February 26, 2007
Renault supports B30
Again the Europeans are way ahead of us on support for biodiesel: Biofuel Review - international biofuel news updated daily - Renault commits to E85 bioethanol and B30 biodiesel biofuels I talked to a car dealer today having to support B20 in Washington state when the US manufacturers only offically support B5. He is getting zero factory support. Stupid American car companies...
Montana senate passes biodiesel mandate
Again the states are leading on RFS mandates: Great Falls Tribune - www.greatfallstribune.com - Great Falls, MT
A story about "Singlefin: Yellow"
So yesterday, Sunday, I go into my home gym to work out. First I turn on NPR, but I start out with a half hour on the stationary bike, so I decide I want something visual. Had just received this movie as a gift from a friend. Pop it in. Great concept. A shaper in El Segundo, California, Tyler surfboards builds a single fin long board (9’4”) in the 1970’s style. He surfs it on his home break (El Porto) and sends it to someone in Australia. That guy sends it on and so on until it makes its way back to Tyler a year later. The camera follows. Cool concept, you meet lots of world class surfers and see the board in lots of waves from California to Australia to Japan to Hawaii and back. One crazy guy even takes it out at Pipe on the Northshore of Oahu (where I will be surfing next week). Totally old school. Lots of soul. Filmed in the typical 60’s surf movie style (aka Endless Summer) where there is surfing and voice-over of the people, never any real dialogue, all voice-over. That is a big annoying, but it is the way surf movies are made. The movie got me through my work-out and inspired me to buy a single fin longboard. worth the watch. I rate 3 of 5 stars.
Seattle Biodiesel achieves BQ9000 certification
February 25, 2007
King 5 charts Imperium Renewables growth (video too!)
They did a good job with our recent announcement. Watch the video: A biodiesel plant's mushrooming growth | Business | KING5.com | News for Seattle, Washington
Hear John Plaza in podcast on founding of Seattle Biodiesel
February 24, 2007
Bevy of new diesel cars coming in 2007/8
Good round-up article. The one I am waiting for is the Q7 Audi with BlueTec and 500hp! 2006 L.A. Auto Show: BLUETEC - MSN Autos
Now this is surfing!
Check out these crazies in Copenhagen: Throw dynamite into river, surf wave created: Peak Energy: Dynamite Surfing
February 23, 2007
More biodiesel toys
Praise Toro! New turf for Toro: Biodiesel. I have been waiting to ditch my old two cycle for a diesel lawnmower and now I can. Bye bye old, hello new! I am getting closer to 100% biodiesel engines in my life. With the purchase of my new 2007 Touareg and selling of my Avalanche, I am 100% auto diesel (Dodge Sprinter and VW Beetle the other two). Still on the path to be 100% biodiesel powered. Thanks Toro.
Oil running on Iran fears
Oil near high for year on Iran worriesOil rose to the highest price this year earlier today in New York on concerns supplies may be disrupted if Iran is sanctioned again for its nuclear program. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Iran it faces punishment and isolation if it continues to enrich uranium, according to a report in the Washington Post. Rice's remarks came after a meeting yesterday in Berlin with counterparts from Russia, Germany and the European Union after the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran continues to develop nuclear material and know-how that could lead to weapons production. Crude oil for April delivery rose 42 cents to $61.37 a barrel at 9:25 AM Eastern on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures touched $61.70, the highest since Dec. 26.
and the summer driving season hasn't even started yet.
Watch Mika Salmi at Viacom
What happens when a big media company (Viacom) buys a small internet media company (AtomShockwave)? Usually the small entrepreneural culture is killed, the best people driven off by corporate red tape and the spirit dies. Not so this time. Viacom actually had some balls and hired Mika Salmi to run their ENTIRE MTV DIGITAL with over 1,200 people world wide. And it looks like they are actually letting him make some changes that are vintage Mika. This week he opened up the Viacom web sites in a web 2.0 access type deal: Sharing the Wealth at MTV - New York Times. That deal would have NEVER GOTTEN done without Mika. And it will work. What big media needs to do is buy little media and put the smart little media people in charge. Like Mika. Then watch out!
February 18, 2007
$5/gallon coming to Denver
Look out denver:
The McKee oil refinery in Sunray, Texas suffered a fire Friday night that might spark higher prices in a broader geography for gasoline and diesel.
The McKee oil refinery is part of Valero Energy Corp.
Seasonal maintenance already has about 15% of capacity off-line, so if the refinery is down for longer than a week it could cause higher prices in more areas.
The fire began in the propane deasphalting unit of the 158,000 barrel per day refinery in the Texas panhandle.
Since the refinery is strategically located and thus supplies not only the local area but also delivers product to Denver, Phoenix, and Tucson (utilizing Kinder Morgan's pipeline from El Paso), there could be broader market impact. Because the other two refineries that serve the same markets have planned shutdowns coming, supply could really suffer.
Denver might take it on the chin, as the Suncor refinery there is scheduled to shut for a turnaround, and Frontier Oil Corp's Cheyenne, Wyoming refinery is planning to take its coker off-line in March. These two plants in combination with Valero's represent 60% to 70% of Denver's supply.
February 16, 2007
Speak of the devil
I just posted about how tight oil supplies are from reports a couple days ago. then today oil runs because the US consolate in Nigeria says attacks will go up... I don't like being right about this kind of thing...
Oil rises above $59 after Nigeria warningrude oil rose above $59 a barrel in New York after the U.S. consulate warned that militant attacks in Nigeria, Africas top oil producer, may expand to new areas and become more violent. A Nigerian militant group is planning to broaden strikes beyond the Niger delta region, according to a statement from the U.S. consulate in Lagos. Attacks in the Niger Delta, Nigerias major oil-producing region, have intensified in the past year with more than 200 people being kidnapped, about half of them expatriates. Crude oil for March delivery was up $1.32 at 59.34 per barrel in New York at 2:18 p.m. ET.
Saudi Al Qaeda calling for more attacks on US oil sources
DUBAI (Reuters) -- A Saudi wing of al Qaeda called for attacks on U.S. oil sources across the world, saying targets should not be limited to the Middle East and listing Canada, Venezuela and Mexico as U.S. oil suppliers.
The threat appeared in the al Qaeda Organization in the Arabian Peninsula's e-magazine, Sawt al-Jihad (Voice of Holy War), which was posted on a Web site used by Islamist militants.
"It is necessary to hit oil interests in all regions which serve the United States not just in the Middle East. The goal is to cut its supplies or reduce them through any means," it said.
The group was behind the February 2006 failed suicide attack on the world's largest oil processing plant in Saudi Arabia.
In 2003, al Qaeda militants launched a violent campaign to topple the U.S.-allied Saudi royal family with suicide attacks on compounds housing Westerners and on government buildings..
Humm, those Saudi targets are pretty hardened, I wonder what the security against car bombs in Huston is? Or Iran? Or Nigeria? Or Russia? I hope these guys haven't read Robert Baer's book, Sleeping with the Devil, because the first chapter is basically a "how to" guide for anyone who wants to take Saudi oil production off-line. Here is a big clue: you don't need to make a frontal attack. You can hit much softer targets that spew acid rain that will begin to corrrode all the steel in the country and make the entire infrastructure fall apart in less than a year.
Thanks Aron for today's "crude
Thanks Aron for today's "crude talk"
The summary: demand up, inventories down, production down, spare capacity world wide less than 2.5MBPD or 3%. In otherwords, no room for error. Like us pulling out of Iraq and it falling into a total civil war that cuts off it's crude to the world (2MBPD), or a hurricane, or the Nigerian rebels strike again or, or, or... Let me see, when do terrorist attacks pick up? Humm... when the snow melts and the air is hot, everyone is out of school with nothing to do in the hot desert.....hang on...
Crude Talk. IEA Report & DOE Data Reinforce Positive Outlook. Crude oil inventories declined 0.6 MMB to 323.9 MMB, contrary to expectations for a build of 1.0 MMB, despite lower utilization rates, down 0.7% to 86.6%. On a supply day basis, stocks are down 11% versus a year ago and 0.5% below average. Distillates declined for the third consecutive week, down 3.0 MMB, below expectations for a draw of 4.0 MMB. Inventories are now 3% below a year ago, but are 13% above average, as a result of above normal temperatures earlier this winter. On a supply day basis, stocks are 9% below a year ago, but 1% above the seasonal averages. Gasoline stocks declined for the first time in eight weeks, down 2.1 MMB, contrary to expectations for a build of 2.0 MMB, due in-part to lower utilizations rates and imports. Gasoline inventories are essentially unchanged YOY and but are 5% above average on an absolute basis. However, based on supply days, stocks are in-line with seasonal averages. Gasoline demand is up 3.6% YOY and 4.6% above average. While the market reacted negatively to today's DOE data, forward looking supply-demand fundamentals suggest the potential for another strong year for crude oil markets. In its recent report, the International Energy Agency's (IEA) revised demand for 2007 to +1.8% versus +1.6% previously, while revising its non-OPEC supply growth estimates downwards by 70 Mb/d. Meanwhile, OPEC-10 output declined 100 Mb/d, with the cartel managing an estimated 63% compliance level with its previously announced cuts. Nevertheless, effective spare capacity remains limited at 2.5 MMb/d, or just 3% of overall demand.
February 15, 2007
Business week on Biodiesel
Good points made on biodiesel vs ethanol. Biodiesel hot on ethanol's trail. Nice to see Jeff Lipton talking up biodiesel, go Jeff!
February 14, 2007
some quick energy facts
In its monthly Oil Market Report released yesterday, the IEA said that if Western governments do not design policies to conserve oil, consumption will continue to increase and in just three years the rate of oil demand growth will once more outstrip the growth of new oil supplies. They concluded that if oil consumption is not curbed, the slim respite from tight spare capacity may prove very brief. The result of a market with tight spare capacity is increased volatility, and the market that has little it can do to avoid price spikes.
Chinas reliance on imports grew last year as their economy expanded its fastest pace in 11 years during 2006. Demand for oil was up 9.3% as the economy grew 10.7%. Chinese demand for oil in 2007 is forecast at 7.56 mbpd.
Argentina signs Biofuels mandate
And Imperium hired an Argentina GM last week...
Argentine President Nestor Kirchner signed a law last week implementing tax breaks and fuel-content mandates for biofuels.
The Biofuels Act includes tax breaks for companies investing in the biofuels sector and mandates that fuel contain 5 percent biodiesel or ethanol by 2010. Argentina's Agriculture Secretariat said the country would need 600 million metric tons of biodiesel and 160 million tons of ethanol to satisfy the demand created by the law.
Also last week, U.S. State Undersecretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns visited Argentina to discuss cooperating on biofuels development. President Bush is trying to cut gasoline consumption by 20 percent by 2017, which would require nearly five times the alternative fuel production target of 7.5 billion gallons by 2012.
Although the United States has a tariff on imported ethanol, Argentina is hopeful it could contribute to supplies. Agricultural companies announced 13 different biodiesel projects in Argentina during the first eight months of 2006, totaling $285 million in investments, according to online consultants Abeceb.com.
"We're seeing many countries starting to require ethanol content in their petroleum, and the U.S. could be a major importer of Argentine ethanol," said Martin Farguio, executive director of corn lobbying group Maizar (Shane Romig, Wall Street Journal [subscription required], Feb. 14).
February 13, 2007
Gear shop open at SeattleBiodiesel/Imperium Renewables
Come and get 'em! All your favorite jackets, shirts and hats: Seattle Biodiesel
My new toy envy
The Arctic Cat 700 diesel. Read this review of how it performs on B20 Biodiesel. This will be perfect for my new surf camp down in Westport. Shopping e-bay now...
Crude rises on IEA consumption increases
IEA raises forecast for global oil consumptionCrude oil rose after the International Energy Agency increased its forecast for global oil consumption this year. The IEA said world demand is expected to rise 1.8% to 86 million barrels a day. That's 270,000 barrels a day more than it predicted one month ago. Crude oil for March delivery rose 39 cents to $58.20 a barrel at 9:46 AM Eastern Time on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
WR Hambrecht has a sell on PEIX
The squeeze is on with the Ethanol players
Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (PEIX - SELL): WEAK COMMODITY PRICES LIKELY TO
OVERWHELM IMPROVING CONSTRUCTION OUTLOOK; REITERATE SELL AND $11 PRICE
Pacific Ethanol, Inc., PEIX, SELL, Target: $11.00
Closing Price: $16.47
Mkt Cap (MM): $612.684
* Investment Conclusion: Pacific Ethanol's stock has moved up 10% since
our initiation in early January, while VeraSun (VSE: Hold) has fallen
11%. We believe investors have been looking past 2007 and 2008 and into
2009+ when buying Pacific Ethanol, and we see this changing when the
company reports Q4:06 numbers (its first production quarter). We expect
the report to show reasonable volumes (24 million gallons sold out of
the marketing division and 7 million out of production), but believe
that the outlook for profit from the production will be weak. We
estimate that production gross margins will drop from 19% in Q4:06 to 6%
in Q4:07. We are reducing our 2007 and 2008 EPS numbers, even while our
volume estimates are rising. We reiterate our Sell Rating and $11 target
price based on 13x our new 2008 EPS estimate of $0.88.
* We are updating our industry commodity pricing (worse) and Pacific
Ethanol marketing sales estimates (better). We are raising our corn
price expectations for 2007 from $3.21 per bushel to $3.50 per bushel,
and we are reducing our ethanol price estimate for 2007 from $2.03 per
gallon to $1.91 per gallon. On the plus side we are raising our 2007
marketing volume estimate from 100,000 gallons to 116,000 gallons. The
net impact is we are dropping our 2007 EPS estimate from $0.45 to $0.34,
while our revenue estimate increases from $353 million to $385 million.
* Pacific Ethanol has made progress on its construction plans as
expected. With a new $325 million of secured credit and a
groundbreaking at its Idaho location, Pacific is executing on its plans;
however, in our model we had already assumed Pacific would be able to
make its construction plans. What were not in our model were higher corn
prices and lower ethanol prices. Our 2008 revenue estimate rises from
$531 million to $708 million, but our 2008 EPS estimate drops from $0.94
* We are concerned that the pricing environment could remain difficult
for some time for Pacific. We believe the first solid evidence of this
will be on its Q4:06 earnings call (likely not until mid-March) when
management should be discussing the production levels of its first plant
(Madera, California). PEIX is trading at 49x our 2007 EPS estimate and
19x our 2008 estimate. We believe using 2008 numbers takes into account
the growth potential of Pacific Ethanol; however, 19x is a 47% premium
to its peer group on 2008 numbers, which looks overvalued, in our view.
The long-term story for Pacific Ethanol is to move past corn ethanol
into cellulosic, but we believe that could take a number of years before
it is commercially ready.
For important disclosures, click here:
February 6, 2007
From the I toldyouso department
I have mentioned before that the Neste Oil NextBTL process was too expensive to build. Today (thanks AGE) Total in France killed an announce implemtation of the technology because of that very reason:
"It was announced today that Neste Oil has terminated a deal with Total to build a biodiesel plant in France, at a Total refinery.
While Neste Oil's other biodiesel plans remain in place, a feasibility study (begun during the Summer of 2005) showed that the prospective plant in Dunkirk would have been too expensive for the company to stomach.
Neste Oil has a similar plant under the final phase of construction at its Porvoo refinery in Finland, and that plant is expected to come on-stream during the first half of this year. Not long ago, the company decided to build a second, identical plant at the same site, which is scheduled for the end of 2008. It is not known if that decision was related to the termination of the Dunkirk project.
The two Porvoo plants will produce a combined output of 340,000 t/a, and the projected cost for both plants is approximately EUR200 million.
Also, Neste Oil is working with OMV to build a biodiesel plant at a site near Vienna, Austria. That plant is to be based on NExBTL technology.
NExBTL is Neste Oil's proprietary technology, which facilitates the creation of "premium-quality" biodiesel from multiple feedstocks."
February 4, 2007
A story about "Nothing but the Truth"
Another airport read. Richard North Patterson says “A gifted writer with a distictive voice.” I say give it a pass. I read it last week and can’t remember what it was about. It did hold my attention through a 5 hour flight, but that is all. Should have been catching up on email. I give it a two of five stars.
February 2, 2007
Back to the races with crude
From AGE today:
Crude rises to four-week highCrude oil rose on speculation that inventories will drop because of strengthening fuel demand in the U.S. and OPEC's production cuts. Weather Derivatives forecasts heating consumption in the Northeast will be 36% above normal in the next week. Government reports this week showed that the U.S. is growing at a moderate rate, which may boost fuel use. OPEC agreed to trim output by 500,000 barrels a day starting yesterday. AGE energy analyst Eric Wittenauer told Bloomberg News that we've had a good run this week and I think the market is heading for a $58-to-$62 range. The National Weather Service predicted that below-normal temperatures will persist in the Northeast through Feb. 15. The region is responsible for 80% of U.S. home heating oil consumption. Crude oil for March delivery rose $1.66 to $58.98 a barrel at 2:28 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Its the highest intraday price since Jan. 3. Prices are up 4.1% this week and are 11% lower than a year ago.
Bush admits climate change due to humans
Bush administration says human impact on climate change now clearThe Bush administration said the human role in climate change is no longer debatable, responding to a United Nations report that concludes world temperatures and sea-levels are very likely increasing. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said the Bush administration still opposes mandatory carbon caps such as those proposed by Democrats in Congress. Bodman declined to say whether the president would veto any carbon cap approved by Congress. The UN said in its most comprehensive report yet on climate change that global warming is very likely caused by humans. The report said temperatures are likely to rise by 1.1 to 6.4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century relative to the last, with a probable 2 to 4.5 degree range if carbon dioxide doubles from pre-industrial levels. The report said sea-level gain over the same period may range from 18 to 59 centimeters (7 to 23 inches). A key change in the report's language compared with the panel's 2001 document showed there is more certainty that human activity is causing the warming. The report puts the probability of the link at more than 90%.
February 1, 2007
Rid'n the Harley on the cover of CEO magazine
Let the good times roll...CEO Magazine Jan-Feb
some quick energy news and comment...
- According to an EU energy official, the EUs target to buy 20% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020 has the potential of reducing the areas fossil-fuel costs by $96 B per year.
Hummm, President Bush suggested 35B gallons of renewables in his state of the union. That would be roughly 10% by the date he set. Come on America, step up to the plate!
- Last year Mexico had its lowest rate of oil output since 2000. The primary culprit for the decline was the loss of production at the Cantarell field. The mature field is declining in production even faster than the most pessimistic estimates suggested. This is significant as the field began last year as the worlds second largest. On the decline, the Mexico City newspaper, La Jornadad, reports that there are efforts in the Mexican congress to privatize Pemex, the state oil company. Privatization could help declining output rates, but such a scenario is unlikely. The nations oil expropriation in 1938 is very much still a part of Mexicos self-image.
Hummm, Mexican oil in decline and peasants rioting in the streets due to high corn tortilla prices blamed on US Ethanol. A recipie for disaster...
Imperium signs largest order for canola in history
We like to buy locally when we can: Yakima Valley farm to supply canola to biofuel plants