23 USA NEWS ‘Discounted’ fuel for the police A Miami police sergeant making more than $130,000 annually in his salary is accused of taking advantage of fuelling privileges for the fleet of cars belonging to the city to steal some $277 worth of fuel, The Miami Herald newspaper reported May 18. The newspaper said that a man who had been 16 years in the police was accused of stealing gasoline meant for police vehicles but which ended in his wife’s BMW, all based on the testimony of his police colleagues who first grew suspicious and later confirmed the petty crime. Emil Van Lugo, 45, was followed by police detectives who witnessed him putting gasoline he had filled in canisters at the fleet station into his wife’s BMW car. Kum & Go introduces E15 into Iowa E15 is now available in seven US states through US retailer Kum & Go: Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, South Dakota, Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri. Robert White, Vice President of industry relations at the Renewable Fuels Association says “The retailer Kum & Go, have been offering E15 to consumers for years but a new facility in Iowa, takes their E15 brand into another key state. These continued E15 announcements demonstrate that the business case is solid for higher blends and should lead other retailers to explore their options.” According to a statement released by the Renewable Fuel Association, it is now possible to buy E15 fuel in 20 states in the US. Chevron sell Caltex to ‘streamline’; first quarter earnings EIA projects increase in refining activity within US as crude production rises The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a report that it anticipates an increase in refining activity and investing in the US which will follow the greater crude oil production already available and projected. “In the high resource case and with no changes to current export restrictions, by 2025, additional processing capacity investment is required to absorb 7.2 million bbl/d of incremental (relative to a 2013 baseline) domestic light crude production,” the EIA said. Investment could reach $11 billion which would represent an increase in refining capacity of 2.4 million barrels per day. This would be the scenario with the highest crude production increase and assuming current US hydrocarbon export restrictions would continue. California-based Chevron Corp. said at the beginning of May that its first quarter 2015 earnings decreased to US $2.6 billion compared to $4.5 billion in the same period a year earlier. The company said this was due to weaker oil prices and added that in this scenario it continues to reduce its asset portfolio. Chairman and CEO John Watson said: “First quarter earnings declined from a year ago due to sharply lower oil prices, which reduced revenue and earnings in our upstream business. In the downstream, we continued to streamline our asset portfolio with the sale of our interest in Caltex Australia Limited.” Oregon may allow self-service stations in rural areas Oregon, one of only two U.S. states with prohibitions against self-service in fuel stations, may start approving some self-service stations, mostly in rural areas. State legislators are expected to give approval in a meeting later in May, according to Reuters. The move will allow drivers to pay with a credit card and pump their own gas, but only when a station is understaffed. The change aims to make fuel more available in some rural areas that lack enough fuel stations. “The report said at the Fields Station in Fields, Oregon, people will call 911 in the winter if they run out of fuel. In some cases, drivers who need to fill up must wait in line until personnel at fuel stations arrive in the morning because of the restriction. Violent incidents hit gas stations in US during early May There were two violent incidents reported against fuel station workers, in two separate incidents in the US this month. One involving a gas station worker, brutally attacked by a teen mob and another which ended with the killing of a fuel truck driver inside a fuel station forecourt. A 42-year-man from an area near Chicago suffered a fractured skull when he was brutally beaten and robbed on May 7. The attack occurred after he left work as he was targeted by a mob of teenagers some as young as 12-years-old, police told local media. The teens waited for the fuel station worker to end his evening shift, reports said. Cameras showed the teens had been inside the station before the attack. They left but later returned to coincide with the end of the shift. Separately, in Forth Worth, Texas, a fuel delivery truck driver was killed in the parking lot of a Quik Trip location. Police has arrested a suspect it located after checking the fuel station security cameras. Hess Sells to Marathon for $2.6 Billion Hess Corp. agreed to sell its gasoline stations to Marathon Petroleum Corp. for $2.6 billion, the latest and largest in more than $12 billion of asset sales as the company focuses on producing oil and natural gas. Hess found a buyer after filing paperwork in January to put the 1,342 stations along the U.S. East Coast into a separately traded public company. The deal is part of its effort to streamline operations following pressure from activist investor Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. last year. “The sale of our retail business marks the culmination of our strategic transformation into a pure-play exploration and production company,” Chief Executive Officer John Hess, son of the New York-based company’s founder, said in a statement today. Hess said in a separate statement it will continue its 50-year practice of selling holiday toy trucks at the stations this year, and going forward they will be sold online. Marathon Petroleum, which was itself formed by the spinoff of Marathon Oil Corp.’s refinery and retail business, said the purchase will make it one of the largest owners and operators of convenience stores in the U.S., with locations in 23 states. The deal also includes transport trucks and capacity on the Colonial pipeline. Hess-branded stations will disappear over the next three years, Marathon Petroleum CEO Gary Heminger said today on a conference call with analysts. The additional stations will buy 200,000 barrels a day from Marathon Petroleum’s refineries, guaranteeing a buyer for 75 percent of the company’s gasoline and diesel output.
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