Low Octane: The Surprising Reason Shale Oil Makes a Poor Fuel for High-Tech Cars and Trucks

Shale oil, which the Energy Information Administration projects will represent a rising proportion of American oil supplies in the coming decades, has a surprising Achilles heel: its low octane levels, which make it a poor fit for the high-efficiency car engines of the future.

Peak oil notes – May 9

A mid-week update. The surge in oil prices which took NY oil futures from $86 a barrel in mid-April to over $96 continued this week with June futures closing Wednesday at $96.62. The spread between NY and London futures continues to narrow with London currently trading at a premium of only $7.72– the lowest since January 2011. The dollar a barrel jump in NY futures on Wednesday came despite a rather small, 230,000 barrel, increase in US crude inventories and a 57,000 b/d increase in US crude production to 7.37 million b/d — the highest level since February 1992.

Peak oil notes – Apr 4

A midweek update. Wednesday was a down day with oil, natural gas, gasoline futures, and the equity markets all dropping sharply. NY oil futures were down 2.8 percent, closing at $94.45, as the EIA reported that US crude stocks rose by an unexpected 2.7 million barrels last week to the highest level in 22 years.

Peak oil notes – Feb 28

A midweek update…New York oil traded in a narrow range around $93 a barrel this week, closing a touch higher on Wednesday on better news about the US economy. Brent continued last week’s plunge closing on Wednesday at $111.89 a barrel, down $6 a barrel in the last 10 days. The indecisive Italian elections and the renewed nuclear talks with Iran were the main factors behind Brent’s plunge.