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Storms lead crude oil, gasoline inventories to plummet

The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report today on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States.Here are some highlights:CRUDE INVENTORIES:Crude oil inventories decreased by 14.5 million barrels (MMbbl) to a total of 511.4 MMbbl. At 511.4 MMbbl, inventories are 53.4 MMbbl above last year (11.7%) and are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Inventories at major delivery point Cushing, OK fell 1.0 MMbbl to a total of 63.9 million barrels.GASOLINE INVENTORIES:Gasoline inventories decreased by 4.2 million barrels to a total of 232.0 MMbbl. At 227.8 MMbbl, inventories are up 13.2 MMbbl, 6.2% higher than a year ago and are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-2.3 MMbbl); Midwest (+1.1 MMbbl); Gulf Coast (-1.9MMbbl); Rockies (+0.1 MMbbl); and West Coast (-1.3 MMbbl). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling inventories), or down (in the case of rising inventories).DISTILLATE (diesel, heating oil) INVENTORIES:Distillate inventories increased by 3.4 MMbbl to a total of 158.1 MMbbl. At 158.1 MMbbl, inventories are up 7.2 MMbbl, or 4.8% vs. a year ago....

Highest taxes in the U.S. pay for PennDOT highway improvements

Image From . / Doug KerrPennsylvania motorists --and just about everyone who needs to travel through southern PA will soon see improvements begin on I-95. PennDOT's new transportation plan anticipates $61.9 billion being available over the next 12 years for improvements to roads, bridges, transit systems, airports and railroads. And $3.3 billion is allocated for I-95. "...We continue to stretch taxpayers’ dollars to reach as many transportation needs as possible,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards.  “This update reflects the progress we are making, chipping away at our large backlog of pavement and bridge needs while adding some capacity expansion to address long-standing desires for better mobility." Of course, PA can chip away faster than other states. Its gasoline tax is now 69.8 cents per gal., the highest in the U.S. ...

Post-Summer Driving Season Gasoline Swoon Coming

As the summer driving season has closed, gasoline prices have slowly faded, falling 2.7 cents per gallon in the last week, according to price-tracker GasBuddy.com. Gasoline prices faded in the days ahead of Labor Day, falling nearly 3 cents per gallon since August 31, something that has now happened eight of the last ten years ahead of Labor Day- a stat that flies in the face of the myth that gasoline prices rise merely for the holiday. The only years in the last ten that saw prices rising going into Labor Day were 2011 (4.4 cent rise between Aug. 31 and Labor Day) and 2010 (0.9 cent rise).With autumn on the horizon, it's good news for motorists: demand decreases for gasoline will accelerate, putting downward pressure on retail gasoline prices, and in less than two weeks, much of the United States will begin switching back to cheaper winter blends of gasoline as EPA's requirements of summer gasoline fade on September 15. ...

Enjoy Labor Day and drive sober!

Image From . / Shaun GreinerWhen you celebrate Labor Day weekend, please, count your blessings and be responsible so all around you may enjoy their holiday and arrive home safely too!  No matter where you are or how you choose to celebrate Labor Day, we want you to do it safely.  Do not drink and drive.  Sadly, our nation's transportation experts are so certain that some of you will not heed that advise that they've already projected more than 400 of you will end the weekend in a crash and won't be alive tomorrow. ...

The end of summer with Labor Day

Its a time for reflecting on the summer past and the working year ahead.  No doubt much attention will be paid to things getting back to the normal pace of activity. But it is perhaps the future of fuel prices that will come into sharp focus come Tuesday.Lower than expected demand and decent output by refineries through the spring and summer means prices are likely to fall for the near future. Add to this the pending change in gasoline specs from summer to winter blends and the scenario for even cheaper gas looks promising. Not that this will prevent daily musings over crude especially as a meeting of OPEC members at the end of the month is always guarantee to stimulate a lot of speculation over a much sought after cap in oil production that is enforceable.Besides weather related disruptions and unforeseen interruptions in gasoline production, some factors that could lend support to prices later in the Fall are potential issues over the requirement that all refineries provide an average lower sulphur content in their fuel, going from 15 ppm (parts per million) to 10 ppm. It may not sound like much, but to achieve this some refineries may find it a challenge to acquire alternate supplies of alkylates to meet the new standard that affects both U.S. and Canadian refiners alike.Refinery turnarounds and lower output might also leave speculators with the belief that gas is scarce. The misread usually gets a price correction but no until motorists wind up paying for these erroneous bets.But like this Labor Day Weekend in which U.S. Drivers are paying the lowest prices going back to 2004, the Fall doesn't look like its about to break that trend. Have a safe and memorable weekend from all of us here !...

National Safety Council expects 438 fatalities this weekend

Image From . / Wesley FryerWhen one thinks of how much  our vehicles have improved from safety technology and engineering, it's frightening to think that so many of us may not live to see week.  But that's exactly what the National Safety Council is telling us...Despite more safety equipment in cars, car crash deaths are rising -- and Labor Day weekend could be prove to be the deadliest since 2008, according to the Council. Based on recent crash death rates, which has been on the rise since 2014, the council predicts that this Labor Day holiday period will result in 438 people being  killed during the three-day holiday weekend.  Do you simply accept that? ...

Oil discoveries plummet :supply risks lay ahead

Photo courtesy of Michael EllerayUnless the world manages to dramatically curb oil consumption, the next decade could be witness to what many would prefer to forget : an oil energy crisis.That's the possible take one can glean from energy consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie Ltd who, this week, noted that the 2 year old downturn in oil prices has caused global oil discoveries to crater to levels not seen since 1947. As cash strapped oil companies have cut back on their exploration and drilling budgets, exploration in 2015 yielded only about 10% of the normal average find going back nearly sixty years. At just 2.7 billion barrels discovered, and 2016 in line for just over 1 billion barrels of new discoveries, the shortfall seems inevitable. More to the point, if the U.S Energy Information Agency's outlook for future global oil demand is correct, global demand is expected to rise from 94.8 million barrels a day in 2016 to 105.3  million barrels a day in 2016....

74-year old confuses gas pedal with brake... (Have you heard this before?)

Image From .Last week a 74-year-old woman slammed into a crowd at an outdoor community concert Ohio injuring nine people, two of them seriously, when she confused the brake with the gas pedal, police said.

Police said the woman was leaving the concert when she accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake as she was pulling out of her parking space. He said she drove onto the dance floor, hitting eight people. She then struck a telephone pole and a car as she tried to correct herself.  

And once again safety experts are questioning whether states are doing enough to ensure that aging drivers have sufficient cognitive ability.  Of course, some states are more attentive than others. 

...

EIA data shows another rise in crude oil inventories

The Energy Information Administration released its weekly report today on the status of petroleum inventories in the United States.Here are some highlights:CRUDE INVENTORIES:Crude oil inventories increased by 2.3 million barrels (MMbbl) to a total of 525.9 MMbbl. At 525.9 MMbbl, inventories are 70.4 MMbbl above last year (15.5%) and are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Inventories at major delivery point Cushing, OK fell 1.0 MMbbl to a total of 63.9 million barrels.GASOLINE INVENTORIES:Gasoline inventories decreased by 0.7 million barrels to a total of 232.0 MMbbl. At 232.0 MMbbl, inventories are up 17.8 MMbbl, 8.3% higher than a year ago and are well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Here's how individual regions and their gasoline inventory fared last week: East Coast (-1.9 MMbbl); Midwest (+1.5 MMbbl); Gulf Coast (+0.5 MMbbl); Rockies (-0.4 MMbbl); and West Coast (-0.4 MMbbl). It is important to note which regions saw increases/decreases as this information likely drives prices up (in the case of falling inventories), or down (in the case of rising inventories).DISTILLATE (diesel, heating oil) INVENTORIES:Distillate inventories increased by 1.5 MMbbl to a total of 154.8 MMbbl. At 154.8 MMbbl, inventories are up 4.8 MMbbl, or 3.2% vs. a year ago....

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