Senior Market Analyst, Commodities and Energy
John's Feed
Jan 23, 2014

Cars or mass transit? Future trends in emerging markets: Kemp

LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Rapidly growing populations and
rising incomes will drive an enormous rise in car use and
greenhouse gas emissions across Latin America, Africa, the
Middle East and Asia by 2050.

But deliberate policy choices about urban planning, road
building and the provision of public transport will determine
whether the increase is manageable or becomes a nightmare for
congestion and climate change.

Jan 21, 2014

Nuclear power is set to disappoint, again: Kemp

LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Nuclear power is the energy dream
that refuses to die, despite serious accidents at Windscale
(1957), Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima
(2011).

Many of the arguments that were employed in favour of
nuclear in the 1950s and 1960s as a solution to oil supplies
running out are now being resurrected in favour of nuclear as a
solution to climate change.

Jan 20, 2014

Plateauing car use across the developed world: Kemp

LONDON, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Car use appears to have levelled
off and even started falling in many of the world’s advanced
economies long before the global downturn in 2008, according to
transport experts.

The slowdown brings to an end several decades in which car
use grew roughly twice as fast as real GDP and incomes.

Jan 17, 2014

Americans are driving less: Kemp

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – If America’s long love affair
with the motor car is not exactly over, it has certainly become
less intense in the past decade.

Statistics compiled by the Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA) reveal a remarkable turning point: for the first time
since the introduction of the internal combustion engine,
vehicle use is rising more slowly than the U.S. population.

Jan 14, 2014

Long live the Jones Act? Kemp

LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – The Philadelphia-registered
schooner “Amity” was seized off the island of St Kitts on May 2,
1785 and accused of contravening the British navigation laws,
which required trade with Britain’s Caribbean possessions to be
carried in British-owned and crewed ships.

The captain who seized her was Horatio Nelson, the young
commander of the Royal Navy frigate “Boreas”. It was the first
in a string of seizures of American vessels by Nelson that
antagonised local merchants.

Jan 13, 2014

Crude export ban benefits only U.S. refiners: Kemp

LONDON, Jan 13 (Reuters) – It is a great time to be an oil
refiner, at least if you are located in the central United
States and have access to light oil from North Dakota’s Bakken
formation and similar crudes trapped in the region by transport
bottlenecks and the export ban.

While refiners in Western Europe struggle with overcapacity
in the global refining system and face pressure to close some of
their facilities, their rivals in the United States are
benefiting handsomely from locational advantages and outdated
protectionism.

Jan 9, 2014

Rail industry has underestimated risks of tank cars: Kemp

LONDON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Train accidents involving crude
oil and other flammable liquids are becoming uncomfortably
common. The fiery train derailment in New Brunswick on Tuesday
is the third major accident involving crude by rail in just
three months, and the fourth since July 2013.

Serious accidents involving derailments and train fires are
running at one a month, which suggests the dangers of this form
of transport have been underestimated by the industry and
regulators.

Jan 8, 2014

Rail regulators must phase out unsafe oil tank cars: Kemp

LONDON, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Most crude oil being transported
by rail in the United States and Canada is moving in tank cars
that will rupture and catch fire if the train derails, according
to accident investigations and reports filed with U.S. rail
regulators, posing a lethal danger to railway workers and
communities along the route.

Crude shipments by rail as a result of the shale boom have
risen 100-fold in eight years. While the risks from transporting
oil and other flammable liquids in conventional tank cars have
been understood for more than 20 years, regulators and shippers
have moved slowly to address the issue because of the costs
involved.

Jan 7, 2014

Texas comes close to rolling blackouts: Kemp

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Texas struggled to keep the
heating working on Monday as unusually cold weather combined
with unexpected power plant outages to reduce reserve margins to
critically low levels.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) declared a
Level 2 Energy Emergency and appealed to customers to conserve
power by turning down thermostats, as the amount of spare
generating capacity available to meet demand shrank to less than
2,000 megawatts (MW) (2 percent).

Jan 6, 2014

Fireballs jeopardise oil-by-rail business: Kemp

LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – The rising number of serious
accidents involving oil tank cars over the past 12 months
suggests that shippers are underestimating the safety risk of
transporting crude by rail.

If the industry and regulators do not resolve these issues
promptly, it is only a matter of time before a major disaster
occurs in the United States. The resulting political outcry
could imperil the business model for oil producers, refiners and
rail operators.

    • About John

      "John joined Reuters in 2008 as one of its first financial columnists, specialising in commodities and energy. While his main focus is on oil markets, he has written broadly on the emergence of commodities as an asset class, regulatory issues and macroeconomic themes. Before joining Reuters, John spent seven years as a senior analyst for Sempra Commodities (now part of JP Morgan) covering base metals and crude oil. Previously, he worked as an analyst on world trade, banking and financial regulation for consultancy Oxford Analytica."
    • Follow John