The proposed $2 Billion Kinder Morgan Freedom pipeline project is conducting an open season for shipper commitments from West Texas to California. The California refining market has long operated like an island within the US and has so far received few supplies from new domestic production. To proceed with the project Kinder need shippers to make long term commitments but today’s unsettled markets place a premium on flexibility. Today we conclude our two-part analysis of the chances that the pipeline will get built.
Gulf Coast diesel crack spreads (the margin between diesel prices and Light Louisiana Sweet crude - LLS) are averaging just under $16/Bbl this year – about 75 cnts/Bbl lower than 2012 but still pretty healthy. Gulf Coast diesel exports increased by 25 percent in 2012 – mostly to meet increased demand in Latin America. By December Gulf Coast refineries were running at 95 percent capacity to meet export demand. Yet during the first 2 months of 2013 refinery utilization plummeted to 80 percent, diesel production fell and Gulf Coast diesel exports dived by 300 Mb/d. Today we describe the impact that a heavier than usual Gulf Coast refinery repair season had on product exports.
By the end of 2014 an additional 1.7 MMb/d of pipeline capacity will open up from the Midwest and the Permian basin – bringing crude into the Texas Gulf Coast region. A good deal of that crude will pass through pipelines and/or storage in the Houston Ship Channel area. Ordinarily all that pipeline capacity should trump crude-by-rail due to lower transport costs. But the onslaught of rail could change the game, as over 200 Mb/d of new rail capacity is being built in the Channel area Today we discuss the logic of crude-by-rail in Houston.
The surging production of condensate, or ultra-light crude oil, from America’s new shale-oil plays presents an opportunity that’s only just beginning to be recognized by much of the hydrocarbon market. Historically U.S.
The gasoline market has become highly regionalized with the country apparently divided into areas of feast and famine. Shortages, low margins and declining refinery capacity have plagued the Northeast and California.