From Business Insider we find out things that can be made with a barrel of oil. Each barrel of oil is refined to be used in a variety of applications that includes fuel, cosmetics, plastics, rubber, and candle wax.

Transparency Market Research forecasts that Asia is going to become a big market for crude oil and petroleum product storage. The growing import of oil products in emerging economies is expected to increase the demand for oil storage worldwide and Asia is expected to become a major location for this storage. The global oil storage market is projected to rise from 1.3 billion cubic meters in 2014 to 2.0 billion cubic meters by the end of 2024. A lot of this storage will be located in India, China and Japan.

The large oil companies are changing their exploration strategies away from high cost-high risk areas (eg. the Arctic or deep Atlantic Ocean) to lower-cost, lower-risk areas around the world. Low world oil prices have slashed corporate budgets and have led companies to opt for drilling in places where costs are lower, including at wells located near existing fields. This strategy is also expected to emphasize a lot more natural gas production than oil production with three-quarters of new discoveries being gas.

Israel’s giant Leviathan offshore natural gas field has signed its first landmark export agreement. The agreement is with Jordan’s National Electric Power Company and allows Israel to begin playing an important role in the global energy market. The agreement is worth $10 billion, and starting in 2019 will supply Jordan with 300 million cubic feet of natural gas every day for 15 years.

The UK has started importing its first cargoes of shale gas from the US providing British industry the opportunity to benefit from US shale gas economics. The gas is ethane and will be used by chemical company INEOS as both a fuel and as a feedstock. To receive the gas, INEOS has built the largest ethane gas storage tank in UK at Grangemouth in Scotland. Under a long term charter for eight ships specially designed to carry the ethane, there is now a virtual pipeline across the Atlantic Ocean from the US to the UK. A new 300 mile pipeline carries the gas from the Marcellus shale in Western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook deep water terminal near the US city of Philadelphia, which has new export facilities and storage tanks. The 8 ships then carry the gas to Scotland.

Restrictions on fracking combined with low world crude oil prices are taking the shine off Australia’s bright future for natural gas a few years after its pioneering coalbed methane-liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects began. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics as well as the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association confirm that oil and gas exploration onshore and offshore Australia is now in free fall.

This past week saw the first flight of a hydrogen fuel cell four-seater electric aircraft. The twin-cabin HY4 took off on September 29th from Germany’s Stuttgart Airport. The plane carries two 9 kilogram (20 lb) hydrogen storage tanks that feed four low temperature fuel cell modules. These cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into water and electrical energy. The cells continuously power the aircraft’s electric motor during flight, while a 21 kilowatt-hour lithium polymer battery packs helps out during the take-off and climb. The HY4 has a potential maximum range of 1,500 kilometers (930 miles), though the exact range will depend on speed, altitude and load. Its 80 kilowatt electric motor has a maximum speed of around 200 km/h (124 mph), with a cruising speed given as 145 km/h (90 mph). (See video of flight here.)

European automaker Renault has unveiled a new electric car that it claims will overcome psychological barriers among drivers who fear running out of power between charges (‘range anxiety”). A new battery will carry the lastest Zoe EV 250 miles (400 kilometers) on a single charge. Most mainstream electric cars, such as those by BMW and Nissan, have a range of 100-150 miles. The Zoe was Europe’s best selling EV last year. The new EV goes on sale in France this month and starts at 23,600 euros ($26,481).

A report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) found that as of 2015 there were 1.26 million electric vehicles on the road worldwide, up from 6000 in 2009. EVs included battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and fuel-cell or hydrogen electric vehicles. The market shares of electric cars rose above 1% in seven countries last year: Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, France, China and the United Kingdom. Market shares reached 23% of all vehicles in Norway and nearly 10% in the Netherlands. The IEA says technological progress and economies of scale are critical if EVs are to reach cost parity with conventional internal combustion engines (gasoline, diesel).


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