Posts from Al Troner

Thursday, 05/05/2016

On December 18, 2015, Congress and President Obama ended the 40-year ban on U.S. crude oil exports to countries other than Canada. Today the arbitrage window doesn’t make much economic sense for most exports – Light Louisiana Sweet on the Gulf Coast is about the same price as Brent in the North Sea.  But the prospect of selling crude abroad remains tantalizing for a depressed U.S. upstream, and U.S. producers have begun to consider the possibilities for more significant export volumes.  But does the U.S. have the right stuff?  Will the qualities of U.S. crudes be competitive in global markets?  In today’s blog, we begin a series to consider the qualities of U.S. crudes that are likely to be favored by international crude buyers.

Thursday, 07/04/2013

Finding profitable markets for the rapidly increasing volumes of condensates produced in the Eagle Ford and other U.S. shale plays will be challenging. Sure there will be a growing Canadian need for condensates as a diluent for oil sands-derived bitumen, but that will still leave U.S condensate producers with a big surplus. The logical thing would be to look further afield, but selling to overseas markets— particularly to the growing Asia/Pacific region—is a complicated matter. First, an export license for “raw” (unprocessed) condensate to overseas markets is required, but no such licenses are being issued. Second, the Asia/Pacific region is also experiencing supply growth.

Wednesday, 05/29/2013

By Al Troner, President Asia Pacific Energy Consulting (APEC)

Historically U.S. condensate production has been in the backwater of crude markets, dumped into local crude flows or more recently exported to Canada for use as heavy crude diluent.  In stark contrast, the separation and processing of condensates in East of Suez markets is a major downstream activity, accounting for much of the Mideast Gulf’s naphtha exports and Asia’s feedstock supply.  As U.S. condensate production increases, it is clear that new markets will be needed for the volumes – with suppliers eyeing those robust East of Suez destinations. Today we continue our blog series on international condensates examining splitter/processing capacity in the Middle East and Asia Pacific regions.

Wednesday, 05/15/2013

By Al Troner, President Asia Pacific Energy Consulting (APEC)

U.S. production of field (lease) condensates is growing like crazy, especially in the Eagle Ford.  There is way too much of this material for it to be absorbed into traditional crude blending markets.  At the same time the production of plant condensate, a.k.a. natural gasoline, is also increasing along with the yield of all other products from natural gas processing plants.  A glut of condensates has developed and is getting worse. Clearly this is an opportunity for new market development, and the bizdev community is hard at work coming up with concepts, projects and proposals to use all of this material in the U.S. and in export markets.  But there is a problem. Condensate markets in different geographies seem to have little in common with each other.  It’s like walking through the looking glass.  One term can have several meanings.  One meaning can be ascribed to several terms. Today we launch a RBN blog series to make sense of it all.