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Michael Fitzsimmons  

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  • 2013 Natural Gas Transportation Portfolio: November Update [View article]
    Hi Mr. Flake - Yes, when I got first got interested in natural gas transportation some 5 years ago I very quickly discovered the Honda GX NGV and the "Phill", the home natural gas refueling appliance. As you probably know, FSYS basically bought the Phill and now manufactures it in Italy. One of the problems in the US for FSYS is that the GX is the only OEM NGV car sold. Another is that you can only have the Phill installed by a certified installer and thus the price is really pretty high. I always thought it made alot of sense for Honda and FSYS to co-market the GX with the Phill, i.e. you go to a Honda dealer and could negotiate to buy the Phill bundled with the GX and finance them both (plus installation) all at once. That time of agreement would have solved the availability issue and also would (or at least should have) brought down the price. I contacted both companies about such an arrangement but I guess they didn't like the idea or there was some other hurdle that I am not aware of. Since them, I have stopped following them so I don't feel qualified to give you an opinion on FSYS.
    Dec 3, 2013. 05:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Enerplus: Out Of The Woods And Yielding 6% [View article]
    NOTE: Enerplus raised production guidance again yesterday:
    Dec 3, 2013. 08:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2013 Natural Gas Transportation Portfolio: November Update [View article]
    Hi Steve - a natural gas stimulus bill has been on Congress' back burner for years now. You would think after bi-partisan support for such idiotic energy policy failures such as the ethanol mandates, "clean coal" (an oxymoron if ever there was one), biofuels, and all that subsidies for battery makers and EV manufacturers (most of whom went bankrupt and were sold to the Chinese for pennies on the dollar), that Congress would take a chance on the one policy (natural gas transportation) they have not tried and the only one proven to be substantially reduce foreign oil imports. But it is clear that Congress is not working for what is best for the American people, and is instead directed by the wealth of the special interests. As a result, while Brazil, the EU, China, and Russia have all passed long-term strategic energy policies placing a priority on natural gas transportation, here in the US, where nat gas prices are 2-4X cheaper than those countries, and where the fracking and NGV technologies were first invented, we have practically no natural gas transportation policy endorsed by the Federal gov. Sadly, I doubt this will change any time soon. However, the good news is despite the government lack of support (some would even say opposition...), the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas transportation are so glaringly obvious that the effort is moving forward in spite of the government. So in my mind it's a race between the adoption of natural gas transportation on the one hand, and shale oil production declining on the other.
    Dec 2, 2013. 07:04 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cummins' New 12-Liter Natural Gas Engine Is A Game Changer For Clean Energy [View article]
    Hi WyoOil - oh yes, I understood your rationalization point and totally agree with you on that. What I disagreed with was your characterization of these vehicles as "factory equipped". They are not - they go through the same "gasoline" based assembly line and then are sent to third parties to "retrofit" the gasoline vehicle for natural gas. As a result, I am not surprised by the $10k delta in cost because this is not efficient and not what either GM or Ford do in a country like Brazil. There, the difference in cost between gasoline and NGVs is nearly so great. Same with Fiat in Italy.

    Ford and GM won't make NGVs affordable on a par with gasoline vehicles until they specifically design and manufacture an NGV on its own assembly line and deliver it as an OEM vehicle. Only then will the volume efficiencies of buying NGV tanks and fuel delivery systems take place, not to mention all the productivity put into "undoing" a gasoline vehicle. Until GM and Ford make the transition here in the US (as they have done overseas...), ordinary Americans will continue to go to after market converters. In states like Utah, which went to battle with the EPA on their ridiculous regulations in this regard (and won), NGV conversions are a much more reasonable $2,500-4,000.

    So, this is not a secondary issue when it comes to NGVs. It is very important distinction and is the issue in my mind.
    Dec 2, 2013. 04:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2014: A Watershed Year For Energy Recovery [View article]
    Excellent work! And thank you for mentioning my articles.
    Dec 2, 2013. 01:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EOG Resources: Set To Become Largest Oil Producer In The Lower-48 [View article]
    Just looking at the facts is all.
    Dec 2, 2013. 10:18 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • EOG Resources: Set To Become Largest Oil Producer In The Lower-48 [View article]
    Your attempt to make energy policy a partisan conversation is falling on deft ears. It was the Bush administration that first implemented the ethanol mandates and "clean coal" subsidies. I have been equally critical of the Democrats energy "policies" as well. So why don't we look at energy policy pragmatically without the politics? This is one reason the US is in such disarray these days - everything is made to be political and ripe for talk radio when in reality the issues are technical, economic, and fairly straight forward once you get the special interests and politics out of the way.

    You talk about restricting "free trade", but the only way foreign oil imports have been "free" is because the Fed and Treasury have printed money out of thin air to "pay" for them. As a result, one nasty side-effect is that China owns enough debt to sink the US whenever it is beneficial for them to do so. Yet you appear unconcerned about oil imports and want to keep printing money to pay for them. I find this very interesting considering your supposed party affiliation.

    Your comment in its entirety appears to indicate a lack of understanding in the basics of the US trade deficit (dominated by foreign oil for decades now) and the economic, environmental, and national security problems that it has saddled the country with. But of course this is what usually happens when the primary objective is political polarization in instead of pragmatic problem solving.
    Dec 2, 2013. 09:50 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EOG Resources: Set To Become Largest Oil Producer In The Lower-48 [View article]
    So you are OK with existing energy "policies" like the oxymoronic "clean coal", the ethanol mandates, Solyndra, biofuels and all the other initiatives the US government has spent billions on while the one true solution that will solve the economic, environmental, and national security issues as a result of staying addicted to oil (gasoline) in our tanks goes unsupported? People who are against smart energy policies don't understand that the energy "policies" Congress has funded basically keep us addicted to the status quo: gasoline & diesel (and foreign oil). Big mistake. And yes, progress on CNG and LNG needs to be much faster. How long will shale oil hold out? Meanwhile, China, Russia, Brazil, and the EU have all adopted strategic long-term energy policies prioritizing natural gas. Here in the US, home of the fracking technologies and now the biggest producer of natural gas what are we going to do with it? Export it and keep importing foreign oil to make gasoline to put in our cars and trucks. Ridiculous if you ask me.
    Dec 1, 2013. 09:50 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EOG Resources: Set To Become Largest Oil Producer In The Lower-48 [View article]
    You guys may consider that it is not just the cost of production of the dry gas producers in the shale regions that you are discussing that affect price. Associated gas coming from shale oil exploration also has an effect on the market because this gas is going to be produced no matter what because the price of oil alone justifies it.

    The bottom line for dry gas is that the price cannot be controlled by producers since in the US the vast majority of dry gas is produced by mid-sized and small producers. Here's the top-40 list for the US in Q3:

    Note the top-10 producers only produce ~1/3 of the US total, and the top-40 produce a bit more than 50%. So what you have is no ability to control price by the big producers. Plus you have alot of shut-in capacity by the big guys that don't feel like sending a man out to turn the valve with prices so low. So every time nat gas goes up, the small producers start producing again and then the price drops again. I think this will continue until some serious LNG export capacity comes online. I don't see anything else to stop it. What could have a big impact is if the US got its energy policy together and started adopting nat gas in the ordinary American car and truck fleet. That is really the demand source the US should be targeting. But instead will ship it overseas for other countries to use it in transportation (i.e. China).
    Dec 1, 2013. 06:25 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon Likes Turkey With Kurdish Relish On The Side [View article]
    Heh heh, nice move - hope that works out. I was just so happy to see XOM move over a point in one day that I was shell-shocked and immobilized!
    Dec 1, 2013. 06:12 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon Likes Turkey With Kurdish Relish On The Side [View article]
    Anything I have read on the subject appears to be pure speculation. Baghdad says any independent Kurdish oil exports are illegal and that it has the sole authority to manage Iraqi oil. Yet they can do nothing to stop Kurdish exports. As I said in the article, the real question now is will Baghdad get a clue and move forward with a revenue sharing agreement with the Kurds or continue to stifle progress? Else, it seems as though the Kurds simply go their merry way and all of Baghdad's share of the proceeds stays in the escrow account in Turkey.
    Dec 1, 2013. 06:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon Likes Turkey With Kurdish Relish On The Side [View article]
    Ok, thx for your follow-up.
    Dec 1, 2013. 10:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon Likes Turkey With Kurdish Relish On The Side [View article]
    never *should have
    Nov 30, 2013. 07:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exxon Likes Turkey With Kurdish Relish On The Side [View article]
    While I do agree the US should never have invaded Iraq, one could make a case that the oil companies working in the Kurdistan region are doing much to stabilize at least that section of the country.
    Nov 30, 2013. 07:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Phillips 66: Texas LPG Export Terminal Means Dividend Growth For Shareholders [View article]
    No worries Jimmy, that is a distinction that is commonly missed and I believe one reason why PSX's announcement was somewhat over-looked by the market...... "oh yeah, just another "LNG" terminal....". But nope, it was LPG. Thanks and have a great holiday weekend.
    Nov 30, 2013. 11:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment