Energy & Commodities

Tesla’s Largest Competitor Is Hidden In Plain Sight

The Tesla Cybertruck is getting the enthusiasm CEO Elon Musk had hoped for, bragging that 200,000 pre-orders have already been placed for the futuristic electric pickup launched Thursday night. But he’s yet to respond to Nikola Motors CEO Trevor Milton’s offer to share his company’s even cooler fuel cell pickup design to reach a “broader market.”

Nikola Motors is at the center of a surge in support for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles that had been missing. Musk for years has dismissed and ridiculed hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, but the truck segment is grabbing hold of it — along with cleantech and green power advocates — who had previously always chosen electric vehicles over fuel cell. Consulting firm Cleantech Group calls it a new path to “decarbonize transportation.”

Nikola, Toyota, and Hyundai are being given credit for opening up the “hydrogen highway” through what they’re bringing out in hydrogen-powered commercial trucks. Daimler Trucks, Kenworth, and truck engine maker Cummins are also entering the race. Fuel cell buses are another segment gaining support….CLICK for complete article

Momentous Change in US Crude Oil Market, with Global Impact

US exports of crude oil and petroleum products – this includes gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, naphtha, and many others – exceeded imports in September by 89,000 barrels a day, the EIA reported today, and so the US became a “net exporter” of crude oil and petroleum products for the first time on a monthly basis in the  EIA’s data going back to 1973.

The US has exported petroleum products – gasoline, diesel, heating oil, naphtha, propane, etc. – for a long time. This is the business some refineries are in. They buy crude oil from wherever they can get it, including other countries, and sell refined product to customers in the US and other countries.

For example, California produces some crude oil and gets some crude oil by tanker from Alaska and some by oil train across the Rockies. But there is no oil pipeline across the Rockies. So refineries in California, including in the San Francisco Bay Area, also import some of their crude oil from other countries, refine it, and then sell gasoline, diesel, and other petroleum products to other countries largely in Latin America….CLICK for complete article

This U.S. Shale Giant Is On The Brink Of Collapse

One of the shale gas pioneer companies in the United States said earlier this month that depressed oil and natural gas prices may force it to breach loan covenants over the next year and that a massive debt pile threatens its ability to “continue as a going concern.”

Chesapeake Energy—which helped propel the shale gas revolution in the late 2000s with leading positions in the Marcellus, Barnett, and Haynesville shale basins—is now facing tough times trying to heal its balance sheet, on which US$9.7 billion in total debt weighs.

Chesapeake Energy’s troubles are indicative of the current woes of the whole U.S. shale patch—firms now have to focus on generating free cash flow and successfully manage the debt they had taken on to boost production instead of profits. Squeezed between the scarce availability of capital from debt and equity markets and investors demanding more profits, many U.S. oil and gas firms are reducing capital expenditure plans for 2020…CLICK for complete article

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Funding Is The Biggest Hurdle For Clean Energy

Today’s energy tech scene is on fire. The sector is in the midst of an absolute flurry of activity and innovation, with new and novel devices, approaches, and cutting-edge software, and hardware popping up more and more frequently. As the need for clean energy alternatives becomes more urgent, with global leading experts like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warning that the tipping point towards catastrophic environmental damage is right around the corner, clean energy researchers have responded in kind, publishing a litany of research pointing to a myriad of potential solutions for replacing fossil fuels. So why is the world still running on oil?

Let’s back up and take a look at some of the incredible energy innovations that have been unveiled in recent years. We’ll start with one that’s currently a hot topic, as it’s being touted as one of the most exciting prospects for clean power production, and that’s wave energy. This novel technique harnesses the ebb and flow of ocean tides in order to produce an extremely clean form of renewable energy. Interestingly enough, wave energy is in itself a form of solar energy and wind energy combined. As explained by World Finance, “when the Sun’s rays hit the Earth’s atmosphere, they heat it up. Around the globe, a difference in temperature naturally occurs, causing air to move from hotter regions to cooler ones, resulting in wind. As winds move across the seas, some of their kinetic energy is transferred to the water, creating waves.” Creating energy from harnessing the vertical movements of the ocean holds major potential for transforming our energy landscape for the better. As Sea Wave Energy CEO Adamos Zakheos told World Finance, “Wave energy, when harnessed correctly, can produce an abundance of environmentally friendly, cheap, renewable energy, significantly reducing the dependence on fossil fuels. We all see the effects of global warming; by exploiting blue energy, nations can take a responsible step towards securing a brighter future for their citizens – and their heirs.” CLICK for complete article

Billionaires Are Licking Their Chops Over Distressed U.S. Oil And Gas Assets

Like the vultures Elizabeth Warren claims they are, billionaires are now circling over the soon-to-be dead corpses of companies in the U.S. oil and gas patch, as they look to pick up assets on the cheap.

This comes at the same time that the volatility (read: decimation) of the oil and gas industry has scared off many other investors, according to Bloomberg.

Names like Sam Zell, Tom Barrack Jr., and Jerry Jones are all being tossed around as investors who are looking at distressed assets. Zell has teamed up with Barrack Jr. to look at oil assets in California, Colorado and Texas. Jones’ company, Comstock Resources, is looking to acquire natural gas assets from Chesapeake Energy.

Companies are eager to sell at cheap prices to try and get ahead of an upcoming credit crunch. 

The U.S. has become the world’s largest oil producer due to the shale revolution, but the investors behind that drive have little to show for their efforts. Many companies have plowed through their cash while providing poor returns, as independent oil and gas drillers are down more than 40% since 2014.

Easy money enabled the boom, and we have noted here on Zero Hedge over the last several years how poor resource allocation, crowded wells and overly optimistic estimates have caused a turn for the worse for U.S. oil and gas investors. Now, its time to face the consequences.

With oil prices still low, the number of active drilling rigs in the U.S. has declined and some of the biggest players in the industry have lowered their growth plans… CLICK for complete article