Global energy markets in 2011 were plagued by something more devastating than economic malaise: nature. With weather being in the lap of the gods, and as nature takes its course, some scenarios are impossible to predict. And 2011 had its fair share of outliers. continue
Category: Energy’s Lighter Side
My wife and I were on our way to Chicago for a long weekend. We were taking in the sites, wondering if we should stop in Lafayette on the way back to see Purdue University’s campus when we came around a bend in I-65 and saw something completely disorienting. Actually, the disorientation was not immediate.
“Look,” my wife said, “there are some windmills over there, giant windmills.” We made this trip to Chicago a
couple of years earlier and didn’t see any windmills. It was like they had just appeared overnight. They were pretty cool looking, for the first couple of miles. But those few windmills become dozens and those dozens became hundreds. They were spinning slowly, majestically and some of them were very close to the interstate. continue
Recently, Summit Energy commodity analyst Matt Smith appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box to field questions on how the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) affects the crude oil market. Matt’s appearance led me to do a little digging on the history of the SPR, which uncovered five fascinating historical footnotes, some awesome ’70s-era YouTube video clips and 62 underground salt caverns that hold more than 700 million barrels of crude oil. continue
Another birthday and a drawer full of v-neck undershirts signal I’m ready to embrace my inner “old man.” These days I spend a lot of time complaining and talking about the way things were “back in my day,” back before gasoline was $4.07 a gallon. One day last week unleaded gas shot up 37 cents a gallon. Summit Energy commodity analyst, Matt Smith, attributed the meteoric rise to “flooding on the Mississippi, which is impacting both production and transportation of the fuel.” Matt’s right, of course, but the grumpy old man in me would rather blame it on “kids these days” or Communism. continue
Recently, I was talking with a college student about to enter a career in marketing. I casually mentioned a few things that I thought characterized the best marketers I’ve known. It just so happened that each of the traits started with the letter “I” and a blog post was born. continue
This time last month, we were fearful of the direction and strength of price movements, considering ‘treacherous’ and ‘unpredictable’ times. At that time, we had gas for Q3 around 58p per therm and Winter 11 at 67p per therm. Considerably worse followed, with the devastating events in Japan followed by the German response on nuclear plants, and prices peaked at 66 and 74 respectively. The last two weeks have been a bumpy ride with prices back to these peak levels.
Summit Energy Risk Management professionals view prices as higher than the fundamentals support, but the question remains on when the market will react to what is actually happening than what could happen next. continue
Like a squirrel on water skis, technology never ceases to amaze me. The fact that I can program my DVR from my smart phone or track my pizza preparation online really brings out my inner geek. For my latest blog post, I decided to research the effect of technology on Demand Response (DR). From a discussion standpoint, DR has raised its redheaded stepchild status to Sustainability Services’ golden child. As it happens, Demand Response is steadily moving from being a lucrative initiative for select companies to becoming an increasingly important cost-saving concept for residences. continue
When thinking about energy markets (oil and gas, in particular), it’s pretty easy to focus on the states where oil/gas are commonly associated: Texas, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico in general. However, when talking about these markets it’s important to get a feel for the other areas in the United States that are important both currently and historically. Hence: Energy, USA. continue
On March 16, I will be visiting Las Vegas. In an effort to encourage corporate sustainability, specifically sustainable tourism, I’ve taken it upon myself to support companies that exhibit environmental stewardship and energy efficiency. That’s why I just might seek out and congratulate a Caesars Entertainment Corporation representative for the company’s very successful corporate sustainability strategy.
At this point, it bears mentioning that the timing of my visit to Las Vegas, the location of Caesars’ Nevada headquarters and a certain college basketball tournament are all purely coincidental. Also coincidental: that I planned this trip with seven other Murray State alumni last June. continue
Blog entry ideas can be hard to come by. I’m still fairly new at Summit, and even more new to the world of blogging, so this task is somewhat of an adventure for me. So far, I’ve written about a few things that crossed my radar and piqued my interest.
But this month I was stumped. It’s fun to have a theme, and I’ve written about a holiday before, so I glanced up at the calendar for inspiration. Valentine’s Day promised a few sustainability topics, but I wasn’t satisfied. I was venting my writer’s block frustration when someone suggested President’s Day. So I started wondering if there were any presidents that influenced the industry that I’m now a part of. What’s some of the history that allows a company like Summit to exist? (A topic was born!) continue