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The Price Of Oil Exposes The True State Of The Economy

Zero Hedge -- We should be glad the price of oil has fallen the way it has (losing another 6% today as we write this). Not because it makes the gas in our cars a bit cheaper, that’s nothing compared to the other service the price slump provides. That is, it allows us to see how the economy is really doing, without the multilayered veil of propaganda, spin, fixed data and bailouts and handouts for the banking system.

It shows us the huge extent to which consumer spending is falling, how much poorer people have become as stock markets set records. It also shows us how desperate producing nations have become, who have seen a third of their often principal source of revenue fall away in a few months’ time. Nigeria was first in line to devalue its currency, others will follow suit.  (go to article)

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Top 10 Worst Cars That Should've Never Been Made

Auto Blog Canada -- While there are plenty of "worst cars lists" floating around the Internet, this time around we're going beyond just bad cars or poor sales. We're talking about cars considered to be so bad, that we think they should've never been made in the first place.

This list of worst cars includes the type of automotive blunders, flops and utter failures that are largely the result of colossal management ineptitude, ego-maniacal incompetence and in many cases horrific design and engineering.

After putting our heads together, we came up with the Top 10 Worst Cars That Should've Never Been Made. This list includes cars of all shapes and sizes, but the one thing they have in common is they've all left us wondering "What were they thinking?"  (go to article)

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Circle K, QuikTrip Form CNG Partnerships

Convenience Store News -- HOUSTON and GREER, S.C. — Circle K Stores Inc. and QuikTrip Corp. will both offer compressed natural gas (CNG) in the near future as part of separate transactions.

Circle K, a division of Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., will team up with VNG.co LLC to offer CNG at its new Houston facility, located at 12300 Veterans Memorial Highway on the northwest side of the city. In addition to the VNG fast-fill CNG dispenser that will be open to the public 24/7, the Circle K location will feature a 4,400-square-foot convenience store offering fresh foods.  (go to article)

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Why oil prices will bounce back … eventually

The Globe and Mail -- When an asset class takes a swan dive off the cliff, fortunes can be lost trying to call the bottom. It’s often impossible to tell whether the asset in question is on a suicide run or undergoing a short-term correction. And so it is with oil.

Oil prices are down by a third since June and are less than half of their 2008 high of $147 (U.S.) a barrel. So time to buy? If I knew how to call bottoms, I would not be a miserable, ink-stained wretch; I would be filthy rich and living in a villa on the Amalfi Coast or Côte d’Azur, martini in each hand. But allow me to present four ideas of why the foundation for a compelling oil price bounce-back is being set even as prices tumble. I’m just not going to tell you when that might happen, because I have no clue.

The best cure for low prices is ...  (go to article)

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After OPEC sends oil prices plunging, what’s ahead?

McClatchy DC -- WASHINGTON — Global and U.S. oil prices tumbled sharply to four-year lows Friday on news that the oil-producing cartel OPEC has opted not to cut production, raising the prospects of a world oversupplied with crude for the foreseeable future.

The price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. oil reference price, fell by $7.70 to $65.99 in post-Thanksgiving trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, a dizzying drop considering it was above $100 a barrel over the summer.

The price for Brent crude, an international reference price that U.S. gasoline producers use to set their own prices, tumbled $1.01 to $71.57 in European trading Friday after falling 6.7 percent the previous day.

The drops follow a decision by the oil cartel Thursday to ...  (go to article)

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U.S. crude down seven percent to May 2010 low on OPEC, new low likely

Yahoo News -- U.S. crude fell 7 percent on OPEC's decision to not cut output, but light trading on Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday meant there could be more losses when markets return to full strength next week, traders said.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light U.S. crude hit a four-and-half-year low of $67.75 a barrel overnight after Saudi Arabia blocked calls on Thursday from poorer members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reduce production. U.S. markets were officially closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving, with only electronic trading.

Traders said if WTI takes out the May 2010 low of $64.24, it could technically be headed for a test below $60, toward the low of $58.32 set on July 2009.

"There's a notion that yesterday's selling was overdone, but not everyo  (go to article)

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OPEC’s decision ushers in new world of oil

Bloomberg News | -- The 12-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept its output target unchanged even after the steepest slump in oil prices since the global recession, prompting speculation it has abandoned its role as a swing producer. Thursday’s decision in Vienna propelled futures to the lowest since 2010, a level that means some shale projects may lose money.  (go to article)

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Oil price loss seen as gain for consumers: ‘What is saved at the pumps will be spent at malls ’

Financial Post -- OTTAWA — The federal government isn’t fretting, just yet, over the drain on Canada’s finances caused by a seemingly endless weakening in oil prices, a situation aggravated by OPEC’s decision Thursday not to cut its production levels.

But there will be some obvious benefits to four-year-low oil prices — cheaper gasoline at the pumps, for one, and a possible knock-on buying effect for some consumer-dependent sectors of the economy.

“What is saved at the pumps will be spent at the malls,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets.
 (go to article)

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OPEC Gusher to Hit Weakest Players, From Wildcatters to Iran

Bloomberg -- The refusal of Saudi Arabia and its OPEC allies to curb crude oil output in the face of plummeting prices has set the energy world on a painful course that will leave the weakest behind, from governments to U.S. wildcatters.

A grand experiment has begun, one in which the cartel of producing nations -- sometimes called the central bank of oil -- is leaving the market to decide who is strongest and how to cut as much as 2 million barrels a day of surplus supply.

Oil patch executives including billionaire Harold Hamm have vowed to drill on, asserting they can profit well below $70 a barrel, with output unlikely to fall for at least a year. Marginal producers in less profitable U.S. shale areas, as well as countries from Iran to Russia and operations from Canada to Norway will see the knife  (go to article)

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The best Black Friday deal of 2014 is arguably at the gas station

CNN Money -- The average price in America for a gallon of regular fell to $2.79 on Friday, according to AAA. That's nearly 50 cents lower than this time last year.

That kind of savings adds up quickly and it's why economists and CEOs of retailers like Target (TGT) and WalMart (WMT) predict that consumers will be willing to spend more this holiday season.

It's likely to go even lower soon. Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo (WFC), forecasts prices will fall below $2.70 and could go as low as $2.50.

Cheap gas may be a factor in why more Americans are feeling better about the economy overall. In a recent CNN poll, 52% think things are going very well or fairly well in the country now, the first time a majority of Americans have felt that way in eight years.

In states such as  (go to article)

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OPEC's message to US shale: Drop dead

CNN -- OPEC just fired a shot at the U.S. shale industry.

Despite tumbling prices -- the lowest since 2010 -- the cartel surprised the energy industry by deciding to keep pumping oil at current levels. One motivation is to squeeze higher-cost producers in North America, including the booming U.S. shale industry that has reshaped the global energy landscape.

It's a move Tony Soprano would be proud of. OPEC is betting lower oil prices will force U.S. producers to throw up the white flag and cut back on production because they won't be able to turn a profit.

"The gauntlet has been thrown down for Western Hemisphere producers like Brazil, Canada and the United States," Bespoke Investment Group wrote in a note to clients on Friday.  (go to article)

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Oil price plummets 7.4%

USA Today -- Wall Street kicks off the final trading day of November trying to separate the winners and losers tied to plunging oil prices and keeping a close tab on how Black Friday sales are going as Americans flock to the malls and the Web in search of deals at the start of the crucial holiday shopping season  (go to article)

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Oil prices in freefall as OPEC fails to agree output cut

Fortune -- Oil futures fall nearly 8% to their lowest in five years as Saudi Arabia tries to squeeze U.S. shale industry.

Oil prices fell to their lowest level in over five years Thursday as the cartel that produces one third of the world’s output failed to agree on measures to tackle the current glut.

In what had been billed as their most important meeting in decades, ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to keep their self-imposed output ceiling at 30 million barrels a day, but promised each other they would cheat less on their agreed quotas.

Such promises have rarely held in the past, and the markets reacted by driving the price of the benchmark crude futures contract down nearly 8% to below $69. Oil hasn’t been that cheap since August 2009.  (go to article)

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Russian oil oligarch: '$60 and below is possible'

CNBC -- Russia's most powerful oil official Igor Sechin said in an interview with an Austrian newspaper that oil prices could fall below $60 by mid-way through next year.

Sechin, chief executive of Rosneft, Russia's largest oil producer, also said U.S. oil production would fall after 2025 and that an oil market council should be created to monitor prices, the same day the OPEC cartel met in Vienna and left its output targets unchanged.

"We expect that a fall in the price to $60 and below is possible, but only during the first half, or rather by the end of the first half (of next year),'' Sechin told the Die Presse newspaper.  (go to article)

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Inside OPEC room, Naimi declares price war on U.S. shale oil

Reuters -- Saudi Arabia's oil minister told fellow OPEC members they must combat the U.S. shale oil boom, arguing against cutting crude output in order to depress prices and undermine the profitability of North American producers.

Ali al-Naimi won the argument at Thursday's meeting, against the wishes of ministers from OPEC's poorer members such as Venezuela, Iran and Algeria which had wanted to cut production to reverse a rapid fall in oil prices.

They were not prepared to offer big cuts themselves, and, choosing not to clash with the Saudis and their rich Gulf allies, ultimately yielded to Naimi's pressure.

"Naimi spoke about market share rivalry with the United States. And those who wanted a cut understood that there was no option to achieve it because the Saudis want a market share battle,"  (go to article)

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OPEC keeps oil output steady despite falling prices

Fox News -- VIENNA – Reflecting its lessening oil clout, OPEC decided Thursday to keep its output target on hold and sit out falling crude prices that will likely spiral even lower as a result.

Oil prices fell sharply on the news. Even though the decision was largely expected, it showed the once-powerful cartel is losing the power to push up markets to its own advantage.

OPEC has traditionally relied on output cuts to regulate supply and prices. But it appeared to realize Thursday that with cheap crude in oversupply, a reduction would only cut into OPEC's share of the market without a lasting boost in prices and with others outside the cartel making up the difference.

Instead, the move to maintain a production target of 30 million barrels a day appeared to reflect acceptance of the Saudi view with  (go to article)

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2015 Ford Mustang runs laps around American competitors

Detroit Free Press -- The ???? 2015 Ford Mustang redefines the affordable American sporty car.

New from the ground up, the Mustang runs laps around traditional competitors like the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. The first Mustang developed to be sold all over the world, it can also compete with luxury sport coupes that cost thousands of dollars more.

The Mustang's architecture, its basic structure, is all new. Barely a nut or bolt carried over from the 2014 model, chief engineer Dave Pericak told me before putting a V8 Mustang GT through its paces on a twisty track near Ford headquarters in Dearborn.

The difference is immediately apparent. A new independent suspension absorbs bumps better than ever before. This is the smoothest-riding Mustang ever, and the best handling, thanks to the suspension's  (go to article)

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10 U.S. shale-oil stocks getting crushed the most today

MarketWatch.com -- The decision by OPEC on Thursday not to cut oil production, despite a price decline of over 30% since June, means U.S. shale-oil producers may soon find business to be unprofitable.

Hydraulic fracturing is far more expensive than simply pumping from oil wells that tap into huge reserves close to the surface. That is why Saudi Arabia is perfectly willing to let oil prices fall even further as it defends its market share. That country has another clear advantage: The kingdom at any time can easily raise or lower its production.

For U.S.-shale companies, long-term expansion plans may have to be severely curtailed, especially if OPEC and major non-OPEC oil producers, including Mexico and Russia, continue on their current path.  (go to article)

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The World's Oil Giants Are Getting Crushed

businessinsider.com -- On Thursday, oil prices crashed.

And now, on Friday, shares of oil companies around the world are following suit.

Here are some of the biggest losers in early trade Friday:

BP (BP), down 4%
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), down 6%
Total (TOT), down 7%
Statoil (STO), down 13%
Exxon Mobil (XOM), down 3%
ConocoPhillips (COP), down 6%
Marathon Oil (MRO), down 11%
Occidental Petroleum (OXY), down 7%
Anadarko Petroleum (APC), down 8%
Linn Energy (LINE), down 13%
Whiting Petroleum (WLL), down 18%
Oasis Petroleum (OAS), down 27%
Kodiak Oil & Gas (KOG), down 17%

And this list goes on.

All areas of the oil space, from international behemoths like BP, to state-controlled companies like Statoil, to US shale producers like Whiting and Kodiak  (go to article)

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Here Are The Breakeven Oil Prices For Every Drilling Project In The World

businessinsider.com -- Oil is getting slammed.

On Thursday, OPEC announced that it would not curb production to combat the decline in oil prices, which have been blamed in part on a global supply glut.

And now that oil prices have fallen more than 30% in just the last six or so months, everyone wants to know how low prices can go before oil projects start shutting down, particularly US shale projects.

In a note last week, Citi's Ed Morse highlighted this chart, showing that for most US shale plays, costs are below $80 a barrel.

Morse writes that if Brent price move towards $60 — they're currently around $72 — a "significant" amount of shale production would be challenged.

But Morse also highlighted this dizzying chart, listing the breakeven price for every international oil company project through 2020.  (go to article)

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Nigeria says too much boom time oil savings spent on state governors

Reuters -- Nigeria's finance minister said on Thursday that a significant portion of the billions of dollars drained from the oil savings account over the past two years was distributed to powerful governors instead of being saved for a rainy day.

Nigeria, Africa's biggest oil producer, is grappling with financial difficulties owing to a 30 percent fall in the price of oil since June, which has added pressure on the government's already depleted fiscal buffers.
 (go to article)

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Need to fill up on gas? Best to wait until Sunday

CBC -- Drivers in the GTA can expect some serious relief at the pumps this weekend.

Gas prices are already lower at their lowest in three years, but according to Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst with gasbuddy.com and founder of Tomorrow's Gas Price Today, prices will plummet to about $1.10 per litre on Sunday.

The impending savings are a direct result of OPEC announcing earlier this week that it will not halt oil production despite an estimated global glut of two million barrels per day, McTeague said. The result has been a drastic decrease in oil prices worldwide.  (go to article)

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Oil Steadies After OPEC Spurs Biggest Slump in 3 Years

Bloomberg -- Brent crude steadied after OPEC triggered the biggest one-day plunge in three years yesterday by failing to cut its output in response to a glut. Oil in New York headed for its biggest weekly drop since 2011.

Futures rose 0.6 percent in London, having declined 9.1 percent this week. OPEC will maintain its collective output target at 30 million barrels a day, Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said after discussions in Vienna yesterday. The group’s policy will ensure a crash in the U.S. shale industry, predicted Leonid Fedun, the vice president of Russia’s OAO Lukoil.

Crude has collapsed into a bear market amid the fastest pace of U.S. production in three decades and signs of weakening global demand. OPEC wants a fair price and isn’t “sending any signals to anybody,”  (go to article)

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Will OPEC bankrupt US shale producers?

CNBC -- OPEC's contentious decision to keep its production target, leaving the market with a supply glut, could trigger a wave of debt defaults by U.S. shale oil producers, warn analysts.

The 12-member oil cartel on Thursday said it would stick to its output target of 30 million barrels a day, triggering a sharp decline in oil prices, with U.S. crude futures tumbling nearly $6 to $67.75 on Friday - the lowest since May 2010.

Neil Beveridge, senior oil analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, told CNBC the plunge in oil prices raises the risk of bankruptcy for U.S. shale players.
$68 a barrel is not economical for a lot of these shale oil wells. CDS [credit default swap] spreads and yields on some of the debt are rising very quickly, because at these kinds of oil prices you are going to see producers go  (go to article)

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OPEC decision spells trouble for Russia

CNBC -- The decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to keep production at its current limits in the face of slumping oil prices means trouble for the Russian economy, analysts believe.
Despite hopes from members Venezuela, Iran and Iraq that the 12-counrty oil cartel would cut production from its current 30 million barrels a day, the committee, led by Saudi Arabia, sent out the message that it could cope with lower oil prices.
 (go to article)

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Honda admits under-reporting serious US accidents since 2003

Reuters -- Honda failed to notify U.S. safety regulators of 1,729 claims of injuries and deaths related to accidents in its vehicles since 2003, the automaker acknowledged on Monday.
Honda said in a statement that its count of underreported claims came from a third-party audit.
 (go to article)

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OPEC’s line in the sand rocks oil prices, slams Canadian dollar as ‘new era dawns’

The Globe and Mail -- OPEC’s decision to draw a line in the sand is roiling oil, currency and stock markets again this morning.

More importantly, it marks a dramatic shift in crude politics and pricing.

“It would suggest that the politics of oil are changing,” said chief currency strategist Camilla Sutton of Bank of Nova Scotia.

To recap, as The Globe and Mail’s Shawn McCarthy and Eric Reguly report, the OPEC nations decided yesterday to hold their production ceiling at 30 million barrels a day despite the recent collapse in prices.

With nothing to bolster the market, crude prices slumped, hitting oil-linked currencies like the Canadian dollar, Norway’s krone and the Russian ruble, and the stocks of energy companies.
 (go to article)

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Oil price drop will drive Russia into Recession

Bloomberg -- Russia will sink into recession at a Urals price of $80 a barrel, seven years after its economy grew 8.5 percent when its chief export oil blend averaged near $70, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts.

Urals at $80, or about $3 cheaper than its average in the month through November 15, will tip Russia into a contraction, according to the median estimate of 32 economists. The probability of a recession in the next 12 months rose to 75 percent, the highest since the first such survey more than two years ago, according to another poll  (go to article)

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Will Chrysler's 300 resurrect interest in full-size sedans?

GasBuddy Blog -- Reports from Detroit say Chrysler is hoping that it can boost sales of its 300 sedan with an overhaul of its exterior design that takes the car back to its 2005 styling.  The company also overhauled the interior, which now includes a standard 7-inch full color driver information display, the industry's only electronic rotary shifter, and Chrysler's new three-spoke steering with larger vehicle controls and optional die-cast paddle shifters.

Chrysler left both the 3.6 liter V-6 Pentastar and 5.7 liter V-8 Hemi engines largely unchanged.  The Chrysler 300 will get a class-leading 31 miles per gallon on the highway with the V-6 engine and fuel economy improves by 6% with the V-8 compared to the outgoing version. Most importantly, the starting price of $31,395 remains unchanged. ...  (go to article)

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Best Black Friday New-Car Deals

Forbes -- The day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday – has become so much more than the official start to the holiday shopping season. It’s something of a tribal adventure, a challenge to see who can rise the earliest and withstand the highest degree of actual physical pain in search of an unbeatable bona fide bargain. While most of the action has traditionally taken place at department stores and electronics dealers, the high holy day of shopping has also become a major event at new-car showrooms. According to TrueCar, Inc., Black Friday and the Thanksgiving weekend are among the top five or six days of the year in which to leverage the deepest new-car discounts (with New Year’s Eve remaining the best day of the year in which to buy a car.)

Most brands are launching their “season of savings” promot  (go to article)

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Asian energy shares slide after OPEC output decision; Nikkei rises after economic reports

Star Tribune -- HONG KONG — Crude oil and Asian energy shares tumbled Friday as OPEC's decision to keep production steady rippled across the globe. Japanese stocks rose after a slew of economic data releases but other regional indexes were mixed.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 1.1 percent to 17,437.69 while South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.2 percent to 1,978.85. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged 0.1 percent lower to 23,978.58 while in mainland China the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7 percent to 2,649.57. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 tumbled 1.4 percent to 4,323.10. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines rose while in Thailand, Indonesia and New Zealand they fell.

ENERGY: The oil cartel decided to maintain production at 30 million barrels a day despite global oversupply, as th  (go to article)

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OPEC decision will keep oil prices low & hit Russia, Iran, US – experts

RT -- Russian officials and experts warned that oil prices will remain below $80 per barrel for some time, after OPEC’s decision not to cut output. It will hurt the economies of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela – and deal a blow to shale oil production in the US.

OPEC announced on Thursday that it will not be changing production levels, leaving the daily output ceiling at 30 million barrels despite oversupply concerns and soft oil prices.  (go to article)

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Crude oil drops over $4 a barrel on OPEC not cutting output

REUTERS -- Brent crude oil futures fell more than $4 on Thursday to below $73 a barrel after producer group OPEC said it would not cut crude production despite global oversupply.

Brent fell as low as $72.74 per barrel, its lowest since August 2010, and was last trading down $4.75 at $72.98.

U.S. crude oil futures also fell sharply to a low of $69.11 a barrel, down more than $4 on the day and its lowest since May 2010.  (go to article)

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Will OPEC bankrupt US shale producers?

CNBC -- The OPEC's contentious decision to keep its production target, leaving the market with a supply glut, could trigger a wave of debt defaults by U.S. shale oil producers, warn analysts.

The 12-member oil cartel on Thursday said it would stick to its output target of 30 million barrels a day, triggering a sharp decline in oil prices, with U.S. crude futures tumbling nearly $6 to $67.75 on Friday - the lowest since May 2010.

Neil Beveridge, senior oil analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, told CNBC the plunge in oil prices raises the risk of bankruptcy for U.S. shale players.

"$68 a barrel is not economical for a lot of these shale oil wells. CDS [credit default swap] spreads and yields on some of the debt are rising very quickly, because at these kinds of oil prices you are going to see produ  (go to article)

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Gasoline in Canada: 99 cents/Liter soon??

Yahoo Finance -- It’s been a while since it’s been this cheap to fill up your car, and it’s about to get even cheaper.
Following a move by OPEC to maintain oil production at elevated levels, Ontario gas prices that have already been flirting with the $1 a litre level in some towns could fall below it for the first time in about five years.
In the prairie provinces, where gas is typically cheapest, prices have already dipped below the magic, and in Edmonton are coming close to 90 cents.
The rest of Canada pays more for the privilege of clogging the nation’s highways, and on Thursday Toronto’s cheapest litre was running about $1.04 at Costco and $1.06 at Pioneer. Prices were lower outside of the city, touching $1.01 a litre in Peterborough.
Gas costs have been diving over the last four months as a global sup  (go to article)

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Alberta Producers With World’s Cheapest Oil Face Cascading Woes

Bloomberg -- Canada’s biggest energy producers now face the same prospects of shrinking budgets and declining profit as their smaller rivals as prices drop for what’s already the world’s cheapest oil.

Producers including Suncor Energy and Canadian Natural Resources, which each fell the most in at least three years yesterday, operate in one of the most expensive places on earth to produce oil. If crude prices continue sinking following OPEC’s decision not to cut global oil supplies, Canada’s producers big and small will have to tighten their belts to prepare for declining profits.

“This is a pretty big shock,” said Justin Bouchard, an analyst at Desjardins Securities in Calgary. “There’s no question there’s going to be a slowdown. Even the big guys will have to look at their capital spending plans."
 (go to article)

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SD producers: Keystone XL pipeline not a cure-all for rail delays that have plagued farmers

Fox Business News -- South Dakota farmers are nearing the end of a record corn harvest this week, but they have serious concerns about grain prices, storage options and rail congestion heading into spring. And they're looking for more options than the Keystone XL pipeline to help.

When producers run out of storage space and rail cars aren't available, they store certain grains on the ground — which can reduce the quality of the grain and affect the price, said Steve Domm, general manager of Central Farmers Cooperative in Marion, South Dakota.

"I'm looking out the window as the conveyor is piling corn on the ground as we speak," Domm said Wednesday.

The amount of rail capacity the Keystone XL would free up would be "a blip on the radar," added Keith Alverson, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Associ  (go to article)

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Only 4 percent of U.S. shale production needs $80 or more to be profitable

Bloomberg -- Most production in the Bakken formation, one of the main drivers of shale oil output, remains profitable at or below $42 a barrel, the IEA says. The agency expects U.S. supply to grow by almost 1 million barrels a day next year, with increasing flows to international markets. “OPEC’s decision means it is over to you America,” Miswin Mahesh, a London-based commodities analyst at Barclays Plc, wrote in an e-mail. “This opens the window for the U.S. to be the new swing producer.”  (go to article)

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EL-ERIAN: The Oil Market Seems Surprised By OPEC — It Shouldn't Be Read more: http://www.businessin

Business Insider -- Judging from today’s sharp reaction, the oil market is surprised by OPEC’s decision not to reduce its production ceiling in order to curtail the accelerated price decline which now totals 25% for the year. It shouldn’t be. OPEC has a history of opting for strategic rather than tactical decisions; and, this time around, it may have done so from a position of caution rather than overwhelming strength.  (go to article)

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OPEC decision sends energy stocks and Canadian dollar into tailspin — with no sign of bottom yet

National Post Wire Services | -- Energy stocks on the TSX slid the most since 2011 Thursday as oil prices plummeted following the outcome of an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The OPEC meeting was the market’s focus as it came after months of depressed oil prices, which have been weighed by concerns about increasing supply and sluggish demand for the commodity. The cartel did not announce the output cut investors were hoping for. Oil prices tumbled to a four-year low.
 (go to article)

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Black Friday car sales explode in popularity

CNBC -- Karl Regalado calls it crazy.

In the span of a few years, Black Friday has gone from being a day he dreaded spending in the showroom to one of the busiest days at the Buick/GMC dealership he manages just outside Chicago.

"This year we're expecting business to be so strong it will be incredible," said Regalado who manages the Bill Kay Buick GMC dealership in Downers Grove, Illinois. "This weekend our sales will probably be up 200 percent"

Welcome to Black Friday, the fastest growing day for auto sales.  (go to article)

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Oil prices crash below $70

CNN Money -- Oil prices came crashing down Thursday to trade below $70 per barrel after OPEC announced it was leaving oil production levels unchanged.

WTI crude trading in the U.S. fell by roughly 7% to just below $69 -- a level not seen since May 2010.  (go to article)

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Montrealers 'don't need a PR campaign' on pipelines, Mayor Denis Coderre writes

The Gazette -- On Dec 2, 2013, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal’s municipalities said “Yes, but …” to Enbridge’s Line 9B reversal plan. The Yes underscores the importance of regular, cheaper oil supplies to E Montreal’s industries. The all-important “but” means the plan must ensure public safety and preserve the ecosystem’s integrity — particularly rivers, lakes and streams

Enbridge wrote to the CMM Nov 14 in response to concerns expressed earlier in the fall about requirements for pipeline water crossings and for emergency responses. The CMM is unyielding on this matter

"Companies must have a perfect score when it comes to oil transport. There is no room for error. Enbridge must respond to each of our concerns. We have said this repeatedly over the past year. And we are saying it again today  (go to article)

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How Saudi Arabia Could Spoil Christmas

The Fiscal Times (Via Yahoo Finance) -- On Thanksgiving morning, when millions of Americans rise bright and early to start preparing their turkey dinners and draw up their post-meal shopping strategies, Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC, could deliver a surprise that may very well spoil the holiday shopping season for many.

I'm talking about the potential for a surprise crude oil production cut, which if it happened, would catch investors on Wall Street wrong footed and pinch consumer confidence heading into the most important time of the year for retail sales.

Focus has shifted to what's happening with crude oil ahead of the most important OPEC meeting in years on Thursday. Oil futures are down more than 32 percent from their high in June, putting pressure on Saudi  (go to article)

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Full steam ahead for Hyundai’s hydrogen-fuelled vehicles

The Globe and Mail -- Hyundai Corp. is looking to revive the dream of a fleet of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles driving on Canadian highways as it becomes the first auto manufacturer to launch in Canada a fuel cell version of an existing car model.

Hyundai will announce Wednesday that it is offering three-year leases for the Tucson FCEV to drivers in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, one of the few areas in the country that have hydrogen fuelling stations that were put in place as B.C. sought to demonstrate the fuel cell hydrogen technology during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“We believe Hyundai has passed the tipping point in fuel cell technology development and that it’s ready to be driven by customers interested in pioneering a zero-emissions automotive future,” Don Romano, president of Hyundai Auto Canada Corp.  (go to article)

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OPEC output decision ensures U.S. shale industry will crash, says Russian oil tycoon

Bloomberg News -- OPEC policy on crude production will ensure a crash in the U.S. shale industry, a Russian oil tycoon said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries kept output targets unchanged at a meeting in Vienna Thursday even after this year’s slump in the oil price caused by surging supply from U.S shale fields
 (go to article)

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Saudis block OPEC output cut, oil price sinks further

Reuters -- Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez left the meeting visibly angry and declined to comment on the outcome.

Wealthy Gulf states have made clear they are ready to ride out the weak prices that have hurt the likes of Venezuela and Iran - OPEC members that pressed for output cuts to stabilize the market and ease pressure on their budgets, but cannot afford to make any themselves.

A price war will also seriously hurt top non-OPEC exporter Russia, which has clashed with Saudi Arabia over Moscow's support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia is already suffering from Western sanctions over its actions in Ukraine and needs oil prices of $100 per barrel to balance its budget.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries accounts for a third of global oil output.
 (go to article)

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Mexico emerging as powerhouse in luxury car production

The Globe and Mail -- NACHA CATTAN -- Bloomberg News

Mexico’s German auto history began with small, cheap cars. Now it’s becoming a place where top-of- the-line German brands roll out of billion-dollar factories.

By decade’s end, Mexico will claim fourth place worldwide for German luxury output after the carmakers’ home country, China and the U.S., according to estimates compiled for Bloomberg by IHS Automotive consultant Guido Vildozo, surpassing Belgium, Spain and Brazil.  (go to article)

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U.S. Regulator Demands Nationwide Takata Air-Bag Recall

Bloomberg -- U.S. regulators formally demanded Takata Corp. (7312) implement a nationwide recall of defective air bags, saying the company’s piecemeal approach to fixing a potentially deadly flaw in millions of cars is insufficient.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Takata in a letter yesterday to declare a recall by Dec. 2 that identifies a defect in “driver’s side air-bag inflators and is nationwide in scope.” Failure to do so may lead NHTSA to force a recall and issue civil fines of $7,000 per violation.

The company last week pushed back against calls by NHTSA to expand regional repair campaigns that primarily focused on 8 million cars in high-humidity U.S. states. Takata said recalling vehicles in other areas, where the risk of air bag malfunctions is lower, would aggravate  (go to article)

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OPEC Policy Ensures U.S. Shale Crash, Russian Oil Tycoon Says

Bloomberg.com -- OPEC policy on crude production will probably ensure a crash in the U.S. shale industry, a Russian oil tycoon said.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries appeared unlikely to make significant cuts in output targets at a meeting in Vienna today even after this year’s slump in the oil price caused by surging supply from U.S shale fields.

American producers risk becoming victims of their own success. At today’s prices of just over $70 a barrel, drilling is close to becoming unprofitable for some explorers, Leonid Fedun, vice president and board member at OAO Lukoil, said in an interview in London.

“In 2016, when OPEC completes this objective of cleaning up the American marginal market, the oil price will start growing again,” said Fedun, who’s made a fortune  (go to article)

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U.S. Ethanol Production Hits Record High on Profit Margins

Reuters -- U.S. ethanol makers produced a record amount of the biofuel last week, government data showed on Wednesday, as plentiful corn supplies and high ethanol prices resulted in the best profit margins in about six months, traders said.

Ethanol production rose more than 1 percent to an average of 982,000 barrels per day in the week ending Nov. 21, the EIA said. That is the largest weekly total since EIA started tracking the data in 2010.

Stocks of the grain-based biofuel decreased by 263,000 barrels to 17.07 million barrels, the smallest in about a month.

Many ethanol plants perform annual maintenance before the autumn corn harvest, allowing them to run near-capacity when supplies of the grain are cheapest and most plentiful. Ethanol makers are earning as much as $2 per bushel of corn on the e  (go to article)

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