Joshua's Feed
Feb 14, 2011

Analysis: Brent premium could be the new norm in oil markets

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Oil traders are almost unanimously betting that Europe’s Brent crude will retreat from its record $16 premium over U.S. benchmark oil. What they don’t expect for years, however, is a return of West Texas Intermediate premiums that have been the norm for decades.

Shifts in physical oil flows and new supply risks — increasing the chance of oil gluts in the U.S. Midwest and tighter supplies in Europe – mean that a highly unusual $5 to $10 a barrel premium for Brent could become the standard through 2013.

Feb 11, 2011

Government finds major safety issues on Alaska oil line

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. government investigation of the Trans Alaska oil pipeline, which delivers 12 percent of domestic oil supply, has found potentially major safety issues on the line that make its operation risky until repairs are made, according to a letter from regulators to the operator, and obtained by Reuters.

In the February 1 letter addressed to operator Alyeska from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s pipeline safety division, regulators said the 800-mile line appears to have “multiple conditions” that “pose a pipeline integrity risk to public safety, property or the environment.”

Feb 4, 2011

Analysis: Oil returns to U.S rails to avoid mammoth Midwest glut

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Trains once revolutionized the U.S. oil trade by getting barrels to market faster than horse and buggy. Some 150 years later, crude is hopping the rails again as today’s oil barons look to cash in on the biggest domestic price gap in decades.

Shipments of oil in rail tankers, though still small, may have already doubled from a year ago, industry estimates show. They could soon surge further as producers, railways and storage firms build up to a dozen crude-by-rail terminals, allowing oil from an oversupplied U.S. Midwest to flow to destinations where it’s priced much higher, including on the Gulf Coast.

Jan 21, 2011

Alaska oil line that leaked deemed risky since 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A risk assessment of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System in 2008 recommended replacing a stretch of line that leaked this month, since a concrete casing made it impossible to inspect for corrosion, operator Alyeska told a U.S. lawmaker this week.

A leak discovered on January 8 in a concrete-encased booster line along TAPS forced the 800-mile (1,287-km) pipeline system to shut last week, temporarily cutting off 12 percent of U.S. oil production, and forcing a risky winter-time repair. The pipeline restarted on Monday.

Jan 21, 2011

Analysis: Alaska oil line facing increased risks as output falls

NEW YORK/ANCHORAGE (Reuters) – Last week’s shutdown of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, a major artery for U.S. oil, may signal trouble ahead for Alaska’s aging oil infrastructure, including more frequent incidents that could damage the environment and cause oil prices to soar.

Workers braved sub-zero temperatures to install a bypass around a small leak at TAPS, allowing the line that ships 12 percent of domestic crude supplies to restart on Monday, and halting the advance of oil prices toward $100 a barrel.

Jan 14, 2011

BP fixes ESPO crude for USWC on Alaska snag: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – BP Plc (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) fixed a tanker cargo of Russia’s ESPO crude for shipment to the U.S. West Coast after a shutdown of Alaska’s main oil pipeline prompted some oil companies to look at foreign crude substitutes, two shipping sources told Reuters on Friday.

BP was said to fix the 115,000 deadweight ton Helga Spirit tanker to load Eastern Siberian pipeline crude on January 20, two shipping sources said. The fixture was done Thursday, one of the sources said.

Jan 13, 2011

Alaska to shut oil pipe this weekend for bypass

NEW YORK, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Alaska’s main oil pipeline
will shut for 36 hours over the weekend to install a bypass
aimed at restoring oil shipments to full volumes after the line
was shut following a leak last week, its operator said on

Crude flow has been restored to 400,000 barrels per day,
about two thirds normal, after operator Alyeska partially
resumed shipments earlier this week.

Jan 12, 2011

Alaska oil pipeline resumes flow at reduced rates

ANCHORAGE/NEW YORK, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Alaska’s key oil
pipeline has resumed shipments and was pumping 400,000 barrels
per day, almost two-thirds of its normal levels, following a
four-day shutdown due to a small leak, its operator said on

Since it was shut on Saturday, the closure of the line that
normally transports 640,000 bpd shut in almost 12 percent of
U.S. oil production and threatened to prompt supply shortages
for refiners on the U.S. West Coast.

Jan 12, 2011

Alaska pipeline restarts at low rates to prevent freezing

NEW YORK (Reuters) – In an emergency measure to keep it from freezing, Alaska’s largest oil pipeline resumed oil shipments at reduced rates late Tuesday following a small leak that had shut the line since Saturday and halted around 12 percent of U.S. oil production.

The temporary restart of the 800-mile (1,300-km) line comes as operator Alyeska and regulators scramble to prevent oil and water from freezing in the pipes, which could pose major problems for restarting the line on a permanent basis. The pipe normally carries about 640,000 barrels per day of crude from Alaska’s North Slope.

Jan 11, 2011

Chevron oil platform restarts, inspectors to visit

NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Chevron (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) quickly
restored oil output at a U.S. Gulf of Mexico platform after an
incident caused a brief shutdown on Monday, the company said on

The platform, which pumps Eugene Island crude, was shut
down for an hour on Monday, Chevron spokesman Scott Walker said
without offering details on what caused the outage.