pump prices

Pump prices continue to be high in the Williston area.

Prices at the pump dropped very slightly Wednesday, suggesting the steam has run out of the run-up in prices. The average price for a gallon of regular was $3.417 on Wednesday, which was .002 cents cheaper than Tuesday’s price.

North Dakota’s average pump price continued to trend below the national rate, at $3.210 for a gallon of regular — although that did represent a slight increase in price. The cost of a gallon of regular on Tuesday was $3.206.

Prices in the Williston region, meanwhile, were trending between $3.209 for a gallon of regular to $3.248.

Crude oil prices edged lower after the Energy Information Administration reported a million barrel rise in U.S. crude oil stocks last week.

The price of WTI was $82.06 in early morning trades on Wednesday, down $2.09, while the price of Brent crude was down $1.40 to $83.38.

At 435.1 million barrels, crude oil inventories are still 7 percent below the five-year average for this time of year, the EIA reported. And demand for oil and oil products continues to recover much faster than supply.

This is likely to keep pushing crude oil prices up for the foreseeable future, assuming OPEC+ doesn’t decide to flood world markets again. So far, the cartel shows no signs of wanting to arrest the current price rally, which could set the stage for a larger market share for North American oil and gas liquids.

Gas markets, meanwhile, are heading into winter with lower than usual storage inventories. That could lead to high gas prices for many this winter.

Rig counts are up by six across the nation, which is 250 more than last year at this time. In North Dakota, rig counts are at 33, one more than on Tuesday, but one less than a week ago.

Republicans release energy plan

Sen. Kevin Cramer and Republican colleagues Dan Sullivan of Arizona and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming have unveiled Republican’s energy and climate plan to cut global emissions.

Cramer said it would be better for the United States to keep its goals realistic and actually accomplish something.

“Rather than the U.S. being at zero (emissions) by 2050, let’s set a goal for the planet to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2050,” he said. “If the planet reduces (greenhouse gases) by 40 percent by 2050, we will have done there and a half times more good than if the United States simply unilaterally disarms our economy.”

Cramer said he hoped nuclear energy would get a higher priority, especially given that there are newer technologies and smaller, more efficient plants.

“I think there is a growing realization by politicians of all stripes that it’s an issue that Americans want us to deal with,” Cramer said. “Ive always said it’s not an either or. You’re not either a denier or a worshipper. There are a whole bunch of people in between who understand that the climate is changing but don’t know whose fault it is and who is responsible for how much. It doesn’t matter. The American people want us to deal with it. They ant us to have solutions. We’re saying we think American solutions are better than other solutions.”

Cramer said Republicans want to hear ideas from others on ways to both enhance energy development in the United States wile reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“This is a large and diverse package, and it’s not done,” he said. “In other words, we’re inviting more. I don’t even know if I’m for 10 percent of it, which is why it’s not a bill at this point, but it does represent some really good Republican and bipartisan efforts. We’re just setting the table today for further discussion.”

API updates Greenhouse Gas Emissions reporting

The American Petroleum Institute has updated a compendium on greenhouse gasses that is foundational to reporting methods for the oil and gas industry.

The Compendium of GHG Emissions Methodologies for the Natural Gas and Oil Industry was first published in 2001 and is now in its fourth edition. It includes methods for consistently reporting direct emissions of greenhouse gases through the entire value chain, as well as guidelines for reporting carbon capture, use and storage, which are based on field studies by API, it’s members, and academia. API is the only industry association to publish a resource this comprehensive in nature, and it is recognized around the world as state of the art.

“As COP26 discussions continue, America’s natural gas and oil industry remains focused on driving progress on climate solutions, including enhanced GHG emissions reporting, while meeting the world’s growing energy demand, API Vice President of Corporate Policy Stephen Comstock said in a media release. “Many companies have reported on GHG indicators for over 20 years, and we are committed to continuous improvement, including this comprehensive update of methodologies int he API compendium. The updated compendium was developed in consultation with our members and stakeholders around the world and reflects the industry’s leadership on sustainability issues and efforts to drive consistency and transparency in climate reporting.”

Hoeven tours Marathon refinery

Sen. John Hoeven toured the new Marathon refinery in Dickinson this week, a value-added joint venture with ADM that will use North Dakota soybean oil to produce renewable diesel fuel.

The newly converted refinery will be supplied soybean oil from ADM’s soybean crushing plant near Spiritwood Energy Park. The crushing plant was formerly a barely malting facility.

The refinery conversion cost around $500 million and was completed in 2020. The facility reached full production capacity earlier this year, and can now produce about 12,000 barrels of renewable diesel fuel per day.

Hoeven was instrumental in helping advance the new crush plant at Spiritwood, as well as the Marathon ADM partnership.

“The partnership between Marathon’s renewable diesel facility and ADM’s soybean crush plant is a win-win for our state. It adds value for North Dakota-grown soybeans and provides another avenue for our farmers to generate revenue, while also growing our state’s role as a global energy powerhouse,” Hoeven said. “The refinery’s $500 million conversion enables North Dakota-produced energy to reach new low-carbon fuel markets, like California. Through efforts like these, our state will continue to be a leader in both feeding and powering our nation.”

Continental issues senior notes for Permian purchase

Continental Resources is offering two $800 million series of senior notes, half at 2.268 percent in due 2026 and half at 2.875 percent senior due in 2032. The offering is to close Nov. 22, subject to routine regulatory requirements.

The net proceeds will be used to help fund the purchase of $3.25 billion in Permian assets from Pioneer Natural Resources Company, as well as the fees and expenses associated with the offering.

If for some reason the sale does not close, the funds would be used for general corporate purposes, including repaying certain debts.

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