The IEA also predicted tectonic changes for the global refining industry as countries such as India and Saudi Arabia build new refining capacity. Global refining capacity expansions would outpace upstream supply growth as well as demand growth, bringing refining margins under pressure. Higher-cost refineries will face strong competitive headwinds. "European refineries are at particularly high risk of closure over the forecast period," the IEA said. The IEA also added that another consequence of the surge in U.S. shale oil and gas production was a shift in natural gas pricing, which was challenging the conventional wisdom about fuel switching and gas-in-transport. "Cheap and abundant natural gas has already facilitated the transition of the U.S. economy towards broader use of the fuel," the agency said.
UPI reports that The U.S. Energy Department said it aimed to make hydrogen-fueled vehicles cheaper for consumers by working with the industry in a program dubbed H2USA. The Energy Department said it was teaming with automakers, natural gas suppliers and the hydrogen and fuel cell industries to look for ways to make the technology an affordable and readily available source of fuel. The department said support from the government and national laboratories pushed the cost of fuel cell technology down more than 35% since 2008. "By bringing together key stakeholders from across the U.S. fuel cell and hydrogen industry, the H2USA partnership will help advance affordable fuel cell electric vehicles that save consumers money and give drivers more options," Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy David Danielson said in a statement. Members of the partnership include the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association as well as automakers like Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota.
Most of the hydrogen produced in the United States comes from natural gas. The Energy Department said the "tremendous" natural gas reserves at homes means looking closer at alternative vehicles makes economic sense. Speaking of biofuels, soybeans got a bounce not only on the weather buy also on the Monsanto Supreme Court decision win.
As far as natural gas a great article about my friend Andrew Weissman in the American Oil and Gas Journal. It says "For the better part of a decade, only the second component of the supply/demand equation appears likely to move the needle on natural gas prices, and although new industrial and power generation applications may contribute slightly, liquefied natural gas exports offer a growth possibility that is several orders of magnitude greater. Haynes and Boone LLP Senior Energy Adviser Andrew D. Weissman made that case to the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association at the group's 67th Annual Convention, Feb. 26- 28 at the Sheraton Hotel Downtown Austin.”