Pete Landrys Real Gas.com

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

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

WEBSITE NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

“Pete’s” News Corner

  Your advocate for PURE Gasoline        “Laissez les bon temps rouler”                      Contact “Pete” at:                        way2gopete@yahoo.com                  

   ALL ABOUT ETHANOL GASOLINE ISSUES AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!

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    *     *     *     BREAKING NEWS     *     *     *

 Today (Monday, Jan 5th) I began posting a series of articles on the falling prices of crude oil and gasoline.  Several articles give the probable reasons for these falling prices and others present the impact that this is having, good and bad on State, US and World economies.  I will post these articles this week and next week.  If you miss earlier articles, just scroll down this page until you get below the LSU Sports section and you will find them.  

NOTICE:  Notice that I added three (3) pages to the website (look on the bottom line of the website header).  One is titledWebsite Posting Guidelines“, the second is titled “Create a ‘Shortcut’ to Website” and the third is titled “How to Contact U.S. Congressmen” (I have removed U.S. Congressmen contact info from this home page).  I used to post these from time to time, but now they are available for you to read anytime by just clicking on the page of interest.

IMPORTANT:  For ALL Louisiana readers, today (1/28) I received and posted the contact e-mail address for our new U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy.  Find it on the “How to Contact U.S. Congressman” page of the website (see link on header of Home page).  

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  *   *  *   *    ARTICLES SUMMARY   *   *   *   *

TODAY’S FEATURE ARTICLE : Today I posted a oil related article by The Christian Science Monitor whose author believe the oil bust is here to stay .   The “Feature Articles” are posted just below the “Feature Article Summary”; but, the article can still be read at the bottom of the Home page below the LSU Sports section.

LSU FOOTBALL ARTICLE:  Today (1/23/15) I posted an article about Riverdale’s Donte Jackson commitment to the LSU Tigers.  Jackson has the potential to be a VERY special player for the Tigers.  Read the article in the LSU Sports section below.

LSU FOOTBALL COMMITMENT:

LSU Football picked up it’s 18th commitment for 2015.  Lanard Fournette (younger brother of Leonard Fournette).  See the details in the LSU Recruiting section below.

Per NFL and College football analyst Mike Detillier, LSU has recruited ‘The BEST Freshman Cornerback class EVER, with Kevin Tolliver (5 Star), Xavier Lewis (4 Star) and Donte Jackson (5 Star) – this is mighty stout”

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*  *   TODAY’S FEATURE ARTICLE SUMMARY  *  *       

Today I posted an oil related article from The Christian Science Monitor whose author seems to believe that the oil bust is here to stay……….that’s NOT a good sign if it is true…………low prices like the current $45/barrel crude will result in the failure of many smaller fracking companies and stifle innovation.  

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 *  *  *   TODAY’S FEATURE ARTICLE   *  *  *

FALLING OIL PRICES: WHY THE OIL BUST IS HERE TO STAY

By Nick Cunningham/Oil Price.com – The Christian Science Monitor – Jan 13, 2015

The oil industry has experienced boom and busts before, but the depths to which oil prices have plunged have surprised everyone. Could the bust now persist much longer than many think?

It is not just oil that has seen a bust. Over the last decade and a half, the global economy has witnessed a massive commodity boom, with prices rising for all sorts of raw materials, including gold, iron ore, oil, gas, copper, wheat, corn, and more. But the commodity “super-cycle” appears to be over, with vast new supplies having come online in the last few years.

As prices rose through the 2000’s, multinational companies extracting all sorts of commodities planned billion dollar projects. With new mines, new oil and gas fields, and other commodity supplies hitting the market at the same time, a bust has ensued. (Related: Gains From Low Oil Prices Could Be Wiped Out This Year)

“Supply has been outstripping demand not because demand has been particularly weak, but because there was too much supply,” Stephen Briggs, a commodities analyst at BNP Paribas SA, told The Wall Street Journal. “It looks like this won’t change anytime soon.”

The oil bust has captured worldwide attention in a way that crashing coal and copper prices have not. And for now, the bust may here to stay, at least a bit longer than many anticipated.

For example, Goldman Sachs sharply downgraded its assessment for crude oil prices. The investment bank now says that it sees Brent trading at around $42 per barrel over the next few months, down from its previous forecast of $80 per barrel. It also says that WTI will fall to $41, a downward revision of its previous $70-per-barrel prediction.

Many market watchers have predicted a “floor” in prices at each key threshold – $70 per barrel, then $60, then $50. But crude prices have ignored these forecasts, plunging to fresh lows each week over the past few months. Just last week, major hedge fund manager Andrew J. Hall said $40 would be an “absolute price floor,” another threshold that is within striking distance.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal threw cold water on the markets even further with his recent comments.

“If supply stays where it is, and demand remains weak, you better believe it is gonna go down more. But if some supply is taken off the market, and there’s some growth in demand, prices may go up. But I’m sure we’re never going to see $100 anymore,” he said in an interview with USA Today.

There are several reasons low prices may persist. First, production is still at elevated levels. OPEC is holding strong to its production levels, despite unease among many of its members. And U.S. shale companies are maintaining output for the time being. That will likely change later this year as hedges expire and companies are forced out of the market, but in the short-term, the U.S. probably won’t see a decline in production.

Also, there is excess storage capacity that is allowing producers to continue to pump. Some companies are even storing oil on unused tankers at sea, betting that they can sell the volumes later at higher prices.

Finally, as oil prices fall, so do the costs of production. The cost of materials, along with the rates drillers pay to rent out rigs, deflate with the price of oil. That makes breakeven cost projections a bit of a moving target.

“To keep all capital sidelined and curtail investment in shale until the market has rebalanced, we believe prices need to stay lower for longer,” Goldman Sachs wrote in their latest report.

Speculators don’t know what to make of the oil markets right now. Some are pouring money into bets on prices rising, while others are wagering that prices have further room to fall.

We will learn more about the state of the U.S. oil and gas industry over the next few weeks as fourth quarter earnings are released. For the energy sector as a whole, profits are expected to fall by 19.1 percent. Some companies will be in worse shape than others, which could give us an indication of where production levels are heading, and with them, how long oil prices will stay low.

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  *  *  *   GUN CONTROL IN AMERICA   *  *  *

BREAKING GUN CONTROL NEWS:  See the article I posted today (1/19/2015) on Obama’s latest efforts to try to get our U.S. Senators to approve the UN Small Arms Treaty!  Read about it below the UN page here. The article is titled “Obama Moves to Advance U.N. Gun Ban Treaty”.

Pleases read this “UN Disarmament Plan for America” page below that is part of the “UN Small Arms Treaty” that Obama already had Secretary of State John Kerry sign earlier in 2014.  Pay particular attention to bullet #6 & 7.  All it needs is 2/3 Senate (67 Senators) approval and our Constitutionally guaranteed 2nd Amendment Rights for gun ownership will be GIVEN TO THE UNITED NATIONS! With a newly elected Republican MAJORITY in the U.S. Senate it is NOT likely this Treaty will get approved.  But, we must remain vigilant.  We MUST all call, write and e-mail our State’s U.S. Senators and DEMAND they VOTE AGAINST approval of this treaty!  See the article I posted today (1/19/2015) about Obama’s latest attempt to get this treaty approved by the Senate.  The article is on the “Gun Control in America” page of the website. 

NOTE:  Click on the letter to enlarge.  When done reading, click your browser’s back arrow to return to website:

UN DISARMAMENT PLAN FOR AMERICA

UN DISARMAMENT PLAN FOR AMERICA

 

BREAKING GUN CONTROL  NEWS:  Today (1/19/15) I posted a new gun control article on the website’s “Gun Control in America” page from NRA-ILA/Town Hall.com titled “Obama Moves to Advance U.N. Gun Ban Treaty“.  When you read the article, I encourage you to join the NRA Petition (the link is in the article) to send to ALL U.S. Senators, and if you can, make a small contribution to help the NRA in this effort (it’s ONLY $20 to become an NRA Member).  

Many people suspected Obama would try to somehow get the Senate to approve this TERRIBLE Treaty which he had his surrogate Secretary of State John Kerry sign last year.  It takes a 2/3 vote of the U.S. Senate to approve this before it could take affect.  Like I’ve outlined on this page, if this should pass a Senate vote, this would in essence CANCEL THE U.S. CONSTITUTION’S 2nd AMENDMENT and eventually result in the DISARMAMENT OF AMERICA!  

Should this treaty be approved by the U.S. Senate, which we all pray it DOES NOT, there would NO DOUBT be a SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION in the Country!  Americans WILL NOT give up their guns. All dictators in history became dictators AFTER they disarmed their constituents!  Obama seems to want to be ‘King or Dictator” of America.  Our biggest ally in this fight is the NRA and NAGR!  It is crucial that we support them (see links below)!! 

I URGE all gun owners and 2nd Amendment advocates to read this article and read the U.N. Treaty document above.  It is CRITICAL that we call, write and e-mail our Louisiana and Mississippi Senators at least weekly and URGE your Senator NOT TO VOTE for this U.N. Small Arms Treaty should it come up for a vote in the Senate (see how to contact them on the website’s “How to Contact US Congressmenpage).   By this article, Obama is trying to have world leaders and the U.N. put pressure on U.S. Senators to approve the treaty.  With Democrats out of leadership in the Senate, it is NOT likely that the new Republican Senate Speaker will ever bring it up for a vote.  BUT, we CAN’T ASSUME it won’t.  I encourage you to also join the petition whose link is provided in the article. 

If the Senate approves this Treaty, kiss all your weapons goodbye!  This is VERY SCARY!  Read the article in on the website’s “Gun Control in America” page.

This is yet another reason why if we value our 2nd amendment rights, it is CRITICAL that we WAKE UP and write, call and e-mail our U.S. Senators and URGE them to protect our 2nd Amendment rights.  In so doing, you should make it very clear that ANY elected official that votes FOR new gun laws will NOT get your vote EVER AGAIN.  ALSO, if you are not already a member of NRA, I urge you to join.  They are a very powerful lobby force in Washington and need our support.  See the link to join below.

YOUR HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED: 

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):

NRA:   http://home.nra.org/

NAGR:  http://www.nationalgunrights.org/ 

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 *    *    *   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.

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  *   *  FOOTBALL SEASON IS OVER   *   *   

Only the final days of 2015 uncommited recruits and National Signing Day on February 4th remain on this football season.

NOTE: Here is a two part article on Scott Long of DandyDon.com interview with legendary NFL and College Football analyst Mike Detillier.  Here are the links:

Part 1:  LSU’s Recent Hires, Kevin Steele and Ed Orgeron

Link:     http://www.dandydon.com/Mike_Detillier_on_LSU_Recent_hires_Steele_Orgeron.php       

Part 2:  LSU’s QB Play, O-Line, NFL Prospects, Recruiting and More

Link:  http://www.dandydon.com/Mike_Detillier_on_LSU_QB_OL_NFL_and_more.php

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    *    *    *    LSU SPORTS ARTICLE    *    *    *

Here is a new article by James Smith of NOLA.com/The Times Picayune on Riverdale’s Donte Jackson commit to the LSU Tigers.  Jackson is good friends with Tyrone Johnson of Warren Easton and may have swayed his friend Jackson to play with him at LSU. 

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RIVERDALE’S DONTE JACKSON CHOOSES LSU OVER GEORGIA

By James Smith – NOLA.com/The Times Picayune – Jan 21, 2015

 

Throne Johnson (l) and Donte Jackson (r) two highly ranked Corner Backs commit to LSU

Throne Johnson (l) and Donte Jackson (r) two highly ranked Corner Backs commit to LSU

It’s the offseason, but many LSU fans let out a roar that is usually reserved for Saturday nights in Death Valley when Riverdale athlete Donte Jackson chose the Tigers over Georgia during a live stream broadcast on NOLA.com on Wednesday morning.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound dynamic athlete has been front and center of a back-and-forth battle between LSU and Georgia, but the Tigers landed the five-star prospect’s commitment. Jackson made his announcement at Riverdale High School’s gymnasium Wednesday morning, which was filled to capacity with the school’s student body, faculty and a barrage of media.

” It’s a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders,” Jackson said shortly after ending his recruitment. “I feel like I can focus on my college career now.”

Read full article here:  http://www.nola.com/recruiting/index.ssf/2015/01/donte_jackson_commits_to_lsu_i.html

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*  *  *   LSU FOOTBALL RECRUITING   *  *  *

LSU’s 2015 class  is currently ranked #10 by 24/7 Sports and #15 by Rivals with only 17 committed or signed players – 8 more to go!

LSU’s Recruiting Coordinator and Running back Coach, Frank Wilson is now ranked #2 in the Country as Recruiter by 24/7 Sports.

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Here is a current listing of LSU Football’s 2015 Commitments (as of January 27, 2015):

Today, Lanard Fournette (Leonard Fournette’s younger brother) commited to LSU’s 2015 class.  

2015 LSU football commits (18) – Star Ratings by Rival Sports

- Donte Jackson (5 Star) DB, 5’11”, 170 – Riverdale, NO

- Tyron Johnson (5 Star) WR, 6’1″, 190, Warren Easton, NO

- Maea Teuhema (5 Star) OL, 6-4, 340, Keller, Texas, (Keller)

- Kevin Toliver (5 Star) CB, 6-2, 185, Jacksonville, Fla. (Trinity Christian)

- Derrius Guice (5 Star) RB, 6-0, 210, Baton Rouge (Catholic)

- Nick Brossette (4 Star) RB, 6-0, 205, Baton Rouge (University)

- Jazz Ferguson (4 Star) WR, 6-5, 205, Saint Francisville (West Feliciana)

- Jeremy Cutrer (4 Star) S, 6-2, 170, Jewel Sumner, JUCO *

- Xavier Lewis (4 Star) CB, 6’0″, 180, East St. John, LaPlace

- Isaiah Washington (4 Star) DE, 6-3, 225, New Orleans (Edna Karr)

- George Brown (4 Star) OT, 6’6″, 253, Cincinati, OH

- Lanard Fournette (3 Star) Ath, 5’10”, 180, St Augustine, NO

- Foster Moreau (3 Star) TE, 6’5″, 240, Jesuit

- Bry’Keithon Mouton (3 Star), TE, 6’2″, 230, Acadiana HS

- David Ducre (3 Star) FB, 6-0, 230, Mandeville (Lakeshore)

- Adrian Magee (3 Star) OL, 6-4, 352, Franklinton (Franklinton)

- Blake Ferguson (3 Star) LS, 6-1, 235, Buford, Ga. (Buford)

- Hanner Shipley (3 Star) TE, 6-5, 260, Marble Falls, Texas, (Marble Falls)

- Justin McMilan (2 Star) QB, 6’2″, 170, Cedar Hills, Texas

*  Already signed letter of intent

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LSU’S 2016 FOOTBALL COMMITMENTS:

The Tigers received it’s 5th commitment for the 2016 class Sunday (1/12/2015) from TE Jamal Pettigrew from St Augustine in New Orleans!  Pettigrew is currently ranked as the 4th BEST TE in the Country!

LSU’s 2016 Class commitments as of January 27, 2015:

- Jamal Pettigrew (4 STAR) – TE, 6’5″, 225 – St Augustine, NO

- Feleipe Franks (4 STAR) - QB, 6′ 5″, 205, Crawfordville, FL

- Dee Anderson (4 STAR) – WR, 6’4”, 176, Mesquite, Texas

- Stephen Sullivan (4 STAR) – WR, 6’6”, 215, Donaldsonville, LA                          

- Donavaughn Campbell (3 STAR) – OL, 6’6″, 340, Ponchatoula 

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LSU’s 2017 FOOTBALL COMMITMENTS:

BREAKING NEWS:  It was announced on Bleacher Report on August 11, 2014 that LSU Commit Dylan Moses is the #1 ranked football athlete for the 2017 draft!

-Dylan Moses (5 STAR) - RB/S, 6’1″, 215, University High, Baton Rouge

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* NEW CHANGES TO ETHANOL FREE GAS LIST *

We removed FIVE ethanol FREE location in Louisiana recently:

Sullivan’s Store, 11769 LA Hwy 155, Castor, Bienville Parish – Switched to E10.

Cash-N-Carry, 12590 River Road, Destrehan, St Charles Parish – Store Stopped selling gas!

Conn’s Store, 3119 LA Hwy 146, Chatham, Jackson Parish – Store Closed (Thanks to Woody for the info)

Jim’s Convenience Store, 2801 LA Hwy 306, Des Allemands, St. Charles Parish – Store CLOSED (Thanks to Mike for the info)

We added ONE new ethanol FREE location in Louisiana recently:

Paradis Time Saver (Texaco), 14851 Hwy 90, Paradis, St Charles Parish

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!  

“Pete”        

FALLING OIL PRICES: WHY THE OIL BUST IS HERE TO STAY

FALLING OIL PRICES: WHY THE OIL BUST IS HERE TO STAY

By Nick Cunningham/Oil Price.com – The Christian Science Monitor – Jan 13, 2015

The oil industry has experienced boom and busts before, but the depths to which oil prices have plunged have surprised everyone. Could the bust now persist much longer than many think?

It is not just oil that has seen a bust. Over the last decade and a half, the global economy has witnessed a massive commodity boom, with prices rising for all sorts of raw materials, including gold, iron ore, oil, gas, copper, wheat, corn, and more. But the commodity “super-cycle” appears to be over, with vast new supplies having come online in the last few years.

As prices rose through the 2000’s, multinational companies extracting all sorts of commodities planned billion dollar projects. With new mines, new oil and gas fields, and other commodity supplies hitting the market at the same time, a bust has ensued. (Related: Gains From Low Oil Prices Could Be Wiped Out This Year)

“Supply has been outstripping demand not because demand has been particularly weak, but because there was too much supply,” Stephen Briggs, a commodities analyst at BNP Paribas SA, told The Wall Street Journal. “It looks like this won’t change anytime soon.”

The oil bust has captured worldwide attention in a way that crashing coal and copper prices have not. And for now, the bust may here to stay, at least a bit longer than many anticipated.

For example, Goldman Sachs sharply downgraded its assessment for crude oil prices. The investment bank now says that it sees Brent trading at around $42 per barrel over the next few months, down from its previous forecast of $80 per barrel. It also says that WTI will fall to $41, a downward revision of its previous $70-per-barrel prediction.

Many market watchers have predicted a “floor” in prices at each key threshold – $70 per barrel, then $60, then $50. But crude prices have ignored these forecasts, plunging to fresh lows each week over the past few months. Just last week, major hedge fund manager Andrew J. Hall said $40 would be an “absolute price floor,” another threshold that is within striking distance.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal threw cold water on the markets even further with his recent comments.

“If supply stays where it is, and demand remains weak, you better believe it is gonna go down more. But if some supply is taken off the market, and there’s some growth in demand, prices may go up. But I’m sure we’re never going to see $100 anymore,” he said in an interview with USA Today.

There are several reasons low prices may persist. First, production is still at elevated levels. OPEC is holding strong to its production levels, despite unease among many of its members. And U.S. shale companies are maintaining output for the time being. That will likely change later this year as hedges expire and companies are forced out of the market, but in the short-term, the U.S. probably won’t see a decline in production.

Also, there is excess storage capacity that is allowing producers to continue to pump. Some companies are even storing oil on unused tankers at sea, betting that they can sell the volumes later at higher prices.

Finally, as oil prices fall, so do the costs of production. The cost of materials, along with the rates drillers pay to rent out rigs, deflate with the price of oil. That makes breakeven cost projections a bit of a moving target.

“To keep all capital sidelined and curtail investment in shale until the market has rebalanced, we believe prices need to stay lower for longer,” Goldman Sachs wrote in their latest report.

Speculators don’t know what to make of the oil markets right now. Some are pouring money into bets on prices rising, while others are wagering that prices have further room to fall.

We will learn more about the state of the U.S. oil and gas industry over the next few weeks as fourth quarter earnings are released. For the energy sector as a whole, profits are expected to fall by 19.1 percent. Some companies will be in worse shape than others, which could give us an indication of where production levels are heading, and with them, how long oil prices will stay low.

 

US OIL PRODUCERS CAN’T KEEP DRILLING AT $45 OIL: PICKENS

US OIL PRODUCERS CAN’T KEEP DRILLING AT $45 OIL: PICKENS

CNBC – Jan 23, 2015

Energy tycoon Boone Pickens predicted on Friday that oil prices would be back near $70 or $80 a barrel by the fourth quarter of this year.

Oil producers in West Texas and North Dakota “can’t drill for $45 oil,” Pickens said on CNBC’s “Street Signs.”

“In the last 30 days they’ve dropped 300 rigs…. You’re gonna reach an all-time high on the inventory of oil, and it will be reached within the next six weeks, and then it will start to decline. “

In December, Pickens forecast that oil prices would be back near $100 a barrel in 12 to 18 months. On Friday, he said he stood by that call.

Read More Oil patch layoffs a drop in the bucket

With benchmark Brent crude prices down more 50 percent from a year ago, it may be hard for some to envision such a bullish move.

But Pickens, the founder of BP Capital, said, “We’ve got good numbers here. We didn’t have a good year in a tough commodity dealing with energy, like we did, if we didn’t know what we’re talking about.” His firm saw it’s commodity fund jump 10 percent last year.

Following the death of his uncle, King Abdullah, Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal said the price of oil may rise, but it won’t go near $100 in this lifetime.

“The price may fluctuate between the four digit range… but as I said we’ll never see the price of oil again at $100,” the billionaire investor said in an interview with CNBC.

 Pickens said Talal “doesn’t know what he’s talking about” with respect to oil prices.

“The reason the oil price has dropped is because of production here in the United States,” Pickens said. “No question, we were the ones that caused it, and we’ll be the ones that will fix it. And the way we fix it is our rig count will go down.”

Read More It’s downhill for US after Saudi king dies: Experts

The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. fell 49 to 1,317, about 100 less than a year earlier, according to Baker Hughes data released on Friday. Last week, oil rig counts saw their second-sharpest weekly drop in 24 years, according to Reuters.

Last week, Pickens hosted a live chat on Twitter and cited oil rig counts, along with other factors, as major clues in determining a potential bottom in oil prices.

LOW OIL PRICES CHILL A ONCE-HOT OIL TOWN IN NORTH DAKOTA

LOW OIL PRICES CHILL A ONCE-HOT OIL TOWN IN NORTH DAKOTA

By Jared Gilmour/Staff Writer – Christian Science Monitor – Jan 24, 2015

Just months ago Crosby, N.D., a small town on the Canadian border, was booming. Now it’s hunkering down to ride out the oil bust that has the US energy industry reeling

CROSBY, N.D. — An empty strip of gravel – lined with streetlights and unused utility hookups – runs next to the highway, south of a once-booming oil town.

A few years ago, city officials anticipated oil field companies and other businesses would fill up the 230-acre strip. The city spent $1.7 million on the land, with another $9 million coming from state oil impact grants. There was talk of 300 housing units popping up in the fields behind the commercial street. The former mayor said the 1,300-person town was preparing to potentially double or triple in size.

But there is only one building along the road today. At night the streetlights shine on the gravel, illuminating flurries of snow that semi trucks have whipped off the nearby highway down onto the deserted street. To the south, farmland rambles into the middle distance, dotted with nodding pump jacks extracting oil, flares burning off gas, and idle, darkened drilling rigs.

Recommended: Fracking. Tight oil. Do you know your energy vocabulary?

The year they proposed this they could have gotten quite a bit of commerce in there – but now? It’s like a street to nowhere. You’ve got streetlights on and nobody’s home,” says Cecile Krimm, editor of the county’s newspaper, The Journal.

Emptiness along the newly built road is a portrait of the “echo economy” – an America that looks at plummeting oil prices not as a sign of savings at the pump, but as potential trouble ahead. They are towns as remote as Crosby, where the recent oil boom drove rents to San Francisco levels, or as familiar as Houston, a metropolis bracing for as many as 75,000 layoffs.

This is the country’s echo economy. While the rest of the country struggled through a recession, these beneficiaries of the shale boom helped prop up the economy. The oil and gas industry created more than 100,000 US jobs between 2007 and 2013 – a 40 percent increase in US energy industry jobs and a 1 percent boost in total US employment. But as the national economy has found firmer footing, the drop of oil prices to five-year lows has begun to turn the tables on towns like Crosby.

In many ways, this lonely swath of North Dakota is a bellwether for America’s energy economy. Twenty-two of the 65 American counties that had fully recovered from the recession by 2014 were in or bordering North Dakota, according to a study by the National Association of Counties. Only Texas (with 24) accounted for more. So when Crosby’s once-bustling Main Street is less harried than it once was, and when fewer landmen are crowding into the rotunda of the county courthouse to scour mineral rights records for Divide County, it is a hint that oil-dependent towns from Ohio to California might soon be feeling the pinch.

For Crosby, the oil boom of the past decade has come with a catch: The cost of getting oil out of the ground is high here. Unless the price of oil tops $73 a barrel, producers in Divide County can’t break even. For years, that’s hardly been a problem, with oil consistently trading for more than $100 a barrel. As of mid-January, however, US crude is below $50 a barrel.

Oil production is costly in Crosby because it sits on the very fringe of North Dakota’s oil-rich Bakken region. The Bakken is essentially a bowl beneath North Dakota’s northwestern quadrant with more oil concentrated in the center where the bowl is deepest. Crosby is perched on the frigid northern rim, a few miles from Canada.

Being at the rim means less oil.

“We’re on the edge, and that won’t be to our advantage if oil prices continue to go down,” says Bert Anderson, Crosby’s affable mayor for most of the past 30 years.

Oil has revived his town, Mayor Anderson says, sitting in a sturdy wooden chair and peering at Main Street through the window of his shop, Bert’s Woodworks. The surroundings are a portrait of the modest farming town Crosby once was. Newspaper clippings from The Journal yellow on the door that opens to the back room, and a rainbow of paint chips hang on one wall. On another wall are a series of bald eagle prints next to a portrait of Cosmo Kramer from “Seinfeld.”

For now, Anderson is confident oil prices will rebound. Almost everyone in Crosby is optimistic. Anderson notes that several vacant lots along the empty road south of town are sold. They’re just waiting for development.

And even as drilling slows down, Anderson is grateful for how the boom reversed Crosby’s trajectory of decline and depopulation. 

Before the boom, Anderson says, “Crosby was tearing down houses.” The population was dwindling. There was even a December when the city ran out of money before the end of the year, and had to take out a loan to make payroll.

Now, with rents rivaling those in San Francisco and new housing crowding the outskirts of town – from two-story tan condos to an RV park where newcomers camp out in “winterized” RVs – “we don’t have that problem anymore,” Anderson says.

But what if oil prices stay low? For years, Crosby has watched from afar as construction booms in Nevada, Arizona, and Florida went bust in the housing crisis, leaving unwanted and overvalued homes. Crosby isn’t there yet. A temporary slowdown could bring sky-high rents back to earth and give the town time to catch up on construction projects, Anderson says.

Still, oil prices are notoriously unpredictable. Most analysts say it’s unlikely that the US oil boom, fueled by the hydraulic fracturing of shale, will stop altogether. But oil prices stuck at $50 a barrel would challenge towns that live in the echo economy the shale boom has created, both in the Bakken and beyond.

Sweetwater, Texas, for one, is already facing Crosby-like problems. Expecting oil workers to flood its shale fields, the town spent nearly $50 million renovating its courthouse, building a law enforcement center, and improving the hospital. With the collapse of oil prices, however, those plans have not come to fruition, leaving the town of 11,000 facing layoffs and budget cuts.

“Here we are trying to figure out, is this a six-month problem or is it all over?” said Greg Wortham, head of the Cline Shale Alliance, which was formed to prepare the region for oil workers, to The Associated Press.

In Bakersfield, Calif., Canadian oil company Ensign Energy Services Inc. has already laid off 700 workers. Even in Ohio – hardly an oil mega-producer – U.S. Steel has warned of layoffs for 614 workers at a pipe plant, citing low oil prices. 

In the Bakken, falling oil prices mean producers retreat to safer areas, like the counties at the epicenter of the Bakken boom: “places like McKenzie County and Dunn County, where break-even prices are $30 and $29, respectively,” says Alison Ritter, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

That could spell trouble for Crosby, which has invested millions in new infrastructure – from a multimillion-dollar hospital expansion to new housing for recently hired schoolteachers. And it’s unclear just when prices will rise, or at what range they’ll settle and find equilibrium.

“That’s just how oil works. Everyone’s seen it happen multiple times,” says Matt Nystuen, an oil rig worker whose jacket and hat, worn atop a mat of blond hair, give away his employer, Ensign Energy Services, before his “Fargo”-worthy accent does.

Mr. Nystuen was three years out of high school when an oil price slump during the recession slowed drilling. “I saw all of my friends lose their jobs,” he says.

Prices rallied, with oil trading at over $100 a barrel until this summer. Then crude oil production in Libya and Iraq began picking up and US production also surged, filling the global market with a glut of crude. At the same time, demand was down in recession-racked Europe and Asia, and the Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to maintain production levels to hold their market share and drive down prices. Many interpreted it as an effort to drive US shale drillers, who rely on high prices, out of business.

All that pushed prices down, and when they began falling, the rig count in Divide County tumbled, too – from 12 in the late summer to just three active rigs in December. Prospects for the first half of 2015 are dimmer: Continental Resources alone, a major player in the Bakken, has slashed its 2015 capital expenditures budget from $5.2 billion to $2.7 billion.

In late December, Nystuen received his own surprise: He was laid off from his job on a rig in Divide County.

In Houston, the story is the same. Since 2011, Houston has added 100,000 new jobs every year on the strength of the energy economy, according to Forbes. By 2016, it could have lost 75,000 over two years, writes Bill Gilmer, director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business.

“Given Houston’s dependence on oil exploration and production, there is never a good time to see oil prices fall as far and fast as they have in recent months,” his study says. But a construction boom in the city and the improvement of the national economy should help, it adds.

In Crosby, the situation is not yet dire, either. Since oil production slowed, the town has gotten sleepier. It’s more like it was in the decades before oil transformed Crosby from an idyllic farm town into a boomtown, says Ms. Krimm, the newspaper editor.

Signs advertising available lots are posted in the fields that abut the empty new street. And companies have begun layoffs, though Nystuen found a new job within days. All the same, he doesn’t expect to stay in the industry long – maybe a couple years.

If the boom ends, he says he’d happily move on to something else. For him and for so many others in Crosby, the oil wealth is useful so long as it lasts. The boom has its drawbacks: There’s crime, pollution, and the soaring rents. Above all, there’s an uneasy sense that Crosby has lost the charm of a windswept prairie outpost where doors were never locked.

But that place had been vanishing, anyway. All things considered, an oil boom – no matter how long it lasts – seems better than nothing. “You get it while the getting’s good,” Nystuen says.

MAKE YOUR OWN ROD SLEEVES

MAKE YOUR OWN ROD SLEEVES

By Andy Crawford – Louisiana Sportsman – Jan 20, 2015

Homemade sleeves easy, cheap

Anyone with a boat rod locker knows the frustration of digging out rods: It’s almost guaranteed line from half of the rods will be wrapped around the other half of the rods.

Home Made Rod Sleeve

Home Made Rod Sleeve

But there are neat sleeves that slide right over rods to keep the mass of fishing equipment tangle free.

Or, you can make your own at a fraction of the cost like Gonzales’ Austin Abadie.

Abadie said constructing these sleeves is just a no-brainer, requiring nothing more than lengths of expandable wire sleeves and electric shrink wrap.

Read full article here:  www.louisianasportsman.com/details.php?id=7558

THE REAL REASON OIL PRICES PLUNGED

THE REAL REASON OIL PRICES PLUNGED

By Elizabeth MacDonald – Fox Business – Jan 20, 2015

One chart tells a powerful story about world oil prices.

World oil prices are denominated in U.S. dollars. When the dollar is strong, when it increases in value, oil becomes cheaper. Yes, world oil players are producing more oil than consumers are using, supply is up due to the U.S. shale oil boom and the halting return of Libya’s production. But the dollar story can’t be underestimated—take a look at the chart below put together by FOX Business Senior Editor Charles Brady.

The world is enjoying an oil surplus right now. But the production surplus “is smaller” versus the last time there was a surplus “between March 2012 and March 2013,” says Arthur E. Berman, a petroleum geologist with 36 years of oil and gas industry experience. Despite there being a bigger surplus in 2012 to 2013, the price of oil back then did not plunge as much or as fast as it has since the summer, Berman adds. What gives?

“When the Fed started printing money like crazy after the crash in 2008, the value of the dollar was kept artificially low compared with other currencies,” Berman says. However, the weakening dollar masked the market impact of growing production surpluses in oil.

The US dollar index bottomed in May of last year, and then started to strengthen in July. When the Federal Reserve concluded its six-year program to stimulate the economy, called “quantitative easing,” (QE) with a final $15 billion purchase of bonds on October 29, 2014, you can see in the chart how the dollar really began to strengthen, and oil prices started to drop dramatically (the Fed’s balance sheet is now $4.48 trillion, up from $886 billion in the fall of 2008).

“The coincidence of the end of QE with the onset of a production surplus (in oil) created a perfect storm for oil prices,” says Berman. “There is nothing especially different about this latest oil-price fall compared to any of the others except the end of QE. It’s not really about shale or the Saudi decision not to cut production. It’s about a relatively ordinary oil-production surplus that happened at the same time that QE ended.” With the Fed widely expected to raise interest rates later this year, and given the weakness in Europe and Asia (with European central banks getting set to hoist their elephant guns), the dollar will likely strengthen, “continuing to put downward pressure on oil prices,” notes Brady.

Dollar Index vs Crude oil index graph

 

 

 

 

GRAVY TRAIN DERAILS FOR OIL PATCH WORKERS LAID OFF IN DOWNTURN

GRAVY TRAIN DERAILS FOR OIL PATCH WORKERS LAID OFF IN DOWNTURN

By David Wethe – Bloomberg – Jan 14, 2015

The first thing oilfield geophysicist Emmanuel Osakwe noticed when he arrived back at work before 8 a.m. last month after a short vacation was all the darkened offices.

By that time of morning, the West Houston building of his oilfield services company was usually bustling with workers. A couple hours later, after a surprise call from Human Resources, Osakwe was adding to the emptiness: one of thousands of energy industry workers getting their pink slips as crude prices have plunged to less than $50 a barrel.

“For the oil and gas industry, it’s scary,” Osakwe said in an interview after he was laid off last month from a unit of Halliburton Co. (HAL), which he joined in September 2013. “I was blind to the ups and downs associated with the industry.”

It’s hard to blame him. The oil industry has been on a tear for most of the past decade, with just a brief timeout for the financial crisis. As of November, oil and gas companies employed 543,000 people across the U.S., a number that’s more than doubled from a decade ago, according to data kept by Rigzone, an employment company servicing the energy industry.

Read full article here:  http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-14/gravy-train-derails-for-oil-patch-workers-laid-off-in-downturn.html?cmpid=yhoo

U.S. SENATORS DIANNE FEINSTEIN AND PAT TOOMEY INTRODUCE AMENDMENT TO END CORN ETHANOL MANDATE

U.S. SENATORS DIANNE FEINSTEIN AND PAT TOOMEY INTRODUCE AMENDMENT TO END CORN ETHANOL MANDATE

By Sierra Sun Times – Jan 17, 2015

January 16,2015 – WashingtonU.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) today offered an amendment to the Keystone pipeline bill to repeal the corn ethanol mandate, a law that drives up the cost of everything from gasoline to groceries.

Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) is also a co-sponsor of the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015.

The Feinstein-Toomey amendment abolishes the corn ethanol mandate in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS requires annual increases in the amount of renewable fuel that must be blended into the total volume of gasoline refined and consumed in the United States. However, the current statute effectively mandates the use of corn ethanol at the expense of other fuels. The requirement drives up the price of corn, products made from corn, livestock that feeds on corn, and many products on grocers’ shelves and in refrigerators.

“The federal mandate for corn ethanol is both unwise and unworkable,” said Senator Feinstein. “Roughly 40 percent of corn in the United States is currently used for fuel, which increases the price of food and animal feed while also damaging the environment. Additionally, oil companies are unable to blend more corn ethanol into gasoline without causing problems for some gas stations and older automobiles.

“This bill is a simple and smart modification of the Renewable Fuel Standard program. Once we remove the corn ethanol mandate, the RFS program can finally serve its intended purpose: to support the development of advanced, environmentally friendly biofuels like biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol and other revolutionary fuels.”

“The RFS requires fuel suppliers to blend millions of gallons of biofuels — most often corn ethanol — into the nation’s gasoline supplies. It drives up gas prices, increases food costs, damages car engines, and is harmful to the environment,” said Senator Toomey.

“Under government mandates, refiners — such as ours in Trainer, Pa. — are forced to make a choice: increase the ethanol content in their fuel blends or pay a penalty by purchasing credits from energy traders.

“Once again, this is the government using corporate welfare to shower money on a favored industry and then send the bill to the general public. Labor leaders, businesses, and environmental groups have lined up to push back against this harmful regulatory regime.

“I am pleased to join with Senator Feinstein to stop the RFS before more harm is done.”

Background: The Renewable Fuel Standard, first enacted in 2005, required refiners and blenders to use 18.15 billion gallons of renewable fuel in 2014. More than 14 billion gallons of this total will be met by the use of corn ethanol, a level that will increase in subsequent years.

There are two key problems with continuing to mandate the consumption of more and more corn ethanol each year:

· Corn consumption: Approximately 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop is now used to produce ethanol, artificially inflating food and feed prices while damaging the environment.

· Blend wall: As gasoline consumption declines, refiners face a “blend wall” when the RFS mandate exceeds the limit at which ethanol can be blended into the fuel supply, determined to be 10 percent of total gasoline consumption.

INCREASED U.S. OUTPUT BOLSTERS OIL GLUT FEARS

INCREASED U.S. OUTPUT BOLSTERS OIL GLUT FEARS

By Fuel Fix – Jan 15, 2015

Oil resumed its decline after the biggest gain since June 2012 as U.S. crude production increased, adding to signs that the global supply glut that has pushed prices to a 5 1/2-year low will persist.

West Texas Intermediate futures dropped as much as 2.7 percent in New York. U.S. output surged to 9.19 million barrels a day last week, the fastest pace in weekly records dating back to January 1983, the Energy Information Administration reported yesterday. The Swiss National Bank gave up its minimum exchange rate against the euro, a policy that was intended to shield its economy from the region’s sovereign debt crisis.

Crude slid almost 50 percent last year, the most since the 2008 financial crisis, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted cuts to output amid the U.S. shale boom, exacerbating a surplus estimated by Kuwait at 1.8 million barrels a day.

Oil is leading this week’s slide in commodities after a decade-long bull market led companies to boost production and a stronger dollar diminished their allure to investors. The Bloomberg Commodity Index of 22 energy, agriculture and metal products declined yesterday to the lowest level since 2002, extending a 17 percent loss last year. OPEC will release its monthly report later today.

“The Swiss central bank’s decision has led to a round of risk-off in the market which initially hurt crude and gave gold a lift,” Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S, said by e-mail. Bullion advanced to the highest since October.

Record Output

West Texas Intermediate for February delivery declined as much as $1.32 to $47.16 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $47.43 at 10:52 a.m. London time. The contract advanced $2.59, or 5.6 percent, to $48.48 yesterday. The volume of all futures traded was more than double the 100-day average for the time of day.

Brent for February settlement, which expires today, dropped as much as $1.69, or 3.5 percent, to $47 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The more-active March future slid as much as $1.74 to $48.12. The European benchmark crude was at a discount of 40 cents to WTI.

Brent traded below WTI this week for the first time since July 2013, indicating that Saudi Arabia’s strategy of curbing American shale output growth is working, according to Societe Generale SA. The difference reflects that oil storage capacity is more readily available in the U.S. than elsewhere, according to Citigroup Inc.

‘Fundamentally Changed’

U.S. crude production increased by 60,000 barrels a day in the week ended Jan. 9, the EIA reported yesterday. Stockpiles expanded by 5.39 million barrels to 387.8 million, more than 9 percent above the five-year average for this time of year, according to the Energy Department’s statistical arm. Inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for New York-traded futures, climbed for a sixth week.

Crude may fall below a six-month forecast of $39 a barrel and rallies could be thwarted by the speed at which lost shale production can recover, Jeff Currie, New York-based head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said in an interview on Bloomberg Television yesterday.

“Shale has fundamentally changed this market,” he said. “The lead time between when you put money in the ground and when you get production has collapsed from three to four years, all the way down to 30 days.”

The International Energy Agency will publish its monthly report tomorrow.