Last Wednesday, November 22, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission acted on a Petition for Declaratory Order (PDO) by Magellan Midstream Partners in which the midstreamer asked for FERC’s blessing to establish a marketing affiliate to “buy, sell and ship” crude oil on pipelines owned by Magellan as well as pipes owned by other companies. Today Magellan does not have such an affiliate, although many of its competitors do. Most of those competitors use their affiliates to generate incremental throughput on their pipelines, sometimes by doing transactions that result in losses for the marketing affiliate, but that are still profitable for the overall company because the marketing arm pays its affiliated pipeline the published tariff transportation rate. FERC denied Magellan’s request, coming down hard on such transactions as “rebates” specifically prohibited by the law governing interstate oil pipelines. In today’s blog, we take a preliminary look at FERC’s Magellan order and what it could mean for U.S. crude oil markets.
Energy markets are in turmoil. Prices have been crushed, energy producers are under stress, and consumers are enjoying a bonanza of savings. In the midst of this turmoil, the elections are on the horizon. The stage is set for 2016-17 to be transformative years for the energy industry. But what kind of transformation will it be? Well, it depends. On lots of things. Prices. Supply/demand. OPEC/no-OPEC. And of course, the outcome of U.S. elections. The elections, and the positions (or lack thereof) taken by candidates during the campaign will be bellwethers of the market the industry will face over the next two years and beyond. Today in Brace for Impact - of the 2016 Elections on Energy Policies, Politics and Markets we set the stage for a new kind of conference being hosted by RBN, Sutherland, and Goldwyn Global Strategies on May 10th in Houston. Warning, today’s blog is an advertorial for the conference.
On January 1st, 2013, California’s cap-and-trade program for Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) went live and West Coast energy markets entered a whole new world. Wholesale electricity prices in California increased 20% as a result and other energy markets have felt the impact. For example, the new rules pushed up the average cost of refining oil by $0.78/bbl. For companies subject to the regulations, the bottom line is that if you generate GHG, you pay. But exactly who pays, how much you pay, and when you pay are all subject to a dizzying array of rules and regulations. Today we’ll navigate the turbulent and uncharted seas of California cap-and-trade markets.