U.S. propane stocks fell by 1.6 MMbbl the week ended Jan. 2 to stand at 75.7 MMbbl, according to the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) latest "This Week in Petroleum" report. The draw left volumes 33.2 MMbbl, or 78.3%, higher than a year ago. The Gulf Coast gave up 1.1 MMbbl and the Midwest 0.4 MMbbl. Rocky Mountain/West Coast regional inventories declined by 0.1 MMbbl, while East Coast supplies gained 0.1 MMbbl. Propylene non-fuel-use stocks represented 4.8% of total propane inventories, inching up from 4.6% the previous week.
Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) chairwoman Christi Craddick has directed the commission's executive director to explore the potential need for further emphasis on inspections in highly populated, urban areas throughout the state. Craddick noted that RRC has heard concerns from residents of urban areas where drilling is occurring.
Total U.S. petroleum deliveries, a measure of demand, rose in November by 1.9% from November 2013 to average 19.9 MMbbld, the highest level for the month in seven years, reports the American Petroleum Institute (API). ìIt has been several years since weíve seen this level of demand in November,î said API chief economist John Felmy. ìThe economy overall appeared to be in good shape, and production of crude, natural gas, and refined products all remained quite strong.î
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. (TGP), a subsidiary of Kinder Morgan Inc. (Houston), is adopting two alternative routes for its proposed Northeast Energy Direct project to minimize environmental impact and allow for the expan¬sion of natural gas service in New Hampshire. Following an evaluation of feasible route alternatives from Wright, N.Y. to Dracut, Mass., the company has submitted an amended filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Com¬mission.


While overall quiet prevailed in the markets late in the week, spot propane at Mont Belvieu and Conway, Kan. was only fractionally higher and lower Thursday, Dec. 18, compared to the Monday email Update. The Texas trading hub showed minimal gains of just 0.125 to 0.625 cents mid-morning, while the Midwest had slipped 0.625 cents. The late-week moves followed some gains in both markets Monday, when Belvieu stepped up 1.125 cents and Conway jumped 2.5 cents from the previous reporting period. Market watchers note there is currently overhang for propane supply.
Most principal postings declined Thursday, Dec. 18, backing off a minimum of an odd 0.35 cents but as much as 3.75 cents compared to the Monday email Update. There was a scattering of increases in the Midwest, on TEPPCO, and at Mont Belvieu. The additions ranged from a quarter cent to 1.32 cents. Two sellers held firm in the Midwest.
Canadian underground inventories rose just 0.8% in November for a monthly gain of 15.8 Mcm, according to the National Energy Board (NEB). As of Dec. 1 they stood at 1921.7 Mcm, the equivalent of 12.1 MMbbl. The slight build followed stocks rising 0.5% in October. Compared to a year ago, however, November volumes were a marked 92.9% higher, or by 925.3 Mcm.
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) has introduced legislation that would remove all restrictions on the export of crude oil from the U.S. H.R. 5814 notes that growing domestic production from shale reservoirs has made the nation the largest oil producer in the world, but laws governing exporting are nearly 40 years old. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) is an original cosponsor of the bill.
The Propane Council of Texas (ProCOT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the use of cleaner burning, domestically produced propane, is offering incentives to Texas businesses that upgrade their fleet vehicles to autogas. ProCOT now offers up to a $7500 incentive per new propane vehicle purchased or converted by a private fleet. The program cap is $15,000 per private fleet. In return for the incentives, recipients will be required to provide data on their business fleet.
The vast majority of potential U.S. tight oil production growth remains economical in the current lower crude oil price environment, according to a new report by IHS, a global source of information and insight in the energy industry. About 80% of potential gross U.S. tight oil capacity additions in 2015 would remain resilient at West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices as low as $70/bbl, the report maintains. The report examines the outlook for U.S. tight oil in light of the recent drop in crude oil prices, which have fallen by nearly one-third since summer.
Five medium-duty beverage trucks fueled by propane autogas have begun operation at Nestlé Waters North America’s Los Angeles location. The trucks will deliver Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water to area businesses and residents. Reasons cited for the purchase of the trucks include an alternative fuel system that maintains full factory warranty, ease of fueling, and low infrastructure cost. Nestlé Waters operates more than 2000 trucks nationwide, primarily fueled by diesel.
IC Bus LLC (Lisle, Ill.) in November was showcasing its new CE Series school bus at the National Association for Pupil Transportation’s 40th annual Summit in Kansas City, Mo. IC Bus will manufacture the propane-fueled CE Series at its assembly plant in Tulsa. Deliveries will begin this summer, and buses will go into service at the start of the 2015-2016 school year.
Spot propane at Conway, Kan. Tuesday, Nov. 25 was sustaining its strengthening and climbed another 1.25 cents compared to the Monday email Update as the nation headed into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Monday saw Midwest spots rise 1.626 cents, this after the market plunged nearly a dime late the previous week. Meanwhile, the most recent gain has stretched Conway’s premium to Mont Belvieu out to 3 cents. That advantage had shrunk to 1.25 cents Monday.
Texas added more than 19,000 new private-sector jobs in oil and natural gas production in 2013, almost six times the number added in New Mexico, the next highest state for energy production jobs added last year, reports the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The extraction, drilling, and support jobs categories are a measure of on-the-ground production jobs and do not reflect the many jobs at oil and natural gas corporate headquarters based in Texas.
Since August, both crude oil and currency markets have been influenced by lower economic growth expectations in countries outside the U.S., notes the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Prices in both markets recently broke out of established trading ranges, driven by concerns about weaker future global demand. The current situation, with the dollar index and oil prices moving in opposite directions, presents a sharp contrast to one in which crude oil supply disruptions or geopolitical risks would cause both the dollar index and crude prices to rise.
LPG exports are so dependent on the severity of winter in North America that all eyes are now on the weather, this because severe weather hit demand for very large gas carriers (VLGCs) last year, according to the latest edition of the “LPG Forecaster,” published by the shipping consultancy Drewry (London).
Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) commissioners have unanimously adopted disposal well rule amendments designed to address operations in areas of historical or future seismic activity. Disposal wells are permitted by RRC to safely dispose of non-hazardous produced water (saltwater) and hydraulic fracture flow-back fluid from oil and gas wells.
While principal postings were mixed Tuesday, Nov. 25, gains outnumbered losses, although many prices were unchanged compared to the Monday email Update. Most Dixie Pipeline postings trended higher and Midwest prices either lost ground or held firm.

Postings on the Dixie at Apex, N.C. climbed a half cent to 2 cents or remained the same, and prices shifted to a low of 89.64 cents and a high of 91.00 cents/gal. At Conway, Kan., postings shed a penny or did not move, and prices were from 82.82 to 85.51 cents.
Tesoro Corp. (San Antonio, Texas) has released a plan for a cap-and-trade assessment line item on all invoices for LPG sales in an effort to provide greater transparency, reports the Western Propane Gas Association. The amount will be linked to the prior-day OPIS California cap-at-the-rack assessment.
Propane fuel provider ARRO Autogas (Paso Robles, Calif.), in partnership with Expo Propane (Bellflower, Calif.), has opened the first public refueling station open 24 hours a day in the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) area. Located in Inglewood—six minutes from the main Century Boulevard entrance of LAX and near the 405 and 105 freeway corridors—the ARRO Autogas-branded station provides shuttles, ride share vans, and other alternative fuel autogas fleets in and around the airport with convenient, all-hours propane refueling.
Enterprise Products will place the Mid-America Pipeline’s east and west legs on allocation effective Dec. 1 at 7 a.m. In a notice to shippers Nov. 20, Enterprise noted that recent December nominations exceeded pipeline capacity. Currently, allocation is not terminal-specific nor is it a daily allocation. Enterprise is asking shippers to, as much as possible, lift their volumes ratably through December to assure all gallons can be delivered. The company is also encouraging weekend and evening liftings during off-peak times to minimize wait times.