NEWS - AMERICAS Venezuela’s fuel shortage is really starting to bite Venezuela’s state oil company had to rush to replenish gasoline supplies in various neighbourhoods of Caracas this month as drivers lined up at filling stations amid a worsening shortage of fuel. While Petroleos de Venezuela SA said the situation is normalising and blamed the lines on transport delays, the opposition says the company has had to reduce costly fuel imports as it tries to preserve cash to pay its foreign debt. Tanker trucks were seen in several areas of the capital city resupplying filling stations after local newspaper El Nacional reported widespread shortages. As the company’s crumbling refineries fail to meet domestic demand, imports have become a financial burden because the country buys fuel abroad at market prices only to sell it for pennies per gallon at home. PDVSA has been reducing the money-losing imports as it prepares for $2 billion in bond payments due next month, said Jose Brito, an opposition lawmaker on the National Assembly’s oil commission. “They’re not importing enough because they are saving up to pay the debt,” he said. Ysmel Serrano, commercial and supply VP at PDVSA, said on Twitter that the company has sufficient supply from its refineries and is working to increase shipments to stabilize distribution after transportation delays led to lines at gasoline stations in four states. “We call for calm and to resist false rumours from sectors trying to create chaos in the country!” Serrano said. Glencore to enter Mexican fuel-stations business Glencore Plc is entering the fuel-stations business in Mexico with a 15-year supply deal and a $200m investment in a joint-venture with local owners, according to sources familiar with the decision. The agreement is the first significant move for Glencore in the retail fuel sector. It comes as commodities traders including Vitol Group BV and Trafigura Group have pushed into the business globally, with hundreds of stations from Latin America to Africa serving as outlets for the products they trade. Glencore will supply 180,000 barrels a day of gasoline and diesel to 1,400 stations, about 10% of the country’s total, the sources said, asking not to be named because the deal hasn’t been announced. The move comes after Mexico ended a long-standing monopoly by its state-controlled energy company, and last month boosted gasoline prices to aid distributors. Glencore also plans to spend $200m over the next two years to create a new franchise brand in a joint-venture with G500 Grupo Gasolinero, a local alliance of stations. Additionally, the trader will invest in terminals and storage. Currently, the local group sells its products under the brand of state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex). BP aims to penetrate Mexican retail market British Petroleum (BP) also announced that it will enter the battle of gas stations in Mexico, where today players such as OxxoGas, Gulf, Petro Seven, Hidrosina, LaGas, Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and soon Texaco and Costco will compete. Olaf Carrera, director of foreign affairs for the European company, confirmed the official presentation for these new establishments will be made on 9th March 2017. BP has a value of $99 billion dollars. The company will aim to penetrate a market whose annual sales of gasoline (Magna and Premium) generated around $377 billion pesos (18.8 billion USD), in a four year period, between 2011 and 2015. BP has been involved in Mexico for 50 years in the Castrol lubricants distribution and marketing segment since 1960. US cities to splurge on EVS TO PROVE THERE IS DEMAND Thirty U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, are looking to spend $10 billion on electric cars and trucks in a bid to prove to automakers that there is healthy demand for low-emission vehicles. Municipal authorities have asked automakers about the cost and feasibility of providing a total of 114,000 electric vehicles such as police cruisers, street sweepers and rubbish haulers. Automakers have said that there aren’t enough buyers for electric vehicles, and President Donald Trump is seeking to lower emission standards that the industry opposes as too costly or onerous. “No matter what President Trump does or what happens in Washington, cities will continue leading the way on tackling climate change,” Matt Petersen, Los Angeles’ chief sustainability officer, told Bloomberg. Trump ordered a review of tough US vehicle fuel-efficiency standards put in place by the Obama administration, handing a victory to auto industry executives and drawing criticism from Democrats and environmental groups. UPS invests more than $90M in natural gas UPS has said it will invest more than $90 million in natural gas facilities and vehicles, including fueling stations, compressed natural gas trucks, and liquefied natural gas vehicles. The company plans to build an additional six CNG fueling stations and add 30 new CNG tractors and terminal trucks as well as 50 LNG vehicles to its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. “With more than 4,400 natural gas vehicles and a network of fueling stations, UPS has had great results using natural gas as an alternative fuel in our fleet,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. “We know the importance of investing in natural gas globally for our fleet and the alternative fuel market. In 2016, we used more than 61 million gallons of natural gas in our ground fleet, which included 4.6 million gallons of renewable natural gas. This helped us to avoid the use of conventional gas and diesel, and decreased CO2 emissions by 100,000 metric tons.” Last year, UPS invested $100 million in CNG fueling stations and vehicles. The company currently operates 31 CNG fueling stations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia. It runs CNG vehicles in 38 states in addition to ones in Germany, the Netherlands, and Thailand. The six new CNG stations will be built in Ontario, California; Orlando, Florida; Salina, Kansas; Louisville, Kentucky; Greensboro, North Carolina, and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Renewable natural gas will be used at the station in Ontario. UPS also purchased 50 additional LNG vehicles that were deployed in Indianapolis, Indiana; Chicago; Earth City, Missouri; and Nashville, Tennessee, where UPS has existing LNG stations. Since 2009, UPS has invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally. The company has driven over a billion miles since 2000 with the alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, which include natural gas, electric, hybrid and other types of powertrains. 12 erpecnews is published by McLean Events, Conferences and Media Ltd.
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