Early Friday morning, a massive explosion occurred in south Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex. The 150-year-old oil refinery, opened in 1866 just after the Civil War, had a vat of butane ignite and explode causing Interstates 76 and 95 to close and even “rattled” homes in the South Jersey area.
According to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the cost of profitably drilling a shale oil well in the US has fallen to a modern low of $50 per barrel, likely ensuring the growth of the onshore shale industry for years to come. The decrease reflects many factors including softer demand from refineries and concerns about the US-China trade war’s impact on global economic demand. The US oil benchmark is currently hovering near $63 per barrel. Cost reductions and increasing production should stop crude oil prices from rising to high.
China and India have had considered on creating a “club” which will negotiate better prices with oil exporting countries and will be looking to import more U.S. crude oil in order to reduce OPEC’s sway. Two of the world’s largest oil importers, second and third respectfully, have exchanged senior level visits several times to discuss the premiums placed on oil sold to Asian nations. India, which imports more than 80% of its oil requirements, has seen oil prices increase to more than $75 a barrel.
Tri-State commuters, get ready for more toll increases. Starting March 31st. tolls will go up at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bridges and tunnels. For travelers to New York, the most expensive toll on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge will go up from $17 to $19. Tolls on the Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs Neck, Robert F. Kennedy bridges and the Hugh Carey and Queens-Midtown Tunnels will increase from $8.50 to $9.50 for tolls paid by mail. At $17 per trip, the 55-year-old Verrazzano is already ranked among the priciest crossings in the country. For reference, Virginia's 23-mile-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel increased to $18 in January.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, the 76 year old former military ruler, has been re-elected. Constant threats to the flow of crude from armed groups and thieves, Buhari has plans to develop a backbone of stable power, roads and rail lines for agricultural expansion and industrialization in Africa’s most populous nation. Providing two-thirds of government revenue for Nigeria, the President needs all the money he can get from oil. “Oil revenue is still what dictates government spending and they will need to keep production going,” said Jubril Kareem, a Lagos-based analyst at Ecobank Energy Research.