U.S. propane stocks fell by 2.2 MMbbl the week ended Feb. 20 to stand at 59.2 MMbbl, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Feb. 25 “This Week in Petroleum” report. As of that reporting period, volumes stood 32.6 MMbbl, or 122.1%, higher than a year ago. Gulf Coast supplies decreased by 1 MMbbl, the East Coast by 0.7 MMbbl, and the Midwest by 0.5 MMbbl. Rocky Mountain/West Coast regional inventories remained unchanged.
…Blossman Gas (Ocean Springs, Miss.) has acquired Dixie Gas of Chesterfield, Va. The purchase is its fifth acquisition of the past year. Serving the Richmond, Va. market for more than 45 years, Dixie Gas was formerly owned by Mary Ann and Brooke Hamilton. “We are very pleased that the Hamiltons have selected Blossman Gas to continue their long and fine tradition of exceptional ser­vice to their customers in the Richmond area,” said Stuart Weidie, Blossman president and CEO.
Enterprise Products Partners LP (Houston), Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (The Woodlands, Texas), DCP Midstream Partners (Denver), and MarkWest Energy Partners LP (Denver) have formed a joint ven­ture under which Enterprise will assign 45% owner­ship in Panola Pipeline Co. LLC. The interest will be evenly divided among Anadarko’s affiliate, WGR Asset Holding Co. LLC, DCP Midstream, and MarkWest.
Stunning growth in U.S. oil production may come to a halt by mid-2015 as low oil prices begin to constrain U.S. tight oil production, which has been the dominant engine of world oil supply gains in recent years, according to a new report by the energy consultancy IHS. Growth is still expected in the yearly months of this year, but that momentum will level off in the latter half of the year amid prices at lows not seen since the 2008-2009 Great Reces­sion.
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, have introduced legislation to reduce frivolous lawsuits that bog down the legal system and cost businesses billions of dol­lars every year. The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA) would impose mandatory sanctions for lawyers who file meritless suits in federal court.


IC Bus (Lisle, Ill.) said Feb. 23 that its CE Series school bus powered by Power Solutions International’s (PSI; Wood Dale, Ill.) 8.8-liter propane engine is available for order. The CE Series PSI heavy-duty propane engine is said to offer a cleaner, quieter, and more user-friendly alternative to diesel that won’t sacrifice power, torque, or durability.
Spot propane at Mont Belvieu and Conway, Kan. edged still higher Thursday, Feb. 26, building on early-week gains. Belvieu prices climbed another 1 to 1.25 cents compared to the Monday email Update, while the Midwest rose 0.625 cents. Monday saw the Texas trading hub up a quarter cent to 0.375 cents, while Conway prices hardened by a penny from the previous report­ing period. Meanwhile, weather demand has finally kicked in, with the Energy Information Administration reporting that U.S.
Although there were some discounts in evidence, most principal postings gained ground Thursday, some considerably compared to the Monday email Update. Prices either hardened by 0.75 cents to as much as 7 cents, shed the odd 0.13 to 2.25 cents, or in the case of one seller stayed the same.
Williams Partners LP (Tulsa) and Crestwood Midstream Partners LP (Houston) have commissioned the Bucking Horse gas processing facility in Converse County, Wyo., adding 120 MMcfd of processing capacity in the Powder River Basin’s Niobrara Shale play.
Despite the dramatic recent weakening in global energy markets, ongoing economic expansion in Asia—particularly in China and India—will drive continued growth in the world’s demand for energy over the next 20 years. According to the new edition of BP Energy Outlook 2035, global demand for energy is expected to rise by 37% from 2013 to 2035, or by an average of 1.4% a year.
Proulx Oil & Propane (Newmarket, N.H.) has joined forces with J.A. Bourque & Sons, a 78-year-old oil company in Manchester, N.H. The combined company will provide heating oil and propane delivery, air conditioning and heating system installation and 24-hour service for homeowners from southern Maine and the Seacoast through central New Hampshire and the White Mountain region.
Following a short-lived price increase in Novem­ber, natural gas prices have dropped to their lowest levels since September 2012, reflecting strong domestic produc­tion and inventory builds, reports the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The 2013-2014 winter’s sustained cold weather and record drawdown of inventories led Henry Hub prices to spike to five-year highs, peaking at a monthly average of $6/MMBtu in February 2014.
The global energy market intelligence consultancy Genscape (Louisville, Ky.) has dropped its expectation for year-on-year NGL production growth by roughly 100,000 bbld, or 25%, for 2015, and 125,000 bbld, or 60%, for 2016. Growth in 2016 is now expected to be only 40,000 bbld, most of which is additional ethane recovered to meet commitments in the Northeast.
MFA Oil Company (Columbia, Mo.) has acquired Basin Propane Systems, an independently owned propane retailer based in Vernal, Utah. Basin Propane services cus­tomers in the northeast region of the state.
Philadelphia-based Econsult Solutions has released an economic impact study that finds the Sunoco Logis­tics Mariner East projects are expected to add up to $4.2 billion to Pennsylvania’s economy, supporting more than 30,000 jobs during the construction period and about 300 to 400 permanent jobs.
NGL Energy Partners LP (Tulsa) said Feb. 18 it had completed its acquisition of Magnum NGLs from Magnum Development LLC, a company of Haddington Ventures LLC (Houston). Magnum owns and operates an NGL storage facility with multiple salt caverns and a potential capacity of greater than 10 MMbbl. The facility is located southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, with rail and truck access to western U.S. markets.
Canyon Midstream Partners LLC (Houston) said Feb. 6 it had commenced operations at its James Lake system in the Permian Basin. Phase 1 consists of a 105-MMcfd cryogenic gas processing plant in Ector County, Texas, and six field compressor stations, 60 miles of 12-in. trunk line, and 20 miles of low-pressure gathering lines in Actor and Andrews counties, Texas.
Analysts have forecast that the world’s hunger for energy will rise by more than 40% in the next two decades, with exports from oil-producing countries likely to slow down. However, it is expected that there should be enough energy available to meet climbing demand until 2035, when a fifth of the world’s gas will come from shale production.
Spot propane at Mont Belvieu and Conway, Kan. Thursday, Feb. 19 posted some minimal losses compared to the Friday, Feb. 13 Update. Belvieu trading mid-morning was off a half cent to 0.625 cents com­pared to the previous reporting period, and Conway was down a penny. While bitter winter cold continues to grip much of the country, propane inventories remain well above the seasonal average at 61.5 MMbbl as the heating season winds down.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded more than $3 million in rebates to replace 210 older diesel school buses with new diesel buses that are more than 90% cleaner, reducing pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Seventy-six school bus fleets in 30 states received rebates through EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding to replace buses.
Principal postings hardened considerably Thursday, Feb. 19, with prices firming a minimum of 3 cents but as much as 9.75 cents compared to the Friday, Feb. 13 Update. The steepest increases appeared on TEPPCO and on the Dixie Pipeline. Conversely, on the West Coast Los Angeles postings shed 3 to 8 cents over the same period.
Canadian underground propane inventories fell 13.4% in January to post a monthly loss of 225.5 Mcm, accord­ing to the National Energy Board (NEB). As of Feb. 1, stocks stood at 1461.2 Mcm, the equivalent of 9.2 MMbbl. January’s decline followed volumes dropping 11.8% in December. Compared to a year earlier, however, supplies as of the beginning of February were a significant 274.1%, or 1070.6 Mcm, higher.