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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.