Pete Landrys Real

Your ONLY Comprehensive Source of Ethanol FREE Gas Locations Throughout Louisiana’s 64 Parishes and Mississippi’s 82 Counties.

Pete Landrys Real - Your ONLY Comprehensive Source of Ethanol FREE Gas Locations Throughout Louisiana’s 64 Parishes and Mississippi’s 82 Counties.


“Pete’s” News Corner

  Your advocate for PURE Gasoline        “Laissez les bon temps rouler”                      Contact “Pete” at:                                



    *     *     *     BREAKING NEWS     *     *     *

READERS:  NO new article for Friday……….late watching the LSU baseball game and the New Orleans Pelican game…….more later……..



LSU’s baseball team -  the Tigers beat Texas A&M in game one Thursday night by a score of 4-3.  See the LSU section for game times and TV coverage.

The LSU Lady Tiger softball team – The Lady Tigers travel to Missouri to play them on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. 

Here is the link to the softball schedule for dates, times and TV broadcasts:



  *   *  *   *    ARTICLES SUMMARY   *   *   *   *

LSU SPORTS ARTICLE:  Today (4/23) I posted a baseball article about a Vanderbilt pitcher who can pitch either left handed OR right handed.   Pitchers who can do that effectively are VERY RARE indeed. See the article in the LSU section.


 *  *  *   TODAY’S FEATURE ARTICLE   *  *  *

Today I posted an oil related article from Yahoo.Finance/Reuters titled “Fewer U.S. Rigs May Not Cut Shale Oil Output – Exxon CEO“.  The Exxon CEO gives his explanation as to why he believes a drop in rig count does NOT necessarily mean that the Shale oil output will drop much.  According to the article, “The precipitous drop in the U.S. drilling rig count over the past few months may not cause a long-term drop in shale oil output as the productivity of new wells continues to rise, Exxon Mobil Corp’s chief executive said on Tuesday“.  It’s an interesting article and I encourage you to read it.




See how to contact your States U.S. Representative and Senator on the website’s “How to Contact U.S. Congressmen” above on the page bar at the top of this page.


  *  *  *   GUN CONTROL IN AMERICA   *  *  *

BREAKING GUN CONTROL  NEWS:  I’ll ONLY post here when I add a new article to the “Gun Control in America” page. 

American gun owners and defenders of the 2nd Amendment NEED HELP in fighting off the Government and State ‘gun control’ advocates!  If you are not currently a member of the NRA (National Rifle Association) or the NAGR (National Association for Gun Rights), you are urged to join TODAY.  

Here’s how (the NRA is the most powerful and influential):




 *    *    *   WEBSITE NEWS    *    *    *

 I have resumed my update of our website’s Louisiana ethanol free gas list.  As I indicted when I began this considerable effort, I will update the list on the website when I am completed.  This is a VERY time consuming effort, so bear with me.  

I finished Livingston Parish (going alphabetically), and am now working on Orleans Parish.  I had stopped working on the gas list update during the peak of football season.  I will resume working on the list later this week.


  *   *   *  BASEBALL SEASON IS HERE  *   *   *


Alex Box Stadium - Skip Bertman Field

Alex Box Stadium – Skip Bertman Field

 Here is the link to the Tigers 2015 Baseball schedule:

The Tigers are 36 – 6 (13-5 SEC) for the season! (as of Apr 23, 2015)


Baseball America – #1 (was #2)  Collegiate Baseball – #1 ( was #3)

USA Today/Coaches – #1 (was #2)      NCBWA – #1 (was #2)

      LSU Tiger Baseball Schedule and Scores

  Date        Time         Teams and Scores             H/A          TV/Radio

Fri (3/13)  7:00 pm  LSU – 6   Ole Miss – 4                   H               WIN

Sat (3/14)  7:00 pm  LSU –  3  Ole Miss – 5  (14)          H              LOSS

Sun (3/15)  3:00 pm  LSU – 18   Ole Miss – 6               H               WIN

Tue (3/17)  6:00 pm  LSU – 4   Southern – 2 (10)  Southern          WIN

Thu (3/19)  6:00 pm  LSU – 1  Arkansas – 5       Fayetteville         LOSS

Fri (3/20)   8:00 pm  LSU – 16  Arkansas – 3      Fayetteville          WIN

Sat (3/21)  2:00 pm  LSU – 7  Arkansas – 4        Fayetteville          WIN 

Tue (3/24) 6:30 pm  LSU – 13  Tulane – 7            Tulane                WIN

Fri (3/27)  7:00 pm  LSU – 4   Kentucky – 5 (12)   H                       LOSS

Sat (3/28)  6:30 pm  LSU – 7   Kentucky – 3           H                       WIN

Sun (3/29) 11:00 am  LSU – 10  Kentucky – 12      H                     LOSS

Tue (3/31) 7:00 pm  LSU – 8   ULL – 6                Zephyr                 WIN

Thu (4/2)  7:00 pm  LSU – 8  Alabama – 5 (16) Hoover                  WIN

Fri (4/3)   3:00 pm   LSU – 6  Alabama – 2        Hoover                   WIN       

Sat (4/4)  2:00 pm    LSU – 6   Alabama – 4 (13) Hoover                WIN

Tue (4/7)  6:30 pm  LSU – 11  UNO – 2                    H                    WIN

Wed (4/8)  6:30 pm  LSU – 9   NWS – 2                   H                     WIN

Fri (4/10)  7:00 pm    LSU – 3  Auburn – 2                H                     WIN

Sat (4/11)  6:30 pm    LSU – 1   Auburn – 6               H                   LOSS

Sun (4/12)  1:00 pm   LSU – 6  Auburn – 2                H                    WIN

Wed (4/15)  6:30 pm  LSU – 11   Lamar – 2               H                    WIN

Fri (4/17)   6:00 pm  LSU vs Georgia                     Athens           RAINOUT

Sat (4/18)  12:00 noon   LSU – 4   Georgia – 1       Athens               WIN

Sat (4/18)  3:00 pm  LSU – 9  Georgia – 1              Athens               WIN

Sun (4/19) 12:00 N   LSU vs Georgia      Game CANCELLED due to weather

Tue (4/21) 6:30 pm  LSU – 6   Tulane – 0                 H                      WIN

Thu (4/23)  6:30 pm LSU – 4   Texas A&M – 3         H                      WIN

Fri (4/24)   7:00 pm  LSU vs Texas A&M                  H              SECN Alt/98.1FM

Sat (4/25)  1:00 pm   LSU vs Texas A&M                  H                    ESPN/98.1FM


GAME COMMENTS:   The Tigers beat Texas A&M in game one on Thursday evening with a ‘walk off’ single by Danny Zardon down the 3rd base line which drove in Jared Foster from 2nd base to win the game 4-3.  This was an EPIC game and if you missed it, I URGE you to watch it on either the SECN or ESPNU channel.  Game 2 on Friday will be shown on the SECN Alternate channel (or SECN+) and the final game on Saturday will be shown on ESPN.


   *    *    *    LSU SPORTS ARTICLE    *    *    *

Today I posted a baseball sports article that I think you will find especially interesting!  The story is about a Vanderbilt pitcher who can pitch with EITHER his left hand and ALSO his right hand.  He has a custom made glove that is reversible.  I watched this young man pitch in the bottom of the 9th inning when Vandy was playing South Carolina a few weekends ago.  The first two Carolina batters were lefties so he pitched to them left handed.  He struck out the 1st batter and forced a fly ball for the 2nd batter.  The 3rd Carolina batter was a rightie, do he switched his glove and pitched to him right handed, AND, he struck him out!  That a truly amazing young man……you don’t see very many pitchers who can do that!


NOTE – INCREDIBLE HR STATS:  Earlier this week, I asked Scott Long of ‘Dandy’ if he had any stats on how many home runs the Tigers had scored this season compared to the same number of games last season.  Here’s what he found as of April 9, 2015:  “So far this year, LSU has hit 33 home runs (now 38). Last year at this time (after 34 games), the Tigers had hit only 16. LSU is only 8 home runs shy of matching last year’s total of 41. The Tigers home run leader is Jared Foster with 8. Alex Bregman has 7, while Kade Scivicque, Conner Hale and Chris Chinea each have four“.  Folks, that is a 106% increase in the number of home runs this season compared to the same number of games last season.  How much of this improvement is due to the new ‘flat seam’ ball or just better hitting?  Either way, that is a VERY IMPRESSIVE stat! 



Aubrey McCarty – Vanderbilt

Hometown: Doerun, Georgia

Vanderbilt Switch BHP pitcher Aubrey McCarty

Vanderbilt Switch BHP pitcher Aubrey McCarty

College: Vanderbilt (Class of 2017)

2013 MLB Draft: Selected by the SF Giants in the 35th round (#1062 overall)

High SchoolCoquitt County HS, Moultrie, GA  (Class of 2013)
Summer Team: Home Plate Chilidogs

Positions: BHP (both hand pitcher), 1B

Throws: Switch

Bats: Switch

Ht/Wt: 6-3″/210 lbs

GloveMizuno ambidextrous glove
Pitchesfastball, cutter, curveball, change-up

Velocity: 92 mph RHP; 85 mph LHP

Aubrey McCarty is a switch hitter and both handed pitcher (BHP) recruited to play for top-ranked Vanderbilt University. McCarty is listed on the 2015 Vandy roster as an infielder and redshirt freshman. He chose Vanderbilt for “great academics and baseball program’s success.”

Aubrey is without question, one of the more unique players that we have had in our program. He hits from both sides, has the ability to throw from both sides, pitches and can play several positions. We will probably try and scale down much of this so he can settle in as a hitter during his freshman year. Aubrey has an exciting upside to his game.” – Coach Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt University

As a high school pitcher, McCarty’s velocity reached 89 mph  (Perfect Game 6/29/2012). Throws a fastball, cutter, curveball and changeup from both sides (watch video). At 6’3″, McCarty also plays first base. 

As a 16-year-old, his throwing velocity topped out at 86 mph right-handed and 83 mph left-handed. 

McCarty started pitching both ways when he was 11-years-old. He is naturally left-handed, but learned to play baseball right-handed. When he was 13 or 14, he hurt his right arm, so he worked hard on throwing left-handed. Now he throws well with either arm. He committed to play for Vanderbilt as a two way playerWatch the interview

VIDEO: Aubrey McCarty – Recruiting Video


The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder, who is a rare ambidextrous pitcher, led the Packers with a 9-2 record and a 2.86 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 58.2 innings last season (2012). Moultrie Observer



We removed XXXX ethanol FREE location in Louisiana recently:


We added ONE new ethanol FREE location in Mississippi recently:

Quick Stop – 415 E Northside Dr, Clinton, MS (Hinds County) – all 3 grades are EO – Thanks to the Store owner for letting me know.

NOTEIf any reader locates a store that is selling ethanol FREE gas but is not on our list, PLEASE send me the information asked for on the “Ethanol Facts” page so we can add it to the list!

We encourage all readers to patronize retailers who sell ethanol FREE gas.  If they are not profitable selling EO, they may convert to sell ethanol gas and stores with EO will become harder and harder to find.                                             ——————————————————————————————————- 

Have a GREAT week readers!  




By Terry Wade & Anna Driver Finance.Yahoo/Reuters – Apr 22, 2015

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The precipitous drop in the U.S. drilling rig count over the past few months may not cause a long-term drop in shale oil output as the productivity of new wells continues to rise, Exxon Mobil Corp’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

CEO Rex Tillerson noted that companies idled many natural gas rigs when prices crashed around 2008. But six years later, gas output is higher than ever and prices are lower than before.

“Clearly a significant decline in rig activity did not lead to a sharp drop in gas output,” Tillerson said about the natural gas industry at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference in Houston. “Is that analogous in tight oil? We’ll find out.”

The U.S. oil rig count has fallen in half over the past year to 734 now, according to Baker Hughes, as producers responded to a 50 percent slide in crude prices since June.

That pullback, along with short timeframes that can bring new wells online in just weeks, has contributed to the view that the United States is the world’s new swing producer.

The U.S. Energy Information Agency has forecast American oil output may dip as early as this month and certainly in the third quarter, before rising to around 9.18 million barrels per day at year’s end.

Roger Diwan, energy analyst and vice president of IHS Financial Services, said U.S. output could easily rise by 500,000 bpd in 2016 even if spending does not rise from this year’s reduced levels.

“The system can adjust very quickly,” Diwan said.

Tillerson, reiterating previous comments, said the market is in a phase of price discovery to figure out the real cost of producing a barrel of shale oil, which tends to be costlier than conventional liquids.

The downturn will “allow the market to determine where the marginal cost of supply is,” he said. “Understanding how the resources really behaves at a reduced level of investment is something we will all learn.”

Many U.S. shale oil producers have slashed spending by 25-70 percent in recent months.

Exxon, whose shale work makes up only a fraction of its global output as the world’s top oil company, reduced its capital programme by a smaller percentage to around $34 billion (22.75 billion pounds).

“We reduced our capital programme about 12 percent,” Tillerson said. “We’ll see throughout the year whether we stay there or not, we’re seeing a lot of cost efficiencies.”



Editorial – The Ellsworth America – April 17, 2015

Back in 2005, Congress enacted into law the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which forced oil refiners to blend biofuels into gasoline as a way to lower carbon emissions and make the United States less dependent on foreign oil. U.S. gasoline consumption peaked in 2007 and has declined 6 percent since then. But because the standard requires refiners to blend volumes, rather than percentages, of biofuels into gasoline, the consumption decrease has seen a corresponding increase of the biofuel percentage in the blend. The standard has been nothing less than a massive handout in corporate welfare to corn growers in middle America.

Billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted in tax credits for blending ethanol into gasoline, and a 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol was initiated to guarantee a consistent and growing windfall for America’s corn growers. As a result, the portion of the nation’s corn crop used for fuel has grown from 15 percent in 2005 to 40 percent today. While the tax credit and tariff were repealed by Congress at the end of 2011, the RFS remains intact, thus continuing the guaranteed market for corn, which, in turn, has delayed efforts to develop cellulosic ethanol, utilizing non-food sources such as wood chips and switchgrass.

Research produced by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute suggests that the environmental benefits of corn-based ethanol also have been exaggerated. The WRI found that a gallon of ethanol emits more carbon dioxide than oil. The Michigan research also found ethanol to offer no significant increase in the amount of CO2 being removed from the atmosphere.

According to Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, the Congressional Budget Office projected last year that the RFS could drive gasoline prices up by 27 cents by 2017. And as the ethanol content in gasoline rises, fuel economy drops, further boosting the cost to motorists.

Corn ethanol also requires large quantities of high-purity water in the production process. That demand is stressing Midwestern aquifers to a point some geologists now call unsustainable. Scientific American reported two years ago that a single plant in Iowa used 200 million gallons of water a year to produce 50 million gallons of ethanol.

So it’s small wonder that U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are proposing to repeal the corn ethanol mandate. “It drives up gas prices, increases food costs, damages car engines and is harmful to the environment,” says Toomey, adding that the mandate is “using corporate welfare to shower money on a favored industry.”

But it’s the year before the next presidential election, and Iowa — home base for many ethanol producers — has the nation’s first presidential caucuses. Most presidential candidates — from either party —will promise almost anything to pick up early support. Iowa’s Renewable Fuels Association already is promising the “most aggressive” ethanol advocacy campaign in state history. Can Toomey and Feinstein convince enough of their colleagues in Congress to do the right thing and end the corn ethanol give-away once and for all ? We wish them well against long odds.



By Jennifer A. Dlouhy – Fuel Fix – April 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — A plan to overhaul the nation’s biofuel mandates — instead of repealing them altogether — would do more harm than good, a Koch executive warned Congress on Thursday.

Philip Ellender, the president of Koch’s government affairs arm, took aim at legislation by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., that would strip away government mandates for refiners to blend in traditional corn-based ethanol, while preserving quotas for more advanced biofuels that have been slower to enter commercial production.

“Feinstein-Toomey would . . . turn the Renewable Fuel Standard into a real mandate with real economic consequences for consumers by banning the only economic form of ethanol today,” Ellender said in a letter to senators. “Repeal the entire RFS instead.”

The missive comes less than a week after the Environmental Protection Agency agreed to finalize 2014, 2015 and 2016 renewable fuel quotas as part of a deal settling an oil industry lawsuit.

Read moreEPA to set overdue biofuel quotas in deal with oil industry groups

That may have quelled some of the congressional push to alter the renewable fuel standard, which obligates refiners to add steadily increasing volumes of ethanol and other alternatives into the nation’s transportation fuel supply — as much as 36 billion gallons in 2022. Although Congress established the framework, the Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with establishing annual quotas for the four types of biofuels mandated under the law: traditional renewable fuel, advanced biofuels that aren’t derived from corn starch, biodiesel and cellulosic biofuel.

Refiners already turn to traditional ethanol as a low-cost way to add octane to fuel, Ellender notes, but are hitting a blend wall where they no longer can incorporate enough ethanol to meet the volumetric RFS targets without exceeding a 10 percent threshold acceptable for use in all cars and trucks.

Although new vehicles are being built and warranted for higher ethanol blends, warranty and liability concerns for older cars and trucks have helped diminish some retailers’ enthusiasm to sell a 15 percent blend known as E15.

“Ethanol made from corn starch is by and large the most cost-effective way to achieve higher octane in gasoline,” Ellender writes. “The reality is that there is virtually no cellulosic ethanol being made today and very little other advanced biofuels (that) are more expensive than ethanol made from corn starch.”

The Koch executive suggests that the Feinstein-Toomey bill — like its companion in the House — would make U.S. biofuels policy look more like the approach in California, which forces refiners to meet a low-carbon fuel standard.

Although one Koch-cited analysis puts the cost of compliance with the California low-carbon fuel standard as high as $1.06 per gallon by 2020, Ellender insists “the actual cost could be much higher if the rest of the nation goes on a low-carbon fuel diet via the Feinstein-Toomey legislation.”

Supporters of the Feinstein-Toomey approach insist that the goal of the RFS was to use corn-based ethanol as a pathway to more advanced renewable fuels made from algae and other non-edible plant materials. Toomey argues that the current mandate essentially pits corn starch ethanol against other renewable fuels.

Related storyBroad coalition takes aim at renewable fuel mandates

The result is that the RFS “has stunted the growth of environmentally friendly advanced biofuels like biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol,” Toomey said in February. “Once the mandate for corn ethanol is gone, the RFS program will be able to focus on those fuels that best reduce greenhouse gas emissions and don’t compete with our food supply.”

Several petroleum refiners are also big ethanol producers. For instance, San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp. is the nation’s third-largest producer of renewable fuels. And Koch’s refining subsidiary, Flint Hills Resources, now owns seven ethanol plants, with Ellender insisting “we bought these ethanol plants despite the RFS — not because of it.”



By Lori Potter – Kearney Hub – Feb 23, 2015

MINDEN — Many ethanol plant balance sheets were repaired in 2014, but predictions for 2015 and beyond by KAAPA Ethanol Chief Executive Officer Chuck Woodside are prefaced with “it depends.”

Woodside, who is a past president of the national Renewable Fuels Association, said, “We’re coming off a phenomenal 2014, and the industry as a whole did well.”

Some people might look at the low market prices for corn, the raw product for most U.S. ethanol, and think doing well was inevitable.

“When we first started, a lot of people said, ‘Boy, if corn goes to $7 (per bushel), you’ll go out of business,’” Woodside said with a laugh, pointing out that KAAPA Ethanol has grown from a 40 million-gallons-per-year plant to 60 million gallons and survived $8 or higher corn prices in recent years.

Still, variability in corn prices have made the plant’s earnings “incredibly volatile” in recent years.

Woodside said profitability is complex because it depends on balances between the prices for corn, its co-product of distillers grains and oil.

“It depends on how low they (oil prices) go and how long they stay there,” he said, explaining that low prices could spark more demand for gasoline and biofuels.

However, producers of biofuels can take advantage of that only if more pumps are installed that offer higher ethanol blends such as E15 and E85 in addition to the common 10 percent.

Other factors include foreign demand for U.S. ethanol and distillers grains, especially in China and in Brazil, where 25 percent of all gasoline must have a minimum of 25 percent ethanol; uncertainty created by the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s talk of rolling back the renewable fuel standard; and, always, pushback by oil companies.

Woodside said exports were strong in 2014, with 800 million gallons of U.S. ethanol sold overseas.

Another boost to the processing margin were low prices for the two main input costs, corn and natural gas.

Although KAAPA Ethanol sells tons of wet distillers grains to area livestock producers, the plant still gets most of its revenue from ethanol, Woodside said, all of which is shipped by rail to California.

He said transportation logistics issues have improved since early 2014 but weren’t fully resolved by the end of the year.

“The price of diesel has not fallen commensurate with the price of oil,” Woodside added, which affects costs for ethanol plants and all businesses using trucks and railroads to move commodities.

Woodside said ethanol demand was good enough to allow some plants to restart in 2014.

That includes two at Aurora recently acquired by Pacific Ethanol in a merger agreement with Aventine. Those plants, one older but not operating and one new, have an annual combined production capacity of 155 million gallons.

“There are a lot of things yet to be determined about 2015,” Woodside said, including whether the low fuel prices will cause people to drive more and raise demand for oil and ethanol.

However, some retailers continue to price E85 higher than E10, which he said doesn’t reflect the market for biofuels. Also, it still is very difficult to get more E15 pumps installed, especially with uncertainty with the renewable fuel standard.

“Think about the economic impact of low gas prices. Ethanol has been bringing down the price of gas for years … plus we have all the environmental benefits,” Woodside said.

Maintaining the renewable fuels standard is critical to maintaining choices at the pump for consumers.

“It is an access thing. It is a mandate for oil,” Woodside said. Without that mandate, he believes big oil companies will fill the ethanol gap with regular gasoline.

“It’s interesting how oil’s message will change. It was not that ethanol was bringing down the price of fuel (in the past). But now they’re saying the extra supplies of U.S. oil is doing that,” Woodside said.

EPA officials took comments on a possible rollback of the standard and then pushed the decision into 2015. Woodside said there is uncertainty about whether Congress or the EPA has authority over the issue.

Although there have been many attempts in Congress over the years to change the renewable fuel standard, he doesn’t know if there will be a similar effort in 2015.

It is clear that demand for ethanol greatly affects Nebraska’s No. 1 industry — agriculture.

“If not for the demand for corn by the ethanol industry, I’d hate to guess where we’d be in corn pricing today,” Woodside said.

Both corn farmers and ethanol processors are producing beyond U.S. demand.

Reports released Jan. 12 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated a record 14.2 billion bushels of corn harvested in 2014. Meanwhile, there were 11.2 billion bushels in on-farm and off-farm storage as of Dec. 1.

Nebraska farmers produced an estimated 1.6 billion bushels of corn for grain in 2014, and 1.29 billion bushels were in storage on Dec. 1.

Woodside said it will be interesting to see how those numbers and market prices affect farmers’ 2015 planting decisions.

The response in 2014 was to plant more soybeans. However, Woodside said he’s heard that the South American soybean harvest could be big, which would affect soybean prices.

“Nothing cures high prices like high prices,” he joked, referring to a cycle of overproduction that generally follows years of higher market prices.

When asked to list two things that would be good for ethanol in 2015, Woodside said the first is continuing efforts to promote higher ethanol blends, which creates market access for the long term.

He also wants to see fair prices for corn, distillers grains and ethanol.

While lingering low corn prices might seem good for KAAPA Ethanol’s bottom line, they also can put some farmers out of business. “We need our customers here for the long term,” Woodside said.



By Wayne Duggan – Yahoo Finance – Apr 9, 2015

In a new report, analysts at Goldman Sachs updated their outlook for the battered oil industry based on the latest crude inventories and rig count numbers. Analysts now feel that their previous forecasts for crude prices may have been slightly too bearish. However, they still believe that crude oil prices have a long road to recovery.

U.S. Production Peaking

Despite the recent unprecedented U.S. crude oil inventory levels, analysts predict that U.S. production levels will soon be peaking. Goldman’s rig-based production model indicates that crude oil inventories will likely peak in April and that the supply glut will then work its way from crude oil inventory into product surplus, which is typically the next phase of re-balancing in the oil market.

Not Out Of The Woods Yet?

While analysts see clear signs that the industry has begun its slow re-balancing process, they feel that the velocity of the declines in rig counts is not high enough to prevent another rise in U.S. crude oil inventories during refinery turnarounds coming in fall of 2015. Analysts predict that U.S. crude oil production growth will continue to be too high throughout 2015 and 2016 based on productivity gains, increased operational efficiency, front-loaded shale well decline rates, rig count projections and the constraint of the export ban.

Related Link: Morgan Stanley: Here’s How To Play Upstream Oil


Goldman analysts were slightly too pessimistic with their projected average Q1 WTI price of $46/bbl, as the actual average price for the quarter came in at $49/bbl. They now believe that there is “modest upside” to their prediction of $40/bbl average WTI during Q2 and also feel that their projection of $65/bbl average WTI in 2016 is likely “skewed to the downside.”

The market seems impressed by what it has seen from the oil industry as of late. Shares of the United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE: USO) have been on fire, trading up more than 10 percent in the last five trading days.


US Oil Fund

US Oil Fund








By Gaurav Agnihotri – Yahoo Finance – Apr 7, 2015

OPEC has been the most talked about international organization among investors, analysts and international political lobbies in the last few months.

When OPEC speaks, the world listens in rapt attention as it accounts for nearly 40 % of the world’s total crude output. With its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, one of the mandates of 12- member OPEC is to “ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.” (Source:

However, OPEC has been in the line of fire from the western world in light of its stance of not reducing the production levels of its member nations (excluding Iran). Most view this as a strategy to squeeze the American shale production and other non OPEC nations.

All is not well for OPEC

Simply put, the world has too much oil at the moment which has resulted in the reduction of price levels from approximately $100 to $50 a barrel, and OPEC (as well as US shale producers) has a major role to play in this supply glut. With the decline of average annual crude prices, OPEC earned around $730 billion in net oil export revenues in 2014 (Source: EIA), a big decline of 11% from its previous year. The EIA even predicts that OPEC’s net oil exports (excluding Iran) could fall to as low as $380 billion in 2015.

RelatedMedia Spin On Oil Prices Running Out Of Fuel

With the huge reduction in its revenues and growing discomfort among its members such as Venezuela, Libya and Nigeria over its current production levels, is OPEC really getting weaker?

OPEC Net Oil Export Revenues

Iran Nuclear Deal: A warning sign for OPEC?

With announcement of a historic nuclear deal framework between Iran and six global powers: America, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany on April2, 2015, there is a good possibility that Iranian crude oil exports will increase greatly after June 2015 when the final nuclear deal is signed. Iran is all set to pump close to 300 million barrels of crude into the market, thereby kick starting another potential decline in oil prices.

This might be one of the most crucial junctures for OPEC and it has to consider the possibility of reducing its current production quotas, mostly due to its internal issues of which the cartel has many.

Venezuela’s Woes

Containing some of the largest proven oil and gas reserves in the world, Venezuela is one of the founding members of OPEC. However, the country is reeling under a major economic recession since 2014 with an inflation rate of 68.5% (as on December 2014).

Cheap oil has created a huge financial crisis for Venezuela as its economy is heavily dependent on oil exports and oil revenues constitute about 95% of its total foreign exchange earnings. As per its state run oil company PDVSA, the country loses about $700 million a year with every $1 drop in the international oil price.

RelatedWhy The Oil Price Collapse Is U.S. Shale’s Fault

Veneuzuela Petroleum Production and Consumption Graph

Nigeria’s dilemma

Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and among the top 5 global exporters of LNG. An OPEC member since 1971, Nigeria’s oil and gas sector represents about 75% of its total government revenues and 95% of its total export revenues. The African nation’s economy is heavily dependent on crude oil prices as its foreign exchange reserves (built as a result of net positive oil revenues) have reduced substantially over the past two years.

Petroleum production and consumption in Nigeria

Much like Venezuela, Nigeria needs international crude prices to be in the range of $90- $100 a barrel which is not possible unless OPEC reduces its supply.

Iraq’s Issues

After Saudi Arabia, Iraq is the biggest crude oil producer in OPEC. It also has the fifth largest proven crude oil reserves in the world. With an increase in its government budget spending, the country requires a stable international oil price of $105 per barrel to achieve its break-even point. The current oil price levels are nowhere near this. Apart from this, issues such as the ongoing ISIS insurgency, western sanctions, heavy economic dependency on oil (more than 90%) and poor infrastructure have added to Iraq’s woes.

Related: Who’s To Blame For The Oil Price Crash?

The OPEC ‘heavyweights’

Apart from being the largest exporter of the total petroleum liquids in the world, Saudi Arabia is also the main driving force behind the cartel’s stubborn supply policy. The Saudis, along with Kuwait and UAE have been defending the decision of not reducing the OPEC production levels in order to retain their global market share. It is interesting to note that even if the oil price remains at the current levels, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE would have enough cash reserves to remain in the game for several years.

In short, these OPEC heavyweights have little to worry about from the current low oil prices for the time being.

United we stand, divided we fall.

In December 2014, the Energy Information Administration warned OPEC to reduce their production levels. According to the EIA, these cuts would be helpful for OPEC members such as Venezuela, Nigeria, Iraq and Iran as reduced OPEC supply and the corresponding increase in oil price would safeguard their uncertain future economic growth.

Leaving the heavyweights to one side; it is quite evident that OPEC, as a group, has become somewhat weakened. Apart from its falling export revenues and the growth of non OPEC producers, especially US shale production, OPEC now stands divided into two factions. One faction that is being led by Saudi Arabia wants to maintain and even increase its production levels while the other faction consisting of Venezuela, Nigeria, Iran, Iraq and Algeria requires just the opposite for safeguarding their national interests. In fact, the latter requires crude prices to be as high as $100 per barrel in order to balance their falling budgets (Source: IMF).

Last year, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali Al Naimi said It is not in the interest of OPEC producers to cut their productions, whatever the price is.”

A number of mitigating factors make this year’s June meeting of OPEC more interesting than ever.



By Timothy Cama – The Hill – Apr 1, 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has settled an oil industry lawsuit and agreed to set the ethanol blending mandates for this year and last year by Nov. 30.

The 2014 mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard will be two years late and this year’s will be one year late. But with an end to the delays finally in sight, the settlement ends a dispute that angered both the oil industry and ethanol producers.

“This schedule is consistent with EPA’s commitment to get the RFS program back on track, while providing certainty to renewable fuels markets and promoting the long-term growth of renewable fuels,” the agency said in a statement.

“Our goal is to provide the market with the certainty it needs to continue to grow renewable fuel volumes,” Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA’s office of transportation and air quality, told reporters Friday.

The settlement does not require the agency to set the volumes at any particular level. The agreement is still subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by a federal court.

Friday’s announcement ends lawsuits filed by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) over the EPA’s delays, which they said force refiners to guess how much ethanol to blend into their products before the agency decides a retroactive mandate.

The Renewable Fuel Standard requires that fuel refiners mix a certain volume of ethanol into gasoline and biodiesel into diesel each year.

The EPA is legally obligated to set those volume mandates by Nov. 30 each year for the following year.

The agency proposed in 2013 to reduce the ethanol mandate for the first time, to 15.21 billion gallons, while keeping the biodiesel mandate the same as the previous year. After multiple delays, EPA officials said most recently that they would make final the 2014 mandate by the end of spring.

The EPA said it will set next year’s mandate during this year, as it is required to do under the law.

The oil industry groups welcomed the settlement, but said they would rather see the EPA comply with the law. They said they still hope Congress either repeals or significantly reforms it to reduce the amount of ethanol that must be used.

Industry groups complain that the mandate increases their costs significantly, which are passed onto consumers through gasoline and diesel prices.

Ethanol producers and other proponents of the mandate say that it reduces the oil industry’s monopoly on fuels and helps the environment.

“It’s unfortunate that we will, under this agreement, have a 2014 rule that comes out by Nov. 30, which will be two years late, and a 2015 rule that comes out, also Nov. 30, which will be one year late,” said Rich Moskowitz, general counsel at the AFPM. “That is not the solution we’re looking for.”

Brendan Williams, the refinery group’s executive vice president, said the lawsuit exposed major flaws in the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“This is just another glaring example of the need for Congress to step in and either repeal or significantly reform what is a broken program,” he said. “Today’s announcement, as well as what we see them propose at these deadlines are just going to continue to be stark reminders that will continue to bolster momentum for a legislative change.”

“We hope this agreement helps get the RFS back on track, but the only long-term solution is for Congress to repeal the program and let consumers, not the federal government, choose the best fuel to put in their vehicles,” added Stacy Linden, general counsel for API, in a statement.

“Failure to repeal the unworkable law could put millions of motorists at risk of higher fuel costs, damaged engines, and costly repairs,” she said. 

The ethanol industry was also happy to see the settlement and called it a “good start.”

“No one has benefited from the delays in setting annual renewable volume obligations,” said Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association.

“While we are sympathetic to the difficulty EPA faces in promulgating annual targets, the statute is clear about the volumes required and the agency simply has to do a better job moving forward.”



By Andy Crawford – Louisiana Apr 1, 2015

Senate bill needs your support

Every now and then, amidst the partisan screaming and yelling on Capitol Hill, a piece of legislation appears that makes perfect sense.

I know that’s sometimes hard to believe, but a bill introduced in the Blue boat with Yamaha V-Max flying on water

U.S. Senate would end the corn ethanol mandate currently in place — and Republicans and Democrats have reached across the aisle to work together.

Ethanol just never really made sense to me. It’s not that I’m against alternative fuels; in fact, I think finding realistic alternatives to fossil fuels is a good thing. The key word there is “realistic,” however.

Corn ethanol isn’t good for the environment, since it requires the burning of more fossil fuels than the ethanol produced. Vehicles running ethanol also suffer from lower fuel efficiency. So, over the long haul, more fossil fuel will be burned instead of less.

Read full article here: