My Novels

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Explosion Coming Soon...

Possibly in the oil refinery business, somewhere. I couldn't believe this business news article when I read it, but after a second reading...and taking into consideration Bush's faulty thinking, I have to accept it.

Bush calls for fuel output boost

The White House has told US refiners to postpone all scheduled maintenance in a drive to maximise petrol and diesel production as the administration raised its oil price forecasts on Wednesday in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

A senior executive from a big refinery in Houston said: "The message from the government is, 'Run the refinery as high as you can and avoid all the non-priority maintenance in the next four or six weeks'."

Washington has also told refiners to stop producing ultra-clean diesel to increase petrol output.

A Louisiana refiner said: "The White House said, 'Forget about [ultra] low-sulphur diesel. We need gasoline and diesel. We need you working 100 per cent'."

New regulations on producing ultra-clean diesel were due in January 2006 but are now likely to be postponed, refiners said.

The US energy department told refiners informally that they should boost production after petrol prices rose to record highs following storm damage to oil installations in the Gulf of Mexico.

The tabular content relating to this article is not available to view. Apologies in advance for the inconvenience caused.But postponing maintenance, during which a refinery runs at reduced capacity, can be a costly and dangerous gamble. Some of the industry's worst accidents have been blamed on such delays.

Jamal Qureshi, market analyst at consultancy PFC Energy, said: "It does expose the potential for safety problems. But you don't have a choice."

The energy department's monthly forecast said it expected US crude oil prices to reach $70 a barrel in the fourth quarter of this year and about $60 for the whole of next year.

Before Katrina, the official forecast for 2006 was an average price of $56.70 a barrel, but Wednesday's report estimated an average price of $63.50. Oil prices on Nymex rose slightly to $66.50 a barrel on Wednesday before settling down $1.59 at $64.37.

Last week, the US moved to boost petrol output after it lost about 10 per cent of its refining capacity because of damage by Katrina. It relaxed environmental regulations on petrol to let US and foreign refiners fill the shortfall more easily. It also eased shipping regulations to allow foreign tankers to move oil products along the US coast.

Inventory levels of petrol are expected to fall sharply as refiners were forced to dip into their stockpiles to fill the shortage. The energy department will publish the inventory levels today.

Europe meanwhile tapped its emergency reserves of petrol and diesel to help out. US refineries that were unhurt by the storm are running close to full capacity. One refinery on the banks of the Mississippi said it had postponed until January the maintenance work it had scheduled for October. It said, however, that the downtime might be delayed indefinitely on instruction of the US government.

In the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, four large refineries were still shut, while two were working at reduced rates.

Many refineries are still difficult to reach. Oil companies and contractors have hired barges to house their workers and move their equipment, and are using boats normally employed to take tourists to see alligators.

You can read the remainder of the article by clicking on the link.

Busy, busy here. DH and I both have been working this week, doing necessary upkeep on the house. I have done some extensive cleaning, painting touch-ups,etc. Hopefully we'll get it all finished during this week.

I'm appalled at the way the "Bush Spin Machine" has tried to blame his dereliction of duty on everyone but him. But that's a common Repug ploy: blame the victims. What is even more scary is that the Repugs actually believe that crap; guess they didn't see the truth when it was being broadcast for the whole wide world to see on CNN and FOX, huh? Pitiful. IF there's a God, I have a feeling He will not be happy about the test results in this disaster.

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