8 billion Whiting Refinery Modernization Project. The modernization project will increase the refinery's ability to refine heavier crude oil, including the oil from the Canadian tar sands. This oil contains more impurities than most of the ‘light crude’ oil being refined today. The project is slated to be completed in 2012. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

A worker builds around the current refinery at BP Whiting Refinery in Whiting, IN, Monday, November 29, 2010. The work is part of BP's $3.8 billion Whiting Refinery Modernization Project. The modernization project will increase the refinery's ability to refine heavier crude oil, including the oil from the Canadian tar sands. This oil contains more impurities than most of the ‘light crude’ oil being refined today. The project is slated to be completed in 2012. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

BP PLC is deferring the start of part of its $3.8 billion modernization project at its Whiting Refinery until mid-2013, a company executive said Tuesday. The project was expected to be completed in late 2012.

Iain Conn, chief executive of BP’s refining and marketing division, did not provide a reason for the delay during the company’s conference call after releasing of its fourth-quarter and full-year financial performance.

BP posted a full year loss in 2010 of $3.7 billion, compared to a $16.6 billion profit in 2009.
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BP plans to shed 2 refineries, focus on Whiting

A worker builds around the current refinery at BP Whiting Refinery in November as part of BP's $3.8 billion Whiting Refinery Modernization Project. The company plans to concentrate its U.S. refining and marketing activity at Whiting and Cherry Point, Wash., as well as in its 50 percent stake in the Toledo, Ohio facility. (Photograph by Heather Eidson, file/The Times.)

A worker builds around the current refinery at BP Whiting Refinery in November as part of BP's $3.8 billion Whiting Refinery Modernization Project. The company plans to concentrate its U.S. refining and marketing activity at Whiting and Cherry Point, Wash., as well as in its 50 percent stake in the Toledo, Ohio facility. (Photograph by Heather Eidson, file/The Times.)

BP PLC outlined plans to rebound from the Gulf of Mexico disaster as a smaller, safer company—selling off almost half its U.S. refinery business—and restored its dividend payment to shareholders as it unveiled strong fourth-quarter profits Tuesday.

The company plans to concentrate its U.S. refining and marketing activity in Whiting and Cherry Point, Wash., as well as in its 50 percent stake in a Toledo, Ohio, facility.

But uncertainty over the final bill for the Gulf spill and criticism from some analysts that the company shunned a more drastic restructuring tempered the good news.
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Stations prepped to hike gas prices, analyst says

A customer pumps gas at the Speedway station on U.S. 41 in Schererville. Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with gasoline price search website <a href='http://www.GasBuddy.com'>GasBuddy.com</a>, said a regular gallon of unleaded gasoline was expected to increase Thursday to between $3.15 and $3.19 in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. (Photograph by Tony V. Martin, file/The Times.)

A customer pumps gas at the Speedway station on U.S. 41 in Schererville. Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with gasoline price search website GasBuddy.com, said a regular gallon of unleaded gasoline was expected to increase Thursday to between $3.15 and $3.19 in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. (Photograph by Tony V. Martin, file/The Times.)

One gasoline price watcher said he expects retail stations to boost prices in response to slimming margins and rising wholesale prices.

Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with gasoline price search website GasBuddy.com, said a regular gallon of unleaded gasoline was expected to increase Thursday to between $3.15 and $3.19 in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky.
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Reports: NiSource could be Exelon target

The NIPSCO power plant in Michigan City is shown. Despite published reports that Exelon may be targeting NiSource, an industry observer said the only thing that he can see about NiSource that might be attractive to Exelon is the adjacent location of NIPSCO electric in Indiana, which borders Exelon subsidiary ComEd's territory in Illinois. (Times file photo)

The NIPSCO power plant in Michigan City is shown. Despite published reports that Exelon may be targeting NiSource, an industry observer said the only thing that he can see about NiSource that might be attractive to Exelon is the adjacent location of NIPSCO electric in Indiana, which borders Exelon subsidiary ComEd's territory in Illinois. (Times file photo)

A published report that electric utility giant Exelon Corp. is looking to acquire a natural gas utility, with NiSource Inc. a leading target, is prompting some skepticism among industry observers.

“We’re sure that EXC (Exelon) is always looking but are skeptical of this radical change in strategy, or that EXC would pursue such a move very aggressively, as we don’t see what ’synergies’ might be realized,” Gimme Credit utilities analyst Phil Adams wrote Monday in a note to investors.
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Region police departments see pros, cons to E85 initiative

E85 is available in only 26 locations across Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties such as this gas station at 109th and Randolph Street in Winfield. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

E85 is available in only 26 locations across Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties such as this gas station at 109th and Randolph Street in Winfield.
(Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Region police departments trying to replace aging squad cars with newer ones capable of burning plant-based E85 are finding the task isn’t as simple as choosing where to gas up.

The Griffith Police Department has more than 20 police cars capable of using E85, but they run on gasoline because gas stations in town don’t dispense E85, and the town doesn’t own an E85 tank.

Cars that run on E85 have a better acceleration rate than cars burning regular gasoline and emit less pollution than gas-fed counterparts.
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U.S. gas demand should fall for good after ‘06 peak

Traffic moves north along Interstate 270, in Germantown, Md., the day before the Thanksgiving holiday. The country's thirst for gasoline is shrinking as cars and trucks become more fuel-efficient, the government mandates the use of more ethanol and people drive less. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Traffic moves north along Interstate 270, in Germantown, Md., the day before the Thanksgiving holiday. The country's thirst for gasoline is shrinking as cars and trucks become more fuel-efficient, the government mandates the use of more ethanol and people drive less. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The world’s biggest gas-guzzling nation has limits after all.

After seven decades of mostly uninterrupted growth, U.S. gasoline demand is at the start of a long-term decline. By 2030, Americans will burn at least 20 percent less gasoline than today, experts say, even as millions of more cars clog the roads.

The country’s thirst for gasoline is shrinking as cars and trucks become more fuel-efficient, the government mandates the use of more ethanol and people drive less.
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Whiting Refinery chief says $3.8 billion project unbowed by challenges

A worker prepares a segment of the $3.8 billion modernization of the BP Whiting Refinery. The project, which will allow the plant to process more heavy crude oil extracted from Canadian tar sands, is on track for completion in 2012. (Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

A worker prepares a segment of the $3.8 billion modernization of the BP Whiting Refinery. The project, which will allow the plant to process more heavy crude oil extracted from Canadian tar sands, is on track for completion in 2012.
(Photograph by Heather Eidson/The Times.)

Most executives might call it a year to forget.

Since Nick Spencer began working at BP in October 2009, the company has had to shake the impact of the recession and fuel-price crash. Months later, the company faced a storm of negative public opinion and rising costs as a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP also shuffled its management ranks, with Bob Dudley succeeding Tony Hayward as the London-based company’s chief executive.
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Thanksgiving will continue 2010 holiday travel rebound

Munster resident Roland Kwasny, right, and others load their luggage into a USA Coach bus bound for Chicago's Midway and O'Hare International airports. (Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

Munster resident Roland Kwasny, right, and others load their luggage into a USA Coach bus bound for Chicago's Midway and O'Hare International airports.
(Photograph by Jon L. Hendricks/The Times.)

The number of people taking to the roads and skies this Thanksgiving holiday weekend will increase by more than 11 percent from 2009 due to an improving economy and the pull of loved ones, according to AAA projections.

That is the second-largest increase for any holiday weekend yet this year in the American Automobile Assocation’s holiday trends forecast.
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Pipelines carrying fuel products a fact of life in Calumet Region

Pipelines run above ground along Avenue H near Kennedy Avenue in Griffith. The entire Calumet Region sits on top of hundreds of miles of pipelines carrying millions of gallons of natural gas, crude oil and refined petroleum products every day. The region is a major hub for the transportation of petroleum and natural gas all over the Northern Hemisphere and for production of petroleum products at refineries including the BP facility in Whiting and East Chicago, the Citgo refinery in Romeoville, Ill., and the ExxonMobil facility in Joliet. (Photograph by The Times.)

Pipelines run above ground along Avenue H near Kennedy Avenue in Griffith. The entire Calumet Region sits on top of hundreds of miles of pipelines carrying millions of gallons of natural gas, crude oil and refined petroleum products every day. The region is a major hub for the transportation of petroleum and natural gas all over the Northern Hemisphere and for production of petroleum products at refineries including the BP facility in Whiting and East Chicago, the Citgo refinery in Romeoville, Ill., and the ExxonMobil facility in Joliet. (Photograph by The Times.)

It’s no longer a matter of if an oil spill or natural gas leak could occur in northern Indiana because both have happened here.

According to environmental activists, the questions are when will pipelines leak again and how much damage will they do?

This summer’s four pipeline failures—three resulting in oil spills in the Midwest and a deadly natural gas pipeline explosion in California—have created new awareness of what’s running right under the region’s soil.

The entire Calumet Region sits on top of hundreds of miles of pipelines carrying millions of gallons of natural gas, crude oil and refined petroleum products every day.
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Heating costs cool, giving homeowners some relief

Most U.S. homeowners should get some relief on their heating bills this winter.

The price of natural gas, the fuel that supplies 70 percent of the nation’s heat, is relatively low for the second year in a row, and falling. Also, forecasters predict a warmer winter across much of the country—especially in the Southeast, which suffered through a historically cold winter last year.

But those who rely on heating oil, and residents of the Pacific Northwest, may need to bundle up. Unlike natural gas, crude oil prices have risen sharply from their recession lows, pushing up the price of heating oil 16 percent over last year. And forecasters are predicting a cold and snowy winter in the Northwest.

Energy prices of all types rose sharply in the years leading up to the financial crisis, then all collapsed with the economy. Even as the economy has started to recover, natural gas prices have stayed low because supplies are ample and growing, says Jen Snyder, head of North American gas research at the consulting and analysis firm Wood Mackenzie.
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