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Chevron announces $21.6 billion capital and exploratory budget for 2010

Chevron Corporation announced a $21.6 billion capital and exploratory spending program for 2010, a five percent decrease from projected 2009 expenditures. Included in the 2010 program are $1.6 billion of expenditures by affiliates, which do not require cash outlays by Chevron's consolidated companies.

"Our company is in a strong financial position," said Chairman and CEO Dave O'Reilly, noting that about 80 percent of the 2010 spending program is for upstream oil and gas exploration and production projects worldwide. Another 16 percent is associated with the company's downstream businesses that manufacture, transport, and sell gasoline, diesel fuel, and other refined products.

Major upstream spending expected in 2010 includes activities in the following areas:

· Western Australia: development of Gorgon and Wheatstone natural gas resources, including LNG facilities.

· U.S. Gulf of Mexico: deepwater exploration and development, including Jack-St. Malo, Perdido, Tahiti, Tonga and Big Foot.

· Brazil: development of the Frade and Papa Terra fields.

· Nigeria: development of the Usan and Agbami deepwater fields.

· Angola: construction of LNG facilities and development of Block 14 deepwater assets.

· Thailand: development of the offshore Platong Gas II project.

· China: development of the Chuandongbei natural gas project.

· Canada: Athabasca Oil Sands expansion.

EPA adopts strong standards to curb air pollution from large ships

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized a rule setting tough engine and fuel standards for large U.S.- flagged ships, a major milestone in the agency’s coordinated strategy to slash harmful marine diesel emissions. The regulation harmonizes with international standards and will lead to significant air quality improvements throughout the country.

“There are enormous health and environmental consequences that come from marine diesel emissions, affecting both port cities and communities hundreds of miles inland. Stronger standards will help make large ships cleaner and more efficient, and protect millions of Americans from harmful diesel emissions,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

Air pollution from large ships, such as oil tankers and cargo ships, is expected to grow rapidly as port traffic increases. By 2030, the domestic and international strategy is expected to reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from large marine diesel engines by about 1.2 million tons and particulate matter (PM) emissions by about 143,000 tons. When fully implemented, this coordinated effort will reduce NOX emissions from ships by 80 percent, and PM emissions by 85 percent, compared to current emissions.

This rule, under the Clean Air Act, complements a key piece of EPA’s strategy to designate an emissions control area (ECA) for thousands of miles of U.S. and Canadian coasts. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency, is set to vote in March 2010 on the adoption of the joint U.S.-Canada ECA, which would result in stringent standards for large foreign-flagged and domestic ships operating within the designated area.

IEA demand forecast unchanged for 2009, will increase faster in 2010

In its December Monthly Oil Report, the International Energy Agency stated that forecast global oil demand is virtually unchanged for 2009 at 84.9 million barrels per day, but is revised up by 130,000 b/d to 86.3 million barrels per day in 2010.

Yearly growth (-1.4 million barrels per day and +1.5 million barrels per day, respectively) remains driven by non-OECD countries, but OECD prospects have slightly improved.

OECD industry stocks fell by 36 million barrels in October to 2,735 million barrels, 2.5 percent above 2008’s level.

Global oil supply rose by 200,000 b/d in November. OPEC crude production increased by 135,000 b/d to 29.1 million barrels per day, its highest level in a year. Largely as a result of lower non-OPEC supply prospects for 2010, next year’s call on OPEC is raised by 0.5 million barrels per day to 29.0 million barrels per day, compared with 28.7 million barrels per day in 2009.

Projected global fourth quarter 2009 refinery crude throughput is revised down by 0.6 million barrels per day to 72.3 million barrels per day, due to weaker U.S. preliminary data and higher maintenance in Asia and the Middle East. Global first quarter 2010 crude throughput is seen rising by 1.0 million barrels per day year-on-year to 72.7 million barrels per day, but OECD crude runs are expected to fall given weak refining margins.

Edmunds.com forecasts 2010 automotive trends

Edmonds.com, the premier resource for automotive information, forecasts that in 2010, approximately 11.5 million cars and light trucks will be sold in the United States. The industry is currently on track to sell approximately 10.3 million cars and light trucks this year.

"Most car shoppers will focus on value and fuel economy as the economy continues to recover," stated Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "It has already become trendy to make sensible choices, and we expect that this will be a theme for 2010 sales."


Edmunds.com analysts predict that about 3.2 percent of 2010 sales will be hybrids, about 2.2 percent will be diesel and less than one percent will be electric. In 2009, hybrid market share will be approximately 2.8 percent. Edmunds.com anticipates a continued increase at the rate of about half a percentage per year for the foreseeable future.

In 2009, diesel market share will be approximately 2.1 percent of sales. In the past decade diesel's highest market share, 4.1 percent, was reached in 2006.

“Given historical alternative fuel trends, the ‘early adopters’ will boost electric car market share upon launch, but it will take some time before significant market share builds for the segment,” commented Edmunds.com Senior Statistician Zhenwei Zhou, PhD.

 
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The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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