Oil Sands Outage and Renewable Fuel Mandates | Weekly News Update

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Oil Sands Outage Upends Global Oil Market

A transformer blast at a Canadian oil-sands conversion plant will significantly reduce the amount of oil heading into the US from Canada for at least the month of July. The blast, first reported on June 22, was confirmed to cause considerable damage at Alberta’s massive Syncrude plant, which turns heavy crude oil into synthetic light oil for the US market. The Syncrude plant had been producing 350,000 barrels per day at the time of the incident.

The expected shortfall in crude oil from Canada will continue draws on crude oil inventories from Cushing, OK, the delivery point for West Texas Intermediate contracts. Cushing inventories are already well-below their five-year average and closer to their five-year low for this time of year.

EPA Proposes New Renewable Fuel Mandates

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposed rule under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program that would set the minimum amount of renewable fuel that must be supplied to the market in calendar year 2019, as well as the biomass-based diesel volume standard for calendar year 2020. Conventional renewable fuel volumes, met primarily using corn ethanol, would be maintained at 15 billion gallons, while the advanced biofuel and renewable fuel standards would collectively increase by just over one billion gallons as compared with the 2018 standards. The cellulosic biofuel mandate will grow by nearly 32 percent to 381 million gallons. In total, the proposed renewable fuel volume requirements could total 40 billion gallons for 2019. The RFS mandate has been a point of contention for policy makers. The latest change to the 2019 standards represents a change in sentiment toward the mandate after requirements decreased from 2017 to 2018.

The National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) recently testified before Congress that the RFS has largely succeeded because it allows fuel retailers to offer biofuel blends to consumers at a price that is less expensive than purely petroleum-based products. The RFS is designed to enable fuel marketers to lower consumer prices at the pump by blending more renewable fuels into their fuel supply, the association explains.

In Other News

6/25

Bloomberg: Oil-Sands Outage Upends Global Oil Market, Overshadowing OPEC

A transformer blast at a Canadian oil-sands conversion plant will significantly reduce the amount of oil heading into the US from Canada for at least the month of July. The blast, first reported on June 22, was confirmed to cause considerable damage at Alberta’s massive Syncrude plant, which turns heavy crude oil into synthetic light oil for the US market. The Syncrude plant had been producing 350,000 barrels per day at the time of the incident.

American Shipper: Long Beach Funding Terminal Electrification Project

The port of Long Beach announced it will proceed with a $16.8 million terminal electrification project and build infrastructure to support zero-emissions, cargo-handling equipment at one of its terminals. The project will support 40 pieces of electrical terminal equipment, including four battery-electric yard tractors that will be modified to connect to a DC fast-charging system. The port aims to complete the project by 2022.

6/26

Next-Gen Transportation: EPA Proposes New Renewable Fuel Mandates

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposed rule under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program that would set the minimum amount of renewable fuel that must be supplied to the market in calendar year 2019, as well as the biomass-based diesel volume standard for calendar year 2020.

CBS: Judge Rules Big Oil Can’t Be Sued for Climate Change Costs

A San Francisco judge threw out lawsuits that sought to hold big oil companies liable for the Earth’s changing environment. The lawsuit claimed Chevron, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, BP and Royal Dutch Shell of long knowing that fossil fuels posed serious risks to the environment, but still promoting them as environmentally responsible.

6/27

Next-Gen Transportation: Freightliner Inks Partners for Testing Electric Innovation Fleet

Penske Truck Leasing and NFI have agreed to partner in operating Freightliner’s Electric Innovation Fleet of eCascadia heavy-duty trucks and eM2 106 medium-duty trucks, Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), the parent company of Freightliner, has announced.

Next-Gen Transportation: Canada Green-Lights BYD Battery-Electric Trucks

Build Your Dreams (BYD) says its zero-emission battery-electric trucks are now officially available to import into Canada for sale and operation.

Reuters: Minnesota pipeline foes pan route options for Enbridge Line 3

Indigenous tribes and environmental groups took aim on Wednesday at Enbridge Inc’s preferred route for its rebuilt Line 3 oil pipeline, while others panned all options ahead of an expected decision this week by a Minnesota regulator to determine whether the project can proceed.

Commercial Carrier Journal: Volvo Trucks showcases three-truck platoon on North Carolina highway

As the next step in its arc toward developing truck platooning technology for real-world use, Volvo Trucks on Wednesday performed an on-highway demonstration of a three-truck platoon made up of Volvo VNL tractors and 28-foot twin trailers in Raleigh, North Carolina. The demo was held in partnership with FedEx and the North Carolina Turnpike Association and was conducted on one of the few public highways designated as an autonomous proving ground by the U.S. DOT — N.C. 540, a tolled freeway dubbed the Triangle Expressway.

EIA: US Refinery Capacity Remained Virtually Unchanged Between 2017 and 2018

As of January 1, 2018, US operable crude oil distillation unit (CDU) capacity totaled 18.6 million barrels per day, a slight decrease of 0.1 percent since the beginning of 2017 according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) recently released Refinery Capacity Report. Annual CDU capacity had increased each of the five years before 2018 and has remained greater than 18 million barrels per day since January 1, 2016.

6/29

American Shipper: COSCO-OOCL Deal Gets Green Light

COSCO Shipping Holdings said Friday that antitrust authorities in China have agreed to allow its acquisition of the parent company of Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) to move forward, which will make the combined companies the world’s third-largest container carrier.

This weekly publication is designed to highlight relevant industry news to provide professionals in the transportation, supply chain, and energy sectors with up-to-date information in a rapidly changing marketplace. This update is purely a compilation of industry news and as such, does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breakthrough. We do not warrant or guarantee accuracy or completeness of information. For additional information, please contact us at info@breakthroughfuel.com.

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