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Mini Cooper gas mileage overstated, U.S. regulator says

CBC -- The U.S. government has told BMW to reduce the gas mileage estimates on the window stickers on four of its Mini Cooper models after an audit found the figures were overstated.

The discrepancy, which varies from one to four miles per gallon depending on model, was discovered in testing at the Environmental Protection Agency's lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the agency said in a statement Wednesday.

The reductions affect the 2014 Mini Cooper three-door and Mini Cooper three-door S models with manual and automatic transmissions. The biggest discrepancy was in highway mileage, but city and combined mileages also must be reduced.  (go to article)

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Saudi Arabia raises stakes in oil war with steady production, price cut

The Washington Times -- Consumers are enjoying a break from high gas prices, which have fallen below $3 a gallon in many areas, but the drop has precipitated a cold war among oil producers that has all the intrigue, suspense and looming destruction of a Tom Clancy novel.

Premium crude prices since June have plunged by 25 percent, landing Wednesday at levels near $80 a barrel in New York. That makes it painful or uneconomic for producers in Russia, Venezuela and Iran, for the pioneering shale oil drillers in America’s heartland and for Canada’s oil sands extractors.

The key player in the unfolding drama is Saudi Arabia. Despite uncomfortably low prices even for the wealthy kingdom, Saudis last week made it clear that they will not curb oil production in an effort to stabilize the market.

 (go to article)

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Safety Records Show Pipelines Best Method for Transporting Oil

The New American Magazine -- America’s energy needs are so enormous that more than 18 million barrels of crude per day course through more than 500,000 miles of pipelines, either from sites such as Bakken, or ports on the East and Gulf Coast importing oil from foreign sources. Enbridge Energy Partners, the largest importer of crude into the United States, runs more than 50,000 miles of pipeline and has moved 13 billion barrels through its system over the last 10 years. Its “incident” rate (to count as an “incident” it must involve an explosion or fire, a release of five or more gallons of crude oil, an injury requiring hospitalization, a fatality, or property damage in excess of $50,000) is a minuscule .0007 percent. Put another way, 99.9993 percent of its oil arrives at its destination without incident.  (go to article)

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Wide Range of Gas Prices Seen Across Ohio Valley

WTRF.com -- WHEELING - While gas prices are slowly climbing once again, there are a wide range of prices across the Ohio Valley. 7News spoke to a local economics professor on why there's almost a $0.50 difference at gas stations within about 35 miles.

West Liberty University Economics Professor Serkan Catma said he finds the large gap in prices interesting, especially for such a short distance. For example, prices are in the higher range, around $3.39 a gallon in New Martinsville, while they are around $3.29 in the Wheeling area. At the Circle K in Bellaire, prices are as low as $2.85.

Catma said the difference could be due to low competition that may be happening in Wetzel County, how remote the gas station is, or just high state taxes.  (go to article)

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As Oil Prices Fall, Global Tensions Rise

FOX BUSINESS -- Bullish and bearish forces are slugging it out in the oil complex and something has to give. On one hand, Russia seemed to move the goalpost on an expected gas deal with Ukraine while the European Central bank is leaking stories that they may be in the market to buy cooperate bonds in an effort to thwart deflationary forces that have plagued the Eurozone.

The sharp drop in oil prices as well as an economic slowdown in Europe, in particular Germany, is creating tension between Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, and Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi that seemed to reach a fever pitch on the Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo. For oil today it is about supply and demand but it is also about the rising specter of deflation. The Consumer Price Index and the Energy Information Administration will be...  (go to article)

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DVCA technology the oil that keeps smart grid machinery working

fiercesmartgrid.com -- Making the power grid more flexible, resilient, and efficient is the single most important objective for electric utilities today, and a number of voltage-adjustment and reactive power correction technologies, known as dynamic voltage and VAR control architectures (DVCAs), can help ensure power delivery that is both reliable at peak loads and continuously efficient, according to Navigant Research.

"Electricity loads are becoming more variable and intermittent sources are becoming a larger portion of the energy supply, increasing the need for advanced, controllable DVCA technologies," said James McCray, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "These solutions serve as oil in the machinery, keeping transformers, generators, transmission lines, and distribution systems from overheat  (go to article)

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NRDC: Don't believe the negative hype about U.S. energy

fierceenergy.com -- Smarter energy use is lessening the United States' foreign oil dependence, slowing the growth of electricity needs, and making energy services more affordable, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

"Despite what you may be hearing from a final onslaught of negative campaign ads, the security and affordability of America's energy services has never been better, and energy efficiency is the most important reason why," said Ralph Cavanagh, co-director of the NRDC energy program. "The latest data confirms that our consumption of energy, including oil and coal, remains well below its peak levels from a decade ago. However, we can and should do more."
 (go to article)

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Hydrogen Cars to Benefit from Coconut Kernels

AutoEvolution -- The problem with fuel cell cars is that the hydrogen they need to create electricity on board is quite expensive to store safely. Thus a lot more money needs to be invested into the infrastructure, with tougher and safer materials being required. Luckily, the same fruit that many believe it’s the fruit of life comes with the answer.

Coconut is considered by many as being one of the best fruits nature could share with us; it’s offering both a solid food and a hydrating liquid, comes with saturated fats but good HDL cholesterol, prevents cardiovascular diseases, helps with the metabolism, destroys numerous viruses/bacteria/fungi, contains a high level of electrolytes to restore the body energy and can also be a good material to store hydrogen.
Who would have thought coconuts and cars will  (go to article)

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Market Wrap: Energy Sector Declines Sap Stocks More Broadly

Associated Press -- NEW YORK -- Stocks fell broadly on Wednesday, snapping a four-day winning streak for the Standard & Poor's 500 index, as investors shaken by recent swings in the market sold some of their holdings.

A slide in the price of oil dragged down energy stocks. Eight of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 fell, led by a 1.7 percent drop in energy. Small-company stocks also fell as traders unloaded riskier assets....
The price of oil fell sharply after the Energy Department reported an increase in oil inventories that was far larger than analysts expected. The benchmark U.S. crude contract fell $1.97 to $80.52 a barrel in New York.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.51 to close at $84.71 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other  (go to article)

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EPA: Gas Mileage Inflated on 4 Mini Cooper Models

ABC News -- The U.S. government has told BMW to reduce the gas mileage estimates on the window stickers on four of its Mini Cooper models after an audit found the figures were overstated.

The discrepancy, which varies from one to four miles per gallon depending on model, was discovered in testing at the Environmental Protection Agency's lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the agency said in a statement Wednesday.

The reductions affect the 2014 Mini Cooper three-door and Mini Cooper three-door S models with manual and automatic transmissions. The biggest discrepancy was in highway mileage, but city and combined mileages also must be reduced.

It's the fourth time in the past two years that the EPA has found that an automaker overstated gas mileage test results. The automakers do their own estimates based o  (go to article)

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Occidental’s California Unit Sees Profit Dive on Costs

bloomberg.com -- Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) said profit from the California oil producer it’s spinning off to shareholders next month fell in the third quarter as crude prices slid and production costs increased.

California Resources Corp. (CRC-W), as the unit will be known when it becomes a stand-alone company, had net income of $188 million in the July-to-September period, down from $235 million a year earlier, Houston-based Occidental said in a statement today.

Occidental Chief Executive Officer Stephen Chazen is spinning off the unit as part of a wider plan to improve returns to investors by dismantling much of the international oil and natural gas empire cobbled together by his predecessor and mentor, Ray Irani.

Oil wells in California accounted for about one-fifth of Occidental’s output last  (go to article)

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Famed Texas Oilman Nelson Bunker Hunt Dead at 88

Fox Business -- Nelson Bunker Hunt, the Texas oilman once considered the world's richest man before his fortunes were undone by Muammar Gaddafi and his own epic overreaching in the silver market, died on Tuesday at age 88.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Hunt died at an assisted-living center in Dallas suffering from dementia and cancer. Hunt's sister-in-law, Nancy Hunt, confirmed the death on Tuesday night.

Hunt, born in El Dorado, Arkansas, on Feb. 22, 1926, was one of seven children in the "first family" of H.L. Hunt, one of the pioneers of the first Texas oil boom, who also had relationships with two women who gave him eight other children.  (go to article)

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US appeals court rejects lawsuit over E15 labeling rules

Platts -- A federal appeals court on Tuesday tossed out a lawsuit filed by several industry trade groups seeking to repeal US Environmental Protection Agency rules requiring labels for pumps selling gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol.

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the plaintiffs, including the American Petroleum Institute and the Engine Products Group, did not have legal standing to challenge the rules.

"Petitioners fail to establish Article III standing because they cannot show that their members have suffered or are threatened with suffering an injury in fact that is traceable to the regulation and redressable by a favorable decision," the judges wrote in their opinion.

The plaintiffs had sought in their petition to overturn an EPA rule that requires labels  (go to article)

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US Gulf Coast CBOB spot price dips below $2/gal for first time in four years

Platts -- The assessed spot price of Gulf Coast CBOB dipped below $2/gal Wednesday for the first time in four years with the transition to winter-grade gasoline in the market and under pressure from worldwide crude values.

Platts assessed CBOB at 13.5 RVP at NYMEX November RBOB futures minus 17 cents/gal and at an outright of $1.9863/gal.

The blendstock last was below $2/gal on October 29, 2010.

"I have to think that $80 crude is a good chunk of the reason," a US products trader said about the drop. "Also refiners are slowly coming back from maintenance. What I don't get is that there are bearish markets, with flat prices, yet [the market keeps] the structure in backwardation."

Gulf Coast cash markets reflected backwardation of 17 to 20 points/day on Wednesday.

"I thought a week ago when the w  (go to article)

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Environmental concerns trip up Enbridge oil pipeline project in Ontario

MLIVE -- Canadian officials have halted an energy company that ships oil under the Straits of Mackinac in the final stages of an Ontario pipeline expansion project, citing concerns the plan doesn't include enough environmental protections.

The Canadian National Energy Board this month did not clear Enbridge Inc. of the final hurdle before the company could begin reversing the flow in Line 9B, a 397-mile pipeline segment that would carry 300,000 barrels a day eastward to refineries in Quebec from western Canada and North Dakota.  (go to article)

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Plunging crude prices could delay interest rate hikes: Bank of Canada

The Globe and Mail -- The sudden drop in the price of crude has become a new wild card for the BoC, knocking the wind out of inflation and delaying any move to hike interest rates

The central bank left its benchmark overnight lending rate unchanged at 1% Wed

Stalled growth virtually everywhere else in the world means less demand and lower prices for oil and the other major commodities that Canada exports

Lower crude prices will cut into Canadians’ incomes and “weigh” on household and business spending, according to the bank’s Monetary Policy Report, also released Wed

Uneven global growth is having the opposite effect on overall inflation. The recent slide in energy prices would sap inflation pressures in the months ahead, leaving the rate well below the bank’s 2% target through all of next year  (go to article)

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Crude oil settles at $80.52 a barrel, lowest since June 2012

CNBC --

Oil prices slipped on Wednesday after data showed a second consecutive weekly jump in U.S. crude oil stockpiles, with trading choppy as dealers tested the notion that last week's four-year low may have set a bottom.

Prices rose and fell several times, even after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude inventories rose by 7.11 million barrels, more than the 2.7 million-barrel increase analysts had expected.

"The large crude oil build is the dominant feature of the report, making it bearish overall," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

Crude settled down $1.97 at $80.52 a barrel, lowest since June 2012.
Brent has tumbled from $115 in June on abundant supply, OPEC's reluctance to curb output and concerns that slowing economic growth in Europe and Ch  (go to article)

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Jury rules against Texas company in guardrail case

The Associated Press -- DALLAS — A jury has decided that a Texas company should pay $175 million in a case involving the safety of thousands of guardrails on highways around the country.

A whistleblower charged that the company changed the design of caps at each end of the guardrails a decade ago that made them more dangerous, then failed to properly test the units or tell government transportation officials about the change for years.

The verdict against Trinity Industries Inc. was handed down Monday in federal district court in Marshall, Texas. The company issued a statement suggesting that it would appeal
 (go to article)

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Natural gas prices may not climb with exports

Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- FORT WORTH — Promoting the economic benefits of expanded liquefied natural gas exports, state and energy officials said selling gas overseas does not mean prices here will automatically climb.

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick said Tuesday at a panel discussion in Fort Worth that LNG exports could generate as much as $86 billion in net benefits to the U.S. economy and up to 2.4 million jobs by 2035, without making natural gas more expensive domestically.  (go to article)

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Manchin, Whitehouse tour W.Va. energy production, look for climate solutions

The Charleston Gazette -- On environmental issues, Sen. Joe Manchin represents the most conservative wing of Senate Democrats, while Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is pretty close to the party’s left wing. But the two are working to find common ground on climate change, looking to develop new technologies that could limit the carbon dioxide emissions of burning fossil fuels and help slow the persistent warming of the planet.

While much of the national Republican Party (and West Virginia’s entire delegation in the U.S. House) continues to question the scientific reality of climate change, Manchin spent Wednesday giving Whitehouse a tour of energy production in West Virginia.  (go to article)

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Oil futures at two-year low after higher supply increase

Marketwatch -- SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — U.S. oil prices fell Wednesday to a two-year low on Wednesday, reversing course after a weekly supply report showed a higher-than-expected increase in supplies of the commodity.

Crude futures for December delivery CLZ4, -2.35% declined $1.97, or 2.4%, to settle at $80.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was oil’s lowest settlement since June 28, 2012.

December Brent futures LCOZ4, -1.62% fell $1.51, or 1.8%, to $84.71 a barrel on London’s ICE exchange. That settlement is Brent’s third lowest of the year.

Both benchmarks are about 25% lower from peak prices hit in June.

Earlier Wednesday, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude-oil supplies rose by 7.1 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 17. Analysts surv  (go to article)

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California Bay Area refiners face heightened regulations

Oil & Gas Journal -- California’s Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), the public agency responsible for regulating stationary sources of air pollution in the nine counties that surround San Francisco Bay, has launched an aggressive plan to cut emissions from the region’s five refineries.
By unanimous vote on Oct. 15, BAAQMD’s board passed a resolution that commits the agency to completing a series of actions over the next several months to further a newly announced goal of reducing local refinery emissions by 20%, or “as much as feasible,” by 2020, BAAQMD said.  (go to article)

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US stocks decline with oil; Canadian shooting cited

CNBC -- U.S. stocks turned lower on Wednesday, following the S&P 500's biggest jump in a year, as investors considered the fatal shooting of a soldier in Ottawa, reports of gunfire in the halls of Canada's Parliament and oil falling to a more-than two-year low.

"For the market to regain footing, we need the price of oil to stabilize," said Anastasia Amoroso, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds.

"It hits close to home, and with everything going on in the world, perhaps it's a contributor," Stephen Carl, head equity trader at the Williams Capital Group, said of the situation in Canada's capital, where lawmakers reportedly had barricaded themselves in their offices. "You don't know what going on there is Ottawa; as we've seen over the last couple of weeks, people buy protection on news o  (go to article)

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Exploding airbags: NHTSA urges car owners in warm climates to take 'immediate action'

GasBuddy Blog -- The government is urging nearly five million drivers to take “immediate action” to protect themselves against “defective” airbags – airbags that a safety expert says can explode in the vehicle and harm passengers. “This message comes with urgency,” says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as it urges owners of “certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective Takata airbags.” The message is especially urgent for drivers in warm climates like Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, NHTSA said....  (go to article)

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WTI Falls as U.S. Inventories Increase More Than Expected

Bloomberg.com -- West Texas Intermediate crude fell after an Energy Information Administration report showed U.S. inventories increased more than forecast last week.

Stockpiles climbed 7.11 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 17, the EIA said in a weekly report. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a gain of 3 million. Refiners operated at the lowest level since March, reducing gasoline inventories.

“It’s definitely a surprise and a bearish report,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that focuses on energy. “The further decline in the utilization rate obviously causes crude oil inventory to back up.”

WTI for December delivery slid $1.27, or 1.5 percent, to $81.22 a barrel at 1:31 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The November contract expired  (go to article)

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In Which States Are Gasoline Prices Falling Fastest?

Forbes -- Thanks to falling oil prices, America’s motorists are enjoying cheaper gasoline prices about 20 cents per gallon cheaper than this time last year. The big move has come since July, with prices down about 15% nationwide, or nearly 50 cents, to an average $3.14 a gallon, according to data from Gasbuddy.com (find your state on our map below). Naturally, this has a stimulus effect on the U.S. economy — saving us about $100 billion in annualized fuel costs, according to economist Ed Yardeni. That works out to about $300 in annual fuel savings for every American. Just in time for the holiday season.

The price of gas has fallen fastest in Missouri, down 18% to $2.77 a gallon — which is also the cheapest gas in the nation. On the flipside is Hawaii, which suffers the most expensive gasoline...  (go to article)

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Propane settlement: $500k to be returned to consumers after price gouging

MLive -- Schuette announced Wednesday morning a settlement that will return at least $500,000 to 5,600 Michigan customers. The settlement ends a lawsuit filed in September against AmeriGas, the nation’s largest residential supplier of propane.

In a conference call Wednesday morning, Schuette said the checks to the afflicted customers will be issued shortly.

“We want to get money in consumers’ pockets now before the onset of winter, to help people,” he said.

According to a statement from Schuette’s office, AmeriGas charged customers prices higher than the per-gallon rates that had been agreed upon, charged some customers more at the time of delivery and sometimes much more than other propane retailers in the state.

Schuette said customers who are affected by the settlement will get a letter...  (go to article)

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Airbag Recall Causing Parts Backlog, Site Issues

WFMY -- Consumers affected by the nationwide recall of 7.8 million Takata airbags are experiencing issues determining whether their cars are affected and whether they can get a replacement part quickly.

The website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) listed an expanded list of 7.8 million recalled cars of various makes and models ranging from years 2001 to 2011. However, when consumers attempt to look up their VIN numbers on the NHTSA-operated SaferCar.gov, they are unable to do so. Since Tuesday, the site has been down due to "intermittent networking issues." Consumers are encouraged to check their owners' manuals or call their local car dealerships to inquire about the recall.
 (go to article)

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North Dakota: $200 million, 20,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery could get green light

St Paul Pioneer Press -- A $200 million, 20,000-barrel-a-day clean fuels oil refinery could be operating near Devils Lake within three years.

The refinery, similar to one being built in Dickinson, would employ about 100 people and could create as many as 400 spin-off jobs in the area, according to Rachel Lindstrom, executive director of Forward Devils Lake, the region's economic development agency.

"It's very exciting for Devils Lake," she said, "a great opportunity."

Devils Lake City Commission approved a letter of support for the project this week.

The refinery is being proposed by Eagles Ledge Energy Ltd., based in Vancouver, B.C., which is working with Triad Engineering Ltd, of Calgary, Alberta.

If approved, the refinery would be built just northwest of Devils Lake, adjacent to the Devils Lake Industrial  (go to article)

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Trinidad Refinery Swaps Crude Sources on Ebola Scare

Bloomberg -- Trinidad & Tobago is substituting crude from Gabon with Colombian and Russian shipments amid protests by refinery workers alarmed by the outbreak of Ebola in other African countries.

Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine halted oil purchases from Gabon, the Caribbean country’s only African supplier in the past 20 months, he said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The decision follows the refusal of workers from Petrotrin, which operates Trinidad’s sole refinery, to assist with the berthing of a tanker that arrived in Trinidad waters on Oct. 18 from Gabon. The vessel, called Overseas Yellowstone, eventually docked late yesterday using outsourced tugs and labor, Ramnarine said.

“The situation is dynamic and we will review if need be,” the minister wrote. “It should, however, be noted that th  (go to article)

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11 things you need to know about Ontario’s proposed new road rules

Ottawa Citizen -- A bill in ON seeks to overhaul road safety in the province, from tougher penalties for “dooring cyclists” to massive distracted driving fines

The bill was first introduced in the spring but died with the Jun election call, and Transportation Minister reintroduced it Tue as Bill 31. Now that the Liberals have a majority, it will almost certainly become law

Here are 11 things you need to know about the bill — or face hefty fines for your ignorance

Texting and driving is about to get a lot more expensive

Light up your bike

No more school bus impostors

Cycle safe

Cycle more

Drive sober

“Dooring” will cost you more than just repairs

Even bigger transport trucks on the 401

Towing the line

Allow more people to keep their licenses as identification

Crosswalk crackdown
 (go to article)

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Oil futures turn lower after supply report

MarketWatch -- SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- U.S. crude-oil supplies rose by 7.1 million barrels in the week ended Oct. 17, the Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday. Analysts surveyed by Platts had expected an increase of 2.5 million barrels. Crude futures reversed course on the news, and the November contract CLX4, +0.00% was recently down 64 cents, or 0.8%, at $81.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract traded at $82.55 before the report. The EIA also said gasoline inventories decreased 1.3 million barrels on the same week, and supplies of distillates rose 1 million barrels. The analysts polled by Platts had expected gasoline inventories to decline 1.7 million barrels, and distillates supplies to fall 1.5 million barrels.  (go to article)

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EIA: crude oil inventories surge again, gasoline supply drops

GasBuddy Blog -- The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report today on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States.

Here are some highlights:

CRUDE INVENTORIES:
Crude oil inventories increased by 7.1 million barrels to a total of 377.7 million barrels. At 377.7 million barrels, inventories are 2.1 million barrels below last year (0.6%) and are near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.

GASOLINE INVENTORIES:
Gasoline inventories decreased by 1.3 million barrels to 204.4 million barrels. At 204.4 million barrels, inventories are down 11.1 million barrels, or 5.2% lower than one year ago. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-0.1mb); Midwest (-1.3mb); Gulf Coast (+0.9mb); Rockies (-0.3mb); and West Coast (-0.5mb). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling invento  (go to article)

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Federal agency says oil exports would lower pump prices

Houston Chronicle -- WASHINGTON — Ending the United States’ longstanding ban against most crude exports could lift oil prices inside the country while decreasing the cost of gasoline, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Monday.

The document — the first broad government analysis of proposed oil exports — dovetails with industry-backed studies predicting lower gasoline prices would result if repealing the export ban spurred more domestic crude production and helped lower world prices for the fossil fuel. Domestic gasoline prices tend to track the international Brent crude benchmark, rather than US. oil prices
 (go to article)

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Airbag recall expanded to 6.1M vehicles; humidity a factor

ABC 13 News -- WASHINGTON (KTRK) -- Cars in humid climates are the most at risk. That's what safety regulators are saying and not they have expanded an airbag recall to include to 6.1 million vehicles.

 (go to article)

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Oil up after China demand news, traders see fragile recovery

CNBC -- Oil prices closed slightly higher Tuesday after an early rally aided by data showing stronger-than-expected China demand and some technical price recovery after weeks of almost uninterrupted selling.

Unflattering global economic data, especially out of Europe, and fears that crude markets were still oversupplied limited gains, analysts and traders said.

"Because of their deep slide over the past couple of weeks, oil prices are kind of overdone on the downside and vulnerable to turnarounds now," said Gene Addison of Tradition Energy, an oil services advisory firm in Stamford, Connecticut.

"But whether we have hit bottom or not remains a question. I would think not given the market's recent performance, the continued swoon of the European economies and the idea that we have more than amp  (go to article)

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Oil Producers Cramming Wells in Risky Push to Extend Boom

Bloomberg -- U.S. shale producers are cramming more wells into the juiciest spots of their oilfields in a move that may help keep the drilling boom going as prices plunge.

The technique known as downspacing aims to pull more oil at less cost from each field, allowing companies to boost profit, attract more investment and arrange needed loans to continue drilling. Energy companies see closely-packed wells as their best chance to add billions more barrels of oil to U.S. production that’s already the highest in a quarter century.

“We would be dealing with more than a decade of inventory,” said Manuj Nikhanj, co-head of energy research for ITG Investment Research in Calgary. “If you can go twice as tight, the multiplication effect is massive.”

 (go to article)

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WTI Crude Oil Seen Supported Near $75 a Barrel

Bloomberg -- West Texas Intermediate crude oil will find support around $75 a barrel should it break through $80 on a sustained basis, according to Auerbach Grayson & Co.

“We’re still keeping an eye on $80,” Richard Ross, global technical strategist at the New York-based brokerage firm, said yesterday. Below that level is a lot of support in the $75-to-$76 area, he said.

Prices have tumbled more 20 percent from their June peak, meeting a common definition of a bear market, as Iraqi output continued to flow despite conflict in the north of the country and production increased in Libya and the U.S. At the same time, forecasts for global oil demand growth have been reduced by the International Energy Agency.  (go to article)

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ransCanada’s Keystone Stand-in Faces $1 Billion Gas Feud

Bloomberg -- Nov2014MarMayJulSep50.0055.0060.00* Price chart for TRANSCANADA CORP. Click flags for important stories. TRP:CN54.330.79 1.48%

TransCanada Corp. (TRP) will have to spend $1 billion more than planned on an oil pipeline to Canada’s Atlantic Coast if natural gas customers get their way, a move it says would threaten the viability of the project.

TransCanada has delayed seeking regulatory approval of the C$12 billion ($10.7 billion) Energy East line as it negotiates with Quebec’s Gaz Metro Inc. and Ontario units of Spectra Energy Corp. (SE) and Enbridge Inc. (ENB), said two people familiar with the talks who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter.

The spat centers on TransCanada’s plan to convert a 3,000-kilometer (1,865-mile) stretch of its mainline gas conduit to carry oil  (go to article)

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WTI Oil Climbs as U.S. Motor-Fuel Supplies Seen Lower

Bloomberg -- West Texas Intermediate crude rose for the fourth time in five trading sessions before a report that may show motor-fuel inventories shrank to a two-year low in the U.S., the biggest oil consumer. Brent advanced in London.

December futures increased as much as 0.5 percent in New York, adding to a 0.7 percent rise yesterday. Gasoline stockpiles probably fell by 1.45 million barrels to 204.2 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey before data from the Energy Information Administration today. That would be the lowest since November 2012. Inventories of the fuel slid by 500,000 barrels through Oct. 17, the American Petroleum Institute reported yesterday, according to Bain Energy
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Ford cuts price of Focus Electric again

Detroit News -- For the second time in two years, Ford Motor Co. has cut the price of its Focus Electric car in the hopes of boosting sales.

The starting price for the vehicle has dropped $6,000 to $29,995, including shipping and delivery. The new price went into effect Oct. 13 for all remaining 2014 model-year Focus Electrics, as well as upcoming 2015 model-year cars, the Dearborn automaker said. Ford reduced its price by $4,000 last year.

“We hope by reducing the price we’re giving customers another reason to consider the Focus,” said spokesman Aaron Miller, adding it puts the electric car at a “very competitive price point.”

Focus Electric represents a small fraction of total Focus sales.

Through September, Ford sold a little more than 1,500 Focus Electrics and is on pace to have its best-selling  (go to article)

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China Cuts Saudi Oil Imports Amid Colombia Shipment Boost

Bloomberg -- China reduced oil imports from Saudi Arabia even as the world’s largest crude exporter cuts prices to lure Asian customers amid intensifying competition from Colombia to Oman.

Oil deliveries from Saudi Arabia fell 2.7 percent to 4.74 million metric tons last month from a year earlier, according to data released today by the General Administration of Customs in Beijing. Shipments from Colombia surged 389.6 percent, while Russian deliveries increased by 56.8 percent.

Asian consumers are benefiting from a wider choice of suppliers offering cheaper crude, from Venezuela to Alaska and Nigeria, as the highest U.S. production in almost 30 years cuts American demand. Saudi Arabia reduced prices for oil for Asia to the lowest in almost six years as it aims to maintain market share even as ...  (go to article)

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NHTSA expands air bag alert to 7.8M vehicles

Detroit News -- (see list at end of article)

Washington — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said late Tuesday it was expanding its alert of faulty air bags that could explode or expel shrapnel to 7.8 million vehicles from 10 major automakers.

NHTSA said it was adding Ford Motor Co.; Chrysler Group LLC; Mitsubishi Motor Co.; and Subaru, a unit of Fuji Heavy Industries, to the recall.

On Monday, NHTSA took the unusual step of urging owners of 4.7 million vehicles at six major automakers to act immediately as Toyota Motor Corp. announced it was recalling 247,000 vehicles in humid areas and warned that drivers shouldn't use the vehicles until they were serviced by a dealer.

Worldwide, 11 automakers have recalled more than 16 million vehicles for defective air bags made by Japanese suppli  (go to article)

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Here's why credit and debit cards with chips are safer....

cleveland.com -- CLEVELAND, Ohio -- These three letters might be unknown to you now, but that is likely to change soon: EMV.

EMV is shorthand for the technology that will make credit and debit cards safer in the future. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, which collaborated to adopt cards with more secure technology two decades ago.

EMV cards are also known as chip cards, because they contain computer chips that are used to authenticate each transaction.

The technology has been thrust into the news in the last 10 months, ever since Target's disastrous retail breach that exposed 40 million credit and debit card numbers to hackers.  (go to article)

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GM's embattled chief lawyer to retire

Detroit free press -- Michael Millikin, General Motors general counsel, will retire early next year, about a year after the company's costly delayed recall of 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches that have been tied to 27 fatalities.

The 66-year-old lawyer worked for GM for 38 years, the last five as its top attorney.

The company said it would conduct an "external search" for a replacement.

Millikin's leadership came under scrutiny when former U.S. prosecutor Anton Valukas delivered a comprehensive investigation revealing that Millikin did not know about the ignition switch defect until February. Valukas revealed that lawyers were allowed to settle lawsuits for up to $5 million without his approval.
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2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat can hit 204 mph

FoxNews -- Dodge has unleashed its insane Hellcat Hemi V8 on the Charger sedan, and taking the kids to school may never be the same.  (go to article)

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5 Reasons Oil Is Not Rising

msn.com -- The old oil bull market, the one where oil went to $140 per barrel, now feels like ancient history. Oil prices have recently been challenging lows not seen since 2012. Continuously rising oil prices not only translate to higher prices at the pump but also to higher prices of goods because of the increased production and transportation costs. But now the economy is dealing with steadily falling oil prices in recent months, which can contribute to deflation — itself a source of concern.  (go to article)

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Alaska’s Oil Piles Up at Port as Barrels Wait for a Ride

bloomberg.com -- Stockpiles of oil from Alaska’s North Slope have surged to a five-year seasonal high as tanker maintenance slows loadings, forcing the grade to trade at a discount to U.S. crude for the first time since 2010.

Inventories at the Valdez terminal, the northernmost ice-free port in North America and the loading point for Alaskan oil, have averaged 4.38 million barrels this month, the most for October since 2009, data posted on the Alaska Revenue Department’s website show. Tanker repairs have shrunk the pool of vessels available, terminal operator Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. said.

The trapped stocks threaten to further cut prices for oil from the North Slope, once the most prolific crude-producing region in the nation, as refiners on the U.S. West Coast turn elsewhere for supplies. Californi  (go to article)

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The Price of Hybrid and Electric Cars Is Plummeting. Here’s Why

times.com/money -- USA Today just reported that Ford is cutting the sticker price of the fully battery-powered plug-in Focus Electric by a flat $6,000. That’s on top of a $4,000 price reduction on the same vehicle a year ago. The new sticker price is $29,995 including shipping—but not including federal tax credits of up to $7,500 and state incentives that might effectively knock another $2,500 off the amount buyers pay.
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Obviously, Ford wouldn’t be instituting such dramatic price cuts if the Focus Electric  (go to article)

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Halliburton, Baker Hughes buy more sand, railcars as demand piles up

Yahoo -- Oct 21 (Reuters) - As fracking accelerates in North American shale fields, oilfield services providers Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc are stockpiling sand to protect themselves against rising costs and are buying more railcars to transport the haul.

Halliburton, the world's largest provider of fracking services, is more than doubling its railcar fleet and capacity for sand terminals - where sand is stored and transferred to truck from rail. It had about 3,500 railcars under management as of June 30.

Baker Hughes, the world's No.3 oilfield services provider, said at the Barclays CEO Energy Power conference last month that it had "significantly" increased the number of its railcars and is buying more sand under contract, which helps buffer it against price rises.Companies are pumping  (go to article)

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Environmental Issues Become a Force in Political Advertising

NY Times -- WASHINGTON — In Michigan, an ad attacking Terri Lynn Land, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate, opens with a shot of rising brown floodwaters as a woman says: “We see it every day in Michigan. Climate change. So why is Terri Lynn Land ignoring the science?”

In Colorado, an ad for Cory Gardner, another Republican candidate for Senate, shows him in a checked shirt and hiking boots, standing in front of a field of wind turbines as he discusses his support for green energy.

And in Kentucky, a spot for the Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, depicts him flanked by coal miners as a woman intones, “The person fighting for our coal jobs is Mitch McConnell.”  (go to article)

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