- Top Stories
- Refiners Facing Bankruptcy: Flying J Files Chapter 11, LyondellBasell Mulls Move
- Europe’s Automakers Attack High-Percentage Biodiesel Schemes
- EU Finalizes Biofuels Deal; Diesel Seen Most Affected
- U.S. EIA Sees Huge Drop in Oil Imports; Big Jump in Diesel Cars by 2030
- Europe Finalizes Euro-6 Heavy-Duty Diesel Standards
- ExxonMobil Adding 142,000 Barrels/Day ULSD Capacity
- Sasol Awards ULSD EPC Contract to KBR
- Around the world of Diesel
- Malaysia Switching to Euro-2 (500-ppm sulfur) Diesel:
- Russia, Argentina Ink MOU on Diesel Supplies:
- Romania’s Rompetrol Expanding Euro-5 ULSD Exports:
- Cenex ULSD Unit Hit by Fire:
- Navistar Posts 4Q Loss, Fiscal 2008 Profit:
- Nissan Diesel Slashing Truck Production by Two-Thirds:
- Cat Laying-Off Workers, Cutting Salaries:
- Yemen Abolishes Diesel Subsidies for Industrial Users:
- Nepal Turning to Diesel Gen-Set Power:
- U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Blocks Los Angeles Diesel Truck Cleanup Fees:
- Caterpillar Launches On-Line Best-Practices Web-Log for Power Generation Pros:
- British Columbia Mandates 5% Biodiesel Blending in 2010:
- Isuzu, Toyota Cancel Diesel Engine Project:
- Daimler Trucks Acquires 10% of Russian Truck Manufacturer Kamaz:
- India’s Diesel Fuel Price Cuts Lack Economic Sense:
- Urea Prices Back to 2005 Levels:
- CARB Verifies Cleaire, Catalytic Exhaust, Rypos, Johnson-Matthey Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Retrofit Systems:
- Kohler Unveils First Diesel Engines for N. America Non-Road Equipment Market:
- PSA, Bosch Ink Diesel-Electric Hybrid Car Development Deal:
- More News
- Market Report: China Leading Diesel Prices Downward
- Planned FCC Outages Seen Cutting U.S. East Coast Distillate Production
- ULSD Production Dips, Stocks Gain: US EIA Survey
- Cummins Gets EPA Break on Clean-Diesel Maintenance
- Volvo Slams Navistar on 2010 Diesel Emissions Delay Push
- São Paulo Prosecutor Appeals Decision Allowing Tardy ULSD
- U.S. EIA Trims 2009 Diesel Price Forecast
- EU Parliament Slashes Car CO2 Limits
- Cat Rejects Biodiesel for Extended Lubes Drains on Gen-Sets
- Volvo Trucks Sees Steep Drop in EU, N.Am., but Growth in Asia
- Baard Plunging Ahead on CTL Despite Global Credit Crisis
- EU May Follow CARB in Massive Diesel Truck Retrofit/Replace Rules
- Refiners: CARB Must Include Periodic Review in LCFS
- CARB Unveils New Carbon-Intensity Model for Low-Carbon Fuels Standard
- Key Prices
- Distillate Watch
Utah-based Flying J announced Dec. 22 that it went into bankruptcy “to address near-term liquidity needs brought about by the precipitous decline in oil prices coupled with the disruption in the credit markets.”
The filing includes the 35,000 barrels/day Big West refinery in Utah.
Flying J’s 250 diesel truck stops (“travel plazas”) and fuel stops continue to operate, as does the refinery. “The filing includes Flying J Inc. and its Big West refining and Longhorn Pipeline subsidiaries only,” Flying J said.
ACEA, the trade association of Europe’s automakers, late last month issued a statement attacking a new law allowing individual European states to permit fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) biodiesel blends of greater than 7%.
“The vehicle manufacturers cannot comprehend why the European Parliament has now agreed that while diesel shall include a maximum 7% FAME, Member States may also market diesel with a FAME content greater than 7%,” ACEA said.
Following earlier negotiations between European Parliament members and the Council of Europe, Parliament finally voted Dec. 17 to approve a mandatory biofuels blending scheme hitting both diesel and gasoline.
As noted by the official EuroParl news service, the agreement covers not only transport biofuels but also all of Europe’s energy sectors, which must use 20% “renewables” by 2020.
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) includes some shockers in its Dec. 17 summary of the upcoming “Annual Energy Outlook [AEO] 2009” report featuring energy projections to 2030.
“For the first time in more than 20 years, the new AEO reference case projects virtually no growth in U.S. oil consumption, reflecting the combined effect of recently enacted [auto fuel economy] CAFE standards, requirements for increased use of renewable fuels, and an assumed rebound in oil prices as the world economy recovers,” EIA said.
The European Parliament on Dec. 16 voted 610-11 in favor of a compromise agreement with the European Council setting tougher “Euro-VI” limits on heavy-duty diesel vehicle emissions.
The limits take effect Dec. 31, 2013 for new vehicles, nine months earlier than what the European Commission had proposed.
ExxonMobil announced Dec. 16 that it’s investing more than $1 billion in three refineries to boost ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD of less than 15-ppm sulfur) output by a total 142,000 barrels/day.
The new and modified process units will be built at Baton Rouge, La.; Baytown, Texas, and Antwerp, Belgium, refineries. Start-up is expected in 2010.
South Africa’s Sasol awarded an engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) contract to Houston-based KBR for a diesel desulfurization project.
Diesel must meet Euro-4 ULSD limits in South Africa starting next year although Sasol already offers ULSD in the home market.
As expected, California Air Resources Board (CARB) on Dec. 12 adopted the world’s most ambitious diesel heavy-duty vehicle retrofit/replacement rule affecting more than 1 million diesel heavy vehicles operating in the state.
Many truckers complain the rule will bankrupt them, especially in the souring U.S. and California economy. But CARB points to some $1 billion in state funding aid available to help soften the blow.
Western States Petroleum Association (representing California refiners) urges California Air Resources Board to include a periodic review provision in its upcoming “low carbon fuel standard” (LCFS) rule.
“As with the majority of CARB regulations over the years, the agency appears poised to adopt a shell of a regulation with the hope that changes, many of them potentially very significant, can be accomplished in future years,” WSPA said in a Dec. 23 letter to CARB.
California Air Resources Board on Dec. 30 unveiled an updated “California-GREET model 1.8b” for estimating the carbon intensities of transportation fuels as part of its upcoming Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS) rule.
“This update was conducted to reflect updates in the September 2008 release Argonne National [Lab] model,” CARB said.
Around the world of Diesel
CARB Verifies Cleaire, Catalytic Exhaust, Rypos, Johnson-Matthey Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Retrofit Systems:
Following several years of helping to lead global diesel prices upward – thanks to massive economic expansion and diesel fuel imports – China is now helping to push global diesel prices downward.
As a SinoCast report from Dec. 31 noted, Sinopec began to slash diesel retail prices last week, hot on the heels of similar action by competitor, PetroChina.
The moves followed a National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) order cutting diesel and gasoline wholesale prices two weeks earlier.
Planned outages of fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) units in the first quarter of 2009 will impact distillate production in the U.S. East Coast, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a Dec. 23 report.
While EIA projected that crude distillation unit outages in the U.S. through March 2009 will be “fairly typical,” EIA warned that the large planned outage level of FCCs in February may impact distillate supply in the East Coast (PADD 1), where U.S. heating oil demand is concentrated during the winter months.
U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly surveys of refiner and importer supplies of ultra-low sulfur diesel (<15-ppm sulfur ULSD) show a slight dip in output but gains in ULSD stocks.
Higher-sulfur distillate imports are dropping, the survey shows.
U.S. EPA announced in the Dec. 24 Federal Register that it will allow Cummins a variance on the normal maintenance interval for exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valves for 2007-2009 clean-diesel engines.
Reason for the accelerated maintenance: extra soot caused by more-frequent desulfation of a nitrogen oxides (NOx) adsorber that’s paired with the EGR system for ultra-low NOx emissions.
Volvo Trucks on Dec. 17 publicly slammed fellow diesel truck/engine maker Navistar for pushing a delay in the U.S. EPA 2010 emissions limits for heavy-duty diesel vehicles.
“EPA has clearly stated that it has no intention of changing the 2010 timetable, and it’s counter-productive and misleading to suggest that the agency might change its mind in the 11th hour,” said Per Carlsson, president and CEO of Volvo Trucks North America.
São Paulo Prosecutor Appeals Decision Allowing Tardy ULSD
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Dec. 9 revised downward its diesel and gasoline price forecasts for 2009.
In its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, here’s how EIA sees crude oil, gasoline, diesel, heating oil (gasoil) and natural gas retail prices shaping-up this year:
The European Parliament voted 559-98 on Dec. 16 to approve a compromise deal with the Council of Europe to require light duty vehicles to cut CO2 emissions to 130 grams/kilometer by 2012 -- or 120 g/km when including a 10 g/km CO2 reduction from biofuels blending.
The new law is part of the EU's effort to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020.
Caterpillar announced Dec. 8 that it will approved extended lube oil drain intervals for its diesel “3500 Series” standby generator sets – but only if they’re run on petroleum diesel fuel, not biodiesel.
“Given the number of diesel 3500 Series standby generator sets in operation worldwide, extended oil drain intervals would allow Caterpillar, Cat dealers and Caterpillar customers to protect the environment by reducing approximately 2.6 million gallons of waste oil annually,” said Kevin Benz of Cat’s Electric Power Product Support.
Volvo Trucks announced Dec. 16 that global truck deliveries in November fell 8% compared with the year-earlier period.
“Due to the current uncertainty in the economy, the overall demand for new trucks in Europe continues to be weak,” Volvo trucks said.
Washington-based Baard Energy aims to start construction on a 53,000 barrels/day coal-biomass to liquids (CBTL) plant in Ohio this spring, despite the global credit crisis that threatens many “alternative energy” projects.
Plant financing is based upon a forecasted $85/barrel crude price in 2013, when the plant would begin production.
In a newly released study for the U.S. Air Force, defense think-tank Rand Corp. warns that lack of a U.S. national policy on limiting greenhouse emissions would thwart development of a robust coal-to-liquids (CTL) industry.
Rand on Dec. 10 formally unveiled its “Producing Liquid Fuels from Coal” study sponsored by the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s National Energy Technology Lab (NETL).