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Monday, October 29, 2012

More Domestic Oil Than Saudi, Fewer Refineries

BLUF: As oil prices increase, Obama touts the oil exportation capacity of the United States. Quietly, the administration continues to cut off access to our petroleum resources and make licensing more and more difficult, we continue to lose our national financial blood paying OPEC nations for our energy. We MUST save our finances for our nation while we open up and safely access the more than 200 years of oil and natural gas within our own borders. We must cut off hostiles like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Russia, and the like from our money.


We have all watched our finances suffer from the skyrocketing cost of gas. During the last two years we have talked about the Keystone Pipeline and its importance in getting crude to refineries.  The Keystone would bring oil from the north Midwestern regions of America. The estimated oil reserves, according to US Energy Information Administration (EIA), 317.6 billion cubic feet which is more than 25 billion barrels of oil. This estimate only takes into consideration what technology has been able to verify. That is important as there may well be more oil than we have found. This report can be found reported in Canadian newspapers. Why not in American news media? Someone does not want the American public to know this (1).


A recent commentary that has links back to Newsmax talks about how Obama is making it harder to access our own natural resources. Additionally, America is ranked within the top 15 oil exporting countries. So, we are exporting oil, our own prices are going up, and access to our reserves is being cut off.  Reports state that we are exporting around 2 million barrels per day. At the same time, we are importing 22 million barrels per day for our own consumption. Shipping costs have gone up, prices for gasoline have hit stratospheric levels, and we are selling oil. With the price of crude, this would make sense, at first blush; however, it would be a wiser investment (rebuilding, updating, maintaining our own oil infrastructure will put hundreds of thousands of people back to work and paying into the national tax system thereby lowering our national deficit) than selling crude as a cheap and unfinished raw product.


Think of it this way, finished diamonds are highly sought after while raw, uncut diamnds are not sold in stores. Why? What is the daily consumer going to do with uncut, unpolished, raw diamonds? The value in any product comes from it being made into something more valuable.


Alaska’s congressional delegation — Sens. Mark Begich (a Democrat) and Lisa Murkowski, and Rep. Don Young — call the administration’s action “the largest wholesale land withdrawal and blocking of access to an energy resource by the federal government in decades.”

Who are we importing oil from? Each day, the U.S. uses about 21 million barrels of oil-more than any other country in the world. It imports about 58% of it.  One of those countries  is Socialistic Dictator Chavez’s Venezuela where miners and oil rig workers die regularly in facilities that are maintained at safety levels far below those of US standards, and are likely to be far more hazardous to the surrounding environment. Another one is Saudi Arabia, one to which Obama showed his (sadly our nation’s, too) servitude to by bowing in front of.  The more than 30 other nations include a number of countries which have a record of internationally opposing the US.


Someone at has written a piece about how the Keystone Pipeline project is about to become as useful as the pyramids. The pipeline that will transfer all that oil to refineries and shipping ports is about to become obsolete? It seems to us that the Alaskan Pipeline is not able to handle the full capacity of the oil reserves in the Alaskan Wildlife Reserve. It hails the US prospect of exporting oil. The piece ignores the facts that drilling into those reserves is becoming more and more restrictive, made so by the current administration (3) (4).


The gross ignorance of transporting that oil out coupled with some minor grammatical errors that are college freshman mistakes and that the author completes missed the concept of HOW to actually get the oil shipped out of those northern reserves tell us two immediate things about the author. First, the author supports the restrictions that are in place preventing our access to the oil reserves and the jobs that would result from that access. Second, the author was writing out of reflex rather than rational thought and research.


Our take, at MSMII, is that the Keystone Pipeline is vital in that it would provide hundreds of thousands of jobs in drilling, construction, facility maintenance, refineries, and the thousands of other jobs that would develop around that jobs base. Another point that MSMII feels is worth stressing is this nation’s capacity to refine that crude and make it into usable, sellable products of value.


Please, do not take our word for it, check the links below. After the bibliographic links we have also included a number of statements and the sites through which we researched them.







Further Reading for your edification


United States Now Has More Oil Than Saudi Arabia: Obama Bans U. S. Drilling: Forces Our Money To Islamic Nations For Oil.

The United States has plenty of oil within US borders. We don’t have to rely on foreign oil anymore! It is just a matter of drilling and getting the oil out. The oil is there! Remember the song….”America, America God shed his grace on thee”? It is true! God provided this country with more than enough oil for generations to come.

Did you know…

There is a massive 200 billion barrel oil field located in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. And it even gets better! Because of new horizontal drilling technology, it is estimated that this huge field may even produce up to 500 billion barrels of oil! The Saudi’s are estimated to have only 260 billion barrels of oil, clearly putting America in the cat bird seat!


But the good news does not stop there! Alaskais just waiting to drill for oil. In fact the governor of Alaska is suing the government for failing to drill for oil. Alaskan oil fields are massive. At Gull Island, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, there is enough oil and natural gas to keep America going for the next 200 years! Yes, for the next 200 years!


There is even better news! The US Outer Continental Shelf has 112 billion barrels of oil, not to mention a whopping 656TRILLION cubic feet of natural gas! WHY are people struggling to pay winter heating bills when we have natural resources like this?


Oil shale is abundant in the US. In fact, half of all the earth’s oil shale deposits are located within 150 miles of Grand Junction, Colorado! Shell Oil is working on new technology which will make oil shale extraction financially feasible. They plan to open a shale oil plant in 2010. It will provide a piece of the puzzle toward energy independence for the United States.


Then of course, just about everyone knows that the United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal. With 275 billon tons of coal! We have more coal than just about any other place in the world. Enough coal for American needs for the next 250 years! Once again, new technology is underway to make coal burning safe for our environment.


So there we have it! It is time for the US to get serious about energy independence and drill for oil. The environmentalists should move to China and India where pollution is really is out of control. With the new technology used in the oil fields of today, the impact on the environment is there but it is controlled. With environmental controls oil fields can be environmentally safe.

When it comes to the environment we need to understand that as long as there are billions of people living on this planet, there will to be a negative impact on the environment. That is just the way it is unless billions of people die, and even then environmentalists would complain about rotting corpses creating a problem for the environment. There is simply no way around problems with the environment when you have billons of people to contend with. The human race needs to protect this planet, yet we have to live too. Living without energy is not an option. Until we have plentiful, green energy we will have to rely on the oil based solutions of old. It will take time to convert to green energy and that quest is just as important as drilling for oil is now. We can’t let the ball drop in either arena.

Obviously we should have been exploring our oil supplies 10 years ago. Now it will take at least 2 years before oil and then gas will come back down to a livable price for most Americans. 80% of all Americans claim climbing gas prices are affecting their lives in a very negative way.

And is it no wonder! Food prices go up every time a barrel of oil reaches a new high. Add to all of this are the flood woes of the Midwest which will mean even higher food prices yet to come. This winter will be especially tough for most people as they struggle to heat their homes with the highest projected heating costs of all time, and if that is not enough, they will be hit with unaffordable food prices, making it harder than ever to put food on the table for the family. This is not the America I know, or want to know.

Whoever wants to be the next president can easily get elected if they take the bull by the horns, and start drilling! We need to open the US oil fields in Alaska, Montana, and North and South Dakota as soon as possible. And, once we have that oil flowing all across America, we can tell the Middle East what to do with their oil. For too long we danced to their tune. It was degrading to both President Bush and Americans across the country when he went begging to the Saudi’s, hat in hand, pleading for increased oil production, which the Saudi’s denied. No American president should ever have to go through that again, especially when we have billions of barrels of oil right in our own back yard.

The next few years will be a time of financial hardship, but once American oil becomes available, it will not take long for the economy to turn around. This time of austerity is beneficial in a way, because it forces us to seek new and better ways to do things. And, new and better ways of doing things…..well that is a lot of what this country is all about! In the face of adversity, we will prevail and prosper in the end! We can do it! God Bless America!

Hub Pages

The Obama administration is continuing a ban on offshore drilling in favor of offshore wind farms at a time when gasoline threatens to reach $5/gallon an economic nightmare the American public might see develop in 2011.



The biggest wave of refinery closures on the U.S. East Coast is raising the specter of gasoline shortages during the peak-demand driving season.

The region will have lost almost half of its refining capacity in six months by July, according to data compiled by Bloomberg based on Energy Department statistics. Requests to send gasoline on Colonial Pipeline Co.’s link from the Gulf Coast to the eastern U.S. have exceeded capacity since August, company data show.

Gasoline futures have risen 24 percent this year, the most of any of the 24 commodities in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index, on speculation that the closures will crimp supply in New York Harbor, the benchmark contract’s delivery point, just as improving U.S. economic growth and job hiring spurs demand. At the same time, shipping rules limit the availability of tankers to supply the region from the Gulf, while European refiners reduce exports in the face of lower profit margins.

"Domestic infrastructure remains extremely constrained and there is not enough time for that to be resolved by summer," Amrita Sen, a London-based analyst at Barclays Plc, said Wednesday in an e-mail. "Gasoline supplies will be highly constricted as a result and prices will have to rise to attract more imports."

Gasoline for April delivery fell 0.5 percent to $3.3396 a gallon yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Spot prices for reformulated fuel in the U.S. Gulf Coast were 7.13 cents a gallon above Nymex futures, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Regular gasoline at the pump in the East Coast was $3.811 a gallon as of March 19, 7.7 percent higher than a year earlier, Energy Department data show.

The risk of shortages increases the prospect of record costs for motorists during a U.S. presidential campaign. Pump prices may reach an average of $4 a gallon this summer and might climb to near $5 in some areas of the East Coast, Stephen Schork, president of the Schork Group, an energy-consulting firm in Villanova, Pa., said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio March 5.

In its most recent gasoline price survey, AAA reported last Friday that a gallon of unleaded in New Jersey cost $3.63, up from $3.39 a year earlier. As prices inch towards $4, the state’s motorists are paying an average of 20 cents less than drivers nationwide.

Sunoco Inc. and ConocoPhillips have shut two plants in Pennsylvania and plan to idle a third that together could process more than 700,000 barrels a day of oil. Hovensa LLC closed a plant in the U.S. Virgin Islands that was the largest offshore shipper to the region.

Colonial will expand a line supplying fuel to New York Harbor by 125,000 barrels a day by 2014, the company announced at a San Diego conference March 12. Cargoes arriving from abroad may account for 36 percent of Northeast gasoline consumption this year, the Energy Department said Feb. 27.

The closures reduce the capacity to produce summer-grade reformulated gasoline, or RBOB, the fuel on which Nymex futures are based, with the approach of the peak driving season between the Memorial Day weekend in late May and Labor Day in early September.

"It’s more difficult to make than winter grade and you’ve got a lot of major producers out of the market," Edward L. Morse, the global head of commodities research at Citigroup Inc. in New York, said yesterday in telephone interview. "I don’t know where the material is going to come from."


Refinery Capacity Report

Data series include fuel, electricity, and steam purchased for consumption at the refinery; refinery receipts of crude oil by method of transportation; and current and projected atmospheric crude oil distillation, downstream charge, and production capacities. Respondents are operators of all operating and idle petroleum refineries (including new refineries under construction) and refineries shut down during the previous year, located in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and other U.S. possessions.

The 2012 Refinery Capacity Report does not contain working and shell storage capacity data. This data is now being collected twice a year as of March 31 and September 30 on the Form EIA-810, "Monthly Refinery Report", and is now released as a separate report Working and Net Available Shell Storage Capacity.


Contrary to popular belief there are many, spread all over. According to the EIA, 149 refineries are operating in the United States. However, they are not all dedicated to refining oil into usable gasoline, and 149 still aren't enough. The real problem, however, is not that there aren't enough refineries (which, once again, there aren't,) but that the refineries we have are not working at maximum capacity. Regularly, their parent companies will shut them down or scale them back, dramatically reducing their output. The oil companies say its due to refinery age, repairs, etc. There is much debate, however, as to whether or not these actions are actually deliberate in order to boost prices at the pump. It could be argued that with problems occurring that increase expenses for oil companies that their increase in profits recently makes those same statements of high expenditures false. What adds further weight to the debate is the fact that dozens of refineries have been closed in the past 15 years, which doesn't add up during a supply shortage or price spike caused by the same, with increase in demand. It is also widely known that in the mid-1990's some refineries were closed as a direct result of refinery overproduction, during times of surplus, which was due to a loss of profits by the relevant companies. This further makes recent industry profit spikes quite coincidental, now that those refineries are closed and production is strickly controlled, shortage or surplus with every barrel with limited refineries, which can be slowed for any reason. Regardless, production of gasoline and related products is affected, and to be fair, 60% of U.S. oil is imported, and so conflicts in Iraq and problems with Iran, Venezuela, long shipping times/distances all can also dramatically affect the price of gasoline as well, and have been known to hamper it in the past.


Q:Does the U.S. lack sufficient oil refining capabilities?

A: We have half as many refineries as we did in 1982, and they're not meeting demands. Regulations, practical challenges and economic factors all play a role.


The lack of U.S. oil refinery capacity keeps being blamed for some of the large increases in gas prices. Do we lack refining capacity and, if so, why?


Though oil refinery productivity in the United States has been improving, the number of operating refineries has been dropping steadily. In 1982, the earliest year for which the Energy Information Administration has data, there were 301 operable refineries in the U.S., and they produced about 17.9 million barrels of oil per day. Today there are only 149 refineries, but they're producing 17.4 million barrels – less than in 1982, but more than any year since then. The increase in efficiency is impressive, but it's not enough to meet demand: U.S. oil consumption is 20.7 million barrels per day. Refinery capacity isn't the only factor in the price of gasoline, and according to the EIA it's not the most important one either (that would be the cost of crude oil), but it's certainly a contributor.

Existing refineries have been running at or near full capacity since the mid-1990s, but are failing to meet daily consumption demands. Yet there hasn't been a new refinery built in the U.S. since 1976. Why? Several factors: Building a refinery is expensive, there are a lot of environmental restrictions on where and how they can be built and nobody wants to live near one. One company, Arizona Clean Fuels, has been trying to construct a refinery in the Southwest since 1998. Getting a permit to build took seven years, and the company twice changed the plant's proposed location because of environmental restrictions and land disputes. The refinery is projected to have a $3.7 billion total price tag. The EIA recorded per-barrel profits of $5.29 in 2006; at that rate, the 150,000-barrel-per-day refinery would need to operate for almost 13 years before its profits outweighed the cost of building it.

In short, the reason for not adding more refineries is straightforward: It's hard, and it's expensive. The reason that we have so few in the first place is more complicated. In the 1980s and 1990s, there was a surplus of refining capacity. Then, over the course of two decades, half of the plants shut down. In 2001, Oregon senator Ron Wyden presented to Congress a report arguing that these closings were calculated choices intended to increase oil company profits. Fewer refineries means less product in circulation, which means a lower supply-to-demand ratio and more profit. Wyden's report cites internal memos from the oil industry implying that this reduction was a deliberate attempt to curtail profit losses.

The economic pressures of oversupply could have led to plant closings even without a more calculated decision, of course. In 2005, the head of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association testified at a House hearing that the rate of return on investment in refining averaged just five and a half percent from 1993 to 2003.

Gasoline shortages in California

Shortages in the Southeast

People are talking about exporting oil? Refineries are closing ... We have greater oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, the leading oil selling country today, but our refineries are closing.


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